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ILTACON 2016: Preview of Legal Operations Sessions!

By Joy Holley posted 08-03-2016 12:06


In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, law firms are more focused than ever on effective and innovative delivery of legal services.  ILTACON has a great slate of Legal Operations sessions (more than 40!) dedicated to how outside counsel can leverage technology and human resources to better understand, communicate and collaborate with clients.  


Here are some of the highlights:


Corporate Legal Day


Corporate Legal Day (exclusive to ILTA law department and legal operations staff) kicks off with Gladiators Welcome!  A Corporate Roundtable to Arm You For Battle (Monday 11:00-12:00).  This session is focused on how best to work with outside counsel in five key areas: litigation management, budget/e-billing management, requests for proposal (RFPs), performance scorecards and technology exchanges.  An interactive discussion of Matter Management:  The Keystone of the Pyramids (Monday 1:00-2:00) follows, in which attendees will hear real-life stories about options and solutions for this cornerstone of business operation for corporate legal departments.


In this age of “Big Data,” most corporations continue to struggle with effective information governance.  Information Management Best Practices:  Building More Than a Great Wall (Monday 2:30-3:30), will examine the top aspects of an integrated IG program and how to overcome the perceived challenges of implementing a successful plan.


Stonehenge and Contract Management: Timeless Mysteries and Modern Complexities (Monday 4:00-5:00), examines another major pain point for corporate legal departments. Discover how the concept of “contract management” is defined by a corporate legal department, what role an organization’s legal department plays in the management of contract obligations, the technology for process management and the analysis of risk mitigation to ensure revenue generation. 


Industry Perspectives on Innovation in the Legal Profession


It’s important to take a look back to understand where we’ve come from as we move forward to improve client relationships.  2016 marks the 20-year anniversary of Richard Susskind's book "The Future of Law."  Since its release, many legal futurists have tossed out predictions about where legal is headed.  Grading Susskind: The State of Legal 20 Years After the “Future of Law” (Wednesday 11:00-12:30), will take on these predictions, debate whether futurists were right or wrong ,and discuss where we’re headed from here.  The Wikipedia of Legal: ILTA Staff Legal Industry Perspectives from the ‘80s, ‘90s and Today (Thursday 11:00-12:00) includes a panel of ILTA staff members who review legal industry perspectives, major trends, challenges and opportunities from the 80's, 90's and today.


The Next Generation of Legal Innovators (Monday 4:00-5:00), examines whether traditional legal service providers can be truly innovative, and what can be done to allow the next generation of legal innovators to bring change.


Returning for its third year, the popular Bigger and Shinier: Legal Technology Innovation and Its Effect on the Profession (Tuesday 11-12:30), will explore what is on the frontier of legal technology innovation. Our thought leaders will also share what is not changing, with special attention to developments since ILTACON 2015.



Evolution of Law Firm Roles


Law firms are challenged to redefine traditional roles and invent new ones to meet client demands.  From the Front Lines:  Actual Jobs in “New Law” (Monday 11:00-12:00), examines the new roles law firms and law departments are asking individuals to assume as everyone attempts to adapt to changing times. What positions are here to stay, and what skill sets are needed to deliver legal services in the "new law"?  A diverse panel will discuss real new jobs in new law.  Reinventing Traditional Support Staff Roles in a Buyer’s Market (Thursday 1:30-2:30), focuses on evolution of existing roles and how technology and the success of practice support departments can instruct us on how to achieve radical change in other operational areas affecting the business of law and the bottom line. Attendees will learn how to turn market challenges into professional development opportunities and realize greater profitability.



Communication and Collaboration


Opportunities for better communication and collaboration between law departments and outside counsel are examined from a number of different angles:


Following Dan Katz's provocative keynote, innovators from corporate legal operations and law firms will share their thoughts and lead audience discussions related to leveraging data and metrics and measuring performance in both client and law firm organizations at the Client and Law Firm Workshop: Technology, Data, Metrics, Strategy (Tuesday 11:00-12:30).


Let’s Talk About Law Firm Performance Measurement (Tuesday 1:30-2:30), includes corporate legal operations professionals, the senior director of legal management services at the Association of Corporate Counsel and the author of the new book "Unless You Ask: A Guide for Law Departments to Get More from External Relationships," talking about performance measurement by law firms. Central to the discussion will be a proposed survey of how law firms measure themselves internally and the extent to which they utilize legal project management and collaboration tools and provide other value-enabling services to clients. We’ll also discuss ideas for ways firms might change their metrics to drive better value to clients. Polling will be used to assess desired behaviors and pretest survey questions.


Legal Operations:  Different Approaches and Helpful Technology Tools (Tuesday 3:30-4:30), examines how sophisticated legal operations are changing the way law firms and legal departments manage their matters and make strategic decisions about litigation and deals. Legal operations experts from a law firm and legal department will share their different approaches to legal operations and the essential data, technological tools and skill sets required for operational excellence.


Building KM Together: Creating Collaboration Between Law Firms and Law Departments (Wednesday 1:30-2:30), addresses how even law firms with robust KM programs might not know how to leverage internal best practices when working with clients, and law departments might not know about the KM programs of their outside counsel. A panel of experts discuss ways law departments and law firms can work together to jump-start an effective KM program that builds stronger relationships between attorneys on both sides.


Can We See What They See:  A Preview of What Law Department Analytics Tools Look Like (Wednesday 3:30-4:30), takes a look behind the curtain at the tools clients use to track their law firms' productivity, costs and performance. Attendees will hear from clients about what they are using now and building for the future, and gain a greater understanding of how law departments are using the data gathered to drive decision-making.


Innovative Data Exchanges and Collaboration with Clients (Thursday 9:00-10:00), takes the challenge to find innovative solutions that will allow the never-ending exchange of data to continue without negatively impacting our organization’s security models and yet enhance the collaboration process.  This is an interactive session discussing the constraints and opportunities that we face in finding creative solutions to meet budgetary, technology, mobility, security and adoption requirements in building data exchange environments within our organizations.


A New Approach to Aligning the Objectives of Outside Counsel, In-House Legal and Corporate Business (Thursday 2:45-4:30), proposes an approach that aligns outside counsel and legal departments in their pursuit of better business outcomes that extended beyond pricing.  Come hear a case study exploring how one legal department and its panel of law firms have partnered differently, and how their holistic approach to solving legal problems has the power to transform the way the department delivers value to the business.



The Intersect Between Legal Operations and Litigation Support


Litigation Support remains a major area of focus in legal operations, as clients continue to identify challenges related to e-discovery process and spend as key drivers in forming litigation strategy and matter management. 


Live Demonstration of a Mobile Device Investigation (Monday 2:30-3:30), takes an in-depth look at the challenges associated with mobile forensics. Come observe a mobile forensics expert perform a live smartphone acquisition and see the actual data available that might help an investigation or litigation matter.


Understanding Client Systems for Better Collaboration During Litigation (Tuesday 8:30-10), features a panel of in-house e-discovery leaders and outside technology consultants who share challenges they have faced when preserving and collecting data from corporate technology systems during litigation. Learn what in-house leaders wish their outside counsel knew about the technology their companies use, and gain a better understanding of common technology systems that need to be considered during litigation data preservation and collection.


Expanding Litigation Support into More Practice Areas (Tuesday 3:30-4:30), presents a panel of litigation and practice support leaders who will share ideas for using technology and processes commonly associated with litigation support to solve challenges in other legal practice areas. Hear personal stories of successful projects that solved non-litigation challenges by reusing the tools and knowledge already available. Leave with a wealth of ideas to help additional groups within your firm.


Redefining Your E-Discovery Reporting (Wednesday 9:00-10:00), is a workshop walking through a realistic scenario.  The audience is asked to participate in a “choose-your-own adventure” style interactive experience and then foster discussion amongst our panelists as to what they would choose at each decision point and why.  This will be a collaborative learning experience that will teach you to think through a situation and choose the right reporting at the correct time to make the best legal and business decisions possible


Too often, e-discovery considerations stop at the end of the formal discovery phase.  From Production to Trial: Tools We Use and Still Need (Wednesday 11:00-12:30), explores a new generation of case management and trial preparation software with three law firm users who have partnered with their vendors. These presentations will give the audience a view into real-life workflows and case management tactics. Attendees will also learn about the detailed features of some of the newest technologies used, all from the perspective of the user.


The balancing act of dividing roles and resources in an e-discovery engagement can be complex.  When Project Management and E-Discovery Management Collide (Wednesday 1:30-2:30), asks when it makes sense to adopt legal project management (LPM) tools or engage with legal project managers.  Do these efforts add value to the client? A panels of experts explore the pros and cons of LPM and give practical suggestions all law firms should consider.


The Future of Law Firms in the E-Discovery Space:  A Client’s Perspective (Wednesday 3:30-4:30), examines today’s challenging climate, with the rise of legal service providers and more clients taking work in-house.  The value chain in the e-discovery world has been somewhat disrupted. To combat this, we need to delve into clients' long-term strategies for managing electronic discovery. Get the client’s perspective on who should be responsible for various tasks today, and how future strategies and models might affect how we work and how we’re staffed.   


Consistent with this theme of change, How Future Technology Will Effect Litigation Support (Thursday 11:00-12:00), features a panel of e-discovery industry leaders and visionaries who will discuss what future technologies will have an effect on litigation support and e-discovery. Find out what these leaders think will happen in the next few years, and what you need to be ready for with the coming changes in technology.


As ILTACON comes to a close, Litigation Support professionals are invited to Gather ‘Round for a Litigation Support Roundtable (Thursday 2:45-4:30).  What major challenges will we face next in litigation support?  This lively, moderated roundtable discussion will focus on hot topics in industry-wide litigation support and issues to consider for the future. Topics will be selected by session attendees and could include staffing, product selection, technological advances, recent case decisions and outsourcing.



Visit the ILTACON website to see the full catalog of exciting sessions and networking events planned for the week.  Looking forward to seeing you later this month at the Gaylord National!


Joy Holley