ABA TECHSHOW 2016 is underway, and I had a moment to catch up with David Curle, director of Strategic Competitive Intelligence with Thomson Reuters, to give us a preview of his session, “How Is the New What: Rethinking Legal Work,” that will be held later today in the EXPO Hall.

This afternoon, my colleague from our Legal Managed Services business, Ed Sohn, and I will host a session on a fundamental shift we are seeing, which is that innovation in the legal industry is getting closer to the core of legal practice and workflow and is less about the tech in the back office.

At its core, this is changing how lawyers serve clients.

What’s interesting is that there is a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, and how it is coming to change, or perhaps kill your practice. But these things are already here in ways that practitioners are comfortable with.

For example, the natural language capabilities within Westlaw has changed research, and lawyers are familiar with this already. The trick is to see where certain technologies are today, and where they are moving next, including predictive analytics, which we will talk about.

Beyond that, the number and nature of players in this industry is changing, and how they engage one another is evolving quickly.  Firms, data providers, technology providers, and clients are collaborating and building together.

Such is the case with what Akerman has done to build client-facing products that leverage third party products and Thomson Reuters content.

The real challenge in all this is that if innovation is going to come from firms, they need to be more comfortable leveraging design, process management and other expertise to create something that moves the industry forward.

For more, visit the session How Is the New What: Rethinking Legal Work, from 2:45-4:00 in The EXPO Hall today at ABA TECHSHOW.

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