People and Places
By Dan Pinnington, ABA TECHSHOW 2007 Chair
This March ABA TECHSHOW® celebrates its 21st year with three days packed full of opportunities to learn about the latest in legal technology. On the slate are more than 50 CLE sessions presented by the best legal technology speakers, a vendor expo with more than 100 exhibitors, and countless opportunities to learn about the best in tools and strategies. Law Practice asked Dan Pinnington, ABA TECHSHOW 2007 Chair, to provide a peek at what's in store for this year's conference.
Q. What are some of the highlights of this year's educational tracks?
CLE sessions are organized by theme into 15 tracks that run concurrently, five or six at a time, throughout the show. We're featuring some great new sessions under brand-new tracks, as well as the return of some of our all-time favorite programs, each updated for 2007.
The Electronic Discovery, Litigation and new Records Management tracks will include sessions dealing with e-discovery and electronic document management. Also, building on the tradition of teaching and learning that are at the very core of ABA TECHSHOW, the sessions under the new MS Office, Show Me and GoodÞBetterÞBest tracks will provide hands-on instruction in the essential software and technologies that should be in use in every law office. Those who want to go paperless—which seems to be just about everyone—can learn how through the new Adobe PDF & Paperless Office track. Plus, the
Law Practice Management Tips track will feature four sessions of amazing and practical legal technology tips that anyone can put to use.
Also be sure to come to the new Communicate/Collaborate/Connect track to learn more about how the Internet is transforming the practice of law. Plus, those who like to delve into the more techie side of things won't want to miss the Basic IT, Advanced IT and new Going Mobile tracks. In addition, a new E-Ethics track will focus on the intersection of legal technology and ethics issues.
Q. What's the new Solo/Small Firm Day about?
I'm especially excited about the Solo/Small Firm Day at this year's conference. On Friday, March 23, ABA TECHSHOW will feature eight sessions on two parallel tracks providing legal technology CLE on topics specifically geared to solo and small firm lawyers. Even if you're unable to attend the rest of the conference, you can still register for the Solo/Small Firm Day for a special price and attend all the ABA TECHSHOW sessions and events offered on Friday, get a complimentary lunch, and finish the day by attending the always popular 60 Tips in 60 Minutes. The special one-day price is only $245 if you register before the February 9 early-bird registration date. Solo/Small Firm Day is co-sponsored by the ABA GP|Solo Division.
Q. Are the roundtable sessions returning this year?
The roundtables were so hugely popular the past two years that, yes, they absolutely are back! These sessions, which do not receive CLE credit, offer the opportunity for close interaction with the show's faculty. So come armed with your questions and problems and be prepared to engage in freewheeling discussions. This year's crop of roundtables includes Adobe Acrobat Q&A, Internet Legal Research, Practice Management Software Q&A, Practical Issues Concerning the New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, MS Office Revisited, Everyday Electronic Data Discovery, Real World Networks and Essential Hardware for the Solo/Small Firm Law Office.
Q. Who is the keynote speaker this year?
We are very excited to welcome the Honorable Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, as the ABA TECHSHOW 2007 keynoter. Judge Scheindlin is renowned for a series of landmark decisions in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg. Her Zubulake opinions, taken collectively, are sometimes referred to as the "gold standard" of e-discovery and have been cited with approval in courts throughout the country.
Q. What's the scoop on the ABA TECHSHOW Expo?
On the Expo floor you'll find more than 100 vendors of products and services. The exhibitors will spend as much time with attendees as needed demonstrating their products and services—and many will offer you test-drives of their wares.
A number of legal technology vendors will also present product-specific information or training sessions via the conference's Vendor Track, which runs concurrently with educational sessions. Unlike our CLE sessions, however, the speakers and content of Vendor track sessions are designed entirely by the vendors themselves.
Q. Are there social events on the plate, too?
Of course—fun opportunities to socialize and network are famously among the reasons to attend ABA TECHSHOW! During the day you can meet friends, both new and old, at the Cyber Café and Networking Lounge in the Expo hall. Then at the end of the day on Thursday and Friday, there will be cocktail receptions to help attendees unwind together. Another exciting opportunity involves the revamping of the "Dinner Bashes," now collectively known as "A Taste of ABA TECHSHOW." This year we're asking speakers to "host" Dutch-treat dinners with a predetermined topic of their choice. Our goal is to bring together communities of interest that will form long-lasting connections for attendees and speakers. As much as I've learned in my years of attending ABA TECHSHOW, the most valuable things I take away each year are the names of others with a similar passion and interest in legal technology.
Q. Who should plan to attend ABA TECHSHOW?
The show regularly attracts more than 2,000 attendees from around the globe. Whether you're a novice or a techno-geek, if you have an interest in learning more about legal technology, ABA TECHSHOW is for you. Plus, you can earn CLE credits while learning how to use the latest and greatest tools and tactics in your practice. And remember, ABA TECHSHOW stands alone among major legal technology conferences because it is independent of vendor control, and the presentations and materials are free of sales pitches. There is no better place to learn more about legal technology.