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.

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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.


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