ILTACON 2019 was a resounding success
Record attendance on the member and business partner side is only part of the story. Over 350 speakers delivered great content over four days in over 100 educational sessions
The opening remarks set a “family reunion” feel for the whole conference, with a stage setting reflecting the back yard of new ILTA CEO (and longtime volunteer / ILTA family member) Joy Heath Rush, joined by friends including ILTACON co-chairs Julie Brown and David Hobbie.
The remarks were followed by an excellent keynote from Josh Linkner with lessons from the world of hackers and inspiration from the tech-driven revival of part of his home town of Detroit.
The general session on Tuesday morning monitored by Janet Day offered attendees various perspectives on disruption in the legal industry. The panel included Farrah Pepper, Chief Legal Innovation Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.; Dazza Greenwood, MIT Media Labs; Katie DeBord, Chief Innovation Officer; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Paul Domnick, Innovator and Author. Panelists provided attendees with takeaways to prepare for disruption.
Wednesday’s keynote by Dr. Michele Rozen inspired attendees to development a plan for change. Dr. Rozen followed up the keynote presentation with a workshop on change management which included more role playing and solutions for managing change based on personality types.
The conference committee’s emphasis on speaker diversity led to a broader representation of views and, in a few cases, freer sharing from some of our audience members. To call out one example, the second session in the disruption series on Tuesday featured a panel of extremely accomplished women and had a wonderful supportive atmosphere (the session was developed by Stephanie Clerkin and moderated by John Alber).
The ILTACON team worked with Matt Homan of Filament to further expand on audience-specific collaboration sessions. Early reports are that peers really valued the opportunities to share and connect with each other about their specific needs, takeaways, and thoughts about what to do with what they learned.
The innovation, artificial intelligence, and disruption series of sessions were quite well attended, particularly on Monday and Tuesday. The innovation series brought home personal, programmatic, and organizational lessons for legal organizations seeking to innovate; the artificial intelligence series showed the increasingly pervasive use of machine learning and natural language processing on the ground in the practice of law; and the disruption series offered many personal points about becoming a disrupter, as well as a session on how to apply these principles.
The legal data science series included insights from advanced content from outside the legal industry, as well as excellent examples of data analytics and visualization in use at law firms and law departments.
The Office 365 series tackled the increasingly important and complex features, security considerations, and process improvements that Microsoft’s cloud platform is making available in our industry.
ILTACON also offered two full-day educational tracks, Wednesday’s litigation support day featured short talks followed by group discussion, with all sessions in one room, and Thursday’s Law Firm 101 track.
And as noted below, the blockchain series, while less well attended than last years, provided attendees with a real understanding of not only how blockchain works but how blockchain is being used in legal.
The ILTACON team’s focus on memorable moments led to many creative sessions:
--An interactive physical demonstration without computers of the key properties of blockchain technology using yoga blocks;
--Flight of the Conchord’s “Robots (Humans are Dead)” playing before the “AI for KM Session”; and,
--Several game shows, including one on selecting a software vendor, and another on CRM compliance with e-regulations.
ILTACON 2019 maintained its position as the premier legal technology conference, where peer-powered knowledge-sharing delivered content and experiences that could be had nowhere else.