You may have noticed some recent diversification in the subjects which I cover. I have moderated a couple of US panels on law firm technology generally, written and spoken on the use of social media, and covered the Bribery Act. The latter has an obvious crossover into e-disclosure / ediscovery (one of my talks this week, for example, was entitled “UK Bribery Act adequate procedures: kicking information management up the agenda”); the others I do mainly because any pure e-disclosure talk or article will necessarily reach only those who are at least partially converted already, and these extra-curricular activities take me (and therefore my main subject) to new audiences. I enjoy doing them, but have no ambitions to challenge the pre-eminence of Charles Christian or Joanna Goodman in covering the broader field.
ILTA is the International Legal Technology Association, whose role (in its own words) is “sharing knowledge and experience of those faced with challenges in their firms and legal departments”. Its main annual event, this year from 21 to 25 August in Nashville, is an unbeatable opportunity to mix with people who share the same challenges as well as with those who offer solutions across the full range of legal technology including, but not limited to, the e-discovery/e-disclosure topic which is my primary interest. It would be good to see some more UK lawyers there this year.
ILTA runs a one day conference in London each year called ILTA Insight. It had no pure litigation content this year, but a wide range of other topics were covered on the agenda and it was, as always, attended by a diverse set of law firms. I imagine that Charles Christian’s Orange Rag will produce a proper report in due course, and I will content myself with three snippets picked up from the sessions which I attended:
- A regional law firm apparently claims a significant increase in turnover directly attributable to its use of social media.
- The General Counsel at a major corporate searched for information on a particular subject and hired one of the two law firms who had published information about that subject.
- The sort of IT director who appears on panels at this event is plainly driven by a clear understanding that his or her role is to make it as easy as possible for fee earners to earn fees, and to work around constraints rather than merely hide behind them. If your IT director seems to have a different approach, find yourself a new one.
Why not come to Nashville in August and find out what is happening (and what is about to happen) in the US? If your firm has nothing IT-related in common with the firms which are present there, then perhaps it ought to ask why.