The SubTech Way: Context for an Unconventional Conference

With SubTech2016 set to start in around two months, we want to share context to this unconventional conference.  We are preparing to announce details for workshops, collaboration opportunities and our discussion framework.  Unti then, read this background piece explaining “The SubTech Way” developed over the years…

The SubTech Way

This conference series is dedicated to substantive applications of information technology in law, as they are used or studied in legal education.

  • By “substantive” we mean applications that deal with the distinctively legal substance of what lawyers, judges, and law teachers do.
  • By “legal education” we mean all contexts in which law is studied and taught (not just traditional law schools).

The historical application categories include

  • Computer-aided instruction, broadly conceived
  • Artificial intelligence & knowledge management
  • Practice technologies like document automation
  • Legal research, databases

These applications and contexts define such a vast landscape of subjects that we avoid getting into doctrine, policy, and other collateral matters.  (For instance, “law of technology” topics like privacy and intellectual property.)

Our focus, in other words, is on where the technology of law intersects with legal education.  In a truly international gathering that nurtures inter-specialty exchange.

Organizational Principles:

  • Lots of open spaces for informal interaction; don’t overload schedule
  • A coherent topical framework with elements of spontaneity & serendipity
  • Emphasizing activities that can best be done in person; use Web and e-mail before and after for generic information exchange, finding common interests
  • Maintain balances: structure/chaos; practical/way-out; spontaneous/produced
  • Short talks, small groups, strong moderators, participant profiling, topical cohesion
  • High interaction and real-time collaboration; mixing people in different groupings
  • Being sure everyone gets a chance to tell his/her story, not feel anonymous
  • Geographical, substantive, and gender balance
  • Established figures as well as significant newcomers
  • Active participation [this is a working conference]


Featured Image Photo by Pixieblonde Pixography