3 Takeaways from LegalTech New York 2016 (Day 1)

In 2015, I attended LegalTech West Coast in San Francisco, and I was blown away. I heard rumors that the New York conference was even bigger, so I made sure I got my tickets ahead of time to see if the East could beat the West. I don’t want to be a traitor to my SF folks, but NY was pretty impressive. So what did I learn this year? Here are my 3 takeaways:

I. Judges know technology – I may have misjudged (pun intended) the judges I once stood in front of back in my litigation days, and thought of them as old-school and too dependent on their clerks for any technological questions or issues. But this year’s panel at LegalTech blew me away.. so much so that I started to question whether the lawyers knew as much as the judges. The judges knew the trends, they knew the tech-talk, they even had advice on how to be more innovative and prepared for the modern-day courtroom. And… they even thought that there is NOT enough innovation in the courtroom and that millennial jurors expect more out of today’s lawyers.  Mind.. blown! Lawyers better keep up.

Panel: How is Technology Being Used in Today’s Courtrooms and Cases

The tech-savvy judges who presented: Hon. James C. Francis of the Southern District of New York, Hon. Lorenzo F. Garcia of the District of New Mexico, Hon Elizabeth D. Laporte of the Northern District of California, Hon. Pamela Meade Sargent, magistrate judge at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, and Hon. Andrew Peck, also of the Southern District of New York.

II. We’re only in the Legal Technology 1.0 phase – A panel of CIOs at “The Evolution of Business and Legal Technology: Looking to 2020 and Beyond” panel discussed 3 phases of legal technology (1.0, 2.0 and 3.0).

Legal Technology 1.0 includes your basic, day-to-day technology that every lawyer uses and that is always available. This includes email, calendars, document management systems, Word, time entry, etc. 85% of what lawyers use, when it comes to technology, is in legal technology 1.0.


Legal technology 2.0 takes it to the next level. This includes products like Lex Machina, or data analytics for lawyers, eDiscovery companies like Logikcull, legal project management (think Clio). This is where technology becomes an assistant to the lawyers, and assists us in making decisions, improving our services, and analyzing our information. Legal technology 2.0 allows us to share valuable data and information with our clients, electronically sign documents, use ediscovery, and get docket alerts. It makes us more efficient. A few firms and lawyers are in this phase.


Legal technology 3.0 is the stuff of the next generation. This is where we will be in the next 10 years. This is no longer our assistant, it is our partner. IBM Watson, Cognitive Scale, and Azure Machine Learning fall into this category. These technologies not only help us look at our data and search through it, but they give us outcomes and suggestions based on its analysis. It looks at the data and tells us what we can do with it. The key takeaway? We have a long way to go to get to legal technology 3.0.


Panel: The Evolution of Business and Legal Technology: Looking to 2020 and Beyond

Panelists: Rich McClain, Chief Information Officer at Hunton & Williams LLP, Kermit Wallace, Chief Information Officer at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Christopher Zegers, Chief Information Officer at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

III. Jurors have high expectations – Thanks to all the amazing legal TV shows, jurors now have high expectations when it comes to courtroom technology. Printed copies of your powerpoint presentation probably won’t blow them away, but a visual representation of the crime committed just might do it. The millennial jurors expect lawyers to be as tech savvy as they are, and we, as lawyers, need to keep that in mind when presenting our cases. The high-tech judges on the “How is Technology Being Used in Today’s Courtrooms and Cases” panel advised all lawyers to be prepared, to understand the technology they’re using, to prepare for the worst (sometimes the courtroom technology just won’t work), and to be able to use technology to present their cases in an efficient and effective manner. Not only is this expected by the jury, but it is a legal obligation. So keep following my blog to stay informed 😉

Disclaimer: No affiliation with LegalTech or any companies or panelists mentioned above. See full disclaimer here.

One thought on “3 Takeaways from LegalTech New York 2016 (Day 1)

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