Got tipped by one of my favorite sources for online legal information, the Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell Law School about what promises to be a very interesting conference scheduled for October 7-9. 2012 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It’s titled Law Via The Internet 2012 and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Free Access to Law Institute (can I get an Amen?). If you are unfamiliar with LII, it was the first legal website on the Internet, and it’s quite popular too – serving over 14 million unique visitors each year. It’s mission is to provide free and open access to the laws that govern us. Laudable goal.
To celebrate, the conference will be held here in the U.S. for the first time, with a star-studded line-up, including legal technology innovator Richard Susskind and social media visionary Clay Shirky. Headline speakers also include GovLoop.com founder Steve Ressler, legal information analyst David Curle, head of the United Nations project on Information Technology in Legislatures Gherardo Casini, GovTrack.us founder Joshua Tauberer, and Google Scholar founding engineer Anurag Acharya. More than 75 speakers from 25 countries are slated to speak, covering a broad range of topics within the realm of legal information technology and the free-access-to-law movement. There will be social networking opportunities and galas – all in all a legal-geeky-good time.
If you are interested, and who wouldn’t be, you can register at this link here.
Very interesting post on WestBlog by Andrew McLennan-Murray summarizing a recent presentation by legal rabble rouser Richard Suskind (“The End of Lawyers“) at 2009 International Legal Technology Association conference. Susskind discussed technologies that will disrupt the legal profession.
Disrupter beam jokes aside, Susskind identified these technologies as: (1) automated document assembly; (2) “relentless” connectivity; (3) the electronic legal marketplace; (4) electronic learning; (5) on-line legal guidance and advice; (6) open-source legal resources; (7) on-line networking and sharing of experience, lessening need for traditional legal representation; (8) workflow automation and project management; (9) embedded legal knowledge allowing instantaneous / constant connection to relevant laws, codes, regulations, etc.; (10) on-line dispute resolution, minimizing need for in-person meetings.
Hit the jump above for a more thorough explanation of these technologies – how they may be applied and how they will affect legal practice. The tools themselves are developing and technology is morphing so rapidly that it certainly promises to be an interesting ride for any technology-forward law firm. Surely, adoption largely will be driven by the needs of a particular firm’s clientele or the firm’s desire to fill a specific niche that few have yet plumbed. Or, thrill-seeking firms can just forge ahead like early leaders in a marathon, hoping to pull the field along with them.
I, of course, will be watching the race on my triple-screen computer set-up, cheering the pacesetters on!