Nicole Morris is the Director of the TI:GER Program and Professor in Practice for Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. She joins the podcast to discuss the upcoming TI:GER Innovation Conference on January 28, 2021. This free (yes FREE!) online conference on “Advancing Equity in Innovation” is focused on addressing the needs of women and people of color in technology. Not just legal technology, but the overall scope of issues affecting them from STEM education, to Patents, and to the lack of Venture Capital funding. The top tier presenters of the conference include BigLaw attorneys, Managing Partners, Tech Entrepreneurs, Patent Officials, and Startup Advisors. The TI:GER Innovation Conference is a must-attend for women and people of color in the tech field, and for those looking for ways to be better allies to the underrepresented community in technology. Registration for this FREE online conference is available here.

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Information Inspirations

There are conspiracies that may be true, and there are conspiracy theories that are usually not true. The Culture Analytics Group a the University of California, Berkeley developed an AI tool to distinguish between the two.

ILTA launched a five-part podcast series featuring ILTA’s Influential Women in Legal Tech Honorees to discuss their experience and insights on how they’ve addressed legal innovation. Part one and part two are out now.

Many believe that misinformation is something that the “other side” is tricked into believing. Unfortunately, a lot of the misinformation is willfully consumed, not just by the other side, but by many of us. The consumption is so widespread that the Washington Post stopped publishing its Internet fact-checking column because people simply didn’t care. Sean Blanda expands on this human behavior of willfully accepting false information in his Medium post, “The ‘Other Side’ Is Not Dumb.”

The audio-only social media tool Clubhouse is becoming popular in the business community. While it is still an invite-only, Apple iOS-only tool, Clubhouse is gaining traction in the community. We will check it out, and see if the reporting is true in that it might be a great platform to do a live-podcast. If we do it… we’ll let you all know.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 102 – Nicole Morris on Emory Law Schools TI:GER Innovation Conference

We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, author of the book Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates, and talk about how associates mature into their roles as lawyers with law firms. As these second to sixth-year associates begin to take on more substantial legal roles, as well as leadership, mentorship, and allyship among their fellow lawyers, the stress of the job can become overwhelming. Bluestein talks through a number of examples of how mid-level associates can handle the increased workload, improve communications with partners at the firm, and realistically plan for their future. During the COVID era, associates my struggle with their work, feel depressed, or have other troubles adjusting to a disrupted work environment. Bluestein says that law firms need to address these issues by observing behavior and constant communication with associates who need help. Our clients are still in need of their lawyer’s counsel, and now more than ever, associates are really a necessary part of the law firm’s business.

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Information Inspirations

The Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Institute published the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market. Beyond stating the obvious, that 2020 was an extraordinary year, the report suggests that the pandemic may be the tipping point for law firms and how they practice law going forward.

Summize is a new contract lifecycle product that claims to be a lightweight solution for contract review. There a number of interesting things it does, including how it summarizes the contract for easy review and exportable to MS Word and Excel.

Greg was on the other side of the interview this week when he sat down with Chad Main, host of the Technically Legal podcast. If you want to learn more about Greg on a professional and personal level, go check out the episode: Greg Lambert on the Importance of the 21st Century Law Librarian.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 101 – How Mid-Level Associates Can Thrive at Law Firms – with Jennifer Bluestein

Welcome to the 100th episode of The Geek in Review. We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast as much as we’ve had in making it.

We talk with Jennifer Bluestein, Chief Talent and HR Officer for Perkins Coie in part one of a two-part interview. Jennifer’s new book, Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates helps associates, partners, HR, and professional development personnel better understand the needs of those second to sixth-year associates as they move from learning how to practice law to learning how to practice law, while managing up and down the associate ladder. In part one, we discuss the basic challenges of a mid-level when it comes to communication skills, and knowing when to delegate, and when not to delegate. We also cover the issues with understanding partner evaluations of associates and what the difference is between a coaching moment, and what is a performance issue.

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Information Inspirations

The American Bar Association reports that being a judge can be stressful.

If you’re looking for a great curated newsletter on all the mergers and other happenings in the legal tech industry, Nate’s News, curated by Nate Schorr, may be just what you are looking for.

AI bias is something we’ve all heard about. Recently the bias appeared in how the COVID vaccine is being distributed. At least that was how it was reported. Karen Hao from MIT Tech Review thinks it may be more of a people problem than an Algorithm/AI issue.

And speaking of AI, Sheppard Mullins is the first law firm to sign the EqualAI pledge, with the hope of reducing AI bias in the practice of law.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 100 – Jennifer Bluestein on Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates

As we near the end of a very strange year, we thought we’d ask a couple of big thinkers to come on and have a no-holds-barred discussion on Legal Technology and Innovation. Kristin Hodgins is the Project Manager for Legal Innovation at Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP in Toronto. Jason Wilson is a legal publisher and author who has worked at Thomson Reuters and O’Connor’s Publishing for over 20 years. We cover topics ranging from who are the thought leaders and where is the best community for legal tech discussion, to what are courts, firms, academics, and vendors really doing to promote and achieve advancements in legal technology. So strap on your scuba tank and prepare for a deep dive with this week’s guests.

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Information Inspirations

Even NPR knows that “Waiting for the LSAT is too late for improving minority representation in law.” Pipelines for minority and underrepresented portions of our society have to start much earlier than when they enter college or are thinking of applying for law schools.

Justice Ginsburg has both a tea set named after her, as well as a building at Rutgers University. And if tea isn’t your thing, how about a legal article from Kansas University’s Law Dean on the making of a perfect pecan pie crust?

Anyone who has filed a FOIA request knows they can be expensive. However, thanks to the American Association of Law Libraries, academic librarians may get a fee waiver from the US governmental agencies. So make sure you are on good terms with your academic law librarians!

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 99 – The Who, What, and Why of #LegalTech with Kristin Hodgins and Jason Wilson

A couple months ago, we brought in Bob Taylor and Jeff Marple from Liberty Mutual, and Gabe Teninbaum from Suffolk Law School to discuss the Boston Legal Design Challenge being held online in November. Taylor and Marple are back to discuss how things went, and they brought with them one of the members of the championship team, Aubrie Souza. Souza is a 2L from Suffolk and her team triumphed over the other nine law school competitors from across the United States and Canada. While the event was held online, the technology, the structure, and the facilitators and judges made all of the competitors feel as though they were still working side by side.

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Information Inspirations

Lillian Michelson created a magnificent library for movie design. Over a fifty-year span, Michelson helped movie producers and directors make scenes realistic through her research and cataloging of information and details. Unfortunately, she no longer had the space to store all of her research and materials. For the past few years, the library sat in boxes looking for a home, or to be digitized. Finally, the Internet Archive and its founder, Brewster Kahle heeded the call and are placing the material on the Internet Archives database for all. A ribbon-cutting event is taking place on January 27, 2021 launching the first phase of this project.

The Baltimore Library is raising $25,000.00 for a van to provide legal resources to the surrounding community. This project is exactly how Access to Justice issues need to be addressed. The project is headed up by Baltimore County Librarian Julie Brophy, and Maryland Legal Aid Pro-Bono Director Amy Petkovsek. Hat’s off to both for taking this on.

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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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Greg Lambert:  Welcome to the Geek in Review. Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 98 – The Boston Legal Design Challenge Update

Professionals in the legal market are known for focusing on high achievement levels within their careers, and not so much on how much joy they derive from working in the profession. Tracy LaLonde, author of The Joychiever Journey: Evade Burnout, Surpass Your Goals and Out-Happy Everyone, says that achievement and joy are not mutually exclusive and that we can live lives that allow us to achieve our goals and experience joy at the same time. LaLonde discusses how increasing the enjoyment of our careers doesn’t just create a better individual experience, but that there are studies that show happiness drives higher incomes as well. Listen in as we discuss LaLonde’s seven-step journey of what she calls true self stops on how we explore what makes us happy and define our true values and ensure that they align with our career.

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Information Inspirations

We may be getting a little bit closer to FREE PACER. Twenty legal tech leaders encouraged Congress to take up the issue, and in fact, the US House passed a bill bringing PACER out from the paywall this week. We’ll have to see if it goes any further this year, or if we have to wait until 2021 to see further movement.

In Jordon Furlong’s blog post, The End of Serendipity, he points out that law firms have for too long relied upon part-time leadership, culture through osmosis, and professional development through serendipity. While law firms may have accidentally succeeded in the past through happenstance and accident, he suggests that modern law firms succeed through specific planning and defined purpose.

It turns out you don’t have to be the focus of a Wall Street Journal article to get one of those nice WSJ images made. Now WSJ subscribers can take a headshot and make their own images.

Marlene is still hoping for some video aspects of the podcast. Greg, however, still has the face for podcasting. This week, she is checking out WeVideo, and was looking to improve her video editing skills. It turns out that you can get experts to teach you how to improve your skills in just about anything these days. A couple of good starting points for finding anything from a basketball coach, video editing teacher, or even another language are sites like Fiverr or Bark.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 97 – Tracy LaLonde and The Joychiever Journey

One of the modern realities of consumerism is the requirement of arbitration clauses. The idea is that consumers and businesses can settle their disagreements without going to court, and instead have an arbitrator negotiate a settlement between the parties. For many of us, it is viewed as a part of doing business, and that the arbitration process is weighted heavily in favor of the corporations. Teel Lidow and his online tool, FairShake, is working to make filing an arbitration much easier for consumers and to actually show that many corporations are quite easy to approach when it comes to handling arbitration disputes. Time Magazine recently awarded FairShake with its award for The Best Inventions of 2020: 100 Innovations Changing How We Live, and we talk with Teel about his reasons behind creating FairShake.

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Information Inspirations

The pandemic crisis is allowing law firm management to reevaluate staffing needs, and once again, positions that are tied to a physical space are on the chopping block. However, positions that are viewed as “Knowledge Workers” are fairing much better as we look to a post-pandemic work environment. The key is those staff who understand the business and can work with clients and attorneys and function under pressure are going to thrive.

Check out the excellent i.WILL workshop on Courage & Emotional Durability tonight (12/3/2020 at 5:30 PM ET). Dr. Carli Kody leads a workshop based on Dr. Brené Brown’s research and Rising Strong™ methodology.

No matter how hard you think the Bar Exam is, Brianna Hill’s taking the bar during a pandemic, while in labor, having the baby and coming back to finish the bar the next day, and then finding out this week that she passed the bar, is much, much harder. While Hill is superhuman, she’s not the only one who had to struggle this year to take bar exams.

Our friends at Legal Innovators are collaborating with Bechtel Corporation (PDF Press Release) to provide junior lawyers to assist with Bechtel’s internal legal departments. This seems like a win-win for both companies.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 96 – Consumer Arbitration Made Easier with FairShake’s Teel Lidow

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

As with everyone else in the world, the pandemic destroyed my morning routine. My thirty-minute drive to the office is literally just rolling out of bed and putting up a green screen in front of the computer at the foot of my bed. It took me a long time to find another process of finding time for myself, and not just jumping straight into work, or begin doom scrolling social media. And again, like many of you, that meant getting out of the house and going for a walk around my neighborhood. It was in that walk this week that I ran out of my normal podcast episodes and began scanning something that I would hope would be interesting to fill the next hour or so.

One of the podcasts that I listen to during times like this is from one of my fellow Houstonians, Brené Brown, and her Unlocking Us podcast. It was the 19th most popular podcast, so it’s not exactly a hidden gem that I uncovered, and it’s not the first time I’ve listened either. There’s a great episode from a few weeks ago about the TV show Ted Lasso that was great and made me binge all ten episodes with my wife that same day. But this week’s episode was with Dolly Parton, and that’s just a must listen in my book. I was expecting Brené to talk with Dolly about her typical topics of shame, empathy, vulnerability, and courage. But, it was the unexpected business advice that Dolly lays out in the interview that caught my attention. Since this week is Thanksgiving here in the US, I thought I’d take a personal privilege with the blog and share this with you.

Dolly Parton runs a multi-million dollar organization and a brand that is practically priceless. She has a great personality and presents herself as just a nice person. And, to all accounts, she is. But, you don’t get to where she is in life and in business by being soft in business. She mentions that there have been a number of people over the years who have mistaken her kindness for softness, and she’s called them out on that.

Here are a few takeaways from Brené’s interview on management and leadership from Dolly Parton:

As a Leader, What Pisses You Off?
People not being on time. It shows a lack of respect, not just for the leadership, but for everyone else who is affected by it.

Employees are hired to get the job done. If someone can’t do what they said they would do, or get it done when they said it would be done, then there’s a problem. You’re being paid to do a job, and if you don’t take it seriously, or you think you can get a better job, then go somewhere else.

Being a Leader
As a leader, it is important to know when it is your responsibility to be the one who lets someone go (after all, you have managers of departments for a reason.) It is important to be honest and sincere. It is okay to be empathetic toward the person who is being let go. In fact, when you don’t find yourself feeling compassion for a person who is about to lose their job, it may be time to look at yourself and why you’ve lost that empathy.

Have Boundaries
It might hurt to tell people no, but you have to learn to say no. Understand when those around you are infringing upon your boundaries, and make sure that they know what the boundaries are, and make sure they do not cross those.

While I don’t think that Dolly Parton had any earth-shattering advice in her discussion with Brené Brown, sometimes you need to hear someone with her stature and humility talk about what it means to be a leader. It’s gratifying to hear from someone who has great success who also has some of the same issues with leading others as most of us have.

We live in a society that cannot seem to come to an agreement on what is truth and what are lies. People are seeking out stories that back up their beliefs rather than seek out the truths which may undermine those beliefs. We particularly see this on social media, but there are other sites out there which pass themselves off as local news organization which is really just biased sources designed to play upon the needs of people to have their “truths” backed up with like-minded articles. We asked Dave Boitano, a veteran reporter and creator of Science In View, and Loyd Auerbach, an experienced newscaster, author, and Knowledge & Research Consultant for LexisNexis, to come on the show and discuss the current state of news at the local levels in the US.  While the current situation may seem unique to the 21st Century, there are actually parallels to a previous news era over a hundred years ago. Boitano and Auerbach help explain those similarities, and how information professionals, and readers of “news content” can protect themselves from sources which attempt to present information from a biased view.

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Information Inspirations

Just because you may have access to great information doesn’t mean you can do anything you want with it. A current lawsuit brought by the Center for Workplace (CWC) against the Labor & Employment firm of Littler is an alleged example of this. CWC claims that a couple of lawyers illegally took their Intellectual Property and claimed it as their own. Now there’s an ongoing $1.65 million lawsuit to take it back. Librarians and Information Professionals can use this example to remind others of the limitations of how we can license and use information properly.

Apparently, a reporter may give up their writing, but they won’t give up their podcast. A recent episode of Press Box talks about the Substack model where readers pay directly for content, and writers like Matt Yglesias split from writing for Vox and publish on Substack.

There are a couple of other podcast episodes that we touch on in this episode. The bias of local news isn’t just a right-wing or just a left-wing concept. To learn more on this topic check out The NY Times’ The Daily episode on Brian Timpone’s Metric Media Brand (A Partisan Future for Local News?) and Freakonomics Podcast episode on Tara McGowan’s ACRONYM Digital Media (Why the Left Had to Steal the Right’s Dark-Money Playbook.)

On a side-note, Loyd Auerbach’s book, Near Death, was released recently.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 95 – Spotting Bias and Politicization of Local News Sources – Loyd Auerbach and Dave Boitano

We talked about Dr. Jacqueline Walsh’s Initio Tech and Innovation Clinic in a previous Information Inspiration segment. We were so inspired by her work that we asked her to come on the show and tell us more. The Initio clinic is set up just like a law firm. In fact, it is actually recognized by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society as a law firm. Dr. Walsh uses a combination of law students, articling clerks, and the local community to help create a great experience for her startup clients, and as a result an enjoyable and authentic experience for the students in the clinic. While the clinic isn’t self-sustaining, it does charge startups for legal services. This is another unique aspect of the clinic in that it offers ad hoc services or a subscription-based service to clients. The idea is to train startups to understand that legal costs are part of doing business and that if they are serious about their business, planning, and budgeting for legal expenses is another part of their business.

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Information Inspirations

Bryan Parker and Jon Greenblatt from Legal Innovators have a new podcast called The Law in Black and White where they give their views on certain topics facing the legal industry from their own unique perspectives.

The Innovation Hub podcast discusses how COVID has impacted public schooling, and how innovative and creative parents are finding ways to work around those schools who are not adjusting fast enough to handle the needs of these parents and their children. It’s an interesting look at how adapting to change is happening on all sides, and those who are slow to adjust may have unforeseen competition.

We all know that the incentive for diversity within law firms can run counter to the profitability goals of the firm. Former BigLaw partner, Elizabeth Korchin thinks one way to align these incentives and goals is to blow up the billable hour. She thinks it can be done by 2030. Our fellow 3 Geeks’ blogger, Toby Brown, takes another angle on the incentives/goals approach and suggests that clients need to push firms to achieve more diverse teams, but that clients also need to put their money where their mouths are and make sure that they pay appropriately for these diverse teams.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 94 – Helping Startups Get Their Start – Dr. Jacqueline Walsh