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Top Legal Conferences in 2020

By Kristin Tyler & Dan Lear
January 29, 2020

Between the two of us, we’ve been to more legal conferences - all over the U.S. – than we probably care to admit.  Some good, some better, some amazing and certainly some that left a lot to desire.  Let us save you some headaches as you evaluate which legal conferences you want to invest your time and resources in attending this year.

Dan and Kristin Agree You Can’t Miss …

Clio Cloud Conference: C’mon, you knew this was going to be here. It’s really the best, most enjoyable conference in legal. And consider this our strong plug to keep it in San Diego permanently. Sure, San Diego travel is way easier for us West Coasters than NOLA or Chicago but, as just one small example, the morning run along the Pacific Ocean in October and the San Diego weather CAN’T. BE. BEAT. 

Beyond the amazing locale and weather, there’s a reason the Clio Cloud Conference (October 15-16, 2020) gets rave reviews from attendees, speakers and vendors alike year after year.  It has an energy unlike any other legal conference.  The conference attracts business minded attorneys who are committed to providing their clients with a fantastic legal experience.  Clio attendees won’t accept the status quo when it comes to the practice of law.  They want to innovate, and the Clio Cloud Conference is hands down one of the best places for attorneys to learn cutting edge ideas.  

Our friends at Clio have graciously given our readers a 10% discount on passes for the 2020 Conference – just sign up at this link using the code "LAWCLERK-LEGAL".  See you there! 

Dan’s Favorites 

CodeX FutureLaw 2020: FutureLaw might be my favorite legal conference. In my experience, this is where some of the biggest, deepest thinking about the future of the legal sector occurs. FutureLaw never fails to disappoint and the crowd it draws might be the best part about it. Besides, you can’t beat Northern California in April (sensing a theme here?).

Lawyerist LabCon: Formerly known as TBDLaw (which is what it was called when I attended it a few years ago) Lawyerist LabCon “is an invite-only, curated event . . . [where attendees] . . . work with [their] peers and a curated group of legal thought leaders to redesign [their] practice from the ground up.” I thoroughly enjoyed TBDLaw but the most impressive thing about it is the community that the folks at Lawyerist have built is the people. It feels like they’ve pulled every interesting, innovative lawyer out of their hidey-hole or practice and roped them into their community. It’s a great group. LabCon is invite-only and you must be a Lawyerist Lab member to attend. I’m not necessarily endorsing joining Lawyerist Lab, though I’m not saying not to join, either, that’s up to you. But if rethinking your practice surrounded by a bunch of innovative lawyers is your thing, I’d definitely consider getting to LabCon.

Inspire Legal: Inspire Legal is in its second year. I really like and respect InspireLegal organizer Christian Lang and I have I’ve had a pretty good window into how hard he’s worked to put this together and pull off what, by many accounts from last year, seems to be one not to miss . . . with one asterisk. One thing I’m very conscious of is how many rank-and-file lawyers and legal professionals are attending some of these events. It’s all well and good to talk about the future of legal but if you can’t get the people on the front lines to show up - let alone listen and be engaged - you’re not going to have a significant impact. While FutureLaw is admittedly one more for the geeks and futurists, the other two events I’ve listed above, have managed to bring in a lot of practicing lawyers and expose them to a bunch of new ideas. I haven’t attended InspireLegal, though I plan to this year. I’m hopeful, optimistic even, that InspireLegal will deliver on all its promise. 

BEDLAM Conference: If there’s a true successor in interest to what Avvo’s Lawyernomics was, the BEDLAM Conference might be it. Put on by a handful of legal marketing who you’d think would be far more competitive than they truly are, you’ll probably not get better insight into legal marketing, and definitely not into digital legal marketing than you will at BEDLAM. I’m not sure if I’ll make it this year, but I can’t recommend the content or the people behind it (most of whom I’ve met and know fairly well) highly enough.  Big shout out to GNGF, Juris Digital, Mockingbird, Attorney Sync and Nifty for collaborating for such a killer event! 

Kristin’s Favorites 

If you are looking to “grow your tribe” with a group of fellow business minded lawyers than be sure to check out Maximum Lawyer Conference.  This group is led by attorneys Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux and has grown into a collaboration of attorneys from all over the world.  The next Maximum Lawyer Conference will be held June 11-12 in St Louis bringing together thought leaders from the legal/entrepreneurial community.  This conference is your opportunity to join hundreds of forward thinking attorneys to work ON your practice and build the business and law firm of your DREAMS.  The conference speakers tackle systems, digital and offline marketing, hiring and firing, and building the type of firm that supports the lifestyle you envision.

In addition, I’ve been to a handful of practice area specific events that are fantastic.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference (June 15-16, 2020) has an energy very similar to the Clio Conference.  Immigration lawyers are passionate advocates committed to helping their clients achieve the American dream.  This year’s event will be in San Diego (yes!) and over 3,000 are expected to attend.  If you are an immigration lawyer and can’t make it to the annual conference be sure to catch a chapter event near you.

If you’ve read the blog, you know that my background is as a trusts and estates attorney.  I’ve been a long-time member of Wealth Counsel and am a big fan of their Symposium event. The 2020 Symposium will be in Denver on July 20-24.  Whether you are a long-time practicing estates attorney or looking to add this as a practice area the education and programming at Symposium are unmatched. 

Last but certainly not least, I’ve got to make a pitch for an awesome legal event in my hometown: CAALA Vegas (September 3-6, 2020 Wynn Las Vegas).  The Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles is the nation's largest local association of plaintiffs' attorneys.  CAALA puts on this annual event and over 2,000 of its members and visiting attorneys attend.  Last year I met attorneys from all over the country who traveled in for the event to take advantage of its top-notch programming and networking. 

No matter if you choose to attend one of these conferences or another that better suits your interests, we encourage you to take the time to invest in yourself and your business in 2020!  Chances are if you venture out to a legal conferences you just may run into Kristin or Dan somewhere along the way.

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