“Whether you like it or not, everybody’s searching for us online. And everybody is looking at your LinkedIn profile, whether you’re on LinkedIn every day, or once a year, so you might as well make it work for you.” – Stefanie Marrone
Stefanie Marrone is an Outsource Marketer who advises legal professionals on improving their social media presence. Even legal professionals in large law firms can benefit from a strong social media presence because clients and potential clients relate to the individual more than they do the firm. Marrone’s experience in firms like Proskauer and MoFo helped shaped her understanding of how important it is to have a strategy when it comes to branding. LinkedIn is her suggested primary platform for lawyers and legal professionals because that is the most likely platform where you’ll find your peers and clients.
One of the most effective forms of content, even on LinkedIn, is short-form video. In addition, list posts, infographics, carousel images, and finding ways to bring even firm posts to life helps draw attention to social media posts. For lawyers who have a marketing team, Stefanie suggests establishing a social media training program, especially for LinkedIn.
While we would all love to have some metric that identifies the return on investment of social media, it is not as easy as the number of likes a post receives. Success on social media is a combination of brand awareness, influence on decision making, and information dissemination. However, Marrone points out that many firms have thousands, or even tens of thousands of followers, and if the only engagement you are receiving is minimal, or from a few people, then it is clear that your social media strategy is not working.
Marrone also points out that lawyers and legal professionals should stick to one or two platforms and not spread yourselves too thin. LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter are probably the safest bets, but it depends on the message you are trying to convey.

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Transcript

Continue Reading Successful Brand Awareness for Legal Professionals – Tips from Stefanie Marrone (TGIR Ep. 188)

[Note: Please welcome guest bloggers Jennifer Wondracek, Director of the Law Library, Professor of Legal Research & Writing at Capital University Law School, and Rebecca Rich, Assistant Dean for the Law Library and Technology Services, and Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. – GL]

AI content generation tools, such as ChatGPT, have been in the news a lot lately. It’s the new cool tool for doing everything from coding to graphic art to writing legal briefs. It was even, briefly, used for a robot lawyer that was going to argue in court. And Greg Lambert wrote about it a few weeks ago on this very blog in What a Law Librarian Does with AI Tools like ChatGPT – Organize and Summarize. This post continues Greg’s discussion on ChatGPT use.

AI content generation tools are also the new education bogeyman. A myriad of headlines have been written in the last two months about how ChatGPT is the death of the essay and multiple-choice exams. It’s the newest in a line of digital tools–starting with the Internet and Wikipedia–that students might use to cheat in legal education. But we think this is a bit of an overreaction. ChatGPT and other similar AI-generative content creation tools can, and have, absolutely been misused; but we found that even with expert prompt creation and a high level of expertise, ChatGPT et al. are not yet capable of producing student work that is indistinguishable from real student work. Not all share this belief. Several professors at the University of Minnesota Law School ran some exams through ChatGPT, using a closed universe of cases provided to the program. The exams resulted in an average grade of C+ across the four exams, which were graded blindly. But they noted a few important takeaways, including:

[W]hen ChatGPT’s essay questions were incorrect, they were dramatically incorrect, often garnering the worst scores in the class. Perhaps not surprisingly, this outcome was particularly likely when essay questions required students to assess or draw upon specific cases, theories, or doctrines that were covered in class.

And

In writing essays, ChatGPT displayed a strong grasp of basic legal rules and had consistently solid organization and composition. However, it struggled to identify relevant issues and often only superficially applied rules to facts as compared to real law students.

The authors of this blog post have also done some experiments with ChatGPT. Jenny was curious about the kind of legal work that ChatGPT thought it could perform. When asked what types of legal tasks it could do, ChatGPT listed seven options, ranging from summarizing laws to drafting legal documents. The option that caught Jenny’s eye was “Helping with legal research, by providing the most relevant cases and statutes.” Challenge accepted.

Using a current problem her Legal Research and Writing students were working with, Jenny asked ChatGPT “What are the most relevant cases and statutes to determine if someone is a recreational user land entrant under Ohio law?” A few seconds later, ChatGPT gave her two statutes and three cases with brief summaries of each. While it had the general premise correct that a landowner is not liable for injury to a recreational user, assuming all of the requirements are met, it provided incorrect definitions, and every statute and case cited were incorrect. It also disagreed with itself about the duty of care owed to the recreational user in another sentence. Neither statute provided led to R.C. 1533.18 or 1533.181, the Ohio statutes for this law. When asked for more citations for the three cases listed, Jenny received both regional reporter and Ohio citations that were readable, if not quite properly Bluebooked. Investigations into the cases determined that none of the three existed by name and each of the six reporter citations led to a unique case, none of which were remotely responsive to the question. In the end, ChatGPT gave Jenny a partially correct answer with two incorrect statutes, three made-up cases, and six incorrect cases. Not a good day for accurate legal research!

Becka experimented with the law-review style research and policy paper prompts she uses for her Education Law and AI and the Law classes and had a similar experience.  Even with prompts to write longer papers, ChatGPT produced short, generically written papers with no or minimal citation (including often made-up citations!) and no analysis.  A five-page paper would have an average of two footnotes per page even when prompted to add more. Becka shared the results with one of her students who commented that even she could tell this was an F paper.  Becka also experimented with having ChatGPT create a class policy presentation. Again, even after several refining prompts, the presentation was, at best, a C- presentation.

Given the legal writing learning curve and low level of longer form writing experience of many of our students, along with their documented increased level of stress and reduced mental health, it is understandable that instructors are nonetheless concerned about the use of AI content generation tools.

As with plagiarism tools, there is now a profitable market for detecting the use of AI generated content using AI.  There are currently at least two startups developing tools: AICheatCheck and CrossPlag, both of which have usable demos. GLTR and GPTZero were developed by a collaboration between an MIT and a Harvard professor and a Princeton University student respectively (for more about these tools and a comparison of how they work, take a look at this RIPS-SIS post). Our friendly neighborhood plagiarism detection companies, Turnitin and Copyleaks, are also in the process of adding AI content generation tool use detection to their products. OpenAI (ChatGPT’s company) has developed a tool to assist in detecting the use of its tool in writing and is in the process of adding watermarking to ChatGPT-generated content.

None of these detection tools are 100% effective, so it may also be helpful to consider adding ChatGPT detection options to your paper grading rubric.  Some options:

  • ChatGPT generated text is formulaic: it generally follows the 5-paragraph essay, stereotypical topic sentence at the top structure.
  • Sentence length does not vary as much as human-generated text does.
  • ChatGPT generated text is light on analysis and applying facts to an issue.

Also remember that ChatGPT isn’t good at citation and doesn’t have any information in it from after 2021 yet. Well-done, indistinguishable from humans is a difficult enough problem to solve that no one’s gotten there yet (though an Israeli start-up is trying).

Lastly, we recommend considering teaching students about ChatGPT rather than banning it.  There are so many AI-assisted drafting tools available for lawyers now that we’d be doing them a disservice otherwise (e.g. ClearBrief, Clawdia, and Docugami). The Sentient Syllabus Project has three great principles for doing so:

  1. AI cannot pass this class,
  2. AI contributions must be limited and true, and
  3. AI use should be open and documented.

On to the next experiment!

 

This week we are joined by Shayne Phillips, Director of Analytics Solutions at Anaqua/Acclaim IP. Shayne talks about the value that Patent Agents bring to the legal industry. She explains how Patent Agents can use data to uncover insights about competitors and potential markets, and how they can go beyond the typical patent search to provide competitive intelligence and business intelligence.
She emphasizes how Patent Agents can help R&D teams use the patent literature to their advantage, such as looking for references to answer an office action from an examiner or to conduct a freedom to operate opinion piece. Additionally, Patent Agents can look for trends in what patents a competitor has let die before their statutory term, and what countries they are now filing in where they maybe hadn’t before with that particular technology. This can help uncover potential markets and provide insight into what the competitor may or may not know about a particular geographical region.
Many law firms realize the value that Patent Agents can bring to making existing clients more profitable by understanding their patent portfolio as well as uncovering the strategic directions that potential clients may be headed in their patent and overall business goals.
As with many industries, Shayne recognizes that there is a giant role that technology and AI tools will play in the immediate future of the profession. With millions upon millions of patents to parse through, there is definitely value in leveraging the technology to enhance the role she plays in finding the hidden jewels that are buried in patent information.
Join us as we talk with Shayne about her career growth, her move to Texas, and her involvement in the Licensing Executive Society to mentor and connect with the newer generation of LES members.
Shayne’s Twitter – @ShaynePhillip15

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Transcript

Continue Reading The Secret Weapon: Leveraging Patent Agents to Gain a Competitive Edge – Shayne Phillips (TGIR Ep. 186)

AI Generated Librarian as a machine editing a podcast.

This is going to be something that all of you will find “interesting,” but maybe not something that you will like. Last week on 3 Geeks, I posted a blog that talked about how to use AI to generate summaries of legal articles. This week, I wanted to expand on that project a little and see if I could turn the summaries into a podcast. The goal was to try to get it completely automated, and completely AI generated. Well… as you can see from the title of this episode, it was almost completely automated, and AI generated. But not 100%.

Here’s the process I created, and I attached the mp3 of the output.
  • RSS Feed that tracks new BigLaw Podcast Episodes.
  • Use a Python script to pull the episode information.
  • Use GPT to create a description of the episode.
  • Use Descript to translate the text summaries into voice output. (I did lightly edit these with an intro and outro as well as tweak the transitions between each review.)
  • Use Soundraw to create an intro/outro music.
  • Combine in Audacity.
  • Output in mp3.
All of these tools are actually free, except for GPT, which is about $0.01 or less per article.
This is far from perfect, but it is kind of cool, and I think there are some uses for these tools.
Whether you love this, hate this, or don’t really care, I’d like to hear what you think!!
(The AI Generated part starts at the 6:50 mark.)

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Transcript

Continue Reading The (ALMOST) Completely AI Generated Podcast (TGIR Ep. 186)

DALL-E drawing of a librarian looking over lots of documents.

There is obviously a ton of hype and buzz going on right now with ChatGPT and other AI tools, including this week’s Geek in Review podcast. I wanted to see if there’s something that I could do that was a practical use of GPT in my job as a law librarian. I think I’ve found something that might fit that bill. Summarizing text.

Law Librarians are great at finding good information and getting that quickly into the hands of lawyers, legal professionals, judges, pro se representatives, etc. However, we don’t always have a lot of time to read all of that information and create a summary for the person we are working with. It’s not uncommon for a firm to have 100 – 300 attorneys for each librarian. Any tool that would help librarians synthesize information in a useful way is a welcome tool for us all. I put GPT 3.5 (the paid version) to the test to see how it could be that electronic assistant in summarizing information quickly.

It is early in my experiment, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

The Current Process

I wanted to try something that I personally set up for myself that is “good” but not “great.” And that is tracking BigLaw Podcasts as they come out. What I have now is an RSS feed (yes, that is still a thing!) that follows AmLaw 100/200 firms’ websites and lets me know when a new episode comes out. I have that RSS feed set up in my MS Outlook folders. I’m using LexisNexis’ NewsDesk to set this up.

Right now, it looks like this:

This works fine, but it really doesn’t give me a lot of information on the podcast. I’d really like to see more of a summary of the podcast before I make a decision to click through and listen.

The Idea

I’ve got the basic information from the RSS feed, but now I want to expand that information. I’m a former programmer from “back in the day” but I haven’t done any serious programming in a long time. But, I know that Python is a great tool for processing text, so my top-of-the-head idea was to have Python look at my RSS output and see if it could get me more information. Actually, I wanted to see if Python might be able to summarize the RSS information directly. This is where the ChatGPT tool came in handy. Continue Reading What a Law Librarian Does with AI Tools like ChatGPT – Organize and Summarize

There is a lot of buzz around ChatGPT and GPT 3.5, but is it really the next Tesla, or is it the next IBM Watson? We talk with HyperDraft’s Tony Thai and Ashley Carlisle about OpenAI’s popular tool and why, lawyers at least, shouldn’t be ready to go all in on this specific technology. While there are great examples of how GPT 3.5 impressively handled things like Bar Exam questions, there are still a lot of unknowns from this resource from a company that started out as Open Source and non-profit, but has released a product that is neither.
While the conversation focused a lot on the short comings of ChatGPT, there is a lot of promise in the technology, even if it may be years before it can handle the complex issues that lawyers and the legal community handle on behalf of their clients. Are we going to reach The Singularity in 2023, or is it decades away? Can AI plug the Access to Justice gap, or will it cause more issues than it solves? Will this specific AI tool continue to improve as it devours more data and leverages millions of users, or will it become corrupted by bad actors who discover how it inputs its data?
Can society use this to better ourselves, or will it become another way to play upon our short attention spans?
We cover all of this and more in a roundtable discussion. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what value you see in ChatGPT and GPT 3.5 in the legal industry. So reach out to us on Twitter or give us a call!

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Contact Us:
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Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript 

Continue Reading ChatGPT – If It Sounds Too Good To Be True… – Tony Thai and Ashley Carlisle (TGIR Ep. 185)

Mollie Nichols is the CEO of Redgrave Data, a company that uses data analytics and technology to assist the legal industry. After leaving Hogan Lovells, Mollie launched Redgrave Data in January of 2022 and has seen a strong demand for their services in data analytics, regulation, compliance, and internal investigations. Companies often seek the expert assistance of Redgrave Data in order to improve efficiency among the law firms, eDiscovery services, ALSPs, and internal legal operations. She is working to move legal departments away from being seen as a “black hole for money” and focused more on the unique and valuable in achieving the strategic goals of the company. One of the hidden gems in these legal departments is the insights that the legal team can uncover through visualization and analysis of the data within the department. 
One area that Mollie things the legal industry needs to change is how it processes and analyzes the data we collect and create. You cannot look at data simply as a commodity. Where your data tools or your outsourced data analytics teams take unique batches of data and then send it through a one-sized fits all process. Data has to be analyzed through the lens of the current legal issue or toward the goals of the company. This is one of the areas that she says Redgrave Data stands apart from others in the field.
In her Crystal Ball projection, Mollie Nichols sees the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal field is likely to increase, but some lawyers and judges may not fully understand or accept it. AI can help with the growing volume and complexity of data in legal cases, but there may be challenges in accessing and using this data effectively. Overall, she thinks that AI is going to have a significant impact on the legal field.

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New Logo!!
We are SUPER GEEKED about our new logo design. Shoutout to logo designer @ChangoATX who did a wonderful job and got our new logo completed just in time for the holidays!! Let us know what you think.
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript

Continue Reading Redgrave Data’s Mollie Nichols on the De-Commoditizing of Data in the Legal Industry (TGIR Ep. 184)

This week, we have a jam-packed episode featuring five of our colleagues from a 2022 American Association of Law Libraries panel on APIs.
  • Emily Rushing, Director of Competitive Intelligence, Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Pam Noyd, Information Resources Manager at Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Erik Adams, Manager of Library Digital Initiatives Manager of Library Digital Initiatives at Sidley Austin LLP, and Chief of Technology at Golden Arrow Publishing LLC
  • Keli Whitnell, Director of Firm Intelligence at Troutman Pepper
  • Christopher O’Connor, Senior Director, Product Management at LexisNexis
APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, have become an increasingly important tool in the legal industry. The panel included members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including both librarians and non-librarians. This diversity provided a holistic view of the topic, covering everything from the technical aspects of using APIs to the importance of data quality and vetting vendors.
APIs are like building blocks for legal solutions (think: LEGO Blocks), allowing for the flexible sharing of data between different computer environments. This enables more creative solutions than vendors could create on their own and has led to a range of innovative legal solutions.
Overall, the panel provided valuable insights into the use of APIs in the legal industry and highlighted their potential for facilitating more efficient and effective legal work. As the use of API’s continues to grow, it will be important for legal professionals to stay up to date on the latest developments and best practices in this area.

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Links Mentioned:
Crystal Ball Question:
Brad Blickstein discusses the potential for a recession and its effects on the legal industry. He speculates that Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) will benefit from the downturn, as law departments will be unable to increase headcount. He also discusses the question of where the work done by ALSPs will go once the recession ends and whether law firms will be able to regain the work.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert Voicemail: 713-487-7821 Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com Music: Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript

Continue Reading APIs are the LEGO Building Blocks of Data – API Panel Discussion with Emily Rushing, Pam Noyd, Chris O’Connor, Keli Whitnell, and Erik Adams (TGIR Ep. 183)

We give you the true “3 Geeks” experience on this week’s show as we are joined by an OG (original geek) Toby Brown. Toby, Marlene, and Greg talk with Litify’s President and COO, Ari Treuhaft, and Pam Wickersham, the VP of Product and Engineer there at Litify. One of the taglines at Litify is that they #BreakLegalSilos. Treuhaft and Wickersham explain what that means, and how they focus on providing an operating system, built on Salesforce, that creates transparency between Corporate Counsel and their law firms.

Both Ari and Pam got their start in Financial and Professional services, so they come at these business problems with a different approach. With Pam’s engineering background, and experiences at Google, she brings in a unique perspective on how to build the technology through the lens of the customer. Ari’s experiences with the Financial Services industry going to the cloud over a decade ago also positions him to better understand the naysayers in the legal industry who are still resistant to placing data in the cloud.

It’s a great conversation. We want to thank the great folks at City Acre Brewery in Houston, Texas for letting us record this episode there. And, for not laughing too hard as Greg destroyed his laptop by spilling an entire Maple Porter into his brand-new laptop. We hope this is a semi-regular event! (Recording at City Acre… not pouring a beer into laptops!!)

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Crystal Ball Question

Toby Brown takes on our question this week by talking about the fact that attorneys are resistant to changing behaviors, not because they are unwilling to adapt to new technology, but because this is an industry that is very reputational based.

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Twitter: @gebauerm@glambert, or @gnawledge
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript

Continue Reading Creating Actual Transparency Between Law Firms and Clients – Litify’s Ari Treuhaft and Pam Wickersham (TGIR Ep. 182)

At present, the most universal priority for law departments is “controlling outside counsel costs” per 85% of respondents to the most recent TR Legal Department Operations Index.

I understand. I also doubt the marginal utility of simply pressing harder on the traditional levers of cost control (discounts, panels, RFPs, outside counsel guidelines, AFAs). My sometimes solicited, alternative advice:

  • Package work. Identify opportunities to enter portfolio arrangements, including integrated law relationships with New Law offerings.
  • Move work. Right source, including greater use of legal marketplaces to find the right talent at the right price.
  • Re-examine costs on autopilot. Major advances in ediscovery, ADR, court reporting, staffing, etc. present substantial, immediate spend-optimization opportunities.
  • Don’t stop investing in compliance by design. Embedding legal knowledge in business processes is the only viable, long-term approach to meeting the evolving legal needs of business in an increasingly complex operating environment.

If you want to discuss, call me, maybe.

Herein, however, I am not focused on being better. Rather, we will continue our exploration of avoiding worse. The unpalatable message remains that even when something must be done, doing nothing is superior to doing the wrong thing. Running in the wrong direction cannot be course corrected solely by redoubling our efforts.

Continue Reading Trust Fall: the limits of discounts, panels, billing guidelines, etc.