Legal Aid Technology Conference to Be Held in New Orleans

January 8, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – The Innovations in Technology Conference, sponsored by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), will be held January 10-12 at the JW Marriott New Orleans, 614 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. This annual conference is the nation's largest gathering of experts dedicated to using technology to address the civil legal needs of low-income Americans.

After 17 years as the “Technology Initiative Grants Conference,” LSC has changed the event's name to reflect the growing community of people who now attend each year to share ideas and explore innovative ways of promoting access to justice. The Innovations in Technology Conference will continue to bring together technologists, legal aid advocates, court personnel, academics, and other professionals to showcase technology projects and tools being implemented across the country and internationally. It will also offer attendees the opportunity to network with a diverse community of colleagues and to cultivate project ideas. A record-breaking 400 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

"Technology plays an important role in making legal information widely accessible," said LSC President Jim Sandman. "This conference stimulates collaboration, creativity, and communication. It promotes new initiatives that will help make justice more accessible for Americans who cannot afford to pay for legal assistance." 

Sandman will join LSC Board Chair John G. Levi in delivering opening remarks at the conference.

Other highlights from the conference agenda include:

  • Opening Plenary with Bob Ambrogi
    Few would dispute that technology is one of the keys to addressing the justice gap—the difference between the need for civil legal services among low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. Yet at a time when technological innovation abounds, the justice gap seems to grow only wider. The problem is not technology—it is the failure to fully employ it. In this presentation, Bob Ambrogi will explore the impediments to broader use of technology and what can be done to overcome them. 

    Ambrogi is a lawyer and legal journalist who has been writing and speaking about technology for two decades. He writes the "Ambrogi on Tech" column for the ABA Journal and the award-winning blog LawSites, which the ABA Journal named to its inaugural Blawg Hall of Fame in 2012. Since August 2005, he has co-hosted the award-winning legal-affairs podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, available through the Legal Talk Network. He recently joined LexBlog as a publisher and editor-in-chief of a new arm of the company that will make legal news more easily and intuitively accessible.

  • Incubating Innovation in the Aloha and Midnight Sun States: Updates on the Justice Portal Initiative
    LSC, in partnership with Microsoft and Pro Bono Net, has designated Alaska and Hawaii as pilot jurisdictions for an innovative program to increase access to justice. This initiative is creating statewide online justice “portals” to help ensure that all people with civil legal needs can identify their options and access solutions available online and from legal aid, the courts, the private bar, and community partners. This session will highlight recent developments in this project, including key findings from initial user immersion studies in Alaska and Hawaii and developments in the project's cutting-edge technology strategies. Attendees will also learn about the challenges and opportunities the project collaborators have identified in bringing this ambitious vision to life.

  • Emerging Technologies: Harnessing the Exponential Power of Digital Technology to Transform Legal Systems
    Some have labeled the current era the Digital Transformation Age (a period predicted to last from 2000 to 2050). Much like previous eras, the Digital Transformation Age is reshaping society at almost every level. Just as electricity and the combustion engine redefined how we lived and worked during the Second Industrial Revolution, intelligent machines and infinite (quantum) computing, powered by Big Data and Moore’s Law, are transforming fundamental aspects of our personal and professional lives. This exponential shift is not being fueled by a single technology, but rather is a carefully orchestrated symphony of several technologies performed in coordinated harmony. This presentation will focus on the impact Artificial Intelligence may have on the delivery of legal services and the practice of law. It will examine fundamental tasks that legal staff do every day (e.g., reading, writing, and applying knowledge) and demonstrate how each is greatly enhanced by intelligent applications.

  • Rapid Fire Tech: A Show and Tell of Technology Projects and Ideas
    If you had six minutes to share an idea, best practice, or show off an LSC-funded technology project, what would you talk about? What if you had only 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 20 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together events like this to share their ideas. This plenary will feature a series of short presentations highlighting innovative technology projects and ideas. It will be fast-paced and informative.

LSC will livestream these sessions and others during the conference via Facebook Live. To view them, visit LSC’s Facebook page. For a complete list of session descriptions and presenters, visit the conference page.   

Conference Twitter hashtag: #LSCITCon

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.