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The Geek In Review

Author: Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

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Welcome to The Geek In Review, where podcast hosts, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert discuss current events in legal information.
113 Episodes
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After 25 years at Liberty Mutual, Bob Taylor began his new adventure in legal services when he joined Deloitte's Legal Business Services (LBS) as the Managing Director a few weeks ago. His in-house experience and desire to help create innovative and creative ways of providing legal business services make him a perfect fit to join his new colleagues, Valerie Dickerson, Legal Business Services Partner at Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington, DC, and Mark Ross, Principal at Deloitte Legal Business Services in Los Angeles. We discuss Bob's move over to Deloitte, along with the holistic approach LBS is taking with understanding its client's entire business, and providing multiple services where the overall service is greater than the individual sum of its parts. We also ask each of them to look into their crystal balls and project how they see the Big Four Professional Services, like Deloitte, changing the legal environment over the next decade.  Information Inspirations Our friend Kristin Hodgins asked a very interesting question on Twitter about how to start a start-up when you're not wealthy or have a partner to rely upon.  You don't have to be a young lawyer to enjoy the insights of young lawyers. The ABA Young Lawyer Division launched its new Young Lawyer Rising Podcast this week and the first two episodes cover Civility and being a young lawyer in the era of COVID.  We all know there's some hype around big tech, AI, and ethics. Well, MIT Tech Review gives us "50-ish words you can use to show you care without incriminating yourself." Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Over the past year, many of us have said "I guess all law firms are virtual law firms now." While that may technically be true, there are many firms whose business model is based on being a virtual firm. Dan Packel from The American Lawyer gives us a primer on Distributed Law Firms like Fisher Broyles, Ramon, Taylor English and Duma, and Culhane Meadows and how they operate without a physical environment. While many of these firms may fly below the radar for many biglaw firms, distributed firms like Fisher Broyles may be poised to break into the AmLaw 200. And if that happens, and it might happen this year, many big firms will start to take notice. Information Inspirations While we don't want you to replace us as your favorite podcast, we do think that Stephen Poor's new podcast from Seyfarth, Pioneer and Pathfinders, provides some good sit-down discussions with legal innovators like Dr. Heidi Gardner, Dan Linna, Nicole Bradick, and more to come. Go check it out. There are only eleven states now which do not require lawyers to have a competence level when it comes to legal technology. California is the latest to make such a requirement. Our fellow geek, Casey Flaherty is the last of the Baker McKenzie dream team to finally leave Baker and go back into the legal innovation consulting world. Casey is now the Chief Strategy Officer at LexFusion and is bringing his talent back into the open legal market to help legal departments and law firms implement technology to improve overall legal processes. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly brings us a new blockchain sheriff in Texas. The Texas Blockchain Council is a nonprofit trade association with the objective to make Texas the center of the universe for blockchain technology. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
For those who went to law school, do you remember that class we all took on creativity in the legal work environment? No? We don't remember it either. That's why Adam Tsao decided to write The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers: Strategies for the Business of Legal Practice. Adam sits down with us and discusses how he integrated creativity into his own legal education at Penn Law School, as well as his legal work at Skadden and Covington before starting his own business, At Philosophy. He stresses that creativity is a vital process in a person’s legal career, and why we each need our own playbook to help us build creative processes into our professional activities. Adam also co-hosts a non-legal podcast on creativity called Double Agent. Information Inspirations Baseball season is upon us. If you are a fan, you most likely have a favorite team. Darren Siegle from Specops Software reminds us that it is okay to root for the home team, just don't use them as your password. While law librarians can take a joke as much as the next profession (maybe even more), a recent American Lawyer article that runs comparisons between lawyer's spouses, kids, and pets to secretaries and law librarians didn't land well with Greg. Legal reporters seem to lack an understanding of what amazing benefits law librarians brought to their firms during COVID. We take the time to educate them. It seems that the law firm librarians aren't the only ones taking a hit from the press. The latest US News Law School rankings admitted to some flaws in its initial numbers for this year in how it measured law library metrics. In a portion of the ranking that only made up .25%, the change in the statistics caused nine schools to have their rankings altered. While officially, Womens' History Month came to a close yesterday, it's always a good time to honor women in the legal industry, and we bring you a couple of good podcasts that do just that. Véronique Goy Veenhuys on EQUAL-SALARY and Gender Equalit‪y‬ Stolen: The Search for Jermain Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
For those of us in large law firms, we understand that Practice Group Leaders have the following responsibilities: Develop a strategy for the Practice Group (PG) Advance the business development of the PG Ensure equitable distribution of work among the more junior PG attorneys Identify attorneys within the practice who are struggling and find mentoring and coaching opportunities for them Practice law at the same time For Lathrop GPM's Intellectual Property Group, Kate Tompkins can do all of these, except practice law. That's because she is not a lawyer. She's a business professional. We've heard the phrase "law firms should be run more like a business." Well, Lathrop GPM and Kate Tompkins are putting that phrase into action. Kate tells us how she landed this role, and how we may see more business operation professionals stepping up to lead legal practice as other firms look to run more like a business. Information Inspirations If you're looking for the future of search, CaseText may have the answer with the help of BERT. In their new WeSearch product, CaseText's Pablo Arredondo says that the conceptual search product will leverage the open-source neural network framework developed by Google called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or simply BERT, to find related results not based on keywords, but through actual concepts. Bob Ambrogi runs through a few examples in his Law Sites Blog. The patent office in China pulled about half of 2020's applications recently due to irregularities. Many are saying that it is downright fraud, and that it may have a worldwide impact on patents. Slack rolled out, and then quickly rolled back a new feature that allowed anyone on Slack to DM anyone else on Slack. After a swift public rebuke on the potential harassment issues that this "feature" opens up, especially against women, Slack is rethinking the changes. Perhaps Slack would benefit from listening to lawyers like K&L Gates Partner Elisa D’Amico who specialize in understanding and fighting abuse on the Internet. Video games are expanding into what is known as Synthetic Economies where gamers' actions have economic effects both within the games and outside the games as well. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
For nearly the past twenty-five years, Jeroen Plink worked on the cutting edge of innovation in the legal market ranging from creating software to help with project management and process improvement, to being the CEO of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions. His passion for looking at issues from unique perspectives, as well as his dislike for inefficient processes and waste, has led to a number of successes in legal innovation during this time. As he moves on from the Alternative Legal Service Provider environment and begins his new journey, Jeroen sits down with us to talk about his efforts going forward in access to justice, commercial ideas, consulting with law firms, and in-house operations. Information Inspirations The idea of law firms going with a "single provider" on legal information platforms like Westlaw or Lexis may sound good on paper, but Victoria Hudgens points out in a recent LegalTech News article that these 'one-stop shops' limit the ingenuity and capabilities of law firms. It takes a brave person to get between an appellate lawyer and their citation formatting rules. US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas apparently is one of those brave souls. With the use of "(cleaned up)" in the recent Brownback v. King decision, Thomas has created a stir in the legal citation world the likes that haven't been seen since the Court's first Internet citation changes in 1996. Blue Book Rule 5.2 and Brownback are at odds and according to a Law360 article from Carrie Garrison from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, appellate lawyers may be taking sides. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Karl Harris, CEO of Lex Machina, took an interesting path to legal analytics. Initially working on sonar systems taking streams and signals and converting those into data, then on to mobile application analytics, then on to law school. Pulling these three skills together, the idea of legal analytics came together. With Lex Machina becoming the fourth pillar of the Lexis+ platform, along with legal research elements, practical guidance, and brief analysis. Harris walks through the progression of legal analytics over the past decade, and even projects some of the potential analytics has in the assistance of practicing law. Information Inspirations Bryan Parker and Jon Greenblatt have a wonderful interview with Locke Lord Partner and former ABA President Paulette Brown. Brown gives an honest view of her experiences as a black woman lawyer in a BigLaw firm, and the reality of how little has changed over the past twenty years. Distributed law firms like FisherBroyles are approaching AmLaw200 status and might be the hot new structure for law firms to disrupt the BigLaw model.  With the use of Zoom for trials, there are some logistical problems that not only make trials difficult, one situation in St. Joseph County Michigan shows that what (or who) you can't see on camera might create a dangerous situation. Luckily, Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Davis' skills to know when a witness was showing signs of distress when the defendant was just feet away when the witness was testifying.  It turns out that teachers aren't the only professionals who have to buy supplies because the schools don't have the funds. Some Judges are having to pay for their own Zoom accounts in order to conduct online trials. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Attorney Sophia George has one strong suggestion for those looking to increase equity in the legal industry: Hire minority lawyers! In order to help individuals find diverse lawyers, Sophia joined in the project created by Jackson Walker Partner Chevazz Brown called DiversePro. The online database works to connect diverse lawyers with potential clients who are looking to find lawyers from communities where they share a culture, language, or life experience. With a starting list of 250,000 lawyers in the DiversePro database, Chevazz Brown created an environment for diverse lawyers to go in and claim their profile, or create a profile, identify your practice area, specialty, school, and what makes them unique. We discuss how Chevazz and Sophia use DiversePro to help others find them, and the way they are working to get other diverse lawyers to do the same. Information Inspirations James Goodnow talked with Bill Henderson about what they see as a flaw in the ingenuity incentive of law firms. In a normal business environment, ingenuity creates opportunities for everyone. In the legal industry, the opportunities are significantly limited to lawyers. There is a quiet hiring boom going on in legal. In the fight for talent, the Harvard Business Review has some suggestions so that you line up the best people based on potential, not prior experience. Sometimes a dress code or required uniform is a bad idea (bar exams), sometimes it can create equity (British Barristers.) Sticking with dress codes… Stanford Law Professor Richard Thompson Ford wrote an entire book on it. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Most of us in the legal industry did not think of the employment market as being anything close to stable in 2020. However, as we are witnessing from the AmLaw 100/200 firm revenue numbers being released, many firms had record revenue and profits. In fact, recent reports show that the industry actually added some 5,000 jobs recently. Geoff Zodda, Chief Solutions Officer of IT Search at PearlCare Search Group, talks with us about what happened in the legal market surrounding the technology, information, analytics, and knowledge workers in 2020, and the projections for these types of professions as the industry refashions itself for a post-COVID economy. For those who are flexible, can wear multiple work hats, and can analyze data, the world may be your oyster. Information Inspirations If a human adds some words into a computer, and that computer uses AI to produce art based on that human input, who owns the rights to that art? Charlotte Kilpatrick from ManagingIP talks with three experts to answer that question. There is a topic that a lot of us avoid and that is succession planning First, it is uncomfortable, second, it is uncomfortable. We have discussed T-Shaped and Delta-Model lawyers in the past. However, easyJet is making its outside counsel show how O-Shaped they are by creating innovative questions on their request for proposals and law firm pitches for business. Ken Crutchfield points out some of the traps that innovators fall into when they don't listen or interpret customers or seek feedback. His experience showing his father about the Trapper Keeper when he was 15 helped him understand what customer feedback meant for success. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Law360 has long been an excellent resource in covering the news when it comes to legal issues. In January, they expanded to also begin looking internally at the legal industry and the business of law. Rachel Travers, Law360 Vice-President, and General Manager joins us to talk about the recent launch of Law360 Pulse. This news coverage of large and mid-sized law firms, in-house corporate counsel happenings, as well as regional coverage of the legal industry is giving many of the established news outlets some new competition. Travers mentions that Law360 Pulse will also release additional industry rankings as well as comprehensive industry surveys. In addition, the integration of Law360 Pulse along with Lexis+ will create unique analytics tools by connecting research and news resources. Information Inspirations We mentioned Coca-Cola's memo to their outside law firms last week, but Bob Ambrogi sat down with Coke's GC, Bradley Gayton for a LawNext Podcast interview to dive deep into the reasoning for the memo and how Gayton's own experiences lead him to press his law firms, and even his own department to push for more diversity. When it comes to concise writing in the military, BLUF is the word. Bottom Line Up Front. The Harvard Business Review covers some rules that the military uses for email precision that gets right to the point. The Beverly Hills Police Department is using some unique methods to try to prevent Instagramers from live streaming interactions with police officers. It happens to involve copyright protections. The National Network for Safe Communities released a study at the recent American Society of Criminology's annual conference which stated that 50% of community crime may be linked to 1% of the community's population. That finding made them come out with some suggested changes to how communities are policed. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
When it comes to what clients spend on legal services, there are savvy purchasers who look to manage their legal spin based on value and data-driven analytics. And there are those who simply just pay the invoice. Alex Kelly, co-founder, and COO of Brightflag talks with us about how they use AI and data analytics to help savvy corporate counsel and in-house legal teams make better decisions on how they purchase legal services. Brightflag recently announced a $28 million funding round from OnePeak, and Alex, along with co-founder Ian Nolan is looking to expand the team at Brightflag and help their customers with monitoring and controlling their legal spend and identify ways to focus on the value they get from their outside legal counsel, rather than just the hours of work. Information Inspirations Coca-Cola is apparently tired of its outside law firms not improving their diversity numbers. Since the firms won't do it on their own, Coke is laying down the law to force them to diversify their attorney ranks or lose out on Coke's business altogether. While many law firms are announcing record profits, that isn't stopping some from using the pandemic as a reason to restructure their workforce and begin reducing salaries and cutting jobs. The restructuring wave looks like it will continue through 2021. While we see some value in the new social media platform, Clubhouse, Brian Inkster from The Time Blawg gives 12 reasons why it really isn't for lawyers. Goodwin Proctor LLP is just the latest law firm to find itself exposed to a data hack. This time it was through a vendor, and we may not have heard the last of which other firms might be affected. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca. Links: Are You Managing Legal Spend or Merely Paying Bills? Brightflag Product Update: Diversity & Inclusion Module Tighten Legal Cost Control With Brightflag’s New Budgeting & Forecasting Features The Complete Legal Cost Control Checklist Brightflag on LinkedIn
While lawyers probably hear every day how Artificial Intelligence is going to change the legal industry, many are still uncomfortable discussing it simply because they don't understand what exactly AI is, and if it is going to be a good thing or a bad thing for them personally. Kira Systems' Noah Waisberg and Dr. Alexander Hudek are releasing a book on February 3rd that addresses these issues. AI For Lawyers: How Artificial Intelligence is Adding Value, Amplifying Expertise, and Transforming Careers walks through the questions and gives some easy to understand explanations on how AI is being used in the legal industry. Whether it is document automation, e-discovery, legal research, or a myriad of other legal issues, AI is becoming normalized across practically every task a lawyer or legal professional does. As with most advanced technologies, AI may sound scary, but eventually, it becomes ubiquitous. Information Inspirations The Strategic Knowledge and Innovation Legal Leaders Summit (SKILLS) went online this year using Shindig, and it was a great experience. The audience and presenters found ways to interact, and while LegalWeek may not have happened this year, it was nice to still be able to seek out our conference friends online. Speaking of friends, our fellow 3 Geeks contributor Ryan McClead from Sente Advisors, along with Nicole Bradick of Theory and Principle won the video presentation at SKILLS for their new Map Engine software. Early podcast guest, Jae Um has a five-part series on what to expect in a post-pandemic era for the legal market. It is a must-read. We thought that last year's bar exam was a bit of a mess. Turns out it was more like a mean game of musical chairs. There were definitely winners and losers. The University of Texas Center for Women in the Law is putting on a free CLE featuring Nina Totenberg and four former clerks of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to celebrate the beginning of their Ginsburg Initiative. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Nicole Morris is the Director of the TI:GER Program and Professor in Practice for Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. She joins the podcast to discuss the upcoming TI:GER Innovation Conference on January 28, 2021. This free (yes FREE!) online conference on "Advancing Equity in Innovation" is focused on addressing the needs of women and people of color in technology. Not just legal technology, but the overall scope of issues affecting them from STEM education, to Patents, and to the lack of Venture Capital funding. The top tier presenters of the conference include BigLaw attorneys, Managing Partners, Tech Entrepreneurs, Patent Officials, and Startup Advisors. The TI:GER Innovation Conference is a must-attend for women and people of color in the tech field, and for those looking for ways to be better allies to the underrepresented community in technology. Registration for this FREE online conference is available here. Information Inspirations There are conspiracies that may be true, and there are conspiracy theories that are usually not true. The Culture Analytics Group a the University of California, Berkeley developed an AI tool to distinguish between the two. ILTA launched a five-part podcast series featuring ILTA's Influential Women in Legal Tech Honorees to discuss their experience and insights on how they've addressed legal innovation. Part one and part two are out now. Many believe that misinformation is something that the "other side" is tricked into believing. Unfortunately, a lot of the misinformation is willfully consumed, not just by the other side, but by many of us. The consumption is so widespread that the Washington Post stopped publishing its Internet fact-checking column because people simply didn't care. Sean Blanda expands on this human behavior of willfully accepting false information in his Medium post, "The 'Other Side' Is Not Dumb." The audio-only social media tool Clubhouse is becoming popular in the business community. While it is still an invite-only, Apple iOS-only tool, Clubhouse is gaining traction in the community. We will check it out, and see if the reporting is true in that it might be a great platform to do a live-podcast. If we do it... we'll let you all know. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, author of the book Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates, and talk about how associates mature into their roles as lawyers with law firms. As these second to sixth-year associates begin to take on more substantial legal roles, as well as leadership, mentorship, and allyship among their fellow lawyers, the stress of the job can become overwhelming. Bluestein talks through a number of examples of how mid-level associates can handle the increased workload, improve communications with partners at the firm, and realistically plan for their future. During the COVID era, associates my struggle with their work, feel depressed, or have other troubles adjusting to a disrupted work environment. Bluestein says that law firms need to address these issues by observing behavior and constant communication with associates who need help. Our clients are still in need of their lawyer's counsel, and now more than ever, associates are really a necessary part of the law firm's business. Information Inspirations The Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Institute published the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market. Beyond stating the obvious, that 2020 was an extraordinary year, the report suggests that the pandemic may be the tipping point for law firms and how they practice law going forward. Summize is a new contract lifecycle product that claims to be a lightweight solution for contract review. There a number of interesting things it does, including how it summarizes the contract for easy review and exportable to MS Word and Excel. Greg was on the other side of the interview this week when he sat down with Chad Main, host of the Technically Legal podcast. If you want to learn more about Greg on a professional and personal level, go check out the episode: Greg Lambert on the Importance of the 21st Century Law Librarian. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Welcome to the 100th episode of The Geek in Review. We hope you've enjoyed listening to the podcast as much as we've had in making it. We talk with Jennifer Bluestein, Chief Talent and HR Officer for Perkins Coie in part one of a two-part interview. Jennifer's new book, Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates helps associates, partners, HR, and professional development personnel better understand the needs of those second to sixth-year associates as they move from learning how to practice law to learning how to practice law, while managing up and down the associate ladder. In part one, we discuss the basic challenges of a mid-level when it comes to communication skills, and knowing when to delegate, and when not to delegate. We also cover the issues with understanding partner evaluations of associates and what the difference is between a coaching moment, and what is a performance issue. Information Inspirations The American Bar Association reports that being a judge can be stressful. If you're looking for a great curated newsletter on all the mergers and other happenings in the legal tech industry, Nate's News, curated by Nate Schorr, may be just what you are looking for. AI bias is something we've all heard about. Recently the bias appeared in how the COVID vaccine is being distributed. At least that was how it was reported. Karen Hao from MIT Tech Review thinks it may be more of a people problem than an Algorithm/AI issue. And speaking of AI, Sheppard Mullins is the first law firm to sign the EqualAI pledge, with the hope of reducing AI bias in the practice of law. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
As we near the end of a very strange year, we thought we'd ask a couple of big thinkers to come on and have a no-holds-barred discussion on Legal Technology and Innovation. Kristin Hodgins is the Project Manager for Legal Innovation at Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP in Toronto. Jason Wilson is a legal publisher and author who has worked at Thomson Reuters and O'Connor's Publishing for over 20 years. We cover topics ranging from who are the thought leaders and where is the best community for legal tech discussion, to what are courts, firms, academics, and vendors really doing to promote and achieve advancements in legal technology. So strap on your scuba tank and prepare for a deep dive with this week's guests. Information Inspirations Even NPR knows that "Waiting for the LSAT is too late for improving minority representation in law." Pipelines for minority and underrepresented portions of our society have to start much earlier than when they enter college or are thinking of applying for law schools. Justice Ginsberg has both a tea set named after her, as well as a building at Rutgers University. And if tea isn't your thing, how about a legal article from Kansas University's Law Dean on the making of a perfect pecan pie crust? Anyone who has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request knows they can be expensive. However, thanks to the American Association of Law Libraries, academic librarians may get a fee waiver from the US governmental agencies. So make sure you are on good terms with your academic law librarians! Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca. Transcript
A couple of months ago, we brought in Bob Taylor and Jeff Marple from Liberty Mutual, and Gabe Teninbaum from Suffolk Law School to discuss the Boston Legal Design Challenge being held online in November. Taylor and Marple are back to discuss how things went, and they brought with them one of the members of the championship team, Aubrie Souza. Souza is a 2L from Suffolk and her team triumphed over the other nine law school competitors from across the United States and Canada. While the event was held online, the technology, the structure, and the facilitators and judges made all of the competitors feel as though they were still working side by side. (See Video) Information Inspirations Lillian Michelson created a magnificent library for movie design. Over a fifty-year span, Michelson helped movie producers and directors make scenes realistic through her research and cataloging of information and details. Unfortunately, she no longer had the space to store all of her research and materials. For the past few years, the library sat in boxes looking for a home, or to be digitized. Finally, the Internet Archive and its founder, Brewster Kahle heeded the call and are placing the material on the Internet Archives database for all. A ribbon-cutting event is taking place on January 27, 2021, launching the first phase of this project. The Baltimore Library is raising $25,000.00 for a van to provide legal resources to the surrounding community. This project is exactly how Access to Justice issues need to be addressed. The project is headed up by Baltimore County Librarian Julie Brophy, and Maryland Legal Aid Pro-Bono Director Amy Petkovsek. Hat's off to both for taking this on. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Professionals in the legal market are known for focusing on high achievement levels within their careers, and not so much on how much joy they derive from working in the profession. Tracy LaLonde, author of The Joychiever Journey: Evade Burnout, Surpass Your Goals and Out-Happy Everyone, says that achievement and joy are not mutually exclusive and that we can live lives that allow us to achieve our goals and experience joy at the same time. LaLonde discusses how increasing the enjoyment of our careers doesn't just create a better individual experience, but that there are studies that show happiness drives higher incomes as well. Listen in as we discuss LaLonde's seven-step journey of what she calls true self stops on how we explore what makes us happy and define our true values and ensure that they align with our career. Information Inspirations We may be getting a little bit closer to FREE PACER. Twenty legal tech leaders encouraged Congress to take up the issue, and in fact, the US House passed a bill bringing PACER out from the paywall this week. We'll have to see if it goes any further this year, or if we have to wait until 2021 to see further movement. In Jordon Furlong's blog post, The End of Serendipity, he points out that law firms have for too long relied upon part-time leadership, culture through osmosis, and professional development through serendipity. While law firms may have accidentally succeeded in the past through happenstance and accident, he suggests that modern law firms succeed through specific planning and defined purpose. It turns out you don't have to be the focus of a Wall Street Journal article to get one of those nice WSJ images made. Now WSJ subscribers can take a headshot and make their own images. Marlene is still hoping for some video aspects of the podcast. Greg, however, still has the face for podcasting. This week, she is checking out WeVideo, and was looking to improve her video editing skills. It turns out that you can get experts to teach you how to improve your skills in just about anything these days. A couple of good starting points for finding anything from a basketball coach, video editing teacher, or even another language are sites like Fiverr or Bark. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
One of the modern realities of consumerism is the requirement of arbitration clauses. The idea is that consumers and businesses can settle their disagreements without going to court, and instead have an arbitrator negotiate a settlement between the parties. For many of us, it is viewed as a part of doing business, and that the arbitration process is weighted heavily in favor of the corporations. Teel Lidow and his online tool, FairShake, is working to make filing an arbitration much easier for consumers and to actually show that many corporations are quite easy to approach when it comes to handling arbitration disputes. Time Magazine recently awarded FairShake with its award for The Best Inventions of 2020: 100 Innovations Changing How We Live, and we talk with Teel about his reasons behind creating FairShake. Information Inspirations The pandemic crisis is allowing law firm management to reevaluate staffing needs, and once again, positions that are tied to a physical space are on the chopping block. However, positions that are viewed as "Knowledge Workers" are fairing much better as we look to a post-pandemic work environment. The key is those staff who understand the business and can work with clients and attorneys and function under pressure are going to thrive. Check out the excellent i.WILL workshop on Courage & Emotional Durability tonight (12/3/2020 at 5:30 PM ET). Dr. Carli Kody leads a workshop based on Dr. Brené Brown’s research and Rising Strong™ methodology. No matter how hard you think the Bar Exam is, Brianna Hill's taking the bar during a pandemic, while in labor, having the baby and coming back to finish the bar the next day, and then finding out this week that she passed the bar, is much, much harder. While Hill is superhuman, she's not the only one who had to struggle this year to take bar exams. Our friends at Legal Innovators are collaborating with Bechtel Corporation (PDF Press Release) to provide junior lawyers to assist with Bechtel's internal legal departments. This seems like a win-win for both companies. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
We live in a society that cannot seem to come to an agreement on what is truth and what are lies. People are seeking out stories that back up their beliefs rather than seek out the truths which may undermine those beliefs. We particularly see this on social media, but there are other sites out there which pass themselves off as local news organization which is really just biased sources designed to play upon the needs of people to have their "truths" backed up with like-minded articles. We asked Dave Boitano, a veteran reporter, and Loyd Auerbach, an experienced newscaster, author, and Knowledge & Research Consultant for LexisNexis, to come on the show and discuss the current state of news at the local levels in the US.  While the current situation may seem unique to the 21st Century, there are actually parallels to a previous news era over a hundred years ago. Boitano and Auerbach help explain those similarities, and how information professionals, and readers of "news content" can protect themselves from sources which attempt to present information from a biased view. Information Inspirations Just because you may have access to great information doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it. A current lawsuit brought by the Center for Workplace (CWC) against the Labor & Employment firm of Littler is an alleged example of this. CWC claims that a couple of lawyers illegally took their Intellectual Property and claimed it as their own. Now there's an ongoing $1.65 million lawsuit to take it back. Librarians and Information Professionals can use this example to remind others of the limitations of how we can license and use information properly. Apparently, a reporter may give up their writing, but they won't give up their podcast. A recent episode of Press Box talks about the Substack model where readers pay directly for content and follow their muses. There are a couple of other podcast episodes that we touch on in this episode. To learn more on this topic check out The NY Times' The Daily episode on Brian Timpone's Metric Media Brand (A Partisan Future for Local News?) and Freakonomics Podcast episode on Tara McGowan's ACRONYM Digital Media (Why the Left Had to Steal the Right’s Dark-Money Playbook.) On a side-note, Loyd Auerbach's book, Near Death, was released recently. (more...)
We talked about Dr. Jacqueline Walsh's Initio Tech and Innovation Clinic in a previous Information Inspiration segment. We were so inspired by her work that we asked her to come on the show and tell us more. The Initio clinic is set up just like a law firm. In fact, it is actually recognized by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society as a law firm. Dr. Walsh uses a combination of law students, articling clerks, and the local community to help create a great experience for her startup clients, and as a result an enjoyable and authentic experience for the students in the clinic. While the clinic isn't self-sustaining, it does charge startups for legal services. This is another unique aspect of the clinic in that it offers ad hoc services or a subscription-based service to clients. The idea is to train startups to understand that legal costs are part of doing business and that if they are serious about their business, planning, and budgeting for legal expenses is another part of their business. Information Inspirations Bryan Parker and Jon Greenblatt from Legal Innovators have a new podcast called The Law in Black and White where they give their views on certain topics facing the legal industry from their own unique perspectives. The Innovation Hub podcast discusses how COVID has impacted public schooling, and how innovative and creative parents are finding ways to work around those schools who are not adjusting fast enough to handle the needs of these parents and their children. It's an interesting look at how adapting to change is happening on all sides, and those who are slow to adjust may have unforeseen competition. We all know that the incentive for diversity within law firms can run counter to the profitability goals of the firm. Former BigLaw partner, Elizabeth Korchin thinks one way to align these incentives and goals is to blow up the billable hour. She thinks it can be done by 2030. Our fellow 3 Geeks' blogger, Toby Brown, takes another angle on the incentives/goals approach and suggests that clients need to push firms to achieve more diverse teams, but that clients also need to put their money where their mouths are and make sure that they pay appropriately for these diverse teams. Listen, Subscribe, Comment Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
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