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Master's Conference San Francisco - Top 5 Takeaways

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Sandline Discovery - Insight, Ideas and eDiscovery

-By Dan Cohen

One of the best things about being at multiple stops on the Master’s Conference tour is that each event is entirely different from the last. Sure, some of the panel topics are the same and some of the speakers are present at multiple cities but the communities are so unique from city to city that each event really has a life of its own. As the day goes on, themes start to develop, and you start to hear echoes of earlier discussions in later panels. While the panel topics in San Francisco were similar to NY, the combinations of speakers and their perspectives were all different. We noticed important new themes at this event and a consensus among the speakers.

Here are our top 5 takeaways from The Master’s Conference San Francisco:

  1. Be aligned with your clients. I think this is a universal truth but what made it unique at the Master’s Conference was the recognition that a three-way alignment between service providers, law firms and end-clients is a crucial component for success. So, what does this mean? In a word, understanding. You need to truly understand the business of your client. I highly recommend that you listen to Clarilegal’s Cash Butler (@butler_cash) speak on this topic if you get the chance.
  2. Add value. Again, not a revolutionary idea but something that is still important enough (and lacking enough) for continued discussion. The real pearl of wisdom that surfaced in San Francisco is that “value” is not always related to “cost.” You can thank Shawn Cheadle of Lockheed Martin for that one. To figure out how to add value for your client, start with takeaway #1.
  3. Build trust and partnerships. I think this should be common sense, but it came up in so many panels and was echoed by so many speakers that I guess it must not be! Here’s the takeaway: if you continually rely on an outside provider, start thinking of them as a long-term partner. Think about building two-way trust into your relationship as it develops. You’re guaranteed to have a better experience that way.
  4. Tell a story. I kept hearing this theme in every session I attended. From discussions about proportionality, data analytics, strategy and advocacy, pricing and fee arrangements, investigations and everything up to Trent Livingston’s powerful story of his personal journey that led him to found ESI Analyst. Tell your story to the folks that support you. Tell your story to your clients. Tell your client’s story to opposing counsel. Leverage analytics and AI to tell your data’s story. There’s a narrative to everything important so find it and share it in a way that people will connect and be engaged.
  5. My favorite takeaway. Takeaway #5 is the shortest and simplest one but also the most profound. The best way to present it is the way I heard it: “These are all human problems we’re solving!” Words of wisdom from Bill Marx of Kirkland & Ellis. We could all stand to take a step back and remember that we are all people here working with and for other people trying to solve problems that began with, you guessed it, people.

The Sandline team is looking forward to learning more on October 23rd and 24th at the Washington DC Masters Conference where we will be hosting a discussion on Social Media Discovery Management. We have a top notch panel excited about the topic and ready to share their insights.

You can also catch Sandline's Mimi Singh, Director of Consulting, speaking on Data, Discovery, and Decisions along with a great group of speakers hosted by CloudNine. Please feel free to connect with us any time before or at the conference. See you there!

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