Photo of Marlene Gebauer
We are all pretty familiar with the phrase “Legal Tech.” Maya Markovich and Yousef Kassim would like you to also become more familiar with the phrase “Justice Tech” as well. In fact, they have a new trade association focused on this issue called the Justice Technology Association or JTA. Justice Tech is defined as those companies which build tech solutions which are designed to improve or open access to legal rights, improve outcomes, and increase equity within a system that is stacked against users who are often going it alone in the justice system. Yousef Kassim’s product, EasyExpunctions.com is one example.
Maya Markovich is the Executive Director of JTA, and along with founders like Yousef Kassim and a diverse board of advisors, JTA is looking to leverage technology to help those seeking access to justice. This group of founders and advisors are not limited to lawyers, as access to justice is not a problem that can be solved by lawyers alone. JTA brought in engineers, policy advisors, academics, venture capitalists, and a wide range of other professionals to help guide the mission of the trade association. You can learn more at JusticeTechAssociation.org.
LegalWeek Crystal Ball Question:
We wind down our series of LegalWeek Crystal Ball responses with another former guest, Steve Embry. Steve recently wrote on his TechLaw Crossroads blog about the desire to be in the office less, and what that means for law firms when it comes to office space, training, and culture. Embry doesn’t see it as all doom and gloom as some law firm leaders might.
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 158 – Justice Technology Association’s Maya Markovich and Yousef Kassim

For many of us, what we think of when we hear “American Lawyer Media”, we think of lots of print newspapers, magazines, The American Lawyer, and the AmLaw 100/200 lists. Bill Carter, CEO of the newly re-branded ALM, sees the tremendous value of the data that ALM collects much more than just the news articles it produces. When Carter took over the reins at ALM in 2012, he evaluated the company like a consultant, and determined that the best path forward was through consolidation of titles through the evolution of law.com; moving away from individual subscriptions to an enterprise model, and; focus on the wealth of data compiled by ALM and find ways to leverage that data as the path forward for the company. We have an amazing look into what ALM is doing these days and a peek at what Bill Carter would like to do in the near future.

Links to Items Discussed:
LegalWeek Crystal Ball Answer

This week’s Crystal Ball answer comes to us from Ken Crutchfield of Wolters Kluwer. Ken is monitoring all of the exciting legal technologies that are springing out of the AI explosion and who will be the winners, and who will be the losers as things shake out.

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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 157 – ALM’s Bill Carter – It’s All About the Data

When it comes to dockets, the holy grail for most of us has always been state trial court dockets. Nicole Clark, CEO and co-founder of Trellis also felt that way when she was practicing, and decided that she would find a way to access and obtain that treasure trove of data that was always just out of reach. Nicole sits down with us this week to tell us the story behind her mission to seek out local court information, clean up the data, and create a method of analyzing that data. As anyone who has ever worked with trial court dockets, you understand how difficult a task this really is.

Nicole says that Trellis is on a mission to add a county court a day and to find additional ways that the information can be sliced, diced, and analyzed with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) processes like natural language processing (NLP) and through upcoming API access. She also walks us through some of the unique ways her customers use the data, and that the value of trial court data isn’t just limited to the legal field. The once elusive state court data is now becoming more and more available through platforms like Trellis, so the opportunities for legal researchers to take advantage of this wealth of information is expanding, literally by the day.

In a first, Nicole and Trellis is offering a free trial for TGIR listeners:

Listener PerkTrellis is providing Geek In Review podcast listeners with complimentary 14-day access to its state trial court research & analytics platform!  Gain insights and intelligence on judges, verdicts, opposing counsel, motions, rulings, dockets and other legal issues.  Click here to try Trellis for free today.

LegalWeek Crystal Ball Question

This week we ask Casetext’s Robert Armbruster to look into his crystal ball and tell us what he sees in the next few years when it comes to our expectations on how search tools like Casetext will evolve.

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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 156 – Nicole Clark on Trellis and State Trial Court Docket Analytics

For those of us who went to law school, a large percentage probably assumed we’d graduate, take the bar, and practice law. But, sometimes life takes you in a different direction. Today’s guest fits that mold, and also decided to talk with 15 other law school grads who also found careers outside the traditional legal practice. Adam Pascarella is the Founder of Second Order Capital Management, and the author of the new book, Reversed in Part: 15 Law School Grads on Pursuing Non-Traditional Careers. Within the book, you’ll also find two former TGIR guests, Ayelette Robinson and Richard Hsu.

Reversed in Part is designed to give inspiration and some practical insights from professionals who followed their passions and how their legal career experiences helped them along the way. Adam tells us how he essentially used the interviews to help guide himself into a career outside of BigLaw and take the risk to start his own business.

LegalWeek Crystal Ball Question

This week we hear from Michael Burns, Chief Revenue Officer at Steno on what he sees for the legal industry when he peers into his crystal ball. For the industry to improve, it’s going to take the help of allied professionals, automation, and even API integration to make it a reality.

Congrats to Marlene

For those who haven’t seen yet, Marlene was included in the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech 2022Such a great list of leaders, including five former guests. It was nice of the ABA’s LTRC to give us an additional list of eleven more leaders who we need to get on the podcast!!

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 154 – Adam Pascarella’s “Reversed in Part” – 15 Stories of Non-Traditional Careers After Law School

When the pandemic began, many law firms prepared for the worst by furloughing or laying off lawyers and legal professionals. Many of these same firms then found themselves at a disadvantage when the hiring spree began in the fourth quarter of 2020. Leopard Solution‘s Phil Flora joins us this week to talk about the numbers that they tracked over this time on hiring and movement in the legal industry. Pre-pandemic, there were 6,000 – 7,000 open jobs at any given moment. Currently, that number is 12,000+. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Phil Flora discusses a number of issues around how law firms and others are managing, recruiting, and retaining talent in such an active market. Of course, money is the traditional approach for law firms, and that is no exception this time around. However, Flora points out that there are a lot of “greats” going on in the market, including the “Great Pause”, the “Great Resurgence”, and the “Great Reflection” to name a few. And while money will be one piece of the solution, legal talent is wanting many more adjustments in order to keep them content and in place. This includes more work flexibility, mentoring, and even more social awareness by the law firms when it comes to how they align with societal goals.

Crystal Ball Question

We asked Norton Rose Fulbright’s Zack Barnes to look into his crystal ball and predict what he sees for the legal industry. Barnes’ future expands upon the ability for the legal market to expand upon the sandboxes created by Utah and Arizona to allow for ownership of law firms beyond the licensed attorney ranks. For true business innovation, there needs to be diversity in the ownership ranks.

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Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 153 – Phil Flora on What Law Firms are doing in the Battle for Talent

This is a topic we’ve wanted to discuss since early 2019, but teaching stints in Helsinki, and a global pandemic pushed it back almost three years. But we did not forget about the topic of The Right to Be Forgotten! However, in that time, even the phrasing of the topic has changed to The Right to Erasure. Our guest, Anne Klinefelter, Director of the Law Library and Henry P. Brandis Distinguished Professor of Law, catches us all up on the current issues surrounding data privacy and the Internet both here in the US, as well as in the EU.
Klinefelter’s view of privacy is that while we haven’t done a great deal of work to protect individual’s privacy in an economic model based on surveillance capitalism, we have done some things. Her vision of the future is that the Internet still has the capability of being the Utopia we once hoped it would be, but it will probably get far worse before it gets better. And those who benefited from the weak data privacy regulations may end up being the very people who come in and change it for the better.
We also talked with Molly Huie from Bloomberg Law about the 2022 DEI Framework survey which is now open for law firms. Molly lists out a number of new data points included in the framework, including neurodiversity, origination credit, and partnership tracking topics in law firm diversity efforts.

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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. 152 – Anne Klinefelter on The Right to Be Forgotten in the Age of Internet Surveillance Capitalism

We bring on a fellow legal industry podcaster this week to talk about the launching of her brand new podcast, The Portia Project. M.C. Sungaila is a shareholder at Buchalter in California and she noticed that while there were a number of female judges making it onto the trial court bench, there were still a small number at the appellate level. This motivated her to seek out a platform for those judges who were at the appellate level to share their stories and perhaps encourage others to seek out similar roles. M.C. discusses how her original idea of creating a book on the topic morphed into the podcast platform as a result of not just the length of time it takes to compile a book, but also because she quickly discovered that being able to actually hear these stories told in first-person had more of an emotional effect than the printed page could convey.

M.C. shares how the experiences of women joining the judiciary changed over the past few decades. How the challenges shifted from the 70s and 80s into the past couple of decades. That the barriers shifted from obvious issues to more subtle obstacles. She also notes how there is a theme among these stories of women trailblazers in particular areas of legal practice, only to be supplanted by their male counterparts once those areas of practice become more prestigious. It is this type of shared storytelling experience that makes podcasting such a popular platform and M.C.’s Portia Project brings these important stories to life. We hope you enjoy this discussion as much as we did.

Crystal Ball Question

While we may be back to a more “regular” style of podcast episode this week, we still have some recordings from LegalWeek that we are going to share for a few more episodes. We asked a number of attendees our Crystal Ball question of “what significant changes do you see in the legal industry over the next five years?” This week, David Bartolone from Wolters Kluwer sat down at the microphone in New York and gave us his projection on the role APIs will play in the near future.

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Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 151 – M.C. Sungaila and The Portia Project Podcast

This week we celebrate not just our 150th episode, but also our first live conference in over two years. We traveled to New York City to attend LegalWeek 2022 and recorded live (after a number of technical difficulties.

We discuss what it feels like to be surrounded by 2,000+ of your closest friends and colleagues and some of the presentations we saw while we were here.

Ignatius Grande, Director at Berkeley Research Group LLC also joins us to share his experience and the topic of ethics in data analytics and legal technology, especially in the era of ESG in the legal market.

It’s great to be back surrounded by so many people, but it is also a very strange feeling! We hope to see more of you this year as more and more conferences and travel (hopefully) happens.

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Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 150 – Live From New York… It’s LegalWeek!

Sarah Sutherland from CanLII joins us this week to talk about her new book, Legal Data and Information in Practice: How Data and the Law Interact. We have a fun and informative discussion about how the legal industry, ranging from courts, firms, law schools and start-ups are leveraging data within their organizations and how new technologies are allowing us to do amazing things with data that we could only dream about a few short years ago. While many of us in the law understand the messiness of the data we produce and collect, however Sutherland points out that there are many industries where the data is messy, and they are using that data to increase the value of the services they provide.

That being said, there are still a number of ways in which we create and collect data that need improvement to support current and potential uses. Leveraging data in better ways helps the legal industry across the spectrum. Whether that is the large law firms assisting global corporations, or helping individuals with access to justice needs. Sutherland’s hope is that a legal industry that has better structure data results in better outcomes for everyone needing legal services. Sarah recently wrote about a hypothetical law firm where she quantified the value of improved information and data.

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Information Inspirations

A recent leak of confidential court records in California from Tyler Technologies, Inc.’s Odyssey Case Management System is having a wider affect that the court initially thought. It turned out that third party data collection also gained access to the information, including attorney disciplinary records and juvenile records. In addition, no one is really certain if the leak was limited to just the California courts.

Lex Machina and LexisNexis recently released their latest Law Firms Activity Report, which surveys the most active law firms in federal district court.

You know what we are missing? Another Law School in Florida! Enter The Jacksonville University College of Law to become Florida’s twelfth law school in the state.

You know what else we have been missing? Legal Explainer TikToks. But now we have them thanks to Harvard Law Spouses, Maclen Stanley and Ashleigh Ruggles, both 2018 Harvard law grads, They published a book last summer called The Law Says What?: Stuff You Didn’t Know About the Law (but Really Should!), and a TikTok page spun off of the book. Perhaps we need a Geek in Review TikTok page?? Or, perhaps not!!

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. 149 – Sarah Sutherland on How Data and the Law Interact

With the influx of Venture Capital and overall interests in Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), the rest of the legal industry is finally figuring out what InnoLaw‘s Lucy Bassli has known for years; contracts are sexy. We sit down with Lucy to discuss her second book, CLM Simplified: Efficient Contracting for Law Departments and the potential of making the contract process faster, better, easier, smarter, more efficient, operationalized, and automated is the concept that is so appealing. Lucy Bassli’s experience in-house with Microsoft helped launch her new career advising other in-house and outside counsel on legal operations, and how to really communicate with one another in ways to produce true innovation.

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Information Inspirations

The Debt Relief Clinic was named the 2022 recipient of the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access for its commitment to increasing legal services to low-income Tennesseans and reaching that goal through the innovative use of technology.

We talked about the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance back in August of 2020 (Ep. 83), well our guest, Skadden’s Brenna DeVaney along with Cravath’s Kiisha Morrow talk with Thomson Reuter’s Thomas Kim to catch us all up on the progress that LFAA member firms are doing in order to keep up the momentum we all felt after the summer of 2020.

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. 148 – InnoLaw’s Lucy Bassli on the Sexiness of Contracts