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 has taken to riding those electric scooters through the streets of Austin.

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Continue Reading Episode 31: Vishal Agnihotri on Legal Hackathons and her ‘Femme LeGALs’ team

RyanMinkoff [CC]
About a year ago something happened to me professionally that really set me off.  I fired up my laptop and spewed all of the venom in my heart into a ranty draft blog post.  Before posting it, I sent it to a few people for review.  They all agreed I’d been wronged.  Several encouraged me to publish immediately, a few suggested I should give it some more thought.

I was going through some personal difficulties at the time and I feared that some of my vehemence may have been misplaced anger, so I shelved the piece.  I left it in the drafts bucket on the blog and there it sat until last week.

Last week, through an unlikely comedy of errors, my rant was published here under the wrong byline.  If you receive 3 Geeks via feed, you may have received the unvarnished post.  It was picked up by a couple of aggregator newsletters too, but by the time you clicked the link to read the article in full *poof*, no post.  We had already realized our mistake and replaced my rant with the correct content.

Even though I wasn’t listed as the author of the rant, I received several inquiries from friends who had read the post before we fixed it. They recognized my style and were confused as to what happened and why had it been taken down.  Some were disappointed because they thought my post would start an interesting conversation about the free exchange of ideas in legal.  Some were dumbfounded because I was referencing ‘my marketing team’ when they know my new company (created several months after writing the rant) is too small to have a marketing team.  And a few were astonished that I would let fly a blue streak of expletives…no, a few were astonished that I would PUBLISH a blue streak of expletives. Had I gone forward with publishing at the time, I would have substantially edited the post.

I re-read my rant on the morning it was accidentally published, and even though I’m in a much better place personally than I was last year at this time, it turns out I’m still just as upset as I was when I originally wrote it.  So, with minimal editing (mostly for language), and in the hopes of starting a conversation about the free exchange of ideas, how to address plagiarism in a small community, and the abuse of pay-to-play events in legal, here is my Phantom Post.

Continue Reading The Phantom Post

Day 3 – Foggy, Rainy, but Uplifting… just like storytelling segments.

.


 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 – 12:30 PM

Storytelling and Empathy in a Purpose-Driven Economy

Cheryl Houser
Founder & CEO
Creative Breed and creator of Generation Startup. (Movie)

[Ed. Note – I think it was Houser’s desire to make everyone in the audience have the “feels” and experience what it means to be a good storyteller. By the end of the session, I saw more than a few dabs of the handkerchief to the eyes by a number of audience members. – GL]

When it comes to marketing products, good marketers are no longer pushing products but rather creating a deep emotional need for the product. If you take care of the customers needs first, the brand of the company will be taken care of.

Storytelling

1. Feature people who are relatable and express the full range of emotions

Cast people who are universally relatable. They are most relatable when they are vulnerable. Fear. Self doubt. Love. Difference Continue Reading Live Blogging SXSW

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.

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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.  Continue Reading Episode 30: Chicago-Kent’s Debbie Ginsberg on the Value of Women in Legal Tech

 

I don’t play tennis, but I might after attending SOLID (Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption)  West last week.  Playing tennis was a metaphor used by founder David Cowen of the Cowen Group to signify that we aren’t great at something right away—we must learn it. And that some are better at the game than others.

The SOLID summit has an energizing format—several TED-style talks, mostly from in-house representatives, guided roundtable discussion, then Town Hall where a few tables report to the larger group.  You switch tables a few times, so you get to meet LOTS of people.  There are also a few fireside chats and a couple sprint discussion panels.  There was very little vendor participation, other than the sponsors.  And while I appreciate the absolute value the exhibit floor, the lack of vendor involvement gave SOLID a different and welcome flavor.

The tempo was upbeat and fast-moving, which I enjoyed.  The presentations were curated and each one was valuable. Each one. Some of the main themes were:

  • General Counsel is now more integrated in business and innovative efforts (Alexia Mass)
  • Productizing of legal service will promote efficiency and distinguish firms (Stephen Allen, Kiwi Camara)
  • Industrialization of end to end process (Stephen Allen)
  • Data is unstructured. Structuring is hard, but worth it.  Choose what is important to you (Jay Angelo)
  • Building, not buying is what will set you apart (Jay Angelo, Stephen Allen, Ben Allgrove, Bennett Borden)
  • Successful change is evolutionary, not revolutionary
    • Shock therapy doesn’t work, client sourced demand is limited (Ben Allgrove)
  • Evidence based decision optimizes decision making (Bennett Borden, Eduardo Ruiz)
    • At one of my table discussions, I learned one firm does psychological assessments of potential laterals during the hiring process. They also use the same to build leadership profiles
  • Innovation from the ground up, not the top down—Activate the base!
    • Develop an Idea Channels flow and create an Idea Drop database where staff can input ideas (Anusia Gillespie)
    • Incorporate volunteer Innovation Ambassadors to spread the message (Ben Allgrove)
  • Collaboration-clients want it; teams need it (almost all speakers hit this theme)
    • Your team members are your clients, treat them that way (Wendy Callahan)
    • Firms, vendors and ALS need to work together to bring solutions to clients (Don Walther)
    • Reward efficiency and collaboration (Brett Tarr)
  • Importance of Design thinking (Don Ferguson, Patrick Barry, Bryant Isbell)
    • Don must listen to “The Geek in Review,” or “Make me Smart,” or be a student of Aristotle because he used the phrase “Nobody is as smart as everybody.” He is in good company 😊.
    • Don shared a unique example of applied design thinking where two large companies, desiring to collaborate on a large scale, used him as a facilitator so they would get the most out of meeting with each other.
  • Talent + Process + Tech= Innovation
    • Build your talent pipeline like major league baseball—farm systems, scout everywhere, play moneyball in hiring, ID MVPs and reward them (Michael Avalos)
    • Use talent tools for hiring and build work around industry, not practice group (Alexia Mass)
    • No more superhero CEOs (Michael Bryant)
    • There were some different approaches centered around teaching tech to attorneys One of the more interesting ideas I heard was that UnitedLex is working with several law school, including USC and Vanderbilt to establish a legal residency program with a focus not on tech, but on critical thinking that can be applied to business and tech.  After that, our table, complete with a Law School professor and a techie lawyer, had a robust conversation about tech knowledge of the digital natives in law school

I want to thank all the presenters and producers of SOLID West, along with my firm, for the opportunity to attend an excellent event.  Now to go work on my tennis game…

 

 

I was recently approached by the ARK Group to write a chapter for their forthcoming book about How Intelligence Functions within Law Firms Can and Should Support One Another. For years, and most recently in a series of ILTA webinars on CI, I have been advocating for collaborative intelligence. I may have even blogged about it here once or twice too.  While writing my chapter, with the same title as this post, I was able to articulate a few concepts that I thought were worth sharing and reiterating, even if they all seem obvious.

Data Doesn’t Make Decisions it seems obvious, but I think in all the AI, RoboLawyer hype we need to be reminded.  People are still central to decision making, data in its various forms and all the ranges of analysis from SWOT (simple) to AI algorithms (complex) still does require human intelligence and interaction to get at the nuance and understand sometimes complex emotional context. Continue Reading Data Doesn’t Make Decisions

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.

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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 from attorneys, law firms, and in-house counsel is so unique that it cannot be measured, analyzed, predicted, and have a value metric placed upon it… then your days may be numbered. Roy Strom’s article, including quotes from our very own, Toby Brown, says that legal work is measurable, but are the lawyers ready for those types of metrics? Looks like they may not have a choice.

Subscribe to The Geek In Review podcast

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.

 

 

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™. Jennifer brings us some fantastic insights on how law firms are leveraging internal and external data sets to help with the practice of law, and the business of law.

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

Michael BoggiaLoopup
Damian JealHubshare
Kevin O’KeefeLexBlog
Martin GouletWolters 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. We are already seeing versions pop up at the state level … we’re looking at you, California. But, it might take federal regulations to help clarify how we protect privacy online.

Continue Reading Episode 28: Jennifer Roberts – Data Science Superhero

“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. 

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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: Continue Reading Episode 27: Heather Ritchie on Marketing, BD, KM, and Library Collaboration

[Ed. Note: We’ve talked a lot recently about innovation, design thinking, creativity, and curiosity. If you are wondering where you can go to do some hands-on learning, then the American Association of Law Libraries’ Innovation Bootcamp might be for you. I asked Celeste Smith from AALL to write up a description of the bootcamp so that I could share it here. – GL]

Creative problem solving is everybody’s business. New ways to address problems, create value,  and meet the demands of a changing information landscape is on the menu at your workplace, at every workplace.

American Association of Law Libraries is on the move and eager to share  a new wave of thinking. They’re looking to reach people with ideas—seasoned leaders and energetic newcomers alike–who are  ready to sharpen the skills that will take their organizations to a new level. AALL’s Innovation Bootcamp: Add+Venture Initiative  is designed specifically for legal information professionals.   Hear from experts in  design thinking, library service design, and technology on topics such as:

  • Design Thinking: A Strategy for Creative Problem Solving
  • Using Service Design to Connect and Innovate
    Access to Justice Tech in the Trenches
    And
    more

The Innovation Bootcamp will be held on April 25-26 in Chicago. Sign-up by April 2.