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The Friday Five

Face to Face at 2016’s Big Fall Conferences

By Joan Feldman

In just a couple of weeks, the adrenalin kick is going to hit you. It never fails: Fall’s arrival means it’s time to get learning. Sure, you could try your hand at letterpress, or craft beer appreciation or even “Boot Camp Fit” classes (so tempting), but if the health of your law practice is your obsession, here’s a look at five fall conferences, listed chronologically, that could get you to that next level.

1. 2016 Futures Conference, Sept. 15-16, Kansas City

The College of Law Practice Management’s mission is to “honor and recognize distinguished law practice management professionals and to set standards of achievement for others in the profession” — and its annual Futures Conference is a gathering of the best in the field. This year, the conference takes on the question, “What will law look like in 2026?” Dozens of legal industry luminaries will take the stage at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law to address questions like:

  • Will there be better access to justice?
  • Will there still be a legal monopoly and guild?
  • Will computers replace lawyers?
  • Where will the legal jobs be in 2026?
  • What will law schools look like?

Early-bird registration deadline is Aug. 24, and space is limited, so register early.*

2. Clio Cloud Conference, Sept. 19-20, Chicago

The Clio Cloud Conference’s A-list speaker rosters are always impressive — and buzzworthy. And that’s just one reason it’s much more than your typical user conference. Whether futurist Richard Susskind, Legal Zoom CEO John Suh, or your favorite bloggers and legal technologists, the speakers and topics keep you on your toes. This year, keynoters David Perla (Bloomberg Law president), Kimberley Motley (the first non-Afghan attorney to litigate in Afghanistan) and Gary Vaynerchuk (read Ruth Carter’s post on the marketing guru here) will join an equally impressive and diverse list of speakers. Not only is the two-day schedule packed with sessions for the “Clions,” who get non-stop access to Clio developers, support, marketers and founders, it serves up a healthy dose of programs on legal technology and the business of law. (BTW, it’s not unusual for Clio developers to take suggestions on day one of the conference and “hack” together a solution by the closing address.)

And then there are the parties; Clio’s known for throwing a bash. This year attendees will mingle at a mixer at Carnivale, surrounded by aerial entertainment, then the optional Tuesday night event takes place at Howl at the Moon (with dueling pianos!). 

Attorney at Work subscribers get a $150 discount off the registration price — just use the code AttorneyatWork. For more information and to register, click here.*

3. ABA Solo and Small Firm Summit, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Cincinnati

This year, the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division‘s main event heads to Cincinnati, co-sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Bar Association. In addition to Reds baseball, attendees will partake of educational sessions aimed at building more successful practices, with CLE topics ranging from “Strategies for Building a 7-Figure Law Firm,” “7 Success Secrets for Managing Your Cash Flow,” “Law Firm Toolkit: 30+ Marketing and Tech Tools to Manage, Promote and Grow Your Firm,” “5 Strategies to Double Your Referrals,” and “Ethics of Marketing for Lawyers.” GNGF’s Jabez LeBret (an Attorney at Work contributor) and Rocket Matter’s Legal Productivity blogger Tim Baran are among the speakers, along with GP Solo editor and tech tips guru Jeffrey Allen.

Early-bird pricing ends Sept. 7. Click here for more information and to register.

4. Legal Marketing Technology West, Oct. 5-6, San Francisco

The Legal Marketing Association’s Legal Marketing Technology Conferences are dedicated to exploring the latest technologies law firms are using to identify, attract and support clients. The inaugural Midwest edition took place in June, and the West Coast edition (now in its 18th year) will take place in October at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. On day one, you can attend hands-on technology workshops or the Lead Marketers’ Summit (if you are a CMO or marketing partner). On day two, the conference’s 11 sessions feature more than 30 speakers, with Roland Vogl, Executive Director of Stanford’s CodeX, kicking things off with a plenary on “Leading Law Firms Through a Competitive Revolution.” There’s a popular in-house counsel roundtable, TED-style talks on client development, social and new technologies and marketing technology, and much more.

Early-bird pricing ends Sept. 15. Click here for more information and to register.

5. MacTrack Legal (aka Milofest), Oct. 15-16, Orlando

MacTrack Legal is a conference for attorneys interested in Macs, iPhones, iPads and anything else bearing an Apple logo, plus those considering the big switch from PCs. Going into its eighth year of helping lawyers develop better — and more profitable — practices, MacTrack Legal will be held this October at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida (conveniently during the famous Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT). The promotional materials describe it as “72+ hours, 10+ speakers and 4+ Theme Parks.” You can’t miss, right?

Check out the speakers — including Attorney at Work contributors Brett Burney and Tom Lambotte — the site and sessions with names like “The Four Parasites Infecting Your Practice and How to Eradicate Them” and “Your One-Page Annual Strategic Growth Plan” here.

And a Few Alternatives

We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out at least two new(ish) innovators in the conference crowd:

  • Evolve Law. Evolve Law, the brainchild of Mary Juetten and Jules Miller, brings together “legal tech companies, attorneys, in-house counsel, entrepreneurs, and law schools for events centered around product demos, education and discussion about the future of law.” They organize gatherings across the country — in September alone there are events scheduled in Atlanta, New York, Nashville, Seattle and North Carolina, with more listed here.
  • Shape the Law Unconferences. We reported on the first “Unconference” here. Sept. 16, founders Jeena Cho, Alexandra Devendra, Laura Maechtlen and Mary Redzic will conduct their second Unconference in Chicago, “Designing the Future of the Legal Workplace, followed by events in New York and San Francisco. The complete list is shown here.

If you find yourself at one of these events, why not send a note to let us know how it went for you, and the best takeaways for your practice?

*Disclosure: Attorney at Work is a sponsor of the Futures Conference and Clio Cloud Conference. 

Illustration ©

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Joan Hamby Feldman Joan Feldman

Joan Feldman is Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of Attorney at Work, publishing “one really good idea every day” since 2011. She has created and steered myriad leading practice management and trade publications, including the ABA’s Law Practice magazine where she served as managing editor for a dozen years. Joan is a Fellow and served as a Trustee of the College of Law Practice Management. Follow her on LinkedIn and @JoanHFeldman.

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