Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2011

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 132 of 143

inside iLTA IGNITE LAW IGNITE LAW 2011: Sparking Creativity and Innovative Ideas for the Future of Law Practice and Technology by JoAnna Forshee of I gnite Law 2011, the future of law practice and legal technology presented via 12 six-minute, rapid-fire presentations, is now in the books and — based on social media buzz and attendee feedback — has made quite a positive impression. The two-hour event was held on April 10 and included 12 speakers who were each given six minutes and 18 seconds per slide to pitch the 250+ attendee crowd on their vision of the future of law practice and technology. While several Ignite articles and posts have already been penned, we wanted to provide some insight into how and why the Ignite format works. IGNITE LAW BACKGROUND Ignite Law brainchild Matt Homann of LexThink had seen the Ignite format at various other events and wondered how the format would work in the legal industry. I remember getting a call one day and hearing Matt say, “JoAnna, I have an idea.” Having worked with Matt before on past LexThink events, such as BlawgThink and the LexThink Lounge, I knew it was going to be an adventure. The original test of Ignite Law in 2010, which InsideLegal 134 Peer to Peer co-produced with Matt, featured 16 speakers (including ILTA’s own Joy Heath Rush) presenting to an audience of 150 legal technologists, law firm attendees, legal vendor executives, legal bloggers and media. Based on the positive response from speakers, attendees and our hosts, the ABA, we immediately started thinking about Ignite 2011, which we scheduled as a kick-off event for our host’s 25th anniversary of the ABA’s Law Practice Management section’s TECHSHOW. WHY THE IGNITE FORMAT? If you told a legal IT Director to sit through a presentation on legal ethics, the importance of attorney- client privilege or why lawyers should use Facebook (yawn, not another social media talk), they’d probably run for the hills or perhaps seek out a software upgrade to tend to. All joking aside, the beauty of the 2011 Ignite Law presentations — besides the six-minute time limit — was that they were all based on big ideas stripped down to the core, and they had some sort of relevance to the legal business, technology and/or practice community. Take for example Carolyn Elefant’s “Is Technology the

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