The Alternative Side of #ILTA12

Of course you’re special.  Your parents have always known it and now the International Legal Technology Association is acknowledging it too.  How is ILTA doing that? By recognizing that each of us has a preferred learning style and, therefore, we need different formats and approaches to facilitate our learning. As a a result, the planning committee of the ILTA 2012 Conference is offering more varied learning options for you during the educational sessions of the conference.

Consider it ILTA’s Alternative Contexts 2 Deliver Content Conference (or AC2DC).

At this year’s conference, you will be able to choose from among six new sessions that are nothing like traditional panel presentations.  Each session has a unique format that has been selected to help you get the most out of the session. Curious? Here is a bit more information on the six alternative format sessions:

AFT1  Creating Process Maps: An Interactive Workshop

  • Legal project management and business process improvement are trendy right now, but how do you get past the rhetoric to figure out how to actually begin? This alternative format session provides a pragmatic, straightforward way to learn the basics by starting with process maps. These maps are the foundation of any legal project management plan or business process improvement effort.
  • Come to this session to learn what process maps are and how to create them.  By the end of the session, you’ll have practical experience actually creating a process map and you’ll learn more about how to take this back to your office and apply it to the work of your firm.

AFT2  Applications Roundtable: A New Way of Thinking

  • Managing the applications stack can be more than a full-time job. Have you ever wished you could pick the brains of your colleagues at other firms to see how they are tackling the problems that give you agita?  In this alternative format session, you’ll have a chance to share experiences with others with a view to identifying solutions that you can use. Our goal is to document these solutions and make them available to participants after the session.
  • Bring your best advice for your colleagues and bring the burning questions for which you’d like some expert input.

AFT3  My Secret Weapon — The approaches and tools that help technologists succeed

  • We know there’s no such thing as a silver bullet, but have you ever wondered if any of your colleagues have figured out how to maximize their impact at work? That’s the question we put to eight technologist. We asked them if they had a “secret weapon” that allowed them to accomplish more at the office. These eight people have different backgrounds and job descriptions, but bring a wealth of experience that they have agreed to share in this session.
  • Come to this session to hear more about the secret weapons these eight have developed and then talk with these speakers to identify ways in which you might adapt these tools, tricks and approaches so that they become your secret weapon at work

AFT4  The Insider’s Guide to Budgeting and Negotiating Fees With Clients

  • You may soon be asked to help create an alternative fee arrangement proposal. Do you know what key considerations you should keep in mind? Do you understand how this AFA is likely to be negotiated? Are you and your colleagues ready to implement the results of that negotiation?
  • In this alternative format session, you will experience an AFA negotiation as well as participate in the behind-the-scenes strategizing necessary to reach a result that is a win-win for the firm and the client. Led by two experts on alternative fee arrangements, you’ll learn first-hand what’s important and how best to position your firm to create an AFA that both makes your client happy and can be implemented profitably by your firm. Bring your curiosity and questions, and be prepared to jump right in.

AFT5  Forget the Wild Goose Chase and Focus on High Impact Projects

  • For most of us, our to do lists are longer than our arms. At the end of the day we may get a lot done, but can we say we really made a difference? In this session we’ll look at a framework for differentiating between busy work, beneficial work and work that truly has a high impact on your firm. Then we’ll help each attendee work out a plan to begin shifting their time and attention to the high impact projects.
  • Come to this session to learn how to move your focus to high impact projects. If you manage a team, learn how to apply this approach to the work of your team. If more senior people set your agenda, learn how to use the framework discussed in this session to help your supervisor think more in terms of the institutional impact of your work.

AFT6  ILTA LegalSEC – security best practices from design to implementation

  • Information and network security is the issue that keeps technologists awake at night. Heightened client concern about security means that you and your firm need to be focused on this issue right now. Do you have systems in place to secure your network and data appropriately? Do you have a plan for dealing with the inevitable incursions? Do you have a position that you can defend when clients query your approach?
  • Come to this alternative format session to compare security challenges and approaches with other technologists. Learn from their experience regarding best practices and share what you’ve learned from experience. If you’ve got what seems like an insurmountable security challenge, bring it to this group for suggestions regarding potential solutions. The recommendations of this group will be folded into the new ILTA LegalSEC project that aims to develop best practices and an asset protection framework for law firms.

It’s been my great privilege to help talented ILTA volunteers plan and present these sessions, which run from 8:30-10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. I hope you’ll try at least one alternative format session or, better still, jump in and participate in several of these hands-on, full engagement learning opportunities.


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