Going into TECHSOW, I was excited. To have the opportunity as a 1L student at The University of Oklahoma College of Law in and of itself both energized and intimidated me. I knew it would be an experience that not many students would get, not to mention that some lawyers may never attend either.
At the end of the show, I am exhausted, sore, tired, and overwhelmed. Yet, I cannot wait to, hopefully, do it again. With that said, here are the most valuable things I came away with as a law student.
I think I can speak for all students that went to TECHSHOW when I say that the event has a way of energizing and motivating us. As I have mentioned here above, we were able to inject ourselves into the future of law for three days. To see the kind of innovation and technological steps that companies and people are taking to improve the practice of law is inspirational. If TECHSHOW at all reflects the trends that we can expect to see in practice soon, then there is no aspect of law that could be revolutionized within the next decade.
Project management, billing, workflow, tech competency, and automation solutions could maximize the efficiency and availability of law to people. Artificial intelligence, E-discovery tools, and Blockchain have the potential to change litigation. Innovative marketing techniques, new mobile apps, and requiring emotional intelligence standards are bound to change how lawyers and clients interact.
I can say, now that I am home, I am ready to show other students, professors, or even other lawyers some of the solutions that I was exposed to during TECHSHOW. I am excited to bring what I have learned in just a short week back into my school in order to benefit our students. I am able to recognize how lucky I was to attend TECHSHOW this year, and I know that I should be expected to share what insight I gained. I hope to be lucky and deserving enough to attend again next year, but if I am not, I would hope for the same from the students that do attend.
Perhaps one of the most significant things that a student can do at the ABA TECHSHOW is network with vendors, academics, lawyers, and even other students that are attending.
Let’s be honest, a vast majority of attendees are lawyers or professors that are there to interact with companies selling solutions to legal problems. Not many people go expecting to see students from law schools scattered about the country.
However, when I would meet people at TECHSHOW, they almost always seemed to be excited to see students. As a student, I was equally excited to see the people behind the podcasts and blogs that I use every week. I had the chance to tweet with some of the most innovative thinkers in law. I was able to
insert myself into the population of people that I will open day be a part of, and that in itself could make all the difference in the future.
Today’s Legal Tech Solutions at the Expo
Anyone who has ever attended TECHSHOW will tell you that the Expo Hall is insane. The TECHSHOW website lists 133 exhibitors for this year, and you could tell that every one of them were ready to show you their products and explain how they can help lawyers.
As a student, it was important for me to talk with vendors, find out what their goals were, what problems their solutions meant to address, and how they work with law firms. To know that these solutions exist not only gives a student an idea of what to expect from the operating side of law firms, but it gives us an idea of how to improve those operations once we do start working with or opening our own firms.
New Lessons from Information Sessions
Along with wandering the Expo floor, I was also able to attend some of the lectures and panel discussions that TECHSHOW provided. I got to learn about things such as cybersecurity, implementing new tech in a law firm, how beneficial it is to be tech certified, and even how to use social media to gain more clients.
These sessions were perhaps some of the best legal insight that I have had access to from a practical standpoint. Not only were the presentations lead by experts, but they covered subjects that are otherwise ignored in most law school settings. Having the opportunity to listen to these insights and instructions allowed me to broaden my perception of the practice of law.
Bonding with peers
I often hear about how remarkable the law students at OU Law are. I’m sure every law school is happy to show off their students just the same. However, TECHSHOW allowed me to actually see how diverse, capable, and extraordinary my peers are.
As the youngest student on the trip, I was absolutely blown away to hear about the previous careers and life experiences that our other students have had. I was able to bond and joke with people I have rarely interacted with before. I can now say that I proudly consider everyone that attended TECHSHOW with OU Law a friend. What’s better is that I know these are the people that will be practicing law with me in the future. And I have to say, I am more than excited to see how we are able to innovate the practice of law.
The Next Steps
As I return to classes and the mundane of reading cases, writing briefs, and going about my normal life, I cannot fully put my experiences at TECHSHOW behind me. Not only did I get to experience a fun weekend of networking and learning at TECHSHOW, but I now think of ways to improve the things I do every day.
To go farther, I am ready to share my experiences and the lessons I learned with my classmates. TECHSHOW has given me a new perspective on how to operate more efficiently and accurately, which I want to share with other students. However, I know there is only so much I can share with other students, so it is up to all of us that were able to attend to do so. Who knows, maybe by next year we can take even more students in order to bring back more perspectives and lessons from TECHSHOW!
Cole Reynolds, 1L
Secretary and Articles Editor, OU LAW TALIS