Mark I. Unger (@miunger)
I write this from the plane, siphoning off some slow $5.00 Southwest Air Wifi (disappointing given the beta test about a year and a half ago) but still juiced up on coffee and the mere ability to get the 30,000 foot hookup. This flight is the ABA TechShow flight and, as veterans will tell you, it’s likely the best flight of the year. Every year in Chicago, the Legal ‘TechGensia’ accumulates, some knowing and some not knowing what to expect, but expecting nonetheless.
This year is most likely going to generate a lot of buzz on the topics of iPads (and tablets and Apps) and the Cloud. While SXSWi a couple of weeks ago was rife with Social Media Apps as well as the highly controversial Human Wifi Hotspots, Techshow is a bit more practical. With critical mass of convergence on the iPad coming faster and faster, integration into the Cloud is moving at an even faster pace. Dropbox integration (and Box and Evernote for that matter) is now commonplace if not expected. If one of your trial presentation, practice management or PDF Annotator Apps has a function, it is expected that a new one that wants to date you should also have this. In this sense it’s almost like speed dating — 2 minutes to convince me that you’re worth the tab, and maybe a collective hour over the next three days to convince me that you’re worth a second or third or fourth date.
We all know that in technology (and life), what we learn to use well first is generally what we stick with and, with the exception of ADD-Adled Techie-Lawyer-Wannabes like myself, change is hard. To quote an ex-girlfriend of mine who (while in my presence) when asked how she stays so healthy in dating relationships, stated “Well, I start with really low expectations.” Oops…wrong quote. She also said ”I’m not frustrated; I’m just adjusting to transition…with despair.” Well, when you come to TechShow, it’s to adjust to transition, if at times with despair, because it’s one of the only places and ways to make the adjustment both exciting and worth it.
This year brings the superlicious excitement of the unofficial event “LexThink” (formerly Ignite Law), a series of 11 speakers, each presenting for 6 minutes (1/10th of an hour and usual minimum billing increment of lawyer types). Brought to you by veteran ‘Techshowers’ Matt Homann and JoAnne Foreshee, this two-year old event is an ignitable kickoff to an incredible 2 and 1/2 days of serious legal technology. This year’s speakers include –
1. Mark Britton: Back to the Future
2. Richard Granat Legal Industry Startups: An Overview
3. Roe Frazer: Being a Web 2.0 Lawyer in the “Thank You Economy”
4. Will Hornsby: Ignite This! Five Ethics Rules That Should Be Incinerated
5. Ruth Carter: Flash Mob Law
6. Jason E. Dyer: Where Canasta and Counsel Collide
7. Eric Hunter: Moving Towards 100% Web
8. Jay Shepherd: One Word That Will Reinvent How You Serve Clients
9. Matt Spiegel: Don’t Just Communicate …
10. James F. Ring: Ending Cheap Talk in Legal Bargaining
11. Steve Best: Passion
See also previous speakers’ presentations via the link above.
The meat of the matter or two days of seriousity couched in humor of intense learning at this years TechShow comes in the form of 6 categories/tracks per Day.
Day One (1) includes –
3. Digital Marketing, made up of
4. Large Firm
5. Litigation; and
Day Two (2) posits –
1. Solo/Small Firm;
2. Solo/Small Firm Basics;
3. Cloud Computing;
5. Advanced IT; and
6. E-Discovery/Advanced Topics.
Add into the mix Keynote Speaker and actor/economist/lawyer/smart guy -
Ben Stein (“Bueller….? Bueller….”), along with
60 Tips in 60 Minutes, 60 Apps in 60 Minutes and a Saturday morning nightcap of 60 Sites in 60 Minutes, and you’ve got enough legal-tech mojo to fill your hard drive for at least six months. If you’re lucky (and diligent), possibly a year till TechShow 2013.
Stay tuned for MORE blogging from Texas Bar Computer & Tech Section Members
See the Full Schedule at http://www2.americanbar.org/calendar/TECHSHOW/Pages/CompleteSchedule.asp
mark i. unger