I just spent five days at two conferences dedicated to the 10 percent in law who make up big firms and big corporations, wondering how legal tech and innovation became the domain of the legal elite, and how true change will come about in law without more voices at the table.
The first four days of my week were at Legalweek, the conference formerly known as Legaltech and still primarily focused on technology. On Friday, I detoured to Inspire.Legal, a new “unconference” devoted to “inspiring creative new solutions” to “the most pressing problems facing our industry.”
They were very different events. Legalweek is a venerable trade show, started in 1982, where buyers of legal technology go to shop for products and attend educational sessions. Inspire.Legal is a brand-new, fresh, and creative attempt to explore the problems that face the legal industry and begin to craft solutions.
But in addition to their same-week timing and New York City venue, the two shared one defining characteristic: They were predominately by, for, and about the roughly 10 percent of the legal industry dominated by the world’s largest law firms and corporations.