Sold out conference focuses on technology
More than 400 lawyers gathered today in Toronto for the Law Society’s annual Solo and Small Firm Conference.
The sold out event, now in its eighth year, runs through Friday and features panelists and a vendor expo where lawyers can check out a variety of technology products designed to help them optimally manage their practices.
The popularity of the event highlights how resourceful solo and small firm lawyers need to be in adopting suitable practice management tools in order to maintain and grow their practices. Increasingly, those tools include software, apps and social media accounts.
Thursday panels such as Get Your Head and Practice in the Cloud as well as Planning and Marketing for a Successful Future provided attendees with expert perspectives, networking opportunities and with a platform where they could discuss their own experience.
Such conversations were happening both at the Metro Convention Centre and online — particularly among guests who were following several panel sessions on Twitter via @LSUCCPD and #solosmall.
Criminal lawyer, Adam Goodman, has returned to the event for five consecutive years, in part so that he can learn about current best practice management techniques and in part to connect with colleagues.
Called to the Bar in 2008, Goodman says that digital branding has always been an important part of his practice. Cuts to Legal Aid put pressure on him to secure business on his own, he said. He found his first clients on Craigslist and has gained more through his blog.
“A lot of it is out of necessity. With cuts…criminal lawyers have to go out and find work on their own,” he said, Thursday.
“There is traditional networking. The other way is to get online.”
The blog gained some profile in 2010 when Goodman outlined his experience working pro bono for people arrested during the G20 Summit. While Goodman admits it can be challenging to write consistently, he said it is well worth it to maintain a presence online.
In recent years, the Solo and Small Firm Conference has seen an increase in the number of attendees following sessions via Twitter and engaging online with both one another and Law Society event organizers.
Attendance this year topped 420 with an additional 160 people following the livestream online.
As social media continues to forge a role in commerce and live events, legal professionals are increasingly aware that they need to know how such platforms work, Law Society Treasurer, Thomas Conway said.
“In using social media platforms at a conference such as Solo and Small, attendees can be exposed to its benefits in a low-risk, but informative way.”
Friday’s panels include Social Media: Are You There Yet? which will address how some lawyers and firms are approaching their branding in the digital space.