Why ABA Techshow Is Great, and Why You Should Go Next Year
Is it odd for a software engineer who’s architected a cloud system to learn about tech he’s never heard before from a bunch of lawyers? Is it strange for a guy who runs a process-oriented, highly capital-efficient company to come away with time-saving gains from a litigator?
That’s my experience at ABA Techshow, and 2014 was my seventh. I love going. I look forward to it every year. If you haven’t been, it’s a collection of some of the most interesting and intelligent people you’ll have the pleasure of meeting. You get to enjoy a fascinating keynote, converse with the thought leaders who write the blogs and magazine articles you read, and meet, eat, and drink with an über-friendly collection of attendees.
When I attended my first show in 2008, no one had any idea who I was, yet the community welcomed me with open arms. I was launching Rocket Matter, which at the time presented a new approach to legal software as it was cloud based and accessed through a web browser. Instead of circling the wagons, and maintaining an old-boys’-club mentality, they welcomed me right into what seemed like an ongoing conversation that hasn’t stopped since.
Every year I go I pick up ways to spend less time doing stuff I hate doing. Ways to automate my business and spend more time devoted to my customers. Usually it’s from the Mac lawyers, who are on the cutting edge of things. I learn more important and rubber-meets-the-road technology information from the MILO guys than I learn in any software or leadership seminar or listserv I participate in. The information is practical, tested, and directly applicable to work. They were the people that introduced me to Evernote and Dropbox for the first time years ago.
So all lawyers looking to self-improve, get involved. If all the “disruption” talk turns you off, tune it out and focus on what can improve your bottom line and focus more on your clients. Come out to Chicago and I promise you, you will join an amazing, and if I might say so, extremely good-looking group of people that you’ll be able to call friends and look forward to seeing every year. And you’ll learn some cool stuff in the process.