Building on the popularity of its annual Legaltech New York conference, ALM today announced the launch of a new event, “Legalweek, The Experience,” an effort to broaden the discussion over business trends shaping modern law firms.
The early 2017 Legalweek conference will be comprised of seven events, among which is the annual Legaltech New York trade show. Added to the weeklong event are LegalExecutive, LegalWomensForum, LegalPros, LegalMarketing, LegalCIO and LegalSmallFirm. Programming throughout the week will feature over 350 speakers and is scheduled to run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, 2017.
ALM group events director Sharon Morabito said that while Legaltech continues to serve the legal technology market, the company wanted to foster more comprehensive conversations around the business of law that could extend past the technology sector alone.
“It became clear that there was a need to create a dedicated forum for forward-looking legal professionals to help shape the future development of all facets of the field of law,” she said.
However, she emphasizes the role Legaltech has provided to the industry as North America’s largest gathering of legal industry professionals, “delivering unrivalled insight into the technological needs of the legal sector,” Morabito said.
“Legaltech participants will continue to enjoy elevated, timely and relevant content, tailored specifically to their needs as well as expanded programming from the new areas of focus,” she added. “Legaltech and the community we serve remains at the heart of Legalweek. We are extremely proud of Legaltech and remain committed to providing a best-in-class event.”
John Stuttard, senior vice president of global events at ALM, added that Legaltech New York will remain largely unchanged as part of the greater Legalweek event structure.
“We’re establishing a mother brand, so to speak—the mother is Legalweek, The Experience. Legaltech is the core event that sits within that series,” Stuttard said.
Morabito said that each of the programs will host multiple events pertaining to different facets of the business of law, adding, “You can almost look at it as concurrent conferences.”
Stuttard agreed with the concurrent conferences explanation, saying that ALM is looking to match the forecasting power of events in other industries, not unlike the way Fashion Week functions in the fashion industry or Ad Week functions in the marketing industry.
“For many industries, there is a week in the year where the spotlight shines on that industry. They gather in one place, and the spotlight is really shown on the industry,” Stuttard said. He added that Legalweek hopes to foster broader conversations about industry trends, disruptive elements, and new technology standards.
Morabito explained that the new verticals looked at data drawn from ALM’s publications to see where they could supply content to new pain points across the legal industry. “We looked at what issues were going on in the industry, and we looked to see where we could add value,” she said.
The event will also begin with a “State of the Industry” view featuring three elements. First, ALM’s insights team will share some of their analysis of the industry throughout the last year. Second, a yet-to-be-disclosed “futurist” will share thoughts about issues facing the legal market. And finally, a set of panel discussions moderated by a TV news anchor featuring top attorneys will discuss the previous two portions of the event.
“The State of the Industry’ isn’t going to be a single keynote,” Stuttard noted, with Morabito adding, “It’s going to start off at a high pitch, and it’s going to set the tone and the trend for the rest of the days to follow.”
Although technology is one of law firms’ most bemoaned pain points, Stuttard said that the business of operating a law firm has now extended well past discussions about different e-discovery tools, and could benefit from the context added by these new verticals.
“We’re trying to expand past just the tech side. Technology has its own prominent place, but tech is everyone’s business now. Whatever your job title, you have to be tech-aware,” he said. “It’s not just learning about a specific issue and a specific technology, that will happen, but there will be a broader conversation around it.”