CEE Legal Matters is a proud media partner of Lexpo - The Legal Innovation Event, which aims to be the number one source of information about the latest trends in legal innovation in Continental Europe. With the conference drawing closer and closer, CEELM sat down with Ari Kaplan — an attorney and legal industry analyst who will be acting as the Master of Ceremonies at the event — to learn more about what participants can look forward to.
CEELM: What is Lexpo - The Legal Innovation Event and why do you believe it should be on everyone’s calendar?
A.K.: As Lexpo's closing speaker in 2016 and its master of ceremonies in 2018, I have experienced the event from two perspectives. Each year, it evolves and adapts to the needs of its attendees, with unique programming that offers current, fresh, broad-based insights and the highest level of audience engagement that I have seen at any event of its kind around the world. The producers artfully weave networking, content, and collaboration together to create a meaningful experience for everyone involved.
CEELM: Traditionally, when people think of lawyers, they tend to think of a relatively conservative industry. Do you find that this event proves that the assumption is wrong, or serves as part of an effort to change that?
A.K.: While the legal profession is founded on precedent and tradition, it has become heavily focused on innovation. Lexpo provides a forum in which to discuss what's new and why it matters. Attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the organizers each play an equal role in contributing to a collective conversation designed to propel the legal industry forward.
CEELM: You were the Master of Ceremonies of the event last year, and you’re joining it again. What were the main elements that made you return?
A.K.: I had the honor of participating in conversations with some of the global legal community's leading strategists. I have remained in touch with many of those individuals and continue to study their work. I hope to do the same this year. I also have tremendous respect and admiration for the Lexpo team — particularly its founder, Rob Ameerun — and feel fortunate to be able to support its mission of empowering the legal community. And, the event is a lot of fun. From the moment the event begins until the final round of applause, the producers encourage attendees to eat, engage, and explore. The networking breaks always feature an interesting culinary snack theme (e.g., candy bar, designer cupcakes, and giant cookies), the sessions are captured by a visual artist who records and shares the session details in real-time, and the conference dinner is always an adventure. This year, there will be classic eighties arcade machines and a popular startup competition.
CEELM: Looking at the agenda for this year, what session(s) are you looking forward to the most?
A.K.: From smart collaboration and the "Uberization" of law to the impact of culture and the need to build trust in a technology-centric environment, this year's conference has sessions that will appeal to every attendee. My favorite part of the presentations is the interaction with and feedback from the audience. The attendees are themselves leaders in their respective fields so they ask questions, make comments, and add tremendous value in response to the spark that the speakers light.
CEELM: What are the main takeaways you expect attendees to leave the event with?
A.K.: Lexpo is focused on providing ideas and implementation techniques to help participating legal professionals from around the world realize immediate value from the time they spend at the event. Its speakers demonstrate how to convert theory into action and offer practical strategies that attendees can adapt for the benefit of their own communities and organizations.
Ari Kaplan, an attorney and legal industry analyst, is an inaugural Fastcase 50 honoree, a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, and a finalist for the International Legal Technology Association’s Thought Leader of the Year award. He is the author of Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace (Wiley, 2011) and The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development (West Academic, 2nd Ed. 2016). Kaplan serves as the principal researcher for a variety of widely distributed benchmarking reports, has been the keynote speaker for events worldwide, and is the founder of the Lawcountability® business development software platform and iPhone app. He is currently teaching himself to code in python and is a two-time Ironman triathlon finisher.