Legalweek 2022 is taking place as I write. I used to go every year, to take part in panels and to do interviews, but mainly to meet up with people. I had hoped to go back this year, with no agenda and no obligations, purely to catch up with people. Instead, I watch from the sidelines (otherwise known as Twitter) feeling, in the over-used cliché, like the stabled war horse with ears pricked at the distant sounds of battle.
Before my time, Legalweek (or LegalTech as I still think of it) was a showcase for general office equipment and services for lawyers. It became almost exclusively an e-Discovery event. Then eDiscovery broadened to take in many related subjects (security, privacy, information governance and so on). Now eDiscovery has broadened its scope in other ways as well, as its clients apply themselves to matters beyond merely getting the work done. Writing recently about the recent general counsel report by Relativity and FTI, I noted that general counsels’ remit now extends to matters of corporate organisation and staff well-being in addition to their primary legal role and the technology to support it.
Relativity’s plans for Legalweek, as set out in their press release, cover all these subjects. As I described in the recent article mentioned above, Relativity’s involvement in artificial intelligence extends beyond analysing data and getting to the truth for legal matters, and into things like coded bias in recruitment and performance reviews.
The highlight here was a discussion, moderated by 60 Minutes journalist Lesley Stahl, between Relativity CEO Mike Gamson and Virginia Essandoh, chief diversity officer at Ballard Spahr, about the importance of ethical AI and the use of AI to help identify and mitigate bias. You would not have found that at the LegalTech of my younger days.
The Relativity press release also covers cloud-to-cloud data transfers with Microsoft 365 Advanced Discovery, and enhanced cloud security with new security alerts – matters of pure technology application to corporate and legal processes of the kind always seen at this event.
Thursday is Relativity’s main platform day with sessions on emerging technologies and data privacy, on the data law year in review, and on the question whether it could be ethical not to use AI.
All interesting stuff, and I am sorry not to be there.