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  • InsideTrack
  • April 05, 2023

    Trends in Legal Technology: ABA TECHSHOW

    The ABA TECHSHOW returned to in-person in March this year. Michael Eichacker talks about the latest in technology of interest to legal professionals.

    Michael Eichacker

    legal tech applications

    April 5, 2023 – After a couple of years of virtual and semi-virtual tech shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABA TECHSHOW 2023 marked a return to normalcy for attendees and vendors alike. The show floor was once again abuzz with activity as exhibitors showcased their latest products and attendees networked with industry peers.

    Better in Person

    The mood was noticeably upbeat, as everyone was eager to catch up on missed opportunities from the past couple of years. Many exhibitors reported strong interest from attendees and saw a lot of traction for their products and solutions.

    The educational sessions were also well-attended, with speakers covering a broad range of topics, from cybersecurity and data privacy to AI and the future of legal technology.

    Overall, the atmosphere was one of positivity and optimism – it was clear the legal technology industry is stronger than ever.

    Artificial Intelligence

    One of the most notable trends was the increasing presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in legal technology. From chatbots and virtual assistants to document review and contract analysis software, AI was showcased as a powerful tool for increasing efficiency and accuracy in legal processes.

    Michael Eichacker Michael Eichacker is IT infrastructure director with Ruder Ware in Wausau, and serves on the State Bar of Wisconsin LOMAP Advisory Committee.

    Many exhibitors highlighted how their AI solutions could streamline tasks such as legal research, due diligence, and compliance, thereby freeing up valuable time for lawyers to focus on more strategic work. Moreover, the advancements in natural language processing (NLP) technology were demonstrated, enabling AI-powered solutions to interpret and understand legal language better than ever before.

    It is clear that AI is becoming an essential component of the legal technology landscape and will continue to shape the future of the legal profession. With the TECHSHOW over, a good way to get updated on AI is with the upcoming 1.0 CLE session, “ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence-Overview & Implications 2023,” from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™.

    Cloud-based Practice Management

    The growing presence of practice management systems at the show can be attributed to several factors:

    • Practice management systems have become an essential tool for law firms of all sizes. These systems help firms manage everything from billing and invoicing to document management and client communication, making them indispensable for the smooth running of a law practice.

    • With the rise of cloud-based software solutions, practice management systems have become more accessible and affordable for solo and small law firms. This has opened the market for practice management systems, with a growing number of vendors catering to the needs of smaller firms.

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of practice management systems, as remote work and virtual client interactions have become the new norm. Practice management systems that enable secure and efficient remote collaboration have become increasingly popular among law firms as they help lawyers stay connected with clients and colleagues, regardless of location.

    As a result, the presence of cloud-based practice management vendors continues to grow. Vendors representing this segment included Clio, PracticePanther, Tabs3, and MyCase, which offer discounted rates for State Bar members. With this many options available there is sure to be a system that will fit your practice.

    Startup Pitch Competition

    For the seventh year in a row, 15 legal startups faced off in a pitch competition judged by ABA TECHSHOW attendees. Each vendor had three minutes to pitch their solution to a packed ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

    Universal Migrator won the voting as a vendor that proclaims to move your data between practice management systems to make it less painful to switch if you find your needs are not being met by your current vendor.

    Innovative Application of Technology

    TurnSignl is a mobile app designed to help people during traffic stops by providing real-time guidance and support. When a driver is pulled over, the app can automatically record the interaction and notify pre-selected emergency contacts, while also providing guidance on how to interact with law enforcement in a safe and respectful manner.

    The app can also help drivers understand their rights and provide information on what to do if they feel their rights have been violated.

    Additionally, TurnSignl can send an SOS alert to pre-selected contacts if a user feels threatened or unsafe during the traffic stop. By providing real-time support and guidance, TurnSignl aims to help reduce the risks and tensions that can arise during traffic stops, particularly for marginalized communities that may face discrimination or bias from law enforcement.

    Lawyers can subscribe to the app. Any lawyer signing up for the app would need to review the rules of professional conduct in the jurisdictions in which they are licensed to ensure that they are able to provide legal services that do not violate attorney compensation or advertising rules.


    Cybersecurity was a significant focus at the ABA TECHSHOW 2023 due to the legal industry’s increasing threat of targeted cyberattacks. Law firms are often prime targets for hackers as they typically handle sensitive and confidential information, making them vulnerable to data breaches and cyber threats.

    As law firms adopt more cloud-based software solutions and rely more heavily on digital tools for communication and collaboration, the risk of cyber threats increases. For that reason, many vendors showcased their latest solutions for protecting law firms from cyber threats.

    The educational sessions at the show also emphasized the importance of cybersecurity, with speakers discussing best practices for securing law firm data, detecting, and responding to cyber threats, and implementing effective cybersecurity policies and procedures.

    For help with cybersecurity, check out BobaGuard and HSB Cyber Insurance, which have agreements with the State Bar to benefit its members.

    Conclusion: It’s Essential to Stay Updated

    Reflecting on the event, it's clear that staying up to date with the latest technology trends and tools is essential for legal professionals to remain competitive.

    With advancements in technology happening at an accelerated pace, being aware of the latest developments is crucial. Additionally, maintaining strong security measures to protect client information is imperative.

    Personally, one of the most rewarding aspects of attending the show was the chance to connect, reconnect, and network with fellow legal tech professionals. Often, these connections can lead to collaborations, opportunities, and shared experiences.

    Looking ahead, I'm excited to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2024, which promises to be another valuable event for legal professionals and technology enthusiasts alike. Be sure to mark your calendar as this event is an industry favorite.

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