ILTACON session leaders weigh in: What makes us most excited about this year’s event

By Sherry Kappel on August 8, 2019
Sherry Kappel

Sherry has more than 30 years' experience in design, implementation, and change management, which surround content-creation technologies. She has written and spoken widely to address the needs, goals and strategies of document-intensive businesses, and is an expert in Microsoft Office applications. Sherry is a member of the Document Lifecycle Evangelist team.

It’s well known that ILTACON session descriptions only share part of the story of available programming. To help inform attendees I gathered first-hand insights from the people most in-the-know: the ILTACON track and session leads. I asked several of them to share what makes them most excited about the programming this year and how attendees can make the most of the event.

Angela Dowd, Director of Practice Innovation, Burns & Levinson, LLP; Member of ILTA Board of Directors

ILTACON 2019 has an amazing agenda planned for a diversity of roles in legal (core IT, innovation, corporate law, lit support to just name a few) and for people at all levels of their career (just starting to seasoned veteran). From the fantastic keynotes planned to sessions on IT operations, security, leadership, artificial intelligence, and everything in between, there is new and fresh content everyone can benefit from. In addition, everyday there will be opportunities to network and make meaningful connections with peers.

Sherry’s take: With over 200 sessions at ILTACON this year, this road map will help.


Ed Empamano, Director of Customer Experience, Perkins Coie

I am excited about everything the conference has to offer, but I am really looking forward to the newly minted ILTA Law Firm 101 track. Coming from non-legal a dozen years ago it was quite daunting to move to a law firm. I benefited from good leaders that educated me on the business of law, but not everyone has that access or internal knowledge. This will be a great opportunity for members new and veteran (because do we really get an opportunity as technology individuals to learn the business of law?!).

Sherry’s take: Allocate your Thursday for this three-part series  - thanks, Ed!


Robert Karwic, Director of User Experience at Milbank

I’m looking forward to hearing more about the product roadmaps from our strategic partners such as NetDocs and Litera, whether formally in the case of the Microsoft and NetDocs company update sessions, or informally in the exhibit hall or at events like the LD Club.

Sherry’s take: We are hosting an exclusive event for our LD Club members, customers that have purchased Litera Desktop. We'll see you there, Rob! 


Patrick Dundas, KM Special Counsel at Schulte Roth

If you think AI-powered Knowledge Management is more science fiction than reality, guess again. Firms are super-charging their KM efforts using AI to harvest structured data from deal documents to build deal databases, among other things. Come find out how at the AI-Powered Knowledge Management session.

We've assembled an all-star team of industry experts to break down the startup landscape and shine a spotlight on companies and trends that show real potential to provide value for firms and clients. Check out A New Age of Legal Technology: Startups and Trends to Keep an Eye On for a glimpse into the future!

Sherry’s take: Patrick is leading two super-charged sessions – must hits if you are interested in the impacts of AI and/or learning more about some of the latest legal tech start up trends.


Sukesh Kamra, National Director, Knowledge & Innovation at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

There is tremendous disruption in the legal industry and there’s no other place where you get to meet innovators and entrepreneurs and talk legal tech. Plus, I get to speak about leveraging existing technology for new uses and the all-important client-focused innovation in two separate panel sessions. When you add in the colorful vendor events, like Litera’s KM dinner, how could you not be excited about ILTACON?!

Sherry’s take: These are great sessions to mark on your calendars! We'll see you at the dinner! 


David Hasman, Litigation Support Manager at Bricker & Eckler LLP

With 18 sessions to choose from, litigation support and corporate/law department professionals have a full agenda at this year’s ILTACON. We are pleased that over 60 percent of ILTACON 2019 speakers are “first-timers” and over 50 percent are female.

To shake up your schedule, or I should say “disrupt” your schedule, attendees can stop by one or all three of the Disruption Series sessions. Learn who/what is a disruptor and tools and techniques you can apply at your organization.

This year, we encourage you to commence your conference experience with the corporate professionals collaboration kickoff.

Sherry’s take: David’s sessions ooze exceptional speakers and content – from bots to emerging roles and disruption, to an entire day devoted to litigation support.


Maria Smith, Director Of Technology Support and Training at Arent Fox

What makes me most excited about this year’s ILTACON? I’m obviously partial towards the Office 365 series I’m nurturing as the session lead. We will have a great blend of peer stories and business partner expertise - and resources like the OneNote handout 2.0 (thanks Sherry!) I’m also jazzed about this year’s venue for ILTACON and the VOID is on my go do list.

Sherry’s take: This three-part Office 365 series offers sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Hope to see you all there!


Douglas Freeman, Knowledge Systems Manager at White & Case

We’ve invited Brig. Gen. Patrick Huston, Commander of the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and Natalie Pierce, Shareholder at Littler Mendelson to share their diverse experiences on organizational culture. They will be leading the audience through an interactive exercise to help determine the culture of the organization in which they work and how they can best use this knowledge to succeed.

Sherry’s take: A don’t-miss Thursday morning session for everyone impacting -- or impacted by -- organizational change. Thanks, Doug! 


Cheryl Disch, Sr Mgr, Marketing Information Systems at Duane Morris

Practical innovation is the theme for our four-part Innovation Series at ILTACON. Our speakers have all been there, and will share their successes, tips, and lessons learned around getting organized, completing projects, and working with clients to innovate. It’s a great line-up to inspire attendees!

Sherry’s take: This track boasts a four-part series on Organizing for Innovation, alongside a session on Chatbots and on Startups. Mark this track “Do Not Miss!”


Joy Heath Rush, CEO, International Legal Technology Association

ILTA programming represents the best of DIY! Great content ideas combined with skilled staff support. Every year, the ILTACON committee generates, reviews, and fully vets several hundred topics. The topic areas come from our Program Planning Council, from ILTACON surveys, and from submissions by members and business partners.

The topics are sorted, prioritized, and culled. Then the conference committee plugs the sessions into the master conference grid, making sure we have provided adequate programming at the correct level for ILTACON's many attendees. A wonderful undertaking!

Sherry’s take: So much to look forward to this year! Thank you, Joy! 

In summary…

Suffice it to say, ILTACON 2019 stands to be the most robust and exciting legal tech event of the year.

The Litera Microsystems team would love to connect with you. See the full list of where you can find us team during the event. We hope to see you there!

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