[NOTE: Please welcome guest blogger, Michael J. Robak, Associate Director/Director of Information Technologies, Leon E. Bloch Law Library, University of Missouri – Kansas City.]
year’s ABA Tech Show is from March 16 – 19, 2016. (http://www.techshow.com/ )   It is also the 30th anniversary
of the Tech Show.  This year, for the
first time, an academic specific event is going to be tied to the Tech
Show.  The half day conference, on the
morning of March 16, 2016 is an opportunity for law school faculty and
administration, law students and practitioners to discuss the “how and what” of
teaching technology as well as develop a framework for adding an academic track
to the 2017 program.  Law students are
particularly encouraged to attend the event and the show.  Pricing for law student admission to the 3
day event is $100. (Registration link here: http://www.techshow.com/pricing/ )
is the program description – if you are planning to attend the ABA Tech show,
this will be a great way to start the event!
Technology in the Academy:  Are we
finally at the Tipping Point?
Law School Roundtable discussion held in conjunction with the 2016 ABA Tech
by IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law
16, 2016
– 12 noon
charge for registration
Roundtable Description
marks the 30th Anniversary of the ABA Tech show.  In 1986 the idea of “micro-computers” in law
practice, to quote Jeff Arresty, one of the show’s founders, “was at its
complete inception”.
has changed in those 30 years when it comes to legal technology.  But law schools have not yet fully embraced
the importance of technology competency for law students.  Even though law schools have begun to bring
technology courses to the curriculum and to experiment with innovative concepts
like legal hackathons, much remains to be done. 
July, 2014 and again in April, 2015, the University of Missouri – Kansas City
hosted two conferences on Law Schools, Technology and Access to Justice.  These conferences were supported by the Ewing
Marion Kauffman Foundation and brought together academics, legal technologists
and members of the Access to Justice community. 
One of the stated goals of the conferences was to produce a specific
direction for the teaching of technology in law schools.  A set of principles, referred to informally
as the Kansas City Principles, were developed and state as follows:
Fundamental Principal
In their role of
ensuring that the lawyers of tomorrow have the core competencies to provide
effective and efficient legal services, law schools have the responsibility to
provide all students with education and training to enable them to understand
the risks and benefits associated with current and developing technologies and
the ability to use those technologies appropriately.
Fundamental Principal
In order for lawyers
to fulfill their professional obligations to advance the cause of justice, it
is essential that economically viable models for the delivery of legal services
be developed that allow all members of society to have access to competent
legal representation or effective self-representation regardless of income, and
law schools should assist in the development of technologically-supported legal
marketplaces that help identify available alternatives and, where legal
representation appears most appropriate, to empower those seeking the services
of a lawyer to identify and retain a competent lawyer of choice at reasonable
Fundamental Principal
As part of their
responsibility to assist in providing access to law and justice, law schools
should use their legal knowledge and technological capabilities to make the law
more comprehensible and readily available to the public so as to empower people
to use the law and, where appropriate, lawyers, to improve the quality of their
lives, and should include in this endeavor, among other initiatives , working
with national, state, and local governments to provide the public with free
on-line access to statutes, regulations, cases and other primary law at all
levels of government.  
Fundamental Principal
In order to encourage
community economic development and contribute to a strong global economy, law
schools should educate lawyers who can stimulate entrepreneurship and
innovation and assist in developing technology that can support economically
viable means of providing affordable legal services to small businesses, social
ventures and start-up enterprises.
Fundamental Principal
Because technology has
the potential to reinvent the processes of law in ways that can help achieve
access to justice, law schools should encourage their students, faculty and
graduates to research, teach and implement non-traditional, technological
approaches to legal innovation that will maximize the ways in which individuals
and entities can achieve the benefits of law and legal process.
The explicit goal of this
half day event is to not only continue to drive the discussion that led to
these principles, but to develop an agenda for how to proceed, including how to
involve the ABA Law Practice Management Section and leverage the opportunity
provided by the ABA Tech Show.
In addition, there has never
been a better opportunity for practitioners to help influence law schools on
the best directions in which to proceed with technology training.  It is expected that the roundtable audience
will include not only members of the academy but also practitioners, law
students and vendor representatives, and the participation of all these
segments in the conversation will be beneficial to determining next steps.
8:30 – registration
9:00 –
10:15 – Moderated Panel Discussion:
Technology Competencies for the 21st Century lawyer: The Role for
Today’s Law Schools
     Moderator:            Dean
Ellen Suni – University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law
     Panelists: Professor
Ronald W. Staudt          – IIT Chicago- Kent
School of Law
                        Professor Oliver
Goodenough      – Vermont Law School
                        Professor William
Henderson       – Indiana University
Maurer School of Law
                        Dean Andrew Perlman                   –
Suffolk Law School
– 10:30 – Break
10:30 –
12 noon – Discussion Forum
panel will lead a discussion with members of the audience to move toward
consensus regarding the next steps for advancing the teaching of technology in
law school and examining how the ABA Tech Show can be part of these efforts
going forward.
noon – boxed lunch