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LegalTech school: Keeping up with ABA TECHSHOW

Irene Mo (left), a fellow at the ABA Center for Innovation, talks with Michigan State University College of Law student Rana Haimout and Amy Krieg, Assistant Director for Career Development at MSU, at ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago last week. Irene is a graduate of MSU Law.

ABA TECHSHOW came to town last week, and it was great catching up with old faces that I’ve never seen.

I probably met 20 people that I’ve talked to forever but have never actually met in person. Some were just visiting and taking in an education panel or 10. Some were back with their own startups and companies, looking to make connections and find customers. Others have written for the blog or sent us contributions, and it was a perfect opportunity to thank them in person.

We did get to meet a small contingent of law students as well. The crews from Chicago-Kent College of Law are very keyed into technology, and Chicago-Kent professor Dan Katz had a featured position as they keynote speaker. Michigan State University College of Law has plenty of Chicago ties as well–Katz ventured west from there in 2015. MSU grad Chase Hertel is now working at the ABA Center for Innovation. And Daniel W. Linna Jr. is moving from MSU’s LegalRnD innovation center to Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

But we had the pleasure of meeting an unexpected group of students in attendance–Kenton Brice‘s students from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

It was great seeing those schools there, but we know not everybody can make it to Chicago and it’s subtropical March weather. So we’ve assembled some of the ABA Journal’s coverage of TECHSHOW so you too can stay up to date on the latest in legaltech.

Got a question we haven’t answered here? Drop me a line and I’ll reach out to one of the many experts who handed me their cards!

Law schools dive into virtual reality experiences for their students
Law schools are ramping up efforts to provide more experiential learning opportunities through virtual reality experiences that will allow both students and practicing attorneys to practice their skills anytime, anywhere. Which sounds like a great innovation to us!

Tech entrepreneurship features a shift in thinking at some law schools
Some skills used in technology entrepreneurship are contrary to what’s traditionally taught at law schools, but that may be changing, according to the “Lawyer Entrepreneurship: Teaching Lawyers to Innovate and Disrupt” panel.

What’s an inexpensive way to teach tech? Find outside experts, say law school librarians
We’ve always been on board with #LawyersAreTheCoolest. But are law librarians even cooler? They’re a great help to a law student looking for information. At the show, they talked about expectations about teaching law students about technology, and how sometimes that requires creativity—especially if deans won’t allot funds to help with that endeavor.

Has legal innovation stalled? Keynote forecasts how lawyers will harness tech
Dan Katz, associate professor and director of the Law Lab at Chicago-Kent College of Law, talked about how to embrace technology. You can see his speaker deck–all 400+ slides–here.

How to find the right mentor – especially if you are a female or minority lawyer
Irene Mo, a NextGen fellow at the ABA Center for Innovation and a 2017 graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, moderated a great panel on “Mentoring Women and People of Color in Legal Tech.” As a potential mentee, Mo said that it can be uncomfortable when someone you don’t know says that they want to mentor you.

Alexa, Fitbit and sex toys are making waves in court
Did Alexa overhear a murder? Why did one sex-toy company record user data from a smartphone app, leading to a $3.75 million settlement? Welcome to the Internet of Things and the litigation its producing..

Check out this year’s best Techshow freebies
If you’ve ever seen my desk, you’ll know that I dig swag. This year was no exception, although I was a little choosier than in years past. The Logikcull shirts, one a riff on Chicago pizza and the other a homage to the Ramones, were cool and will go well with the three pairs of law-themed socks I picked up. The Journal pulled together some shots of their top picks.

Lawyers can contribute to the rise of blockchain by understanding it
I would write an alternate lead paragraph, but Blockchain is still a giant mystery that I will never explain. Read on to see how it can help you.

Here’s the rest of the Journal’s coverage of TECHSHOW events:

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Adam Music Adam Music is the web editor of Before the Blog. After 20-plus years in the online side of print journalism, he joined the ABA in July 2015. His experience includes stints at the Chicago Sun-Times,, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.