I would like to conclude my series about MILOfest 2010 with the following post from my friend, Randy Juip, about his thoughts on this year’s program:
As a busy, practicing attorney, any time away from the office means fewer dollars in your pocket (and likely, a pile of emails waiting for your return!) The decision to leave your practice to attend a conference is one not taken lightly. In exchange for our time and dollars, we all hope to pick up a tip or two to open our eyes to new possibilities, make us more efficient, or to serve our clients better. In grand tradition, MILOfest 2010 did all of this and more.
The quality, depth, and subject matter of the presentations exceeded any rational expectation, and was beyond anything available elsewhere. There was something for everyone — even Mac veterans learned something about OS X from Victor Medina (the black dot inside the red close button, anyone?). Mark Metzger‘s outstanding presentation on incorporating the full power of Adobe Acrobat in legal practice was as enlightening as it was thorough. I know that many attorneys left that day (and MILOfest in general) wondering how quickly they could implement many of the things learned there.
The second day was as strong as the first, with Ben Stevens (the Mac Lawyer and MILO founder) teaching the group about Circus Ponies Notebook and Evernote and Clio‘s Jack Newton and Rocket Matter‘s Larry Port and Ariel Jatib introducing us to the inevitable future of cloud-based computing. More than a few of us were considering jobs in the local D.A.’s office after seeing, firsthand, what Ron Elkins (the Wise County, VA district attorney) was able to do with some clever programming and a few iPads. And, Larry Staton‘s talk on using AppleScript to increase efficiency and ease work flow was well-received; there were few attorneys in the room not working at their full intellectual capacity to keep up with Larry, and I can only assume that Larry’s inbox is full of messages asking for a second bite of his brain.
On day three, Larry Port from Rocket Matter blew the conference away with one of the most philosophically deep — and immediately relevant — talks I’ve ever attended about the nature of our internet dependency and the dangers (and benefits) of connectivity. I have found myself trying to explain Larry’s thesis to friends and co-workers, only to be stymied at the part about Justin Bieber and the open manhole. To close the weekend, Brett Burney, from Burney Consultants, taught all of us not only about intelligent calendaring (via BusyCal), but also about how to put on a presentation — his absolute mastery of Keynote, the presenter tools he used, and his delivery were incredible!
The true value of MILOfest is always more than the presentations and the tips, though. It is rare, indeed, to have the opportunity to work so closely with such a selfless, capable, and intelligent group of attorneys as were in attendance. The chances to compare notes and practices, to discuss what works in the real world and what does not, to learn from others and to drink in their experiences, and simply, to just enjoy each other’s company in a beautiful location was as valuable as anything else (with the possible exception of having Larry Staton script your entire practice and/or watching Gwynne Monaghan (a/k/a @econwriter5) flip 40,000 tweets).
Steven Covey was fond of admonishing busy professionals to take time out of their work to "Sharpen the Saw." Communally, MILOfest gave back to its attendees much more than the cost of any single admission. Now if I could only find the time…
Randall A. Juip, Esq.
The Juip Richtarcik Law Firm