I spoke at and attended the recent Marcus Evans Legal Technology Summit and had a great time. The format of LTS is different than most conferences – limited number of attendees, lots of interaction among attendees, speakers and vendors, and a first-class approach across the board. What’s cool is that you end up feeling like you’ve been able to have extended conversations with almost everyone one there.
As a result, I met quite a few CIOs of the leading US law firms and some of the best and most innovative thinkers in legal tech I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around for an extended period of time. I also continued my ongoing string of presentating with a terrific co-speaker – in this case, Toby Brown of the Utah State Bar.
On the flight back, I could not believe the flow of new ideas that I had. You’ll gradually here about some of those here, some will go to my clients, some may appear in articles of mine, and some I’ll be working on myself.
A few observations:
Some of the premier US law firms have bright and innovative IT directors who they are not using as effectively as they could.
The tension between where law firms are at and where there clients want them to be is growing greater and breaking points might be coming faster than many lawyers expect. Ron Friedmann’s A New Approach to Control Outside Counsel Costs is a must-read in this context, but I don’t think it goes nearly far enough and the push that will soon be coming from corporate legal departments will be far stronger than people imagine. You’ll have to trust me on that, because my insights and advice on this issue are going only to my clients.
As lawyers continue to be unable to adapt rules based on paper documents to the rapidly changing world of electronic documents and networked environments, there are fundamental questions about the continuing relevancy of today’s legal system and the current mode of practice of law. If lawyers do not become involved in issues like security, validation, authenticity and the like, they risk being marginalized. One place to watch on these practical issues is Phil Windley’s blog.
If you are looking for a very high value conference to attend in 2005, keep an eye open for next year’s Legal Technology Summit.