For those who went to law school, do you remember that class we all took on creativity in the legal work environment? No? We don’t remember it either. That’s why Adam Tsao decided to write The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers: Strategies for the Business of Legal Practice. Adam sits down with us and discusses how he integrated creativity into his own legal education at Penn Law School, as well as his legal work at Skadden and Covington before starting his own business, At Philosophy. He stresses that creativity is a vital process in a person’s legal career, and why we each need our own playbook to help us build creative processes into our professional activities. Adam also co-hosts a non-legal podcast on creativity called Double Agent.

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Information Inspirations

Baseball season is upon us. If you are a fan, you most likely have a favorite team. Darren Siegle from Specops Software reminds us that it is okay to root for the home team, just don’t use them as your password.

While law librarians can take a joke as much as the next profession (maybe even more), a recent American Lawyer article that runs comparisons between lawyer’s spouses, kids, and pets to secretaries and law librarians didn’t land well with Greg. Legal reporters seem to lack an understanding of what amazing benefits law librarians brought to their firms during COVID. We take the time to educate them.

It seems that the law firm librarians aren’t the only ones taking a hit from the press. The latest US News Law School rankings admitted to some flaws in its initial numbers for this year in how it measured law library metrics. In a portion of the ranking that only made up .25%, the change in the statistics caused nine schools to have their rankings altered.

While officially, Womens’ History Month came to a close yesterday, it’s always a good time to honor women in the legal industry, and we bring you a couple of good podcasts that do just that.

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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. 111 – Adam Tsao and The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers

One of the modern realities of consumerism is the requirement of arbitration clauses. The idea is that consumers and businesses can settle their disagreements without going to court, and instead have an arbitrator negotiate a settlement between the parties. For many of us, it is viewed as a part of doing business, and that the arbitration process is weighted heavily in favor of the corporations. Teel Lidow and his online tool, FairShake, is working to make filing an arbitration much easier for consumers and to actually show that many corporations are quite easy to approach when it comes to handling arbitration disputes. Time Magazine recently awarded FairShake with its award for The Best Inventions of 2020: 100 Innovations Changing How We Live, and we talk with Teel about his reasons behind creating FairShake.

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Information Inspirations

The pandemic crisis is allowing law firm management to reevaluate staffing needs, and once again, positions that are tied to a physical space are on the chopping block. However, positions that are viewed as “Knowledge Workers” are fairing much better as we look to a post-pandemic work environment. The key is those staff who understand the business and can work with clients and attorneys and function under pressure are going to thrive.

Check out the excellent i.WILL workshop on Courage & Emotional Durability tonight (12/3/2020 at 5:30 PM ET). Dr. Carli Kody leads a workshop based on Dr. Brené Brown’s research and Rising Strong™ methodology.

No matter how hard you think the Bar Exam is, Brianna Hill’s taking the bar during a pandemic, while in labor, having the baby and coming back to finish the bar the next day, and then finding out this week that she passed the bar, is much, much harder. While Hill is superhuman, she’s not the only one who had to struggle this year to take bar exams.

Our friends at Legal Innovators are collaborating with Bechtel Corporation (PDF Press Release) to provide junior lawyers to assist with Bechtel’s internal legal departments. This seems like a win-win for both companies.

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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. 96 – Consumer Arbitration Made Easier with FairShake’s Teel Lidow

[Ed. Note: We’ve talked a lot recently about innovation, design thinking, creativity, and curiosity. If you are wondering where you can go to do some hands-on learning, then the American Association of Law Libraries’ Innovation Bootcamp might be for you. I asked Celeste Smith from AALL to write up a description of the bootcamp so

On our 25th episode of The Geek In Review, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert sit down and talk with Ivy Grey, Director of Business Strategy for WordRake. Ivy’s recent Above the Law article, “Curiosity Is The Foundation For Innovation” discusses the disconnect between employers who think they promote creativity in their employees (80% think they do), versus employees who think that their bosses actually stifle creativity in the workplace (some 60%.) Ivy breaks down the nuances between creativity and innovation. Innovation has become a buzzword that is actually having a negative effect in the workplace. Instead of trying to drive innovation, law firms should look at encouraging the creativity and curiosity of their employees (not to be limited to the lawyers, mind you.) Ivy points to law firms like Reed Smith, who are actually giving their attorneys and others (approved) time to come up with creative processes, and letting the employees build upon these ideas. The key is to allow people to think and be creative, and imagine possibilities that don’t even exist.

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On that note, we’d like to point out that Baker McKenzie announced the hiring of a couple of creative and curious rock stars, fellow geek, Casey Flaherty as their new Director of Legal Project Management, and Geek in Review interviewee Jae Um, as their Director of Pricing Strategy. That’s a shed load of creativity coming Baker McKinzie’s way. Hope they are ready for long memos filled with emojis!

Greg flew through Dallas Love Field this week during a Herb Kelleher celebration. Southwest’s original CEO was well known for creative marketing, and Greg was a little disappointed that he didn’t get a free bottle of Chivas when we got off the plane. For a great story of how Southwest got its start, check out the Business War’s Podcast on Clearing the Runway.

Information Inspirations

Microsoft Assistant General Counsel, Jason Barnwell, wrote a timely piece called “Bricklayers and Architects.” His own experiences on being able to come up with a creative process to streamline and M&A deal back when he was an associate at a BigLaw firm, dovetails nicely with Ivy Grey’s discussion. That great idea which would have saved a lot of time in creating the closing binders???  Stifled. Why? You probably already guessed it. The billable hour.
Continue Reading Episode 25: Ivy Grey on Curiosity and Creativity’s Role in Business

Image [cc] Vyperx1

We very often hear from bloggers on this site regarding the struggles associated with change and innovation.  Fear of failure, lack of inertia, protecting territories—all seem to be stumbling blocks that many firms face when initiating change.  It seems, however, some organizations have found a way to successfully encourage and nurture new ideas

As a general rule, we don’t mention many law firms by name on this
blog. On the rare occasions that we do, it’s usually because they’ve
done something stupid, or illegal, or they’ve gone out of business and
it’s plastered all over the main stream news sites and the rest of the
blawgosphere. As a


I don’t like meetings. I feel like meetings often fail to accomplish much beyond getting project team members into the same room once a week. We talk about the work we did the previous week, and we talk about the work we hope to do during the next week, but there are better ways to communicate

When I was in law school, some of my favorite classes where titled “Law and _____.” The blank was filled with things like “Economics” or “Religion” or “Psychology” or “Order.” The idea of taking two different concepts and seeing how they affected each other was absolutely fascinating to me. While each idea stood on its own, putting