Automation & Efficiency

3 Lessons from ABA TECHSHOW in 2020

Last week I was in Chicago for the ABA’s TECHSHOW, a three-day conference that brings legal professionals and legal tech companies together. In addition to exploring all the latest advancements in tech at the Expo hall, attendees could also learn about a variety of topics like automation, making a practice recession-proof, and well-being through the various CLE presentations offered.

Jess and I each had the opportunity to present on a variety of topics. Jess talked about limited scope representation and the benefits for both the client and the practice, as well as developing and building client personas that drive your marketing strategy. I spoke about document automation and building an efficient practice and how subscription billing better serves clients and regulates cashflow.

No matter the topics, the best part about presenting was the interaction and discussions with the audience. TECHSHOW was filled with like-minded legal professionals looking to advance the practice and better serve our clients. While I’m sure we all had different takeaways from our experience, these were my top three.

We’re hungry for innovation. One of my favorite parts of TECHSHOW was being around like-minded legal professionals who wanted to improve how they practice law. From practitioners to in-house counsel, academics to law students, everyone was there to learn. Despite tech being at the forefront of our everyday lives, it’s not as prominent in the legal industry. While the ABA puts on a great event, they shouldn’t be the only ones. Based on the enthusiasm of the attendees, we need more resources to share and promote tech as a way to move the practice forward. We need to give the people what they want!

There is so much freaking tech. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a tech junkie. I just love it. It’s fun to explore new platforms, and I geek out when I find something that makes me more efficient. That being said, the Expo hall at TECHSHOW was almost too much, even for a techie like me. It was huge. Despite walking around for three days, I don’t think I saw everything. Being around all those ideas comes to life not only makes me excited to find the next great tech tools but as an entrepreneur, gets me thinking about what’s next. It also gave me comfort that changes are, if I’m looking for something, it exists out there. It’s just a matter of finding it.

Tech That Upgrades the Old Way of Doing Things is Going in the Wrong Direction. As I was waiting to board the plane home, I saw this tweet from Sam Glover, and it instantly summed up my experience. While there was so much tech displayed at TECHSHOW, much of it was enhancing an old way of doing things. As we know, the traditional model doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t serve our clients well, and it’s not good for business. So while all the tools that helped you automatically track time looked cool, they are putting lipstick on a pig. What we need is tech like ClientRock, which provides a client-friendly portal to manage intake and subscription and flat fee payments.

Overall, TECHSHOW was a success. The hard work put in by the folks at the ABA showed. It went off without a hitch, and I look forward to seeing what new innovations are showcased next year.

What is your favorite new tech? How has it helped you improve your practice?