LegalTech needs to expand its horizons for good of legal profession

Just reviewed the speakers and sessions scheduled for next week’s LegalTech – New York put on by American Lawyer Media. Bright people talking about practical applications and solutions that can be used by law firms today.

But I can’t see much, if any, conference sessions, covering the latest technology and innovation being discussed by business leaders. My guess is that many topics being discussed in the blogosphere as well as in traditional publications such as the WSJ, Fortune, Forbes, and BusinessWeek are absent.

I also assume there will be little, if any, discussion of non-legal products being produced by the start-ups in Austin, Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Boston, many of which may have drawn significant VC funding. I am sure many of these products could be used by law firms, if not now, in the very near future. If nothing else, it would give lawyers and law firm IT people an eye as to what’s out there and what’s coming.

Lifehack shared his week ‘7 Ways to Track Internet’s Trends and Popular News‘ ranging from Alexa, Technorati, and slashdot. Blogs such as GigaOm and TechCrunch share innovation every day. Writers and bloggers with Forbes, BusinessWeek, the WSJ, and the New York Times regularly profile the latest in innovation.

Why not add a speaker or two who regularly tracks these sources and others to stay abreast of the latest in innovation?

Possible speakers include Michael Arrington (formerly with Wilson Sonsini who now publishes TechCrunch), Dave Winer (godfather of RSS & widely respected for his technology insight), Guy Kawaskai (innovation evangelist & VC) John Battelle (journalist, visiting professor at UC Berkeley and founder of Federated Media Publishing, or Om Malik (senior writer for Business 2.0 magazine before founding GigaOM.com).

Not familiar with who these people are? Click on their name, it takes you to their profiles at wikipedia. Something that Michael Wilens, CEO of Thomson West, a keynote speaker and major sponsor for LegalTech does not have. ;)

Not saying that LegalTech does not offer value. However, if the legal profession is to advance beyond the generally accepted view that we’re lagging behind other industries in the adoption of technology, we need to have conferences loaded with speakers that challenge the status quo and who will expand our horizons.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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