The American Bar Association’s TechShow is THE place to be if you want to get up to speed on the latest gizmos, trends and technologies deployed by law firms. I look forward to it each year.
I arose early this morning after a scant 1.5 hours of sleep — trying to clean up client work before departure — to make my way to Philly airport to catch a flight to Chicago. My suitcase came in at 48.5 lbs out of an allowable 50 lbs before a hefty $$ penalty applies. So much for my usual practice of grabbing all the vendor “swag” I can fit into my suitcase.
The windy city has not disappointed thus far. Sunny, crisp breeze, moderate temperature, and a lovely room at the Hilton on Michigan Avenue. Enroute from airport to hotel, I had a delightful cab ride with a Nigerian driver who spoke beautiful English. The accent is surprisingly similar to Jamaican. Turns out he has his Masters in Psychology from St. Joseph’s in my neck of the woods, but couldn’t get the job he wanted, and wasn’t earning a decent wage with what he could get. So he decided to drive cabs instead, and relocated to where he could earn the best money doing it. He is working hard to earn enough to bring over his wife and baby daughter, He couldn’t wait to show me pictures. Maybe it was a ploy to increase his tip, who knows, but it was a great chat nonetheless.
So I’m unpacked, and awaiting the start of my annual update on everything related to law firm technology. I’m especially looking forward to sessions on mobile apps, courtroom technology, Windows 8, security, and more. Some people come to the show to get a break from the office. They spend as much or more time with local entertainment as they do in class. Not me. I take my educational opportunities very seriously. There won’t be a timeslot that doesn’t have me in a class. Class-free breaks will have me going from booth to booth in the extensive exhibit hall, to see first-hand what’s new, and familiarize myself with vendors new to the marketplace.
This year my stay is much more comfortable thanks all my personal tech. Let’s start with my high quality and very small pop-up portable stereo speaker, all the great tunes I put on my iPhone, the multi-plug electrical cord I brought which makes it possible to plug everything in conveniently right on the night table. No more taking turns in charging iPhone and iPad. No more running across the room when the phone rings while being charged. And I can leave my laptop in the room, and just carry my itty-bitty iPad around, using the convenient app to review handouts, make notes in sessions using the portable Bluetooth keyboard, keep track of which sessions I intend to attend, and even locate the next classroom on the map.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be an exciting week.