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.

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. 149 – Sarah Sutherland on How Data and the Law Interact

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

Karl Harris, CEO of Lex Machina, took an interesting path to legal analytics. Initially working on sonar systems taking streams and signals and converting those into data, then on to mobile application analytics, then on to law school. Pulling these three skills together, the idea of legal analytics came together. With Lexis+ Litigation Analytics becoming the fourth pillar of the Lexis+ ecosystem, along with legal research elements, practical guidance, and brief analysis. Harris walks through the progression of legal analytics over the past decade, and even projects some of the potential analytics has in the assistance of practicing law.

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Information Inspirations
Bryan Parker and Jon Greenblatt have a wonderful interview with Locke Lord Partner and former ABA President Paulette Brown. Brown gives an honest view of her experiences as a black woman lawyer in a BigLaw firm, and the reality of how little has changed over the past twenty years.
Distributed law firms like FisherBroyles are approaching AmLaw200 status and might be the hot new structure for law firms to disrupt the BigLaw model. 
With the use of Zoom for trials, there are some logistical problems that not only make trials difficult, one situation in St. Joseph County Michigan shows that what (or who) you can’t see on camera might create a dangerous situation. Luckily, Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Davis’ skills to know when a witness was showing signs of distress when the defendant was just feet away when the witness was testifying. 
It turns out that teachers aren’t the only professionals who have to buy supplies because the schools don’t have the funds. Some Judges are having to pay for their own Zoom accounts in order to conduct online trials.
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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. 108 – Lex Machina’s Karl Harris on the Past, Present, and Future of Legal Analytics

Most of us in the legal industry did not think of the employment market as being anything close to stable in 2020. However, as we are witnessing from the AmLaw 100/200 firm revenue numbers being released, many firms had record revenue and profits. In fact, recent reports show that the industry actually added some 5,000 jobs recently. Geoff Zodda, Chief Solutions Officer of IT Search at PearlCare Search Group, talks with us about what happened in the legal market surrounding the technology, information, analytics, and knowledge workers in 2020, and the projections for these types of professions as the industry refashions itself for a post-COVID economy. For those who are flexible, can wear multiple work hats, and can analyze data, the world may be your oyster.

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Information Inspirations

If a human adds some words into a computer, and that computer uses AI to produce art based on that human input, who owns the rights to that art? Charlotte Kilpatrick from ManagingIP talks with three experts to answer that question.

There is a topic that a lot of us avoid and that is succession planning First, it is uncomfortable, second it is uncomfortable.

We have discussed T-Shaped and Delta-Model lawyers in the past. However, easyJet is making its outside counsel show how O-Shaped they are by creating innovative questions on their request for proposals and law firm pitches for business.

Ken Crutchfield points out some of the traps that innovators fall into when they don’t listen or interpret customers or seek feedback. His experience showing his father about the Trapper Keeper when he was 15 helped him understand what customer feedback meant for success.

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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. 106 – Geoff Zodda on Legal Industry Employment Trends in a Post-COVID World

When it comes to what clients spend on legal services, there are savvy purchasers who look to manage their legal spin based on value and data-driven analytics. And there are those who simply just pay the invoice. Alex Kelly, co-founder, and COO of Brightflag talks with us about how they use AI and data analytics to help savvy corporate counsel and in-house legal teams make better decisions on how they purchase legal services. Brightflag recently announced a $28 million funding round from OnePeak, and Alex, along with co-founder Ian Nolan is looking to expand the team at Brightflag and help their customers with monitoring and controlling their legal spend and identify ways to focus on the value they get from their outside legal counsel, rather than just the hours of work.

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Information Inspirations

Coca-Cola is apparently tired of its outside law firms not improving their diversity numbers. Since the firms won’t do it on their own, Coke is laying down the law to force them to diversify their attorney ranks or lose out on Coke’s business altogether.

While many law firms are announcing record profits, that isn’t stopping some from using the pandemic as a reason to restructure their workforce and begin reducing salaries and cutting jobs. The restructuring wave looks like it will continue through 2021.

While we see some value in the new social media platform, Clubhouse, Brian Inkster from The Time Blawg gives 12 reasons why it really isn’t for lawyers.

Goodwin Proctor LLP is just the latest law firm to find itself exposed to a data hack. This time it was through a vendor, and we may not have heard the last of which other firms might be affected.

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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.

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Transcript:


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 104 – Brightflag’s Alex Kelly on Using Data and Analytics to Make Better Legal Spend Decisions

In order to measure what matters, it is important to have the data available to help. Sarah Lin is the Information Architect & Digital Librarian at RStudio, PBC, and is also a law librarian. RStudio wanted someone to help them manage their digital morass and to Marie Kondo their digital information. Is there anyone better than a law librarian with some tech skills to do just that?
Sarah discusses what the R Programming language does, and how she got interested in the profession of statistical computing. While some may not see a direct link between being a law librarian and an R programmer, there are actually a number of skills librarians possess which make them well suited for data analytics. One skill is our ability to understand, clean, and organize information. For RStudios, the Chief Scientist, Hadley Wickam created Tidyverse which helps in handling the clean data tasks. And there are also resources like Shinyapps.io to help organize. Throw in a law librarian to have it all make sense and tell a story and you have a fantastic combination of skills and tools. And we should mention that it is free open-source software.

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To learn more about the R language check out:
 
Information Inspirations
Roy Sexton from Clark Hill lays out what law firm marketing does as opposed to what law firm business development does in the latest episode of Steve Fretzin’s Be That Lawyer. Roy’s advice of the “Rule of Three” when it comes to promoting yourself and your marketing products makes this a must-listen episode.
Adam Smith, Esq. covers the new initiative by our friend Phil Flora and Leopard Solutions on ranking law firms by their vitality and resilience, not just once a year, but in real-time.
Feeling the effects of COVID, the election, the environment, or the hundred other stressors in your life? Maybe take Prof. Eric Janssen’s advice and put down your phone and go for a walk.
Did you know there was a Pirate who was a 17th Century Anthony Bourdain? Marlene teaches Greg about this culinary outlaw and also teaches him about breadfruit.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 90 – Using Data Analytics to Tell Your Story with RStudio’s Sarah Lin

Not many people can make the transition from Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics, and then to the legal analytics field, but Dr. Carla Rydholm is someone who did just that. For nearly the past decade, Dr. Rydholm has been leading the charge of data analytics at Lex Machina. She is charged with not only acquiring the data large amounts of data but also maintaining that data as it is updated. Dr. Rydholm stopped by Greg’s Houston office, along with episode 10’s guest, Kyle Doviken to tell us about transitioning from pure scientist, to her current role, and what drives her passion for data analytics, and how the data is used to tell the story, and help attorney’s understand what’s previously happened, and use that as a guide to better understand where they may be headed. It’s a very insightful conversation.

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Marlene WIns an Award!

The Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals (PLL-IP) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is giving Blogger of the Year status to our very own Marlene Gebauer for her outstanding work on this podcast. Congrats Marlene!!
Continue Reading Dr. Carla Rydholm on the Value of Legal Data Analytics