Photo of Greg Lambert

Librarian-Lawyer-Knowledge Management-Competitive Analysis-Computer Programmer.... I've taken the Renaissance Man approach to working in the legal industry and have found it very rewarding. My Modus Operandi is to look at unrelated items and create a process that can tie those items together. The overall goal is to make the resulting information better than the individual parts that make it up.

Last Thursday, a group of some 400 legal knowledge management professionals came together for the Strategic Knowledge & Innovation Legal Leaders Summit (SKILLS) conferenceOz Benamram asked me to pull together a 20 minute recap of all of the presentations that day, and share it with the 3 Geeks’ readers. So, here’s about a 20 minute recap of the 20 presentations for that day. Enjoy!!

Jason Barnwell – Keynote

There are two things that most of us know about Jason. First, he thinks there is always opportunities for improvement. Whether that is for himself, his team at Microsoft, and especially for law firms looking to better service their clients. His takeaway quote for me was when Kay Kim asked him what are law firms doing right and what are they doing wrong?

So the biggest challenge I see is, is structural, and as much as the business model works pretty well for about right now. But it doesn’t necessarily work great for where we’re going.

The other thing that we know about Jason is that if you are presenting on innovation in a law firm, he’s going to ask you specifically “is what you are doing benefitting the law firm only, or does it benefit the client?” So, expect to answer that question… at a minimum to yourself, even if Jason isn’t in the room.

Digital Transformation – Shark-TED-Talk-Tank (Part 1)

I loved all three sessions of our Shark-Ted-Talk-Tank presentations. We were just missing the three billionaires, and the large red carpet. But, the content was all there.
Continue Reading SKILLS 2022 – Recap

This week we talk with Factor’s Ed Sohn and Michael Callier on the consulting for in-house legal teams through what they describe as New Law companies. New Law is who corporate legal counsel reach out to in order to streamline their operations and find ways of integrating themselves into the overall mission of the corporation, rather than just the department which mitigates legal and business risks. Sohn and Callier stress that New Law companies are not a threat to established law firms, but rather a partner who can help firms differentiate themselves from their peers by allowing for the consultation to clients for alternative legal strategies.
Ed Sohn on Barriers to Adoption in Law
Process adoption, or its failure oftentimes rests with people. It actually rests with social learning. it actually rests with how do you celebrate and story tell and create a culture that’s conducive to the adoption of technology and innovation. 
Michael Callier on Change Management in the Legal Industry
To be honest, it’s not that people fear change, it’s that people fear the loss associated with change. We change every day. We change clothes. We eat different things. We go to different places that we’ve never been before. So it’s not it’s not fear of change, it’s fear of the loss associated with change. And so in particular, with the legal industry.

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Information Inspirations
Jean O’Grady helps bring Thomson Reuters’ abandonment of 24/7 Research Attorney Help Desk from her Dewey B. Strategic Blog, as well as her discussion on Bob Ambrogi’s Legal Journalists Roundtable.
Mergers are hot!
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript 


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 143 – Factor’s Ed Sohn and Michael Callier on Leading through New Law

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Yogi Berra
Yet that never stops us from asking our “crystal ball” questions to our guests like Axiom’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Pierce. Some of the traits that David believes will make for successful businesses and people include:
  • Emphasis on creativity and great imaginations
  • Make it clear that everyone’s health and safety are top priorities through clear communication and transparent efforts
  • Be flexible on work environments with clear policies
  • Lay out clear business missions and objectives and make it clear what role each person plays in helping accomplish that mission
We also dive into Axiom’s mission and the role that David has played over the past few years. As well as David dropping some knowledge about Yellow Loading Zones he learned in law school.

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 142 – Axiom’s David Pierce on Talent Recruitment and Flexible Working-Models Amid Shifting Industry Expectations

We have a double-header of interviews this week with Marlene talking with Suffolk Law School’s Gabe Teninbaum on his new book, Productizing Legal Work: Providing Legal Expertise at Scale. Greg talks with Lindsie Rank, Student Press Counsel at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) about the new website to help journalists answer the question, “Can I Publish This?
Gabe Teninbaum’s book discusses the variety of ways that processes can be productized, ranging from simple orientation tasks, to more complicated, but repetitive task which can be streamlined through technology, or even by just creating checklists or instructions. While the idea of taking task which we are used to performing and productizing them may be scary for some, it is necessary if we are going to move beyond repetitive tasks and work on processes that really benefit from our skillsets.
Lindsie Rank (12:56 mark) calls herself a 1st Amendment geek, and she and others at FIRE help defend student journalists in colleges across the country when their First Amendment rights are challenged. Surprisingly, the biggest threat to student journalists isn’t the hyper-partisan environment we find ourselves in these days, but rather the threat to university or administrative reputations. In addition to protecting student journalist after the fact, FIRE productized the process that allows journalists to determine the risks before they publish when it comes to liable, intellectual property issues, or other potential risks from publishing stories. Staying with Gabe Teninbaum’s theme, FIRE has productized the process and allowed journalists to access the information through the self-help website, 24-hours a day.

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Information Inspirations
Does the DIY home improvement boom have staying power? Now, if they would only open one of these close to Marlene’s house.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 141 – Gabe Teninbaum on Productizing Legal Work / Lindsie Rank on Can I Publish This?

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.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 140 – Litera’s Ashley Miller on Data and the Single Source of Truth

While neurodiversity might be an unfamiliar word for many, its meaning is simple. We all have different brains. For the legal field, there is value in this, as we need to be able to look at problems in different ways and find new approaches to solving those problems. Haley Moss is an author, attorney, and advocate for neurodiversity, and is neurodivergent herself. Haley has autism, which she sees as both a disability and makes her different. But it also makes her interesting, and while she doesn’t know what it means to be neurotypical, she is fine with that and sees her difference not as a curse, but as a benefit. It is the difference in the way that she processes information, solves problems, and it is the neurodiversity that drives her and others to be innovative. She wrote her first book at age 15 and has a desire to use her experiences to help the next generation.

Haley Moss explains that we can’t just look at neurodiversity disabilities in a vacuum. After all, this is the only minority group you can join at any point in your life. The more we understand the issues surrounding neurodiversity, and accommodate for those issues, the better we will be as an industry and a society.

Publications:

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 139 – Haley Moss on How Embracing Neurodiversity in the Legal Profession Makes Us All Better

With Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday this year… wait, I’m being told that it does that every year… we decided to release a panel discussion that Greg moderated with the General Counsel from McDonald’s, Fannie Mae, Western Union, and Tyson Foods. The discussion ranges from where these GCs are expanding their search for talent, to truly increasing diversity both in their outside law firms as well as looking at their own diversity ranks, to retaining talent by improving the overall structure of the workplace.
Speakers
  • Desiree Ralls-Morrison, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, McDonald’s
  • Terry Theologides, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Fannie Mae
  • Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Western Union
  • Amy Tu, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Tyson Foods
Special thanks to Reuters Events for allowing us to share this discussion with our listeners. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 138 – Cultivating and Retaining the Next Generation of Legal Talent

Alex Babin, CEO at Zero, says that the beautiful part about automating processes is to make the machines work the way the lawyers work so that you get a Return on Invest starting the very first day. For many of us, Alex brings up what we might think as the Holy Grail of implementing change in a law firm, and that is to allow the attorneys to continue working the same way and have the technology do the administrative tasks in the background. With little to no interaction from the attorneys. He says that the best product is the product that doesn’t have to be implemented. The best software is no software so that you don’t have to teach them how to use it. Babin’s product Zero for email compliance, along with the new mobile time capture Apollo is designed to reduce the time spent on these non-billable, administrative tasks for lawyers.

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Information Inspirations
Brittany Luce and Eric Eddings have returned to their podcasting roots after finally leaving The Nod and the mess at Gimlet Media, and their video version of The Nod after the collapse of Quibi. After seven years, they resurrected their original podcast, For Colored Nerds (FCN) on Stitcher/SiriusXM where they discuss Black culture from their own nerdy perspective. Brittany and Eric are great and vulnerable storytellers and their return to FCN, as more mature adults, is a great place to tell and listen to their stories.
Sometimes hardcoding tech gets better results than what you might find with AI, machine learning, or neural networks. BRAIN was developed in the 1980s and is still around today using the idea of “weaving” to identify objects like pastries. The accuracy of this established technology is very good and shows that not all shiny new things are better than the tried and established processes. The New Yorker has a great article on the use of BRAIN.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 137 – Zero’s Alex Babin – Getting the Machines to Work the Way You Work

Matthew Coatney, CIO at Thompson Hine, and author of The Human Cloud sits down and talks about what he sees as the transformation of how we work. According to Coatney, freelancing and project-based work (The Human Cloud) combined with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (The Machine Cloud) will soon disrupt the way we deliver work. Law firms will not be exempt from this disruption. Matters are really just projects.  Contract attorneys are freelancers. According to some experts, 80% of work to be done by organizations in the 2030s will be project-based work. And AI and ML will eat into the other 20%. Coatney says that we are missing out on an opportunity if we are not preparing for this reality.

We asked how life as a CIO has changed over the past couple of decades for a CIO in a law firm and Coatney says that a CIO of 2000 would have culture shock if they were to be transported to today. CIOs are still the brand ambassadors of the IT departments, but Chief Technology Officers and Chief Data Officers are making their way into the fold to help offload some of the overwhelming responsibility that many of today’s CIOs find falls on their shoulders.

Matt also co-hosts The Human Cloud Podcast with Matthew Mottola where they put out twice-weekly episodes diving deeper into these topics. Go check out “The Matthews” on their own pod if you’re curious about how the structure of work is going to change.

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Information Inspirations
You may have noticed that we took last week off from this podcast, but we were busy recording other podcasts to fill the void.
Greg went on the Legal Value Network’s “Off the Clock” podcast and talked with Keith Maziarek of Katten and Percipent’s Chad Main about the recent increase of available APIs from a number of legal information vendors. These APIs may very well open the door to a much easier method of pulling data in from vendors directly into internal law firm databases to better prepare firms to handle clients’ needs.
Marlene hosted an ILTA podcast panel on How Virtual Hearings Altered the Fabric of Dispute Resolution with Florida Circuit Judge Christopher Sprysenski, Trial Consultant with Paul Hastings, Jeremy Cooper, and Partner at Jackson Walker, Richard Howell. The three give their personal experiences on how they handled virtual trials over the past twenty months.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 136 – Matthew Coatney – The Human Cloud: The World of Projects and Freelancers

Back in May (ep. 117), we had Bloomberg Law’s Molly Huie on the show to talk about the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework survey she and her team created and were pushing law firms to contribute. So we close the loop on this conversation by asking Molly to come back and talk about the results of the survey. There were over 30 firms who participated in the survey with 28 of those firms making “the cut” to be included in the 2021 DEI Framework results. Molly walks us through why these firms jumped onboard this inaugural survey, what issues they may have had in collecting and answering the over 90 questions in the survey, and what reactions they had to the results of the survey.
The survey results are free to download from Bloomberg Law’s DEI Framework page, and the 2022 edition of the survey will be out in the first quarter of next year for any firms who want to see if they make the cut for inclusion in the DEI Framework.
 

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Share with a friend
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague. Or, reach out to us and let us know what you think.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 135 – Results of the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework with Molly Huie