One of the best things about the legal industry is that there are multiple pathways to success. We are all trained issue spotters, and our guest on this episode identified an issue and founded a new company to fix that issue. Brian Powers is the CEO and co-founder of PactSafe, a high-velocity contract acceptance platform used by such major companies like Angie’s List, UpWork, BMC, TIVO, and others to handle large volumes of clickthrough agreements. We talk with Brian about what motivated him to take on this challenge, and how he sought out to change the way businesses approach these types of contacts, and bring efficiency to the market place, and the legal industry through technology and process improvements. Brian is just one more example of those in the legal field who has found an alternative path through identifying inefficiencies, and finding ways to correct them.

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Hat tip to Kristin Hodgins for her tweet this week when she saw that someone said that if law firms are going to us AI, we need ways to collect structured data. Hodgins tweet reply was spot on when she said “Guess who are experts at structured data? Librarians. Google didn’t destroy us; it help us by reducing low-value work like rote retrieval from our duties & allowed us to focus on high-order skills. AI will do the same.” Well said!

Information Inspirations:

We’re doing AI Wrong

Zach Warren interviewed Brad Blickstein in a article this week about how law firms are looking at AI the wrong way. When it comes to AI and law firms, Blickstein says that “[AI has] become a top-down thing: What are we doing about AI? It’s like asking, what are we doing about databases? It’s a crazy question. The question should be, what problems do we have, how do we solve them, and is AI or some semblance of AI a potential solution for that?”  Brad’s company, Blickstein Group, is producing a Legal AI Efficacy report that is due out this summer. 

We’re Communicating Wrong

This will come as a surprise to no one, but there can often be communications issues between executives and technologists. In a Harvard Business Review article, a scenario is set up between executives and data scientists, and we are walked through some examples on how to improve the communications between the two personalities. The article suggests you have a variety of projects and you build a team based on a variety of skill sets (and goes on to list them-data wrangling, data analysis, project management, subject expertise, storytelling, design)- so that the team can focus on what they do well but you have all the skills needed for a strong data science team. (We have a little fun with the data wrangling job.)

We’re Podcasting Wrong

Check out Jared Corriea’s latest episode of the Legal Toolkit podcast. Former law librarian, and podcast enthusiast, Tim Baran, has a number of suggestions for those of you who might be considering starting your own podcast. It turns out that Marlene and Greg are violating a few of the suggestions.

A Magician and a Design Ethicist walk into a bar…

Finally, Marlene talks about how technology is hijacking your mind… base on the work of a magician and a Google design ethicist. You may think you have free will… but do you really??

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