LabCon 2022: The Community is What Makes It

In early August, 60 solo and small-firm lawyers and law firm staff gathered to work on their firms at Lawyerist’s annual LabCon unconference in Atlanta, Georgia.

What’s an Unconference?

An unconference works differently than other legal conferences. This isn’t panel discussion and sponsor booths. Instead, LabCon functions as work sessions for lawyers in Lab, Lawyerist’s paid coaching program. It is a mix of conference, summit, retreat, design-thinking workshop, and hackathon.

Over 2.5 days, participants break out into small, coach-led sessions to work on each part of their business. They also use the time to implement the big ideas they get from these sessions.

Conference attendee Matthew Swanlund found LabCon valuable. “I was at times overwhelmed with the knowledge of what I have been missing, but then inspired to learn literally everything I need to know to make my business incredible,” said Matthew. “The guidance and feedback from the other Labsters was invaluable in that regard. “

How LabCon Works

During the conference, breakout sessions were sometimes created on the fly depending on participants’ needs. Sessions included topics like:

More topics covered all parts of a healthy business, including strategy, marketing, client service, finances, teams, and owners

Sessions were separated into stages based on each participant’s current experience and knowledge. For example, finance breakouts included Getting Started with KPIs for finance beginners and Subscription Services for the more advanced owner.

In between sessions, Lawyerist Lab coaches were available to help one-on-one as needed.

Additionally, while legal tech sponsors attended LabCon, those sponsors interacted as participants. There weren’t sponsor booths or overt sales pitches. Each sponsor led a session, made themselves available for one-on-one or group consultations, and often learned from the sessions themselves.

It’s Not All Work (Though Ideas Happen Everywhere)

LabCon also included a healthy amount of fun and giddy laughter. There was a fun contest (always a surprise), an impromptu mini-dance party, yoga, and several opportunities for long walks on the conference center’s trails. Participants also used mealtimes and after-work hours to dig into “hallway ideas”—the type of conversations people have after being inspired by a session. 

There were also opportunities to think outside the box using art and role-playing techniques.

The Community is What Makes It

The lawyers and law firm staff who attended were generous, open-minded, and collaborative. This combination made the energy in the room noticeably bright and compelling. 

“It was such an incredible experience.”

As attendee Jasmine Jowers Prout said, “It was such an incredible experience that I know for a fact moved, helped, and encouraged people because it did all of that to me. Not only did I find solutions or paths forward for my issues, I was able to share my experiences to help others do the same, and that was so rewarding!” LabCon is part of Lawyerist Lab, a coaching program designed to help every aspect of a business run smoothly. Interested in joining us for the next LabCon? Set up a time to chat with Lab Coach Sara about LabCon and our Lab Community.

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Last updated September 27th, 2022