The Geek In Review on Smash Notes

The Geek In Review podcast.

December 28, 2019

Welcome to The Geek In Review, where podcast hosts, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert discuss current events in legal information.



Recently updated notes

While we have a few comedic moments on the podcast (usually unintended), we actually have a real-life comedian, Eugene Cipparone, join us on this week's episode. Eugene is a lawyer, who took a few years off to join The Second City comedy troop in Toronto, before working his way back into the legal industry as Goodmans, LLP's Director of Professional Support. With the pandemic, the need for support, and KM resources became critical. Eugene's ability to understand the needs of his firm and his ability to engage members of the firm in training by telling a comical story allows people to better remember the training and understand why the resources make the task easier to perform. (14:05)


What to Expect from the AALL Virtual Conference


Michelle Cosby, President of the American Association of Law Libraries, discusses what to expect from the AALL Virtual Conference on July 13-17, 2020. While the theme of Unmasking Your Potential was initially a tip of the hat to the host city of New Orleans, it's come to have renewed meaning on what it is like to provide professional development and community during the pandemic. (8:50)


Information Inspirations



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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.

Key points in this episode

Since Antonin Scalia was not available to be on the podcast, we reached out to Northwestern Law School's John Paul Steven's Professor of Law, Andrew Koppelman, and Jackson Walker Labor & Employment attorney, Sara Harris, to fill in. Justice Scalia believed in the concept of textualism when it came to the Court interpreting the law, without allowing one's personal political bias to play a role. According to Merriam Webster, textualism is "a legal philosophy that laws and legal documents (such as the U.S. Constitution) should be interpreted by considering only the words used in the law or document as they are commonly understood." The problem, according to Koppelman is that textualism has to be balanced with context. If a Justice were to apply or misapply the context of the issue, then textualism could be made to fit the outcome the Justice wants, regardless of what the text of the law says. In the Bostock v. Clayton Co., Georgia decision, the five conservative judges split 3-2 on how textualism applied to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII issue of "because of sex" discrimination, and gave the LGBTQ+ community a win in the process. We dive deep into the text, and the context of the decision.


Information Inspirations


After a bit of a hiatus, we bring back a few items that inspired us this week, and we hope to inspire you as well.


Greg may be retiring his In Seclusion Podcast at the end of this week (awwww), but there are plenty of legal podcasts to fill the void. Here is a couple.


Lawyer Forward is a new podcast from Mike Whelan where he winds together a historical legal story along with a contemporary issue for practicing lawyers. 


If you're looking for something that is more on the topic of law and working closely with others, then check out The Lawyer-Human Show with Colin and Shreya Ley, where they discuss being partners at a law firm, while also being partners in life. It's a fun and informative show and is now being produced by Ben Ambrogi's Populus Radio network. 


Marlene's inspiration comes from the latest print issue of Wired Magazine. While many of us might not see 20 kb of data as a lot, it can add up once millions of people contribute little bits of data to things like email. Danny van Kooten designed a plug-in for MailChimp which helps reduce the amount of data being sent. A little thing like this can help reduce a massive amount of CO2 over time.


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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.

Key points in this episode

We wanted to produce a special episode of The Geek in Review to discuss the tragedy surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the protests which are going on over the past ten days. While we focus our discussion on the legal industry, the issues are certainly not limited to lawyers and legal professionals. We've dedicated the entirety of the episode to this topic.


Just two months ago we had Bryan Parker on the podcast discussing the need to have a better return on investment when it came to legal talent. In the year 2020, two months feels like two years. With the changes resulting from the pandemic, the economy, and now the murder of George Floyd, we asked Bryan to come back and talk with us, and bring along his Legal Innovators business partner and one-time mentor, Jonathan Greenblatt.


In the recent article, What the Death of George Floyd Should Teach the Legal Industry, Bryan Parker (with help from Jon Greenblatt) lays out some internal and external steps that the legal industry can take to contribute to the conversation around race while maintaining a respect for everyone willing to have an honest conversation. There is an enormous amount of privilege and power within the legal community, and those traits should be used to drive real change. 


One of the first things that Parker and Greenblatt stress that we all must do is to check in on one another. As Bryan says in his article, "[f]or starters, your black colleagues and associates are not alright." This type of interaction and communication shouldn't be limited to the current new cycle. And, as the stress of the current environment sinks with everyone, there is a need to monitor the mental health of all of our colleagues.


We hope that this conversation leads to more conversations.


You can reach 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.





Key points in this episode

Before the world turned upside down, one of the issues we were following was the Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org case where the State of Georgia brought a lawsuit claiming copyright protection on the annotations for its Official Code of Georgia. Our three podcast series (unintentional) started out with Tom Gaylord discussing the initial filing with the Court, Ed Walters and Kyle Courtney breaking down the oral arguments, and finally, we have today's final episode with Ed Walters returning and bringing  Cornell Law School's Kim Nayyer, and the Legal Information Institute's Craig Newton along to discuss the Court's final ruling.


The Court ruled in Public.Resource.Org's favor, but our guests aren't sure how far the opinion actually goes to cover state material beyond the Georgia Code. Could it mean the end of deals between states and vendors like LexisNexis or Thomson Reuters? Does this mean that other materials, such as Regulatory Codes are fair game? We discuss… you decide.


We spend the entire episode on this topic. Don't worry, we'll bring our Information Inspirations back next week.


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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.



Key points in this episode

While most of us in the legal industry were still finding their sea legs when it came to working from home, today's guests were planning a moon shot experiment of creating a virtual legal conference completely from scratch. Haley Altman and Alma Asay from Litera Microsystems talk with us about their experiences in creating and producing The Changing Lawyer LIVE! virtual conference back in April. There were some victories, and some challenges along the way, but the end result was pretty impressive. As we enter the Summer, many other organizations are looking to do some type of online/virtual conference to make up for the cancellation that most organizations had to do because of the pandemic. There's a steep learning curve, so we are grateful that Haley and Alma shared their experiences with us.


Information Inspirations


Google is shutting down some of their diversity and inclusion training programs because of either political pressure (which Google denies) or to establish global, scalable diversity programs (whatever that means.) Diversity and inclusion don't just make the workforce look better, many studies have shown that it actually creates a more effective workforce, and drives profit to the bottom line. 


Harvard Law School helped its incoming students with an online preparatory program called Zero-L. This series of videos and online training helped incoming students understand the processes behind the daily activities of a law student. Now that program is available this summer to everyone. We ponder if a top BigLaw firm might think of creating a Zero-Year Associate online training course that would prepare law students to understand the daily life of an associate and help them understand what the business of running a law firm looks like.


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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.

Key points in this episode

It's episode 75!! We think we look fabulous and that we definitely don't look a day over 50. 


While most professional associations are experiencing significant changes due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, today's guests have launched a brand new network and say that this might be one of the best times to enter the market. The Legal Value Network (LVN) focuses on the delivery of services and connecting professionals from law firms, corporate legal departments, alternative legal services companies, and technology providers. Kristina Lambright and Purvi Sanghvi are part of the LVN Executive Board and discuss the launch of the network, and how they are providing content and connections to those in the network. 


Information Inspirations


Denton's Managing Partner wrote an excellent article in The Hill entitled "Let's stop asking 'When are We Going Back to the Office?'" The leader of the world's largest law firm had some sharp criticism for many of the partners at his firm who are pushing for a return to the office. He points out the privilege that many of these partners are expressing without consideration to the staff, and the gender disparity that will occur if there is a rush to get back to the office. 


It turns out that "Don't let an emergency go to waste" is a Rahm Emanuel reference, and it turns out that we've been saying it wrong... and incompletely. According to Emanuel's interview on Freakonomics, the quote was, “Never allow a good crisis to go to waste. It’s the opportunity to do the things you never thought possible and make them possible.”


Our friend, Cat Moon, through her Make Law Better initiative, is looking for volunteers who are legal innovators and are looking for ways to help during this pandemic.


Check out Marlene's ILTA co-committee members, Amy Monaghan and Mike Ertel's article on Empathetic Human-Centered Design Overlay on Design Thinking Post COVID-19.


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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.

Key points in this episode

It's not unusual for law firms to invest around $1M in recruiting, hiring, training, and retention of Associates over the first four years of their legal career. However, if you look at the actual retention rates through the fourth or fifth year, it is essentially a coin flip on whether the firm retains, or loses that talent. Bryan Parker, CEO of Legal Innovators thinks that it is not a good return on the law firm's (and the Associate's) time and capital investment. Parker believes that you can take a more holistic approach to the recruitment process and evaluate the best talent out there, in particular, women, minorities, and those from underrepresented backgrounds through a two-year process that more resembles the European apprenticeship model than the US on-campus recruiting and Summer Associate method.


In addition to this fascinating discussion, we also have a deep (and fun) discussion of Bryan's sneaker obsession.


Information Inspirations


The cancellation of in-person conferences is on the mind of all of us who usually attend these conferences for our professional development and networking needs. There are alternatives, however. For example, Stanford's CodeX conference is available online, and Greg is on a panel for Litera's April 23rd online event called The Changing Lawyer LIVE! Go check out both conferences.


We want to say how happy we are in David Lat's recovery from his COVID-19 hospitalization. Bob Ambrogi interviewed David after his release from the hospital for his LawNext podcast


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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.

Key points in this episode

Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, and Brian Stearns, Chief Commercial Officer at Workstorm, talk with us about collaboration when most of us are under a shelter-in-place order. There are definitely tools to make it easier to collaborate remotely, but there is a process that must be evaluated first. There's also a human element that must be considered in who people react to the stress they are currently under. 


As we have said before, never let an emergency go to waste, and Gardner and Stearns have some insights on how to evaluate your current structure, determine what works best for your environment, and to remain vigilant and empathetic to those who may be struggling. 


It's not all doom and gloom, however. This is an excellent opportunity to be creative. If you are looking for the right time to introduce new processes, tools, or ideas, now may be the perfect time to pitch those. The worst thing you can do right now is to try and stay the same.


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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.



Key points in this episode

There is no reason why we should let an emergency go to waste. So, we've both taken on a side project while we work remotely. Marlene's new daily ILTA blog presents a quick update on the skills we need to work on while we're working from home. Her first post, Be Sheltering: Not Sheltered discusses a number of initiatives going on which we all can contribute. You can find out more on the ILTA blog page.


Greg began his daily podcast miniseries, In Seclusion, this week. These are short, less than 15 minutes, interviews of an eclectic group of people ranging from bar and professional association leaders, legal information professionals, vendors, consultants, lawyers, etc. Pretty much anyone who works in the legal industry and has a story to tell about their new work from home situation. The first episode is included in this podcast. Greg talked with Jim Calloway from the Oklahoma Bar Association regarding how they are helping their lawyers, courts, and community continue to work in this new environment. You can subscribe to In Seclusion on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts, or where ever you listen to podcasts.


Stay safe everyone!


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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.


 

Key points in this episode

We try... and fail to stay off the COVID-19 topic this week, but it's just too ingrained in our lives right now. For those of you out there doing the remote work thing, we understand and hope you are adapting to the new work mode with little interruption. We, too, are working remotely, and hope there are not too many background noises of kids, refrigerators, or pets making cameo appearances on this week's show.


We have a great talk with Charlie Uniman, Legal Tech Startup Evangelist, and founder of Legal Tech Startup Focus. LTSF is an online community of nearly 1,000 legal startup professionals that gives its members a place to find like-minded individuals and bounce ideas off of one another. Charlie also produces the LTSF Podcast. We cover the issues of how law firms and legal startups communicate with each other. Charlie details the basic processes that law firms and legal startups need to take to build a solid relationship that is beneficial to both parties. While some of what he lays out may seem like common-sense to Charlie, it is insightful to those of us who may not have the constant relationships with startups like he does. 


Information Inspirations


PwC launched its COVID-19 Navigator this week. This online resource shows some of the flexibility that the Big 4 accounting firms may have over law firms. The COVID-19 Navigator allows business leaders to answer a survey of questions to determine how prepared they are for the COVID-19 business disruptions. PwC says that this "digital tool contains 3 sections of questions that will help you understand where your company stands as you respond to COVID-19 in the areas of: crisis management and response; workforce; operations and supply chain; finance and liquidity; tax and trade; and strategy and brand." Can you imagine law firms using an iterative software design like this to leverage their subject matter expertise with technology to assist customers and potential customers with major issues like COVID-19? If not, it's time to start thinking about it. 


Marlene's inspiration this week is for all of us to stay healthy and work through our transition to the remote working that many of us are not accustomed to doing. If you're struggling or want to share your experiences, please reach out to us and we'd love to have that conversation.


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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.

Key points in this episode

Using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing to hold a conversation might seem like a far off idea when it comes to the legal industry, but it is not. We sit down with Baker Hostetler's Katherine Lowry, and Puerto Rico defense attorney Diego Alcala to get a better understanding of how chatbots work, and what value they can bring from legal practices ranging from BigLaw Bankruptcy practice to a solo attorney's criminal law practice.


Katherine Lowry won the American Association of Law Libraries' Innovation Tournament in 2018 with her attorney-facing chatbot. In the nearly two years since that recognition, she has created a chatbot for her Bankruptcy practice that answers thousands of potential questions and helps her attorneys find information quickly and frees up her researchers' time for more complex questions.


Diego Alcala is working on chatbots which will assist him in his practice by answering basic questions that family members need to know about the clients he is representing. While Diego is not a programmer, he has learned the concept of chatbots through numerous platforms that allow for those with no coding skills to still create powerful chatbots to answer practical questions. 


Listen in and see if the ideas shared by Lowry and Alcala spur any ideas of how automating a conversation might help you in your practice.


Information Inspirations


There's another bill in Congress that creates a FREE PACER! Congressman Hank Johnson, D-GA, is not stopping there. He is also requiring more transparency in the Federal Courts by requiring audio and video recordings are made available of court proceedings. While the bill creates a FREE PACER for most, there is a surcharge for power users who have $25,000 or more in quarterly usage. That means some BigLaw firms will have to pay that surcharge.


COVID-19 continues to dominate the conversations (check out our episode). The World Health Organization is testing its messaging to the youth through Tik Tok. It's a novel approach for a novel virus.


We are all updating our business plans to prepare for the worst when it comes to COVID-19, but a recent report says that businesses are more likely to suffer from the slow burn of the everyday risks which traditionally bring businesses to their knees.


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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.

Key points in this episode

With all of the news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) making its way into the United States, it is time for law firms to think about what they are going to do to prepare for a possible outbreak that will affect their business operations. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans need to be dusted off and updated to manage the different scenarios that may come our with over the next few months. We asked the Association of Legal Administrators interim Executive Director, April Campbell, to discuss what law firms need to be doing to prepare.


There are definite immediate and local actions that should be implemented such as:



  • Restrict travel to hotspots

  • 14-day work from home policies for personnel who have traveled to those areas, or were exposed to others who may have traveled to hotspots

  • Stress that sick employees stay home

  • Explain proper handwashing techniques

  • And LOTS OF HAND SANITIZER


The CDC released communications resources on these actions.


While these may be common sense approaches to reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the firm's leadership must go deeper and layout a strategic plan for what to do if the epidemic becomes a pandemic and affects the overall business operations of the firm and the firm's clients. 


There will most likely be a significant increase in those working from home. The firm needs to test the ability of the firm's infrastructure to handle that type of stress. While many of the lawyers may be set up to work from home for a prolonged period, but what about the other employees of the firm? Are they properly trained? Do they have the right equipment? How do you manage personnel who may have never worked from home before? 


There is a multitude of issues facing law firms should COVID-19 become a serious epidemic. The better prepared the firm is now, the better the firm will react should the event come to fruition. As the saying goes, no emergency should go to waste. Now is the time to act and test where the firm needs help, or where there needs to be more flexibility in business operations. If you do not have a disaster recovery plan, reach out to your colleagues in the industry to ask them for help. 


If your firm has created new policies or is testing scenarios based on a COVID-19 outbreak, we'd love to hear more. Send us an email or voicemail and share your experiences.


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Special thanks to Gabriel Teninbaum for his inspiration on this issue.


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.

Key points in this episode

The legal industry relies upon the writings and communications of lawyers, judges, and lawmakers. For the citizens and clients who are subject to these legal writings, understanding the legalese is painfully frustrating. We were asked by a fan of the show (in full disclosure, it was Greg's sister-in-law Wendy) why lawyers can't write in plain English. We pulled together a panel of four experts on legal communications and asked them just that. It turns out that writing in plain English is not only possible, but it is the preferred method of legal writing.


Our guests on this episode are:


Neil Guthrie - Director, Professional Development, Research, and Knowledge Management, at Aired & Berlis LLP in Toronto. Author of Guthrie’s Guide to Better Legal Writing.


Chris Trudeau – Law and Medical Professor at the University of Arkansas/ Little Rock and author of The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication. As well as journal articles on plain English writing for lawyers in Healthcare.


Jesse Katz – Litigation Editor at O’Melveny and Myers, as well as a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist before taking on his editing role.


Sara Harris – Jackson Walker associate who is known for her writing skills, and is an editor for the American Lawyer’s Young Lawyer Editorial Board.


Suggested Reading List


Typography for Lawyers

Plain English for Lawyers

Letting Go of the Words


Information Inspirations


Greg got to drop in on a Houston Young Lawyer Association meeting for First-Generation Lawyers on the topic of lawyer recruiting. The meeting was great, but the biggest impact was made by a question a minority law student was asked on why his experience as a person of color would bring value to the firm. Is that something a firm should even be asking?


Marlene geeks out over Evan Parker's article on How to Talk Data and Influence People, Including Lawyers. This dovetailed nicely with our guests' discussion on presenting the information in a way that tells a story and presents information in a way that is understandable by the reader. Data analytics is just another method of communicating. The trick is communicating in a way that actually makes sense and informs.



Key points in this episode

We reach across the Atlantic Ocean and talk with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's Nick Pryor on his work the firm's BCLP³ innovation objectives. Nick heads up the firm's European, Middle East, and Asia innovation projects, and gives us some insights on the joys and hardships that come with innovation in the global legal market. Whether it is regulations, cultural challenges, competition, or setting a long-term vision, innovation is challenging. However, Nick also stresses that it is also very rewarding.


Innovation Inspirations


If you had any doubts that privacy was dying, the work that Clearview AI is doing may put those doubts to bed. The facial recognition company has scraped billions of images and personal details from the open web over the past few years and has created a database for law enforcement which claims to have a 99% accuracy rate for matching faces to these images. In a recent The Daily Podcast from the New York Times, reporter Kashmir Hill investigates Clearview AI's entry into the facial recognition marketplace and finds a story that is equally amazing and scary. Federal and state law enforcement are raving about the power of this product to help them solve crimes that may have gone unsolved forever. There is a dark side to this power, which Hill found out first hand when the company manipulated results on her photos and possibly intimidated police who were talking with her.  Check out the podcast The End of Privacy as We Know It?


On a lighter note, Marlene's innovation comes from another podcast that explains how new words are added to the Miriam Webster dictionary. The podcast doesn't just stop with the explanation, they are actually attempting to place one of three words into that dictionary, and are asking for help on picking which one. Which will it be? Niblings? Preregret? Or, Pistracted? You can help pick America's Next Top Word.


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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.

Key points in this episode

If there's one thing that many of us need these days, it is a cybersecurity expert on retainer. Luckily, law professor Steve Black, visiting professor at the University of Houston fills that need. Prof. Black talks with us on a number of issues including what motivates hackers and cybercriminals (spoiler: it's money), the dark web, how law firms and business approach information stored in the cloud, and what process automation means for data security. 


Law firms might be a weak link in the eyes of cybercriminals when it comes to acquiring information. Professor Black discusses the different tactics cybercriminals use, the vulnerabilities found in law firms, and the actions that we need to take with our equipment, our network, our people, and our data. We guarantee that his discussion would be the highlight of any party.


Information Inspirations


While some still think of Millennials as the new kids in the workforce, that isn't really true. In a recent white paper from Thomson Reuters titled, "Becoming the firm where millennials want to work," the authors discuss the needs of a generation which is now the largest percentage in the workforce. Greg ponders the idea of there actually being two subsets within the generation of those in the workforce through the Great Recession and those who entered after the downturn. There is almost a decade of lawyers who have never actually experienced what it's like to work during a recession.


Everyone loves a good story. And we love learning about ways we can create better stories. Marlene discovered a great training site that helps teach you just that. Story Ready from Janece Shaffer offers workshops that deal with what makes details of a story stick in your mind. There are offerings on self-awareness, and design thinking as well.


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Special thanks to Joel Lytle, Security Expert from Jackson Walker, LLP for helping me prepare questions for Professor Black.


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.

Key points in this episode

The social media platform Fishbowl is designed to create an anonymous but verified space for professionals to socialize with others in the same profession. CEO and co-founder Matt Sunbulli joins us this week to talk about FIshbowl's entry into the legal industry social media space. It's been about eight weeks, but there is already a large number of attorneys and other legal professionals using the platform to discuss issues ranging from what's an appropriate salary range, to advice on lateral moves, to is it okay to vape in the workplace. The answer to that last one is a solid, NO!


Fishbowl creates an optional identification for its users which range from anonymized job title (Attorney, Partner, etc.), to "works at X law firm," to full identification, based on the user's needs on individual interactions. Because users have to sign up with their real names and be verified by your work email and LinkedIn profile,  there's a self-policing aspect to the platform. This seems to have tamped down the Troll factor you find on other platforms like Reddit. Because it allows for anonymity in the posts, users are more comfortable about asking questions to peers or others in more senior roles. It's a very interesting concept of professional anonymity that brings us some very interesting conversations that we just don't find on other professional networks like LinkedIn. 


Information Inspirations


The American Association of Law Libraries has allowed for full Open Access to the Law Library Journal and Spectrum magazine. The Open Access movement in professional journals and publications is something that has been occurring in academic circles, and once again, AALL is leading the way for other professional organizations to promote professional writing and promotion for its members.


Our Ep. 39 guest Hannah Bloch-Wehba is back with a great upcoming law review article on the problems surrounding the idea of automating social media platform's ability to remove questionable content. While it may sound good on paper, in practice there are many unintended consequences that have to be discussed and exposed.


The National Archives was caught censoring a photo on its Women's Sufferage Movement display. We cannot stress enough how wrong this was. While the National Archives admitted their mistake and is working to replace the image with an unedited one, it is the responsibility of librarians and archivists to not bow to demands or desires to whitewash history. 


Two brothers worked for years to create an alphabet and working writing system to their native Fulfulde language. Through their work and collaboration with UNICODE's Michael Everson, and Microsoft, their vision of creating a way for the millions of native speakers to have their language on a computer system became a reality. 


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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.

Key points in this episode

While we may have had a tough time pronouncing things correctly, this week's guests said all the right things when it comes to being a leader within their organizations. Laura Toledo, Communications and Marketing Manager at Nilan Johnson Lewis PA in Minneapolis, and Kevin Iredell, Chief Marketing Officer at Lowenstein Sandler LLP in New York, discuss their year-long experience in the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute. Both are leaders within the Legal Marketing Association, which sponsored their attendance at the institute. While people in leadership positions may feel that they need to have all the answers, Toledo says that she learned it is okay to be patient and learn more about the situation before just going with her gut reaction. Iredell stressed that the key to being a great leader is making sure that you've given those who report to you all the tools and support they need in order to succeed. The Institute brings together leaders from different industries and helped both of our guests understand that the legal industry does not have a monopoly on stressful situations and the need for solid leadership. 


Information Inspirations

Greg points to a recent TED talk article from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic called “Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? And what can we do about it?” The article and video are about as harsh as the title implies. While Chamorrow-Premuzic takes liberties at the expense of men, pointing out that the traits of bad leaders skew toward men, the traits of a good leader do not have a gender bias. We have a tendency to value confidence over competence, narcissism over humility, and the belief that leaders can do anything rather than know their limitations. This inspiration dovetails nicely with our guests today.


Marlene's inspiration came from Jean O'Grady's reporting on the Law Street Media's relaunch of its legal news platform, beginning with high tech and intellectual property news. For those of us wanting a little more competition with Law360 and other legal new providers, this offering from Fastcase may be exactly what we've been looking for.


Greg's final inspiration is more of a request for certain media outlets. In the past month, there have been articles where the images placed on the article do not fit the content of the article. While the intent of the images may have been innocent or just unaware, the results are misogynistic and racist. Imaging matters, especially in an age where many people do little more than skim the titles and images of an article. Hopefully, this will inspire the publisher to make a more concerted effort to use more appropriate imagery for their articles.


Marlene's discusses Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Brittany Kaiser, who sat down with Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood on Make Me Smart, and discusses how we may be in a worse place than we were in 2016. (Cue the dark place music.)


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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

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With the new decade comes a new tagline for The Geek in Review introduction. Let us know what you think of the change.


Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Information Technology/Director of Marketing at New York Law Institute and is the editor of the new book, Law Librarianship in the Age of AI. Whenever there is a monumental shift in technology and processes, there will be winners and there will be those who are left behind. The authors of this compilation give the readers a path to better understanding what Artificial Intelligence is, and what it isn't. Ranging from the basic understanding of AI concepts to listing specific tools occupying the AI space within the legal industry, to the benefits, risks, and ethical issues surrounding the tools, this book covers a lot of ground. It's definitely worth checking out.


In addition to the book, Ellyssa discusses her other books and projects, including makerspaces and using escape room activities for professional development and end-user training. She will be running an escape room event at the  Ark Group’s 14th annual Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services in New York, NY, March 12-13, 2020. The escape room is called Escape the Library: The Search for Alexander Hamilton and the Missing Librarian: A Time Travel Adventure. Apparently, Alexander Hamilton did not die from his duel with Aaron Burr but is actually a time-traveler. Whether true or not,  it sounds like a lot of fun. Attendees can get a 20% discount on the conference by entering the code "ESCAPE" when registering.


Information Inspirations


We've covered how BigLaw is adopting the Mansfield Rule to increase diversity within the ranks and is basing that rule upon the National Football League's Rooney Rule. Hopefully, BigLaw does better than the NFL has. When the Rooney Rule was adopted in 2003, there were three black NFL head coaches. At one point, that improved to eight. However, habits persist and after nearly seventeen years in, the NFL coaching ranks are back to exactly where we started. Three. If BigLaw is to do better, it must be vigilant, and firms not complying should be called out. 


Marlene's inspiration discusses what happens when your career so encompasses your life, that you can't separate yourself from your job. In a recent  Harvard Business Review article, author Janna Koretz discusses the effects of what psychologists call "enmeshment" where professionals are so intertwined with their career identity, that they lose their self-identity. She describes ways to understand if your identity has become enmeshed with your career, and methods to break free of that enmeshment. The example she uses is a partner at a large firm, and we all probably know that this type of career/personal identity enmeshment is very prominent within the legal industry. 


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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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The past ten years have been what University of Tennessee Law Professor Ben Barton calls "the lost decade" for law schools. In his new book, Fixing Law Schools: From Collapse to the Trump Bump and Beyond, Professor Barton walks us through the issues he sees with the current structure of legal education in the United States, and ways to actually fix it. The book focuses on three areas that need correction:



  1. The cost of legal education is simply too high, and cannot be maintained.

  2. Technology has to be leveraged within the educational curriculum to help future practicing attorneys to do more work, charge less, and make more money in the end.

  3. Regulations have to be focused on the outputs of legal education, and be given teeth so that students are more likely to succeed.


While the book title is about the lost decade of the 2010s, the root of the problem goes back well over a hundred years. Professor Barton talks with us about where we've been, where we are, and where we need to go so that we really are Fixing Law Schools.


Information Inspirations


We keep it short and sweet this week (mostly because neither of us has finished our holiday shopping.)


Wireframes are becoming less relevant — and that’s a good thing - In his Medium article, Sean Dexter argues that using wireframes is basically old school now, especially given the rise of Agile product development, and Lean UX processes. Today's visualizations require more on-the-fly modifications which standard wireframes just don't allow. Newer products like Think Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma are the modern tools you might want to check out.


25+ Legal Tech and Business of Law Predictions for 2020 - Aderant released its third annual predictions and the common theme seems to be centered around the idea that we need less talk about innovation and more actual implementation of innovative ideas and products. Stop with the PR and BS, and get something done. Greg wanted to add one other idea to the 2020 prediction and declare that collaborative software products like Microsoft Teams or the legal industry-focused product Workstorm are going to become must-have products in the team environments in which most of us work.


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Our holiday gift wish is that you take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Be generous!!


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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The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org and we take a deep dive into the issues in this matter. Kyle Courtney, Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, and Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase have strong opinions in this matter, and were both involved in submitting Amicus Briefs on behalf of Public.Resources.Org. Join us for this engaging and informative conversation as we look at what the arguments are from both sides, and how Justices' questions may shape the outcome of this case. 


For more information on this case, check out the oral argument transcript [PDF], and a primer with supportive materials from Ed Waters' on Medium.


We also catch up with Emily Feltren from the American Association of Law Libraries to hear what else has been going on in Washington, DC in regards to legal information (we skip the impeachment stuff.) Believe it or not, there are things actually getting done in DC despite all the obvious gridlock.


Information Inspirations


Our very own Toby Brown is the inaugural guest on the new podcast, Pricing Matters. Toby is well known for his contribution to the establishing of pricing professionals within large law firms, and he gives us a peak behind the curtain of what he has accomplished over the past decade and a half. He even gives us a parallel story of how pricing issues resemble actions taken by HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines. Check it out!


KM Is Dead... Long Live KM. It turns out that if you want to be innovative in law firms, look no further than what your Knowledge Management team has been working on for some time now. There's been a big boost lately in how KM is helping innovative law firms move forward with a 360 degree view of their knowledge, and better understanding their clients.


Sometimes we inspire ourselves. Greg recently read about an Australian law firm going through an identity crisis on whether it should see itself as a law firm, or as a professional services consultant on legal issues. The story line fits almost any company, industry, or organization where there is a paradigm shift in what they do. Check out his LinkedIn article where he reworks the story to fit nearly anyone facing change.


Is Data Science dying? Marlene says no. However, firms trying to implement data science techniques are finding that dirty data and antiquated ideas are limiting its results and driving data scientists away from working for them. 


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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.


 

Key points in this episode

We all love our pets and think of them as part of our families. Even though we might love them as much (or more) than we love people, the legal system does not allow them the same protection. That doesn't mean that there are no rights for animals, in fact, there are many specific laws designated to protect them. In this episode of The Geek in Review, we bring on four experts in researching Animal Laws, not just in the US, but worldwide. We talk with the following members of the American Association of Law Libraries' Animal Law Caucus:


Alex Zhang - Law Library Director and Professor of Practice at Washington and Lee University School of Law

Stacey Gordon Sterling -Law Library Director and Professor of law - Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana

Katie Ott - Reference Librarian - Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford University

Sarah Slinger - Reference Librarian and Lecturer at Law - University of Miami Law Library


Whether it is legal issues ranging from which "parent" gets the pet in a divorce, or how an orangutan is granted "personhood" in Argentina, to animal testing on cute beagles (yes... that's still going on in the US), our experts from the Animal Law Caucus cover these issues and more. 


Information Inspirations


There is a lot of tech opportunities in America, but one of the unrealized places are on Native American Reservations. The Make Me Smart podcast talks with a Native Financial Officer about the upcoming Wiring the Rez conference.


One Texas Federal Judge asks if you submit a brief more than 10 pages long, that you make a recording so he can listen to it, rather than read it. Sounds like an opportunity for some talented legal podcasters with better voices than Greg.


Despite some of the best efforts to make things better, even allies can come up short when it comes to bias in the workplace. One leader in the Social Justice non-profit area shares her story, and it mirrors some of the same situations we see in the legal industry.


To understand Algorithmic Bias, you must first understand the different types of discrimination, and how they apply to the bias. It's very complicated, but here's a primer to get your started.


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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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We have discussed the concept of the T-Shaped Lawyer on previous episodes, but we jump into a new concept this week called the Delta Model. Alyson Carrel from Northwestern Law School joins returning guest Cat Moon from Vanderbilt Law School’s Program on Law and Innovation to discuss this intriguing idea of helping lawyers understand the pyramid of skills surrounding understanding the law, business & operations, and personal effectiveness.
We suggest taking a look at this primer from Carrel, Moon, and other members of the Delta Model working group (Natalie Runyon, Shellie Reid, and Gabe Teninbaum) from Bill Henderson's blog, Legal Evolution. This model of three principles, along with the ability to shift the center of importance for each skill set, helps explain, and guide the overall needs of the legal industry. Carrel and Moon give us an insider's view of the model and explain why this concept will help with the holistic training of law students as well as practicing attorneys.

Information Inspirations

In the article, Innovation, Disruption, and Impact: Should We All Jump Aboard the Legal Tech Hype Train? by Peter Melicharek and Franziska Lehner, the authors talk about the need to unwind the PR from the actual technology in the legal industry. The primary benefit of technology is to assist in achieving results by eliminating mundane tasks, and assisting in getting to better legal results, faster, and cheaper.
Once again... read the Delta Model primer. It's so important, it is inspirational.
Can law firms actually create a four-day work week? One smaller firm in Florida says yes. ALM's Dylan Jackson interviews the managing partner of Orlando based Benenati Law about how he has created a four-day work week, and three-day weekends, and the benefits they've discovered of this alternative work model. A recent Microsoft survey found a 40% increase in productivity in some of their four-day work schedules. Perhaps it could do the same at firms??
If you're looking for a great podcast that discusses UX and User Design, then Wireframe has just what you need.

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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, thanks Jerry!

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Ian Nelson is no stranger to introducing the legal industry to as-needed training on legal topics. He was one of the first US employees of Practical Law Company (PLC). After PLC was acquired by Thomson Reuters, Ian stayed on for a while as PLC transitioned into the Thomson Reuters portfolio of legal resources, but his days of finding better ways of presenting and teaching legal concepts were not behind him. Recently, he and his co-founder Chris Wedgeworth (anther PLC alum) created Hotshot. Hotshot is an online Professional Development resource which uses short videos, quizzes, and more to train lawyers, and even law students, across a growing list of legal, business, and technology skills. Essentially, they’ve brought digital learning to the legal industry.


Ian joins us to talk about Hotshot's short video training concepts work with adult learners ranging from attorneys, to law firm staffers, and even helping law students quickly understand complex legal topics.


Congratulations to the newly elected board members for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)! In other AALL news, time is running out for members to sign up for the Leadership Academy to be held in Chicago next March. Registration ends on November 11th.


Information Inspirations


We have some new, and new to you podcasts to suggest this week.


First up is the new Law360 Explores: Legalization which investigates all of the legal hurdles of marijuana between the states which legalized it, and the federal government which still sees it as illegal drug dealing.


Hustle and Flow Chart is one of Marlene's favorite digital marketing podcasts which has tips and tricks for your daily work routine.


Junior Economist is a brand new podcast that gives the Millennial perspective on pop culture and current affairs, but through an economic lens.


Beyond the podcast inspirations... if you're looking for a speaker on generational diversity within law firms (there's a 60+ year span between your youngest associates and your oldest senior partners), Greg suggests looking at Chris De Santis. The methods of achieving work goals differ between Boomers, Xers, and Millennials. The more we understand how each generation works, the better we work together.


And finally, Greg is still slightly depressed about the Houston Astros losing in the World Series to the Washington Nationals, but Marlene finds the silver lining by geeking out over sports and graphical data representation. Whether it is the amazing SkyCam view of Cordarrelle Patterson's kickoff return, or strike zone view in baseball, there's a lot of opportunity to add graphics and data to sports, especially baseball.


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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. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!



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Wouldn't it be cool if a law school and a business school could collaborate on issues of legal analytics, entrepreneurial opportunities in the law, and collaboration between the university and the local business and law firm industries? We talk with a couple of professors at Georgia Statue University (GSU) who are turning this 'cool idea' and making it a reality. Anne Tucker, Professor of Law, Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative, and Ben Chapman, Executive Director, Legal Analytics and Innovation Initiative join us to discuss the details behind The Institute for Insight at GSU. The Institute brings together professors from different backgrounds of Engineering, Computer Science, and Statistics and with this type of cross-pollination with business and law, the professors are looking at applied analytics questions and bringing in their own unique skill sets to understand and solve these issues. 


This mashup of law, business, data science, risk management, statistics and more isn't a purely academic endeavor for the Institute. Following in the tradition of GSU being an urban school, the Institute works with well known players in the Atlanta business and legal community to put the ideas into real-world situations. This gives the Institute's professors and students the opportunity to work side-by-side with the business and legal leaders to help identify, study, analyze, and potentially solve issues facing the business and legal industry. This is one of the many values which Tucker and Chapman see for not just preparing students for the practice of law, but also for the business of law.


Information Inspirations


While Greg was busy playing guitar in his law firm's band, Marlene was speaking at the DLaw Summit in NYC last week.


Competitive Intelligence guru, Kevin Miles from Norton Rose Fulbright gives us some nice checklists on different CI topics along with some templates designed in MS Word to help start you on the CI path at your law firm.


The Financial Times came out with a 15 article report on the legal industry ranging from top legal business technologists, to the Big-Four's advancement in the legal industry, to both the promise, and the overwhelming nature of understanding legal tech processes.


We hope that Google still follows the "Don't Be Evil" rule because they are now touting success in the Quantum Computing area. Google recently announce that its new Quantum Computer can computerate complex data in less than 3 minutes what it would take current supercomputers 10,000 years to do. We guess it's not a good or bad thing, but the future is definitely upon us. 


Northwestern Law's Daniel Rodriguez, and Legal Mosaic's Mark Cohen have a lengthy discussion on how to advance today's law school's teaching into the 21st Century. It's a great conversation.


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This week, we bring on Kevin Clem, Chief Commercial Officer for HBR Consulting. Kevin discusses the HBR Law Department Survey which has become a staple in the industry over the past 16 years. There is still a bit of a Family Feud between the in-house and the outside counsel ranks, but the survey is showing that there are lots of opportunities for the two sides to communicate and collaborate, rather than keep the status quo in the relationship. GC's are wanting their outside firms to help them beyond their legal issues, and really get to understand their business needs and pressures. Whether it is laying out strategy and pricing, or assisting the law department with their understanding of legal tools or knowledge collection, there are needs which law firms need to help with, or someone else may fill that void. 


Clem has used the platform of the TV game show, The Family Feud to show his audiences of corporate counsels how they see their relationships. And the survey says... it's not great.  Some 87% of GC's he had surveyed found the relationship to be either okay, or needing help. It's a great conversation, and we cover a number of topics, and the one thing that we all agreed with, is that Richard Dawson was our favorite host. 


Information Inspirations:


Pepperdine's online course makes a PR push for "nons." Greg thinks maybe they should find another term. After all, hospital administration is not referred to as non-doctors.


There's some inspirational tweets out there ranging from why it's okay to talk about your projects at conferences, to how great a brother (and customer service provider) Levi is.


Marlene is speaking at the Disrupt Law conference in NYC on Oct. 22-23. She is also on the ILTA Practice Management Content team, so if you have ideas for presentation, white papers, or other topics, tweet her!


The Relativity, FTI Technology, Kaplan survey of in-house counsel points out that 97% of the GC's surveyed are considered business strategy leaders in their companies. And once again, it's important for their law firms to have solid knowledge of their businesses beyond their legal needs. This is a golden opportunity for CI/BI legal information professionals to step up and help law firm lawyers gain that knowledge.


While the Trump tax returns may seem ever elusive, one researcher from ProPublica used FOIA requests to find individual parts and then piece them together. 


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!



Key points in this episode

Three law school innovators, three law firm innovators, a law student, and a biglaw Partner meet on a podcast... this podcast... and share thoughts on how to improve law students' tech skills before they arrive at the firm. That is the setting for this episode of The Geek in Review. 


Nikki Shaver, Director of Innovation and Knowledge from Paul Hastings got this conversation started on Twitter when she discovered that most of the New Fall Associates (NFAs) did not take any technology or innovation courses while in law school. This is not an uncommon story. There seems to be little incentive, either on the law school, or law firm side of recruiting which stresses tech competencies. But just because that's the way it has always been, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. There is definitely room for improvement! So we wanted to get a group together and do just that.


We asked Vanderbilt Law School's Cat Moon, Vermont Law School's Jeannette Eicks, and University of Oklahoma Law School's Kenton Brice to cover the law school innovation perspective. 


Nikki Shaver, Marlene, and Greg cover the law firm innovation perspective.


We also asked Jackson Walker Partner Matt Acosta, and Michigan State University Law School student, Kanza Khan to jump in and share their experiences with the expectations for legal technology skills. 


We take a deep dive into the topic ranging from what law schools are actually offering students, what are law firms expectations for tech skills, and are law firm recruiting, and law school placement incentivizing students to be more proficient with tech before they arrive as NFAs?


Update on Government Actions on Legal Information


It's been a few months since we last talked with Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations with the American Association of Law Libraries. While the country may be focused on the impeachment inquiry, Emily catches us up on legislation that has passed the US House (and is sitting in the US Senate.) There's a potential Thanksgiving budget crisis... yeah, we hadn't heard that either. And, there were hearings last week on FREE PACER (and how some US Judges are not on board for that.)


So Jam Packed, We Had To Postpone Information Inspirations


We skipped the Information Inspirations portion this week. We promise it will be back in the next episode!!


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

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It turns out that the West Coast doesn't have a lock on law and tech innovation. On this episode, we talk with four guests who are involved in the upcoming NYU Law and Tech: Impact on Innovation, coming up on October 15, 2019.  Our guests today are Felicity Conrad is a NYU grad and CoFounder and CEO of Paladin. Michael Weinberg is the Executive Director at the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU. Christian Lang, Head of Strategy at Reynen Court. And, Anna McGrane is also an NYU Law alum, and is the Co-founder and COO of PacerPro. Each discuss their individual experiences with legal tech innovation, and how the NYU campus has become an launching point for many of its grads toward the legal technology and innovation community. From start-ups to meet-ups, our guests believe that NYU is showing that innovation can have a definite East Coast flavor. 


Information Inspirations


The Return of FREE PACER!!


Northwestern University’s Interdisciplinary team, which includes seven law faculty, including our previous guest, Tom Gaylord, was awarded a National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator Grant this month. The $1 Million grant will be used to advance Northwestern’s AI-Powered data platform which interfaces with the federal PACER system. The Northwestern Open Access to Court Records Initiative (NOACRI) Team includes lawyers, journalists, economists, and policy makers across the different schools at Northwestern, and they are working to create tools needed to make the data locked in PACER available, and then link that data to public information about the litigants, judges, lawyers, and the courts. We wish them luck!!


Can Congress Regulate Algorithms used in judicial processes?


California Representative, Mark Takano has introduced the “Justice in Forensic Algorithms Act of 2019.” The idea is to create a standards for these algorithms that make them more transparent, especially to the defense teams, not just for the results, but for the entire process. Algorithms used in the courts will also not be able to hide behind trade secrets to prevent those affected by the algorithms from understanding how these results were produced. Can the government actually pull this off? It'll be interesting to see how this progresses. 


Plus, a bonus inspiration on what law firms should be doing to encourage 1L's and 2L's to learn more about technology while still at the law schools.


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

Makerspaces are becoming very popular in libraries, and today we talk with two librarians who are ready to bring the collaborative thinking and working spaces into the law school library environment. Ashley Matthews is at George Mason's Antonin Scalia Law School, and Sharon Bradley is at the University of Georgia School of Law. Both believe there is a great benefit in carving out spaces within the law school library to allow students and faculty the ability to tinker and experiment with their creative sides, and potentially come up with the next big idea in the legal market.


Matthews recently wrote an article on makerspaces entitled "Teaching Students to 'Tech Like a Lawyer'." While some of us may see 'tech like a lawyer' as a way to stop technology, Matthews thinks that the law school library environment can be the perfect place to teach law students the analytical skills they'll need in their practice to truly understand how a legal issue can benefit from technology, and how to issue spot, reason, analyze, and resolve legal issues more effectively with technology.


Information Inspirations




The Dangers of Categorical Thinking

The human mind is build to categorize the things we see and do in the world. It just helps us make sense of the world, whether it's the fight or flight between seeing a stick and a snake, or the business decisions we make in selecting the perfect candidate out of a pool of ten qualified applicants. We group the hard skills and the soft skills. In this Harvard Business Review article, the authors warns not to be so caught up in the larger categorical picture, and lose sight of the details and nuances that really make the difference in the end.


Four Firms are Moving the Needle on Diversity… and looking for a Fifth

Eversheds Sutherland (US) announced this week that they are joining Goodwin, Orrick, and Stoel Rives in participating in a project called "Move the Needle Fund." These four firms have committed to meet the goal of having 33% women partners, and increasing the overall representation of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, lawyers with disabilities, and veterans to at least 15% of their ranks within five years. The Move the Needle Fund is looking for a fifth law firm to join this group.


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

While we could talk all day with the husband and wife team of Andie Kramer and Al Harris about being BigLaw Partners, it is their work on women's conflicts and bias in the workplace which brings them on the show today. Andie and Al recently released their second book, It's Not You, It's the Workplace: Women's Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It. And we jump in with both feet to discuss how the workplace environment, even at law firms (or maybe, especially at law firms), is designed to place women in adversarial roles against one another. Andie and Al have mentored women, conducted speaking consultations, and have written books on the subject of gender communications for over 30 years. Because they bring both the female and male perspectives into this very difficult conversation, they pack a one-two punch for their audiences and definitely grab their attention. When we asked Al Harris how important it was for him to bring in men into this conversation, his answer was, "in a word… VERY!"


We take a deep dive into the issue of gender bias in the workplace, and the environment which contributes to that very bias. You can learn more about Andie Kramer and Al Harris, including a question guide to their books, at their website, andieandal.com. Definitely check out the website after you listen to this week's interview!


What Does Your Family Think You Do??


We have one more story this week about a family member who thinks that being a library manager is a glorified file clerk job. We imagined that Thanksgiving that year was a little awkward. If you have a story to share, leave us a message at 713-487-7270 or email us your story at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.


Information Inspirations


Come on men... it's 2019!!


The Pence Rule of a man not being alone with a woman in the workplace, or attending a social event with alcohol without having a man's wife present is affecting work environments, including law firms. American Lawyer senior columnist, Vivia Chen's article, #MeToo Backlash Is Not Going Away, shows how men are less likely to work in one-on-one situations with women at a higher rate in 2019, than in 2016. This is having a significant effect on the ability for women to have equal access to opportunities and advancement. Vivia puts it best when she says "Considering it's 2019, it's frick'n unbelievable." We couldn't agree more.


Investments in In-House Training Pays Off


According to MP McQueen at CorporateCounsel, legal departments who spend more of their budgets on training, and who use their own in-house folks to conduct the training, have a higher return on their investment, and end up with a significant overall savings. A Gartner study of 140 in-house legal departments examined these training practices to handle lower risk issues created significant savings over using outside firms. 


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!



Key points in this episode

Andre Davison was literally a sixteen year old student when he began his career in law firm libraries. Now the Research Technology Manager at Blank Rome's Houston office, Andre has taken a leadership role both within his firm with technology and diversity programs, and has been rewarded for his efforts with multiple awards. Andre was awarded his firm's Nathaniel R. Jones Diversity Award for his diversity efforts, and he was the American Association of Law Libraries' Innovation Tournament winner for his Seamless Access to Secondary Sources (SASS) which enabled lawyers and others at his firm to dive into the portions of research materials directly, and without having to worry about usernames, passwords, or client numbers. 


Andre's work expands past his award winning efforts at his firm, and he has taken on leadership roles on the local level with the Houston Area Law Libraries (HALL) as the current President. The local chapters are a wealth of professional development, and local community efforts which he says brings a family-like environment to him and his peers. 


How does your family describe what you do?


Speaking of family, we share stories of how our families describe to others what we do for work. As might be expected, it doesn't always match the reality of the situation. Greg thinks that it might have been easier on his family if he worked at Walmart. We'd love to get more stories to put on the show of what it is that your family members think you do. Leave us a voicemail at 713-487-7270 or email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com and share your story!


Information Inspirations


How Should Law Schools Adjust for Gen Z?


Wake Forest Law School LR&W Director, Laura Graham wrote an excellent law review article which was featured as a Thursday Think Piece on SLAW. Gen Z's are very different from their Millennial law school predecessors. Learning and social styles are different and like it or not, law schools (and eventually law firms) are going to have to determine how to make adjustments for these new entrants into the legal profession. Greg would love to get a book club going on this topic, so reach out to him if you want to share ideas!


Tech Trends and the Meeker Report


The annual Meeker Report is out, and our past TGIR Interviewee, Stephen Embry has a review of how that relates to the legal industry. Marlene highlights three areas of how people educate themselves online with videos and podcasts. If you learn via podcasts (and we hope you do!), then the Kennedy-Mighell podcast covers this topic as well.


American Law Firms in Transition


This book from Randall Kiser just might be the next End of Lawyers? for the legal industry. Kiser discusses how law firms are still spinning the data of how healthy they are and ignore problems in their business model. WIth the recent collapse of LeClaireRyan, maybe firms might find Kiser's insights to be more relevant.


Rise of the Alternative Business Structures (ABS) in the Legal Industry


Our friend, Jordan Furlong has a series of Tweets covering the adoption of ABS in states like Utah, and in some Canadian provinces. Furlong says that we should be prepared for a “seismic change ripping through legal service regulations.”

Key points in this episode

Welcome to the 50th Episode of the Geek in Review!!


American Lawyer Media Reporter, Dylan Jackson, joins us this week to discuss two of his recent articles which focused on the mental health of law firm staff, as well as the persistent caste system which still exists in the large law firm environment. Jackson talked with a number of people within law firms regarding how firms view the mental health of staffers, what firms are doing (or not doing) to address the issues, as well as how firms value their staff's contribution to the success of the firm. While the days of having a chair tossed at you by a partner might have faded in the past couple of decades, the stress placed on staff to handle more work, and to take on much more strategic missions for the law firm has significantly increased over the past ten years. Jackson found that it is still difficult for even the most senior of staff to get a seat at the table within the law firm, and that old barriers still exist to separate lawyers from the professional staff. In the end, these professionals need to be recognized for their contribution, and they want to be treated with respect.


Information Inspirations


The Dark Side of Personality Tests


Many law firms are conducting personality assessments on their lawyers and staff. The idea is that if we better understood each other's personalities, we can communicate better. Author Quinisha Jackson-Wright points out in a New York Times piece a significant flaw in personality tests when other use it to "fix" the other person, rather than adapt their own behavior. It's important that workers don't feel like they are being "outed" by being a certain personality type.


KM as a SUSTAINED Innovation Practice


Ark Group's new book, Tomorrow's KM-Innovation, comes some of the best practices around Knowledge Management in law firms. Ranging from the diversity needed within KM, to where innovation sits, to the collaboration needed for KM projects to succeed, this book covers it. While the US firms are still trying to define KM, it seems that firms outside the US have a clear vision.


What is your Law Firm's Purpose?


Bruce MacEwan at Adam Smith, Esq., builds upon the recent announcement by The Business Roundtable that corporations should no longer view maximizing shareholder profits as the sole guiding principle for its existence. How should this effect law firms? When partners ask the question "What is your Law Firm's Purpose?" of course, compensation is high up there… but what else is its purpose? 



Looking to Code?


Marlene discovered a fun (and free) place to learn some of the basics of coding. Free Code Camp has a number of options ranging from how to survive a tech conference, to even building your own version of a Flappy Bird game.


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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. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

Most of us learned that if you set goals, those goals should be measurable. Sameena Kluck, Vice President of Business Development at Paladin, PBC, sits down with us this week to discuss how Pro Bono goals should also be measurable. While Pro Bono work is primarily viewed as a way for lawyers to do "good work," it has a larger impact than just on those receiving the work. We anecdotally know that Pro Bono impacts professional development, business development, recruiting, retention, attorney morale, marketing, branding, and more. However, there hasn't been a very good way of actually quantifying how Pro Bono works affect the law firm. We've measured our work by the hours we put in (pretty typical for a law firm), but that doesn't really tell us all the story. Sameena walks us through some of the metrics that she and Paladin are measuring to show the true value of Pro Bono work and how it benefits much more than just the Pro Bono client.


Information Inspirations:




AI for the Business of Law

Jennifer Roberts, our Data Science Superhero from Ep. 26, has an article in LegalTechNews this week which says that the AI Hype Cycle might be in full swing when it comes to work that lawyers are doing, but that cycle is still in it's infancy when it comes to the business side of the law firm. Specifically in the Business Development and is the Risk Management departments of law firms, AI is just getting started. Roberts lays out examples of ways which AI tools can identify client traits. Predictions and modeling on client's likelihood of attrition, or forecasting client's financial viability, or the buying patterns of clients are just a few things that AI can assist business development professionals. When it comes to conflicts, Roberts writes that AI can reduce the time it takes to clear conflicts by up to 80%. There's definitely some value-add which AI can bring to the business side of the law firm table.


The 1619 Project and Howard University Law Grads

The New York Times Magazine launched an amazing expose on the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. One section focuses in on four recent law graduates of Howard University. It is a powerful piece which describes the journey of these families starting with their enslaved ancestors, and travel the path through today, and the lawyers' plans for the future. There is also a 1619 Podcast launching this week as well.


Accelerated Learning

Mission.org provides concise summaries of management writings, and Marlene points us to one of her favorites. "131 Actionable Ideas from Ten Books I Wish I Had Read Ages Ago." Author Louis Tsai walks through key takeaways of ten management books. In about 10 minutes, you should be all up to speed.


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

When mega-legal publisher, Thomson Reuters, acquired regional legal publisher, O'Connor's in January 2018, there were many Texas lawyers and law librarians who worried about what would happen to this very popular publisher. Greg sits down with former O'Connor's Vice President, Jason Wilson, and talks about the history of O'Connor's, why they focused on information design, and the plain English style of writing of their books. Wilson says the secret to good publishing, is spending a good amount of time preparing the material, and a systematic approach to organizing the material in a way that makes sense to the attorneys. While O'Connor's has be gobbled up by Thomson Reuters, Wilson thinks that there is still a lot of room for small and regional legal publishers. In fact, he says it makes perfect sense for large publishers to license some of their more regional or niche materials to smaller vendors so that they can give it the attention to detail those topics need. 


Information Inspirations


In a world where you can't swing a swag back at a legal conference without hitting a vendor claiming to have AI which will transform the industry, is ROSS Intelligence pushing it a little too far when they claim that they've pulled legal research out of the "dark ages" and that they've eliminated the need for humans to compile information found in traditional secondary sources (AKA treatises)? Greg suggests that when you read PR like this, have your law librarian test it to see if it really is transformative, or if it is purely PR speak.


Thomson Reuters recently published a white paper called The Next Gen Leadership: Advancing Lawyers of Color (pdf). In a legal industry which is 85% white, and 64% male (compared to US stats of 76.6% and 49.2% respectively), TR sets out to interview 23 attorneys of color across the country to find out what they see white/male attorneys are doing to advance and retain lawyers of color. There are three themes picked up by TR in the interview which cover:



  1. sponsorship to navigate law firm spaces

  2. access to critical assignments, and

  3. increase understanding on the unique experiences of lawyers of color.


Stephen Embry has a great blog post that fits nicely with this topic, and covers the ABA's 2019 Profile of the Legal Profession Report


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

Ian McDougall is the General Counsel for LexisNexis, as well as the President of LexisNexis' Rule of Law Foundation. According to the Foundation, The Rule of Law is made up of four parts:



  1. Equality Under the Law

  2. Transparency of Law

  3. Independent Judiciary

  4. Accessible Legal Remedy


For there to be a true existence of Rule of Law, all four parts must be present in the governments which rule the people. McDougall says that no country has mastered the Rule of Law, and that ideals like democracy and justice can cause significant barriers to the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law, there is no true access to justice. Without the Rule of Law, commerce doesn't flow. McDougall is working with partners, including NGOs and corporate operations to establish stable environments, for people, as well as commerce. 


Information Inspirations:


We live in an age of massive data, analytics, business intelligence tools which allow industry leaders to gain insights on their organizations, industry, and competition. With all these resources, data, analytics, and insights at their fingertips, Deloitte's recent survey of over 1,000 industry leaders exposes that a majority of these leaders still desire the simplicity of spreadsheets. To borrow from Henry Ford, they desire a faster horse.


Perhaps, like Greg, you are not a fan of cockroaches. Science, however, is making cockroaches useful, and may even save lives during disasters. But even insects aren't immune from technology. Eventually, those roaches with electronic backpacks may still be outsources by their eventual robot replacements.


Patrick McKenna's book excerpt, The Rise of the Legal COO, isn't just for COOs who find themselves reporting to a new Managing Partner. There's a number of questions, and adjustments which McKenna suggests, which will work for practically anyone who finds themselves with a new boss.


While Gen X'ers should be in the prime of their professional careers, Harvard Business Review's recent report may show that companies, and maybe law firms, are going to find themselves with a Gen X problem. Boomers are staying, and Millennials are advancing faster. It's a squeeze on both ends of the generational tube.


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 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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!



Key points in this episode

On this episode of The Geek in Review, Anusia Gillespie, the US Head of Innovation at Eversheds Sutherland, sits down with us this week to discuss what she refers to as the "New Big Law"  market's inverted approach to innovation. In a market filled with problem solvers, sometimes the innovation we create solves a problem first, and then sets out to find the problem for this solution.  Gillespie finds that innovation is disciplined and structured in its approach, but broad and creative in its thinking.  Innovation definitely doesn’t live in any one discipline.  Innovative solutions might require technology expertise, but it could just as well only require professional development expertise or strict legal expertise.  She's convinced that we need to move away from this type of anchoring bias to ensure that, in this time of rebuilding law into New Big Law, legal innovators finally design and implement correct and smart solutions.  With the various professionals needed to identify problems, and create solutions, you need leadership, structure, a bit of fun mixed in, and a champion-forward approach. We dive into issues ranging from an overview of how Eversheds defines innovation to case studies of Gillespie's publication on smart solutions for lateral recruitment and onboarding. 


Information Inspirations


There are five very good podcast recordings from Legal Talk Networks "On the Road" series from the American Association of Law LIbraries (AALL) conference in Washington, DC. Check it out. Subscribe to it (and to The Geek in Review whle you're at it!!) 


Finnemore Craig's managing partner, James Goodnow, writes that his kids don't want to be lawyers! It's not surprising, but is it really all that bad? Maybe.


Our fellow 3 Geek's writer, Ryan McClead, was interviewed by the ACC's Rachel Zahorsky about all those innovation subsidiaries that have been all over the news lately. McClead thinks there may be more sizzle than steak, saying that he doesn't think that anyone is doing it very well, and that the innovation created on the outside, doesn't seem to be making it back inside those firms.


Cat Moon's #FailureCamp was a success. Marlene was excited about all of the Twitter traffic and information that came out of the workshop, and she hinted, pretty loudly, that she'd love one of the cool t-shirts the attendees were issued. 


Bonus Nerdy Info Inspo's: Marlene goes full nerd and dives into archaeoludology, the study of ancient games. Not to be outdone, Greg nerds up and points to a recent episode of The Nod which discusses Jerry Lawson, and his invention of the gaming console cartridge. 


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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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform.


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

After a week of Washington, DC heat and humidity, we are back to discuss all things legal information with a slant toward technology and management. We have a recap of the American Association of Law Libraries annual conference, #AALL19, where Marlene runs through her packed schedule of events which she attended, presented, or wished she'd attended. Greg was just happy to rotate off the AALL Executive Board, which he's been a part of for most of this decade. Don't worry.... there's still plenty of other AALL work for him to do.


On this episode, Marlene and Greg go international for the topics. We talk with Lluis Faus and Masoud Gerami of vLex about the recent merger of Gerami's longtime foreign legal information platform, Justis. Faus and Gerami tell us the story of how they were able to blend the two platforms together, and the process of how they are able to pull together information from over 30 different countries, all with different levels of transparency and access to their legal information. 


Information Inspirations 


France recently outlawed the use of judicial analytics which allows for the searching and identifying the names of the judges. We reached out to Tara Tubman-Bassirian, a French lawyer practicing in the UK, about the reasoning behind France's criminalization of judicial data. Tubman-Bassirian says that the reasoning rests somewhere between the country's effort to protect its Civil Law structure and the anonymity of the judges, and a flat out fear of what technology might be bringing in the ways of analytics, AI, and other unknown advancements. 


Marlene's inspiration comes from our friends at CLOC, and their release of their 2nd Annual State of the Industry Survey. The survey covers topics like Expenditures, Headcount, Technology, and Law Firm Evaluations. Best of all... it's free! Artificial Lawyer blog has a great breakdown of the legal technology portion of the survey.


 


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Remember that you can 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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. Also, subscribe, rate, and comment on The Geek In Review on your favorite podcast platform. 


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry! (TIP: Listen to the very end of the show for some "extra" Jerry this week.)



Key points in this episode

The law is the law, and should be in the public domain, right?? Well, you'd think so, but it may be up to the US Supreme Court to make that determination in its next session when it takes up The State of Georgia v. Public.Resources.org. We talk with Tom Gaylord, Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications Librarian at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, about his thoughts on why the Court granted cert. on an issue that hasn't been on its radar, and how he thinks a minimum of five justices may align on the issue. Tom breaks down possible arguments and what could happen if the Court rules in favor of Georgia's claim of copyright of its statues, or if it creates a bright line rule that statutes are not copyrightable. This is going to be one interesting case to follow.


Information Inspirations


Marlene discusses Carolyn Elefant's article on Whose Data Is It Anyway? and brings up the age old question of just because we can, doesn't mean we should, when it comes to data collection of client information. Lawyers have a special relationship with their clients and must be careful not to damage that relationship through the use of data collection (even if that collection is ethical, and with client consent. 


Greg's first inspiration is from Patrick DiDominico and James Lee's article First Our Books, And Now Our Jobs? Paradigm shifts within the legal information profession isn't new, but how we adjust to those shifts can change with each shift. DiDominco and Lee say that there are ample opportunities for professionals who leverage AI to make them individually more valuable to their organization. Is that really true? Maybe... Maybe not.


It's bad enough to have your phone hacked through something called a SIM Swap... but to make matters worse, some phone and data companies don't come to their customer's assistance when they need them most. Marlene discusses two stories where things go from bad, to worse.


Greg's last inspiration this week brings us back to Georgia, where the state court system is totally Nyuk'ed. That's the name of the ransomware software that has infected the state court system and shut it down. One village in Florida had to pay $460,000.00, it's probably going to cost Georgia many times that to unlock their computers. 


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Remember that you can 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. We’d love to hear any ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. 


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!



Key points in this episode

It seems that the current workforce is looking for more flexibility in where they work, and how often that means in an office setting, a home office, or in some other remote location. We conducted a semi-Elephant Post episode this week and asked our listeners to call in and leave their stories about the pros and cons of remote working. We have a diverse group of 13 stories ranging from marketers, librarians, attorneys, techies, and more from North America and even from Europe. Key factors are trust, transparency, flexibility, and a fast Internet connection. Walk with us as we celebrate The Geek in Review's first anniversary of podcasts by listening to a baker's dozen of stories of why working remotely works, or doesn't work for people. 


Information Inspirations


By popular demand, we bring back the Information Inspirations to the beginning of the episode. 


Free the Statutes!!


Marlene points out that the US Supreme Court is taking up the issue of whether states have the right to copyright their statutes. Carl Malamud's PublicResource.ORG is arguing that the law should be outside the restrictions of copyright against the State of Georgia. We are hoping that the Supreme Court frees state statutes out from under the copyright restrictions. As does the Editorial Board of the New York Times.


Video Manipulation is a Problem!


The Washington Post has created "The Fact Checkers" in order to try to identify manipulated videos that are posted online. They created a guide to video manipulation as well as a way for the public to identify videos which they believe are manipulated. This is going to be a huge problem in society, and Marlene and Greg think that there is definitely opportunities for law librarians to play a role in identifying harmful manipulated videos.


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Remember that you can 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. We’d love to hear some (Elephant Post) ideas you’d like us to cover in future episodes. 


As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca, thanks Jerry!

Key points in this episode

There's more to strategy than having a shelf full of binders labeled "Strategy [Insert Year]." That's what this week's guest, Matt Homann from Filament, tells us. Matt's influence in the legal market goes back a couple of decades, and he's been a voice in the blogging sphere for a number of years. At Filament, he works with legal, as well as other industries (like the St. Louis Cardinals) to help leaders better relate and guide their organizations. As he puts it, "we help smart people think together better." Matt believes that the way we tell our stories will help people join in on the overall efforts and strategies of the organization. It's easy to tell our stories to like-minded people, but we also have to tell (and sell) our story to those who are opposed to the strategies. More importantly, we have to reach those in the middle, who could go either way. If you convince that 50-80% of people willing to join you if you give them the right motivation, it can change the entire momentum of your organization's efforts. 


Information Inspirations


We flip this week's episode and try something new. Our information inspirations segment will come after the interview. Let us know (@gebauerm or @glambert or call 713-487-7270) and let us know if you like or hate this new setup.


Why isn't data privacy a bigger deal?


There's a great episode of Make Me Smart which discusses Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. That section is responsible for the social media and overall Internet that we have today. What caught Greg's ear on this show was that co-host, Molly Wood, went on an absolute rant about how private and government entities are still not taking our privacy data as seriously as they should. Just this week there was a breach at US Customs where facial recognition data was hacked. With things like DNA databases, and other personal data out there in unsecured databases, and with penalties being relatively light, Molly was not a happy camper.


Are states stepping up for consumer information?


Marlene points out that while California's Consumer Privacy Act starts in 2020, Nevada has leaped ahead with their own privacy laws. Even New York is looking to join the list of states requiring more protection of consumer data. Is the path to protection going to be through individual state laws?


Marlene contributes to Casetext's special report


Casetext has released a new special report called "Evaluating and Adopting Legal Technology in 2019." Our very own Marlene Gebauer is a contributor to the report. You can download it for free.


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. Let us know about flipping the information inspirations and the interview. Like it? Hate it? Are you in the middle? (Di we need to tell you our story to win you over?) You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out. Call us at 713-487-7270 with suggestions. And, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for the music!



Key points in this episode

Brad Blickstein, Principal at the Blickstein Group, a research and advisory firm for both in-house and outside law firms, joins us to talk about legal operation, and his recent experiences at the 2019 CLOC Institute in Las Vegas. As with many great conferences, the programming between 9 AM and 5 PM is good... but the conversations from 5 PM to 9 PM (or 5 AM, this was Vegas), are what makes the gathering really special. We're calling it #CLOCAfterDark. 


There's a lot going on in Legal Operations, and the Blickstein Group has put out a Law Department Operations survey for over a decade. He gives some great insights on the relationships between in-house counsel and outside law firms. While there's a big difference between the business operations in a company versus a law firm, the attorneys tend to be cut from the same cloth. Groups like CLOC are positioned perfectly to help lawyers understand the roles they need to play to protect their organizations. Blickstein stresses that Legal Operations is a broad topic, and that CLOC is part of that movement, but is not all there is within the movement. There's a lot going on, and the opportunities are pretty expansive these days. 


Information Inspirations


Copyright is not something to LOL about. The Houston Independent School District was slapped with a $9.2 Million copyright violation for copying study guides. Even though they cleverly blocked out the warning on the guides that "copying of these materials is strictly prohibited." Be careful out there when it comes to thinking it's okay to copy and distribute materials which have copyright protection. It can cost you millions.


AI Sharecroppers. We all know that data is king these days, but not all data can be automatically gathered. At least not effectively. There is an underclass of labors out there who are being used to help gather and identify data needed to power AI programs, known as "human labeling." As the name "sharecropper" might imply, they do a lot of work... but don't make a lot of money. 


Algorithm Problems creates Human Liabilities. We rely upon automation, AI, machine learning, and other technology to advance our society, but when those fail, it's not the automation that takes the blame. It's usually the human that is around at the time. MIT Technology Review talks about how we have a 21st Century tech problem that's being adjudicated under 20th Century morals and laws.


Smile. You're on the London Metro Facial Recognition Program. The London Metro is using facial recognition to identify criminals. They say that this program has resulted in multiple criminal prosecutions. Watchdog organizations claim that the program has a 90% error rate. Can those two facts exist together?


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out. Call us at 713-487-7270 with suggestions. And, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for the music!


view more, including transcript of the interview





Key points in this episode

In or 40th Episode, Greg and Marlene interview Erin Levine, an attorney and founder/CEO of Hello Divorce, a service that makes divorce more human and accessible by offering legal help and wellness support throughout the process of dissolving a marriage.   Offered in California, Hello Divorce offers access to resources and tools and different service levels, from basic to concierge to a la carte access to independent fixed fee attorneys.  Erin highlights that the legal process can be confusing, dis-empowering and expensive and that Hello Divorce is a necessary guide to help people navigate the system in a way that doesn't destroy them financially and emotionally.  While divorce representation is a consistent legal need, Erin highlights that there are many other parts of the process that are also necessary which don’t require attorney skills.  She leverages various forms of process improvement including outsourcing, automation, smart contracts to make the service application scalable.  


Part of what is interesting about the discussion (and there are lots of interesting parts) is that Erin stands the idea of aggressive and hostile divorce action on its head.  While Erin has critics, she maintains the benefit of taking down level of tension and fear between the parties.  In fact, 92% of divorces started with hello Divorce have concluded without having to refer out to full rep attorneys.  (10:17 mark) 


Information Inspirations


According to  Aliqae Geraci from Cornell and Shannon L. Farrell from University of Minnesota wrote an article entitled “Normalize Negotiations!" we teach librarians a lot about management skills, but we've lacked in teaching them basic skills like salary and promotion negotiation skills. There is a place for the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) to teach their members these skills.  (4:05 mark) 


For the small price of a European vacation for a family of four (AKA expensive), you can own your very own AI  powered robot who cleans your house for you while you sleep… and can remember to bring you your favorite beer, hopefully when you're awake.  (5:59 mark) 


From MIT, we get " Every Leader’s Guide to the Ethics of AI." Ep. 31's guest, Vishal Agnihotri suggested we look at this, and it ties in with our last episode on algorithmic governance. As AI becomes more and more integrated into business activities, the authors suggest that we treat it, as well as our employees, customers, and the public, with the respect we all deserve. An "AI Mishap" can destroy a company or its reputation. (side note: AI Mishap is the name of Marlene's new Country Band.)  (6:56 mark) 


With all the talk about mental health in the legal industry, the NPR report on Where’s Masculinity headed? is perfectly timed. (8:51 mark) 


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out. Call us at 713-487-7270 with suggestions. And, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for the music!


 

Key points in this episode

When you think of algorithmic governance, you may go right to things like predictive law enforcement, or risk assessment of setting bail or prison sentences for those in the criminal justice system. However, algorithms have a much broader application in the legal system, far beyond those criminal justice aspects. Drexel law professor, Hannah Bloch-Wehba walks us through number examples of other areas which algorithm governance  is being used. Broad areas which she labels as "typical poverty law settings" of welfare… medicaid… child protective services for example, and those area are continuing to expand. Court systems, administrative law departments, and other government agencies are relying upon algorithms to help with larger and larger caseloads. Algorithms, in and of themselves, are not inherently bad. In fact, it can be very helpful in streamlining processes and alleviate the burden on different government agencies in how to handle these issues. But is it fairer than what we have now? We don't have a good way of demonstrating that. Professor Bloch-Wehba sees the overall effect of algorithms as creating a newer playing field that is bumpy in different ways than the old one. There's still a human element in algorithms, not just in the creation of the algorithms, but also in the acceptance of algorithmic outcomes by those who are tasked to apply them. Add to this, the "black box" which some algorithms live, and how governments are relying upon private industries to create these processes, and an inability for the government to be able to discuss how they work. Can governments give up their duty to be transparent in the name of algorithmic efficiency? How far will a democratic society tolerate with algorithms which it may not fully understand, or trust?


We cover all of these questions and discuss Professor Bloch-Wehba's upcoming Fordham Law Review article, "Access to Algorithms," which will be published later this year.


Information Inspirations


Archive and Delete are not the same. Garry Vander Voort of LexBlog writes about a disturbing trend he is seeing on apps where you might think you are archiving a magazine or a podcast, but in reality, you're deleting it. He has a few suggestions on how developers can use better descriptors, including some good ol' library terms.


Business Intelligence and Data Analytics are not the same. Rob Saccone published and excellent article on Medium a few days ago that is worth reading. We may be looking for unicorns when it comes to having someone who understands the importance of analysis as well as the comprehension of the business model. Saccone has some excellent suggestions of what businesses can do, besides seeking that elusive unicorn.


Being a Leader of a Firm and Understanding What is Going on in the Market is not the same. Tom Clay from Altman Weil suggests that all leaders at law firms take 15 minutes a day to focus on the evolution of their practice and firm.


Being at CLOC, and Reading #CLOC2019 Tweets are not the same... but, we'll take it! Thanks to Jason Barnwell and others who are keeping us connected this week.


(more...)

Key points in this episode

Jim Hannigan, the Director of Legal Project Management at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP and a member of the leadership team and standards committee at SALI Alliance walks us through the importance surround data standards when it comes to legal matters. Creating standards is the first step in allowing those of us in the legal services industry to speak the same language, and create ways of comparing apples to apples when it comes to marketing pitches, prior experience, or matter pricing. Hannigan discusses why SALI was created, the release of the first set of matter standards in January of this year, and what to expect at the LMA P3 Conference next month. 


We also discuss the current situation with Wolters Kluwer experiencing a ransomeware attack which shut down most of it's online resource tools. WK has been very open about what happened, and is keeping a public statement page open as they begin to bring services back online. Just another reason to watch out for those phishing emails!


Information Inspirations


"Legal innovation needs to learn some new tricks." Rae Digby-Morgan at Wilson Fletcher, tells us that you can't just slap "legal" or "law" onto a process and think that it makes it special. In fact, the legal industry may be a bit too much insular and should open up to non-legal experts to come in and advise us on how to improve our processes. She also reminds everyone that process improvement does not equal innovation. The value-add results of process improvements are expected by our clients… and is the floor, not the ceiling. If you want to separate yourself from the competition, being truly innovative will help.


How a Google Street View image of your house predicts your risk of a car accident. Standford University and the University of Warsaw in Poland have tested Google's Street View images of individual's houses to determine how likely they will be to file an auto insurance claim. Reportedly, they improved predictability by 2%. Scary! Marlene wonders what are the next factors in determining future actions? If you run 5K's, or donate to non-profits? 


Kim Kardashian and Legal Team Help Free 17 Prisoners in 90 Days. Although neither Greg nor Marlene watch KUWTK, or follow Kim on Instragram, they have nothing but good things to say about her work to help free 17 people who were imprisoned and drug related charges. Some serving life sentences. If you're going to have power and fame and a platform, using it for social justice is a great way to use it. 


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Key points in this episode

Welcome to a mini-episode of The Geek In Review. Shot on location in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Law School Stress??  No Kidding!


This week, we continue our discussion on how law students can have a stressful time in the three years they are in law school. We can't change what happens during law school, but we've asked some experts to tell us what they do to help law students reduce stress as they prep for finals, and what they can do to be successful as summer associates in law firms.


We finish our series about how law schools are reducing stress by hearing from the following schools:



  • Howard University

  • University of Hawaii

  • University of Houston

  • University of Wisconsin

  • Georgia State University

  • University of Texas


We appreciate these schools (and the ones from last week) taking the time to tell us what all they are doing to help students deal with finals.


Hey Summer Associates... Listen Up!


We also talk with a number of AmLaw 100 firms about what their expectations are for how summer associates can have a successful tour of duty at their firms. Greg and Marlene were at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, and they asked a number of their fellow attendees what they do to help summer associates succeed, or what their expectations are for how law schools should prepare them for this work, and what they allow from outside vendors in regards for training as assistance during the Summers' time at the firm. 


We will say this to any law students who is listening...make friends with the law librarian. They will help guide you to success.


This Episode brought to you by... Greg's iPhone


We recorded this entire episode on Greg's iPhone. Thanks to all of the law schools and law firm librarians who took the time to talk with us as we were traveling in the desert. This has been a fun one, and we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did recording it.


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.

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As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

David Whelan, the Director of Legal Information & the Great Library Society of Ontario, discusses his recent article "The No Legal Research Provider Landscape," and how lawyers, law librarians, and the legal industry looks at legal information services. Do you need to have multiple resources like Westlaw, LexisNexis, Bloomberg or others, or can you get by with just going with one (AKA "Sole Provider.") Do you even really need to go with one of the big services, or can you survive off of the resources provided by the local bar association? Or are there even fewer options for solo small firm environments? David covers  this, plus when things are "good enough" for some lawyers to feel comfortable in their practice. And, how that usually runs counter to law librarians and other practitioners who would never be satisfied with "good enough." 


De-Stressing the Law Students During Finals


We skip Information Inspirations this week to have a little fun. Anyone who has gone to law school knows that finals time can be stressful. We reached out to a number of law schools to ask them what they do to help students reduce their stress levels during this time. We get some great answers from:



  • The University of Georgia

  • University of San Diego

  • University of Illinois

  • Tulsa University

  • University of Arkansas Little Rock

  • Villanova

  • Richmond

  • Yale


Thanks to all of these schools for sharing. There's some great programs going on at all of these schools. We have a few more who left us messages today, and we'll make sure to get those on the next show.


If your school is doing something to reduce the stress levels of law students, call us on the Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a brief (30 seconds or so) voice memo, and we'll get it on next week's show. 


One of the things we learned from Yale's Law Library Director, Teresa Miguel-Sterns, is that New Haven apparently does have excellent pizza. Marlene, with her New Jersey skepticism says that she's going to have to try that out first hand. So look out Connecticut... 


Government Action on Legal Information


Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at the American Association of Law Libraries, gives us a monthly update on what the government is doing in regards to advancing access to legal information.


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.

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As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

One of the best things about the legal industry is that there are multiple pathways to success. We are all trained issue spotters, and our guest on this episode identified an issue and founded a new company to fix that issue. Brian Powers is the CEO and co-founder of PactSafe, a high-velocity contract acceptance platform used by such major companies like Angie's List, UpWork, BMC, TIVO, and others to handle large volumes of clickthrough agreements. We talk with Brian about what motivated him to take on this challenge, and how he sought out to change the way businesses approach these types of contacts, and bring efficiency to the market place, and the legal industry through technology and process improvements. Brian is just one more example of those in the legal field who has found an alternative path through identifying inefficiencies, and finding ways to correct them. 


Hat tip to Kristin Hodgins for her tweet this week when she saw that someone said that if law firms are going to us AI, we need ways to collect structured data. Hodgins tweet reply was spot on when she said “Guess who are experts at structured data? Librarians. Google didn’t destroy us; it help us by reducing low-value work like rote retrieval from our duties & allowed us to focus on high-order skills. AI will do the same.” Well said!


Information Inspirations:


We're doing AI Wrong


Zach Warren interviewed Brad Blickstein in a law.com article this week about how law firms are looking at AI the wrong way. When it comes to AI and law firms, Blickstein says that “[AI has] become a top-down thing: What are we doing about AI? It’s like asking, what are we doing about databases? It’s a crazy question. The question should be, what problems do we have, how do we solve them, and is AI or some semblance of AI a potential solution for that?”  Brad's company, Blickstein Group, is producing a Legal AI Efficacy report that is due out this summer. 


We're Communicating Wrong


This will come as a surprise to no one, but there can often be communications issues between executives and technologists. In a Harvard Business Review article, a scenario is set up between executives and data scientists, and we are walked through some examples on how to improve the communications between the two personalities. The article suggests you have a variety of projects and you build a team based on a variety of skill sets (and goes on to list them-data wrangling, data analysis, project management, subject expertise, storytelling, design)- so that the team can focus on what they do well but you have all the skills needed for a strong data science team. (We have a little fun with the data wrangling job.)


We're Podcasting Wrong


Check out Jared Corriea's latest episode of the Legal Toolkit podcast. Former law librarian, and podcast enthusiast, Tim Baran, has a number of suggestions for those of you who might be considering starting your own podcast. It turns out that Marlene and Greg are violating a few of the suggestions. 


more...

Key points in this episode

Not many people can make the transition from Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics, and then to the legal analytics field, but Dr. Carla Rydholm is someone who did just that. For nearly the past decade, Dr. Rydholm has been leading the charge of data analytics at Lex Machina. She is charged with not only acquiring the data large amounts of data but also maintaining that data as it is updated. Dr. Rydholm stopped by Greg's Houston office, along with episode 10's guest, Kyle Doviken to tell us about transitioning from pure scientist, to her current role, and what drives her passion for data analytics, and how the data is used to tell the story, and help attorney's understand what's previously happened, and use that as a guide to better understand where they may be headed. It's a very insightful conversation.


Marlene WIns an Award!


The Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals (PLL-IP) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is giving Blogger of the Year status to our very own Marlene Gebauer for her outstanding work on this podcast. Congrats Marlene!!


Speaking of AALL, there is a new State of the Profession Survey publication that is of great value to any organization that has legal information professionals. You can find out more, and order your copy at the AALL website.


Information Inspirations:


 Marlene points out a recent article called “The Value of Inconvenient Design.” The author uses a case study of assembling IKEA furniture (with that single allen wrench) and how people place value on things where there is a challenge (friction) in producing the end result, versus having something that is just handed to you. There's a need to solve a problem, in order to earn the reward. She ties this back to the theme in many of our shows centering around design thinking--you have to identify what is actually a problem and work backwards from that. Simply making something easier because we can through improved process or tech may actually de-value the experience and make the people involved more unhappy.


There's a lot of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances going on recently in the legal information field. The recent acquisition of Justis by vLex creates a powerful international and foreign law database. The combination of vLex's Colin Lachance, and Justis' Masoud Gerami is sure to be a winning combination. Ed Walter's of Fastcase hinted at more things to come for his legal information service when he talked with us a few weeks ago. Fastcase is collaborating with two expert witness platforms, JurisPro and Courtroom Insight. Fastcase is already punching above its weight class against the big players in the industry. With this latest collaboration, it seems to be punching even harder.


Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.

Call the Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270, and let us know if you have ideas on topics we should cover in future episodes.


As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

 On this episode of The Geek in Review Podcast, we have a wonderful conversation with Steve Embry of the TechLaw Crossroads blog. Embry walked away from his AmLaw 200 partnership almost a year ago to follow his passion to become a full time legal blogger. He discusses how there is an art to storytelling, and as a lawyer, there are different ways to present those stories. Storytelling is a skill which needs to be honed, whether that is through legal blogging, or through leveraging technology to present your story in a courtroom environment. Embry's passion in this new phase of his life is palatable throughout this interview and even inspires those of us who have been blogging for years to remember why it is we do it. 


Information Inspirations:


Ernst and Young is poised to swoop in and acquire Thomson Reuters' managed legal services company, Pangea3. Marlene wonders what this means for the future of both the Big 4 entering the legal market, and what the future objectives of Thomson Reuters in the legal industry.


There is an art to a quality April Fool's joke. Greg points out that the Artificial Lawyer's "Post-It Note Shortage" story was an instant masterpiece.


Marlene is going with a collaboration theme this episode. First up, Legal Design Lab, in partnership with Stanford Codex’s Jameson Dempsey is proposing a Data Commons for Law to advance access to justice, legal tech and legal design. And, secondly, six Big Law firms have recently signed up to Reynen's Court to collaborate and support development and ultimate launch of its service automation platform.


When it comes to the concept of "fail fast," Google seems to be taking that to heart... perhaps, far too often. In the first three months of 2019, Google has shutdown, or announce the discontinuation of multiple platforms. Greg is still feeling the pain of Google shutting down Google Reader some six years ago. Many think that Google's constant failure in projects may eventually harm their brand.


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.

Call the NEW Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270. Thanks to our first caller, Crawford Appleby of Rulings.law. If you have a product you'd like us to see, or a comment on a topic you'd like us to cover, give us a call, tweet, or even comment below.


As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

On this episode of The Geek In Review, we talk with Joe Lawson, Deputy Director of the Harris County Law Library in Houston, Texas. With Harris County being the third largest county in the United States, there is a large number of attorneys, judges, and citizens who use the law library for various reasons. In 2018, there were over 24,000 filings of self-represented petitioners. That is a lot. Dallas County, by comparison, had 6,000 in the same time period. Lawson believes that there is a duty of the law library to help train lawyers, not to just be more efficient in their personal practices, but to help them have more capacity to help assist pro se litigants. Lawson's calculation is that a 3% increase in capacity, through advancements in technology usage, could help eliminate a majority of the pro se issues in the county. 


Back from South By Southwest (SXSW)


Greg returned this week from SXSW and a trip to Northern California. Although the music was great, it was the educational sessions which took up most of his time in Austin. Panels on Gen Z, and the art of Storytelling where two of the topics that caught his attention.


INFORMATION INSPIRATIONS


Washburn Law School in Kansas allows their 3L students to finish their last year of law school actually working in the industry. In their "Third Year Anywhere" program, students receive first-hand experience working with mentor lawyers in one of six different areas. They complete their educational portion of the curriculum through online courses. Is this an outlier in legal education, or a potential trend for other schools to follow?


Marlene likes the recent 3 Geeks' post by Shashi Kara. In addition to discussing how not all flops are failures, Shashi also wins the marketing award for putting "sex" in the title of his post. There are failures, and there are lessons learned which make future projects successes. It's important to know the differences.


Matt Homann gives presenters ten tips for impressing their audiences. Number one is having a passion about the topic which you are presenting. If you don't feel that passion, neither will those listening to you. That's just the first tip... there are nine more to help you be a better presenter.


The subscription based model is infiltrating the legal industry. Marlene has some suggestions on how lawyers and firms can bring value-added services to improve that model, and keep in line with bar rules as well.


Bonus II's:


Clippy returns... only to be assassinated.

The NY Law Institute is having a National Library Week Peep Diorama Contest.

Comic book databases leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps Marlene could head up R&D??


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Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.


Call the NEW Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7272 and let us know, preferably in English, if you want us to start producing video promotions of upcoming episodes, or if you have an idea for the show.


As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music. 

Key points in this episode

It only took us 31 episodes, but Marlene decided that what the show lacked was a phone number for listeners to call in. So, we now have one, and we have a question for you to vote on. 

"Should The Geek In Review create a video promo for upcoming episodes?" (Greg says he has the face for radio, so vote no... Marlene says it's a great idea, so vote yes.

Call 713-487-7270 and leave your voicemail of "YES" or "NO" and what other ideas you may have for the show.


This week we have a great guest, Vishal Agnihotri, who recently returned from a world wide Legal Hackathon session, and she and her team (called the Femme LeGALs) created over 180 ideas and concepts. Besides idea generation at a phenomenal pace, Vishal is also the Chief Knowledge Officer at Hinshaw Culbertson in New York. She walks us through her journey through Knowledge Management and where she sees opportunities in law firm KM through data security.


Greg is spending the week in Austin at SXSW, and is live-blogging as much as he can here. Wish him luck, as he's taken to riding those electric scooters through the streets of Austin.


INFORMATION INSPIRATIONS:


Marlene asks if you'd rather have a Good Boss in a Bad Work Environment... or a Bad Boss in a Good Work Environment? Sounds like a lose/lose, but Marlene does have her preference if she were in that bad situation.


The American Association of Law Libraries has a complimentary snapshot of the brand new State of the Profession.report. Check it out and share it with a friend.


Caroline Hill sat down and talked with six women across a variety of roles in legal technology to discuss how far (or not far) the industry has come when it comes to gender roles.


Our Data Scientist (with a cape), Jennifer Robert, had a recent article out called "It's Time for Law Firms to Place Bolder Bets on Their Data." Okay firms... ante up!


Listen, Subscribe, Download Jerry's music, and Send Us Tweets and Voicemails, Too!!


Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment. You can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.

Call the NEW Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and let us know if you want us to start producing video promotions of upcoming episodes, or if you have an idea for the show.


As always, thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his awesome music.

Key points in this episode

On the 30th episode of The Geek In Review, we talk with Debbie Ginsberg, Educational Technology Librarian at the Chicago-Kent Law Library. Debbie was recently quoted in law.com's "Where Are All the Women in Legal Tech?" So we cut right to the chase and ask that question to Debbie. She says that there are lots of women in legal tech, but that those putting on tech conferences need to take more action toward actively recruiting women for speaker and presenter opportunities. One profession where women are a majority, and are heavily involved in legal tech, is law librarians. The American Association of Law Libraries is approximately 75% women, and with the push toward knowledge management, analytics, competitive intelligence, and advancing the legal research and information tools, law librarians are an excellent resource when it comes to professionals in the legal tech market. Ginsberg also talks about the Women in Legal Tech Summit, held right before TechShow in Chicago. She mentions that there is an effort to expand the boundaries of women in legal tech beyond just women lawyers who are working in legal tech, and begin looking for other opportunities. Dovetailing nicely with that effort is Janders Dean, who is putting out a list of 180 highly qualified women speakers for legal tech on their Twitter page. And, Sarah Glassmeyer's crowdsourcing list of underrepresented people in legal tech and innovation. 


INFORMATION INSPIRATIONS


Self-care isn’t selfish and can actually help your performance - Author Jenna Cho interviews one of Jackson Walker's partners, Stephanie Sparks, who discusses how she was always waiting until the right time to take care of herself, and eventually realized that there was never a "right time" and she understood that she just had to make that time.  Cho's article reminds us that we all need to take some time to listen to your body and mind, and remember that you can't take care of others if you don't first take care of yourself. 


Jason Barnwell gets a shout out from Marlene this week on his interview of Kate Ross. This Business of Law Podcast hits all the right buttons on the need for attorneys to collaborate and be transparent, not just with the good things, but how we need to show the warts and all.  Greg points out Jason's comment that when it comes to culture in a legal environment, people shouldn't feel that they have "inherited someone else's shoes." This is a must listen for those looking at collaboration and better experiences for your organization.


Marlene talks about how Zena Applebaum reminds us Humans are the Decision Makers… Data Isn't.


And finally, Greg (and most librarians, historians, and researchers) aren't too happy with the Obama Presidential Library's plan to be an all-digital library


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Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

The rumor that "print is dead" may have been a bit premature. In this episode we talk with Fastcase CEO and co-founder, Ed Walters about his vision of why print titles are a vital component of a legal publishers arsenal and how Fastcase is using its new Full Court Press imprint to make his company even more competitive. Walters also reveals that Fastcase 7 will soon be making its journey through space, and move from its beta "Mercury" release, and progress to the beta "Venus", and is making its way toward the fulling functioning "Earth" release this summer. And if your were curious… Pluto is a planet. Fastcase is also looking to leverage its 2018 acquisitions of Docket Alarm and Law Street Media to push the company into the future of legal analytics and advancing legal news reporting. If geeky and nerdy are the new sexy… Walters and his group at Fastcase are bringing it back.


We also talk with American Association of Law Libraries Director of Government Relations, Emily Feltren, about the status of making PACER free to all users. The bills are filed in the US Congress, and the amici briefs are filed (including one by Fastcase and Ed Walters) to bring down the price of PACER, or make it completely free. Feltren teaches us more on that topic.


Information Inspirations


Greg had traveling difficulties last week and couldn't make it to the ARK conference on law libraries. Well, he couldn't make it physically. He did, however, get to use zoom to make his presentation to the roughly 100 attendees. And, of course, it couldn't be just any old video presentation. Greg found a way to bring in some green screen action through zoom's background features. Not sure if that counts a sexy, but it was definitely geeky.


Without Fail Podcast Alex Blumberg, who recently sold Gimlet Media to Spotify for $200M, has a podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs not only about their successes, but also about their failures. On a recent interview with brand revitalizer, Sharon Price John, the CEO and President of Build-A-Bear Workshops, she discusses the vision that change agents need to bring brands back to life. If you're going to turn things around, you have to accept the problems that come with it. You need to embrace that "it might not not be your fault, but it is now your problem."


Herbert Smith Freehills gives its employees ten days which they may focus entirely on innovation. Marlene discusses what that means, and that while this is a great concept, it is important that the employees be given the flexibility to be creative everyday. Perhaps that should also mean more flexibility in when and where they work, and that they be encouraged and supported in traveling more often.


Gen Z's are in college, in law schools, and are entering the workforce. We've talked about them before, but we're not sure that previous generations are really ready to work side-by-side with this "brutally" honest generation.


Are Lawyers Ready to be Managed by Metrics? (American Lawyer) - If you think that legal work is so unique that it cannot be measured, analyzed, predicted, and have a value metric placed upon it… then your days may be numbered. (more…)



Key points in this episode

Not all Data Scientists wear lab coats to work. Intapp's Jennifer Roberts wears a cape!


On the latest episode of The Geek in Review, Marlene and Greg dive into the wonderfully geeky world of data science and its application within law firms and the legal industry. Jennifer Roberts, Manager, Strategic Research at Intapp, discusses exactly what it means to be a data scientist, and why law firms are leveraging them to help run their legal operations. When it comes to "the business of law," Roberts says this is where the results of data science steps in and shows its value. Data science can help answer questions like, "how can we predict the price of legal services?" "How can we predict the scope of a matter?" "How can we help with legal project management?" And even "how can we predict what a client's needs are?" Or, "what will these clients buy from us in the future?" Data science and analytics help uncover the facts that not all lawyers and not all legal matters are totally unique. Roberts also helps us answer those naysayers who claim that they do not have enough data, or that they have Filthy Data™. 


We finish our LegalWeek question of "how are you changing the legal industry" with our final four responses. This week we hear from:


Michael Boggia - Lookup

Damian Jeal - Hubshare

Kevin O’Keefe - LexBlog

Martin Goulet - Wolters Kluwer


Information Inspirations


For anyone following the happenings (and large fines resulting from) the EU's GDPR, Marlene thinks perhaps this is something that may make its way across the pond. In a recent Corporate Counsel magazine article entitled, "Cisco's Chief Legal Officer Expresses Support for American Version of GDPR" (subscription needed), Mark Chandler of Cisco supports the need for more regulation on privacy. 


Greg talks with Emily Feltren of the American Association of Law Libraries, about recent legislation submitted that might finally move PACER from behind a paywall.


Marlene's second information inspiration is about "Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online." Americans buy almost everything online these days, so why hasn't online grocery shopping taken off? Is this one of the last "tactile" experiences that we are holding on to, or have we just not had the "aha!" moment yet with online grocery shopping experiences? 


The final information inspirations talks about what it really means to have access to justice. In the New York Times opinion piece, "Everyone Needs Legal Help. That Doesn’t Mean Everyone Needs a Lawyer," .


Look for us at the ARK Library Conference in NYC this week.


Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment to The Geek in Review on your favorite podcast platform. If you comments, compliments, or suggestions, you can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.


Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

Key points in this episode

 "All Problems Are Communications Problems."


This is Greg's go-to phrase when it comes to working with and leading others. Marlene actually beats Greg to the punch this week when they talk with this week's guest, Heather Ritchie. Heather is the Chief Knowledge and Business Development Officer at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP in Toronto, and as her title suggests, she wears multiple leadership hats at her firm. In her recent ILTA KM article, "12 Ways Marketing & Business Development Can Leverage Library & Knowledge Management Teams," Ritchie walks us through the value of collaborating between the Marketing/Business Development, Knowledge Management, and Library operations of a law firm. Knowing who brings what talent to the table is key to creating stable and successful environment which results in wins for the law firm. 


How Is Your Business Changing the Legal Industry?


In part two of our three part series, we hear from four more providers of legal industry products on how they are changing the industry. This week we hear from:



Information Inspirations:


Warning: Greg goes to a bit of a dark place this week after a dreadful morning of social media experiences. Whether it was reviewing "memories" in Facebook, or the Twitter arguments of how LegalWeek and alt.legal are echo chambers for the elites (or are they?), or how racists Tweets from well known political leaders caused one of Greg's favorite podcast hosts to break down in a recent episode.... It's been interesting. Will Greg leave Twitter? (Vegas says "not likely.")


Marlene goes total "Geek" this week with her inspiration of "Conversations with Robots: Voice, Smart Agents & the Case for Structured Content." She explains where we are with our current web interactions, where we were supposed to be by now, and where we are going. If you are a fan of understanding how information is structured, searched, accessed, and enhanced on the web... this geektacular explanation is for you. 


Greg and Marlene, as well as Toby Brown and other 3 Geeks' members will be at the ARK Library conference in New York next week. Ron Friedmann wrote a preview of his talk on "Information is Power + Profit" on how the old adage of "Information is Power" also brings about profit. We hope to see you there on the 21st! Registration and information is located here.


see more...

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Vanderbilt Law School Professor, Cat Moon, doesn't just have one of the coolest names in the legal industry, she also brings insights and a perspective on the human element of legal project management. Human centered design thinking is a core function of her teaching. It all goes back to the fact that you can teach law students, lawyers, and legal managers all the concepts in the world, but it's all for naught if you leave out the human element. Professor Moon also gives a brutally honest view of why women in the legal field tend to leave law firms in order to pursue their creative and life passions outside the firms. 


Marlene and Greg are recently back from Legalweek in New York. While there, they went around to a number of vendors to ask a simple, but relevant question, "what are you doing to change the legal industry?" This week, we get the perspective of four vendors:



  • Christina Rosas - Reorg Research

  • Shmuli Goldberg - Lawgeex

  • Matt Kroll and Andrew Moeller - PwC

  • David Kamien - Mind Alliance


It is a fairly easy question, but one company that had a hard time answering? Thomson Reuters. 


Information Inspirations


James Goodnow interviews American Lawyer Editor Gina Passarella

Fennemore Craig, PC Managing Partner, James Goodnow asks AmLaw Editor Gina Passerella what she observed from the panels at Legalweek. Passerella notes that clients are craving data analytics, but that law firms are not producing them. Perhaps because it is not in the firm's best interest to do so?? 


Legalweek had a KM Managers' Day


Legalweek isn't just for e-discovery (although, there's a lot of that!) There was an entire day, and multiple discussions on the value of knowledge management in the legal industry. 


SALI Releases Version 1 of Legal Matters Standards


The mission of SALI (Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry) is to help define exactly what services the legal industry provides by creating a standard language surrounding legal matter types. It's an ambitious, but important step in helping law firms and clients to have a common language to speak so that they understand each other. 


Alternative Legal Service Providers have a distinct advantage over law firms... Capital investment in tech.


Marlene listened to a recent episode of Legal Speak called "Move Over Big Law. It's Time for an Alternative." Once again, Jae Um discusses how lawyer's value isn't defined in six-minute increments. .


Even the New York Times wants Free PACER - but what would that mean for the courts? 


The call for FREE PACER even reaches the pages of the New York Times. We all want it to be free, but Greg puts on his Devil's Advocate hat (complete with horns) and takes a view from the unpopular side of what does FREE PACER mean for the courts and its technology? Who is actually benefiting from FREE PACER? 


Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and comment to The Geek in Review on your favorite podcast platform. If you comments, compliments, or suggestions, you can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.


Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

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On our 25th episode of The Geek In Review, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert sit down and talk with Ivy Grey, Director of Business Strategy for WordRake. Ivy's recent Above the Law article, “Curiosity Is The Foundation For Innovation” discusses the disconnect between employers who think they promote creativity in their employees, versus employees who think that their bosses actually stifle creativity in the workplace. Ivy breaks down the nuances between creativity and innovation.  Ivy points to law firms like Reed Smith, who are actually giving their attorneys and others (approved) time to come up with creative processes, and letting the employees build upon these ideas. The key is to allow people to think and be creative, and imagine possibilities that don't even exist.


On that note, we'd like to point out that Baker McKenzie announced the hiring of a couple of creative and curious rock stars, fellow geek, Casey Flaherty as their new Director of Legal Project Management, and Geek in Review interviewee Jae Um, as their Director of Pricing Strategy. Hope they are ready for long memos filled with emojis!


Greg flew through Dallas Love Field this week during a Herb Kelleher celebration. Southwest's original CEO was well known for creative marketing, and Greg was a little disappointed that he didn't get a free bottle of Chivas when we got off the plane. For a great story of how Southwest got its start, check out the Business War's Podcast on Clearing the Runway.


Information Inspirations


Microsoft Assistant General Counsel, Jason Barnwell, wrote a timely piece called "Bricklayers and Architects." His own experiences on being able to come up with a creative process to streamline and M&A deal back when he was an associate at a BigLaw firm, dovetails nicely with Ivy Grey's discussion. That great idea which would have saved a lot of time in creating the closing binders???  Stifled. Why? The billable hour.


We are all way too familiar with the phrase Fake News, but what do you know about Deepfakes? Pew Research discusses how well fake videos, created with artificial intelligence, are causing issues with understanding what is real, and what is fake.  Check out more at "Looks Can Be Deceiving: Deepfakes" on the Pew podcast.


Marlene likes gamification ideas, so the collaboration between Stanford and Suffolk law schools on the Learned Hand game is right up her alley. It's not just a game, however, it is used to train the Natural Language Processor of machine learning algorithms. Read more at the Pew Research website, or at the Lawyerist.


Don’t forget to subscribeto The Geek in Review on your favorite podcast platform. If you comments, compliments, or suggestions, you can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert.


Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music.

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With the partial government shutdown approaching one month, Marlene and Greg attempt to make some sense of what this means for those of us who rely upon the information produced by the US Government. On this episode, we have an extended talk with Emily Feltren, to uncover what's working and what's shutdown. While the federal courts are still functioning, they are running on borrowed time, and are scheduled to run out of funds on January 25th. The Pew Research Center has listed a number of data sources which are not being updated during the shutdown. The OMB also has a list of agency shuddered at this time, and assume that the libraries are also closed. If you're hoping to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request... good luck. Agencies my accept them, but they may not have anyone to process them. Basically, it's a cluster-fudge right now in D.C.


Joel Lytle, Director of Information Security at Jackson Walker, talks with Greg about the issue of .gov sites which are unable to renew their security certificates during the shutdown. It may not be all that bad... for now. 


Information Inspirations:


The law library world lost a legend this month with the passing of Eileen Searls. In addition to being an influencer in the law library world, she is also the aunt of Eve Searls, who along with Jerry David DiCicca, performs the music you hear on The Geek In Review.


It's been six years since the information world lost Aaron Swartz to suicide.  Check out the documentary, The Internet's Own Boy, to learn more.


Do you have $29 and a grudge? A recent Forbes article talks about the dirty world of social media influencing and how individuals are using The Spinner to make people quit their jobs, have sex, and even convince spouses how playing video games is a good thing.


It's National Pizza Week.


Kudos to recent Florida Attorney, Haley Moss, for passing the bar. That might not sound like something that would warrant congratulations, but when you learn that Moss was diagnosed with autism early in life. Not only did she pass... she's also already employed.


And finally, Marlene covers BOTS and the automation of client-facing, and back-office operations.


Tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out.


Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music. 



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On this mini-episode of The Geek In Review, Greg talks about three eerie/interesting/scary instances where the technology seems to be ahead of us humans. Can Amazon be tracking us in a craft store? Are automated computer game players AI? Should guidance apps like WAZE, create a dangerous situation? Well, all three happened. Is it purely happenstance, or is it the technology going beyond our understanding. Probably happenstance... but still eerie.


Marlene explored a number of unique holiday drinks, music, and customs. So, if you're still in the holiday mood... check out ¿Donde Esta Santa Claus? by the Gusters, Bloodshot Records 13 Days of XMas, particularly, The Pagans Had it Right, by Devil in a Woodpile, and How to Make Gravy by All Our Exes Live in Texas. If you need a drink, try the Puerto Rican holiday drink of Coquito.


Speaking of how to make gravy... Greg discussed the Southern delicacy of Chocolate Gravy over your breakfast biscuits. It's not for everyone.


Information Inspirations


Must listen to podcast from This American Life called The Room of Requirements. The second of three stories covers the tale of The Brautigan Library, a fictional place where unpublished manuscripts went to live forever. Based on the book, The Abortion: An Historical Romance a 1966 novel by Richard Brautigan. Someone decided to make that place a reality, and it was fascinating to listen as the librarian makes it happen, watches it collapse, and then reborn. Librarians, and lovers of librarians should listen to all three stories. Librarians really do create magical places to fit the needs of their communities. Greg thinks the Brautigan Library stories parallels the Knowledge Management world. Where information goes... waiting until someone needs it.


Marlene discusses a number of year-end podcasts which discuss design theory, innovation, project management, CI, and many of the other concepts and practices that we live with everyday while trying to administer large law firms. Whether it is the design process behind drawstring trash bags, in spite of all the naysayers, how the first draft is always bad, or the sage advice of "things want to be bad. Your job is to keep trying to make them good."


Comments, Compliments, and Thank You's


As we prepare for more episodes and interviews for 2019, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and comment to The Geek in Review on your favorite podcast platform. We are even on Amazon's Alexia... which might explain one of Greg's eerie stories. If you comments, compliments, or suggestions, you can tweet @gebauerm and/or @glambert to reach out. 


Thanks to Jerry David DiCicca for his original music. Law Librarians should make an effort to check out his latest album, as a fellow member of the American Association of Law Libraries, Eve Searls, is the backup singer, and piano/organ player on the album. Support your fellow law librarian! 


We also wish fellow law librarian, David Whelan, a safe return of his brother who was detained in Russia over the holida

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Just because someone is a really good lawyer, doesn't necessarily mean they are ready for the leadership positions of a large law firm. Marcie Borgal Shunk, President and Founder of The Tilt Institute Inc., talks with us this week about how she helps partners and others in law firms understand the leadership roles they take on. Whether it is a seasoned equity partner, or a newly christened associate just starting out, everyone should have a strong understanding of what it means to lead others. A good succession plan can help ease people into the role, rather than thrusting everything on them when they take over. Marcie discusses what it means to be a leader, and how she helps train them to take on that responsibility.


Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations for the American Association of Law Libraries, joins us for her monthly update on government actions on legal information. Emily gives us a year in review report of the wins, losses, and draws of the 115th Congress and the upcoming changes she sees in the 116th... besides investigations. There will be some old friends leaving at the end of 2018. Luckily, Emily is working to make new friends in 2019 so that access to justice and access to government information expands. 


Information Inspirations:


Marlene Gebauer reviews the first article in the new ILTA KM White Paper. Taking on the article of "What Legal KM Professionals Can Learn from KM in the Big Four," from Cindy Thurston Bare of Foundation Software, and Vishal Agnihotri of Hinshaw and Culbertson. The article discusses the KM  streams that the Big Four accounting firms use, and how those parallel to the legal KM structure. In this day and age of alternative legal providers, it helps to understand how the competition is looking to gain a competitive edge over how you work. Cindy and Vishal give a good outline of some of the processes that are happening in the Big Four, so that you do not fall behind the curve.


Greg remembers back when the Internet was newish, there was a thought that as copyrighted material fell into the public domain, the Internet was going to be an ocean of open access materials. Well... the Digital Millennium Copyright Act put a twenty year hiatus on items falling into the public domain. That comes to an end at the end of this year. Items from 1923 will become public domain materials come January 1st. Granted, we're twenty years behind (and Google Books may have taken a bite out of the DMCA), but the flow of information begins again come the first of the year. 


Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Google (or where ever you listen to your podcasts) so that you automatically get the latest episodes. Comments can be sent to @glambert or @gebauerm. Also, if you like our new theme music, check out Jerry David DeCicca’s new album on Spotify, or iTunes. 

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It's the episode of The Geek In Review that Greg has dreamed about. Beer law!

Courtney Selby, Associate Dean for Information Services, Director of the Law Library, and Professor of Law at Hoftra University Law School, walks us through the strange and interesting topic of beer laws. Selby has immersed herself in the topic for years, and has an upcoming publication with W.S. Hein on Brewery Law including a national survey of state laws on the topic. Not only does Courtney Selby explain some of the more bizarre rules around beer, ciders, and other alcohol laws, she also give some great suggestions on different beers to try. 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/courtney-selby-069b5652/

The Geek In Review is now available on Spotify and Stitcher platforms. That brings us up to over a dozen platforms. So make sure that you subscribe on whatever your favorite platform is. Chances are, we're there. 
https://open.spotify.com/show/53J6BhUdH594oTMuGLvANo?si=XeoRDGhMTjulSEIEYNtZOw
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/the-geek-in-review

Information Inspirations:

Rob Saccone's article, Fractal dysfunction and the mathematics of #biglaw innovation, discusses moving your innovation ideas off of the drawing board and into measurable actions. Saccone brings out his inner-math nerd to walk us through the fractals and the vectors of making innovation more than just an abstract concept. Shout out to Jae Um for her inspiration on this article.
https://medium.com/@robsaccone/fractal-dysfunction-and-the-mathematics-of-biglaw-innovation-bb71abcde145

Tom Idles' article, Want to create a diverse and inclusive workplace? AI might not offer the solution you hope it could, discusses the desire that some have for using AI to help with issues like inclusion and diversity, but Marlene thinks we still might need to get the "human" part of the process cleaned up a bit more before turning it all over to the robots.
https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/diversity-and-ai-workplace

Charles Duhigg's article, The Real Roots of American Rage, is out in the Jan/Feb issue of The Atlantic. If you think that anger doesn't have a purpose in society, you'd be wrong. In fact, anger can drive change better than many of our other emotions. The problem is, when the purpose of anger moves away from trying to leverage it to make something better, over toward the area of revenge, where the purpose is to try to cause harm to others. Duhigg takes us on a journey from an angry little town in Massachusetts in the 1970s to the modern-day political anger we see in America. This is a must read.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/charles-duhigg-american-anger/576424/

Cordell Parvin's LinkedIn article, 25 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was a Young Lawyer, is a great list of things that every young (or even old) lawyer should think about when using their non-billable time. Marlene jokes that one thing that Parvin omitted was "make friends with your information professional." There were a number of items on the list which a librarian, KM, CI, or business development professional could help you set up. So before you start checking things off the list, go see your librarians!
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lawyers-25-things-i-wish-someone-had-told-me-when-young-parvin/

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Google (or where ever you listen to your podcasts) so that you automatically get the latest episodes. Comments can be sent to @glambert or @gebauerm. Also, if you like our new theme music, check out Jerry David DeCicca’s new album on Spotify, or iTunes. 
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2zK20J4miKH4eF6LW1HyGq?nd=1
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jerry-david-decicca/874638238

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This week, we talk with CEO and Principle of Sente Advisors, Ryan McClead. Ryan is also a frequent contributor to 3 Geeks. His new venture into consulting and solution building is unique, in that his team builds across multiple platforms to find creative solutions for the problems we all face in the legal industry. Just as in life, very few solutions to our problems are found in one place. Ryan discusses what Greg refers to as Legal Jazz Innovation - the combining of things which have never been combined before. Listen as Ryan takes us through the twists and turns of how he uses his experience as a legal technology innovator, musician, writer, and consultant to creatively weave together a solution.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmcclead/
https://www.senteadvisors.com/

In addition to Ryan's Jazzfest... there is going to be a Geekfest in NYC on February 21st, 2019. Marlene, Greg, and 3 Geeks' own, Toby Brown, are going to be speaking at the Ark Group conference on Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services. (Which is a mouthful to say.) 
https://www.ark-group.com/event/best-practices-management-strategies-law-firm-library-research-information-services-1#.XA1Yx2hKiUl

Marlene reminds American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) members to take the time to fill out the State of the Profession survey. AALL extended the deadline to December 14th, so go fill that survey out and help your fellow legal information professionals by sharing your knowledge.

Check out Caren Luckie’s post on Legal Competitive Intelligence. It’s a great primer to help explain what CI is in the legal field.
https://ripslawlibrarian.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/competitive-intelligence-in-a-nutshell/

Greg has two words for Thomson Reuters following the news this week that they are laying off 3200 employees... "NOT HAPPY!" You can learn more details from Jean O'Grady's post, including the potential for TR reducing services and products. 
https://www.deweybstrategic.com/2018/12/thomson-reuters-layoffs-to-continue-along-with-office-closings-and-elimination-of-products.html

Marlene has a follow-up on her hopes that CIVIL Media Company would help shift the world of Journalism through blockchain and its cryptoeconomic system. Unfortunately, the Initial Coin Offering was a flop, and CIVIL is giving refunds for those who invested. All is not lost, however. There may be a more simplified offering in the making, and Marlene still holds out hope.
http://civil.co/

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or Google (or where ever you listen to your podcasts) so that you automatically get the latest episodes. Comments can be sent to @glambert or @gebauerm. Also, if you like our new theme music, check out Jerry David DeCicca’s new album on Spotify, or iTunes. 
https://open.spotify.com/artist/2zK20J4miKH4eF6LW1HyGq?nd=1

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Marlene and Greg went to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit the LexisNexis Technology Center. While there, they got a tour of the facilities and introduction to some of the business techniques implemented by the Lexis team. Jeff Pfeifer sat down and explained Lexis' new rapid development techniques, including Sprint Design Thinking, and Agile Development Principles. This type of development processes means things move quickly, and problems are broken down into small chunks to solve. It also means that Lexis looks for developers who can collaborate and work directly with the customers to identify issues, and create solutions in days and weeks, rather than months or years.  

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The Geek In Review - Episode 18 is ready just in time for your Thanksgiving travel enjoyment. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes or Google (or where ever you listen to your podcasts) so that you automatically get the latest episodes. Comments can be sent to @glambert or @gebauerm. Also, if you like our new theme music, check out Jerry David DeCicca's new album on Spotify, or iTunes, 
https://jerrydaviddecicca.bandcamp.com/

Nicholas Alexiou, Director of LL.M and Alumni Advising at Vanderbilt University Law School joins us for an in-depth discussion of what law schools are teaching students in the three years they have them. In an environment where students only care about things which are on the final, or on the bar exam, should professional development programs be required or affect GPA's? While 1Ls and 2Ls get lots of attention from the professional development course, 3Ls are left to their own devices. Greg thinks there is room for improvement with 3Ls professional development from the law schools, law firms, and vendors. 

Marlene points out an MIT answer to "What is AI?" Sometimes a complicated concept can be explained on a napkin with a flowchart. This explanation is so simple, even Marlene's Mom can understand it. Now, if MIT would come up with a flowchart to explain to Greg's Mom what it is he actually does with a law degree and a masters degree in Library Science. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612404/is-this-ai-we-drew-you-a-flowchart-to-work-it-out/

Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at the American Association of Law Libraries, breaks down the post-election results and the upcoming lame duck and new Congressional sessions. It's never dull in DC, and Emily confirms that the action continues through the transition.

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Sometimes when you drop by Greg's office, he will ask if you'll sit down for an interview for the Geek In Review Podcast. This week, Scott Mozarsky, Managing Directory for North American at Vannin Capital fell into that trap, and even Marlene jumped in on Skype and joined the conversation. Scott was the former President of Bloomberg Law and has been in the legal media industry for decades. During the discussion, Mazarsky talks about how the Knowledge Management skills found in law firms can be applied to some of the same analytics and processes found in Litigation Finance. He also walks us through how Litigation Finance is changing, and that a lot of business is being driven by the needs of large law firms... not just plaintiff work.

In the segment that Marlene and Greg are now calling Information Inspiration, Greg discusses how, even after multiple years of security training, it took a episode of the Reply All podcast to finally scare him straight and up his security game. Hackers are no joke, and using strong passwords, encryption, and password managers are a must in today's scary... scary world. 

Marlene and Greg also listen to the new AI newscaster that China's media just launched. Neither of them were all that impressed, but perhaps this is the wave of the future for disseminating information. 

Marlene discusses the gig economy in law that wast covered in the latest Think Like a Lawyer podcast. Joe Patrice interviewed two leaders from the new Lawclerk company which provides on-demand lawyers for projects. It's much more complex than you're probably thinking it is. Is it the future of lawyers? It's probably part of the future.

Thanks again to Jerry David DeCicca for allowing us to use his original music. Go check out Jerry's songs on Spotify, iTune, or at his website.

Let us know what you think about the show. You can tweet us at  @gebauerm or @glambert.

Find links at www.geeklawblog.com

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On this episode of The Geek In Review, we talk with the new Executive Director of the American Association of Law Libraries, Vani Ungapen. Vani discusses her initiation into AALL and having to learn all of the different acronyms that Law Librarians like to use. 

Greg was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management as a Fellow. While at the CoLPM meeting, former Harvard Law School President, Martha Minnow discussed her mission as the Vice-Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, and the need to help those who cannot afford legal services to not fall through the cracks. 

To dovetail with Martha Minnow's topic, check out the work that is going on with The Bail Project, which created a rotating bail fund to help those who are sitting in jail, primarily because they cannot post bail. Greg ponders if there is something that legal associations could do to support these types of projects in support of access to justice issues.

Marlene went to the latest Ark Group KM meeting (apparently there was a Fortnight dance involved?) While she was there, she asked Vivian Liu-Somers, Ron Friedmann, Phil Rosenthal, Phil Bryce, and Meredith Williams-Range about how does Knowledge Management impact innovation. 

Perhaps the most exciting change this week is that we have new music from Jerry David DeCicca. Jerry is a well-known Americana musician and former lead singer of The Black Swans. There is a law library link in this music in that AALL member, Eve Searls, sings back up, and plays keyboard and Wurlitzer on Jerry's latest album, Burning Daylight. We are very excited that Jerry is letting us use his fabulous music on the Podcast. Check out his Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/2zK20J4miKH4eF6LW1HyGq?nd=1), and iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jerry-david-decicca/874638238) channels. 

If you have comments or suggestions, please tweet us at @gebauerm or @glambert.

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Brandi Hester, Applications Development Manager for Hunton Andrews Kurth, discusses how the modern Applications Development team focuses less on actually developing applications from scratch to providing a services, security, access, and connecting the dots on all that data. She walks us through the plethora of “AAS” (as a service) options which law firm IT departments use, and she talks about “Shadow IT” groups found in law firm departments and practice areas. Brandi also shares some great insights on being a woman in a field that historically has favored men in app dev roles.

Marlene (@gebauerm) and Greg (@glambert) enjoyed their week off from the podcast and discuss their individual travels to Chicago, and across Texas. Greg also got to present (virtually) at the University of Oklahoma and discovered that many other law firms are struggling to promote their professional development programs due to the issue of “if it ain’t on the final, or the bar exam… students won’t make the effort to attend.” This was an issue discussed recently in an Above the Law article.
Professional Development For Law Students:
How can students best take advantage of their school’s professional development programming?
https://abovethelaw.com/2018/10/professional-development-for-law-students/

Marlene found a new podcast called Women in Law, On the Record, from Greenberg Traurig’s Allison Stewart. Stewart was featured in a recent Law.com article. https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2018/10/19/greenberg-traurig-associate-launches-podcast-for-women-in-law/
Women in Law, On the Record (iTunes)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-in-law-on-the-record/id1437819781?mt=2

Filed under the topic of “did it, or didn’t happen??” is the recent Bloomberg report on China’s alleged hacking of Apple, Amazon, as well as US Military and other government computers through a computer hardware chip smaller than a “small grain” size of rice. Everyone is denying that it happened, but Marlene and Greg wonder how this is going to affect cloud-based projects within law firms?

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On this episode we will talk with Jeff Marple, Director of Innovation, Corporate Legal at Liberty Mutual Insurance company. Plus, we have our monthly update on government action in legal information from AALL’s Director of Government Relations, Emily Feltren. So, it’s an action packed episode, so grab a drink of your choice and settle in for a good one.

15:13 - Jeff Marple, Director of Innovation, within Corporate Legal at Liberty Mutual discusses what it is like to be the innovations guru within a large corporate legal environment. The key is incremental change, lots of communications, having the customer in the room, and publicly executing poor performing processes or projects in the town square.

07:22 - Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), gives us her monthly update on happenings in the legal information field in regards to government actions. There are a number of bills at the federal level focusing on opening up access to PACER (the backbone of the federal court docket system.) Is free access to PACER on the horizon? Seem that there are a number of politicians looking to do just that.

00:45 - Marlene (@gebauerm) walks us through how "Thinking Like a Lawyer" might be exactly what we need in this highly polarized environment we live in. https://www.law360.com/articles/1089175/

03:00 - Greg (@glambert) discusses his "book report" from Kim Cameron's leadership book, "Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance," on Positive Communications and how high performance teams interact and communicate. https://amzn.to/2BZHKBq

Please feel free to Tweet us at @gebauerm or @glambert with any comments you have about this episode of The Geek In Review. Please take a moment to subscribe, comment, and rate us so that others can find us.

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Laurent Wiesel, Founder and CEO of Justly, talks with us about leaving his BigLaw partnership to create a startup focused on litigation analytics. Wiesel discusses how he saw that there was a growing gap between what clients were asking on issues of pricing and process, and what law firms were able to deliver. (https://justly.com)
Greg (@glambert) talks about his ability to post an actual written blog post this week about who is the customer (https://bit.ly/2OXZIIc)
If you haven't checked out Jason Barnwell's podcast "The Business of Law" yet (https://bit.ly/2xXDCOO), Marlene (@gebauerm) suggests that you do. Jason has an extended interview our episode 11 guest, Jae Um.
Marlene also suggests checking out Gimlet Media's "Casting Call" (https://castingcallshow.com/). Casting Call is a reality audio series that chronicles the search for the next great podcast host.
Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and leave a review!

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On this episode, we interview Alameda County Law Library Director, Mark Estes, and get his insights on how modern county law libraries support their communities, and how their communities support them.

Marlene and Greg were interviewed for The Digital Edge Podcast (https://is.gd/VtMVi5)

Marlene (@gebauerm) discusses the creepy ideas behind Augmented Eternity (https://is.gd/YlI7uS), as well as the proper methods behind YouTube apology videos (https://is.gd/9f4q9z).

Greg (@glambert) recommends listening the CBC's new podcast, Undercover: Escaping NXVIM (https://is.gd/nkPHFw), and the ideas behind a manipulation process called "Engineered Epiphanies." Plus, why you shouldn't name buildings after people who are still alive. (https://is.gd/cOHopa)
Added feature … Marlene struggles with pronouncing Alameda.

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Marlene (@gebauerm) and Greg (@glambert) talk with Legal Rebel, Jae Um (@jaesunum), Founder & Executive Director at Six Parsecs, about her unique writing style (it involves the use of emojis), and her ideas behind her series on Legal Innovation Woes.
Greg breaks down a conversation which amplified the idea of why it's important to be seen as a driver for the firm's bottom line, and how he deleted Facebook and twitters apps from his phone, as well as how didn't melt while in Arizona over the weekend.
Marlene talks about CIVIL, a new cryptocurrency model helping to rebuild trust and integrity in journalism. Marlene also needs some suggestions on multi-player mobile games. Ones in which she can win.
Links:
Jae Um's Legal Innovation Woes: https://bit.ly/2wQbddH
CIVIL: https://bit.ly/2NbcpCw

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This episode has it all. We talk with Kyle Doviken, Senior Director at Lex Machina about their analytics tool, and about Kyle’s passion for helping out in the Austin community through substantial Pro Bono efforts.
Greg disturbs a recent third-time father, Noah Waisberg, CEO of Kira Systems to see how the acquisition of $50 million in minority funding will help Kira expand its reach into the legal market and, according to Waisberg, well beyond the legal market.
We are adding a new (hopefully) installment of updates on government actions, public policy, and other actions affecting the legal information profession. Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at the American Association of Law Libraries fills us in on potential actions coming before the midterm elections, and AALL’s push to fill the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Marlene recommends a Netflix movie called American Animals —warning for librarians… rare books are stolen!
And, Greg discusses buy vs build.

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Marlene (@gebauerm) and Greg (@glambert) talk with the University of Oklahoma School of Law’s Director of Technology Innovation, Kenton Brice. Kenton discusses how OU is leveraging the advances in technology to expand upon the university’s commitment to not only teach students how to think like a lawyer, but to also have a grasp of some of the skills needed to practice law efficiently.
The Geek In Review also received a nod from The Legaler Blog (bit.ly/2wvelLg) as one of the best legal podcasts right now.
Of course, #ILTACon18 was a smashing success for those who attended. Checkout the tweets for some of the ideas shared at the conference. Also, congrats to David Hobbie for pulling together a great show.
Just when you thought you figured out the Millennial Generation… get ready for Gen Z. This new generation is now old enough to start law school. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be in adjusting to this well connected, vocal, and empowered generation. bit.ly/2wsiu2s

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On this episode of The Geek In Review, Marlene (@gebauerm) and Greg (@glambert) talk with long time friend and colleague Emily Rushing, Competitive Intelligence Director at Haynes and Boone in Dallas, Texas. In Emily's decade at Haynes and Boone, she has implemented a stellar competitive intelligence process and has found a method of encouraging partners to share information and to build trust among throughout the firm. In addition to traditional CI tools, Emily has leveraged her firm's CRM tool in ways that would make most of us in other firms envious.

Once again, Marlene and Greg get to record this week's podcast together while Marlene is visiting Texas. Greg also "triple-dog dared" Marlene to reach out to one of their podcasting heroes, "Make Me Smart's" Molly Wood while Marlene was in Austin.

With ILTACon wrapping up this week, they also cover a couple of items they saw on social media about law firm websites, as well as teaching law firm management skills to law students.

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On this episode of The Geek In Review, Tom O'Connor, Independent Litigation Technology Consultant, talks to us about his recent blog post, What in the Wide World of Sports is Going on at ILTA? bit.ly/2Bi3FVM
In addition to ILTA's woes, Tom covers other issues regarding member associations, and how new entries into the legal vendor market are changing the vendor-customer relationship… and not for the better.
Greg discusses his role as the "World's Okayist Dad" and his inability to find his rental car's gas door release switch while in New Jersey.
Marlene is on a trip to Texas, so the podcasting duo actually get to sit in the same room and record this episode.
Marlene also has a speaking engagement coming up at the Ark Group's 14th annual Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession, entitled "Game On! Using 'Gamification' to Engage Your KM Users. bit.ly/2Pj1GmX

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On this week’s episode, Greg speaks the couple of words of French he learned on vacation.

Marlene talks about mentor/mentee relationships and Sheryl Sandberg’s discussion on how the #MeToo era places an external strain on promoting these relationships. Marlene touches on the three founders of Black Women Talk Tech, Esosa Ighodaro, Regina Gwynn, and Lauren Washington, as well as Sophia Amouruso and others on the importance of mentoring.

Greg also covers the “psychological safety” of having trust between team members (https://is.gd/a0ZBYk), and somehow connects airport malls to Bob Ambrogi’s recent interview (https://is.gd/wbWBeQ) of LegalZoom’s Chaz Rampenthal. (Listen to follow that line of thinking.)

This week’s guest is Lisa Rush, Director of the Travis County Law Library in Austin, Texas. She is on the frontline of Access to Justice issues by streamlining processes within the civil, and criminal courts. Lisa’s work is solving a huge issue many courts face.

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Marlene Gebauer (@gebauerm) and Greg Lambert (@glambert) review the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Conference in Baltimore, along with a review of products launched at the conference, privacy concerns surrounding mega-information vendors and the government, and the wonderful filthiness of keynote speaker, John Waters.

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Marlene Gebauer interviews Ayelette Robinson about her transition from KM Attorney to award-winning actress and voice-over specialist. Ayelette discusses how acting isn't about "pretending" but rather it's about showing our real selves and injecting our own unique perspectives.

Marlene discusses the five training modules on security awareness. Technology and security all go hand-in-hand. But it wasn't all work. Somehow Marlene discusses not one, but two articles regarding technology, ethics, and individuality. Both straight out of fashion magazines.

Greg recaps his conversation with LexisNexis in Chicago last week, and about the harmful affects that tying unrelated products together has on the legal industry, and how Lexis' lack of disclosure should make for an interesting law library conference in Baltimore.
Links:
https://www.geeklawblog.com/2018/07/podcast-episode-4-understanding-place-focus-others.html

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Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer talk with Duke Law School's Cas Laskowski about software and applications designers moving away from simple User-Centered Design, and think more about Impact-Conscious Design models. This is a follow up to Cas' 3 Geeks' blog post back in April.
Marlene also discusses new games for the summer, and flexible space utilization in libraries. Her dog, Georgie, also makes a guest appearance.
Greg went to Alabama over the weekend and got a lesson in leadership from his brother-in-law on being a leader and letting the experts be the experts. He is also finishing up his AALL presidency and looking forward to Baltimore.
More Links Here:
http://www.geeklawblog.com

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Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert interview Casetext's Chief Legal Research Officer and co-founder, Pablo Arredondo. Pablo describes his beginnings as a Kirkland & Ellis attorney who thought his research tools should do much more than they did... and then he went out and created those tools.
Greg and Marlene discuss their busy weeks and a few things that caught their attention. For Greg, it was mainly serving on a jury, and drinking a beer (or two) with LexBlog's Kevin O'Keefe. Not at the same time, of course. Marlene made her way into Brooklyn and caught up with the NYC law librarian crowd. One of her friend's gave her a mic to help with her new podcasting career. And, it was her "Birthday Week."
Here are some links discussed in the podcast this week:
Emerging Trends Webinar: goo.gl/S1GbHU
Greg's Facebook Live Talk with Kevin O'Keefe: goo.gl/PB1QrE
Training the 21st Century Lawyer: Envisioning a Legal Industry Alliance: goo.gl/hQeZ5y
Original Music by Kevin MacLeod: goo.gl/xp4mf

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Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert launch The Geek in Review with a discussion of legal information publisher's push to kill print and make a de facto operating system where you have to go to get your legal information. Marlene also discusses her attendance at a legal management conference. Plus, Greg celebrates his 10th anniversary on Twitter.
Zena Applebaum also joins in and discusses her recent article about "My Non Life." Life working inside of law firms as a "non-lawyer" and how it is actually good to be a "non" and the diversity and experience that comes along with it.
Zena's blog post can be found at https://www.geeklawblog.com/2018/06/my-non-life.html

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