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.
ILTACON is always my favorite legal technology conference—and this year, I’m looking forward to some exciting changes, as ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association) returns to its roots.
While that means there will be plenty of hard-core discussions about legal technology, ILTACON truly has something for everyone. But with 177 different sessions on offer, how do you decide what to attend?
Here’s my thoughts on how to get the most out of your time at ILTACON.
1. Take a Deep Dive Into One of These Series
There’s only so much you can learn about a topic in 60 or 90 minutes. That’s why ILTACON has established series that offer in-depth information, spread across three or four sessions each, on topics that need a more comprehensive treatment. This year, ILTACON is offering series on:
- Artificial intelligence,
- Law firm 101,
- Legal data science,
- Litigation support, and
- Office 365.
Yes, these series represent a substantial commitment, both for the audiences that attend every session and for the presenters who put them together. But they offer an equally huge realization for those attendees, providing amazing insights and information beyond what would be possible in a typical conference setting.
I’m especially excited about this year’s new “law firm 101” track. This series, which addresses the trend of firms hiring leaders from areas outside of the law, helps those transplants quickly understand and master the somewhat unique inner workings of a law firm.
I recommend that you pick one series and devote the time to attending each session within it.
2. Attend at Least Two Sessions Geared Toward Your Specific Audience
One of my favorite components of ILTACON is how it sets up audience tracks. These have two tremendous benefits. First, this is where you’ll find content that’s geared toward your particular needs. But just as importantly, the audience-specific sessions will also be where you’ll meet the right people—people who share your struggles and who can offer you ideas, insights, and advice based on their own similar experiences.
This year, the key audiences include:
- C-suite professionals,
- Core IT,
- Corporate leaders,
- Knowledge managers,
- Litigation support professionals, and
- Small and mid-sized firm leaders.
Check out the ILTACON session search page to find the audience that best suits your specific circumstances. Try to attend at least two sessions designed for your audience—or, if you straddle different audiences, one or two from each audience that you might fit in with.
There are also networking and collaboration sessions geared toward individual audiences. Don’t underestimate the value of these: just by rubbing elbows with similarly situated professionals, you’ll be able to validate your approach to problems, learn new operations or management techniques, and hear about promising new technologies. I always find that I learn as much from my peers at ILTACON as I do from the structured content.
3. Attend at Least One Social Event
It wouldn’t be ILTACON without networking events and recreational events. But the truth is that networking happens everywhere: over a cup of coffee between sessions, at scheduled events, and on the vendor floor. Every year, I spend an entire month after the conference talking with people who couldn’t attend and filling them in on everything I learned just from networking at ILTACON!
And of course you should come visit the Litera Microsystems booth. I’ll fill you in on everything we have planned in a few weeks, but for now you can check out our schedule of events.
I wouldn’t miss ILTACON for the world—and you shouldn’t either.