One of my favorite conferences every year is the ABA Techshow. For those of us in academic libraries, the Techshow is one of the best opportunities to discover new ways that attorneys are using technology for their work.
The Techshow is held in Chicago every spring. The show lasts 3 days, from Thursday through Saturday. Three-day registration for the Techshow isn’t cheap – from $100 for students to $1050 for non-ABA attorneys. However, the Expo Hall is free. Open on Thursday and Friday, the Expo is a great place to learn about new legal technologies, talk to vendors, and test new apps and programs (not to mention pick up a few dozen free pens).
The Techshow’s educational sessions included on a wide range of topics. Many sessions covered very practical ideas (e.g. creating sophisticated automated forms). Others focused on cutting-edge technology issues (e.g. what NSA’s practices mean for attorneys).
In a world where “bill the by hour” is becoming less relevant, it’s becoming more important for lawyers to effectively manage their time. Tools discussed included file-sharing services (and how to use them securely), favorite mobile apps and gadgets, and task-tracking tools.
Several sessions addressed a dark side to legal technology – security. Presenters provided tips and techniques to keep firms from becoming the “soft underbelly” hackers go after when looking for a company’s information.
Some of the Techshow’s most popular sessions are those which quickly summarize the year’s best tools. Looking for the best legal iOS apps? Here’s this year’s list of 60 Apps in 60 Minutes. And no Techshow is complete without 60 Sites in 60 Minutes (literally – this session closes every Techshow).
Next year, the Techshow will be held from April 16-18.