The Future Is Now 2.018

Lawyers, judges and others in the law to joined together on May 2, 2018 for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s third annual conference: The Future Is Now: Legal Services 2.018.  Our aim was to foster learning, inspiration, and conversations about innovations in the delivery of legal services.

During this essential and insightful forum, experts presented a series of compelling TED-like talks about where our profession is headed. Based on feedback from the last two conferences, this conference had expanded opportunities for participants to question, comment, and react to the speakers’ talks. We discussed that there is not a single path forward and we examined innovative and alternative solutions that will be good for our lawyers, our clients, and society.

Resources & Report


The Future Is Now 2.018 featured 10 speakers from across the country. Lawyers, entrepreneurs, and innovators gathered to discuss the practicality of artificial intelligence, legal research algorithms, retaining diverse talent, the ethical obligations of data analytics, equal justice as a bi-partisan issue, criminal justice reform, and much more.  Watch the talk videos of clicking on the speakers below.

Ed Walters

Ed Walters: The Malpractice of Hunches: Data Analytics

Clients ask lawyers the most important questions facing their families and trust lawyers for their expertise. But lawyers answer these questions, for the most part, based on limited experience (at best) or hunches (at worst). Businesses analyze data for every part of their business, from marketing and supply chain to personnel and sales – ...
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Kristen Sonday

Kristen Sonday: The Changing Face of Legal Entrepreneurship

2017 seemed to be the ‘Year of the Woman’ in legal tech. With noteworthy exits, exciting new pursuits, and increasing female leadership, there appears to be a positive momentum in the changing face of legal entrepreneurship. However, within tech, only 3% of venture capital is invested in female founders, and less than 1% in Black/Latinx ...
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Toussaint Romain

Toussaint Romain: Serving Our Client AND Healing the System

I once saw a centuries old adage etched in marble, which read “a lawyer heals the ills of society.” Such a powerful statement, but what lawyer has time for that? We are overwhelmed with demands, burdened with running a business and wearied by the juggernaut adversarial battles inflicted upon us by opposing counsel. And let’s not forget...
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Jane DiRenzo Pigott

Jane DiRenzo Pigott: Future of Talent: Retaining Diverse Attorneys

The “best and the brightest” lawyers in the junior ranks of the profession do not “look” like the ones at the top. According to the 2017 NALP Report on Diversity, minorities account for 8.4% of partners in the nation’s major firms. Women account for 22.7%. Year after year, firms across the country neglect these demographics in the ...
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John Levi

John Levi: Equal Justice for All?

The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance ends with the phrase “with liberty and justice for all”- reminding us of our country’s guiding principle that justice should be accessible to everyone. Most low-income Americans, however, are forced to work through civil legal matters without representation. In 2016, 71% of low-income households nationwide re...
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Daniel Linna

Daniel Linna: Measuring Innovation to Improve Legal-Services Delivery

“To drive change, rather than rank law firms on revenue and profit, rank and assess them on their use of technology.” This was just one of ten suggestions by Jim Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, during his May 2016 keynote at the CodeX FutureLaw conference at Stanford Law School. Why do we need to drive change? For s...
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Thomas Hamilton

Thomas Hamilton: Artificial Intelligence: Reimagining the Future of Law

In the last several years, artificial intelligence has achieved incredible milestones -- milestones that continue to dramatically transform the legal profession. Thanks to AI, our profession has dawned on a new golden era – one that has created a new breed of lawyer – the technology-empowered legal professional. This once theoretical tec...
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Nicole Bradick

Nicole Bradick: Law’s Interface Problem

Over the last two decades, the legal profession has made significant strides using technology to create greater access to legal information and support. Yet, the overwhelming majority of low-income Americans still do not have adequate help for their civil legal services. With an onslaught of private technology offerings, law school programs,...
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Nicole Black

Nicole Black: Practicing with the Machines

A buzzword in our profession, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to save lawyers both time and money.  These technologies hold the promise of automating the routine aspects of practicing law, allowing lawyers to focus on more interesting, high level analytical tasks. However, AI has a long way to go before it becomes useful and affordab...
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