As a first-time visitor to the famed ILTACON annual conference and expo I was eager to see what all of the hype was about. And without a doubt the event delivered.

ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) has cultivated one of the most educationally interesting and vendor balanced events I have seen for mid-size to large law firms. Attendees range from managing partners, to IT staff, law firm administrators, CTO’s and CIO’s. Plus, all of us Legal Tech nerds who clearly can’t get enough of this stuff.

First, let’s set the stage. Literally.

The 40 Year Anniversary video, which reviewed a timeline of ITLACON’s coinciding with technology milestones was narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman. Followed by a powerful Keynote speech by inventor, hacker, and futurist Pablos Holman.

Innovate or Die Trying: From the Mind of a World-Renowned Hacker – his energetic, purpose driven speech focused on the need to use technology to solve global problems. To elevate our thinking to see the bigger picture, and recognize there is so much more to the world than what we have right in front of us.

Next up… 

NetDocuments followed Pablos’ Keynote with a great tie in:

“Pablos uses photons and lasers to protect against Malaria. NetDocuments uses photons and lasers to protect against silent subpoenas.” – Well played sir!

But it wasn’t just Pablos’ animated keynote speech and a very witty follow up sponsor that got the crowd enthused about the week’s events. There was genuine excitement in the air, from both attendees and the vendors.

The ILTACON Educational Menu

There were so many sessions and tracks it made picking your next move harder than deciding to hit or stay on a 2AM blackjack hand.

From the standing-room-only Microsoft sessions, to specialty programs around security, document management, implementation and disaster recovery there is something for everyone on your team.

As I walked through the halls of product demonstration rooms, and chatted with attendees during the meal breaks it was clear that everyone there, was on a mission. To learn, to buy, or both.

Vendor Demo rooms, were just as important to attendees as the educational portions. I spoke to several law firms that use the confined schedule of ILTACON and the convenience of the product demonstration rooms to test drive, and make their technology decisions. Away from the distractions of the office, with an ability to compare all of the solutions they are considering for their law firm at once.

Oh, and by the way… ILTACON feeds you! Real food, full breakfast and lunch! Which is much appreciated as it is an exhausting week of intense education and product demos.

Impromptu LexBlog Beer for Bloggers at Rí Rá

Then there’s the time you find yourself in a circle of some of the smartest and most intriguing humans in Legal Tech. In other words; Kevin O’Keefe, Matt Homann, and Casey Flarety walk into a bar…

Seriously though, the conversation over beers on Tuesday night was just as immersive as the educational sessions during the day. Because, when you get this many people, who are genuinely passionate about a subject in the same place for a limited period of time, magic happens.

Ed Sohn, shares a great play by play recount of that night’s discussion in his Above the Law article; Car Bombs with Casey Flaretly and the Crew live from ILTACON.

Highlights from the Expo Hall:

ayfie

ayfie Inspector is a powerful text analytics engine that indexes, understands and organizes massive amounts of content at lightning speed, efficiently and accurately turning unstructured data into usable information. Drawing on more than 30 years of linguistics and semantic research and more than a decade of experience in enterprise search, ayfie Inspector goes beyond “AI” to find and extract meaning from documents just like a human being – only exponentially faster. The platform employs linguistic methods, semantics and local grammars to contextualize and normalize all text in source documents. Other text analytics platforms see tokens; ayfie Inspector identifies meaning.

It is ayfie’s goal to be ubiquitous in eDiscovery, compliance and information governance. ayfie is available as a standalone data explorer for law firms as well as an OEM package for software companies offering complex eDiscovery solutions. ayfie exposes comprehensive APIs and supports integration into platforms such as Relativity.

Florian Lohmeier, Vice President Marketing of ayfie, gives some background on the importance of attending the event; “ILTACON is a must visit for law firms and legal technologists annually because participants come to educate themselves on best practices and legal technology innovation. Vendors should provide the legal community a unique value proposition of their product, understand the needs of the legal market and offer the community a solution.” 

Learn more about ayfie and or schedule a demo here: http://www.ayfie.com

JuraLaw

Joeseph Scott and I caught up in the JuraLaw booth about their calendering product and what makes ILTACON a great event for vendors interested in making the investment.

If you’re not already farmiliar; JuraLaw is a rules-based legal specific calendaring service that works with Outlook/Office 365 to help protect law firms from the leading cause of malpractice claims – calendar related errors. And because JuraLaw is 100% web/cloud based there are no software upgrades or hardware purchases to worry about. By investing in JuraLaw, law firms can dramatically mitigate their risk and centralize their critical dates, while saving time and money.

When I asked Joe, who their ideal client was he shared “Although our list of satisfied clients contains some of the largest and most respected law firms in the country, we also appeal strongly to the mid-sized and smaller firms because of our web/cloud based solution, ease of use and superior service and support. The more active their litigation practice, the more they see the need for our rules-based solution.”

You can check out JuraLaw here, or email Joseph directly at: jscott@lawbulletinmedia.com.

Email2Print!

It is as simple as it sounds. Email2Print stations were conveniently located all over the exhibit hall. Which made last minute document review, and the lives of fellow expo hall vendor’s much easier. Check them out, and their other services like Email2OCR, Email2PDFImage, Email2MetaClean and Email2ImageConvert at Email2Services.com.

InfoTrack

A newcomer to ITLACON, InfoTrack showed up in a big way. Columns wrapped in InfoTrack messaging, meal sponsorship, and awesome giveaways in their booth. They knew how to please a crowd, and so does their records and court data delivering software, which we’ll be featuring here on Lex Tech Review in the coming week.

Wordrake!  

I stopped by the WordRake booth to thank them for making such an awesome product. I use Wordrake for both everything I write, and for all of my client work. In a true-to-form useful fashion the team was giving away Grammar Desk Guides. If you didn’t grab one, these are a great tool to have next to your machine. Check out our video here:

 

Doxly

Haley Altman, Founder and CEO of Doxly and I caught up for a quick chat about the motivations behind creating Doxly. After ten years of practicing she noticed that the same complications would happen during the legal transaction process for her firm’s entire portfolio of clients. On the eve of a deal signing, looking for missing signature pages, not knowing whose checklist was up to date or where miscellaneous parts of documents could be located.

The larger consequence was how these distractions, would affect her client’s abilities to close on a new round of financing, an already tedious and time consuming process. Without a better system for what she calls “Legal Transaction Management” the same pattern of issues would never improve.

Surrounded by startups, developments and venture capital firms, Haley got to work creating Doxly. Wherein every transaction is a project. Build templates based on deal types to create consistency in the law firm. Map the process to align with how they work, and manage hundreds of signature pages with ease.

The Doxly team has seen steady growth since the beginning, and was excited to exhibit at ILTACON for the first time this year. Altman shared that ILTACON attendees are in the right frame of mind to be thinking about solutions. Her team also spent the week attending sessions, soaking up the great education to learn from and understand the challenges that law firms are facing first hand.

Wrapping up!

ILTACON is the largest technology education and purchasing resource available to firms in the US and beyond. World Class speakers, opportunities to demo the products first-hand and an array of networking opportunities. If you have an opportunity to attend, do so and take full advantage of all the fantastic resources throughout the week!