[Ed. Note: This week marks The Geek in Review’s 4th Anniversary. We thank you all for listening, subscribing, and telling your colleagues about what you hear. We’d love to hear more from you on what your favorite episodes are or what topics you’d like us to cover. Tweet us at @gebauerm and @glambert with your thoughts. Thank You Listeners!! – GL/MG]

We all know the saying “High Risk, High Reward.” But when it comes to data security, Peter Baumann, CEO and co founder of ActiveNav, we derive the value of the data because we just can’t get through the risk. There are three things always facing businesses whenever there is data involved, and that is the protection of the business’s reputation, the costs involved in non-compliance, and then the exponential growth of data within the organization. We are so focused on reacting to these three variables, that we simply cannot do anything on the value of the data itself.

Peter talks with us about the number of existing patchwork of regulations around the world, and how it makes it too difficult for business and organizations to comply. And while most experts suggested that regulations like GDPR would only govern those with businesses or people in Europe, it’s become the de facto compliance bar for privacy and data security for many businesses. He suggests that the US Government needs to step in an set a clear regulatory path around data privacy and security so that businesses know what the rules are, and the legal industry can better advise their clients on what steps they need to take to be compliant.

We dive deep in this episode and talk about what is structured and data. And how the existence of “dark data” within a business is what brings the highest risk of all. While doing data assessments on Terabytes and even Petabytes of data is extremely expensive, data breaches are even more expensive. The goal in Peter’s mind is to get to “zero dark data” so that you can stop worrying completely on the risks, and start understanding the value within your data.

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Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading ActiveNav’s Peter Baumann: There is So Much Value In Your Data… Once You Control the Risks (TGIR #163)

For many of us, what we think of when we hear “American Lawyer Media”, we think of lots of print newspapers, magazines, The American Lawyer, and the AmLaw 100/200 lists. Bill Carter, CEO of the newly re-branded ALM, sees the tremendous value of the data that ALM collects much more than just the news articles it produces. When Carter took over the reins at ALM in 2012, he evaluated the company like a consultant, and determined that the best path forward was through consolidation of titles through the evolution of law.com; moving away from individual subscriptions to an enterprise model, and; focus on the wealth of data compiled by ALM and find ways to leverage that data as the path forward for the company. We have an amazing look into what ALM is doing these days and a peek at what Bill Carter would like to do in the near future.

Links to Items Discussed:
LegalWeek Crystal Ball Answer

This week’s Crystal Ball answer comes to us from Ken Crutchfield of Wolters Kluwer. Ken is monitoring all of the exciting legal technologies that are springing out of the AI explosion and who will be the winners, and who will be the losers as things shake out.

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Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 157 – ALM’s Bill Carter – It’s All About the Data

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!!

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Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.

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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

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

We talk shop with Litera’s Vice-President of Sales for North America, Ashley Miller, including Litera’s growth over the past few years, and how long it can stay in that Goldilocks’ stage of being just the right size to be a big player, yet still nimble enough to pivot when needed.
The recent Changing Lawyer Virtual Summit featured recognizable speakers like Richard Susskind and Seth Godin, but also had Litera’s traditional outside the norm type speaker with Mark Schulman, rock drummer for the likes of P!nk and Cher. Miller zeroed in on something that Richard Susskind discussed at the conference about the changes in technology adoption in law firms during the pandemic. Are the advancements we’ve seen since March 2020 really innovation, or are they really just acceleration of automation designed to keep work afloat?
Finally, we talk data and what is meant by the single source of truth when it comes to data. Are we all making informed decisions based on the same, accurate data? Ashley Miller then turns the tables on the hosts by asking where they see the single source of truth in data when it comes to how law firms are going to handle data in the future.

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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. 140 – Litera’s Ashley Miller on Data and the Single Source of Truth

Ironclad‘s Chief Community Officer, Mary O’Carroll, has spent the past two decades bringing business acumen to the legal industry. In an industry run by lawyers, most of whom had little to no business training, Mary points out that it is logical that legal ops teams are needed to be the right-hand people in helping lawyers in the business process. Her experience with Orrick, Google, CLOC, and now Ironclad has one common thread, and that is the need to drive change. Mary says that it is just a part of her personality to be laser-focused on efficiency and find ways to clean up the mess she uncovers in the legal industry.
It is that desire to drive change through the use of the legal community that helped her make the decision to join Ironclad and the hot field of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM). Mary points out that the industry has worked to improve efficiency in many areas, but when it comes to contracts, we are continuing to do business as usual. Creating a digital contracting system will help scale the industry, as well as enable us to leverage data, which has always been trapped in contracts, and create new methods for the legal department to help drive the overall success of the business, and no longer be seen as a department where ideas and innovation go to die.

Information Inspirations
Our own Casey Flaherty advises us to stop trying to be a hero, and learn to say no when it comes to spreading resources too thin. Check out his latest article, “Maybe, Don’t Be MacGyver – The Value of Value Storytelling.”
Singapore is launching a couple of Dalek-looking robots to monitor “undesirable behavior” among its citizens. Is this a logical use of technology or a slippery slope toward technology overreach?
O’Melveny and Myers is the first law firm to join Peloton’s Corporate Wellness Program.
The next time you go through a drive-thru, you may hear the crisp, clear voice of an AI program taking your order. Will the robots take more and more of the service jobs away, and will there be a shift in the way the government taxes those robot workers who replace humans?
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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who has a new album coming out in October!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 130 – Mary O’Carroll – The Power of Community in Driving Change

Nicole Bradick, Founder and CEO of Theory and Principle, along with Ryan McClead, Principle at Sente Advisors, join us to talk about their collaborative product Map Engine. Map Engine is an easy-to-use, but powerful data visualization tool that allows law firms to quickly and easily turn their multi-jurisdictional data into beautiful, shareable maps. Instead of the common approach of placing data in flat documents like PDFs, Map Engine allows the firms to tell the story embedded in some or all of the data and allows for the maps to enhance the consumer’s experience through the interactive interface.
Along the way, we also discuss Nicole and Ryan’s individual experiences in launching a startup (without breaking the bank or eating only ramen.)

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Information Inspirations
Bloomberg Law is developing a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Framework to measure how law firms are meeting and/or surpassing DEI metrics which Bloomberg is developing with experts across the industry.
Steve Embry breaks down some of the problems AmLaw firms will eventually face if they keep moving more partners into non-equity roles, and keep the “old boy’s network” going on in the equity ranks.
The Association of Legal Administrators released a new white paper on “Remote Working as an Effective Recruitment and Retention Tool for Law Firms Post-COVID-19. [PDF]” The firms that remain flexible on remote working options will benefit over those competitors that demand that all work be done in the office.
Clients love multidisciplinary teams (MTD), but it seems that law firms only have a very narrow definition of what that means. Spoiler: only lawyers should make up the MTD.
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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. 115 – Nicole Bradick and Ryan McClead on the Launch of Map Engine and Life as a Startup Founder

David Kamien is the CEO of Mind Alliance and is someone who understands that in order to truly collaborate with your clients, you have to understand their needs on a granular level. That means capturing the data in a way that proactively predicts legal and regulatory risks that companies like them are likely to face, but also list the probable impact that those risks are likely to impact them specifically. While this may sound like a pipe dream to some, and a delusion to others, Kamien thinks that improving the state of data in law firms through knowledge graphs and taking concrete, and logical steps toward improving and leveraging data, will help get law firms to where they can leverage the data in ways that will truly turn them into counselors to their clients. It means creating a data strategy for the firm that creates higher levels of sophistication so that the data turns into answers, and those answers turn into the types of action that clients are willing to pay for. Law firms should not sit back and wait for this to magically happen. If you want to generate value, you are going to have to collaborate very closely with clients. And in this day and age, that involves data.

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Information Inspirations
Most of us in the information profession have touted our skills as fact finders. In this time of misinformation on the Internet, that skillset is needed more than ever and seems to be showing up more and more in the media as they look for Misinformation Experts like the University of Washington’s Information School, Jevin West. West appeared this week on one of our favorite non-legal podcasts, Make Me Smart, where he uncovered some of the reasoning behind the cult that is QAnon, and why its ability to manipulate information makes it so popular, and so hard to convince those believers in the conspiracy that it really is misinformation.
Staying in touch with clients and others isn’t simply about setting up the next Zoom meeting. Julie Saravino produced a great list of ways to have that personal interaction with others in a way that “ups your game” and makes you stand out from those who still rely upon Zoom, email, and phone calls.
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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. 86 – Using Data to Really Know Your Clients and Predict Their Needs – David Kamien

I was recently approached by the ARK Group to write a chapter for their forthcoming book about How Intelligence Functions within Law Firms Can and Should Support One Another. For years, and most recently in a series of ILTA webinars on CI, I have been advocating for collaborative intelligence. I may have even blogged about it here once or twice too.  While writing my chapter, with the same title as this post, I was able to articulate a few concepts that I thought were worth sharing and reiterating, even if they all seem obvious.

Data Doesn’t Make Decisions it seems obvious, but I think in all the AI, RoboLawyer hype we need to be reminded.  People are still central to decision making, data in its various forms and all the ranges of analysis from SWOT (simple) to AI algorithms (complex) still does require human intelligence and interaction to get at the nuance and understand sometimes complex emotional context.
Continue Reading Data Doesn’t Make Decisions