Igniting a Profession in Need of Change

March 25, 2010 · Posted in Feature, Law / Legal 

Last night I went to an event called IgniteLaw.  IgniteLaw was the idea of Matt Homann, an innovative legal consultant who has brought people together in un-conference formats before with LexThink and BlawgThink (both of which I’ve participated and been a speaker at).  IgniteLaw is a bi-product of the Ignite concept originally developed by the O’Reilly group as a way to energize presentations and share thought provoking ideas.  The concept  of Ignite is:

“Fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global—Ignite is all of these and more. It’s a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea—and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd.”

Ed Adams Speaking @ IgniteLaw

Ed Adams @ IgniteLaw

IgniteLaw was actually 6-minute presentations that included 20 slides that auto-transitioned after 18 seconds.  The theme of the presentations were about the future of the practice of law.  Matt assembled 16 great speakers (I only was able to stay for 10 of them), many of whom I call friends.  Ed Adams, the Editor and Publisher of the ABA Journal (and my current boss) spoke about the future of legal journalism and the Legal Rebels project he conducted last year as a story about the future of the practice of law, or rather the Rebels that are changing the way law is practiced.

Now I think what was great about this night was that every presenter had an idea on how to make the practice of law better.  Ed covered what was already happening.  Tom Mighell covered how law schools can make lawyers better by teaching them how to run a practice, or practice management skills in law school.  And Larry Port discussed how Agile product development methodology and how it can relate to lawyers in their case work.   When you think about idea sharing and maybe even to a degree an extension of brainstorming, Ignite is a concept that could be applied to not only conferences, but how you give presentations at work or when you want to share an idea.  Short, concise, simple.

IgniteLaw was about how the legal profession can emerge from its current crisis and be better.  How can your industry change, and can you Ignite a change?

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