Monica Bay was a friend, mentor and role model to so many in the legal technology industry, and I can proudly say I am among that group.
[Editor’s Note: This article was first published November 17, 2023 and EDRM is grateful to Greg Bufithis of Luminative Media, for permission to republish. The opinions and positions are those of the author.]
17 November 2023 — Monica Bay was a friend, mentor and role model to so many in the legal technology industry, and I can proudly say I am among that group. None of my legal technology video and media work would have been possible without one person … Monica Bay, who passed away on October 27th after a long battle with a neurological disease. I created a video as a tribute to her work, her life. There is a link to the video below which includes our 2015 video interview, the year she retired from ALM.
I came into the legal technology industry rather late in life. It was 2002 and I was 51 years old, somewhat semi-retired – just focused on my film studio and media company. A fellow retiree had enticed me with something called “discovery document review”.
After a few years I got to understand the industry, the process, and I became a part-time e-Discovery project manager for a large law firm that did a high volume of e-Discovery work. My law firm invited me to Legal Tech in New York, the largest trade show for the e-Discovery industry. I met with legal vendors and with some of the leading lights in the industry. My media company was already covering a very wide range of technology conferences and trade shows. So I thought “let’s add Legal Tech to our calendar”.
It would not have been possible without Monica Bay. Mary Mack had introduced Monica and I at Legal Tech 2011. Monica asked to see my video work from other conferences and so I whipped out my iPad and showed her. She said “Fine, I’ll arrange a few things for you”. She was the editor of Law Technology News, not directly responsible for Legal Tech, but she had a lot of power nonetheless. She introduced me to Henry Dicker who arranged media passes for me and my crew.
For several years I had the opportunity to do video interviews at Legal Tech with many of the leading lights, the foundational members of the industry : Craig Ball, Jason Baron, Charles Christian, Robert Childress , Ralph Losey , Mary Mack , Browning Marean, Nigel Murray , Jan Scholtes , Andrew Sieja , Andy Wilson , and so many, many more. They are all profiled in the video below.
In 2015, Monica retired from ALM after a 30 year run. Mary Mack called me up and said “Legal Tech 2015 is Monica’s last one. She is retiring. You should interview her. But you should talk about her life, how she started, etc. There have been some print interviews but nobody has done a video interview with her about her life. You need to do it. In fact, let’s do it together”.
And so we did. In the afternoon of the last day of the event, Mary and Monica trundled over to a temporary studio we had set up across from the Hilton Hotel, where Legal Tech is staged.
In that interview Monica talks about how she was inspired by her family and teachers, and what kind of influences they had, her French lessons in Switzerland, earning her journalism chops at the University of Minnesota where she became the first woman to cover rock and roll, and why she entered the legal profession.
She talks about how she got to American Lawyer Media which would become ALM, and which published the titles that she edited. She also talks about the difference between law and journalism, and the many, many legal writers she met and developed along the way, and how she changed the face of reporting – all of which explains why she truly is a foundational member of the legal technology industry.
Below the video link you will find links to the tributes of Bob Ambrogi, Craig Ball, Mary Mack and other tributes by members in the legal community.
Monica – – – who had a life well lived. You made the legal community a far, far better place. We all thank you.
Tributes to Monica:
Original post here.