Law-Tech Connect launches free legal webinar series on drone law and policy

Here’s a deal for anyone seeking information on drone law and policy, or any other professional development in the legal side of the drone industry. The same team that hosts Law-Tech Connect Workshops at major drone events around the country is making its information easily accessible to the public in a free legal webinar format.

Law-Tech Connect has historically been an in-person workshop held in tandem with some of the biggest drone conferences in the U.S., including two consecutive years at AUVSI XPONENTIAL and an upcoming energy-focused version being held next week at the 7th Annual Energy Drone & Robotics Summit in Houston, Texas.

But attending in-person typically means not just a registration fee, but also the cost of travel plus time and effort to get to the in-person venue. Happily, the Law-Tech Connect is sharing its trove of knowledge to the general public for free (well, or for simply just the low cost of handing over a tiny bit of personal information). The team taped all the panels that aired at AUVSI — and now they’re free for you to listen to throughout the coming year.

That’s all because Law-Tech Connect this week announced a new monthly legal webinar series focusing on various aspects of drone law and policy, such as counterdrone tech, intellectual property and using commercial, off-the-shelf drones in the battlefield.

“Our goal is to advance the industry through top-tier techno-legal education and professional development,” said event organizer Dawn Zoldi. “We want to pay that success forward to all those who could not make it in person. These online broadcasts will allow folks who could not attend our AUVSI LTC event, to benefit from the expertise of our world-class faculty and content.”

The first of the free legal webinar series kicks off this Monday, June 19 at 11 a.m. ET. It’ll be a replay of what was originally a live panel led by Lisa Ellman (Hogan Lovells/Commercial Drone Alliance) and includes: Kevin “The Drone Guy” Morris (FAA), Grant Guillot (DroneUp), Belinda Nixon (Perkins Coie LLP) and Colby Free (Airspace Link). Titled “Regulators Delivering the Goods? UAS/AAM Legal, Policy & Operational Updates,” it’ll dig into real-world drone delivery operations and how they’ve practically impacted the UAS and AAM industries.

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How can you join the Law-Tech Connect free legal webinar series?

Though it’s free to tune in, you will have to register in advance at this link. Upon registering, you’ll get a notification when the stream is up, you’ll have exclusive access to rewatch the content after the stream, and you’ll get notifications of future streams.

It’ll stream live on Monday, June 19 at 11 a.m. ET. on Zoldi’s channel on YouTube, but it’ll be unlisted, so you’ll have to actually register to get the link. And if you can’t tune in at that time exact, you can rewatch it later using the same link (again, you’ll have to register to get the web address).

While the workshops are great for attorneys or others who actually work in the legal field, they’re absolutely worth watching as long as you have an interest in autonomy or the uncrewed industry.

Zoldi’s channel is worth subscribing to, as it culminates all of her extensive experience in the airspace industry, including 30 yeas with the U.S. Air Force as a military officer, and later pivoting into drones including roles with UAS Colorado and running her own business P3 Consulting. She’s also a stellar communicator, as she also hosts the Dawn of Drones podcast, plus co-hosts two more: the Full Crew and Full TILT podcasts.

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Panelists at the Attendees at the second annual Law-Tech Connect Workshop, which was held on Monday May 9th, co-located with AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Dawn Zoldi.

What’s next for the Law-Tech Connect free legal webinar series?

Since this is a monthly series, expect more to come (and most will be recordings from the 2023 Law-Tech Connect Workshop). Exact dates will vary, but will typically either be Monday or Tuesdays at 11 a.m. ET.

The Law-Tech Connect team also gave Drone Girl exclusive access to the future dates and panel topics set for the rest of 2023:

  • Monday, July 24: CUAS/Security
  • Monday, August 21: AAM Infrastructure
  • Tuesday, September 26: How private businesses can tap into opportunities to work with the government
  • Tuesday, October 24: Commercial drones in battle and their legal implications in war
  • Tuesday, November 21: Intellectual property
  • Monday, December 11: Privacy

Once you register for one, you’ll get email alerts to ensure you don’t miss the future months of webinars. And yes, Zoldi, who leads the Law-Tech Connect charge, confirmed to The Drone Girl that they’ll always be free.

Register for the Law-Tech Connect free legal webinar series here.

As far as future, in-person events, the next scheduled Law-Tech Connect workshop is set for AUVSI EXPONENTIAL ’24 in San Diego, which will be held on Monday, April 22, 2024 (the broader AUVSI 2024 conference will span the rest of the week).

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Attendees at the second annual Law-Tech Connect Workshop, which was held on May 9th, co-located with AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2023 in Denver, Colorado.Photo courtesy of Dawn Zoldi.

Should I still attend in-person drone Law-Tech Connect workshops?

The move to make recordings of its panels free to the general public online sets a prime example of the drone industry democratizing information and making it freely-available to everyone. Small businesses might not have resources to travel to in-person events. And there are simply so many drone events in 2023 that it can be unrealistic to attend all (or even most) of them.

But with more information like these legal insights freely available, knowledge is shared with no barriers, and the collective drone industry gets stronger.

That said, you shouldn’t just interpret the free recordings as a reason to skip future workshops. Many attorneys attend in-person to fulfill Continuing Legal Education requiremens. However, these online broadcasts do not qualify for CLE for the attorneys.

For everyone else not specifically seeking to meet CLE requirements, the workshops tend to be prime networking opportunities for finding mentors, meeting potential clients or establishing business partnerships. Plus, in-person attendance means the ability to ask your own questions and get personal advice and support. Oh, and you miss out on the fun, accompanying social events (like an elaborate mini golf experience during the 2023 AUVSI conference. In fact, at this year’s AUVSI conference, the room was packed with more than 175 people, making for a standing-room only crowd.

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