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.

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.

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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:

It is a fairly easy question, but one company that had a hard time answering? Thomson Reuters. It was a disappointing response from the company that probably has changed the industry more than any other. The marketing cuts that TR has taken for conferences was painfully apparent at Legalweek. One suggestion: if you’re going to cut the quantity of your representation at conferences, make sure you increase the quality of your presence.

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?? Greg isn’t sure that the full reason, but it needs to be a part of a conversation, which many clients and their firms simply are not having. All problems are communications problems. It’s easy to talk on a panel about what’s wrong… it’s tougher to have that conversation face to face. But that’s what needs to happen. Continue Reading Episode 26: Cat Moon on Legal Problem Solving for the 21st Century

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 (80% think they do), versus employees who think that their bosses actually stifle creativity in the workplace (some 60%.) Ivy breaks down the nuances between creativity and innovation. Innovation has become a buzzword that is actually having a negative effect in the workplace. Instead of trying to drive innovation, law firms should look at encouraging the creativity and curiosity of their employees (not to be limited to the lawyers, mind you.) 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.

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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. That’s a shed load of creativity coming Baker McKinzie’s way. 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? You probably already guessed it. The billable hour. Continue Reading Episode 25: Ivy Grey on Curiosity and Creativity’s Role in Business

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, Director of Government Relations at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 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. However, there are already reports that the shutdown of sites like donotcall.gov and identitytheft.gov are already having some effects on consumers.

Joel’s advice… trust but verify. If you have questions about the website, call your technology security team and have them take a look at it. This is their area of expertise, so reach out to them.

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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. Continue Reading Episode 24: What Does the Federal Government Shutdown Mean for Legal Information?

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.

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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. Continue Reading Episode 23: The Technology Twilight Zone

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.

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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. Continue Reading Marcie Borgal Shunk on Teaching Leadership Skills to Leaders