This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Lawfest 2019 attendee Jay Pierce and has been republished.

I recently attended LawFest2019 and was struck by how the event had matured since I last attended the inaugural event in 2013. As a newly minted lawyer at the time, I walked straight into large commercial litigation that would have me in discovery for most of my first two years. While excited to be part of a big cases, I was daunted by the volume of work.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to attend a new ediscovery conference called LawFest. It was a comprehensive overview of the topic (EDRM, online courts, views from the bench). This experience would see me championing new tools and developing workflows. It was all about cool new gadgets! Having started down this rabbit hole at Tompkins Wake, the stars aligned when Jon Calder, its current CEO, unexpectedly stepped up to MC.

The recent LawFest was an entirely different beast. It focused on thoughtful, deliberate, and meaningful innovation – change that adds value. The lineup was a who’s who of NewLaw. From LawSquared’s Demetrio Zema, L’Oréal’s Anna Lozynski, to O10 Group’s Tristan Forrester and Lisa Leong (you promised singing and did not disappoint!), the message was about authentic relationships sitting at the heart of innovation.

Just as LawFest rescued us from Summation in 2013, its latest iteration provided much needed context to the barrage of AI and blockchain in 2018. LawFest clearly has its finger on the pulse. Well done Andrew King. I look forward to seeing how this beast grows.