Law360 has long been an excellent resource in covering the news when it comes to legal issues. In January, they expanded to also begin looking internally at the legal industry and the business of law. Rachel Travers, Law360 Vice-President, and General Manager joins us to talk about the recent launch of Law360 Pulse. This news coverage of large and mid-sized law firms, in-house corporate counsel happenings, as well as regional coverage of the legal industry is giving many of the established news outlets some new competition. Travers mentions that Law360 Pulse will also release additional industry rankings as well as comprehensive industry surveys. In addition, the integration of Law360 Pulse along with Lexis+ will create unique analytics tools by connecting research and news resources.

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Information Inspirations

We mentioned Coca-Cola’s memo to their outside law firms last week, but Bob Ambrogi sat down with Coke’s GC, Bradley Gayton for a LawNext Podcast interview to dive deep into the reasoning for the memo and how Gayton’s own experiences lead him to press his law firms, and even his own department to push for more diversity.

When it comes to concise writing in the military, BLUF is the word. Bottom Line Up Front. The Harvard Business Review covers some rules that the military uses for email precision that gets right to the point.

The Beverly Hills Police Department is using some unique methods to try to prevent Instagramers from live streaming interactions with police officers. It happens to involve copyright protections.

The National Network for Safe Communities released a study at the recent American Society of Criminology’s annual conference which stated that 50% of community crime may be linked to 1% of the community’s population. That finding made them come out with some suggested changes to how communities are policed.

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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 As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.


Marlene Gebauer: Welcome to the geek and review the podcast focus on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert: And I’m Greg Lambert. Marlene this week we talk with Law360 VP and General Manager Rachel Travers, who comes in to talk to us about Law360s launch of Law360 Pulse, that’s a lot of Law360s there.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, it’s like that was good.

Greg Lambert: So the Law360 Pulse is focused on the legal industry news, and we had a great time talking with Rachel about pulse and a few more things that they’re doing, they’re at Law360 go ahead and stick around for that a little bit later. But right now let’s jump into this week’s information inspirations.

Greg Lambert: Marlene last week, you may remember that one of my inspirations was the letter that Coca Cola’s General Counsel Bradley Gayton sent out that required Coke’s outside councils to hit these minimum diversity benchmarks or risk losing money or even Coke’s business entirely.

Greg Lambert: Oh, yes, I remember

Greg Lambert: Well Bob Ambrogi talked this week with gating about this on Bob’s LawNext podcast. And I highly recommend people listening in on this Bradley Gayton lays down the reasoning for that decision, as well as what Coke is doing internally to improve their outside counsel, diversity and inclusion numbers as well. Gayton and also discusses his own history about how being a Black lawyer and not seeing anyone who looked like him in the law firms made him alter his path, and how companies like Ford Motor Company who he worked for, for 29 years, made direct efforts to recruit black lawyers decades ago. And that made all the difference in his career. So it’s a great interview. He talks about diversity and inclusion, they also talk about technology. So it’s highly recommended.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, that sounds like a good one. Well, I know you were in the military, Greg. So he’s like, hey, yah,

Greg Lambert: hoo, rah.

Marlene Gebauer: Well, did you ever learn how to craft an email with military precision?

Greg Lambert: We were we were still using telegrams back when I was in.

Marlene Gebauer: Well, if you want your email to result in mission accomplished, and not mission failure, the Harvard Business Review has some tips for you. First, have subjects with keywords keywords, like ACTION, or SIGN or COORD, which would be coordinate, or INFO. So for example, INFO – status update or REQUEST – vacation.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, well, I will tell you that this is not a lie. We used to have to do that on index cards, we would have to put those labels on there. So that yeah, got right to the subject.

Marlene Gebauer: It’s been verified, folks. So next, writing the email, it should be BLUF. And I really wish it was buff, but it’s BLUF, which means bottom line up front. Now the BLUF should quickly answer the five W’s of who, what, when, where and why. And an effective BLUF distills the most important information for the reader. Some other tips they have are linking attachments rather than actually making them attachments to save email space and be economical in your wording to avoid long emails. Yeah.

Marlene Gebauer: Well, and there was another saying that we had in the army as well. And that was Hurry up and wait, they want it nice and concise, so that they can take a long time to reply.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, well, I’m kind of wondering if I use BLUF in a subject heading of an email, what what people are gonna think?

Marlene Gebauer: Well, Marlene, my second inspiration this week, I’m going to throw some word salad out at you. But I promise I’m going to piece this all together. So

Marlene Gebauer: all right, I’m excited for this. All right,

Greg Lambert: so get ready.

Marlene Gebauer: So let’s play the game.

Greg Lambert: All right, Instagram,

Marlene Gebauer: mm hmm

Greg Lambert: Beverly Hills Cop.

Marlene Gebauer: Ooh,

Greg Lambert: Sublime’s Santaria.

Marlene Gebauer: Okay

Greg Lambert: Body cam video, and copyright violations. All right. Ready?

Marlene Gebauer: All right.

Greg Lambert: So I know that sounds a little disjointed, but but I’m going to pull it together. So

Marlene Gebauer: Tell me the story.

Greg Lambert: So Sennett Devermont is an Instagramer, who has somewhere around 300,000 followers and he regularly live streams, his interaction with LA area police officers. He was live streaming his visit to the Beverly Hills police department to get a copy of body cam footage from a recent incident where he was ticketed, and he felt that the ticket was unfair. With me so far.

Marlene Gebauer: I’m there. I’m there.

Greg Lambert: Alright. When police officer Sergeant Billy Fair asked him how many people were watching? Devermont replied, “enough.” And so that’s when Sergeant Fair did something really strange. Fair, pulled out his phone and started playing Santaria by Sublime. And then Sergeant Fair began cranking the music up. So you want to guess why he was doing it?

Marlene Gebauer: Why was he doing it?

Greg Lambert: So recently, Instagram has gotten very tough on potential copyright violations, and is quick to pull down videos with copyrighted songs in them, even if the songs are playing in the background. And it seems like Sergeant Fair is trying to trigger that automatic response from Instagram.

Marlene Gebauer: So tricky. So tricky.

Greg Lambert: Yeah. So while it is clever, and I do admit it is clever, and the fact that Instagram still has a policy of eventually banning users who have too many copyright violations. One it doesn’t seem to have worked in this case. And Instagram actually had updated its policies last summer, to say that if the music is not a part of the primary part of the recording, then they shouldn’t take down the video. But if the copyright holder, or anyone else, let’s say an unhappy police officer, were to complain, then Instagram may still take down the video. And according to the Vice reporter, who ran the story, it seems that this might be a pattern with the Beverly Hills police department.

Marlene Gebauer: Really? Shocking!

Greg Lambert: Yeah. So they’re putting copyrighted songs whenever they’re being live streamed by citizens. So it’s going to be interesting to see if this tactic spreads to other police departments. But the first thing that popped into my head Marlene, was that now I can see them every time they pull up to a scene that the song Bad Boys is going to be playing.

Marlene Gebauer: That’s a good one. Well, Greg, I’m sure you’ve heard things like, you know, hey, you know, don’t go there. It’s a bad neighborhood, right?

Greg Lambert: Yeah, they’re talking about my neighborhood.

Marlene Gebauer: However, rest assured, analytics are showing that urban violence is concentrated among less than 1% of a city’s population. So the National Network for Safe Communities presented a study of serious violence in over 20 cities at the American Society of Criminology’s annual conference. And they found that less than 1% of a city’s population, the share in what we will call what what they called street groups, like gang sets, crews, is generally connected to over 50% of the city shootings and homicide. And the number of group involved people actually committing the homicides or shootings is still smaller than the less than 1% of the city’s population in these groups, if you can follow that, and this holds true even in chronically dangerous areas. So what does that mean for policing? Well, the study notes that massive levels of low level enforcement does not produce public safety. In fact, such policing can make communities less safe, by pushing people away from formal means of resolving disputes and towards private forms of violence due to distrust. The study concludes that the focus of public safety approaches should be on the subset of the population committing the crimes and recognize the concentration of trauma and violence around them. And, you know, they give an example that that hospital interventions, street outreach and focus deterrent strategies, you know, all focus resources on the people at the highest risk of being involved in violence. Now, I imagine that finding will make for a lot of arguments between people. But you know, it doesn’t make sense to target where the evidence points and to deter before having to punish.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think there’s been a lot of a lot of things like the stop and frisk the the broken window. Yep, policing, have all shown that the people I think, initially think that that’s a good thing. But over the long term is just horrible for the community. It makes things so much worse.

Marlene Gebauer: That’s exactly what they point out here. So well, Greg, that wraps up this week’s information inspirations.

Marlene Gebauer: Most of us in the legal industry are familiar with Law360s news content of areas of law ranging from aerospace to white collar crime. In January, however, Law360 launched a new series of topics focused on looking internally at the practice of law and reporting on law firms, corporate counsel, and the power players within the legal industry. So we asked one of Law360’s own to come on and tell us more about this internal gaze at the industry.

Marlene Gebauer: We would like to welcome Rachel Travers, VP and general manager of Law360 to the geek and review. Rachel, good to have you here.

Rachel Travers: Thank you so much for having me. It’s good to talk to you,

Marlene Gebauer: Rachel, we asked you to come on and discuss the recent loss of Law360 Pulse. But first, let’s hear a little bit about you, and how your past experiences have helped you get to Law360. And its legal news focus.

Rachel Travers: Well, Molly, and I’ve been lucky enough to work in the content and technology space for most of my career, in New Zealand, in Australia, more widely in the Asia Pacific region. And I was lucky enough to be in London in the late 90s, for, boom and bust, which was lots of fun. And now that career has brought me to New York, most of my roles have been connected to the legal industry. In fact, I went straight from law school into a software and technology company. And I’m probably dating myself a bit here. But that was when they needed a lawyer to help stand up and analyze what they called back then an expert system, which was to deal with the application of complex legislation,

Marlene Gebauer: or you did just date yourself. And we dated ourselves because we know exactly what you’re talking about.

Rachel Travers: But fundamentally, it’s always been, I’ve always been drawn to that real mix of law and technology. And I still find that really compelling, you know, especially now perhaps, really understand that customer need of creating great content and products and technology that fits those needs. And that’s, you know, led me to some success and driving fast growing and innovative businesses. Now, the New York piece about five years ago, I was happened to have a kind of random, but fortuitous discussion over a glass of wine with a Lexis serious colleague in Australia. And he told me about an opportunity in New York, and we sent a text together that night. And luckily, my family was keen on the adventure. And we’re on a plane A few months later. And here we are.

Greg Lambert: There’s been many good conversations over a glass of wine. So

Rachel Travers: yeah. Many more. I hope so too. We all get a ticket. Yes,

Marlene Gebauer: that’s right.

Rachel Travers: So you know, obviously, I had a great first two or three years with the Lexis practical guidance team, where we managed to drive some great progress and growth there. And then along came this fantastic opportunity with Law360. I have had, I guess, some experience with current awareness and with magazine work over the years. But you know, Law360 legal news really stands out or something pretty special. Much of the news process, I guess, sourcing and reporting was quite new to me. The Law360 team is fantastic, obviously, what we’ve got nearly 350 experienced reporters and editors and commercial staff. And they’ve been really generous with sharing their knowledge with me. But overall, it really boils down to that mix of great people, great products, technology, content and the law. And it makes what I do so much fun. Yeah.

Greg Lambert: Well, you know, many of us here in the legal industry, especially legal information professionals, like Marlene and myself, are extremely familiar with Law360 and some of us have been subscribers for a very long time. And you know, we were there when Lexis acquired Law360s portfolio media back in 2012. How would you describe Law360s growth and change in the past decade, with Lexis being its parent company

Rachel Travers: will say clearly Law360 has a great history of excellent reporting and litigation on the practice of law on a fast and daily basis. And that hasn’t changed. But so much has happened over that time since acquisition. Law. 360 has expanded our coverage really quickly. We now have more than 60 new sections, deep offerings and employment and tax for UK sections. And now of course, we’ve just recently launched Law360 Pulse. It’s been wonderful to see our readership really embracing that expansion. And they certainly keep coming back for more. Even if we look at last year, we had a 40% expansion and the unique readers coming to our site and getting the legal news there. It was a tough year for so many unexpected and terrible reasons. But we still managed from home to produce more than 50,000 articles last year, to meet that need and to meet that readership. This is what I love about Law360. I remember being on the train on the way home back in the days when we commuted. And just deciding that COVID information that we were doing was too important needed to get out there and make it freely available and made a few phone calls to the development and editorial teams and it was out there within 20 minutes. free access to many 1000s of COVID articles. We thought it was important. It was a really fun thing to do. We saw great readership on it. Those articles will read hundreds of 1000s times.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, I had actually kind of forgotten about that, that you guys opened the the paywall for all the COVID articles. Yeah, that was that was a great service.

Rachel Travers: So I guess, with all this growth and expansion, the important things are still the important things. It’s a tight knit team of really seasoned reporters, plenty of entrepreneurial ideation and fun going on. And, you know, we’ll continue to improve the platform, which is already really well received and preferred. Yeah, it’s, it’s great fun to be a part of, yeah.

Marlene Gebauer: Well, I’m happy to hear that you have all of those reporters on staff. I know we’ve, we’ve done podcasts in the in the past that have basically focused on how there seems to be lesser opportunities for reporters nowadays in journalism. So I’m glad to hear that that you are doing this. So now we’re getting to the meat of the interview. So in January, you mentioned you launched la 360 pulse. So what is it that pulse is going to offer beyond la 360 content, which is, you know, as you’ve explained, I mean, it’s very rich,

Rachel Travers: multi city is always covered. Amongst everything else. It does some legal industry news, but its primary focus has really been uncovering, you know, litigation and cases and events on the practice of law. When we did, and legal industry news is always very highly valued and highly rated. But in staying close to customer feedback, and what they do read and the changing the legal landscape, of course, we really realized that there was a greater need for expanded coverage on business of law matters. So we’ve launched office 60 posts as a separate and distinct experience, covering Daily News and Analysis on the business of law. It’ll really dive deep into legal industry areas that haven’t traditionally been a huge focus for Law360 includes 14 different sections from the national coverage that’s in the modern lawyer section, through to specific coverage for corporate legal departments, mid law firms and at the state nine different states. And the content that we have within lovely 60 pulse will be quite different. It’ll have exclusive features and analysis on these developing issues and the legal industries and the courts, and really put some spotlight on decision makers, the movers and shakers in those areas. And we’ll have things like Q and A’s and profiles and interviews to cover that. So when we were designing wall 360 poles as a result of this feedback from customers in this highly valuing the legal industry knew that we weren’t covering, we had to take a really good ground up look at it, how much news was there, what would be the appropriate required coverage, and there’s a lot to report on. And to get that comprehensive coverage and really deliver it, we built an entirely new team. And it was a team of more than 40 reporters and data people to create this exclusive content purely for Law360 paths, and to really map out what we needed to cover. So when it comes to Law360 and Law360 paths that both they’re both on the same news platform, and they’ll have similar experiences, they are quite different. One will cover the practice of law over those 60 sections that we have and more 360 and Law360 passes focusing on industry manners on the business of law that we know our readers need to make decisions about their businesses.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, so it’s much more of an internal look at the practice and business of law rather than the legal issues that are out in the court system or society. Yeah. And I’m sure Marlene, and I both know this, that lawyers love reading about themselves, so I’m sure it’s going to be extremely popular. Well, actually, you know, that’s a side note there. It was one of the things that for years we talked about with just Law360 was one of the most valued things that it produced, was it actually specifically linked out which law firms and which attorneys are being talked about in these articles? And I can’t tell you the number of requests that I got from people that only wanted to see the articles where they were mentioned. So

Marlene Gebauer: I wonder if this is going to happen now with legal supports, legal support people’s like, we’ll be looking at our articles now too.

Greg Lambert: I know I will. So

Marlene Gebauer: Hinton

Greg Lambert: So Rachel, one of the things that you’re doing with Law360 Pulse is you’re also producing surveys and rankings. In fact, you sent me a survey that was just released this week on law firm partner compensation. So what can you tell us about what the purpose and what your mission is on doing The surveys and rankings

Rachel Travers: show. So in covering the business of law, obviously, we want to offer information to our readers that really helps them to build and support their business and make those business decisions and really understand the trends in the industry. And so we’ve developed what we’ve called our insights section, which has been set up to provide data and coverage on these trends. We have a dedicated team of data experts working in there, to build up this area on some exclusive, really high quality and in depth reports and surveys. And we expect that these will offer really great insight and intelligence to our readers. And we know they’ll add tremendous value. And as you say, we’re really excited that today, actually, we launched our partner compensation report, that takes a deep dive into how partners feared in 2020, with their compensation, and it breaks down every aspect of that, you know, from earnings and benefits to incentives to equity tears to the time it took to get to partner level. Clearly, we’ve covered the impact of COVID, on salary, and other really important items such as the data being sliced by gender, by law firm by law school. So we’re really excited to see the response to that we surveyed about close to 600 firms, I think on that. So I think it’ll be really great in depth offering, I think, one item to call out is that 43% of recipients of the survey and respondents to the survey, took a pay cut and 2020. And I think we all knew from from news items, and from talking in the market that there was some significant effect there. But to see that number, it was as many as 43% is, is is quite stark, really so. And we launched across all 360 posts with them a real estate survey, which has had really great response in the market to and that was all about how law firms are looking to the future with their use of real estate, obviously, heavily impacted by COVID. And by suddenly having to work from home like the rest of us. And again, a great percentage of our looking at reducing the Air Force Base over time. So I think this really helps others other readers understand what people are doing, what they’re looking at what that what the metrics are, and have them make decisions on these important things as they go forward.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, I think there’s been a lot of anecdotal stories about COVID has allowed the well to do firms to continue to do well and smaller firms to not do well. So it’s going to be interesting to actually see some actual statistics on that. So and I was just thinking on the the rankings, what are some of the style of ranking results that you’re going to be pushing out.

Rachel Travers: So we have a plan throughout the year to introduce different series and rankings all year and keep building on it. We’re going to be looking at you know, general law firm rankings, of course, we’re gonna look at lateral moves, we’ll probably look at further compensation reports, law school, summer associates, items like that. We’re really excited about the space, I think it’s it’s there’s so much to look at so much to try and get our arms around. I think we’re sort of uniquely placed. And of course, we have the state of team who can run surveys, who can crunch publicly available data. But of course, we can partner with Lexis, who has fantastic capabilities in terms of analytics, obviously, an amazing amount of data that we can work with. And I think we can bring some really unique insight to the market through that. So I guess watch the space a little bit, Greg, I, we’ve got some plans, but I think it will evolve quite quickly. And we’d love to hear feedback on what people would like to hear as well. So we’ll be open to that, but got an exciting plan. nauticam

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, speaking of Lexis, you jumped into my next question. So now that Lexis is introducing Lexis plus and Law360s introducing Law360. Polls, how are these two platform changes going to interact? Well,

Rachel Travers: right now, they interact extremely well. There are two main use cases we see with our news content and express helps us with those. Obviously there is the current awareness experience that with our our newsletters, and our alerts going out to the industry, and people tend to come from those to the Law360 Pulse website to do their reading. And then you have the the news experience on that site. And most of our people spend their time in the mornings on that site. But we know there’s another use case when people want to make sure that they are covering and collecting the news results in their normal research pattern. So they might want to, for example, have a look at events cases that have impacted a certain company over the last month. And they want to see source material, but they also want to see news. So we make sure that all our content, including all 360, post content is in Nexus class as well. So it can be a deep part of that research experience. And there’s more worthwhile 360 posts, we have made sure that if you’re within, let’s say, midlaw section, and you’re enjoying the news on midlaw, but you want more news, on that area on that topic, we have made an extremely easy pathway through into Lexis plus just by clicking a button to get more news and to get source documents, etc. So we’re making sure that when you’re in the news, if you need more, you can get to it quickly. And there’s more. We

Marlene Gebauer: obviously wait, there’s more.

Rachel Travers: So we obviously have a very significant plan for Lexis plus this year. And one of those items, one of those releases will involve news, generally. And I can’t tell you much more than that. But again, in the new breaking,

Marlene Gebauer: breaking here,

Rachel Travers: in the next few months, I really hope that we can we can bring Nexus plus that news together even better.

Greg Lambert: I don’t know if you if you’ve been in in the US long enough to know who Ron Popeil was, but he was the TV guy that would that would sell anything, but he would always go. But wait, there’s more.

Rachel Travers: on that a little bit break? Yep.

Greg Lambert: Well, speaking of more, perhaps you’ve already answered this. But I’m gonna ask you anyway, Are there additional enhancements or features that you have on the horizon for Law360 plus?

Rachel Travers: Well, obviously, it’s, it’s fresh to the market right now. And we will take great interest in feedback, they may be interested in additional state feedback, for example, or areas that they would like us to cover in more depth and will obviously watch that and get feedback and check on demand. There is something we do as a matter, of course. And as we have already talked about that fall 2021 plan of new series and rankings to roll out. Each one of those will come with a full editorial package, right. It’s not just the report itself. There’ll be deep dives and stories based on those reports within specific areas of each survey and report. So really looking forward to seeing that growth. And then we will look at the platform, both la through 16 la 360, pulse, get feedback, we are continuously trying to improve that experience. Yeah, as I say, keep keep a watch out on Nexus plus.

Greg Lambert: So Rachel, you and I had had talked a while I guess has been a little over a year ago about la 360s other non traditional news outlets such as the pro se podcast. And as I was saying, before we started recording amber McKinney, the host of the show is is a great producer of that podcast and does a wonderful job each week. And I know you’ve had a mini series on the cannabis industry, which was which was amazing. And you have a second podcast series on the Supreme Court called the term which goes through and talks about each of the issues going up in and coming out of the the Supreme Court. Just curious are with the Law360 platform? Are you going to have any additional podcast or other non traditional ways of getting news out?

Rachel Travers: Well, first, I have to agree with you that amber McKinney is doing a fantastic job with the podcast here and her team have so much fun with it. And we get fantastic feedback. And I think it’s been around for what four years now. Um, at least we’ve had more than 3 million downloads over that time. And and people certainly remark to me about it, how much they enjoy it. So I agree with you there.

Rachel Travers: You know, before this call, I rang amber and I asked her what she has coming up. They are working on another limited series show. This time more related to a particular legal industry saga. She says that we’ve been watching very closely, but she wouldn’t give me no more than a sneak peek on that I’m sorry. Can’t I wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag even to me. So of course, we’re always looking for great content to turn around quickly, but she’s quite excited about this. Now the term continues, obviously, with the Supreme Court, it’s going very strongly. I think people really like that quick, you know, 20 minute digestible hit on what’s going on there. So, you know, no one has any excuse not to be up to speed with the biggest cases and developments through pro se. And we’ll continue to do what we do each and every week. We’ve got a lot to unpack, obviously with a change of administration and lots of swift changes ahead so pro se will continue to do what it does. Well, Greg, I am looking forward to another 3 million downloads as soon as possible.

Greg Lambert: Well, Rachel Travers, I appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk to us about the new Law360 Pulse and all the other issues going on at Lexis and  Law360. Thank you very much. Yeah.

Marlene Gebauer: Thank you, Rachel. It’s been great.

Rachel Travers: Thank you so much. I enjoyed it.