The legal operations community was barely nascent a decade ago. Now there is a booming LegalOps profession and a number of professional associations have sprouted up to help the community learn and collaborate. Legal Operators is one of those communities. We asked the founder of Legal Operators, Colin McCarthy, to come on the show and talk about why he took a small legal ops community that started with a few people doing TED-Talk style presentations over drinks, to a community of thousands. Legal Operators produces online learning programs, a list of legal operations software and services, job board, and an innovation hub in order to support the growing legal operations profession.
Recently, Legal Operators created a magazine with the planned distribution in the tens of thousands. While this may seem outside of what you would think a technology-forward operations would do, McCarthy says he believes in doing the unexpected, and providing the best platform for the distribution of knowledge and information. Even if that means going “old-school” from time to time. Check out the online version of the Legal Operators Magazine here.
In September, Legal Operators is hosting the Summit By the Sea at Half Moon Bay, California. The September 14-16, 2022 curated, in-person event is designed for 100 legal ops professionals to gather together and share in conversation, networking, and best practices exchanges. There are a few seats still available.
Listen on mobile platforms: Apple Podcasts | Spotify
If you are looking for great podcast content that includes some of our peers in the legal community, check out Steven Poor’s Pioneers and Pathfinders podcast where he’s recently brought on the likes of Ed Walters, Colin Levy, Bob Ambrogi, and more.
Speaking of Bob Ambrogi, check out his article, “Why Legal Tech Fans Should Attend AALL in July” on his LawSites blog. Bob is a long-time supporter of the law library and legal information profession and has said for years that the AALL conference is truly a legal tech conference as well as an information conference. Add to this, it is in Denver this year, and you now have multiple reason to attend.
Marlene Gebauer 0:22
Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.
Greg Lambert 0:29
And I’m Greg Lambert. Marlene, it’s I just looked at the calendars. June already.
Marlene Gebauer 0:35
June is a great month, June is a great month!
Greg Lambert 0:39
Really? Because I always thought kind of the end of May was was the best month. But that’s
Marlene Gebauer 0:45
I think it’s just a little better. Yeah,
Greg Lambert 0:47
I just can’t believe we’ve already burned through five months of 2022. But you know, looking back, we’ve had some really great guests. So I guess I guess we haven’t really wasted any of our time.
Marlene Gebauer 0:59
No, I don’t think anybody could claim we’ve wasted any time. So this week, we brought in Colin McCarthy from legal operators to come in and talk about the amazing things that they’re doing and pulling together the legal ops community. If you haven’t ever looked at legal operations.com Let me suggest that you take some time to check them out. Yeah, that’s
Greg Lambert 1:19
a really good one. You pointed, I had not heard of it until you pointed it out to me. So really interesting stuff that they’re doing out there. So you know, since we’ve run out of our legal weak crystal ball questions, we are going to bring back our current awareness section of the podcast, which we lovingly call information inspiration. So my first inspiration is to point to a number of recent episodes that Steven poor from sigh farce Pioneers and Pathfinders podcast, which has a number of our friends of ours on it, such as Bob Ambrogi, Ed Walters, and Colin Levy. And he always does a really great job interviewing these folks. I was on a show months months ago. Go check out Pioneers and Pathfinders. And if it’s not included in your podcast catalog, I would highly suggest adding it to it.
Marlene Gebauer 2:24
So speaking of our fellow legal podcaster, Bob Ambrogi, he wrote an article last week titled Why legal tech fans should attend AALL in July, Bob uncovered the secret a few years ago that the law librarians conference is also a great place to learn about legal technology. Now, we’ve been saying this for years. So I’m glad that people who read Bob’s blog are also learning about the value of the law library community and the decades long relationship that we’ve had with legal information and legal technology vendors in the industry. I think one of the benefits of law librarians and the legal tech vendors is that we’re not just the people who purchase these products. But we also collaborate with vendors to better understand the processes involved in using the products and improving the products as we use them in real life situations. Thanks to Bob for pointing out that we are much more than just the maintainers of Westlaw and Lexis. Hey, man, I mean that that’s absolutely true. Because you know, you I know you both you and I and many of our colleagues have been on advisory boards that you know, we get to see new technology before everybody else does. We get to comment on it, give feedback on it. And you know that technology is adjusted based on the feedback that we give.
Greg Lambert 3:37
Yeah, yeah. And I think although it’s not as prevalent as it used to be, there’s still a lot of product launches that go on at AALL so yeah, definitely, definitely one to check out.
Marlene Gebauer 3:50
And that wraps up this week’s information inspirations.
Greg Lambert 3:58
Today’s guest brings us a view of Legal Operations from the in house side of things. And while he’s originally from Ireland, he’s has been in Silicon Valley for a while including working at places like Sonos, Global Foundries and Twitter.
Marlene Gebauer 4:13
Most recently, he set up a network for the legal ops industry. And through this new venture with legal operators, is helping to build a community through training, networking, and sharing of information with legal ops peers. We’d like to welcome Colin McCarthy, CEO and founder and legal operators and a master in the field of Legal Operations, and a master in the field of Legal Operations and innovation to The Geek in Review. Welcome, Colin, and thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, Colin.
Colin McCarthy 4:43
Yeah, thank you very much, Marlene. Thank you, Greg. Delighted to be here. For those
Greg Lambert 4:47
of may not know you or heard of you yet. Colin, you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Colin McCarthy 4:54
Yeah, sure. Greg. I’ll jump in. So my background is I’m an attorney who went in to Legal Operations, you know, spent some time with some startup companies building their operations functions out, you know, kind of graduated from startups to bigger companies, you know, one of the main Global Foundries where I really kind of honed my craft there. After that, I went back into the startup world, and built out Legal Operations function that rubric and Twitter before launching the Legal Operations community back in 2018. Personally, you know, I’m having to scroll myself on my husband, I’m a father of a five year old daughter, and obsessed with soccer and, um, you know, anything I can do to improve people’s lives is, you know, is always on the top of my mind.
Greg Lambert 5:42
So what’s your favorite soccer team? Before we get going?
Colin McCarthy 5:44
Unfortunately, Manchester United. You know, we’ve we’ve had a run in the in the 90s. Just did they just lose this weekend? Oh, yeah, we got beat 1-0. It was a crystal Palace.
Marlene Gebauer 5:55
was a Crystal Palace. Yes, yes. I watched it.
Colin McCarthy 6:00
Monitor coming in. So hopefully, that can change things up.
Marlene Gebauer 6:05
Yes. Colin, you’ve you’ve worked all over the world. Now, how important do you think holding positions internationally is to becoming a leader in the legal ops field? How important is it being an active member of the community?
Colin McCarthy 6:17
You know, so Marlene, let me the way I view the world is it’s like, you know, it’s perspective, right? It’s like, you know, what, are your kind of internationally or what are your best in the US is great, you’re coming from two different perspectives. If you look at the world of Legal Operations as a whole, right, it’s like, we’re all just tied into an ecosystem, right? There’s, you know, lawyers, there’s alternative legal service providers outside counsel, you know, our job is the operation professionals in house is really the operation operationalize the business of legal in house, and that starts with everything from your process, your spin, the optimization, you know, looking at data analytics, measuring everything you do, looking at the world through a lens of diversity, which is becoming more and more prevalent and important, and then really looking at technology and how it fits in the world of efficiencies. And, you know, with with that a whole host of skills come in, and what are you know, you’re internationally, you know, you’ve held international positions or more domestic positions, your focus is on, really your focuses on just that experience, to drive value and works in your organization. And I think having held positions internationally, probably gave me a different perspective, you know, coming from law school, coming from a different place, probably a different perspective, sometimes good. Sometimes, you know, you’re behind, and you gotta learn. But when you look at roles like this, it’s all about really kind of digging in and getting the experience. So it’s just, for me, it’s just another perspective to add value, right? Not better, not worse, but just a different perspective. And that sounds to your second question, like, How important has it been an active member of the community, you know, you’re either going to lean in, or you’re not going to lean in right to any sort of community, and whether it’s like, you know, the overall ecosystem leaning into that trying to add value, our community, like legal operators, you know, one of the things that when I started the community, it was all about, like, a rising tide raises all boats. And I really, really, sincerely want to see people that I touch, rise up and become better at their craft. And the way I did that is a lot of it is like, you know, community content, collaboration, just engagement, you know, events, just understand where people’s pain points are off. If to join my community, I would tell them come to the community where you’re at, you know, don’t pretend you’re somewhere you’re not, and we will help you we rally around, you will use other community members to build you up. And this happens, honestly, this has happened, like, you know, daily. And in our chat, you know, when people some people lose jobs, some people are moving positions that they might get, you know, a culture that doesn’t work for them. And when you provide a level of support, and community, you can kind of help people navigate relatively quickly through this, that they’re not the only ones that ever went through this. You know, it’s just sometimes human nature, we end up in situations in communities where there is challenges, how do we best navigate them and you’re better off with the community than not what happened community?
Marlene Gebauer 9:34
Yeah, that’s just good to remember for good or bad. You’re I mean, you’re not alone. You know,
Greg Lambert 9:39
have you found any specific trends that you say? Say for example, if your general counsel and you’re more in Europe or UK versus what you’re saying, like where you are in California, are you seeing any, any kind of distinct separation between the Those two international types of General Counsel demands.
Colin McCarthy 10:05
Yeah, I think the demands are, they’re generally similar. But if you’re talking about like US based companies with operations, like, you know, they may have, like, you know, Mia headquarters in Dublin, or London or Paris, to General Counsel is sets the tone of the US, right? It’s just a different way of going to think in the business environment outside the US. The tone is set here. So in legal positions, there’s different challenges there. All right. But, you know, a lot of it is the same, it’s right. You’re dealing with outside counsel, spend your, during the adoption of different technologies, that, you know, that’s a whole global resource. Like I’ve seen a company called Global Foundries that I worked out, like, we have operations in Dresden, you know, Singapore, and Andy and other countries like, but they were our main hubs for me, an AIPAC, and they usually get on the same page, what the US is, if you want to say dictating, or, you know, or laying out.
Greg Lambert 11:05
Like you nailed it the first time. I was just one because I think one of the reasons I asked that, as we’ve had guests on before, they talked about just how much the the issue of privacy and things like GDPR are driving, you know, kind of the incentives for general counsel in Europe. And here’s kind of a different, kind of a different, it’s more I think the business drivers is, but you know, I was just wondering if you’d seen something like that?
Colin McCarthy 11:37
Yeah, so the GDPR thing has affected everybody right from over here that does work, you know, abroad. And, you know, even, you know, I think a lot of the states are kind of getting in alignment, because, well, for business alignment, it’s the rest of it is kind of push from here. And privacy stuff is generally not in legal ops wheelhouse. More and more teams are kind of moving there. But overall, I’d say a small percentage would would manage privacy concerns as well.
Greg Lambert 12:05
You started legal operators back in, I believe in 2019. Right?
Colin McCarthy 12:10
Yeah, I think it was 2019. I might, I might have misquoted myself. So 2018 A while ago,
Greg Lambert 12:14
it all together and anything pre pre pandemic, and then there’s pandemic and post pandemic. So well, we’ll say it’s probably pre pandemic, but, you know, what was what was your motivation and purpose for creating legal operators, and kind of who’s your main audience that you want to draw in.
Colin McCarthy 12:35
So if the purpose of it really kind of started really small, it was just a, you know, a bunch of friends would go to, you know, a basement, they had a speakeasy once a month to do TED talks to each other. And then it says, you know, at the dinner moved online, you know, around the pandemic, you know, it didn’t stop, like, we’ve had 990 500 Plus unique individuals that have shown up to our webinars where we’re like, I think 173, in at this point. So, you know, our part our purpose was really, an educational purpose is just awareness as well on topics, you know, everything from process, you know, your data, your technology, your spend optimization, you know, topics like change management that are very kind of pertinent to, you know, legal teams, I haven’t met somebody, you know, that hasn’t had that issue. You know, like, last year, we, we surveyed, like 50, General Counsel’s at one of our events and change management was the number one issue that stood in their way, with their with their legal teams. So just issues like that we wanted to really kind of tackle get some get the best speakers out there. Speaking about these issues, just bringing them to life, surfacing them, so folks can have some sort of awareness and just create a better conversation. That was really it, you know, to begin with, the community kind of has grown, you know, we’ve grown to like, over 2000 members now, we started with a Slack channel where we just kind of share information with one another, on best practices. And, you know, we’ve met a lot of friendships out of it over the past three years, you know, it’s grown from strength to strength, you know, I didn’t start the community on Earth, any of the other communities. In fact, you know, I’m a big fan of all the other communities I just got back from the clock Global Institute. And, you know, I just taught that pulled off, you know, an amazing conference, bringing folks together, I just really, you know, one, I don’t think one community can solve it all. I’m going to look at communities. I don’t think anybody owns anybody. I look at them as fluid. And when I see gaps, and I think that needs to be fixed, and no one’s fixing them. I don’t ask anybody for permission, I move forward and execute. And, you know, that’s been my mindset from the very start. I jumped all in with legal operators. When I left my position at Twitter, because I believe like I was having an impact, you know, not, not to mention, you know, I did monetize as well. And you know, that’s part of this, but I took a big risk on, you guys kind of got me to a point where the community is just kind of growing. And you know, I’m always looking every day and asking myself, How can I add more value? You know, I wake up every day. And it’s like, am I adding enough value over here? And the challenges of just being a small shop, trying to go out? Sometimes it’s tough, but you know, it’s, you just got to do what you can do?
Marlene Gebauer 15:25
Yeah, yeah. And I have to say, I have gone to several of the webinars, and I like in particular, going to the ones where it’s people that are in house, because that’s always a good, I always feel that that’s a good perspective, for me working at a firm. And, you know, I have to say, like, the the conversations, and the presenters are always, always, always excellent. So thank you so much for that.
Colin McCarthy 15:47
I’m glad they’re bringing your value.
Marlene Gebauer 15:51
So, you know, how, you know, you’ve sort of talked about this trajectory. So how have the challenges of of legal ops teams changed during your career? And, you know, what are professionals doing about it?
Colin McCarthy 16:04
I think that’s a, you know, a kind of great question. But putting it in context, though, of the last few years, it’s like, there’s a lot of challenges right now that just to point out, like, you know, what people refer to as a great reshuffle, where people are, you know, moving from different jobs, you know, on demand and higher wages, I think, I think legal teams have new pressures, right. Whereas before, you know, they could pay market wages, keep keep folks there. Now, if there’s any hint that they’re not paying market wages, that that the risk kind of losing staff that companies are willing to pay more, right. So it’s like, I think that’s a challenge for the kind of legal team, it’s, you know, that wasn’t always the case. Like, you know, these, these are tough roles to come by, for a long time. And now, the 17,000 of them on Indeed, like back in January, which is like, you know, just phenomenal that, you know, there’s so much growth in this area, and, you know, a lot of credit to, you know, folks that have been pushing this for a long time to get that much of the industry energized about us.
Marlene Gebauer 17:05
How about like remote? In addition to the financial at angle? What about working remotely? Is that something that you’re you’re seeing as well being an issue?
Colin McCarthy 17:15
Yeah, I think, you know, some of the companies, you know, just are taking a hard line and want people back again, right. I think we’ve seen that from JP Morgan, and companies like that from from New York, and then the bay area where we’re just, you know, have the year of a lot of folks here to keep pushing the data for full kind of commit, oh, but they’re talking about, you know, a three day a week, two days off, or two days and three off, then off to have to hire people that they’re going to have to bring them in, but you know, I’m living, I’m live, I’m living, right, like, Google is at the back of my house. And I know that they’ve just, they’re building for 1520 years out right now. So I think they eventually want everybody back into the office eventually, right? You know, that they talk about all these studies of like, you know, a better collaboration with your in person, which I can kind of guess, but you know, I think it was kind of a reprieve for people to kind of work at home, not to be commuting two hours to work, you know, not dealing with Bs office politics all the time, and realizing like that they can find more balance in their life. So there’s probably going to be more conversations before this turns itself out, you know, um, where it lands, you know, that might be a hybrid model. And, you know, I think there are kind of some of the challenges like internally, that legal departments are going to face going forward. And you know, I’m sure, you know, a lot of them are going to be able to kind of step to the table and offer these remote positions.
Greg Lambert 18:36
What you had mentioned that you had gone to clock and I know you’ve got your ear to the ground on a lot of the technology and advancements that’s going on in the legal ops field. And I have a feeling, hopefully, you can say something beyond contract, lifecycle management, as everyone knows, it’s hot, but please, something else. What are you seeing out there right now, in addition to say, contract, lifecycle management that you say is hot.
Colin McCarthy 19:05
So I will make one point about contract management. It’s my it’s my wheelhouse, right. But I would say like, you know, one of the things so we’ve, we’ve seen the contract management we’ve seen, like, for companies, you know, in the past 10 years become become the, you know, a billion dollar companies become the unicorns of CLM there’s only 50% of the companies still using contract management. So there’s a whole lot of room and expansion for for the current status quo. I’m at the point where it’s kind of boring me to that because I’m just hearing about it nonstop. Right? And I’m always looking for something new. And you know, I think where a lot of these companies will win is with like workflow automations right. I feel like you know, the no code low code, you know, Washington now logic like if you’re looking at, you know, a companies that I enjoyed recently with all their different use cases that I think could fit in any law firm. Our in house team and is a lot of these workflow tools like the otter logic, you know not to just name them but checkbox brighter. Joseph is another company that are doing just just kind of wonderful things like think smart for me through tech, those five right off the bat that are doing like, incredible work. It’s a it’s an easy thing to do. But I imagine, you know, weaving this into your matter management systems into your Contract Lifecycle Management System, you’re gonna solve areas that haven’t even been attacked yet, in legal and areas like compliance, where there’s, I think there might be one like legal technology for compliance. Right now. We’re to talk, right, there’s so many compliance issues, you know, there’s also kind of investigation tools like that a lot of the bigger ediscovery ones are kind of missing for internal internal use cases. There’s some IP stuff I’ve seen,
Greg Lambert 20:51
so it’s not slowing down, then.
Colin McCarthy 20:54
It’s no, it’s not, it’s not slow out. There’s definitely kind of demand for it. And I think, you know, it’s got to, if anything, like these technologies are an accelerant when the work, but I can tell you, you know, for someone who’s implement this, some of them are just like, jobs programs. Right. And I’ll talk about some of the CLM systems.
Greg Lambert 21:13
Do you think that with the one of the things we were just talking about, which was the the hybrid work system? Do you think tools like work workflow management, in those types of environments, where not everyone is, in one place? And being directed? Do you think one leads to the other?
Colin McCarthy 21:38
Yeah, I think so. I think the challenge you have now, like, just two challenges I see with folks working remotely, right? It’s like coming up with the right map and for intake and triage, right, being able to, you know, push stuff out. But with that, if you’re working off site, there’s gonna be security concerns. So security tech, you know, making sure like, the right person is on the computer at the right time. Right. It’s like, you know, I don’t like micromanaging anybody, but there is, like, legitimate concerns for these companies with all these hackers available, you know, hackers out there, if you’ve got, like, you know, 1000s Either stop sporadically that out across the country, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen, right? If somebody gets breached. So I think I think you’re gonna probably see more, more security technology. I know, there’s a few of them out there that I’ve seen, that did very well, during the pandemic. You know, some of them I don’t like, I just think it’s personally restrictive, that you know, to have you putting in your frickin cord every half hour. Like, my brother and stuff was like, reminds me of my first job at Shook, Hardy and Bacon, where it’s like, Hey, I’ve been at work. If you’re not, you know, why do you have a cord on my hip? And I gotta keep pulling them up and then typing in a number. Like, you know, I felt like I was in jail or something?
Marlene Gebauer 22:52
Well, it’s, I think it’s good that you know that a lot of these new technologies are coming out. I mean, I guess the question is, are clients buying them? And if they’re buying them, are they actually taking the time to think about the workflow and actually implement these these automated solutions? I always
Colin McCarthy 23:09
murli and I’ll say one thing I said the market is so high. Like, if you look at recently, like if you look at like, some of the links, squares, just getting 40x Multiple, right, you’re looking at some of these companies get 20 and 40x multiples, it’s like money’s been pumped into, there’s got to be private equity behind us. It’s just like, the drivers are there. The sales teams are like, have armies that are kind of pushing out and you know, showing all the use cases why it would work for you. And also, you’re going to have adoption. It’s going to get there one where by hook or by crook, I would say, you know, to your original point, I want to address something one of the areas that a lot of people give lip service to, and not a lot of people have did anything to solve. It was like what was diversity? Right. And it’s one of my pillars at Legal Operations, diversity and empowerment. It was a company called justice bent out of Chicago, that I partnered with on an initiative called Operation empowerment challenge where we wanted to give that data from law firms and diverse employees and diverse hires, you know, sliced up, you know, through intersectionality I make this available to folks that are in house so they can make better decisions on hiring practice that could use it as my guide and I felt like I feel like a company like that that’s kind of stepping outside the box, being creative in a legal tech world through RFPs and reverse auctions. I think we’re gonna see more of that as well. I believe, you know, as we move to alternative fee arrangements, we might see more kind of interest in that from in house teams as well and you know, I particularly biased the like that company’s approach to what they’re doing.
Marlene Gebauer 24:56
So this is great because I mean, you’re coming at it from from a leak The Ops team perspective, you know, I’m sort of thinking like, from a law firm perspective, and there’s, you know, much less adoption, you know, on that end of, of the spectrum than then what you’re talking about. So this is this is good for, for everyone to hear. I wanted to get back to some of the new and exciting things. And on Legal Operations, illegal operators site, I saw that, you know, he had some webinars up. One was about subpoena management, what was about workflow automation. And I know you have a summit coming up in September. So can you tell us a little bit about that?
Colin McCarthy 25:35
Yeah. For like, the subpoena management, what was what company Safari law, and I think what they did like it, you know, I haven’t in my life have to deal with subpoenas very much, but I knew it was like a tedious process. And what I liked about that company, that really kind of automated the process like that, just like took all that manual donkey work, work and spreadsheets out of the way and automated this. And I liked that I did build a company called Serengeti, which the Psalter Thomson Reuters years before. So good guys, you know, doing reputable things. Yeah, like, I like what they’ve built as well, at the summit by the sea. That is our first summit for 100 decision makers and legal, and the goal is to do it a little different than the big box conferences. So it’s taking place September 14, to the 16th. At the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, it’s two and a half day events on content, it’s not going to be your big box event, which are, you know, fireside chats, panels, but more plenary session, where we’re going to take five areas that are very important to legal in house teams, you know, based on surveys we’ve did and just passed on knowledge. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to do two hour block sessions on each one of them. The first 30 minutes, we’re going to frame the topic coupled with a pre read that we’re going to send out, then the next hour, we’re really going to do a deep dive roundtable style with facilitators on each of the topics. So let’s say one of the topics is change management, we will just, you know, find out what are the best practices in house on each one of them. Now, we’ve had a practice run at this recently in Chicago and a wetland without a hitch. So it’s a different kind of model that we’re trying to instill for the two hour blocks, and then the last 30 minutes, then we will, we’ll open it up and do a round robin, get as much information as possible, all about like sharing where you’re asked being you know, vulnerable enough to say, hey, here’s where I’m at. I don’t know what I’m doing. I do know what I’m doing. Let’s share knowledge, but it’s all about like bringing some of the best and brightest together, sharing best practices. In a grant environments, we minimize the number of sponsors come in. And we like we handpick their facilitators, the ones are going to help facilitate the sessions as well. And like any of the Legal Operations, Legal Operations events, there’s always like a social aspect as well, like so, you know, we’ve got like evening events planned the day before, we’re putting on a golf tournament at the halfmoon Bay, you know, the old course. So yeah, people are kind of jazzed and excited to take part in this. We’re already almost at full capacity.
Marlene Gebauer 28:20
Yeah, I think you have a few more spots
Colin McCarthy 28:23
that are open. Yeah, my advisory board asked me to open up 25 more spots to fill two tables. So there will be probably 25 more spots. You know, so if anybody you know, is interested, contact me, I’d be happy to share the information that’s on legal operations.com as well.
Greg Lambert 28:41
Okay, and we’ll make sure we put it on the on the show notes as well.
Colin McCarthy 28:45
The focus is like you know, if it’s going to add value to you, you know, we really are looking for the decision maker profile that really can add value to the other attendees as well.
Marlene Gebauer 28:56
So I would be remiss without talking to you and asking you about the magazine legal operators just very recently released I guess its first magazine so you know how very old school you know, it’s it’s it’s not a zine. It’s not a paywall, but, you know, it’s it’s a real glossy magazine. Why did you pick that format?
Colin McCarthy 29:18
So, you know, I did the newsletter, I experimented with that about two years ago. And I got, I got a big traction on it, but I felt like I couldn’t tell a story big enough on it. I felt like okay, now I’m putting too much sponsors on it. I’m not getting enough. I’m only gonna get links to magazine, you know, to articles. But what I really wanted to do is kind of flush it out over about 47 pages, small enough where people will digest this and you know, if there’s something important to them, they’ll read it. I know it’s kind of going back and going against like, Hey, these are out there but I kind of like him still right? I just think I do you know when when everyone else is going one way I want to go the other way. So I I taught like with a magazine, I partnered up with your Peters legal business world, he came on as my chief publication officer and we just ideated on, how can we best tell a story, every quarter to folks and get as much information is still out there. And we, we really want to focus on getting voices that you know, that people respect number one, from the, you know, from, you know, long before I came on the scene, and then also I just want to really kind of activate the legal community that I’m part of the set, let’s lean in, let’s share your use cases that let us profile you, well, how are you seeing the world and just be able to, you know, distill it in one place, send out every month, like, there’s no ego to it, it’s like, you know, I didn’t want to put it behind a paywall that I really just wanted to strip distributed. So we, we have a target of 80,000 that are getting this magazine, and author or force magazine, you know, when we put on was the last month, we had 10,000 readers in the first two hours. Wow, that’s that on for six minutes or more. So to me, it’s like, wow, we have an opportunity here to, you know, I’m not sure how many people is that readership? I’m not sure if even frickin New York Times again, 10,000 people reading their magazines.
Marlene Gebauer 31:26
And I mean, I have to say thanks, the cover was was was beautiful. I mean, it caught my eye immediately. So I think that was very well done.
Colin McCarthy 31:35
So like, you know, I was asked, Well, hey, why didn’t you put action on the front of the cover? And I’m like, Are you kidding me? I’m Miss, I miss an opportunity to put, you know, a lady with a hijab, that’s doing amazing things and challenging the status quo in Germany, of all places, right? And then, you know, my advisor, who’s also in Germany and grow, you know, from Volkswagen, that are doing amazing things. Absolutely. I thought it was the best choice to put them on and talk about women in leadership. And, you know, that’s one of the things is like, I just don’t want to pay lip service to but I want to do something about it. That’s, that’s challenged the status quo.
Greg Lambert 32:14
And it is a great cover, it really catches the eye on on it. So we have gotten to the point in in our discussion here, where we ask our guests the what we call our crystal ball question. And what we want to do is, have you kind of pull out your crystal ball peer into the future for us say over the next three to five years or so. You know, if you want to you want to show us or tell us what it’s telling you about legal ops or Manchester United or whatever. Do you mind giving us a peek into the future they’re calling out?
Colin McCarthy 32:51
Yeah, we’re gonna come back, they’re gonna win the league again, I gotta be very happy to be so happy. I would, I would say, you know, what I said, there’s going to be more Legal Operations professionals, they’re going to be better at their craft, they’re going to demand higher status and legal departments. And we’re gonna see a lot more of that, but we’re also probably going to see a lot of consultants fill in a lot of the minor work, like, like, now, now, now, you see, like consultants coming in and, and, you know, taking paths off hands, you see it, like, you know, sporadically, I think we’re gonna see a lot more that that that have that expertise to come in, you know, fill holes with, you know, implementations, do some of the change management stuff, because, you know, internally, you know, we’re gonna get better at the change management stuff. You know, it’s just that, you know, I tell you, I personally haven’t figured a lot of it out yet. You know, but I think I think we’re gonna get we’re gonna get better at that. And we’re gonna I think we’re gonna see a lot more Legal Operations folks just reaching higher, higher levels in their career. I don’t have a crystal ball, but
Greg Lambert 34:06
that sounds that sounds spot on. So we’ll call him McCarthy from legal operators and legal operations.com We appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk with us.
Colin McCarthy 34:16
Thank you so much, Greg. And thank you very much Marlene, this has been awesome. Really appreciate you guys. Thank you
Greg Lambert 34:25
Marlene, it’s always fun to get somebody on with a with a good Irish accent and get to talk about some some Manchester United football. It’s not always that weekend, some legal tech and operations is
Marlene Gebauer 34:38
throw that in but you know, it’s like but not always that we get soccer on here. That’s that’s a rare one. So we appreciate Colin for bringing that up. Yeah, I thought this was a great conversation. Like I said during the interview. It’s really nice to hear about, you know, the legal ops on the House side and sort of what’s happening there and you know, I’d love that he just decided, like, you know what, I’m going to build this community because we need this community and we need to raise everybody up. I mean, you know, what a good premise, just sort of bring everybody together. And I can say, you know, I’ve participated in some of their webinars and met some people that are, you know, in the organization, and he is speaking the truth. That’s exactly how everybody is.
Greg Lambert 35:22
Yeah. And we didn’t get dive in a lot with all the other things that that legal operators is doing, and which includes an innovation hub, but it’s got its own tech directory, is got a listing of jobs that’s out there. So and, you know, like, like he was saying, the market is red hot right now. So I imagine there’s lots going on.
Marlene Gebauer 35:46
Yeah. So that was that was terrific. And we thank Colin very much for joining us on the podcast. And of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. 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 36:05
And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter. Or you
Marlene Gebauer 36:09
can 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 36:21
Thank you, Mr. DeCicca. All right. Talk to you later. Marlene.
Marlene Gebauer 36:25
He’s like that’s my dad. Bye So hey, take five seconds to pay. Back. Devils back at the devils back