Attorney Sophia George has one strong suggestion for those looking to increase equity in the legal industry: Hire minority lawyers! In order to help individuals find diverse lawyers, Sophia joined in the project created by Jackson Walker Partner Chevazz Brown called DiversePro. The online database works to connect diverse lawyers with potential clients who are looking to find lawyers from communities where they share a culture, language, or life experience. With a starting list of 250,000 lawyers in the DiversePro database, Chevazz Brown created an environment for diverse lawyers to go in and claim their profile, or create a profile, identify your practice area, specialty, school, and what makes them unique. We discuss how Chevazz and Sophia use DiversePro to help others find them, and the way they are working to get other diverse lawyers to do the same.
James Goodnow talked with Bill Henderson about what they see as a flaw in the ingenuity incentive of law firms. In a normal business environment, ingenuity creates opportunities for everyone. In the legal industry, the opportunities are significantly limited to lawyers.
There is a quiet hiring boom going on in legal. In the fight for talent, the Harvard Business Review has some suggestions so that you line up the best people based on potential, not prior experience.
Sometimes a dress code or required uniform is a bad idea (bar exams), sometimes it can create equity (British Barristers.)
Sticking with dress codes… Stanford Law Professor Richard Thompson Ford wrote an entire book on it.
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Greg Lambert: Speaking of the b2b now that I understand what that means that
Marlene Gebauer: b2b b2c
Greg Lambert: b2b b2b to b2c.
Marlene Gebauer: Welcome to The Geek in 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’re going to be talking to a couple of attorneys who created a way to make finding and vetting diverse lawyers easy. Sophia George and Chevazz Brown join us later to talk about their new online directory called DiversePro, where they help both clients find diverse lawyers but also help diverse lawyers establish themselves within an easy to use database to promote the value they bring to the legal industry through their diversity. So stick around for that. But right now let’s get to this week’s information inspirations.
Greg Lambert: There was an interesting article from James Goodnow the managing partner for Fennemore Craig out of Phoenix. And good now talked with Bill Henderson, who I’m sure everyone knows, Bill,
Marlene Gebauer: if not you should.
Greg Lambert: Bill talks about seeing a major barrier in the evolution of the legal industry. And that is the blocking of legal talent from having equity and law firms simply because they may not be lawyers.
Marlene Gebauer: Oh boy, here we go.
Greg Lambert: And it’s not a new argument. Obviously, we’ve we’ve touched on this before. But as always, you know, Henderson has a way of saying things that make you think about, well, maybe we should change the structure of the law firm model. So Henderson’s example was that an attorney who happened to be really good at Tech would be rewarded for the work by making partner at their firm. Whereas someone who may have created the exact same thing may be barred from being rewarded with an equity stake in the firm simply because they were not a lawyer. So I just want to read a portion of the article here said, the lawyer made partner off the strength of his technological contribution, allowing him to participate in the upside he helped create, because the person was a lawyer, that was an easy move to make. The problem for the profession as a whole is that lots of people can create the tools that this lawyer did. But the vast majority don’t have a law degree. so why bother putting your brainpower into making a bunch of attorneys wealthier for a salary, when literally any other industry would reward your contribution with equity? So
Marlene Gebauer: it’s the same sort of argument for if you’re bringing work into the firm. Yeah. You know, why aren’t you treated the same way?
Greg Lambert: Yep. So this really just kind of scratches one, one part of the article that Goodnow wrote, so go check it out. I think it’ll make everyone think.
Marlene Gebauer: So remember how we were surprised in the last episode when Jeff Zodda mentioned that jobs were on the rise? While Jeff got some support from Harvard Business Review this week, they report the job openings have been on the rise the last few months. What’s really interesting is that COVID has accelerated shifts in the talent landscape, and that organizations need to adjust their current hiring practices, or they may be left in the dust. So what do they need to consider? Well, a recent Gartner study found that the skills needed in rolls have an increasingly short shelf life, Say that three times fast. Only 29% of new hires have all the skills needed for their jobs. And then in key functions like tech, finance, and sales. Those are going to require up to 10 new skills in the next 18 months. So we’re like all offs. Yeah.
Greg Lambert: And we’re behind I can tell
Marlene Gebauer: a little bit. So another consideration is that traditionally tap talent polls, also say that three times fast, are becoming obsolete. Now why is that? Well, because Virtual Learning is booming. People are teaching themselves or learning on the job. And lastly, talent is becoming a lot more selective about who they work for. Organizations have to have and I put this in air quotes, a compelling employment value proposition. So excellent salary or benefits, ability to work remotely, or different types of career development opportunities. So the article offers some advice that you and I have been practicing for years. Hire for potential, not for experience. Think about what you need for the future and find someone who can grow into that and avoid just pulling out the dusty job description from 10 years ago and posting it. In terms of offering a compelling employment value proposition, think about consumer good companies and how they make the sale. Companies must understand candidates expectations, and craft positions accordingly, in the same manner in which they tailor their products to their customers. Now, I find this last part extremely interesting in terms of law firms, because I think this is a struggle and a bone of contention in many organizations. You know, companies and firms want to mold their employees into what they want, rather than having to reevaluate and reconstruct job roles.
Greg Lambert: Alright, well, Marlene, I’m going to switch gears here and I’m going to start talking about fashion. So
Marlene Gebauer: du.. du.. fashion
Greg Lambert: Jazz hands! So you may have seen where some states were requiring bar exam takers to wear suits, quarter period dresses? I saw I think it may have been Virginia, but I may be wrong on that where they were requiring women who were wearing skirts to also be to wear pantyhose.
Marlene Gebauer: Alright, that that’s like, that’s like nine. 1989. Exactly. You know?
Greg Lambert: Well, there, you know, as you might imagine, there was a little bit of blowback from some of the test takers to that requirement in, especially because some of those states that were requiring these strict dress codes, were also making the test takers sit at tables that were literally made a plywood?
Marlene Gebauer: No.
Greg Lambert: And so, you know, I could just see it as like, okay, be careful not to catch your pantyhose on those on a splinter of the plywood. They’re cylinders
Marlene Gebauer: in your rear. Oh, dear.
Greg Lambert: So but what’s funny is I saw an article this week that talked about the British courts attire, which requires barristers to wear, you know, the wig and the gown. And I’m sure you’ve seen seen a lot of that it’s been around since like the 1700s. And what it was saying was, there’s some benefits that this provides for those barristers who don’t meet the stereotype of being an older white male. So The Guardian had this article which talks about the popularity of the white horse hair wigs and the barristers gown, and helping create an equal playing ground amongst the criminal justice system. And on a side note, I can tell you that I got a subscription to Acorn streaming service, which is a lot of the BBC shows, been watching a lot of those British legal shows and I have to admit those wig and gown outfits look pretty cool.
Marlene Gebauer: Well, if it’s on British legal shows, then it absolutely has to be true.
Greg Lambert: Absolutely.
Marlene Gebauer: All right. So following your dress theme, I’ve listened to a radio show.
Greg Lambert: Jazz hands!
Marlene Gebauer: I don’t know why we’re doing jazz hands with fashion, but hey, whatever. So I listened to a radio show discussing laws concerning clothing and how these laws came to be. It was entitled history’s real life Fashion Police and was an interview with Richard Thompson Ford, who is a professor at Stanford Law and author of Dress Codes: how the laws of fashion made history. Now, you know, I always love a good dress code story. And this interview is full of them. societies have tried to regulate dress for years. And the interview examines what clothes say about personal expression values and power.
Marlene Gebauer: A big change happened in the 14th century, men moved from loose garb. So togas to more tailored clothes to wear under plate armor. So apparently, you know, people who were plate armor were very high status. And then it got to the point where they just started wearing the clothes without the plate armor, and we’re still high status. And then it became more and more sumptuous and well made, and became, you know, either an increasing sign of power, and then merchants who are selling these clothing to royalty and others, you know, they’re becoming wealthier, and they’re saying, Hey, you know, we want to wear these nice clothes too, and and sort of show are important, so they start wearing the clothes. So these laws were enacted. And in Europe, they were called Acts of Apparel, which forced people to dress according to social status to basically send a message to stay in your place.
Marlene Gebauer: So there were also laws about, you know, vanity and lewdness. So, for example, Jewish women in northern Italy, you know, the communities there were very integrated, yet they were required to wear earrings to separate themselves. You know, Christian women didn’t generally wear earrings at the time, they had to wear gold earrings, at a time where earrings were being associated with vanity. Now, of course, the laws were made by the Catholic Church at the time, and this was used to segregate and to cast a shadow on the Jewish religion.
Marlene Gebauer: So the vanity and lewdness laws, they follow us today in many school dress codes. So think about that the next time you think about your school dress code. A couple more points. So the the, the the great, I just love the name of this the Great Masculine Renunciation. Okay, yeah, this happened in the late 1700s in England. So very fancy, elaborate men’s clothes. So you remember like the, you know, the pantaloons, and I forget what they call them like the puffy tights, they get more streamlined back in the 1700s. And this is partially based on political ideas of sobriety, practicality and equality. But this is entirely masculine. And on the other hand, women’s clothing got even more ornate and whimsical. And you know, maybe you could even say silly, and dress reforms, there were dress reforms, we tried, like the bloomer movement failed, and it wasn’t really until the 1920s and the flapper style, which was class and racially diverse. That was the first time it you know, we actually moved into more streamlined clothing.
Marlene Gebauer: Now, the interview was not all serious. One story was about the straw hat riots in New York City, which I swear I have never heard of before. This apparently these these riots stretch from Harlem to the battery, so like the entire length of New York City, and as a bit of background, so you understand the story, you know, at one time straw hats, you know, similar to white shoes were not to be worn after September 15. So when people were wearing them after and it became a thing to start trying to wear them after these writers would knock off people’s hats and impale them on pikes.
Greg Lambert: We’re talking about the hats not their heads, right?
Marlene Gebauer: not just the hats, just the hats. So yeah, definitely, definitely take a listen. It’s really it’s really quite interesting. And Greg, that wraps up this week’s information inspirations.
Marlene Gebauer: One of our guests has some really good advice for those of us who are looking to bring more equality to the legal industry, hire minority lawyers. Whether you’re an individual looking for a diverse lawyer, or an in house, corporate counsel looking for diverse talent, there are diverse lawyers out there, you may just need an easier way to identify them. That’s where today’s guests come in with what they believe is a solution to that problem.
Greg Lambert: We’d like to welcome Chevazz Brown and Sophia George to the show to talk more about the launch of DiversePro and online resource for connecting members of underrepresented diverse military and business communities, with lawyers from those communities who share a culture, language or life experience. Chevazz and Sophia, thanks for taking the time to talk with us.
Sophia George: Hey, thanks for having us.
Chevazz Brown: Thanks for having us. Happy to be here.
Marlene Gebauer: So Chevazz tell us a little bit about yourself. What made you want to develop DiversePro and how we went about doing so?
Chevazz Brown: Well, you know, let me share just a little bit about myself. I’m an army brat. I’m originally from Portland, Oregon. And my mom joined the army when I was seven. And it was from that point, we had an opportunity to live in different places throughout the States and overseas. And as part of that experience, I had an opportunity to experience different cultures and different people. And I’ve come to appreciate the differences in nuances amongst folks. I was also fortunate to go to law school here in Houston, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, which is one of the most diverse law schools in the country. So my classmates, and my professors were very diverse. And my experience in law school enriched that experience. When I came to the law firm, and got my license, which worked for the judge, and ultimately at Jackson Walker, I realized that there is disparity in terms of diverse communities being represented in the legal profession. The earliest iteration of DiversePro came to me in probably early 2016, shortly after I had made partner at Jackson Walker. And for those of us who are, you know, outside counsel, at the partner level, it’s very important to develop a book of business. And as a young partner, I had to be creative and entrepreneurial. And I had to think of the things the resources that I had, that will make me marketable and competitive in terms of getting that work. My thought was, well, I’m a diverse lawyer, I bring a diverse perspective. And right now, and this was back in 2016. And it’s still true to this day, there is a demand for outside counsel talent. And I thought to myself, well, it sure would be great if they were an in house attorney somewhere in the United States that had a major piece of litigation in Texas, and he did a really good commercial litigator. I would love to have that work. But the only way that in turn that in house attorney would be able to find me is if they knew me directly in my practice, or if they knew somebody who knew me and my practice. And I said, well, maybe there’s something out there that makes that transaction more efficient. I did some research and I realized that there is no lawyer directory out there that allows legal consumers to find diverse talent. And over time over the past, you know, couple years, this idea evolved to what it is today. DiversePro, as you said, is a community tool at root. A community focused online lawyer directory that helps underrepresented diverse military and business communities find lawyers who truly get them or their customers, because of a specific or shared culture, a shared language, or shared life experience. That is how DiversePro came about.
Marlene Gebauer: Well, it sounds like your experience and in growing up and in your profession have really influenced this platform. So I want to jump over to Sophia. And can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you became involved with DiversePro?
Sophia George: Sure. So I am a litigator at a mid sized law firm here in Houston called Germer. I do mainly insurance defense. I am the first lawyer in my family. My grandparents moved here in the 70s, with very little money, eight bucks in their pocket. And they were just trying to make a life for themselves and for their daughter, my mom. And they had two more girls, those girls just work really hard. All blue collar workers. And thankfully, my mom and her sisters were able to do well for themselves. And I came about. When the idea of me going to law school pops into my head. I wasn’t sure that was something that could be an option for me. So I really didn’t know any other Indian lawyers. When you look at the different kinds of words you got, and the different ethnicities and cultures that each practice area. So So the number of Indian attorneys that exist is actually quite small in comparison to how many white Americans that serve as lawyers. So I think I knew maybe one lawyer at the time. I figured, you know, okay, I guess I’ll just try it. You know, I do what every other first generation lawyer does I got on Google, how do you become a lawyer? From there,
Marlene Gebauer: I’m glad you had Google to figure it out.
Sophia George: I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. And I think that speaks to the real problem is accessibility. They’re not just people that want to become lawyers. But you know, when I look at my community, I come from very close knit community. Ask any Indian person or any [indecipherable] person, which is really a subset of Indian that I’m from your very close knit. I was raised not just by my parents, grandparents, I was raised by all the other people that I went to church with. So I can never get away with anything like I was always going to get caught, I would see somebody would catch me doing. But there’s a benefit to having a big community as you know, we can rely on each other for things. But when it comes to the legal profession, they didn’t have anyone. And most of us church, for example, were either of immigrants, not everybody speaks English as their first language, which makes it very difficult to master everyday tasks here in America. But it certainly makes it more intimidating. When you do things like involved in a legal dispute. And you need legal representation. Now, one of the things that comes with being a part of a unique culture, for me being Indian, is that there are different cultural sensitivities that come with that. Things that the American culture don’t see as important or see as valuable, or things that we hold dearly. The best example I have is really out of the norm in America, or you to live with parents, once you become an adult. And for Indian people, it is really, really weird.
Marlene Gebauer: I don’t know if that’s the case. Just Just ask Greg.
Sophia George: No, you know, generally, you know, when I think about it, I’m like, wait, why? Why are you moving out? Why are you getting married, like, I don’t understand that you stay at home forever. And then like, maybe your parents move in with you. But there are things that really I only get, and I understand because I come from that community. When it comes to legal representation. As a person who needs attorney, you’re gonna want somebody who just understands you has built a level of trust between you and the person that represents you know, where you’re going to feel comfortable trusting them with how they’ve handled lawsuits, going to make you feel more comfortable about decisions that are being made, will help you open up to your lawyer and tell them everything that your lawyers needs to know to give you the best representation. So when Chevazz told me about her escrow, I fell in love, I was like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. You know, even as a first year attorney, I remember having experienced clients where they come to me not because I was just somewhere understood where they were coming from. You know, we’ve talked a lot about race and ethnicity. But I think another area is, you know, being a parent, I am a single mom. And there are a lot of unique experiences that come parent. Now I went to law school with a one and a half year old, and you know, we had to ride through it together, which was fun, you will never say it was fun. But you know, it was a it was an interesting experience. But it gave me the ability to you know, later represent people who you needed someone that understood that softer side of things. So we always talk about EQ, and how important it is for people to master that. And this is one of those softer skill sets that attorneys that just sweet, really invaluable for your clients. You know, I had a case where I represented a mother who got involved in a really bad car wreck. And you know, she was getting sued, and she had her own medical bills. You know, she just she didn’t trust anyone. I came on the case. And, you know, we were able to talk and look, Mom to Mom, I get it. Like I know what you’re scared of, you know, it’s not, you know, whether or not you’re gonna, you know, win or lose, right at the end of the day. What matters is how you can take care of kids, if you you know, what are your options here. And you we spent hours on the phone together, coming up with different options she had or how we handled her defense. And you know, at the end of the day, we were able to get it resolved. But it brought her so much comfort to know that, you know, while she had you know, the lawyer she chose a lawyer that understood her real concerns were underneath all of the legal stuff. She has to do. And I think DiversePro provides a very streamlined platform people to have this basic needs addressed in a way that things like Google or Avvo might not be able to.
Greg Lambert: Well, let me ask just a very simple question. And that is before DiversePro, let’s say that I’m someone from a minority or underrepresented community, or English isn’t my first language and I want that attorney like you were saying, Sophia, that that doesn’t just do a good job with the law, but also does a good job understanding me and my needs. How do you go about doing that? If you don’t have a way to find those people?
Chevazz Brown: Well, I’ll share that, in my view, what DiversePro is doing, it’s not novel. Communities have been doing this forever. Communities help each other. And it happened not too long ago. Someone from my community asked me Chevazz, do you know, of a black litigator at a small firm? And I know a lot of black lawyers at litigators at small first, because that’s my community. And if you ask any lawyer who has been referred work, they know that person, and anyone that’s asked me for a referral, I’m referring people who I know, you’re going to refer someone who’s most likely within your community that you know, and that you trust. And so that that, I believe, is how communities have operated. And what DiversePro tries to do is to streamline that, and make that transaction more efficient.
Sophia George: I would like to add to that because I looked on Twitter, and literally not even 20 minutes ago, someone just tweeted anyone and hashtag law Twitter, do workers comp for California? Like Chevazz says, this is literally how we do it, you know, it’s kind of ask somebody you know, and you figure out, it was somebody that can help you out. But why not make all of this so much easier? And Chevazz and I were just talking about it yesterday, when somebody asked us for, for a diverse pro, like, Okay, well, let me think about it don’t know anybody. Okay, now, let me ask some people in my network, do they know anybody and more of a process. Whereas, you know, just yesterday, I had someone asked for a referral for a recommendation. And I was like, yeah, so go to www.diversepro.com and type in the area of law and the city you need it in. And you have a whole list. And that’s kind of how I think this, I know that Chevazz says it’s not a novel, idea, but I think it is really necessary. And I think it is an important thing for most of us, especially the consumer. It’s free for lawyers, and that we are able to get our name out there and we get some more visibility to the general public, but it’s really important. Because if people are looking for a lawyer, I don’t know anyone, I think about the people I go to church with. I don’t know any other lawyers, you they know me. That’s it. They didn’t know me, they would look on the internet. And what are they going to do? They’re going to pick one of the first few things they see on people, and they’re going to start making phone calls. But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best representation we can get. At least here, we have the opportunity to provide potential clients representation from someone understand.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, so I mean, I think what’s what’s sort of different and interesting about the model is sort of taking that community model, and it’s making it very efficient and more streamlined, and it’s also vetted. So you know, you have that…
Greg Lambert: So you have that don’t end up with your cousins, second cousins, friend who happens to know somebody? Yeah, been there.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, yeah, in there that like that. So, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about that DiversePro is is focused on, you know, minority, underrepresented, people whose first language might not be English military. But I guess what I want to ask is, who are the people going to DiversePro? Who should be going to DiversePro? What types of legal issues does it help satisfy?
Chevazz Brown: DiversePro’s for everybody, any person, whether you’re an individual or you’re a business that needs legal representation, can utilize DiversePro to find exceptional lawyers. But again, what we’ve been talking about is that thing that makes DiversePro unique, and that is the cultural, linguistic and the experiential competence that really is an enhancer to the underlying legal representation. So it is for everybody, every legal consumer of every kind throughout the United States. Featured On this platform, are exceptional lawyers across 67 practice areas 267 specialties, whether it’s a criminal law, matter, whether it’s a commercial real estate transaction matter, whether it’s an immigration matter, it runs the gamut. And just for folks who, who, you know, are interested in business models, DiversePro is what we call a b2b2c, b2b and b2c.
Greg Lambert: We you mind just telling me what what all those mean? Pretend like I don’t know,
Marlene Gebauer: he’s like, do I have to pretend like you don’t know.
Chevazz Brown: And I’ll tell you going going through this process of developing DiversePro. I mean, it was it was very hard. Number one very hard. There were a lot of things that I had to learn business concepts, and that being one of them. There are certain business models out there, there are businesses that that cater only to other businesses, and those are b2b businesses. And then there are businesses that cater directly to consumers or to customers, and those are b2c business models. And then there’s a hybrid, and I believe DiversePro is a hybrid, where we are a b2b. We’re a business helping other businesses and those other businesses are diverse lawyers who want clients and so they would come to the site, they would claim or create their profile, they would identify their practice area, their specialty, their school, and that what makes them unique, their cultural, their linguistic, their experiential competence. So they are on the site featured on the site. That’s the b2b aspect of the model. The b2c is DiversePro, helping legal consumers directly providing them with a platform where they can find these exceptional lawyers who have that experiential that linguistic, that cultural competence, so it is that b2b b2c model.
Greg Lambert: Speaking of the the b2b now that I understand what that means now,
Marlene Gebauer: b2b b2c?
Greg Lambert: So let’s switch over to the to that b2b side about how do lawyers interact with DiversePro. First of all, how many lawyers are actually on divorce pro at the moment?
Chevazz Brown: We have approximately 250,000 …
Marlene Gebauer: Wow
Chevazz Brown: … diverse lawyers that are in DiversePro search engine. The overwhelming majority of those are inactive lawyers on the website, but they are active lawyers that are out there practicing, what we’re doing is we’re marketing and encouraging diverse lawyers to come to the website to find themselves to claim their profile, because a default profile already exists for them. For example, for me, you know, when I went to the website, I did a search for myself, I pulled up the default profile, I updated my contact information, I provided more specificity on my practice serving my specialties. And I added the thing that makes me unique. So these lawyers will come to the website, find themselves claim their profile, and become active on DiversePro, if a diverse lawyer or a lawyer who has military background does not have a default profile, he or she can create the profile because the process I use was imperfect. And so I missed I’m sure a lot of folks, so they can come to the to the website claim or create their profile and become active on it on the website.
Marlene Gebauer: Alright, so I have I have two questions on that. So first of all, how did since there’s already profiles pre developed, how did you gather that type of information to to sort of understand that the the lawyers that are on the platform are sort of fitting the right profile? And then how do they actually go in and claim their profile? Did I mean, do they have to create an account? Do they have to? I mean, I guess they have to create an account and kind of do exactly what you said you did. Is that right?
Chevazz Brown: Correct. So the firt, the first question really illustrates, I think, the skills that the analytic Gator gave me, I’m a problem solver. And I’m very creative. When you’re starting a business, you’re going to run into all sorts of obstacles, all sorts of challenges. So I had to sit down to sit, sit down and think about this concept. And I looked to other models out there that were successful. And the best online lawyer directory right now is Avvo. avvo.com. And I saw what Avvo was doing. They’re disrupting the industry. They took the position that you know what, we’re not let’s let’s build a platform where legal consumers can find lawyers, but let’s not wait for these lawyers to come to us and say, Hey, I’m a lawyer. I’m going to sign up. They went out and they got all of these lawyers, they created default profiles, and they brought them to the platform. And then they turned around and they market it to these lawyers, I get phone calls, I get emails all the time, this is Chevazz, come to avvo.com. Claim your profile, raise your visibility, let us help you get more clients. And I said, Okay, let me take that that proven business model and then be applied here in this context. And then to your question, Marlene, is, well, how do you go about getting that? Well, I’m a licensed lawyer, a lot of information is publicly available. There’s a lot of nuance there and states license and regulate lawyers in different ways. So it took it, it took some good old fashioned hard work to get this data. And then there’s an aspect of it, Marlene, which I call the secret sauce, it’s
Marlene Gebauer: gonna say I was gonna say, I don’t want to get into your secret sauce, I almost put that in my question. But you’re gonna get into the secret sauce. So let’s let’s do it.
Chevazz Brown: I’ll just describe it as the secret sauce, I was able to develop a process using technology to develop my roster of diverse lawyers. Women, and people of color, that are the proxies for the culture, the language and the life experience. So when you put all that together the secret sauce, publicly available information. And I came up with what I believe to be proprietary information, proprietary data, which I think makes DiversePro so special.
Greg Lambert: So how do you verify that that those people are who they say they are when they claim a profile?
Chevazz Brown: There’s a two step process. One is the data on the front end that I get. There’s a process we go through to to verify that on our end. The second part involves the interaction with the lawyer. And this actually touches on the second question, Marlene, a lawyer will come to the website come to DiversePro.com, they will click on the link that says claim or create your profile, you will come to the registration page, you will then search for yourself, find your profile, and then it takes you through a series of steps, nine of them. The first step requires these lawyers to affirm that the profile they are claiming is in fact them. And then there’s a process that they go through where they enter their mobile number to confirm that it’s not a robot, for example. And on my end, I have a record of that. So I can see all the lawyers that are claiming or creating their profile. And as part of my due diligence, I’m periodically checking to ensure that these are actual profiles, for actual lawyers
Greg Lambert: Well, Chevazz, you know, obviously, I think most people know that you and I work together and have worked together for a number of years now. And I’ve known that you’ve been working on DiversePro for a while, and that it actually far predates last summer’s murder of George Floyd when there was just a sudden awakening for many people in the legal field to to try and better understand and represent minority communities. So let me just ask you what what do you see as as success for DiversePro? And are there any other issues that you think that DiversePro can take on to provide even more equity in the legal representation of for minorities or underserved communities?
Chevazz Brown: Absolutely, I’d like to get Sophia’s thoughts on that. And I’ll chime in. But Sophia is involved in the South Asian Bar Association (SABA). That’s one of seven of our minority bar groups here in Houston, which is the most diverse metropolitan region in America. And I recall when the George Floyd, murder happened, you know, obviously there, there there was a lot of reaction to that. One reaction was SABA, getting with the six other minority groups, issuing a statement, you know, addressing systematic racism in America, and I believe DiversePro provides, you know, an economic solution to, you know, lack of diversity in the legal profession. And I think not only does DiversePro help these diverse communities, including the black community, these legal consumers from those communities, it helps advance economically, the law practices of these diverse lawyers. And so when you have legal consumers from these communities, hiring diverse learners from their community, you uplift these communities. And I think that provides an economic solution to the problem we face and it’s not just DiversePro, there are many other wonderful initiatives going on. I listened to one of y’all’s your podcast, we are talking about Coca Cola coming out with their new outside counsel guidelines. And I looked at the letter that Bradley Gayton had issued and one particular senate stood out And I have it here. He says, as a consumer of legal services, we believe that diversity of talent on our legal matters is a critical factor to driving better business outcomes. And so what Coca Cola is doing is they’re looking at outside diverse outside counsel like me, and like Sophia to supply that business need. And the more clients that I have, the more clients that Sophia has, the better off we are, economically, individually, and in the aggregate of our community.
Greg Lambert: Sophia, do you have something to add?
Sophia George: I do, actually. For people that aren’t lawyers, you know, you want to talk about how you can help increase equity in different areas. Hire minority lawyers, that’s what you can do. Because, guess what. they can do all the same things that a white lawyer might be able to do for you. So to give you that little extra punch, where they can get you and understand you on a better level, I truly think that, like, I want to go see my aesthetician, or my nail lady or someone, I’m always looking for minority small businesses to support because that’s, that’s the kind of people I want to give my money to. I get that. I understand that struggle, being an immigrant and you know, really wanting to give those kind of people that support. So for anyone listening, who isn’t a lawyer, use a platform like this to your advantage. Use this platform to find quality, legal representation from people from diverse backgrounds that can help represent, you know, these in-house counsel, they’re looking for diverse lawyers, because you know, they also want to do their part in helping ensure their company, or their insurance, for example, are getting diverse representation. We don’t want to find that my firm represented the USAA, and the military, it’s really meant for military communities. And it’s so important that there are people who are representing those members that understand I mean, get that. And here’s the perfect opportunity. So I think that if we’re going to talk about equity, we got to do more than just talk about it, we have to be about it. And that starts with putting your money where your mouth is.
Marlene Gebauer: So I want to piggyback on that a little bit. How can those listening help advance DiversePro?
Chevazz Brown: Two ways. Number one, if you are a diverse lawyer, if you’re a woman, if you’re a person of color, if you’re a person who identifies as LGBTQ+. If you’re a lawyer who lives with a disability, and if you’re a lawyer, who has had military experience, either veteran or active duty, come to DiversePro. Whether you’re outside counsel, whether you’re solo practitioner, whether you’re a small, firm, big law, whether you’re in house, claim or create your profile. That’s number one, make yourself known. Raise your visibility become available to your community. The second thing is anyone, any legal consumer, or anyone in a position to refer legal consumers to lawyers, come to DiversePro. It’s an easy to use search engine, you want to divorce lawyer who speaks Mandarin, typing divorce, Mandarin. And that is how your audience can help diverse bro.
Sophia George: Yeah, no, I agree. One, if you’re a lawyer, go claim your profile, it is free to do it. And it takes me two minutes. And you are a consumer. Just use the platform. It’s like Google, except it gives you an opportunity to find and narrow down your search to just diverse lawyers. You know, obviously, I also think that you know, if you’re in-house, I think if you really want to do something, you know, obviously use this to find outside counsel, try to make that a part of your mission. You know, if you haven’t already, you should be working towards finding and retaining diverse lawyers to represent you. They will undoubtedly understand you in ways that general people might not be able to. I think that you know, if you want to fit to it note, using DiversePro to find and retain your diverse outside counsel.
Greg Lambert: Well, Sophia George and Chevazz Brown, I want to thank both of you for taking the time to come on and talk more about divorce Pro. Before we go, I just want to give you one one more chance to mention, you know how people can access the site, both the consumer and the business side. So where do they need to go?
Chevazz Brown: For both go to www DiversePro.com.
Greg Lambert: All right. Well, thank you both for taking the time to talk with us.
Marlene Gebauer: Thank you very much.
Sophia George: Thanks for having us.
Chevazz Brown: Thank you.
Greg Lambert: Well, Again, it was great to having Sophia and Chevazz. Come on. I’ve worked with Chavez for a number of years now. And he and I have been been talking informally about divorce pro for a couple of years. So I’m glad to see that it’s out. And I think that the timing couldn’t be better for for something like this to roll out.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, I was, I was very interested to sort of hear him talk about, you know, again, sort of, you know, how did they, you know, how did they gather the appropriate people to be, you know, to be profiled here. And, you know, and I love the idea is like, okay, we’re pre populating it so and, you know, going out to people and saying, Hey, you know, it’s like, you know, get yourself noticed, here’s, here’s advertising for you right here. So,
Greg Lambert: I was glad that we kind of had to delay the recording a little bit to get Sophia on. But I thought her examples of the, you know, the community based relationships that most of us have, in order to to gather pay, who’s a good doctor, who’s a good lawyer,
Marlene Gebauer: I mean, I’ve been doing that since I moved here. It’s like I go on the community pages and it’s like, okay, you know, I need somebody you know, I needed a physician or you know, I need somebody to trim the trees and you know, who
Greg Lambert: who should I go to? Yeah, so it’s in having something like this that set up just you know, simplifies the the process like you said, vets, the people so that you don’t end up with your cousin’s cousin. Cousin. Cousin. Yeah, exactly. So I want to thank again, Sophia, George and Chevazz Brown for taking the time to come on and talk with us about divorce Pro. So if you haven’t taken a look at it to go out there at divorce pro.com. And if you’re an attorney, make sure you claim your profile.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah.
Greg Lambert: Well, again, it was great to having Sophia and Chevazz. Come on. I’ve worked with Chevazz for a number of years now. And he and I have been been talking informally about DiversePro for a couple of years. So I’m glad to see that it’s out. And I think that the timing couldn’t be better for for something like this to roll out.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, I was I was very interested to sort of hear him talk about, you know, again, sort of, you know, how did they, you know, how did they gather the appropriate people to be, you know, to be profiled here? And you know, and I love the idea, it’s like, okay, we’re pre populating it so and you know, going out to people and saying hey, you know, it’s like you know, get yourself noticed your Sears advertising for you right here. Yeah,
Greg Lambert: I was glad that we kind of had to delay the recording a little bit to get Sophia on. But I thought her examples of the you know, the community based relationships that most of us have in order to to gather hey. who’s a good doctor who’s a good lawyer? I mean, he’s a good dentist.
Marlene Gebauer: I’ve been doing that since I moved here. It’s like I go on on the community pages and it’s like okay, you know, I need somebody you know, I needed a physician or you know, I need somebody to trim the trees and you know, who who should I go to?
Greg Lambert: Yeah, so it’s in having something like this that that setup just you know, simplifies the the process like you said, vets, the the people so that you don’t end up with your cousin’s cousin.
Marlene Gebauer: Cousin El’s Cousin cousin.
Greg Lambert: Yeah, exactly. So I want to thank again, Sophia George and Chevazz Brown for taking the time to come on and talk with us about divorce Pro. So if you haven’t taken a look at it to go out there at diversepro.com and if you’re an attorney, make sure you you claim your profile.
Marlene Gebauer: Yeah. Before we go, we want to remind listeners to take the time to subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, rate and review us as well. If you have comments about today’s show, or suggestions for a future show, you can reach us on Twitter at @gebauerm or @glambert or you can call the Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 or email us at email@example.com And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca. Thanks, Jerry.
Greg Lambert: Yeah, thanks, Jerry. Alright, Marlene, I will talk to you later.
Marlene Gebauer: Okay, bye bye.