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Today’s law firms are under immense pressure to be innovative and responsive to clients’ needs, all while ensuring their assets and data remain safe.
Some firms are embracing cloud computing and considering how attorneys and other staff can securely access company networks via personal smartphones. But clients want to know that firms are addressing security risks, and a growing number want proof that best practices are being followed.
“The folks that we do business with are asking us to confirm [that] security [is] in alignment with what they have in their companies,” Tracy Elmblad, CIO at Bingham McCutchen in Boston, told BizTech. Elmblad is also co-chair of the International Legal Technology Association’s 37th annual educational conference, taking place in Nashville, Tenn., next week.
“Even though security is a hot topic for every firm, it’s not a security conference,” Elmblad said in the interview. “We are supposed to be educating people on all levels,” including teaching them how to communicate up and down the chain of command and what it takes to be a leader. (You can search by topic for sessions that interest you.)
Cybersecurity is one of many topics that will be addressed during the conference, which kicks off Aug. 17 and features more than 200 sessions developed by ILTA members around key themes: information management, organization management, applications and desktop, technology operations, and the future and ILTA initiatives.
On Sunday afternoon, attendees can take part in Communities of Interest, which offer networking opportunities for people with similar interests, such as emerging technologies, small firms and legal project management.
“It’s information that is relevant,” said Skip Lohmeyer, CIO at Jackson Kelly PLLC in Charleston, W. Va., and conference co-chair. Attendees can learn, “How did this company do well or not do well with implementing a vendor solution? It helps not to just improve our own firm but the whole legal technology industry,” Lohmeyer said in a BizTech interview.
In other words, you’re going to hear the law firms that are trying different technologies and business practices describe how they’re overcoming any challenges.
ILTA is expecting a record number of attendees this year, including more than 1,500 mangers, directors, C-level workers and attorneys. As of last month, the majority of those who will attend (nearly 95 percent) are from law firms, according to data from ILTA. Corporate law departments will make up about 5 percent, and government agencies will account for 1 percent.
So far, 3,573 ILTA members and vendors are registered, including representatives from more than 400 exhibitors and consulting companies. Here’s a list of key vendors that will be at the conference. You can also work with specific vendors in assigned demo rooms to learn more about their services.
If you’re still on the fence or need some help coaxing your boss to send you to Nashville, ILTA offers eight reasons why you should attend. If you’re registered, here are some tips on how to make the most out of your conference experience.
BizTech magazine will be covering ILTA 2014 and you can keep up with the latest by visiting our ILTA 2014 content hub. Follow along on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or @ILTAConf. You can join the conversation by using hashtag #ILTA14.