Nearly 200 members of the legal community attended the second Legal Technology Expo, which was held Sept. 23 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The free, six-hour tradeshow outlined the latest technological products, services and systems enabling practitioners to make their practices more efficient and organized. The region’s first Legal Technology Expo in nine years was held in November 2007.
The expo, presented by the Massachusetts Bar Association and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, featured dozens of exhibitors and four 45-minute interactive breakout sessions, "Web Site Optimization for Law Firms;" "Toys, Gadgets and Gizmos;" "PDF for Lawyers;" and "Microsoft Office for Lawyers."
MBA Law Practice Management Section Co-Chair Alan J. Klevan led two of the popular breakout sessions with fellow MBA member and Section Co-Chair Rodney S. Dowell. "I chose these breakout sessions because they are the most topical for lawyers in the year 2008," said Klevan. "Technology in the legal practice is a wave. Either you catch it or you don’t. Microsoft Office and other products are out there to make practices run more efficiently. I want to help practitioners catch the wave or get ahead of the wave to make their practices a better place to be."
Klevan and Dowell, who ran both the "Toys, Gadget and Gizmos" and "Microsoft Office for Lawyers" sessions, reminded attendees that "There is more to practicing law than practicing law. All lawyers need to understand that they are managers."
Both sessions provided tips to help practitioners work better by using products created to help with time management ― such as portable scanners, dual monitors, and iPhones ― and how to sort your e-mail inbox.
"I had a lightbulb moment," said Heather A. Richards, a law student member of the MBA who attended the Toys, Gadgets and Gizmos session. "I thought ― I can take that [idea of using dual monitors] back to my business."
The Website Optimization for Law Firms breakout session outlined how attorneys could find more business through placement on the Web and the PDF for Lawyers session described Adobe Acrobat 9 and how layout features
can be utilized to help keep everyone on the same page when sharing extensive files.
"There is a lot of technology here that you don’t learn about in law school," said attendee Sabrina Bohun, who recently took the bar exam. "Being new to the [legal] field, it is good to know about the different programs around."
Many exhibitors used the event as an opportunity to expose attorneys to their new services. Geek OfficeCalls, a preferred tech support provider for MBA members in medium and large-sized firms, announced their new Purge & Sweep Program ― a way of sanitizing hard drives prior to repurposing or disposal. With the new HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley laws, lawyers must have a procedure to protect their data, and this process allows confidential data to be wiped clean.
Fellow exhibitor TurboLaw, known in the legal community for their Document Software programs, introduced its new Time & Billing software to potential clients. "We are very happy to see the legal technology expos brought back," said Danielle Whitestone, TurboLaw’s director of sales and marketing.
Allen Korson, chief executive officer of U.S. Common Law, the Legal Tech Expo’s gold sponsor and an exhibitor, said that his company participated in the event to bring added exposure to their products. "I just spoke to a new MBA member who is setting up an office and looking for software to do this," said Korson. "We are offering a very affordable start-up."
The next Legal Tech Expo will be held on March 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Framingham.
Participating exhibitors and sponsors:
U.S. Common Law
• Catuogno Court Reporting
• Citizens Bank
• CMIT Solutions
• DEC Business Solutions Inc.
• Direct IT
• Esquire Deposition Services
• Esquire Litigation Solutions LLC
• Geek Housecalls
• Integra Network Services
• Kaplan Auctions
• Lexis Nexis
• Maine Aviation Corp.
• Metropolitan Telephone Co. Inc.
• New England Trial Services
• Northern Business Machines
• Nuance Communications Inc.
• O’Brien & Levine Court Reporting
• One Stop Business Centers Inc.
• Paper Trace
• Paradigm Computer Consulting
• Pro Products Web Design
• The Duplicating Center
• Thomson West
• TurboLaw Document Software and Time
• Worldwide Information Inc.