ABA TechShow: A Convergence of Great Legal Tech Thinkers

ABA TechShow took place in Chicago from March 25-27th.  The convention opened with a “bang,” featuring a conglomerate of “rapid-fire presentations” from IgniteLaw.

Ignite Law was organized by the inimitable Matt Homann (@matthomann), founder of LexThink, and sponsored by ABA TechShow.  At IgniteLaw, 16 speakers (myself included) were selected by the votes of their colleagues to discuss their perspectives on the future of the law industry.

The speeches were fast paced, with each speaker allotted only 6 minutes and 20 slides. Some of the session titles included: “The Biglaw-Solo Partnership: Outsourcing Innovation and The Lessons of Tommy Supreme” (Carolyn Elefant), “What I Learned About the Future of Legal Marketing From Playing Wii Bowling With a 4 1/2-year old” (Ari Kaplan), “What a Law Firm Can Learn From Zappos. Hint: It isn’t about selling shoes” (Jack Newton, founder of Clio), and “Slaying the Beast: Using Small Firm Thinking to Beat Big Firms Every Time” (Doug Sorocco – @douglassorocco).

On Thursday, March 25th, TechShow officially began. And as is the nature of any good tech show, newly created tracks and those that were well-attended were indications of exciting innovations in the legal world. One sign of the changing times: this year there were two tracks devoted to web-based technologies: “Marketing/ Social Networking” and “Practice in the “Cloud.”

All indications pointed toward an increasing interest and acceptance of these types of technologies. Most of the sessions in each of these tracks were packed – standing room only quickly became a commonplace experience.  And, like New York LegalTech, many of the vendors on the exhibit floor offered either cloud-based products or cloud-based product lines as law firm enhancements.

Ari Kaplan gave a fantastic keynote speech about the convergence of technology and legal marketing that was the highlight of the conference. Plus, his tie was to die for.

Networking reigned supreme at this conference with plenty of opportunities for conference-goers to mingle with and learn from other attendees and vendors.

All in all it was a fantastic experience that was well worth the trip. If you haven’t yet been to the ABA TechShow, you should definitely consider attending in 2011.

Debbie Stephenson

Debbie Stephenson is a former Content Marketing Manager at Firmex.