TechShow 2023: Attorney Trevor Riddle
Trevor Riddle is the founder of Riddle Law with the simple goal of providing outstanding estate planning legal services to the members of my community with honesty, empathy, and transparency. Trevor attended law school at JD, University of Kansas, and spent 17 years in Wichita honing my legal skills while serving clients throughout Kansas. At which point Trevor decided to move back home to Oklahoma to serve his community.
Carolyn Elefant is the founder and owner of the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, PLLC. She's a veteran energy and eminent domain attorney with more than two decades experience. Following graduation from Cornell Law School, Elefant launched her legal career as an attorney-advisor at FERC.
Interview with Carolyn Elefant
Carolyn: Hi everyone, it’s Carolyn Elefant. I’m on ABA Tech Show Planning Ward 2023, and with
me today is one of our speakers, Trevor Riddle. Trevor, can you introduce yourself to listeners and tell them a little bit about your practice, and also the topics you’re going to be talking about at Tech Show?
Trevor: Sure, thank you. My name is Trevor Riddle. I own Riddle Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
where I have clients with state, family, and business planning matters. We help people with every stage of life. So, I have practiced for a little over ten years, always in a small firm setting, and now I’m solo.
Carolyn: It’s great that you’re going to be at Tech Show and giving sort of a solo perspective on
technology. Can you tell us what presentation you’re going to be doing at Tech Show?
Trevor: My copresenter Alex and I are in Operations Tech, and we will have two presentations
for attendees. One is titled Tech Stack Overhaul, and the other is titled No Code, No Problem.
Carolyn: Okay, so that No Code, No Problem really piqued my interest because I love the idea
of being able to create something and build it without having to go back to school for a computer science degree. Can you share a little bit more about what you’re actually doing? Are you going to be introducing people to applications? How’s that presentation going to run?
Trevor: We’re actually going to do this presentation as a workshop, and we’ve come up with a
use case that law firms may deal with. Ours is a small, growing firm with two founding
partners who find themselves in a situation where, now because of increased business, they need to hire an associate. But, they’ve come to realize that all of their policies, procedures, and workflows live nowhere else other than their heads, and now they’re scrambling trying to figure out how they’re going to get this all in writing to help their new associate. And, as someone who has been through that process before, I know it can take months of attorney time to come up with that. So, what Alex and I are going to do is show folks how they can leverage some of these low-code and no-code tools, including some of the new AI tools, to help automate the process of preparing a policies and procedures manual.
Carolyn: That’s really amazing. That is going to save people so much time, and I’m sure as
you’re demonstrating, people will be on their computers, kind of playing along with their own materials. So, it sounds like something where people can actually walk away with a good start on an important product.
Trevor: Yeah, that’s the goal, to hopefully make this very interactive, and to let attendees walk
out of the room with something that they can hopefully implement right away.
Carolyn: That’s great. So, staying on that topic of being able to use something, and take
something away that’s usable, you said your other topic is Overhauling Your Tech Stack. Is there one tip that you can share now that people can take away, that can start them on that horrible process? Because we kind of have that “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality.
Trevor: Having spent my entire career in a small firm setting and now as a solo practitioner, I
recognize very intimately the struggles that small firms and solo attorneys can face when it comes to implementing a Tech Stack that does what it’s supposed to do, which is to make your professional life a little bit easier. A Tech Stack really should help you be efficient, should improve your bottom line, and should help you create a really great client experience. SO, I struggle with that and have throughout my career, and I think other small firm attorneys do as well. So, our goal in this is to give people some tips and practices, and tools, and hopefully walk away better able to either build a Tech Stack or for the Tech Stack they have, make improvements to gain some more efficiency, more profitability, and hopefully make new clients happy at the end of the day.
Carolyn: Yeah, so let me ask you this. Before going to law school or practicing, did you have a
technical background? Or, did you become what I call a “Practical Technologist” where you just got a problem that you need to fix, and the tech is what addresses it best?
Trevor: I grew up when the personal computer kind of came of age, and so my parents were
very kind when I was a young kid, and brought home a PC in the pre-Windows era. So, I kind of had an itch for technology when I was a kid, and I’ve always kind of enjoyed learning about technology, and it has just transferred over into my legal practice.
Carolyn: Yeah, it’s always interesting hearing somebody’s journey. So, I’m sure that you’re
probably looking forward to Tech Show. Can you share one of the things that you’re most looking forward to at this year’s Tech Show?
Trevor: You know, I’ve been attending Tech Show for several years now, and the thing I always
look forward to with Tech Show more than any other conference setting is, particularly these days, really allows the attendees to see into the future of the practice and the business of the legal profession. It’s no secret now that legal technology has really come to the forefront. It’s really helping attorneys, but it can be overwhelming for people. And so, Tech Show is a great place to see where we are headed and meet with other people, like minded people, and really see experts in the field, to let us see where things are going. And, really kind of get us, again, those tools, techniques, and best practices to take back to our everyday practice and hopefully make things a little better for ourselves and our clients.
Carolyn: You know, absolutely. I feel that the peer component of learning from another lawyer
who’s applying the technology in a way that you might apply it, is very valuable and often more valuable than just watching a demo from somebody who knows the tools really well, but not necessarily the use case for them.
Trevor: Exactly, yes. And you know, Tech Show is a great vendor exhibition haul, and it’s nice to
go down and see all the new cool gadgets and the new applications, and the way technology is impacting the legal profession. But, it’s a little bit abstract sometimes down there, and so it’s nice up in the presentation rooms to get with other lawyers who put some of these tech tools into practice in their law firms, and really get some kind of concrete use case scenarios like you said. Or, other examples of how we can use technology to improve our firms. At the end of the day, I think it’s usually about the client experience, and so that’s one thing that I see legal technology really allowing, particularly with small firm attorneys these days is to improve that client experience.
Carolyn: Absolutely, absolutely. I’m looking forward to more conversations like this at Tech
Show. Anybody listening, there’s still time to sign up. You can go to www.techshow.com. We’ll be in Chicago March 1st - 4th, 2023, and you can hear Trevor’s presentations and all of our other amazing speakers. Thanks so much for joining me here today, Trevor.
Trevor: Carolyn, thank you for having me.