Photo of Marlene Gebauer

We give you the true “3 Geeks” experience on this week’s show as we are joined by an OG (original geek) Toby Brown. Toby, Marlene, and Greg talk with Litify’s President and COO, Ari Treuhaft, and Pam Wickersham, the VP of Product and Engineer there at Litify. One of the taglines at Litify is that they #BreakLegalSilos. Treuhaft and Wickersham explain what that means, and how they focus on providing an operating system, built on Salesforce, that creates transparency between Corporate Counsel and their law firms.

Both Ari and Pam got their start in Financial and Professional services, so they come at these business problems with a different approach. With Pam’s engineering background, and experiences at Google, she brings in a unique perspective on how to build the technology through the lens of the customer. Ari’s experiences with the Financial Services industry going to the cloud over a decade ago also positions him to better understand the naysayers in the legal industry who are still resistant to placing data in the cloud.

It’s a great conversation. We want to thank the great folks at City Acre Brewery in Houston, Texas for letting us record this episode there. And, for not laughing too hard as Greg destroyed his laptop by spilling an entire Maple Porter into his brand-new laptop. We hope this is a semi-regular event! (Recording at City Acre… not pouring a beer into laptops!!)

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Crystal Ball Question

Toby Brown takes on our question this week by talking about the fact that attorneys are resistant to changing behaviors, not because they are unwilling to adapt to new technology, but because this is an industry that is very reputational based.

Links Mentioned:
Contact Us:

Twitter: @gebauerm@glambert, or @gnawledge
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading Creating Actual Transparency Between Law Firms and Clients – Litify’s Ari Treuhaft and Pam Wickersham (TGIR Ep. 182)

Tim Parilla isn’t just the Chief Legal Officer at LinkSquares… he’s also a customer. That unique position of being the leader of the legal department of a company whose mission is to improve the workflow and efficiency of corporate legal departments, creates an exciting environment for Tim and his team.
Juliette Kopecky is the Chief Marketing Officer at LinkSquares and is leading the company’s DEI Initiatives and works closely with the in-house legal team to handle everything from internal issues to reviewing all the marketing and business development contracts. Juliette points to the fact that both she and Tim sit on the company’s executive team and have aligned their individual departments to the company’s overall mission, helps both of them understand and prioritize their overall processes.
Tim also gives us some insights on how he works with his outside counsel in large law firms. He lists some very simple, but effective ways that he interacts with law firms:
  • Have clear communications
  • Set scope and expectations
  • Be professional and competent
Most of all, Tim and Juliette point to the fact that regardless of if you are dealing with outside counsel, in-house legal teams, or even with the software development teams… the goal is to solve “business problems.” Not legal problems. Not organizational problems. Not technology problems. Solve business problems. If that is the way in which you address your issues, then that helps put you on the right path for creating an effective solution.

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Crytal Ball Answer
Stuart Dodds is Principle at Positive Pricing and is an executive board member at the Legal Value Network. When it comes to the future of legal pricing, he sees a focus on setting expectations for delivering superior client service, understanding the need to find the right people with the correct skillsets, and establishing the correct change management processes to help lawyers and others adjust to the upcoming shifts in the legal market.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript


Continue Reading LinkSquares’ Tim Parilla and Juliette Kopecky: These Aren’t Legal Problems or Tech Problems… These Are Business Problems (TGIR Ep. 180)

This week we are joined by LexisNexis’ Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer and Head of Global Talent Development, Ronda Bazley Moore. Ronda and a team of LexisNexis leadership in the LexisNexis African Ancestry Network & LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation Fellowship tasked 18 Fellows from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Law Schools with one very complex task: Uncover how LexisNexis products could be used to address and eliminate systemic racism in the legal system.
The 2022 LexisNexis Equity in the Law Symposium was held in Washington, DC, where the 18 Fellows presented the results of their findings on how to reduce/eliminate system racism. The results were split into six separate clusters:
  1. Equity for Youth in the Legal System
  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Legal Education
  3. Diversity in Leadership of Legal Profession
  4. Diversity and Equity in the Courts
  5. Equity in the Criminal Justice System
  6. Racial Equity in Wealth and Ownership
Ronda describes some of the novel ways that the Fellows proposed to leverage the data, resources, and power held by LexisNexis to achieve the audacious goal set before them.
Links:

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Crystal Ball Question – Legal Value Network Conference

Amanda Norris, Senior Operations Manager at Integreon steps up this week to answer our Crystal Ball question. Amanda has a very interesting expectation on how support staff at law firms, specifically Legal Assistants and Legal Secretaries, provide support both in-person and remotely over the next few years.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music:
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript 


Continue Reading The Mission: Eliminate Systemic Racism in the Legal System – LexisNexis’ Ronda Bazley Moore (TGIR Ep. 179)

For the first time, Law360 and Major, Lindsey, and Africa team up to survey BigLaw partners in their 2022 Partner Compensation Survey. We are joined by Craig Savitzky, Senior Data Analyst at Law360 and Jeffrey Lowe, Global Practice Leader of the Law Firm Practice at Major Lindsey and Africa. With this being the first survey of law firm partners since most firms have made some effort to return to the office, there were some surprises on how much remote work partners want to take versus how much their firms are offering. It may not be what you think.

Women and minority partners made some strong gains according to this survey in narrowing the pay gap. While the gap is still significant between women/minority partners and their white male colleagues, this was the smallest percentage in the history of the survey which began in 2010.

For the first time, the difference between average equity partner pay was more than $1 Million over average non-equity partner pay.

Savitzky and Lowe unpack a lot of data from the survey for us.

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Crystal Ball Answers from LVNx

This week we talk with Properoware founder Keith Lipman, who recently merged into Litera, about the role that ALSP’s and others will play in filling the gap left by law firms when the economy begins its expected downturn.

Contact Us:

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821 (note the NEW NUMBER!)
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading An Overview of the 2022 Partner Compensation Survey with Law360’s Craig Savitzky and MLA’s Jeffrey Lowe (TGIR Ep. 178)

Adam Curphey’s new book, The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills guides the reader through the need for less silos in legal practice and much more reliance upon teams and collaborative efforts. The idea of a “Law+” model for the profession brings in the essential processes of adding people, business, change, and technology to the law and creating legal teams to solve legal problems.
Curphey’s experiences at law firms like White & Case LLP, Reed Smith LLP, and Mayer Brown LLP helped provide insights into what worked and didn’t work in legal innovation. His membership on the O-Shaped Lawyer Steering Board also provided the human-centric skills needed for the integration of teams into an industry filled with accomplished individuals used to going it alone. This expansion of the T-Shaped and the Delta Model Lawyers brings in more of that human interaction that is needed in today’s complex legal environment.
The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills also lays out multiple case studies and examples of collaboration, teamwork, and professional progression. We talk about some of the case studies along with Adam Curphey’s view into his crystal ball on what is on the horizon for the legal industry in terms of legal innovation.

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Links to Order The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills
LVNx Crystal Ball Answer
This week, Purvi Sanghvi  from Paul Hastings, and a current Legal Value Network Executive Board Member, explains how the legal industry may approach a potential economic downturn in 2023, and how that must be different from the 2008 or the 2020 approaches on previous challenges to the profession.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821 (note the NEW NUMBER!)
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript


Continue Reading Preparing for the Legal Team of the Future – Adam Curphey (TGIR Ep. 176)

Four speakers and a moderator were presenting at a conference. 
That sounds like the beginning of a joke, but according to the 2022 ILTACon Conference Co-Chair, Martha Breil, that type of conference presentation just won’t draw in the next generation of conference attendees. Workshops, hands-on experiences, and interactive presentations are needed for conferences to stay relevant as we emerge from the two and a half years of lost conferences due to COVID. 
While ILTACon made an appearance in 2021, it was this year’s conference which was extremely successful. With nearly 3,000 attendees, the conference held at the National Harbor, MD, was completely sold out (thanks to those pesky fire codes!) Breil was very happy with how she and the team of ILTA staffers and volunteers pulled together the 2022 ILTACon and shares with us some of the experiences and comments from the event. 
Legal Conferences are a collaboration of Association leaders, members, volunteers, as well as partnerships with vendors and sponsors. As more and more conferences take place over the next few years, there will be different expectations from all of those different groups on how to attract attendees, volunteers, and sponsors. Once the honeymoon of 2022 is over, those expectations will need to be met to continue making conferences, and the money they bring in to organizations like ILTA, a success.

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LVNx Crystal Ball Answer
Speaking of conferences, Greg just returned from the Legal Value Network eXperience in Chicago with a fresh batch of answers to our Crystal Ball Question. First up is Kate Boyd, COO at Sente Advisors on the new generation of professionals and the diversity of experiences and knowledge they are bringing to the legal industry.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert (We have stickers… tweet Greg for more info!)
Voicemail: 713-487-7821 (
note the NEW NUMBER!)
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript


Continue Reading What Does a Post-Pandemic Conference Look Like? Martha Breil on ILTACon (TGIR Ep.175)

This week we have Debbie Reynolds, “The Data Diva,” join us to discuss the current state of data regulations, privacy, access, and what’s on the horizon for data in the legal industry. Debbie is a 2022 ABA Women in Legal Tech Honoree and the host of The Data Diva Talks Privacy Podcast.
According to Debbie, there is exponential growth going on in technology and the types of data that is being captured. At the same time, governments across the globe are trying to find ways of regulating how businesses and organizations can capture and use data they gather from individuals. These two event are not coordinated so it has created a “Wild West” situation where the law is trying to catch up to the realities of data gathering in the business world.
Training on data security is also lagging behind what is really needed today. Most training on data security is framed around the idea that “data security is everyone’s responsibility.” Reynold’s response to that is unless you are more specific about what it is you need people to do in regards to data security, then it turns out that “everyone’s responsibility is actually no one’s responsibility.”
As technology advances beyond encryption, satellite integration, IoT devices, and morphs into the Metaverse, the types of data produced and gathered is going to completely overwhelm any government’s ability to regulate it. The Data Diva thinks that if we don’t start creating more transparency when it comes to individual’s data privacy, it’s just going to get more and more complicated than it is right now.

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AALL Crystal Ball Answer
Wolters Kluwer’s Anand Daga is our last AALL Crystal Ball response. His view of how the legal information industry will change in the next two to five years revolves around how the information is delivered to the end users. He sees things in much smaller chunks of information delivered to the researchers in shorter, practical methods in ways that value the practitioner’s time.
At Legal Value Network eXperience

Greg is going to LVNx this week and will have The Geek in Review stickers to hand out. So if you’re in Chicago at LVNx, be on the lookout and prepared to answer our Crystal Ball Question!

Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821‬
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript


Continue Reading The Data Diva and Two Geeks Talk Data Privacy – Debbie Reynolds (TGIR Ep. 174)

This week’s guest, HBR Consulting‘s Axelle Flemming, stresses that “Intentional Leadership” creates leaders who “own their purpose.” And a purpose is separate from a business “goal.” Axelle’s experience showed her that when a leader truly knew what their purpose was, the purpose they were trying to achieve, they went to that level of execution. In addition to being an Intentional Leader, that must be balanced with the wellness of the organization and its people. In today’s work environment, we are in 24/7 fight or flight mode and intentional leaders understands that challenge. Leaders also see beyond their own goals and purpose and see other people’s goals and purpose as well.
On Thursday, September 15th, Axelle Flemming is presenting a Keynote presentation at HBR’s Legal Information + Knowledge Services (LINKS) Conference, on this very issue. She “sprinkles” in some of the spice of her talk her on the podcast, but will bring the “secret sauce” to the LINKS Conference.
Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert, along with John DiGilio will wrap up the conference through a discussion of Axelle Flemming’s and the other presentations of the day.
Registration for the LINKS event is open all the way through the day of the conference.

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AALL Crystal Ball Answer
Our good friend, Mark Gediman of Alston & Bird, answers our Crystal Ball question by predicting how Law Schools and Law Firms will collaborate on business and competitive intelligence processes to help law students better prepare for the practice of law once they enter the profession.
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Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821‬
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript:


Continue Reading Intentional Leadership is about Owning Your Purpose – HBR’s Axelle Flemming (TGIR Ep. 173)

When it comes to the future of legal innovation, Olga Mack of Parley Pro at LexisNexis says that as the legal industry becomes more focused on being a ‘service’, legal technology will just become part of the overall design of products and services. It will not stand alone as a separate process, but rather legal innovation will be built into products such as HR tools that build in compliance processes, or financial tools build in legal components by design. Legal tech simply integrates into all technology processes.

Olga Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro and recently led the company through an acquisition with LexisNexis. Olga points out that while she was not a founder of Parley Pro, she took her role at leading the company of contract management and collaboration tools very seriously on how it handled its success during the pandemic. She points out that all startups go through a process of looking at its future and deciding do we go public, do we get acquired, or do we die and file for bankruptcy. Her previous relationship with LexisNexis helped her understand the value that Lexis’ content would bring to Parley Pro and she says the relationship is exactly what Parley Pro, and their customers needed.

Olga has a strong reputation within the legal community and she actually insists that she wakes up each day and works to live up to that reputation. It’s not a ‘brand’ that she presents to the world, but rather her authentic self as she presents at webinars, conferences, or even in TEDx speeches.

In both an upcoming (early 2023) release of her ABA book, Visual IQ for Lawyers, and a soon to be released third TEDx talk on the same subject, Olga’s current inspiration is the adding of visual aspects within documents and contracts. Companies such as Google and others are already using these visual processes in their contracts and it is a skill and concept that Olga thinks many lawyer currently lack. “I think visual intelligence is not something you’re born with. It’s like reading, writing and arguing. It’s something you learn, intentionally.” Olga Mack continues, “And this book is an attempt to, one, show the importance of visual intelligence in communications, and to give frameworks and basic concepts to allow legal professionals, not just lawyers, to understand, relate, interpret, communicate in an increasingly visual world.”

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Links Discussed:
AALL Crystal Ball Answer:

We keep it within the LexisNexis family this week with Loyd Auerbach answering our Crystal Ball Question on how the industry, and law librarians specifically are changing the traditional work model as we make remote and hybrid work a part of our daily work process.

Check out Greg’s Newest Podcast, The SuperHuman Law Division.

Contact Us:
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Transcript


Continue Reading The Future of Legal Innovation Will Be Built In By Design – Olga Mack (TGIR – Ep. 172)

For the first time ever, we have a guest co-host this week while Marlene wears her fancy sneakers around ILTACon seeking answers to our Crystal Ball question.
Katie Brown, Associate Dean for Information Resources at Charleston School of Law is on a mission to increase the teaching of practical technology skills to law students. In her view, law professors “are required to educate people so that they can go out into the practice and successfully do that. And so beyond just, rule 1.1 with legal technology and having that competency, for us as law schools, I think we have an ethical obligation to be teaching legal technology.” This approach needs to be embedded into the Law School’s culture, because it costs money, time, and effort to do correctly.
In upcoming research collected with University of Connecticut Law’s Jessica de Perio Wittman, Brown and de Perio Wittman calculated that on average, law students have less than 4 classes during their entire time in law school that have some aspect of teaching them the technology skills in that topic. Brown wants to see that number rise.
AALL Crystal Ball Answer

While in Denver at the AALL Conference, Katie not only answered our Crystal Ball question, she also persuaded Abby Dos Santos, Reference Librarian at Caplin & Drysdale, to sit down with her and have a conversation about the pipeline of technology teaching from law school to law firms. We cover both of those answers and then Katie turns the mic on Greg to ask what law students need to understand about court dockets before landing in law firms.

Special thanks to Katie Brown for stepping in and co-hosting this week!!

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Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Transcript


Continue Reading Teaching (and Pressuring) Law Professors to Teach Technology – Katie Brown (TGIR Ep. 171)