Yes. Yes. The big news for ABA TechShow 2011 is its keynote: Larry Lessig. While that is certainly exciting, and will no doubt be a big draw for its 25th Anniversary, it’s not what caught my attention. It’s not what has gotten me really excited and counting the days until April 11, 2011. I know. Weird, huh? What could possibly be more exciting than Larry Lessig speaking? His book, “Code 2.0” was quite good. His speeches I’ve seen online are good. Who wouldn’t be excited?
OK. I’m excited, but Lessig’s keynote takes second fiddle to what caught my attention and caused my Twitter eruption of glee.
Under “Emerging Technology,” there is this title: The Open Source Powered Law Firm.
Yes. Really. Go ahead and read it again. I’ve re-read almost every day! Ben Schorr had to confirm it for me, that I really had read The Open Source Law Firm correctly and wasn’t seeing things, or that it wasn’t a fluke that has since been removed. At the time of this post, it’s still there!
I’d like to think that my somewhat incessant “#opensource ABA #techshow 2011” tweets played a part. And yes, they were somewhat incessant. Once a week, few times a month. Not every other tweet or every day. Nothing extravagant or ridiculous. The point isn’t to alienate people. The point is to keep something in front of people. And I’d like to think it worked, but I’m betting the still sullen economy played a bigger role.
Whatever the reason, The Open Source Law Firm session is bringing open source to TechShow 2011. Ben mentioned they noticed the tweets, but said it had been on the short list last year and just didn’t make it.
There was a whole bunch of good stuff last year, and since time is tight, I get that not everything can make it on the schedule. The fact that an open source session was even on the table, though, is encouraging. The fact that it’s a session this year is downright exciting!
I admit that I consider the ABA to be a bit stuffy as an organization, but I have met some cool, forward-thinking people at the ABA, and somewhat loosely follow leadership changes. It seems to be a little less stuffy, a little less tech-adverse, each year. The ABA Journal keeps a finger on the legal-tech pulse, and I get the impression that some members of the ABA leadership pay attention. That’s a good thing.
Change isn’t easy, and the legal profession has gone through some rough ones due to the recession. As I said before, losing a job causes a kind of grieving process. It takes time to work through that. It takes time to process, come to terms and ready yourself for whatever comes next. It took me about a year and a half. I wasn’t really comfortable until June of this year.
The ABA, and the legal profession, has had time to process changes since TechShow 2010, and they recognize a need for the legal profession: low cost-to-no-cost alternatives to every day software. So The Open Source Law Firm is on the schedule.
And I’m just downright excited!
Now I want to know who is presenting The Open Source Law Firm…and I’m not entirely sure I can guess, but I do have a couple ideas…