This year's Legal Geek became a tremendous week long festival fiesta, with its flagship Legal Geek conference on the Wednesday and the follow up Legal Design Geek workshops on the Thursday. It was the biggest yet, trending on Twitter and with over 2,000 attendees. There were three larger main stages to hold the standing room-only crowds, and the startup alley had matured into a startup village. More importantly, the event was single-use plastic free, which was great to see.
There was a real shift this year, with a collective nodding of heads and broad agreement around what needed to change in the industry. Three main themes dominated the conference; data-driven law, legal design and building agile into our innovation. Coming from a data background, these talks really resonated with me. Even the shiniest technology, without well thought out and well understood data, becomes absolutely pointless. Models, processes and data all need to be properly aligned before we can begin to understand what application technology might have in solving problems and 'getting stuff done'.
Dr. Khalid Al-Kofahi from Thomson Reuters set out some beautifully logical architecture, from the data we can track to the meta-data we can extract, and the applications and technology that is available to us activate and build value from said data. Damn, I love me a good framework!
The startup village was a hive of conversations, handshakes and high-fives. And the BETA 2019 Legal Tech Startup Map has been entirely overhauled this year, tracking over 250 startups and scaleups – the biggest so far. The taxonomy is worth a look to understand the shape of European legaltech innovation in 2019. Really interesting when you compare the shape of the startup map from 2017, the amount of startups and the areas with the most saturation. It tells a fascinating story of where the demand is and where problems seem to be successfully meeting the technology.
Documents and Contracts, for example, is a busy old space in all the various applications, including names we keep hearing more about, like Avvoka and Juro. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next year, and how startups throughout the entire flow might be able to evolve their services together. The concept of solving problems by buying, building or bricolaging the best technology together still stands, and the startups that make this easy are the startups that will get scaling.
On the Disco Stage, complete with disco ball and party lights, we spent the afternoon getting agile with it. We heard about creating an agile culture, joining up the knowledge inside our organisations and all the good that comes from agile innovation. At Kyan, we are all about agile and innovation – solving big problems, getting stuff done and doing it faster. You can read more about that from our Scrum Master, Amy, right here.
Legal Geek this year was on another level, bringing together a huge and diverse collection of startups, technologists, students, investors and legal practitioners. The spontaneous high-fiving this year was joined by a collective sea of nodding as we all agreed on the principles we need to build ourselves a shinier, data-driven, agile, technology-enhanced legal industry. Here's to the next one.
However, the high-fives didn't end there. Oh no. Legal Geek is followed by the excellent Legal Design Geek. And this year was a very special one for us. We partnered with DWF Ventures to deliver a whole day of design sprint workshops to hundreds of legal professionals. Split into five sessions of five, we ran a blistering 25 workshops throughout the day. We were overwhelmed with the positive response from attendees and had a great time chatting to people about their digital product challenges. See what you missed below.
Look like your kinda thing? We're holding something similar in a few weeks. Join us for a 'legaltech special' of our Campus Design Sprints workshop. That's on Thursday 21st November in Bedford Square, London. It's free to attend but spaces are limited, so sign up quick! We'll be there to teach you everything you need to know about design sprints. A great workshop not to be missed. Perfect for product teams, project managers, design managers, business owners and CEOs. Head over to joincampus.tech or click the banner for details.
Previous Conference Spotlights from the Kyan team:
Women of Silicon Roundabout 2019 by Amy Callaghan
Lead Dev London 2019 by Tom Winter
Full Stack London 2018 by Erica Porter
London Fintech Week by Ben Horsley-Summer
Paris.rb by Erica Porter
UX London by Rob Edwards
Bath Ruby by Karen Fielding
Rails Conf 2018 by Stephen Giles