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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Contact Us

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert

Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


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

As much as we complain about the PACER federal dockets, it pales in comparison to most of the state court docket systems when it comes to tracking and searching cases at the state and local levels. Josh Blandi, the co-founder, and CEO of Unicourt is leveraging APIs and normalizing court data across multiple state and local courts to help clean up the data and make searching and tracking better. Josh joins us to discuss how they are gathering the information, the roadblocks that state courts and the private companies they contract with throw up to restrict data, and some new advancements in Unicourt’s APIs that link multiple pieces of data to allow for better analytics. We also discuss the collaboration between companies like Justia, Fastcase, and others to pool their resources and reduce the overall costs of accessing the very expensive data that courts produce. One other side project Josh is doing with Public.Resources’ Carl Malamud is the Code Improvement Commission GitHub where they are posting the state statutes for Georgia, Tennessee, and other states for anyone to download and use without any copyright or licensing restrictions.

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Information Inspiration

Rocket Lawyer just announced that they will be testing the sandbox of non-lawyer ownership in Arizona. Rocket Lawyer already established such an operation in the UK and in Utah, and they and eight other companies have applied to the Arizona Supreme Court for their approval to start operations there with the goal of providing legal services for less than the price of hiring an attorney. Eyes are moving over to California now to see if they are the next state to create a sandbox for companies to provide alternative legal services.

The legal job market is hot! Leopard Solutions released a report showing that there are almost 8,300 open and available attorney jobs in the 1,000+ law firms they are tracking. Recruiters are overloaded with opportunities, so if you have a decent practice, expect some calls. We speculate that the same is going on for many of the law firm support positions. There’s going to be a lot of movement over the next year.

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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 geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com. As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 118 – Unicourt’s Josh Blandi on Improving Access to Federal, State, and Local Court Data