ReinventLaw London 2014 - a reflection

ReinventLaw London 2014 - a reflection

View profile for David Gilroy
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I spent a really great day at ReinventLaw London on Friday.  Hosted by the University of Westminster Law School in partnership with the Michigan State University College of Law.  This is now one of my favourite events in the whole year.

The conference was opened by Renee Newman Knake, Michigan State University College of Law and John Flood, University of Westminster.

From what I could see the room was pretty full.  Bearing in mind this is a free-to-attend event and it was held on a Friday afternoon AND the sun was shining, it was nice to see that there was not a huge dropout.

As William Barns Graham makes the point in his write up there was a lot of preaching to the converted going on.  There were very few luddites in the room it has to be said and I guess those are the people that really need to be there.  I disagree with William that the lack of a true keynote degraded the event.  The event’s strength is the mix of lawyers, techies, students and just about anyone else who cares to talk about something to “reinvent law”.

The format of the event is a mixture of 6 minute “ignite” format talks and longer 12 minute presentations.  The ignite format dictates that slides move on automatically every 15-20 seconds and you, the presenter, have to keep up. Some presenters nailed it, some not so.  I’ve done one talk like that myself back in 2010 at the Ignite Bristol format. It was titled “Take Responsibility”.  Feel free to take a look.

At times throughout the day, such was the volume of Tweets through the #ReinventLaw hashtag, the event was trending higher than the World Cup!

Having attended ReinventLaw NYC back in April I was curious to observe any differences and I have to say there weren’t that many.  A little less whooping and hollering as you’d expect but that was about it.

I spent the afternoon doing my best to create a mind map of every speaker.  Which I did manage to do.  But by way of apologies to any speaker who might take offence, the size/quality of my mind map is usually in direct proportion to how engaging your talk was to “me”.  Don’t get me wrong, there was some great information in every talk, but for me as a marketing consultant to the legal sector, some topics engaged me more than others.

Major thanks have to go to Lexis Nexis who were the “Powered by” of the event and provided cake and I guess coughed up from the drinks & canapés afterwards.  They have interesting “10 Things you may have missed at #ReinventLaw” post on their The Future of Law blog.

There’s also a pretty good précis of where everything is regarding the event on the Legal Informatics Blog  and there is also the Storify page the event created by Robert Richards.

I’ve got two awards to make.

  1. Best Slides - Brian Inkster and his talk on “improving”. Some great imagery and few words.  You HAD to listen to what he was saying.
  2. Best Rehearsed Presentation - Hyun Muniz & Meaghan McKeon from the Michigan State University College of Law for their double act on “What’s the Buzz”.  Impeccable timing.

The event was closed by Liz Duff, Head of Westminster Law School, University of Westminster who had and awful lot of people to thank and did it in a nice gushy “Oscar style” way….and I say that with no malice intended.

As the conference closed it was next door to the networking drinks and canapés which was pretty well attended and in a classic networking/the world is very small way, met someone who used to be the next door neighbour of my cousin who lives in Levin, New Zealand….”Hi Sarah!”.

It’s a great event, that more people should put on their calendars.  Pay attention to for dates of the 2015 conference.