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

When Sang Lee set out to begin her own talent management and recruitment company, her two-decades of experience taught her that much of the industry felt like a charade. To change that, she thought of the phrase, “To Thine Own Self Be True” as a guiding principle and from that came the company she co-founded called Thine. The youngest of three daughters from an immigrant family, she had many expectations placed upon her, but while she and her sisters all graduated from Georgetown Law School, her father’s dream of a Lee, Lee, & Lee law firm never came into fruition. Instead, Sang found herself in the legal recruiting profession after working as an associate in a large law firm. In 2019, she launched Thine with Jon Strom where they focus on custom assessments and benchmarking for recruiting, leadership skills, and competency assessments to find and build great fits for both the law firms and the attorneys. Thine’s use of algorithmic data, Organizational Psychology, and interview insights creates assessments which reflect what it really takes to be a successful attorney within the firm.
Check out Thine’s and Ari Kaplan Advisor’s Report on how the legal industry is approaching hiring, development, and promotion of associates. 

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Information Inspirations
Down to the Struts is a podcast focusing on issues regarding living with disabilities. In the latest episode, host Qudsiya Naqui is joined by fellow podcasters Cheryl Green and Thomas read to talk about their experiences and the lack of support from the non-disabled community.
Data may be undervalued as an ESG strategy, but with new business scoring which looks at company ESG statements, businesses may need to start looking at the data as part of their overall strategy.
Maya Markovich, Kristen Sonday, and Sonja Ebron join Talk Justice’s podcast host, Jason Tashea to discuss this launching of the new Justice Technology Association (JTA.)
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. 147 – Sang Lee: Talent Management That Enables People to Be True to Themselves

There were a number of SNAFUs the past couple of weeks here at The Geek in Review, but even with scheduling difficulties and personal emergencies, we wanted to get an episode out this week. In order for everyone to “get their geek on,” we created an “Information Inspirations” episode. We’ll be back next week with more traditional content, but we hope you enjoy our musings on news and ideas around the legal industry.

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Information Inspirations
Bill Henderson’s State supreme courts and the challenges of PeopleLaw discusses the power that state supreme courts have in the regulation and delivery of the legal industry and access to justice. These courts have the power over the market structure, dispute resolution, and licensure of the practice of law. However, the Justices are reluctant regulators and Henderson suggests that they need to shake off this reluctance and fix a system that is in serious need of change.
The American Bar Association is poised to change a series of law school accreditation rules and the change could go into effect as early as this fall. This round of changes deals with anti-discrimination training that law students need to take before they can graduate. 
The ROSS v. Westlaw battle continues with ROSS recently crying foul that Westlaw is using copyright arguments to maintain what they claim to be a monopoly on legal information. Julie Sobowale dives a little deeper on one issue that affects both US and Canadian legal research innovators, and that is access to primary materials like case law. 
Law School 1Ls and 2Ls shouldn’t just look at BigLaw for their summer associate work. Working with startups or venture capital firms may be another option out there. 
The legal industry looked to the NFL’s Rooney Rule to help guide our own version through the Mansfield Rule. While the NFL gave a good blueprint for how to expand the search for minority talent, a recent lawsuit by former Miami Dolphin Head Coach, Brian Flores, alleges that it is also a blueprint for how to claim we are doing great things for minority hiring, but the reality is that it is a check-the-box and continue-as-normal process.
The era of COVID produced a major shift in the concepts of virtual court proceedings. While we’ve had bumps in the road, it seems that virtual courts are here to stay. 
Bonus Inspirations
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Transcript

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 146 – All Information… All Inspirations

One of the things we love to talk about on this podcast is how to take data and make it tell a story. This week’s guests are doing just that on the topic of Community Policing and making sure that there is equal coverage for both the Community part, as well as the Policing part. Ama Romaine, co-founder and Chair, and Wayne Harris, Executive Director of The Initiative: Advancing the Blue and Black Partnership, join us to describe how they are taking quantitative and qualitative data from both communities and the police agencies to identify the current relationship between them, and how they are aligned and misaligned when it comes to community policing.
The conversation about [community] policing… really needs to get to where we recognize that we’re in this together. That there’s very little separation between the men and women wearing a police uniform, and the people that they are working with.” – Wayne Harris
What we are really trying to do is give voice to individuals in their communities and create a way for local leaders, for police leaders, for anyone, really, to be able to understand what a community needs. And then let’s focus on creating and providing those needs for that community. That’s what’s going to create thriving communities in the end and, frankly, reduce the need for law enforcement to solve every single problem that we have.” – Ama Romaine
Links:

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Information Inspirations:

Our fellow geek, Casey Flaherty talks about his recent blog post series with Chad Main of the Technically Legal Podcast.

Is a workcation or bleisure travel in your future? A survey of business/leisure travelers seems to point in that direction.
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. 145 – Ama Romaine and Wayne Harris on The Initiative: Advancing the Blue and Black Partnership

This week’s guest is Maker5, Inc. CEO and Founder Sanjay Kamlani. Sanjay’s experience of creating businesses like Office Tiger and Pangea3 give him a unique view of the legal technology and innovation sector, and specifically what tends to work well, and what tends to fall short when it comes to true innovation. Maker5, Inc is a Venture Studio designed to incubate its own businesses to spin them off as independent businesses, as well as being an advisory to law firms and software development services for law firms. When it comes to internal innovation, Sanjay’s view is that  the CIO and CTO do not have enough practicing lawyers integrated with what they’re trying to accomplish at the firm. Too often firms try to innovate in a vacuum, without the input and guidance of innovation partners or practicing attorneys and they end up not having any real authority or responsibility for implementing the innovative project.
In addition to development structure, there are also cultural disincentives to adopting true innovation, especially in the law firm setting.
If you think about how most firms are focused 100% on the billable hour, and then you start thinking about what technology achieves … that ends up reducing billable hours, you immediately start to realize that there’s a big contradiction…. Unless you have an incentive structure that is consistent with the notion of efficiency and better, faster, cheaper, you’re not going to get adoption. Everyone’s going to run in the opposite direction of that tool.” – Sanjay Kamlani
We walk through the processes of coming up with innovative ideas, whether to build it internally or find an off the shelf version, implementation and adoption, and the continuing maintenance of the innovation on a full-time scalable basis. Something that very few law firms are set up to do from start to finish. Kamlani identifies a number of processes that need to be in place, and what questions need to be asked and answered throughout the innovation creation, implementation, adoption, and maintenance lifecycle. It is a fascinating look into innovation that many of us may not have had the opportunity to experience. 

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Information Inspirations
If you have not checked out the #SKILLS22 conference content, Greg’s overview of all 20 sessions can help you find the right session to watch.
Marlene covers more on the Great Resignation from a Boston College report that breaks down who are leaving their jobs and some of the details of what certain sectors of the US population are affected more than others.
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. 144 – Maker5’s Sanjay Kamlani on the Who, What, and How of Legal Innovation

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