This week, we have a lively discussion with June Liebert and Cornell Winston, President and President-Elect, respectively, for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). The conversation centers around the upcoming AALL annual conference, scheduled for July 20-23, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. 

June Liebert, Director of Information Services at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, kicks off the discussion by diving into the conference theme. She emphasizes the importance of librarians taking proactive leadership roles, particularly in the context of the rapidly evolving landscape influenced by Generative AI. June highlights the concept of “innovation intermediaries,” individuals who not only generate innovative ideas but also ensure these ideas are implemented effectively. This theme resonates with the need for transformative thinking, urging librarians to embrace significant changes rather than settling for incremental improvements.

This year’s keynote speaker is Cory Doctorow, a renowned sci-fi author and advocate for digital rights, Doctorow’s presence promises to bring a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and societal impact. June shares her enthusiasm for Doctorow, whose work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and writings on “enshittification” – the degradation of online platforms over time – provide critical insights into the ethical implications of technological advancements. Doctorow’s focus on the human impact of technology, rather than just the technology itself, offers valuable reflections for the legal information profession.

Cornell Winston, law librarian at the United States Attorney’s Office, provides a comprehensive overview of what attendees can expect from the conference. With over 60 educational programs, including a pre-conference workshop on AI strategy, the event promises rich learning opportunities. Cornell underscores the value of networking and connecting with peers, highlighting the inclusive environment fostered by the Host Program for first-time attendees. His advice to explore sessions outside one’s usual domain and to meet new people each day encapsulates the spirit of professional growth and community building.

As the conversation unfolds, the trio touches on the broader theme of innovation and technology within law libraries. June and Cornell discuss the shift from physical books to digital resources, reflecting on how generative AI and other technologies are reshaping the profession. June mentions the implementation of live closed captioning for sessions, a first for the conference, enhancing accessibility and providing real-time transcripts for attendees.

June shares her experiences as the first Asian American president of the association, highlighting her efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cornell, looking ahead to his presidency, discusses plans to review AALL’s governance structure and explore the future of law libraries in an increasingly digital world. The episode wraps up with a preview of the 2024 conference in Portland, Oregon, promising another enriching experience for the legal information community.

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Continue Reading Leading, Innovating, and Transforming: Insights for the 2024 AALL Annual Conference – June Liebert and Cornell Winston

This week, we have a jam-packed episode featuring five of our colleagues from a 2022 American Association of Law Libraries panel on APIs.
  • Emily Rushing, Director of Competitive Intelligence, Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Pam Noyd, Information Resources Manager at Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Erik Adams, Manager of Library Digital Initiatives Manager of Library Digital Initiatives at Sidley Austin LLP, and Chief of Technology at Golden Arrow Publishing LLC
  • Keli Whitnell, Director of Firm Intelligence at Troutman Pepper
  • Christopher O’Connor, Senior Director, Product Management at LexisNexis
APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, have become an increasingly important tool in the legal industry. The panel included members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, including both librarians and non-librarians. This diversity provided a holistic view of the topic, covering everything from the technical aspects of using APIs to the importance of data quality and vetting vendors.
APIs are like building blocks for legal solutions (think: LEGO Blocks), allowing for the flexible sharing of data between different computer environments. This enables more creative solutions than vendors could create on their own and has led to a range of innovative legal solutions.
Overall, the panel provided valuable insights into the use of APIs in the legal industry and highlighted their potential for facilitating more efficient and effective legal work. As the use of API’s continues to grow, it will be important for legal professionals to stay up to date on the latest developments and best practices in this area.

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Crystal Ball Question:
Brad Blickstein discusses the potential for a recession and its effects on the legal industry. He speculates that Alternative Legal Service Providers (ALSPs) will benefit from the downturn, as law departments will be unable to increase headcount. He also discusses the question of where the work done by ALSPs will go once the recession ends and whether law firms will be able to regain the work.
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Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert Voicemail: 713-487-7821 Email: Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Continue Reading APIs are the LEGO Building Blocks of Data – API Panel Discussion with Emily Rushing, Pam Noyd, Chris O’Connor, Keli Whitnell, and Erik Adams (TGIR Ep. 183)

It has been almost three years since the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) held its last in-person conference in Washington, DC. Since that time, both the New Orleans (2020) and Cleveland (2021) Conferences were replace with an online event. Needless to say, many members are ready, albeit still with some concerns, to meet their colleagues in person once again. From July 16th through the 19th, nearly 900 members will gather in Denver, Colorado to enjoy the educational and social gathering of law librarians. Another 60+ vendor organizations will also be at the Denver Convention Center under the gaze of the iconic Blue Bear.
We asked current AALL President, Diane Rodriguez, along with AALL Vice-President, Beth Adelman, to take time out of their busy preparation schedules to come in and talk with us about what members and vendors should expect from the conference. Those of us who attend AALL conferences understand that it is truly a technology conference where vendors go to show their enhancements to existing products or to launch new products to the tech savvy end-users of many of their products. Even Bob Ambrogi has put this as one of the top legal tech conferences in the legal industry
Rodriguez and Adelman have spent the last year preparing AALL for a post-pandemic presence in the legal industry and focused not only on returning to in-person events, but also creating a new Strategic Plan for the Association headed by Beth Adelman. In addition, the organization continued its fight for access to justice and legal information. Diane Rodriguez penned an article for the ABA Human Rights Magazine earlier this year titled “Putting the Spotlight on Civics Education: How Law Librarians Are Helping to Bridge the Access to Justice Gap.”
Of course conferences aren’t all educational programming and vendor interactions. We all are working in some baseball, concerts, books stores, and art exhibits while we are there as well. For more information visit the AALL Conference Website.

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Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Continue Reading Diane Rodriguez and Beth Adelman on AALL’s Preparation for an In-Person Denver Conference (TGIR #164)

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.

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Information Inspirations

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.

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Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Jerry David DeCicca


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 161 – Colin McCarthy of Legal Operators on Building a LegalOps Community

Leading a professional association over the past year has been tough. It’s like getting all of the work, and not getting any of the fun experiences of traveling to meet people around the world. For the American Association of Law Libraries’ President Emily Florio and President-Elect Diane Rodriguez, they’ve made the most of the situation they found themselves in. (Hat tip to the past-President Michelle Cosby, too!) As Florio and Rodriguez prepare for AALL’s second remote annual conference in a row, they are leveraging the experience from last year’s remote conference to make this year’s experience even better. A longer conference. More individual interactions. A virtual tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And, expanded vendor opportunities. In July, the favel will be passed to the new president, but Florio still looks forward to sticking around for another year as the association and the executive board begins the process of getting back to face-to-face interactions, and an in-person conference in Denver in July of 2022.

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Information inspirations
Reuters Legal News commentator, Jenna Greene, seems to have cracked the formula for AmLaw 100 firm’s slogans. It’s actually more of a haiku.
Remember those ads in the 1980s of “This is your brain on drugs”? Well, the 21st Century version could be “This is your brain on email.” The Innovation Hub podcast discusses Cal Newport’s study on how distracting the constant checking of email is to productivity.
Jon Greenblatt and Bryan Parker over at Legal Innovators put on a heck of a webinar last week featuring the deans from UConn Law School, William & Mary Law School, Howard University School of Law, and The George Washington School of law. Even these forward-thinking law school deans admitted that the students are ready for more “change” than they are providing. Just remember law firms… these students are coming your way.
Marlene shares her experience with Andrew Lawless’ Introduction to High-Performance Habits, and how it helped her focus on areas like influence, self-care and productivity, and expertise.
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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 122 – AALL’s Emily Florio and Diane Rodriguez on Leading an Association Remotely

Using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing to hold a conversation might seem like a far off idea when it comes to the legal industry, but it is not. We sit down with Baker Hostetler’s Katherine Lowry, and Puerto Rico defense attorney Diego Alcala to get a better understanding of how chatbots work, and what value they can bring from legal practices ranging from BigLaw Bankruptcy practice to a solo attorney’s criminal law practice.

Katherine Lowry won the American Association of Law Libraries’ Innovation Tournament in 2018 with her attorney-facing chatbot. In the nearly two years since that recognition, she has created a chatbot for her Bankruptcy practice that answers thousands of potential questions and helps her attorneys find information quickly and frees up her researchers’ time for more complex questions.

Diego Alcala is working on chatbots which will assist him in his practice by answering basic questions that family members need to know about the clients he is representing. While Diego is not a programmer, he has learned the concept of chatbots through numerous platforms that allow for those with no coding skills to still create powerful chatbots to answer practical questions.

Listen in and see if the ideas shared by Lowry and Alcala spur any ideas of how automating a conversation might help you in your practice.

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Information Inspirations

There’s another bill in Congress that creates a FREE PACER! Congressman Hank Johnson, D-GA, is not stopping there. He is also requiring more transparency in the Federal Courts by requiring audio and video recordings are made available of court proceedings. While the bill creates a FREE PACER for most, there is a surcharge for power users who have $25,000 or more in quarterly usage. That means some BigLaw firms will have to pay that surcharge.
Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 70 – A Chat About Chatbots and The Law With Katherine Lowry and Diego Alcala

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org and we take a deep dive into the issues in this matter. Kyle Courtney, Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, and Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase have strong opinions in this matter, and were both involved in submitting Amicus Briefs on behalf of Public.Resources.Org. Join us for this engaging and informative conversation as we look at what the arguments are from both sides, and how Justices’ questions may shape the outcome of this case.
For more information on this case, check out the oral argument transcript [PDF], or listen here, and a primer with supportive materials from Ed Waters’ on Medium.
We also catch up with Emily Feltren from the American Association of Law Libraries to hear what else has been going on in Washington, DC in regards to legal information (we skip the impeachment stuff.) Believe it or not, there are things actually getting done in DC despite all the obvious gridlock.

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Information Inspirations

Our very own Toby Brown is the inaugural guest on the new podcast, Pricing Matters. Toby is well known for his contribution to the establishing of pricing professionals within large law firms, and he gives us a peak behind the curtain of what he has accomplished over the past decade and a half. He even gives us a parallel story of how pricing issues resemble actions taken by HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines. Check it out!
KM Is Dead… Long Live KM. It turns out that if you want to be innovative in law firms, look no further than what your Knowledge Management team has been working on for some time now. There’s been a big boost lately in how KM is helping innovative law firms move forward with a 360 degree view of their knowledge, and better understanding their clients.
Sometimes we inspire ourselves. Greg recently read about an Australian law firm going through an identity crisis on whether it should see itself as a law firm, or as a professional services consultant on legal issues. The story line fits almost any company, industry, or organization where there is a paradigm shift in what they do. Check out his LinkedIn article where he reworks the story to fit nearly anyone facing change.
Is Data Science dying? Marlene says no. However, firms trying to implement data science techniques are finding that dirty data and antiquated ideas are limiting its results and driving data scientists away from working for them.

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Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 61 – Deep Dive on State Copyright Issues with Kyle Courtney and Ed Walters

We all love our pets and think of them as part of our families. Even though we might love them as much (or more) than we love people, the legal system does not allow them the same protection. That doesn’t mean that there are no rights for animals, in fact, there are many specific laws designated to protect them. In this episode of The Geek in Review, we bring on four experts in researching Animal Laws, not just in the US, but worldwide. We talk with the following members of the American Association of Law Libraries’ Animal Law Caucus:
  • Alex Zhang – Law Library Director and Professor of Practice at Washington and Lee University School of Law
  • Stacey Gordon Sterling -Law Library Director and Professor of law – Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana
  • Katie Ott – Reference Librarian – Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford University
  • Sarah Slinger – Reference Librarian and Lecturer at Law – University of Miami Law Library
Whether it is legal issues ranging from which parent gets the pet in a divorce, or how an orangutan is granted “personhood” in Argentina, to animal testing on cute beagles (yes… that’s still going on in the US), our experts from the Animal Law Caucus cover these issues and more.

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Information Inspirations
There is a lot of tech opportunities in America, but one of the unrealized places are on Native American Reservations. The Make Me Smart podcast talks with a Native Financial Officer about the upcoming Wiring the Rez conference.
One Texas Federal Judge asks if you submit a brief more than 10 pages long, that you make a recording so he can listen to it, rather than read it. Sounds like an opportunity for some talented legal podcasters with better voices than Greg.
Despite some of the best efforts to make things better, even allies can come up short when it comes to racial bias in the workplace. One leader in the Social Justice non-profit area shares her story, and it mirrors some of the same situations we see in the legal industry.
To understand Algorithmic Bias, you must first understand the different types of discrimination, and how they apply to the bias. It’s very complicated, but here’s a primer to get your started.

Continue Reading The Geek In Review Ep. 60 – The AALL Animal Law Caucus: Acknowledging and Researching Animal Rights in a People-Centric World