So, FutureLaw 2013 was last week. We over here at RR&H are thrilled about how it all turned out, and can’t thank everyone who came out to speak or to participate in the discussion enough. It exceeded all our expectations about what we wanted to get out of the event, and couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.
Video is on the way: the good people over at Stanford have let me know that all the sessions will be available online in about two weeks (we’ll post here when it all goes live). In the meanwhile, a good number of people have been asking how it all went, so I figured it would be worth putting some thoughts together here for your reading pleasure.
First off, and I think this was evident to everyone in the room last Friday – big things are happening. The New and Emerging Legal Infrastructures Conference (NELIC), which was the conference that RR&H ran in 2011 on similar topics, was simply no comparison. If conferences are any indication, FutureLaw was a clear sign that the legal technology community has become far more robust in just the past two years. First, the community is significantly bigger – NELIC attracted about ~90 registered attendees, FutureLaw in comparison brought together close to ~250 attendees both in-state and from around the world. Second, the energy is much higher — attendees at FutureLaw were more often than not entrepreneurs themselves, and came packing their own ideas about the future of the law to the table. Third, a broader set of talents are part of the conversation than ever before – in addition to bringing together nerdy lawyer-technologist types, FutureLaw featured a broader set of practitioners, funders, and others than NELIC did two years ago.
But, as RR&H friend Dan Katz hammered home in his flamethrowing (and awesome) keynote closer the future is notself-executing. While there’s a ton of energy around disruptive technologies in the legal industry, there are still global challenges facing the space that will determine whether what is being worked on has the long-standing impact on the law that it seems everyone (insert: us, lawyers, the public at large) wants to see.
To that end, FutureLaw was remarkable in how much consensus there was around a few key systemwide challenges. While (as with any complex issue) there obviously remains a great deal of difference of opinion about how best to achieve these ends, a set of themes kept coming up over and over again in the panel discussions and informal conversations swirling around the conference that day. FutureLaw focused on what we build next, and I venture to say that there is some emergent agreement about what the community should set its eyes towards.
I’ve been dubbing this informal list in my head as The StanfordConsensus, a kind of working document of critical objectives that people in legal technology are working towards. They are important partially because they represent infrastructure – common resources that should be built in order for the community to thrive and for us to take things to the next level. That agenda (in no particular order), and some remarks, after the jump.
After a few months work under the watchful eye of my robot superiors billing hours, I’m happy to announce that we’ve largely finalized the run of show for the conference that Robot, Robot & Hwang will be curating at Stanford Law on April 26th with the Stanford Center on Legal Informatics.
Also: registration has officially opened, and you can pick up a pass here. Worth acting soon — registration has been humming along, and the price will rise on April 1st. We also have a limited number of comp passes for friends of the firm that we’re happy to distribute, just drop a line to email@example.com.
For those who are interested (and because our offices have been getting some questions from the public), I thought I would post up here some general remarks on the design of the upcoming conference, what the goals of the event are, and how the selection of topics came together into the resulting five panels and two keynotes that will be the day’s content on April 26th. More after the jump.
We’ve been quiet for some time here at the offices of Robot, Robot & Hwang LLP. This has been the result of a variety of factors. For one, our senior partners have been busy upgrading to their legal firmware and moving our offices to an undersea data haven. And, as always, our human associates have been absolutely crushed under the work as of late.
But, we’re glad to say that our long silence is at an end: our firm is excited to announce today that we’ll be organizing a conference at Stanford Law School in association with the good people of the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, to be held on April 26, 2013.
We’re envisioning this gathering as a bigger, badder, and better follow-up to our 2010 New and Emerging Legal Infrastructure Conference. It will tackle all the massive developments that have happened since that first conference two years ago, and be a meeting point for all the people now working in the space.
This new conference is intended as a place to dive deep into the looming questions at the intersection of law and code, and for the community toshare their experiences, collaborate on projects, and plan for the future. We’re excited.
So: April 26. Save the date! More details to come soon.
For all of you coming to NELIC tomorrow, we’re looking forward to having you at Berkeley Law School!
I’m glad to round out these final few hours before the conference by announcing that we’re officially holding a post-conference get together tomorrow a few blocks from the law school at Henry’s, located on 2600 Durant Avenue (map).
Even if you can’t make it out to the sessions tomorrow, you’re welcome to join us and meet some of the attendees and speakers! We’ll be there roughly from 5 o’clock onwards, depending on whether or not things run over at the conference. Hope to see some of you there!
We’ve been a bit delayed here on posting on the blog while we get the final details into place for the conference next Friday. But, between the speaker slate and the attendees that we’re seeing register, it’s shaping up to be a seriously great meeting of minds in the legal technology space across the whole spectrum of startups, traditional firms, academia, and beyond. We’re excited.
As of today, glad to say that we’ve finally updated the conference page, which now features the times of the various sessions as well as instructions on how to get to the conference venue (useful!)
Also glad to announce that we’ll be hosting a post-conference meetup for all the attendees at the conference! Still working out the location and other details, but we’ll be posting that here as soon as it gets finalized.
Moderated by Cole Krumbholz, the panel will cover the dynamic ecosystem of startups springing up to address and attack problems in the legal industry. Who’s funding these ventures? Who will lead this businesses? How will they change the frontier of innovation in the industry? And, perhaps most importantly how might they change the public norms and expectations around the legal practice? Excited — we’re looking forward to get a chance to get their take on how the space is looking at the moment, and where it’ll be headed into the future.
Finally rounding out our legal user interface design session today by announcing that we’ve confirmed the ever-awesome Joe Andrieu as a speaker for NELIC!
Joe is co-chair of the Information Sharing work group at the Kantara Initiative, where he’s working to define a technology, business, and legal framework for giving individuals control over the data they share with vendors and online services.
He also serves on the Steering Committee for Project VRM, a research and development project from Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society that encourages the development of tools by which individuals can take control of their relationships with organizations — especially in commercial marketplaces. He’ll be speaking about their work in both implementing the complex legal aspects of managing personal data online, and how they’ve been thinking about implementing it in a way that allows everyday users to easily navigate those transactions.
By our count, we’re hitting the t-minus three week mark on the conference, so expect things to accelerate from here on in!
It’s been a crazy week of scheduling and panel wrangling here at NELIC conference headquarters as we head into the home stretch (so we’ve been a bit slow on blogging here). In any case, I’m thrilled to announce today that the first member of our stellar panel on the past, present, and future of legal finance has officially confirmed!
Today, I’m excited to welcome Richard Fields to NELIC. Richard is the CEO over at Juridica Capital Management, arguably the leading firm involved in providing financing to large business claims and disputes.