I've attended quite a few legal tech/operations related conferences and trade shows over the past 10 years - both as a practicing attorney and as the CEO of PactSafe. Most of the them have a heavily vendor-driven agenda geared toward law firms. I'm often left with very little hope that the legal profession is on the right track to evolve and embrace efficiency and technology. Last week, though, I had the privilege to attend the 2017 CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Institute in Las Vegas, and I left with a much different outlook.
The first thing that set this event apart from others, is that the tracks and sessions were driven primarily by legal ops professionals, which means the 3-day event was not one long infomercial for this eDiscovery provider, or that practice management product. The tracks and sessions were (for the most part) very informative, and when taken as a whole, truly did show a framework for change and adoption of practices and solutions.
The second thing that makes this event different? The attendees by and large are NOT hourly billers, rather they are the primary group that is hungry for change: in-house lawyers that are consuming legal services from hourly billers and legal operations professionals who are PAID to find operational efficiencies. Everyone was engaged, both in sessions and at networking events - the energy was amazing.
I'm looking forward to seeing how CLOC continues to evolve, and how its agenda and membership influence change in the legal profession. I wouldn't be surprised to see it become a serious force, especially as the ranks of its membership continues to swell.