The LegalTech 2012 Conference last week was a bit overwhelming for me as a first-time attendee.
As a knowledge management (KM) lawyer / law librarian, my continuing legal education opportunities tend to focus more on conferences related to KM or law libraries, such as the upcoming annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit held in Toronto in May.
However, I think it was worthwhile attending LegalTech, although I might not need to attend every year. The main difference for me was the large number of technology vendors exhibiting or presenting their technology.
There were several themes I saw from the conference, including e-discovery and predictive coding, enterprise search, the use of iPads in legal practice (including mobile device management), and working in the cloud. Of these themes, e-discovery seemed to dominate.
Because my technology interests are currently not focused on e-discovery, I found many of the seminar sessions to be less relevant for me. That said, the keynote sessions were interesting and I enjoyed the session called iLove for the iPad: Tips, Tricks & Apps. From that session, I realized I am likely under-utilizing GoodReader for iPad, which – in addition to reading PDF files – also allows you to manage and transfer your files. A number of other PDF apps were mentioned, including PDF PROvider for iPad (which allows you to create PDF files) and PDF Expert (which lets you easily use PDF forms and signatures). The speakers also recommended the Atomic Web Browser as an alternative to the native iPad web browser since you have an option to have this web browser “mimic” your web browser of choice. I also likely taking notes in iWriter, mentioned by the speakers, since it has keyboard “arrows” allowing you to more accurately move the cursor on the screen). The other app I will likely explore is SoundNote, which records the speaker’s voice and synchs up the recording with notes you are writing on the iPad. There is of course also the two high-end apps for lawyers, being TrialPad for iPad (which allows trial lawyers to easily use their iPad to present visual evidence to the court) and TranscriptPad for iPad (which allows you to easily review, tag, and annotate examination for discovery transcripts).
Ultimately, however, I found that perhaps the most useful thing to do was to meet with vendors and find out about their technology.