ABA TECHSHOW is a legal technology conference held in Chicago every Spring. There are other small and large legal technology conferences, but I think this one is the best. Unlike some other conferences, this one is not driven by companies trying to sell you something. Of course, there is a great exhibit hall so you can see and try lots of new products, but the main focus is on the huge number of conference sessions, all of which are co-taught by dynamic lawyers and other legal professionals.
In 2008, I was invited to speak on two topics. First, I spoke about preparing your law firm for disasters based upon my firm's experience with Hurricane Katrina. (I practice in the New Orleans office of my firm.) Second, I spoke about using a Mac to practice law when your firm uses PCs. It was my first time at ABA TECHSHOW and I was blown away. What a wonderful conference! I learned so much from the sessions I attended and I met so many other attorneys who are interested in the law and technology. I also met a lot of legal bloggers, and had I not attended, I might not have started iPhone J.D.
I am not a speaker this year, but once again the conference lineup looks great and I hope to be able to go. I suggested to the ABA that they should include one or two full sessions on the iPhone. They decided not to do that this year, but they are holding a roundtable session on Friday, April 3 from 12:30 to 1:30 called "Is that an iPhone in Your Pocket?" hosted by David Sparks, Ben Stevens and Reid Trautz. With that great panel, it is sure to be a wonderful event. I understand that they will discuss topics such as mobile access to files on your iPhone, references texts on the iPhone, mobile research on the iPhone, and many of the topics that show up on iPhone J.D. I hope that the roundtable is well-attended in 2009 and that it expands to a full session or two in 2010. This may well be your best opportunity in 2009 to talk with a bunch of iPhone-using attorneys in one room.
You can access a PDF file with the full conference schedule here. The conference takes place April 2 through 4, 2009 at the Hilton Chicago. Just to give you an idea of the breadth, the conference tracks (each of which has many sessions) are:
- A Day in the (Techno) Life
- E-Discovery Boot Camp
- E-Discovery Update
- E-Records Management
- Enterprise IT
- I'm a Mac
- Large Firm / Corporate Counsel
- Paperless Practice
- Solo / Small Firm
- Tech for Client Development
- Tech for Financial Management
- Trial Skills
- Virtual Practice
If you are a lawyer or legal IT professional reading this blog, then I know that you are interested in legal technology and you would get a lot out of this conference. Keep it in mind as you plan your CLE hours for 2009. You can get more information at the ABA TECHSHOW website.