One of the best things about the legal industry is that there are multiple pathways to success. We are all trained issue spotters, and our guest on this episode identified an issue and founded a new company to fix that issue. Brian Powers is the CEO and co-founder of PactSafe, a high-velocity contract acceptance platform used by such major companies like Angie’s List, UpWork, BMC, TIVO, and others to handle large volumes of clickthrough agreements. We talk with Brian about what motivated him to take on this challenge, and how he sought out to change the way businesses approach these types of contacts, and bring efficiency to the market place, and the legal industry through technology and process improvements. Brian is just one more example of those in the legal field who has found an alternative path through identifying inefficiencies, and finding ways to correct them.

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Hat tip to Kristin Hodgins for her tweet this week when she saw that someone said that if law firms are going to us AI, we need ways to collect structured data. Hodgins tweet reply was spot on when she said “Guess who are experts at structured data? Librarians. Google didn’t destroy us; it help us by reducing low-value work like rote retrieval from our duties & allowed us to focus on high-order skills. AI will do the same.” Well said!

Information Inspirations:

We’re doing AI Wrong

Zach Warren interviewed Brad Blickstein in a law.com article this week about how law firms are looking at AI the wrong way. When it comes to AI and law firms, Blickstein says that “[AI has] become a top-down thing: What are we doing about AI? It’s like asking, what are we doing about databases? It’s a crazy question. The question should be, what problems do we have, how do we solve them, and is AI or some semblance of AI a potential solution for that?”  Brad’s company, Blickstein Group, is producing a Legal AI Efficacy report that is due out this summer. 
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Not all Data Scientists wear lab coats to work. Intapp’s Jennifer Roberts wears a cape!

On the latest episode of The Geek in Review, Marlene and Greg dive into the wonderfully geeky world of data science and its application within law firms and the legal industry. Jennifer Roberts, Manager, Strategic Research at Intapp, discusses exactly what it means to be a data scientist, and why law firms are leveraging them to help run their legal operations. When it comes to “the business of law,” Roberts says this is where the results of data science steps in and shows its value. Data science can help answer questions like, “how can we predict the price of legal services?” “How can we predict the scope of a matter?” “How can we help with legal project management?” And even “how can we predict what a client’s needs are?” Or, “what will these clients buy from us in the future?” Data science and analytics help uncover the facts that not all lawyers and not all legal matters are totally unique. Roberts also helps us answer those naysayers who claim that they do not have enough data, or that they have Filthy Data™. Jennifer brings us some fantastic insights on how law firms are leveraging internal and external data sets to help with the practice of law, and the business of law.

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We finish our LegalWeek question of “how are you changing the legal industry” with our final four responses. This week we hear from:

Michael BoggiaLoopup
Damian JealHubshare
Kevin O’KeefeLexBlog
Martin GouletWolters Kluwer

Information Inspirations

For anyone following the happenings (and large fines resulting from) the EU’s GDPR, Marlene thinks perhaps this is something that may make its way across the pond. In a recent Corporate Counsel magazine article entitled, “Cisco’s Chief Legal Officer Expresses Support for American Version of GDPR” (subscription needed), Mark Chandler of Cisco supports the need for more regulation on privacy. We are already seeing versions pop up at the state level … we’re looking at you, California. But, it might take federal regulations to help clarify how we protect privacy online.


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