Looking back on the many years we have participated in the Legaltech event—in recent years expanded to become LegalWeek—the energy and excitement level at Legalweek20 was higher than ever. A consistent flow of visitors walked the show floor, most with a strong sense of purpose in seeking out new products and solutions for their organizations.
In recent years, eDiscovery took top billing in promotions, sessions, and signage, and was a hot topic in casual conversations at lunch and breaks. At this year’s event, other challenges and initiatives seemed to generate true interest and activity:
- Security – particularly ransomware - remains a key concern. Software attacks, theft of intellectual property, identity theft, and data breach are on the list of concerns, right behind ransomware. In fact, Bob Ambrogi blogged that three U.S. law firms were attacked on the eve of Legalweek by the new “Maze” ransomware. In two of the cases, hackers posted stolen data online, including client information. Tomas Suros of AbacusNext participated in a workshop panel on Cybersecurity at Legalweek. Attendees voiced a high level of concern about the changing nature of cyber threats, and how to be ready to circumvent attacks.
- Artificial Intelligence was a hot topic, drawing a wide range of reactions, from excitement and opportunism to dread and fear. With understanding comes appreciation. The AbacusNext team drew keen attention, demonstrating our new integration AbacusLaw and HotDocs. The integration provides firms with the ability to automatically assemble error-free documents using client, calendar and case information in the AbacusLaw system.
- Moving to the cloud remains a challenge for both law firms and corporate legal teams. There is widespread recognition of the benefits of the cloud, including security, access control, and disaster recovery. But Tomas reports that many organizations confess they are confused about cloud options and how to determine what’s best for their business. His recent article Practicing Law in the Cloud: Assessing the Options, published in Attorney at Work, brings clarity on public, private, community, and hybrid clouds, and how to assess the options.
- Firms are adopting new applications – and asking about migration. As new legal management applications emerge, organizations face the challenge of moving data from existing platforms to new hosted applications. Concerns about safely, accurately migrating data with minimal business disruption are valid. The AbacusNext team has completed hundreds of data migration projects, and we expect to see more of that activity in 2020, as firms make decisions to move forward with new technology. If your organization is considering a move to a new application, and facing a migration challenge, start with our Seven Tips for a Successful Data Migration in Law Technology Today, or contact us to talk about your project.
For our team, Legalweek really seems to mark the start of the New Year. The momentum is energizing, and many of us leave New York with new knowledge we can act on immediately, and greater clarity on our initiatives for the year.