I’ve been in New York City this past week for ALM’s LegalWeek. It was quite a show. Here is a quick LegalWeek18 ReCap.

There were dozens of sessions over the course of four days and the exhibitor floor was expansive. Almost everyone who is anyone in the burgeoning legaltech field was there.

Kicking things off I attended The AI Bootcamp.

  • Patrick Fuller, Senior Director – ALM Intelligence, ALM Media
  • Ryan McClead, VP – Client Engagement & Strategy, Neota Logic
  • Noah Waisberg, Co-Founder & CEO, Kira Systems
  • Andrew Arruda, CEO & Co-Founder, Ross Intelligence
  • Jake Heller, CEO, Casetext, Inc.
  • Aaron Crews, Chief Data Analytics Officer, Littler Mendelson, P.C.

There was a wide-ranging discussion about the hype, myths, and actual use case for AI in the practice of law. The big news from the panel came from Andrew Arruda with the announcement of a new AI, called Eva. Bob Ambrogi has a write up here:

In The Future, There Will Be Robots

The folks at Casetext saw this as a challenge, and subsequently staged a “Robot Fight” between their AI tool Cara, and ROSS’s new tool Eva. They asked Bob and I to sit in and watch while Jake Heller walked us through.

Cara came out ahead in many respects. But Casetext’s tool has been in development for years and ROSS’ is brand new. It will be interesting to watch how the two tools diverge and grow over time.

The other differentiating factor (that I discuss with Jake at the end of the video), is that Eva is offering cite-checking at no cost. “Yellow flags” for those used to the WestLaw system. It’s the first time any legal research platform has offered it as part of a free service. You can check our Eva here.

What Year Is It?

I also came across a WordPerfect booth! It still exists! Presumably, the legal industry is the only thing keeping it alive. (They gave me the stinkeye after this. Sorry guys.)

Bob Loblaw Law Blog

I also spoke with LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe about how I started Associate’s Mind and what that meant for my career, before talking about founding LawyerSmack.

Internet Buddies->IRL Friends

But most importantly, I got to spend time with friends I only get to see a few times a year at conferences like this. Or meet new people (and then follow them on Twitter).

No pictures, so a mystery if it actually ever happened, but this occured:

And on Wednesday night we had a great LawyerSmack meetup at the Ace Hotel.

Which had LawyerSmack members show up (including a very special married couple in LawyerSmack who were awesome to finally meet IRL). Some #lawtwitter followers came as well. Plus fine folks like Andrew Arruda, Thomas Hamilton, Alma Asay, Zach Abramowitz, Josh Holt, Christian Lang, Nicole Bradick, Felicity Conrad, Jason Tashea and more. I know I’m forgetting people and I’m sorry, but there were lots of people coming and going.

A few of us caught dinner afterwards and were joined by Haley Altman for “dinners.” Side note: we discovered we’re all “Xennials” the micro-generation born between 1977 and 1983. Except Felicity so we gave her grief about being a Millenial. Way to ruin everything Felicity.

Alma Asay mentioned something that resonated about generating opportunities and building relationships. We were talking about how many people in legaltech, and the legal industry at large, were confused and struggling to understand how certain people got ahead. Who got speaking engagements, press coverage, referrals, and business. Alma’s answer was spot on:

We actually show up. So many people like to talk online but never go anywhere. You’ve got to be willing to go anywhere and everywhere and make your own opportunities.”

Which is true about so many things. People love to talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk. When an opportunity comes your way, make sure you actually show up.

Thanks to everyone at ALM for a great event and having me up there.

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