Welcome to the 50th Episode of the Geek in Review!!

American Lawyer Media Reporter, Dylan Jackson, joins us this week to discuss two of his recent articles which focused on the mental health of law firm staff, as well as the persistent caste system which still exists in the large law firm environment. Jackson talked with a number of people within law firms regarding how firms view the mental health of staffers, what firms are doing (or not doing) to address the issues, as well as how firms value their staff’s contribution to the success of the firm. While the days of having a chair tossed at you by a partner might have faded in the past couple of decades, the stress placed on staff to handle more work, and to take on much more strategic missions for the law firm has significantly increased over the past ten years. Jackson found that it is still difficult for even the most senior of staff to get a seat at the table within the law firm, and that old barriers still exist to separate lawyers from the professional staff. In the end, these professionals need to be recognized for their contribution, and they want to be treated with respect.

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Information Inspirations

The Dark Side of Personality Tests

Many law firms are conducting personality assessments on their lawyers and staff. The idea is that if we better understood each other’s personalities, we can communicate better. Author Quinisha Jackson-Wright points out in a New York Times piece a significant flaw in personality tests when other use it to “fix” the other person, rather than adapt their own behavior. It’s important that workers don’t feel like they are being “outed” by being a certain personality type. (Plus some extra reading)
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As mentioned in my last post, law students often respond to their poor scores on a basic Word assessment by explaining to me that they need not need worry about this tech stuff because “that is what secretaries are for.” I think this is wrong for a number of reasons, a few

Batman should spend more time and money securing Gotham’s prisons. As my soon-to-be five year old gets increasingly enthralled by super heroes (and Legos and Star Wars), I find myself watching many animated series where the chain of events commonly commences with a super villain’s prison break. Gotham’s lax security protocols are the source of

Lawyers who entered the profession when the standard means of production were a dictaphone and a dedicated secretary will, without any sense of irony, EMAIL me to tell me that technology has no impact on the way they practice law. One of the most underappreciated characteristics of technology is how quickly it can be assimilated

I, like most legal professionals, cringe at memories of sitting in a large room and having someone demonstrate the use of a technology tool. Despite my confirmed case of technophilia, I hated re-learning the basics and had a hard time absorbing anything new. Sitting through videos was even worse. The medium trumped the message.

These