Now that ABA Techshow 2017 is behind us, it’s time to reflect on the ups and downs of this year’s conference. As is always the case, there were some highs - and some lows.
The low this year was obvious to all who actually made it to Chicago: the weather. The show was slated to start on Wednesday, March 16th, just one day after one of the worst winter storms of the year hit the East Coast, while another barreled into Chicago. This meant anyone from the East Coast who wasn’t able to move their travel plans to earlier in the week never made it into Chicago.
Last week thousands of lawyers, legal IT professionals, and others with an interest in legal tech made the annual pilgrimage to New York City and descended upon the Midtown Hilton. For people invested in learning about the latest and greatest innovations in legal technology, especially eDiscovery, this is a great conference to kick off the new year and mingle with other likeminded people. This year’s conference was, however, markedly different from earlier versions, at least on paper.
When it comes to cybersecurity, lawyers often get a bad rap. The industry’s known reticence to embrace new technologies similarly extends to the perception of its general lack of understanding of security issues. And in many cases, the evidence does indicate that lawyers fail to enact necessary cybersecurity measures for any number of reasons.
Common sense dictates that larger law firms would have better cybersecurity procedures in place due to large in-house IT staff and devoted legal IT budgets. But surprisingly, according to the results of the American Bar Association’s latest Legal Technology Survey Report, large law firms are often the most likely to experience security breaches.
As another year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look backward. In 2016, I wrote about a lot of different legal technology issues, but which ones stood out? What legal technology trends shaped 2016 and will continue to shape the legal profession well into 2017 and beyond?
I started the year off in January discussing one of the most talked about topics of 2016 and then returned to that topic again in June: the effect of AI on the legal profession. Despite the dire predictions of some that robots would soon replace many of the functions that lawyers perform, I concluded that that simply wouldn’t be the case.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner for lawyers in the U.S. For many, this time of year is a time to reflect on the positive - to take stock of your life and be thankful for the good things that have come your way. Following a tumultuous election, many are unsure what the future holds. But for me, one constant for which I am grateful is technology and all of the opportunities it provides.
Attorney-client confidentiality is the very foundation of relationships between lawyers and their clients. Client trust would be eroded in the absence of this strict obligation of maintaining confidentiality. It is only because clients know that their communications with legal counsel are deemed confidential that they’re able to provide their attorneys with a full description of the underlying facts and issues that lead them to seek assistance in the first place.
ILTACON 2016 is a wrap. All in all it was an enjoyable conference, rife with lots of interesting conversation about the intersection of of law and technology. What stood out to me this year was the increasing number of cloud-based software offerings designed to facilitate better collaboration between litigation teams. I first noticed this trend in early 2015.
Copyright © 2016 Legal IT Professionals. All Rights Reserved.