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Legaltech 2019 – I Finally Made It

Legaltech 2019

It is, in fact, a little embarrassing. I have been writing about legal technology issues for probably close to a decade. However, I have never been able to get myself to Legaltech. Legaltech has been going on far longer than I and perhaps other readers may suspect – it all started in 1982 when Janet Felleman joined forces with Price Waterhouse to teach lawyers how to use tech in their law practice. Fast forward through a couple of handoffs and mergers, and it is now conducted by ALM. It also is part of a larger gathering called Legalweek, during which legal professionals discuss more than just shiny cool technology. But that is not the focus of this blog. 

I didn’t quite know what to expect, but thought I would likely see lots of vendors with various offerings with some technology angle. I also thought I would see a few sessions on tech-related topics that might arise in the course of one’s practice. I was right on both of those accounts. I also anticipated more of a firm focus, rather than in house legal department focus. On that latter account, I was a bit off the mark. The conference started with a State of the Industry address offering a more global view of the legal industry, addressing firms, in house legal departments and the newer entrant in the space – Alternative Legal Service Providers. ALM analysts touched on current events in the legal industry to the present, as well as trends for the future. This included a striation of firms between “bet the company” top tier firms and ALS providers who can offer innovative and efficient solutions to higher frequency, lower severity or repetitive matters. Coupled with concepts of increased in-sourcing by corporate clients and their in-house legal departments, it is clear to see that the practice of law is changing dramatically and that trajectory isn’t going to flatten any time soon.

Alberto Gonzales

Another nice surprise was the keynote from former U.S. Attorney Generals Alberto Gonzales and Loretta Lynch. While it made an appearance in the discussions, the former A.G.’s did not focus on technology. I found the keynote very timely given our current climate and a nice “forest for the trees” view of the larger geopolitical legal landscape. And, as one might expect, cybersecurity is a top level concern of our government lawyers.

Loretta Lynch

I still saw tech and lots of it. I visited almost 20 different vendors, with a focus on artificial intelligence, consulting and analytics solutions. I also got a chance to catch up with Nicole Black of MyCase and Bob Ambrogi of Lawsites, as well as Doug Kaminski of CobrATX. I was impressed with Fastcase’s Docket Alarm – an award winner at the show – that offers full text docket search and alerts, as well as analytics, for federal and some state courts. I also was intrigued by audio analytics tools. These were primarily advertised in the context of e-discovery, but I can see the potential behavioral analysis that expand beyond discovery and into predictive customer analytics. There were a few vendors offering this and I am interested to see what the future might hold there.

I attended a few sessions, but my favorite was an ILTA educational track session on how to innovate and get client buy-in on a budget, which is a particular focus of mine at present. I really enjoyed hearing how Andrew Price, COO of the Australian firm Barry Nilsson, approached innovation projects, as well as the more general tips offered by Gina Buser of Traveling Coaches and TJ Johnson of Olenick. Definitely some good information that I anticipate may help me in my in-house setting.

While it was a VERY long day, I really enjoyed my experience. Anecdotally, I was told that vendor exhibits seemed smaller and more reserved than in prior years. However, without that historical perspective, I found plenty to keep me occupied for a full day and could have easily returned for some of the interesting sessions offered on days two and three. I am hoping to return next year with the benefit of prior experience. In the meantime, I will continue to ask myself the question “What took me so long?”

Categories: Tech-n-law-ogy

El Salvador Elects New President, Breaking Decades-Long Control By 2 Parties

Nayib Bukele, the 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, promises to fight the country's rampant corruption and crime.

(Image credit: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Victor Glover, One of the Crew of SpaceX's First Flight to Station

NASA Image of the Day - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:50
When SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off on its first operational mission to the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Victor Glover will be aboard.
Categories: Just News

A First: Women Take The Majority In Nevada Legislature And Colorado House

Monday, Nevada's Legislature becomes the first in U.S. history to have a majority of women lawmakers. In Colorado, also a first, women hold the majority in the House of Representatives.

(Image credit: Hart Van Denburg/Colorado Public Radio)

Categories: Just News

Va. House Speaker: 'Rightful Hesitation' Over Removing Gov. Northam

As lawmakers returned to the capitol Monday morning, they renewed calls for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.

(Image credit: Steve Helber/AP)

Categories: Just News

Virginia Legislators Open Session Amid Calls For Governor To Resign

The Virginia House of Delegates opened its session Monday amid mounting pressure for Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to resign. Rachel Martin speaks with reporter Michael Pope, who is at the Capitol.

Categories: Just News

Have You Taken College Classes That Didn't Count Toward Your Degree?

If your college required you to take classes that didn't count for your degree, we want to hear from you. These are often called remedial or developmental courses.

(Image credit: Katherine Du/ )

Categories: Just News

The New 'Toy Story 4' Trailer Will Delight You

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 11:10
So will the new 'Captain Marvel' footage and this news about Goop. (Maybe.)
Categories: Just News

Gov. Northam Is Finding Himself Increasingly Alone In Once-Supportive Virginia

Residents who were once the governor's allies are now wrestling with what to make of a racist yearbook photo and his insistence on remaining in office.

(Image credit: Steve Helber/AP)

Categories: Just News

The Way Superman Picks Up a Building Is a Physics Travesty

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 10:00
Superman is more than welcome to use his superpowers to pick up a building. But we really need to talk about his technique.
Categories: Just News

Star Wars News: Why Is It Oh So Quiet?

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:00
Probably because the next 'Star Wars' movie is still 10 months away ... but we've gleaned a few morsels.
Categories: Just News

Android Apps for the Deaf: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:00
Two new assistive apps coming to Android provide audio boosting and near-real-time text-to-speech translation to the deaf and hard of hearing.
Categories: Just News

5 Die As Plane Breaks Apart, Crashes Into Neighborhood In Southern California

Several witnesses described a dramatic scene in which the aircraft, a 1981 twin-engine Cessna 414, burst into flames and began breaking apart. Four people were killed in a house in Yorba Linda.

(Image credit: Alex Gallardo/AP)

Categories: Just News

Warby Parker's AR App Lets You Try on Glasses Using Your iPhone

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:00
Warby Parker’s new AR app for trying on its eyewear is another example of how companies are exploiting face-mapping tech to help you buy their stuff.
Categories: Just News

Pentagon Deploying 3,750 Troops To Southern Border

U.S. service members will install wire barriers and help monitor the border. However, some have questioned whether it's a good use of active-duty troops.

(Image credit: Eric Gay/AP)

Categories: Just News

Oregon Bottle Deposit System Hits 90 Percent Redemption Rate

The expanded program includes more types of containers and benefits from a cleaner mix of recyclable materials, which is easier to sell than the mishmash of waste that ends up in curbside bins.

(Image credit: Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Categories: Just News

15 Moments That Defined Facebook's First 15 Years

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:00
A lot has changed since Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook in 2004. Here are some of the milestones that mattered most.
Categories: Just News

AG Nominee William Barr Is No Friend of Telecom Competition

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:00
A likely shoo-in to be the next attorney general, William Barr spent much of his career helping phone companies reassemble the old Bell System monopoly.
Categories: Just News

The World Might Actually Run Out of People

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:00
The United Nations predicts that the global population will soon explode. In *Empty Planet*, John Ibbitson and Darrel Bricker argue they're dead wrong.
Categories: Just News

15 Years of Facebook in 4 Charts

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:00
The social network is growing fastest in Asia, is insanely profitable, makes most of its money from mobile ads, and has rewarded investors richly.
Categories: Just News

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