The 2021 AALL Annual Meeting was held virtually from July 19 to July 23. This event hosted more than 1,638 law librarians and legal information professionals from across the globe. Jake Sweeney and Brett Schoell represented ktMINE at the event and have provided their takeaways.

Day 1

The first day of an event is always fun – you can feel the energy, people looking to network, learn, and connect. We spent a lot of time at the booth chatting with law librarians interested in learning more about our latest innovations – the Analytics Widget App and the Benchmark App. Both of these applications have their unique benefits to this market, so it was a lot of fun to show off the hard work we had put into developing these products based on customer feedback.

Day 2

We kicked off day two with the Opening General Session. Tina Tchen, the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, was the keynote speaker. Tina spoke about her time working at the White House – walking through photos during the Obama administration and famous photos – sharing insights from behind the scenes. Tina, being an Asian-American whose work centers on gender inequity, sexual harassment, and lack of diversity in the workplace, reviewed top initiatives to support diversity and inclusion.

After Tina’s keynote, we headed over to Marketing the Modern Private Law Library. This session provided us with a different lens on activities within the Law Market. A few main takeaways were:

  • Litigators often reach out more and use the law library
  • Due to the nature of some practices work, the law libraries are not top of mind
  • Intranet makes it easier to interact with the library and is more accessible

One of the main topics discussed throughout this session was how to increase attorney engagement with the law library. An area of focus was the ability to update the intranet and provide ease of access for attorneys along with being proactive by updating analytics so attorneys do not have to ask for information. This feedback was encouraging since it described some of the key features and functionalities found in the ktMINE Analytics Widget App. During this session, we were excited to hear some of the law librarians say, “we see a lot of engagement from attorneys using ktMINE as a strategic intellectual property tool.”

We attended the Diversity & Inclusion Symposium: REAL Lessons – A Conversation with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association on Racial Equity and the Law (REAL). This was a great session to end day two as REAL gave us some updates on what they are doing in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association to ensure diversity and racial equity.

Day 3

After spending the morning at the ktMINE booth, we attended Readiness for Sudden Shifts in Law Firm Libraries. The want for print reductions, C.I. activities, and clean accessibility for attorneys, were some of the key themes discussed by the panel. These items make it easier for a law firm to quickly uncover necessary insights. This session brought up an interesting point about how COVID-19 has aided with the transition away from print resources. However, the biggest challenge will be coming back to the office and maintaining the same level of print reduction that COVID-19 seemed to bring about.

Day 4

The Legal Deserts in America was an eye-opening experience. Throughout this session, the importance of identifying legal deserts was discussed as well as successful approaches to bring legal aid to those deserts. Some shocking facts taken away from this session were:

  • 54 counties across the USA have no lawyers
  • 182 counties only have one or two lawyers
  • 40% of all counties have less than one lawyer per 1,000 residents
  • Attorneys are not drawn to rural areas

The session went on to cover what people are doing around the world to help fill in these holes in the system:

  • In South Dakota, rural lawyers are stipend
  • Student loan repayment
  • Rural practice incubators are teaching lawyers how to run a small practice
  • Online lawyering

After Legal Deserts in America, we popped over to Preparing Now for the Legal Technology Landscape in the Decades Ahead. There was a lot of discussion around what technologies could be launching and when. Below are the timeframes as well as technologies covered in the session:

  • 2020-2025
    • Drone Delivery
    • Driverless Cars
    • 3D Printing
    • AI-Generated Coding (GPT)
    • Distributed Auto Organizations (DAO)
  • 2023-2027
    • Smart Toilet 
    • Kilobots 
    • Smart Dust
  • 2023-2032
    • Shapeshifting Matter
    • Public Mood Monitoring
    • Quantum-Safe Cryptography 
    • Implantables
  • 2035-2060
    • DNA Data Storage 
    • A.I. Board Members & Politicians 
    • Dream Reading & Recording 
    • Artificial Consciousness 
    • Human Cloning 


The last day of the event was spent making more connections with the law librarian community along with scheduling future demonstrations. The 2021 AALL Annual meeting was a lot of fun this year. However, we cannot wait until we can get back in person with everyone in Denver, Colorado, next year. If you were not able to stop by our booth, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or sign up for our upcoming Product Showcase: What’s New in 2021, where we plan to deep-dive into the all-new Benchmark App, Analytics Widget App, and ktMINE’s Data Services – we hope to see you there!