We talk shop with Litera’s Vice-President of Sales for North America, Ashley Miller, including Litera’s growth over the past few years, and how long it can stay in that Goldilocks’ stage of being just the right size to be a big player, yet still nimble enough to pivot when needed.
The recent Changing Lawyer Virtual Summit featured recognizable speakers like Richard Susskind and Seth Godin, but also had Litera’s traditional outside the norm type speaker with Mark Schulman, rock drummer for the likes of P!nk and Cher. Miller zeroed in on something that Richard Susskind discussed at the conference about the changes in technology adoption in law firms during the pandemic. Are the advancements we’ve seen since March 2020 really innovation, or are they really just acceleration of automation designed to keep work afloat?
Finally, we talk data and what is meant by the single source of truth when it comes to data. Are we all making informed decisions based on the same, accurate data? Ashley Miller then turns the tables on the hosts by asking where they see the single source of truth in data when it comes to how law firms are going to handle data in the future.

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Contact Us
Twitter@gebauerm or @glambert.
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Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.


Marlene Gebauer  0:16

Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert  0:23

And I’m Greg Lambert. Well, Marlene, I see you’ve officially become a true Texan this week after buying a pickup truck. So congratulations. And, and by the way, I’ve got some furniture to move this weekend. So good to have you there.

Marlene Gebauer  0:40

Yeah, I got all Beth Dutton with my Western inspired long sweater and my pickup. I have a young man in the house who needs some wheels, and I need a vehicle to throw a bicycle and a kayak in the back. Your furniture? Absolutely, I can help you know, because I’ve entered the realm of friend with a truck. So it’s like when you’re a lawyer, and everyone, everyone asks you for free advice. Well, this is, you know, Hey, can I borrow your truck?

Greg Lambert  1:05

Yep, yep. Well, I’ve got a friend with a truck. So yeah. Well, I am, I am sure it will come into good use. So. So on the podcast this week, we talked with Ashley Miller, the vice president of sales in North America for Litera. And you know, Litera is going through this growth. And it’s, you know, it’s just growing by leaps and bounds over say, the past four or five years. And we really want to see how that growth is affecting the culture of Litera , both internally and externally.

Marlene Gebauer  1:37

So we are not doing any inspirations this week, so that you can enjoy our in depth interview.

Greg Lambert  1:47

We’d like to welcome Ashley Miller, Vice President of Sales North America for Litera . Ashley, welcome to The Geek in Review.

Ashley Miller  1:53

Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to be here.

Greg Lambert  1:55

Let’s Good to have you on. I know, I had watched the I think it was the third annual change the changing lawyer virtual summit that the Tara put on earlier this month in November. Some really interesting and cool speakers like Seth Godin, I think was one keynote. And then Mark Schulman was was another. This was quite a contrast. And in between the two of them, with one of them being a traditional keynote speaker and the other one being a drummer for pink, so great. So I’m just curious, you know, tell us a little bit about the conference itself and what your favorite part was? Yeah, sure,

Ashley Miller  2:35

absolutely. So the changing lawyer, for those that aren’t familiar with it is Litera’s annual conference that brings together the legal community to discuss how lawyers, law firms and legal service providers are adapting to our ever changing environment. This is the second year that it was held as a virtual conference. And we’re really proud of it and and how it went this year was a really successful event. We had over 1800 registrants across the legal community, about 1500 people logged into the event. It is a full day summit with a lineup of impressive people. Greg, you mentioned two of our keynote speakers that come from outside of the industry. So a couple of different interesting kind of backgrounds. Seth, who’s more of a traditional kind of keynote, the ultimate entrepreneur, business executive and author, as well as Mark Schulman, who’s a rock star drummer, who’s performed with people like Cher and Pink who you mentioned, what I thought was really interesting about those keynote sessions was that they talked about things that are really true about all industries. They’re kind of common central threads of what it takes to be successful, and really drive value in what you do. Things like the importance of connection, the necessity of practice strategic planning, particularly in the face of complexity, or ambiguity, and the ability to problem solve, to support goals and focus on what really matters, which is having a customer centric mindset, and essentially everything that you do. So all of that was really exciting. I really enjoyed hearing some of the stories that they told, particularly some of Mark’s stories, but I am a bit of a legal tech nerd at heart. And I thought it was just as exciting hearing from people around the industry about what it is that they’ve been focusing on for the past year where they see the future taking us.

Greg Lambert  4:50

Do you think will this continue to be a virtual Summit? Or do you think this is going to eventually evolve? Once we get to the other side of this darn thing? into an in person conference or some type of hybrid.

Ashley Miller  5:04

You know, I’m hesitant to say one way or another this time last year, I don’t think any of us would have suspected that we would be doing this virtually for a second time in a row. I know that we all I certainly enjoy getting together in person, where possible, it’s just wonderful to get people together in the same room and be able to, you know, really collaborate, feed off one another’s energy in that type of environment. At the same time, there are also benefits to doing it virtually, of all of the registrants we had representation around the globe. And you can’t really capture the ability to do that, at least not as effectively if you’re only exclusively in person. So perhaps Perhaps a hybrid model is the best way to go.

Marlene Gebauer  5:56

Well, we were looking forward to hearing what you you decide for next year, you joined Litera Back in September as the Vice President of Sales for North America. Can you talk to us a little bit about what attracted you to Litera after working for such outfits as EY, Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis?

Ashley Miller  6:16

Sure. So in answering that question, I think it would be helpful to give a little bit more information around my background and my career path, please, please do. So I’ve been in the legal industry since 2006. I have kind of grown up in it. I’ve had the pleasure of working for a lot of really great companies throughout my career. And I have touched a lot of different facets of the legal industry. I started out my career in legal tech working for LexisNexis in the small law segment. So working with small law firms that were based in New York City. That was the time I really started to fall in love with legal technology and working with lawyers and law firms. I decided to go to law school in the evenings while I was working, and got my JD, to give me some additional insight into what lawyers really think about how they think. And what’s really top of mind for them as they go about doing what they do practicing law. I also spent some time at Craft Kennedy, where I had the opportunity to get exposure to the consulting and services side of legal tech, before moving to Thomson Reuters. And then at Thomson Reuters, I worked with our strategic account segment leading a team that managed the TR portfolio for some of the largest law firms in the world. While I was at TR, I then moved over to to what was then Pangea three, which was Thomson Reuters captive legal managed services provider, less than a year after making that move, I was part of the team that got acquired with Pangea three, by UI. Really exciting time. You know, I

Marlene Gebauer  8:06

mean, timing,

Ashley Miller  8:11

very interesting timing, I really saw it as a great opportunity to explore what UI was doing in the legal space. You know, obviously, people have been talking about the Big Four and everything that the Big Four is doing and legal for a long time. But this is really, you know, the opportunity to be a part of it. And so while I was at EY, I actually pivoted my focus away from the legal managed services side of the business to consulting and started doing consulting work for legal departments, supporting both broad initiatives around strategy, operating models, helping them to align initiatives to the broader enterprise, as well as some more in the weeds type of work. So specifically around technology, implementations remediations, for implementations that may have gone awry, those types of things.

Greg Lambert  9:08

Never been there. Yeah,

Marlene Gebauer  9:10

there’s there’s stories we won’t get into on the but yeah, that’s also

Ashley Miller  9:15

where my love of change management really started to run deep as well.

Marlene Gebauer  9:20

So I have a follow up question, because I’m listening to this. And it’s just fascinating, you know, you’ve had this this background and tech, you’ve had this background in managed services, you’ve had this background and consulting. And you know, it’s just perfect. I mean, was that something that you were sort of strategically looking at? Or is that something that just kind of happened? Like, how did that come about?

Ashley Miller  9:39

I would love to be able to tell you that this was all very well thought out and very strategic. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You know, I would have a certain path and a certain area of focus. I would oftentimes just be thinking of oh, what would make sense then says the next step, but instead of really thinking of what is going to help kind of build out what my capabilities are and what my skill set is, looking at new areas of the industry, that would potentially be interesting to learn more about. That’s what attracted me to Pangea three, you know, I had been working with large law firms and, you know, law firms had been talking about, oh, ALSPs. And this is what they’re really starting to do. And the industry is getting, you know, more and more focused and potentially concerned about the threat of ALSPs. I thought it was really exciting, and kind of innovative and wanted to be a part of that. That was, you know, my approach with UI as well, the opportunity to join that legal function consulting team, and help work with corporate legal departments get really entrenched with legal operations teams get more and more involved with clock. And you know, that work, I also found to be really super interesting. It’s a really smart and talented team of people there. And when else can you have the opportunity to really roll up your sleeves and work side by side with your clients. Interestingly enough, though, this is also what piqued my interest in Litera . So my passion really is in legal technology. As I was doing this consulting work, even though I was focused on the corporate side of the business, you know, part of my job is obviously staying on top of what’s going on in the legal technology industry more broadly, what really interested me about Litera Was this path of exponential growth that Litera has been on for the past year and a half, two years, making all of these acquisitions, building out a solutions portfolio, to support the legal industry and law firms specifically, in a really meaningful way. That coupled with the fact that, you know, as an organization, I think we’re really the right size to be able to make an impact while also maintaining the ability to be agile, and integrations and builds. And it was really an exciting prospect to become part of that team, and help build that out as we continue to grow.

Greg Lambert  12:29

So I would, I would say, as little as maybe maybe three, four or five years ago, many of us in the legal industry wouldn’t have been able to have named Litera , as one of one of the big legal texts out there. One of the I mean, I’m sure that Bob Ambrogi might have spotted it as the up and comer but but now it seems like the number of acquisitions, like you mentioned, and I think there’s like a dozen that, that come to mind over the past few years. And you know, which include things like KIRA, Concep, Foundation software, lots more, you know, Litera has now found itself as one of the big players in the industry. So I’m curious when you go and talk with potential customers. How do you explain what it is Litera is now and what its overall goals are in its place within the industry?

Ashley Miller  13:27

Yeah, it’s a good question, because conversations that we’re having with clients are dramatically different conversations than some of my colleagues had a year ago, two years ago, because we really are a very different organization. Just a couple of years ago, we were an organization of around 200 employees. And today, I believe the latest count is the Terra has just shy of 1000 employees in 17 countries. And we’re servicing 15,000 customers, leaving the Kira acquisition aside for a moment because you know, that’s that just adds even more to it. From 2020 to 2021. We grew 20% organically or over year and 60% in organically. So while that is incredibly exciting, you know that that does create some confusion and can create some confusion in the market. So a big part of having these discussions with our customers is adding some clarity around what it is that we do. And I would say that in the most simplistic form. What we do is we deliver innovation through technology that simplifies the connection of data to everyday workflows. When Avinash our CEO talks about Litera And who We are he likes to talk about, why is it that we exist in the first place, and that is we help people focus on what matters. And for our customers, what that means is we focus on our customers client retention, improving law firm margins, and we focus on end user happiness. And how we do that really does go back to simplifying that connection of those everyday workflows, where those workflows really fit in a law firm environment falls into four primary categories that spanned both the practice of law as well as the business of law, that includes drafting documents, which is kind of the core initial area of focus for Litera, as well as transaction specific workflows. So what a transactional attorney does, starting from, you know, letter of intent, all the way through a deal closing and all of the steps in between, as well as litigation, specific workflows. For the business of law, what we call firm intelligence, that’s taking things back a step. So not just helping our customers in the workflows once they’ve won the business and creating that work product, but also helping firms win business. So simplifying workflows in areas of business development, marketing, experience, management, etc. So, again, really what our goal is now and moving forward, is to continue to provide technology that really aids in that simplification, continues continue to provide support to our customers, keeping our customers in the center of everything that we do, and continue to innovate in ways that help our firms achieve their goals.

Greg Lambert  17:03

You had mentioned earlier that you’re kind of at the that, I guess, the Goldilocks portion of size, and where you’re right, the right size to, to enable you to do big things, but also be flexible and be able to adjust on the fly. One, how do you keep a culture as you grow, especially grow through acquisitions? And to how do you not reach a tipping point to where you become a Thomson Reuters? Or or LexisNexis? Or, or other big company where, you know, it’s a bigger ship and much harder to turn?

Ashley Miller  17:45

Yeah, yeah, good question. And both of those are great organizations, great companies, as I’ve mentioned, you know, I have had the opportunity to work with both of them and, and had wonderful experiences, we’re a long way to go until we get to that point. So we’ve got we’ve got quite a ways until we reach the size of

Greg Lambert  18:08

either a few more 10s of 1000s of employees before you get there.

Marlene Gebauer  18:12

And you know, is that is that really, is that really the way things are going nowadays? Or is it a different model? That is going to be successful?

Ashley Miller  18:23

Right, right. I mean, I think it’s it’s an interesting question. We do plan on continuing to have that the same sort of growth trajectory, that we have had, you know, we we will continue to grow both organically as well as in organically. And we don’t really see that slowing down by any means. That said, I think that in terms of of managing that growth, what’s really important there is making sure that we continue to keep central to our organization and our culture, what we really just talked about, and the fact that our customers really are the center of what we do, and make sure that everything that we do continues to be focused on what our broader message really is to the industry. The reason why we do exist, is to help to enable people to focus on what matters, right? And making sure that our value that we bring and our technology really aligns to what our firms are trying to accomplish. From an integration standpoint, I think that’s also really important and maintaining our internal culture. goes hand in hand with maintaining the service that we provide to our customers. I was just on the other side of an acquisition, Pangea three being acquired by EY. And you know, as somebody who went through it, I have first hand experience with everything that goes hand in hand with that the uncertainty, the importance of being able to establish trust and rapport with your team members. And it’s something that the leadership team is very laser focused on, and making sure that what we build is not the sum of one plus one equals two, but one plus one equals three and making it really greater than the individual components of it.

Marlene Gebauer  20:47

Okay, so you were touching upon clients. So let’s talk about clients. You’ve worked with a number of different law firms in North America, you know, what are some of the issues that you’re seeing that firms are trying to solve? Short term in a way they conduct business? I’ll say, What about longer term? Are they thinking about longer term? Or are or is it more than short term? You know, are you seeing trends in what firms are seeing further out on the horizon that they need and should be addressing now? And how are you helping them in that regard?

Ashley Miller  21:27

Yeah, really good question. I think that a lot of what firms are focused on right now and what they’re perceiving as short term problems, relate to what some of those longer term trends and issues actually are. So what really comes to mind when I start thinking about what firms are trying to solve for short term are two items that come up in pretty much any customer conversation that I have? And that is one return to work and to attrition? I don’t know if either both of those resonate with with you?

Marlene Gebauer  22:12

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, they do. Yeah.

Ashley Miller  22:16

Yeah. Well, with the first return to work, it’s, it’s an interesting one, right? So, pandemic, everybody kind of had this rash, figuring out how to get lawyers to work in a remote environment, the rest of the staff, both from a cultural standpoint, workflow standpoint, as well as from a technology standpoint, a lot of firms had the technology in place, some didn’t, to provide the basic framework. So a lot of it was kind of triaging some of those initial initial challenges that needed to be solved, as well as then dealing with how do you change the behaviors? How do you facilitate collaboration in a virtual environment, when you don’t have the same type of accessibility that perhaps you did when, you know, as an attorney, you had your support staff, right down the hall for you from you are outside of your office, or however it is, so firms embraced the challenge. And you know, here we are almost two years into that, and many are working really, really well. So now the question is, as we move into what I hesitate to call a post pandemic world,

Marlene Gebauer  23:34

and don’t jinx it, I

Ashley Miller  23:35

know, right? Knock on wood. What what is it going to look like moving forward? Are people returning to office? Are they returning to Office full time? Are firms going to work in a hybrid environment? If so, what does that look like? Both from a practical and tactical standpoint? What does it look like for business development? What does it look like for career progression? There all of these different factors that that have implications and what this new kind of way of working will really become in practice. The second topic that frequently comes up in customer conversations is attrition. You know, obviously, the great resignation is something going on that spans all industries. It’s also really super competitive and legal right now. I think I read an article a couple weeks ago, where there were some firms offering offering up to half a million dollars for a signing bonus to get some more senior associates to join their firms. So it’s a really big question, not only how do you attract talent, but how do you retain your talent and make sure that they’re not jumping ship to go somewhere else? Longer term. A lot of firms are focused on figuring out how Innovation will continue to influence ways of working. And as we think about return to work, as we think about attrition, innovation typically has an important role in both of those conversations with the pandemic, for example, a lot of firms saw lawyers become more willing than ever to really embrace change, be more receptive to technology. And all of that is great. Maybe some of it was out of necessity. But I don’t think that anybody who focuses on technology and innovation is really complaining about the reason why so long as it’s happening. And so then the question becomes, how do we keep that momentum moving forward, so that we can capitalize on it, and continue to have attorneys and other end users at the firm, really comfortable with embracing technology moving forward. From a nutrition standpoint, associates and attorneys want to, to work at places where they’re able to do work efficiently. Technology and what firms are doing to drive efficiency has really become a common topic of conversation in those discussions around retention, and attracting new talent. What technology does your firm have that perhaps the other firm that you know, is throwing an enticing offer their way? Doesn’t?

Marlene Gebauer  26:40

What do you think innovation is going to look like? You know, in the future? I mean, before the pandemic, I think there were different focuses in terms of innovation. And then when the pandemic hit, you know, it really sort of brought to light particular issues and technology that firms needed to address like, right then, you know, where do you see it going, like, Where, where are the focal points going to be? And how do you see it changing?

Ashley Miller  27:15

Yeah, it’s interesting that you bring that up, because one of the more exciting sessions at the changing lawyer Summit, at least more exciting to me, was really focused on this very topic and what the future of the legal profession looks like, what innovation looks like, and the role of technology really mean for, for both lawyers and just the legal industry as a whole. Dr. Richard Susskind and the Tarazona, Hailey Altman kicked off that conversation. They started out talking about technology in the courts, and then and then pivoted to the future of the profession. And then they they were followed up by a panel that was really focused on where that industry is today and what it looks like moving forward. And one of the things that Dr. Susskind said that I thought was really interesting was a lot of the progress that we’re hearing about is around tactical improvements. And the question of, is that really innovation? Or is that acceleration of automation, designed to keep work afloat? Does it necessarily matter?

Marlene Gebauer  28:31

A float, that’s interest? That’s an interesting choice of words.

Greg Lambert  28:36

At least it wasn’t bespoke, which was his word of choice for Tim for a dozen years.

Marlene Gebauer  28:41

Well, I mean, keeping it like it’s suggesting that if, you know, if you’re not doing this, you know, you, you know, if you’re not moving in this direction, I mean, you will sink, your work will sink. So I mean, it’s just it’s an interesting choice of words. Sorry. Yeah, no,

Ashley Miller  28:55

I thought it was an interesting choice of words as well. And quite frankly, yes, I’ve seen a lot of the changes focused on kind of what those tactical improvements are. But I haven’t really thought of the distinction between innovation and accelerated automation. And I think that distinction in and of itself is really quite an interesting way to think about it. Then when it does come to true innovation, you know, how do you strike that balance between being inspired, the desire to move fast, but not move so fast that you potentially break things? And then thinking through what is the role of technology and all of this so, you know, obviously, it’s really tempting to start with what’s cool, what’s cutting edge, new technology, really, that kind of bright, shiny object being very attractive, versus understanding how important it is to view tech as enabler rather than starting with technology, finding the right technology that really enhances what you do, and solves problems that exist in your current workflow and your current way of doing things. What it looks like moving forward, I wish I had a crystal ball, and I could see what that will look like moving forward. Me too. Right. But I mean, you know that law firms have obviously begun to make some significant investments, the number of investments have really increased over the past year. Clearly launching query x comes to mind, as does McDermott’s announcement of significant investment of the legal tech fund, you know, you have more firms that are hiring personnel that are dedicated to innovation, or building out full innovation teams or functions. So a lot of this does show, you know, obviously positive signs of commitment to it moving forward,

Greg Lambert  31:11

I want to go to something. And it’s I mean, it’s obviously tech related, but I want to, I want to talk more about, you know, this data rich environment that that we live in, and something that was brought up at the at the conference itself. And is, and that was the fact that data can be just as much as a problem as it can be a solution. When Latour talked about the critical issue of data and and what it is called, quote, the single source of truth, unquote. And can you tell me a little bit more about what it is? You mean, by the phrase single source of truth? And what importance does that have in regards to leveraging the data that you have properly?

Ashley Miller  31:57

Sir? Sure. Um, so before I go into this and answer your question, Did either one of you did both of you attend arc cam legal this year?

Greg Lambert  32:10

I think the silence tells you no.

Ashley Miller  32:15

Well, I asked, because this topic was a pretty consistent theme at the Ark conference this year as well. Right, I don’t think it’s unique to that conference, I think it’s something that has been really top of mind, for people in the industry in the innovation space, and in the km space for quite a while now. I don’t think it’s new, this concept that data is, you know, kind of the new currency. You know, obviously, it helps organizations make strategic decisions, it brings value to clients, firms, obviously do have a wealth of information available to you, and essentially need to be able to leverage it effectively. When we talk about single source of truth. You know, ultimately, what that boils down to, is having the ability to ensure that everybody in the business or in a law firm, is able to base their decisions on the same data and the right data. And so, at the end of the day, in the most simplistic kind of terms, it really is about connecting the right data to the right people, law firms, especially our complex data rich environments. And with that, there, they can get pretty messy, right? There’s duplicate data, there’s Yeah. I don’t I don’t mean to be, you know, pouring salt in the front, little salt. But being able to use that in a structured way, versus you know, an unstructured way and looking at data that hasn’t been updated, it would potentially lead to making uninformed decisions or decisions made based on bad data, you know, basically, using your hunch to kind of drive what you do moving forward. And so we really want to be able to avoid that and focus on enabling data and enabling this information that you do have within the firm to add value to everything that you do.

Marlene Gebauer  34:37

You know, I agree with everything that you’re saying. But how are we going to bring some of the the folks who are a little more skeptical along that’s like, that’s sort of not how they’re used to sort of doing things or making decisions. You know, how how do we how do we bring them along?

Ashley Miller  34:59

Sure. I I think that a lot of that goes back to what we were talking about when I was talking about the lawyers open openness, to embrace technology and being more open to change. And really focusing on things like change management, which people don’t really love to talk about, unless you got really into consulting for for a period of time, and then you find it really exciting and meaningful. But in all seriousness, getting those that that aren’t that receptive to the idea of change, or are perhaps pushing back on it, really getting them to understand what the value is, and what it means to them in their practice, what it means to their book of business. And what it means to their clients, I think is really the most meaningful way to get the potential detractors to come along with you on that journey.

Greg Lambert  36:05

I don’t want to dive too deep into data hygiene, but is for 20 years data hygiene has meant hiring data stewards, to come in and clean it up. Is the technology finally at a point where we don’t have to go into that terrible cycle of, of bringing in humans to try to clean up data? And then as soon as as soon as that project is over? It’s it’s out of date again, are we at a point where technology can can help us?

Marlene Gebauer  36:35

Yeah, even partially?

Ashley Miller  36:37

Yeah, I was gonna say that’s, that’s a complicated question. We’re complicated, more complicated answer. And I would say, partially, were part of the way there. We’re not in a place where you can completely remove that human element from it. There are certain types of work. And there are certain types of data that are a lot easier to attack and clean and remediate using technology. But not all data is is neatly, neatly falls into that category. I guess I’ll say,

Greg Lambert  37:19

Darren, I was hoping there would just be a button, I could push it now. Right? And it would be done. So well, Ashley,

Ashley Miller  37:26

what are your thoughts on on where we are today? And particularly related to to the importance of data?

Greg Lambert  37:35

Well, I just did a podcast where I was the interviewee for the legal value network. And I brought this up in my thoughts. And I’m not I’m not a consultant. So take it for that is that I’m pretty much done with the with the data steward approach. And I’m looking for partners out there that can help me through technology, kind of keep the data clean as we as we go along. Rather than trying to make it into a project to get together, do a two year project. And then four years from that, do it all over again, that it’s going to be something that is just part of doing business, in that you would have your data being scrubbed, cleaned, indexed, and organized as you go, rather than later on, and trying to piece it back together. So that might be a pipe dream at this point. But I think eventually that’s it’s got to be that’s got to be how it’s done.

Marlene Gebauer  38:46

Yeah, I would agree having, you know, worked on projects, where you’re dealing with a lot of legacy, documentation and different ways of classifying things. And then having it all together, and then trying to, you know, make sense of it and and be it making it searchable. It is labor intensive. I almost said it was a labor of love. But you know what, it’s not a labor of love. Because no, because nobody

Greg Lambert  39:14

loves that. I don’t know,

Marlene Gebauer  39:15

I love that. You know, it is labor labor intensive. And, you know, oftentimes the resources, you know, are no longer there to sort of help you, you know, figure out the mystery of what classifications are, why things were done a certain way, or how things are, you know, what the appropriate way to search and, you know, it’s almost to the point where, without the technology, it’s not worth doing almost almost because of how much effort, time money it takes.

Ashley Miller  39:51

Right? And every conversation about it just has to get more and more complicated because once you start getting into why things were done, as certain way you have to get into, you know, the land of diminishing returns and where where does it stop making sense to even care about why.

Greg Lambert  40:11

And I think they’re, you know, there’s technologies, there are standards, there are new search functions, that I think we’re almost at a tipping point to where I think if we can figure out how to piece those together, that that’s going to be in, like I said, it’s going to be the Holy Grail, which means it probably won’t exist. But that’s, that’s what I’m hoping for. And who knows, that might be Litera, his next acquisition.

Ashley Miller  40:46

So stay tuned.

Greg Lambert  40:49

Well, Ashley Miller from Litera, we really appreciate you coming over and kind of turn the microphone on us there. At the end. We thanks for the questions.

Ashley Miller  41:02

Thank you. Thank you, Greg. And Marlene was wonderful.

Greg Lambert  41:07

That was kind of interesting that she turned the microphone on the two of

Marlene Gebauer  41:12

us will on spot there, right? Yeah, I

Greg Lambert  41:15

don’t know that I was ready to answer that question. So these people need to give me more heads up.

Marlene Gebauer  41:20

That’s right. I need to be prepared. So what I thought was really cool. And I’ve never heard this before. So like innovation versus accelerated automation, that those are two different things. And because we’ve always talked, you know, the last several years about how, you know, automation is part of the innovative process and legal. Because, you know, everything was, as you mentioned earlier, bespoke. So I thought that was that was pretty, pretty interesting. And I think I need to do a little more investigation on that.

Greg Lambert  41:59

Well, I you know, I think we’ve we have hit on this somewhat accidentally, with our talk with Alex Babin from zero true, because he’s, I would say, if you said accelerated automation, I think he would say that’s exactly what they are doing as well. So and I think it’s one of the things that’s kind of been somewhat under the radar for 20 years, we’ve been talking about automation, how much

Marlene Gebauer  42:28

how much of it has actually, I mean, some of it’s happened, but, you know, it’s not like an RPA where it’s suddenly like, it’s just doing all the work for you. I mean, you know, yes, there’s areas where it’s been applied.

Greg Lambert  42:42

Yeah. And I think there’s pieces of it. So yeah, you know, things like low code, no code are really automation. Right. It’s, and so there’s a lot of it, I think it’s just so disjointed, that you’re that you really kind of had to kind of zoom out and, and sees some of the pieces that are going on with, with automation, that are just kind of happening. But it’s not necessarily a movement until until now.

Marlene Gebauer  43:16

I mean, I was going to throw out there, you know, has has accelerated automation become table stakes, but I don’t think so I think it’s more what you were saying, where it’s sort of happening in these these sort of niche areas and sort of under the radar. And it’s part of that change where it’s not interrupting workflow. So nobody’s really noticing per se. So you know, it’s kind of creeping in that way. Yeah. When I guess maybe that, you know, now the vision is like, it’s that’s different than the innovative process.

Greg Lambert  43:52

All right. Well, we’re recording this in November of 2021. We’ll see if this is like the theme of all of the conferences in 2023.

Marlene Gebauer  44:02

We’ll go back we’ll go back and we were there that

Greg Lambert  44:05

bookmark this, ladies and gentlemen. So if we if we were right, or if we were way off, so Well, once again, thanks to Ashley Miller from Litera for taking the time to talk with us today. Wow. That was a lot of fun.

Marlene Gebauer  44:17

Yes. And of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. Yes, thank you. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter,

Greg Lambert  44:32

and I can be reached at Glam_Bert on peloton. Or you can reach me at @glambert on Twitter.

Marlene Gebauer  44:44

I can’t even do this now. Or leave us a voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270. And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca. Thank you Jerry.

Greg Lambert  44:59

Thanks Jerry All right, I’m going to jump on my Peloton.

Marlene Gebauer  45:01

I’m gonna say Go get your miles in.