Tech-niques-- Technology hits the road at legal seminar on Oct. 1

By Paul Janczewski

Legal News

High-tech heaven is on the way to help attorneys who may not be up-to-speed with the swift changes occurring in technology. And even those lawyers who are comfortable with iPads, smart phones, and social networking may pick up valuable tips to boost their practice.

Those groups, and everyone in between, will benefit by attending the Legal Technology Road Show, Michigan's largest legal technology seminar. It will be held Friday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Henry Hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton) in Dearborn.

The seminar is a partnership between the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management Section and the Michigan Association for Justice. Jesse Green, director of communications for the MAJ, said all attorneys will pick up valuable tips by attending that will help their practice become more effective and efficient.

"The pace of technological change is disorienting, more so for attorneys who are trying to serve clients, run law firms and juggle the need for increased efficiency with responsibilities for client confidentiality, document retention, court rules, collaboration and professional ethics," he said. "The MAJ ABA Tech Road Show is designed to bring busy attorneys up to speed on critical legal technology."

Green said the seminar will teach attendees to "harness cutting edge technology to serve your clients and make your practice better."

Two MAJ executive board members, Michael Morse and Jason Waechter, both of Southfield, will be co-moderators of the seminar. Other experts in specific fields also will be brought in to speak.

And because of the vast amount of knowledge available, the Tech Road Show will have two simultaneous seminar tracks occurring in separate rooms, so those attending are urged to bring a partner or colleague to soak up every bit, or byte, of information possible.

And event organizers warn that no paper material will be provided to attendees, so laptops are a must. The site will be a wireless hot spot, and all materials will be provided on USB drives. Green said the MAJ will be offering the seminar material electronically for those who cannot attend in person.

About a dozen topics will be discussed during the seminar. Attorneys will learn how to construct a paperless law office. And how to construct perfect storyboards to aid in opening statements and closing arguments. Need help with Adobe, Acrobat and scanning? They have a session for that.

One session will deal with tips, tricks and solutions on using Outlook. Another will focus on MACs and iDevice in the law office. How about a primer on E-Discovery? Or using marketing and social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and others for valuable referral relationships or potential clients, or to research your own clients, or witnesses in your cases. They will have experts to speak on all these subjects.

Green said sessions will also offer marketing, management, technology and finance tips, and one will deal with the 60 most important iPhone or iPad Apps attorneys should use. Digital dictation, speech recognition software, Skype, video conferencing, and much more will be addressed. Vendors will also be available during the seminar, and a lunch will be provided.

The cost of the seminar is $60 for MAJ sustaining members, $195 for MAJ members and $225 for non-MAJ members, with deals if more than one person from the same firm attends.

The MAJ, formerly known as the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to furthering civil justice and providing services that allow its 2,000 members to better represent their clients.

"The MAJ set out to create the biggest, best, most cutting edge legal tech seminar in the state - the MAJ ABA Legal Technology Road Show is that seminar," Green said.

Additional information on the seminar can be found on the MAJ website.

Published: Thu, Sep 9, 2010