Top Legal Conferences to Attend in 2018

Have you made your 2018 travel plans yet? Consider some of these options to enhance your understanding of the future of law and the challenges of the present. From the limitless possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI), to difficult immigration and health care questions, peers and experts will gather to reflect, instruct, and engage at these legal conferences.

American Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting 2018

Vancouver, BC, Canada

January 31-February 6, 2018

The ABA takes a rare trip north for its semi-annual, week-long conference. The event covers virtually every major practice area, from business law and civil rights to technology and tort law. Apart from being a gathering place for top practitioners from a wide range of disciplines, it’s the place the ABA’s movers and shakers gather. Included in the program will be the Spirit of Excellence Awards and meetings of the ABA Board of Governors and ABA House of Delegates. Also keep an eye out for the ABA’s 2018 annual meeting, August 2-7 in Chicago.

ABA Techshow 2018

Chicago, IL

March 7-10, 2018

Technology is reshaping the practice of law. It affects everything from client acquisition to discovery through the courtroom experience itself. This annual conference gives practitioners a chance to learn from leaders and innovators, earn CLE credits, and grapple with the latest tech trends. On this year’s agenda are trendy topics ranging from evidence collected by Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the wide-ranging implications for AI in the practice of law, and stress tests of up-and-coming legal tech solutions.

Other notable legal tech shows include LegalTech (January 30 – February 1 in New York) and ILTACON (August 19-23 in National Harbor, Maryland).

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2018 Annual Conference

San Francisco, CA

June 13-16, 2018

An estimated 3,000 professionals focused on justice and due process surrounding immigration law and policy attend this annual legal conference. Tensions are high for the next installment, which had been booked for Texas until the state legislature passed SB 4, which directs local law enforcement. The AILA board quickly condemned the law and moved the conference to California. The 2018 conference program is not available as of this writing. However, the 2017 conference included detailed presentations on everything from visas to the intricacies of immigration denials and removals.

2018 Annual Bioethics Conference

April 12-13, 2018

Boston, MA

This multidisciplinary conference brings together healthcare professionals, legal practitioners, and ethics specialists to discuss the 50-year history of brain death. This landmark notion reshaped the practice of medicine. It has sparked many debates over extraordinary care measures, organized organ donation and transplants from living individuals. More than a historical recap, the conference will focus on how emerging technologies and genetic editing are changing the ethical landscape.

Practitioners with a strong interest in ethics should also keep an eye out for the International Association of Legal Ethics’ 2018 conference in Melbourne, Australia. Dates and program details for this biannual event were unavailable as of this writing.

Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference 2018

April 9-11, 2018

New Orleans, LA

Over 1,500 individuals are expected to attend this event, billed as the largest marketing-centered expo for the legal profession. The conference is built around tracks in business development, client services, technology, marketing, communications and the business of law itself. From becoming a more data-driven practice to finding growth in an oversupplied marketplace for legal services, leaders and solo practitioners alike can find ways to build for the future.

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