ILTA. Love it or hate it, the International Legal Technology Association has been the center of the legal tech community for the past thirty years. Built on the principles that knowledge should be shared; ILTA encourages peer to peer networking across law firms and legal departments worldwide. ILTA exemplifies the idea of a professional community. Individuals coming together sharing their thoughts, learning from one another, and helping to progress the legal profession beyond just that of lawyer
I am fortunate enough to have experienced this community in my previous life as a paralegal and litigation support manager. I’ve spent many hours in Summation, LAW, and Trial Director discussions (am I aging myself?) and benefitted from the breadth and depth of knowledge of the pioneers of the litigation support profession. Thinking about it, we were crowd sourcing before “crowd sourcing” was even a term! I was a part of a community that believed the value was in education and knowledge. This all changed once I became a vendor.
Moving over to the vendor side came with distinct advantages. I was interacting with legal professionals from all over the world. I had access to technology and opportunities I had only day dreamed about. The other side of this is that industry conferences come with a different set of goals for the vendor. The vendor role generally means you spend your days at a booth or in a demo suite. Over the years I’ve missed amazing sessions due to booth or demo duty; but not this year.
This year with Cobra Legal Solutions rather than working a booth or demonstrating a new product I actually attended ILTACON 2018. I listened with intention during the keynote on Tuesday as John Fernandez, Chief Innovation Officer at Dentons, spoke about innovation not necessarily meaning technology. I nodded in agreement as Daniel Linna urged the audience to find the connect between innovation and the accessibility of legal services. Afterwards I joined a group of women in the hall to discuss our bafflement regarding why there were still so few women on the days panels. I felt an instant reconnection and acceptance that was missing in previous years. I recognized the difference between “going to ILTA” and “attending ILTA”. This helped me remember that, at my core, I’m a legal professional first and a service provider second.
My CEO, Candice Hunter Corby, encourages myself and my coworkers to be our most authentic selves. I took this thought with me throughout the day. Every connection and conversation I was a legal professional who works in a service provider role. I allowed my curiosity for the technology, the workflows, and the people to come out in every conversation. The result? I made more lasting connections this year than I have in the last five and in my book, that’s a win.
Downloadable Source ( pdf ) : The Pro