Takeaways from Legalweek West 2017

Golden Gate bridge

Last week, One Legal joined dozens of other innovative tech companies and hundreds of legal professionals from around the world at the 2017 Legalweek West conference.

We gathered in the heart of San Francisco, the host city for this event for the past three years. From our booth #504, we visited with attendees who are SF natives themselves, spoke with visitors from the Midwest, East Coast, and met one person who came all the way from Sãu Paulo.

Previously known as LegalTech West, the conference has shifted to accommodate a changing focus, from technology alone to include operations, small businesses, diversity, and other important factors that have begun to matter more and more to the legal industry in the United States.

Trends in the industry

From the discussions happening in and around our booth to the topics by speakers from around the country, it seems that many of the same concerns are cropping up for law firms in many different counties and states.

Panels of legal strategists, engineers, and operations managers spoke along with journalists and leaders in the industry on topics like:

Legal operations

Making the most of the team while feeding its resources. Just as a company wouldn’t run any other part of their business’ operations on a $30 million budget with a single operations person, why should legal be any different?


The most precious commodity in today’s legal industry? You’d better sit down, because it turns out that it’s time! Presenters discussed automation, streamlining legal technology, and how to maximize your resources when you’re asked to do more with less.

Tech innovation

Just because they changed the name to broaden the focus doesn’t mean that the core of this conference did not center around innovations in the industry, and particularly on technological changes. Prominent buzzwords included software, disruption, and—of course—innovation.

Free speech

In the keynote speech, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent and free speech legal scholar, Ari Melber, discussed the realities of free speech in today’s political climate. His talk included what to expect in a setting where prosecuting and replacing the free press was being posited by the highest authority in the land. Also, could fake news be a possible case for fraud charges? Time will tell.


A series of forums centered on how to overcome blind spots and unconscious bias in hiring practices, how to create a diverse and inclusive law firm and legal operations departments. Speakers addressed ways to identify and develop minority talent as well as the generational shift currently taking place in the workforce.

Highlights of the event

For One Legal, this event was a fantastic opportunity to connect with many of our current customers, as well as meet a variety of legal support staff, educators, courthouse staff, and fellow innovators in the legal space.

The panels and speakers gave us insight into and perspective on what is happening across the legal field. And we came away able to orient ourselves a little better with the upcoming trends and standards of the space.

Plus, we got to give away a new Kindle Fire to Pam Wolpa, a faculty member of the Paralegal Studies Department at San Francisco State University. Thanks for playing!

And thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi! We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Did you attend Legalweek West 2017? Tell us your thoughts about the event in the comments.

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