By Kevin O'Keefe

ALM’s Legalweek 2022 and Central Park, It’s All Good

Ukraine Flag

Two days in New York City for ALM’s #Legalweek22 and I left energized and inspired.

Maybe it was the five mile run around the Jaqueline Onassis Reservoir this morning.

No better place to run in the world than Central Park in New York City. The people, the beauty and the magnitude of the place that runs from 59th Street all the way up to Harlem.

This morning the Park was back alive – at least in part. It was thirty-eight degrees and we’re chasing a pandemic,

Dads and Moms pushing their little kids in strollers. Dogs galore, some with the owners throwing sticks across the lawns, others with a dog walker taking two or three out for a walk for the owner of an expensive condo sitting atop the Park.

When I saw the pedicabs giving their tours, I wondered if the horse drawn carriages would be back. They were, even if not in the same number.

Tourists were all around. It’s cool, people come from all over the world, year round and even in a pandemic, to New York City.

The only thing that felt strange were the people from Eastern Europe enjoying themselves. I’d be a little anxious with Putin on my doorstep.

People going to work were all about. The average age of people going to work seemed much higher than in Seattle.

I imagined the gray-haired men and women coming in from the Upper Westside or Queens for the last fifty years, most of the men carrying a briefcase.

The work ethic of these folks would inspire anyone.

Legalweek? Yes.

A good chance to meet up with friends. Right or right, doing what I do, the vast majority of my friends work in legal tech and legal publishing.

It’s okay. They’re great people. They’re the people that help build this country by starting small companies, supplying a product or service in need and going on to employ others.

I talked business and I talked pleasure. Asking “How the family is doing” has to be one of the better questions you can ask someone you care about. I think I learned that from my Dad.

Standing next to an entrepreneur you’ve not met before and asking them about their story is nothing short of fun.

Like the gentleman I met from Limerick, Ireland last evening. We hit it off because my first job as a lawyer was in Ennis, about twenty miles up the road from Limerick.

Comes to the States to attend law school, chooses Kansas on the flip of a coin, and after working in some major law firms and a leading social media company, on the inspiration of some events he was holding, he decides to start his own company – one that’s doing gangbusters.

Legalweek had less people as a percent of prior years than last week’s ABA Techshow, which drew about fifty percent of past years.

ALM accommodated exhibitors by allowing all attendees, paid or not, to hit the exhibition center. A space that had to include a few hundred companies.

Th exhibitors I talked to said they drew a good crowd. Maybe I talked to the successful companies I know as many of the booths looked poorly attended.

Read awhile back that people who spend all their time on Facebook felt inferior. The reason being that most everyone looked great, were having fun and were successful.

At Legalweek, every company said they had never been doing so good. “Can’t keep up with all the work we have.” KInd of wondered why they were there.

Legalweek, as compared to TechShow, has a go go atmosphere. Fast all day and loud, large and drunken parties at night.

Yes, things can get wild when a billion dollar company serves fine alcohol and food to twenty-sum year old sales people at the Rainbow Room on the top of Rockefeller Center. A reported fight closed that one early, some time short of midnight.

All in all, ALM did a real nice job. Good attendance, good opportunity for companies to showcase their wares and get press coverage. All when having to change the date of the show just eight weeks before because of the pandemic.

ALM took care of the small things too. Very nice lunches and a very nice cocktail party with top notch food. These things count.

One hollow spot was the tone deafness of everyone to Russia’s assault on Ukraine and its people.

It is very had to watch mass burials of women and children and then walk over to a convention center.

Maybe even some Ukraine flags or the mention the Ukraine and its people at educational sessions.

Maybe ALM gave a portion of the monies it generated to a relief fund or suggested that we do as attendees. I don’t know.

Ironically, it was at a restaurant by the name of the Russian Tea Room at which the company hosting the party had Ukraine flags to pin on. It felt good to be wearing one.

I wish I would have grabbed more so I could wear one the next couple days.

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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