Robot 507811 1280 As the dust settles and jet lag resides following another year at the LegalTech Conference, we’d like to reflect on some of the key themes, announcements and sessions from the show in New York. Once again the three-day event, set in the Hilton Midtown, proved to be a whirlwind of thought-provoking sessions, familiar faces, product pitching and chilly NYC weather. As I wandered through the numerous streams of presentations, debates and panel discussions, two presentation sessions stood out:

1. Legal Technology – Trends and Cool Stuff

2. Managing the People Side of Change 

Legal Technology – Trends and Cool Stuff

What’s cool and upcoming in the legal technology sphere? Aside from Workshare (of course!), the session, hosted by ILTA delved into the recent 2014 Tech Survey results and gazed into the future to discuss emerging technologies and upcoming trends in firms. Mobility, cloud, compliance and security were all focuses for 2014 but what I found particularly interesting was the focus on how technology is being used to improve business and legal processes in firms today.

Video conferencing, digital dictation and voice-to-text applications were mentioned and with the drive towards mobile working and cloud technologies, it seems firms are beginning to move towards a more modern day working environment (whether or not they are in the office). This ties into what we aspire to do here at Workshare - work with firms to provide technology that will bring them into the modern age and help them work more efficiently. The rapid adoption of Professional 9, a product which drives efficiency across the entire document review cycle, is the testament to this devotion.

Wearable technology and the Internet of Things were also discussed as trends during the session, with Gartner referenced with some colossal stats: “An estimated 90 million wearable devices will be purchased in 2014” and “there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020 indication.” The key concern for legal around these fads was security and whether if used by legal, IT professionals could ensure they were compliant.

The presentation rounded up with a discussion about artificial intelligence (AI) - the science of making computers do things that require intelligence when done by humans - within legal. David Michel from Broad Cassel discussed all things AI, and the overall benefits that could result. My conclusion – AI is huge and will undoubtedly rock the legal world, however with compliance and security paramount, it may take longer to implement compared to other industries.

Managing the People Side of Change

Presented by Gina Buser from Travelling Coaches and Jennifer Cuenot of Shearman & Sterling LLP, the session discussed how understanding the human psych is crucial to user adoption when deploying new or updated technologies. The presentation noted five key questions for organizations to ask when implementing a new way of working:

  1. Awareness: Are people aware of the need for change?
  2. Desire: Do people have a desire to participate in and support the change?
  3. Knowledge: Do people have the knowledge of how to change?
  4. Ability: Do people have the ability to implement the required skills and behaviors?
  5. Reinforcement: How will the change be monitored and reinforced so it is sustained?

Essentially the session gave a great guide, with the use of some fantastic case studies into how to handle the people involved with change in the office. With notions of change champions, constant communication and continual reinforcement, the session provided a refreshing look at handling individual. 

Following LegalTech, Workshare held a breakfast where legal IT trainers gathered to discuss issues and best practices within their role. Many of the best practices at the meeting corresponded with the session by Gina and Jennifer, which holds testament to the content quality of the session.

LegalTech 2015 proved to be a fun and exciting three days with the Workshare team showcasing products Workshare Compare and Workshare Transact. If you missed the show and are interested in seeing a demo, get it contact with us. To see photos, check out our Facebook page here.

Until next time New York!

Holly Mills