I asked several people that I saw last week for their Legalweek 2023 observations. So, here are their Legalweek 2023 observations, in their own words.
Legalweek 2022 Observations
This was the year Generative AI ate LegalWeek, much as e-discovery did years ago. ChatGPT and its brethren were the shiny new things driving every discussion and unlike the overhyped tech of years past, this New New Thing feels legitimately game changing in ways TAR and blockchain were not. In a continuation of a durable trend, most attendees spent little time at the Hilton, opting for offsite meetups and demos. Weatherwise, March was mostly a lamb for LegalWeek 2023; I shiver at the return to customary January dates in 2024, but I’m anxious to return nevertheless.
– Craig Ball, Texas Attorney and Forensic Technologist, Certified Computer Forensic Examiner
We’re back! This year’s conference was energized and engaging. Lots of new faces and plenty of cool, new products to investigate. Genuinely enjoyed seeing everyone and being seen, too!
– Mike Quartararo, President of ACEDS & Professional Development
I heard a rumor that the organizers are planning to move the event back to its old date slot in February (and, heaven help us, even the last few days of January, in some years). I think it would be a mistake to move it from March, even with the risk of drawing important attention away from our brackets…ha!
– Gordon Moffat, Director-Lit Support Services, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Everyone seemed to have more energy than last year. And attendance was high, almost 5000.*
– Judge Andrew Peck (ret.), Senior Counsel, DLA Piper
This is the most dynamic LegalWeek I have attended in certainly the last decade. The energy and hype about AI has gone from hypothetical to reality with a strong push from the generative AI takeover. The energy, avid debates on ChatGPT, and reconnection with my legal technology family was exceptional.
– Cat Casey, Chief Growth Officer, Reveal
Observations from the floor: 1) Generative AI – how can it be used for practical benefits in Law?; 2) Budgets tightening, more scrutiny coming; 3) Business collaboration is ubiquitous and becoming must have for data collection and context is everything.
– Don Terry, Chief Revenue Officer, Hanzo
Legalweek was all about coming together as a community to form connections and to have stimulating conversations with some of the industry’s thought leaders, which mainly centered around short message data, and to no one’s surprise, generative AI. People were even whipping out their phones at dinner to ask ChatGPT questions! I thoroughly enjoyed the Judge’s Debate and found it telling that both hypotheticals were focused on short message data through collaboration apps and text messages. The warm weather seemed antithetical to a typical Legalweek, but it sounds like we will remedy this next year when we go back to late January/early February.
– Cristin K. Traylor, Director, Law Firm Strategy Marketing, Relativity
In addition to echoing what Don Terry said, I would add this: 1. AI is being rapidly adopted into many facets within E-Discovery, but the caution signs are starting to also appear with questions around how AI is not only used but how it is reported on and audited across the EDRM model; 2. With the rise of collaboration platforms like Teams and Slack during Covid, some companies are just now seeing litigation calling for the content. The volume of information has never been greater thus forcing everyone to rapidly figure out how to deal with this information and more importantly, how to reduce it; 3. Workflow automation continues to gain more and more traction and will no doubt continue to help reduce the time required for repetitive tasks, allow people to perform work in daily-used applications as well as shape and inform the collection of information from various sources.
– Dave Ruel, VP of Product, Hanzo
I had the dual pleasure of representing my company, Rampiva, at Legal Week and also had the pleasure of serving as an ACEDS ambassador. I thought the attendance was up from previous years. Many of the top corporations and law firms were represented. The educational opportunities were thought provoking and some of the content included bleeding edge technology.
– Gary Swenson, Senior Sales Representative, Rampiva
Not surprisingly, the release of ChatGPT and, particularly, GPT 4.0, upstaged all of the carefully planned vendor announcements. Established ediscovery vendors seemed to offer more of the same this year while upstarts talked about AI revolutionizing literally all aspects of law practice. GPT will cut a wide swath across the legal industry. The legal market will be playing catchup this year and for some time to come. For the times, they are a changin…
– John Tredennick, CEO & Founder, Merlin Search Technologies, Inc.
It is interesting to see the momentum of in-house teams to start to take control of their ESI by adopting preservation and legal hold solutions, as well as implementing powerful eDiscovery platforms to collect and review themselves. It is also promising to see more law firms recognize this evolution and be the trusted advisor in this process of helping their corporate clients mature in this way.
– James Lasson, VP Marketing, Casepoint
It was great to catch-up with so many talented professionals who move the needle in the legal industry. With technology rapidly advancing, it is fascinating to hear the conversation and policy debates on how solutions can be deployed utilizing artificial intelligence while protecting privacy as well increasing accuracy and efficiency. Exciting times ahead!
– Nick Wittenberg, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP
There were so many observations, I need two posts to cover them all! Look for more observations tomorrow!
Feeling a case of FOMO? Put your Legalweek 2023 observations into the comments below!
So, what do you think? Were you at Legalweek last week? If so, what were your Legalweek 2023 observations? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
*Note: Judge Peck stated at an Advisory board meeting, ALM stated 5,000 attendees. When I asked them toward the conclusion of the conference, they stated 6,000 and that they had a lot of late registrations. 🙂
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.