By: Mark I. Unger | @miunger | firstname.lastname@example.org
ILTACON Legal Technology Conference
When: August 30-September 3, 2015
Where: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
ILTA is the International Legal Technology Association and for the last couple of decades has been providing a platform for massive and sophisticated legal information technology exchange between professionals. ILTACON is one of the preeminent legal technology conventions in the country. Make no mistake about it. This spectacular legal technology bonanza is not for the weak of ‘legal tech heart.’ It is however where the sophisticated buffalo roam to find out what is on the bleeding edge of legal technology from those who have been in the industry and have the knowledge to explore solutions and trends in the future.
I last wrote about ABA Techshow in Chicago this past spring and Michael Peck also recently shared valuable insight into the real deal that is Techshow. It simply outshines itself year after year as a true ‘lawyer’s legal technology show.’ While Techshow plays to lawyers, ILTACON dances with lawyers and law firm technologists and administrators. Last year’s event was held in Nashville, Tennessee and boasted over 1600 registrants, over 3500 participants, 406 new registrants, 152 alumni, and with international representation from 15 countries. It is a truly world class event.
Peter Diamandis, launching the event with the introductory Keynote, shaped this massive audience with his own version of what I call ‘trendspotting,’ specifically a glimpse of technology in the next two to five years, crowdsourcing (how to reach out and get answers), and world abundance (where the world is going). His points of how disruptive technology feeds innovation and what he termed “the new Kodak moment” lead to his theme that innovation can come from anyone anywhere (i.e. how Kodak thinking linearly gave way to Instagram). His offering of these topics and the fact that we now have exponentially growing technology lead us to his 6 D’s of Exponentials, the point being that even in the legal field we must pay attention to what drives innovation. The bottom line—expect technology to be molecular and cheap, with robots (automation) everywhere.
This is the kind of serious philosophical but practical consideration that is provided at ILTA, at a very high-functioning level. This continued with Speakers and Vendors and a merging of presentations between the two. Speakers covered topics close to my ‘legal-tech-heart’ such as whether legal is ready for an all MAC environment (Brett Burney); Client Extranets, granularity of permissions, shareability of data (i.e. true collaboration) and the reality of keeping it simple to drive usability (Mark Thorogood); Mobile Technology in Court, including mass use of iPads and other mobile devices and Apps v. the contraposition of shunning such mobile use for desktop preferences (Britt Philips and Jim Berriman); Tablet Wars, which pitted a Surface Pro user against Android user yet against an iPad user. The deck was stacked in this challenge as all users aren’t created equal, but the end result of MS Surface’s high performance is I believe a ‘tell’ of their recent trend towards really grabbing significant legal market share after several years of perceived loss.
Vendors and vendor presentations were not left out and, in fact made up a very significant portion of the forward thinking and futuristic movement. Google and Jack Halprin (who’s recent passing is another massive loss to our legal segment) created an interactive environment of desktops for users to experience a hands-on approach to Google Apps for Business (and Legal), including their launch of a chrome extension, Google Drive for Work and Vault, their e-Discovery platform for document investigation and legal hold.
Not to be left out but in fact at the forefront of launches, Microsoft launched into ‘beta’ its Matter Center for Office 365, which could very well signify the possibility of ‘world domination’ in legal workflow (or a very admirable attempt at the least). This legal practice management environment, which joins the multiple other cloud-based legal practice management systems, builds on it’s late entry into the free offering of software in order to price people into their cloud based storage with integration into the apps most used (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.). It further claims real-time integration with SharePoint and collaboration via sync with One Drive, Yammer, Lync, all of Office 365, and mobile device management capability. Their stated goal of enabling legal professionals to manage processes within one ecosystem is definitely the wave of the future, as telegraphed by the integration of third party apps into and with existing cloud storage providers.
The upcoming ILTACON 2015 promises no less and possibly a massive increase in legal tech innovations if trends continue and given law firms’ increased spending (an approximately 6% increase, according to last year’s ILTA survey of 281 firms polled). Doing more with less, cost-cutting and spending to accomplish that are trends that are not limited to mid-size or large firms. Solo’s and small firms are under increasing pressure to accomplish the same. Within this context, the 2015 ILTACON schedule looks to be similarly impressive with many tracks and topics that will make many legal professionals take note. Currently on the “grid” or schedule are significant topics such as an in-depth look at cloud computing, The Three C’s of Office 2013/O365: Connectivity, Communication and Collaboration, Mobile Device Management Shootout, Considerations and Consequences: Moving to Cloud Document Management, iPad Tips, Tricks, Apps and Accessories for Day-to-Day to the Courtroom, Augmented Intelligence for Legal, a Legal Technology Disruption round, Best Practices for Secure External Collaboration, Macs in a Law Firm Environment, Innovation Through Automation: Implementing Effective Document Assembly, and The App Creation Experience.
In short, mobile, security, the cloud and innovation appear to be on our horizon and ILTACON’s. As a benefit of membership, State Bar of Texas Computer & Tech Section members are also now members of ILTA and able to received 50% ILTACON DAY PASS for Tuesday September 1, 2015.
For more information about joining the section, see http://sbot.org/membership/.
If already a Computer & Tech Section member and you need your ILTA SignIn info (sbot em address), contact Mr. Ron Chichester at email@example.com
Once you have your ILTA SignIn Info, to get your 50% Day Passes, Click Here (SignIn required to get the discount)
For more information about ILTACON, see http://www.iltacon.org/iltacon2015/home.
about the author
Mark I. Unger is an Attorney/Mediator/Consultant from San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted at www.unger-law.com or via Twitter at @miunger.