Austin’s most anticipated yearly event is back and lawyers have many opportunities to learn about legal trends and the future of the profession while taking part in the festivities.

South by Southwest has been offering continuing legal education and other law-related programming since 1998, and this year it features panels on everything from cybersecurity and robots to copyright infringement in music and the creation of a legal system on Mars.

We’ve perused hundreds of session descriptions to highlight our list of some of the top legal-related events at the March 10-19 conference. A SXSW badge is required to attend (CLE events are open to all badgeholders; other events require the specified badge(s)).

You can follow our coverage on Twitter (hashtag: #sxsbot), Facebook, Instagram, and the Texas Bar Blog for recommended panels, updates, and photos. And don’t miss the May issue of the Texas Bar Journal, which will feature an overview of the conference’s legal-related events.


Friday, March 10

  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
    Get a Warrant: The 4th Amendment and Digital Data
    Focusing on digital privacy concerns and efforts to craft laws to address the drastic increase in information authorities are collecting while bypassing limits of the Fourth Amendment.
  • 5-6 p.m.
    Making Law on Mars 
    Examining the challenges of creating new legal regimes from scratch and discussing how competitive governance and rapid innovation can help improve legal systems new and old.

Saturday, March 11

  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
    Software is Eating the Law
    Explaining how and why the worlds of law and technology are colliding—and what it means.

Monday, March 13

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
    When Should My Data Become the Government’s Data?
    Discussing how U.S. laws balance personal privacy with the necessity of government access to data for security.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Legal Issues in the Virtual Workplace
    Exploring legal challenges posed by these innovative workforce arrangements and the implications for employers.
  • 2-3 p.m.
    Crowdsourcing Justice
    Examining crowdsourced models for providing legal justice to children and families seeking refuge from violence and persecution to close the justice gap. In conjunction with Music and Film.

Tuesday, March 14

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    We Sued for Your Bots
    Exploring new “fairness bots” that researchers, activists, and journalists use to test internet platforms and the related 2016 ACLU challenge to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
    Affordable and Accessible Lawyers: Really?
    Discussing improving equal access to justice and advancing the profession into the 21st century.

Thursday, March 16

Friday, March 17

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Copyright Infringement: Get a Hit, Get a Writ
    Analyzing the legal basis and motivations of high-profile copyright infringement cases. In conjunction with Music and Film. CLE.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Death, Taxes, and Legacy Management
    Addressing estate planning, taxes, and legacy management for artists. In conjunction with Music and Film. CLE.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
    Music Law and Policy in DC
    Discussing perspectives and predictions on lawmaking and policy concerning the battle for copyright reform and other legislative initiatives related to the music business. In conjunction with Music and Film. CLE.

Saturday, March 18

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Ethics Matter
    Discussing the ethical obligation of lawyers, especially those working in and with the entertainment industry. In conjunction with Music and Film. CLE.
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m.
    Making Music TV Beyond Television
    Discussing the structure, rights, clearances, and economics of online and broadcast shows. In conjunction with Music and Film. CLE.


Wednesday, March 15

Thursday, March 16