LSC's Tech Download Newsletter | January 2018
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Highlighting Innovation in Legal Aid Technology

An Insider's Guide to LSC's Innovations in Technology Conference – January 10-12 in New Orleans

LSC's annual technology conference brings together technologists, legal aid advocates, court personnel, academics, and other professionals to exchange ideas and explore innovative ways of using technology to expand access to justice and high-quality legal representation for low-income people. 

This edition of LSC's Tech Download focuses on the upcoming Innovations in Technology Conference taking place January 10-12 in New Orleans. The newsletter highlights information that will improve the conference experience and other tips for attendees. 

Learn more about the 2018 Tech Conference

Conference Highlights 

The full conference agenda is now online. Here are a few of the highlights: 

Opening Plenary with Bob Ambrogi
Few would dispute that technology is one of the keys to addressing the justice gap. Yet at a time when technological innovation abounds, the justice gap grows only wider. The problem is not technology—it is the justice system’s 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. 

Bob 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 aiming to increase access to justice. This initiative is creating statewide online justice portals to help ensure that all people with civil legal needs can navigate their options and more easily access solutions available from legal aid, the courts, the private bar, and community partners. This session will highlight recent developments in this effort, 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 in history, the Digital Transformation Age is reshaping society at almost every level. Just as electricity and the combustible 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 massively 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 being performed in coordinated harmony. This presentation will largely 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 being greatly enhanced by intelligent applications.
Just Clicking Around: Is That Website Making Any Difference?
What's in a pageview? A session? A click? What is the impact of a statewide legal website offering freely accessible information and online court forms? It is difficult, nearly impossible, to identify the results when people visit a legal services website. A growing percentage of services in the legal community are delivered via short-term interactions, like help desks, apps, chatbots, and statewide websites. How do we measure the impact these services have on the people who use them? This session will explore known outputs, unknown outcomes, and how to piece together a profile of anonymous website visitors. We will discuss how the tools for tracking and analyzing outputs and outcomes might be applied to limited engagements with legal website users. Data scientists will discuss how identifying data relationships can help improve legal services, how predictive modeling works, and why survey design is important. Presenters will answer participants’ questions about where to begin.
Hotlines: The Next Generation
The addition of technologies like automated call distribution, VOIP telephony, and virtual call centers have allowed legal services hotlines to take a giant leap forward. With the arrival of expert systems, the development of sophisticated triage systems, the prevalence of VOIP telephony, as well as speech recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence, exciting new options for this service delivery method have emerged. While some legal services providers are already leveraging these new technologies, others are considering how to get started. This session seeks to explore the next generation of legal hotlines. Panelists will discuss current and planned projects that take hotline service delivery to the next level. Topics will include CMS and telephony integration, expert systems, and a dialogue about how artificial intelligence may play a role in tomorrow's legal services hotlines.
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 a TIG 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.
Watch the 2017 Rapid Fire Tech talks on LSC's website:
Click here for full conference schedule

Conference Mobile Web App

LSC is offering a mobile app that allows attendees to manage their conference schedules easily. Attendees can log into their online conference schedule to create a personal agenda, add or update their profiles, connect with friends and colleagues, and more.

Visit to get started.

Livestreaming Through Facebook Live

LSC will stream several sessions (including the conference highlights listed above) via Facebook Live. You can access the livestream during the conference by visiting:

General Information

Networking Events
Beyond the standard conference program, this conference offers opportunities to network in more informal affinity group sessions and dinners. The affinity group topics are selected using attendee input from the online registration process; they will be held on late Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. Affinity dinners begin Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. CT. Attendees must sign up for these dinners through
Legal Aid Drupal Hackathon
The legal aid community is once again holding a pre-conference hackathon to develop innovative tools and solutions to improve access to justice. The hackathon is not just for techies; it will include legal professionals who understand the needs of low-income individuals and project managers who keep everything on track. The hackathon is being held on Tuesday, January 9, the day before the conference begins. Go to the Legal Aid Hackathon website for more information.
Nearest Coffee Shops
The conference packs a whole lot into a two-and-a-half day event. If you need a pick-me-up, Starbucks and local chain PJ's Coffee are located less than a block away on Canal Street. 
Conference Hashtag
Registration Count
The conference is now sold out, although you can still request to be added to the waitlist. The growth of the conference has been phenomenal. We are expecting 400 attendees, which is about one hundred more people than attended last year. Five years ago, 220 people attended LSC's tech conference. We'll also welcome eight international attendees this year—one from the UK, four from Canada, and three from Australia.
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