The 2014 LegalTech conference began and ended with its signature hoopla and fanfare: Sessions were attended, parties were had, prize giveaways happened — most notably one which involved a group of vendors pooling resources to underwrite a cherry red Mercedes Benz for a lucky winner (not me). LegalTech has truly become the Academy Awards for law firm administrative types.
Here are my key takeaways from LegalTech 2014:
Privacy and security is everyone’s business
Does your firm have a privacy and security policy? No? Then it needs one.
Yes? That’s great, but make sure that you execute it properly. It should be noted that the policy aims of privacy and security are in direct competition with each other. Governments would like to see looser privacy standards but more stringent security measures. Small businesses and corporations would like to see stricter privacy standards and looser security measures. Just a general rule of thumb.
E-Discovery is still hot
Judging by the number of e-discovery vendors at the conference, this trend will likely stay in place for many years to come. Physical review of documents is passé and a predictive model for gleaning “responsive” case material is the new norm. When it comes to managing the end of lifecycle phase of an electronic record, the e-discovery world still comes up short. This is where information governance comes in.
Records Management is now called Information Governance
Notwithstanding, I will still retain my title of “Records Manager,” “Information Governance Manager” just sounds weird.
Make no mistake though, the way in which we view the concept of a “record” has and will continue to fundamentally change. Sound information governance practice is the way forward.
Technology is leading the way
I am referring to new and emerging technology coming out of Silicon Valley and other fertile grounds of technical advancement. Operational functions, including IT, are still playing catch up. Embedded technology — think implanted microchips — is only about five years away from becoming a reality. What does an IT manager say when someone asks to upload a document from inside of their body?
What impressed me most about LegalTech this year was how closely it seems that all of the different operational areas (IT, records, e-discovery, HR, finance) are working to solve the big challenges of the day. How we band together to solve the big kahuna of all challenges — managing ever increasing volumes, veracities and velocities of information — will define our collective legacy.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to see what's to come at LegalTech 2015!
About the Author
Alexander Campbell, M.S., ERMp is the Records Manager at the law firm of Cohen & Gresser, LLP in New York City. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter
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