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Why you should attend the CALICon this summer.

The Conference for Law School Computing (a.k.a. CALI Conference) was conceived to be a place where techies, law librarians and faculty could get together and talk about projects, applications, workflow, staffing and new ideas that had some technical aspect. The common theme was law schools + technology. 21 years ago, this was a small crowd (we had about 70 attendees at the first conference), but today, a lot of technology is moving into the woodwork – effectively...(Read on for more)

disappearing. We no longer have sessions that compare Word to WordPerfect or how to convince faculty to use email or student printing. Clay Shirky once said “When technology disappears, that's when things get interesting”.

This too is true for us. It's not so much about the technology, it's about the social network. If you are involved in technology at your law school, you should come to the conference, learn about cool things that others are doing at their law schools, take them back to your law school and take credit for thinking them up. The CALI Conference is the greatest crowd-sourced, educational opportunity you
will find for your job.

The conference fee, hotel and travel costs may be prohibitive for your institution, but here are some things you should know.

  • Almost all of your meals are covered – breakfast, lunch all three days, dinner on 1 day, tons of snacks and drinks in between.
  •  I guarantee that you will learn at least one thing that will MORE than pay for the cost of the conference in the coming year.
  • These are your colleagues and if you make a little effort, your friends. They deal with the same problems you do, they work in the same environment and they are most likely to hire you if you decide to change cities.
  • There are 30 minute breaks between every session and lunch is 90 minutes long. This is to give you plenty of time to decompress between sessions and talk about things with other attendees. I have often gotten more out of the conference from these conversations than he sessions.
  • The agenda is assembled practically at the last minute so that the topics are fresh and current.

If you are a CIO/Director of IT, consider sending some of your front-line folks to rejuvenate their excitement about their jobs. There are 200 law schools in the US and it's plain silly for each one to re-invent the wheel every time they have to deal with a technical/social/administration project. Someone, somewhere has already solved your problem and they are probably talking about it at the CALI Conference.

We are starting to run out of reserved hotel rooms in Milwaukee, so make your reservations NOW NOW NOW.


John Mayer, CALI Executive Director