The first full day of ILTACON from Las Vegas was quite a feat given all the health safety issues caused by the ongoing pandemic, not to mention natural hazards that have impacted travel like wildfires, hurricanes, and tropical storms. But aside from those logistics, the digital platform (Boomset, a virtual event platform for online and hybrid events) functions beautifully, allowing remote delegates to easily view upcoming events, join sessions, view exhibiting and sponsoring vendor areas, and accessing ILTATV. In lieu of “hallway and expo hall networking” that happens for those attending in person, virtual attendees can search, contact, and connect with other attendees using the “Community” feature within the Boomset application.
Below are some of our notes from the first full day.
Attendance – Over 2,100 total participants (onsite and remote)
Content – Over 60 sessions during the four-and-a-half day event covering a broad range of legal tech topics, plus comedians, parties, networking, and a real, live Astronaut!
DISCO University – The folks at DISCO have been making a lot of news lately, from their recent IPO to the announcement of the DISCO University certification program. I checked their website and noticed that they have tracks for Search & Review, Review Management, Data Management, and Project Management. However, there do not appear to be any live registration links just yet. DISCO University seems to be the company’s answer to Relativity’s Training Center, which provides free and paid training programs for all types of eDiscovery professionals, including Analysts, Project Managers, Administrators, Sales Executives, and Trainers.
Keynote – We heard from an actual Astronaut, one that happens to be an Engineer as well as an MD. Dr. Mae Jemison discussed her thoughts regarding human potential that’s possible when art, culture, and social sciences integrate with technology. Jemison gave a fascinating talk, reminding us that we are all earthlings living on the same planet that should endeavor to help each other to uncover our own unique abilities and put them to good use. When discussing goals, she acknowledged that we all know our goals, but the technology we need to reach those goals may not even exist yet. As Dr. Jemison stated, science is the search for understanding while technology is a way to apply knowledge to enrich our lives in some way – whether it is at work, or at home.
The application of technology to the legal community was kicked into high gear in the wake of remote work-induced information security and communication issues. It has been exciting to see technology allow legal teams to share data, use AI to address Knowledge Management and Cybersecurity problems, and conduct secure remote meetings, depositions, and document reviews. As science and research continue to improve technology, there are undoubtedly many exciting new technologies that will be utilized by the legal world in the future – technologies we may not even be able to imagine just yet.
Artificial Intelligence in the Law Department – 6 speakers from law firms, corporates, vendors, and consulting firms discussed the use of AI in applications such as contract review, eDiscovery, IP, eBilling, and prediction technology. We have seen TAR used in eDiscovery for many years, but other applications of AI are on the rise for new uses, such as predictive analytics, anomaly detections, identifying and notifying those impacted by data breaches, IP, and even case outcome predictions. Imagine if technology could estimate the chances of winning a case—this could impact law firm pricing structures as well as inform in-house counselors’ decisions whether or not to settle a case before incurring significant litigation costs.
Worried about AI taking over? Fear not! The speakers assured us that AI will only serve to augment human intelligence and won’t take the place of people. Utilizing AI to search your own firms’ proprietary work product may allow you to take advantage of resources and thousands of other documents that were formerly lost in the cloud. And for smaller firms, AI used in technology assisted review, along with predictive analytics helping to predict case outcomes, can level the playing field against big firms with seemingly endless resources.
At the end of the day, I was really impressed by how well the folks at ILTA have organized this event and included so much wonderful learning content. It’s not easy planning a successful, engaging hybrid event and I’m excited to see what else they have in store for us.
David Netzer, President
Legal Tech Talent Network