It’s impossible to avoid technology in today’s law practice. You may not consider yourself “tech-literate” or “computer-savvy,” but you use a computer or mobile phone every day for communication, document creation, time-tracking, legal research, and much more.
You certainly don’t need to be a tech wizard to practice law, but you do need to be aware of the “risks and benefits” associated with the technology you use every day (see Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1 on Competence. But where can you go to learn about how technology can work for you instead of against you?
Now in its 29th year, the ABA TECHSHOW is an annual conference sponsored by the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association. TECHSHOW is three days of educational sessions, colleague networking, and tech-fueled energy all focused on answering your questions about how you can take better advantage of technology in your law practice.
“What is ABA TECHSHOW?”
ABA TECHSHOW 2015 offers over 60 tech-focused educational sessions presented by 70+ experts from all over the legal world. Topics include cloud computing, data security, paperless workflows, mobility, marketing, and much, much more.
Last year we introduced a new “iPad Track” with tremendous success, so we’re bringing it back in 2015. We’ve also devoted two full days to Microsoft Office so you can learn how better to use the software you already own (including Office 365). For the mobile lawyer, we’re covering wearable tech, Android, and security. The Marketing Track answers questions on the ethics of online advertising, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), creating effective LinkedIn profiles, and more.
Our “How To” Track includes a whole slew of interesting topics such as how to use Evernote, taking advantage of Google Voice, and learning how clients use Yelp to find lawyers.
Obviously, this just scratches the surface of all that ABA TECHSHOW 2015 offers. I invite you to look over the full schedule posted on our website.
While the educational sessions are the primary focus of TECHSHOW, attendees tell us that they learn just as much from fellow attendees. TECHSHOW has always been a place where people discuss the technology and services they use, and share the tips and tricks that help them be more efficient throughout the day.
All speakers at TECHSHOW are encouraged to interact with attendees beyond their “formal” presentation (although most speakers do this anyway). One attendee from last year’s TECHSHOW raved about the “great spirit of camaraderie among attendees and speakers.”
Because the networking component of TECHSHOW is so important, we created the Taste of TECHSHOW dinners that take place on two nights of the conference. These Dutch-treat style dinners are hosted by TECHSHOW speakers who pose a topic of discussion for the evening. Each Taste of TECHSHOW dinner group has a reservation at one of Chicago’s popular restaurants, but just make sure you sign up quick since these dinner slots fill up before you know it.
“Who You’ll Meet at ABA TECHSHOW”
The ABA TECHSHOW boasts a vast EXPO Hall that’s packed
with the latest technologies and services supporting the law practice of today. If you’ve been curious about a product or service but haven’t had time to do your research, the EXPO Hall at the ABA TECHSHOW is the perfect place for you to talk face-to-face with the vendor and get a hands-on experience.
You can simply roam the EXPO Hall to find the latest exciting new technology, or you can target your efforts on specific booths—you’re free to explore whatever works best for you.
You’ll also find the TECHSupport area in the EXPO Hall this year where vendors set up additional booths to offer advanced support for their products and services. And when you need a break, the Charging Lounge will let you re-charge your feet as well as your mobile device(s).
ABA TECHSHOW wouldn’t be complete without a stellar keynote presentation to get you thinking about the role of technology in your practice. This year, we’re elated to introduce Nicholas Carr as the keynote speaker for ABA TECHSHOW 2015.
Nick is a former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review and has written a number of influential books covering the revolution of cloud computing, how the Internet is changing society, and exploring the human consequences of automation.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read one of Nick’s books, I encourage you to put one at the top of your reading list. I recall how Nick’s 2008 book on cloud computing (The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google) changed my own perspective on what cloud computing meant for the business and professional world.
Nick’s keynote presentation is guaranteed to help you better understand how technology impacts your life and career.
See You There!
I’m excited for you to join us in Chicago for ABA TECHSHOW, April 16-18, 2015. I know you’ll have a grand time and take home some of the best information available to help you be more productive and efficient in your practice.
As one of our attendees from last year put it, TECHSHOW is a “great place to network, learn about new products, and stay abreast of technology and security developments.”
About the Author
Brett Burney is the chair of the ABA TECHSHOW 2015 Planning Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org