Women in legal technology: Roberta Tepper

The Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech initiative aims to promote diversity and celebrate women in legal technology. This initiative started in 2015 with a list of innovators and leaders in legal technology. With this year’s additions, this list now includes 132 talented and influential women leaders. Every Monday and Wednesday we will introduce a woman from our class from 2021. Today we have Roberta Tepper!

Roberta Tepper is the director of the State Bar of Arizona Lawyer Assistance Programs.

What are three points that describe you?

  1. I am a lawyer who is passionate about helping other lawyers succeed in their practice.
  2. I was relatively new to the practices of mindfulness and meditation, but have found that they have improved my life.
  3. I have had a varied career including serving as a criminal defense attorney, court administration, and law firm, but my current position – helping attorneys with lawyer technology for practice management – has been the most challenging and rewarding of my career.

How is teleworking / quarantine going for you?

It’s going much better than expected. I’m human and thought I would go crazy if I was isolated, but Zoom and Teams have been a rescue and I’m actually more productive and happier than I imagined.

How did you get into legal engineering?

When I became director of the Lawyer Assistance Program for the Arizona Attorney’s Office, I was fortunate enough to join an amazing group of practice management advisors from across the country and join the ABA’s Law Practice Division. These colleagues helped me on a legal technology crash course so that I could advise our members and help them implement legal technology into their practice.

What projects have you been focusing on lately?

I have been on the ABA TECHSHOW board and co-chair of the 2021 TECHSHOW for 2.5 years. That was my main focus, in addition to helping our bar members transition to remote practice during the pandemic.

Is there a legal technical resource that really helped you when you started out in the field?

My fellow practice management consultants from state and local bars across the country have been my point of contact and my most trusted resource. The Legal Technology Resource Center was bookmarked in my browser from the start, and the people I met through my involvement in the legal department were also an invaluable resource.

What do you see as the most important emerging technology right now, legal or not?

Improving legal services through the use of document automation, chatbots and artificial intelligence – especially with regard to bridging access to the legal gap.

What advice would you give other women interested in studying legal technology?

Make it easy and find colleagues and mentors to help you along the way. You’re out there and ready to do that if you just hold out your hand.

Greet another legal engineering woman who you admire or have learned from!

There are so many, but I’m particularly grateful to my practice management colleagues, including Sharon Nelson from Sensei Enterprises, Catherine Sanders-Reach, Shawn Holahan, Charity Anastasio, Natalie Kelly, and Heidi Alexander.

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