Back in May (ep. 117), we had Bloomberg Law’s Molly Huie on the show to talk about the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework survey she and her team created and were pushing law firms to contribute. So we close the loop on this conversation by asking Molly to come back and talk about the results of the survey. There were over 30 firms who participated in the survey with 28 of those firms making “the cut” to be included in the 2021 DEI Framework results. Molly walks us through why these firms jumped onboard this inaugural survey, what issues they may have had in collecting and answering the over 90 questions in the survey, and what reactions they had to the results of the survey.
The survey results are free to download from Bloomberg Law’s DEI Framework page, and the 2022 edition of the survey will be out in the first quarter of next year for any firms who want to see if they make the cut for inclusion in the DEI Framework.
 

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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.
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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 135 – Results of the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework with Molly Huie

Dr. Caitlin Handron

When Ropes & Gray launched their R&G Insights Lab consulting arm, one of their goals was to create a dynamic legal team with specialized expertise in analytics, behavioral science, and strategic consulting. Dr. Caitlin Handron completes the behavior science part of that mission, and she talks with us about how that expertise helps guide clients on issues of risk and compliance, DEI goals, and cultural assessments. Dr. Handron’s experience at Stanford University’s SPARQ “Do Tank” prepared her for applying behavioral science to the real world of the corporate environment and put those scientific techniques into practice. While it may seem strange for a law firm to apply these types of scientific principles to the advising of clients, Dr. Handron mentions that the legal environment is really not much different from the rest of the world… as much as we lawyers would like to think we are.

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Information Inspirations
In a recent Bloomberg Law article, former TGIR guest, Olga Mack discusses no-code and low-code processes will be the key to automating tasks, and that a recent Gartner report pointed out that these processes will help reduce legal tasks in in-house legal departments by 50% in just a few years.
Ryan Steadman writes that the rising costs of mental fatigue us costing us dearly at law firms, and that technology is both a solution and a problem.
The Artificial Lawyer took a look at Wilson Sonsini’s Build-A-Bot program and how Summer Associates are required to design bots to improve their processes by using tools like Contract Mill and Documate.
The prosecutors in the Rudy Guiliani case have once again shown that redaction only works when you actually properly use the redaction software. Otherwise, you end up with embarrassing details uncovered on CNN.
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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 119 – Law and Cultural Psychology with R&G Insights Lab’s Dr. Caitlin Handron

To modify the quote from Field of Dreams, “ask for it, and they will come” applies to this week’s show as we mentioned the Bloomberg Law Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Framework survey a few weeks ago and suggested that they come on the show and talk more about it. Molly Huie from Bloomberg Law is running the survey and joins us this week to talk about what the mission of the survey is, and how it differs and supplements other surveys and certifications currently in the industry. The DEI Framework is Bloomberg’s effort at creating a benchmark for DEI results in the legal industry. With corporations asking law firms for their diversity statistics, the DEI Framework may work as a common metric between firms and clients. Huie discusses the nearly two-year process of pulling the survey together, their efforts to work with other DEI partners in the legal industry, and the process of how to score firms who submit data. While getting diversity statistics may be a challenge, Huie thinks that the DEI Framework will get firms to start collecting the data and measuring their success. Firms can use the contact form to request access to submit their data. The survey is open until the end of August.

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Information Inspirations

Dechert is collaborating with Silicon Valley design firm Ideo to create a human-centered design approach for their new innovation program. With around 100 hours of training and projects lined up for the initial 40 participants, Dechert is looking for “real-life or business challenges” to solve.

The Utah Supreme Court expanded its regulatory sandbox to include legal advice on medical debt advice given by non-lawyers.

What happens when you combine a collection of mini-hackathons and the concepts of eSports gaming? You come up with something that NYU Law Professor Houman Shadab calls the No-Code Sports League.

Michigan Legal Help is assisting in Access to Justice issues through DIY tool kits arranged by Michigan counties.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 117 – Molly Huie on Bloomberg Law’s New DEI Framework

Attorney Sophia George has one strong suggestion for those looking to increase equity in the legal industry: Hire minority lawyers! In order to help individuals find diverse lawyers, Sophia joined in the project created by Jackson Walker Partner Chevazz Brown called DiversePro. The online database works to connect diverse lawyers with potential clients who are looking to find lawyers from communities where they share a culture, language, or life experience. With a starting list of 250,000 lawyers in the DiversePro database, Chevazz Brown created an environment for diverse lawyers to go in and claim their profile, or create a profile, identify your practice area, specialty, school, and what makes them unique. We discuss how Chevazz and Sophia use DiversePro to help others find them, and the way they are working to get other diverse lawyers to do the same.

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Information Inspirations

James Goodnow talked with Bill Henderson about what they see as a flaw in the ingenuity incentive of law firms. In a normal business environment, ingenuity creates opportunities for everyone. In the legal industry, the opportunities are significantly limited to lawyers.

There is a quiet hiring boom going on in legal. In the fight for talent, the Harvard Business Review has some suggestions so that you line up the best people based on potential, not prior experience.

Sometimes a dress code or required uniform is a bad idea (bar exams), sometimes it can create equity (British Barristers.)

Sticking with dress codes… Stanford Law Professor Richard Thompson Ford wrote an entire book on it.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 107 – Sophia George and Chevazz Brown: Finding Diverse Lawyers via DiversePro

Nicole Morris is the Director of the TI:GER Program and Professor in Practice for Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. She joins the podcast to discuss the upcoming TI:GER Innovation Conference on January 28, 2021. This free (yes FREE!) online conference on “Advancing Equity in Innovation” is focused on addressing the needs of women and people of color in technology. Not just legal technology, but the overall scope of issues affecting them from STEM education, to Patents, and to the lack of Venture Capital funding. The top tier presenters of the conference include BigLaw attorneys, Managing Partners, Tech Entrepreneurs, Patent Officials, and Startup Advisors. The TI:GER Innovation Conference is a must-attend for women and people of color in the tech field, and for those looking for ways to be better allies to the underrepresented community in technology. Registration for this FREE online conference is available here.

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Information Inspirations

There are conspiracies that may be true, and there are conspiracy theories that are usually not true. The Culture Analytics Group a the University of California, Berkeley developed an AI tool to distinguish between the two.

ILTA launched a five-part podcast series featuring ILTA’s Influential Women in Legal Tech Honorees to discuss their experience and insights on how they’ve addressed legal innovation. Part one and part two are out now.

Many believe that misinformation is something that the “other side” is tricked into believing. Unfortunately, a lot of the misinformation is willfully consumed, not just by the other side, but by many of us. The consumption is so widespread that the Washington Post stopped publishing its Internet fact-checking column because people simply didn’t care. Sean Blanda expands on this human behavior of willfully accepting false information in his Medium post, “The ‘Other Side’ Is Not Dumb.”

The audio-only social media tool Clubhouse is becoming popular in the business community. While it is still an invite-only, Apple iOS-only tool, Clubhouse is gaining traction in the community. We will check it out, and see if the reporting is true in that it might be a great platform to do a live-podcast. If we do it… we’ll let you all know.

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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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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 102 – Nicole Morris on Emory Law Schools TI:GER Innovation Conference

Gender and diversity analysis is necessary to the success of law firmsIn fact, diversity metrics are quite openly a common ask from law firm clients.   Firms may not often have this sort of information readily available, due to siloed information and custodial/privacy concerns.  We get the scoop from  Phil Flora from Leopard Solutions about their new searchable gender and ethnic diversity platform, how it works, what it reveals, who can use it, and why.  We discuss what was found in terms of the top 200 and below in terms of racial diversity and there is room for improvement.  Quite a bit.  If firms want to establish a baseline for improvement, this platform might prove a good way to start.

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Information Inspirations

Mike Whelan, the author of Lawyer Forward, is doing something crazy. He’s starting 90 episode podcast series called the 90-Day Known Expert. During this time, he plans to teach lawyers how to leverage their writing and publishing skills to become both known in the industry, as well as seen as an expert in the industry. Best of luck on your adventure Mike!!

Professor Bill Henderson lays out a two-part series that wants to turn law firms away from their Rainmaker model into a team model. It worked for Goldman Sachs, why not for BigLaw? (Part One. Part Two.)

Christina Herrmann, Chief Talent Officer at Shipman & Goodwin penned a LinkedIn article reminding us that law firms are a business and that to have a competitive advantage, the C-Suite needs to be filled with the proper talent for what’s coming post-COVID.

Need a visual representation to help you identify common cognitive biases? We have a chart of 50 for you to peruse.

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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

[0:19]

Marlene Gebauer:  Welcome to the Geek in Review. The podcast focus on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert:  And I’m Greg Lambert. So Marlene, I just love reconnecting with old friends especially during this crazy year of 2020,

Marlene Gebauer:  who doesn’t love connecting with old friends?
Continue Reading The Geek In Review Ep. 87 – Phil Flora on Leopard Solution’s New Gender and Ethnic Diversity Tool

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we have seen many firms expand and publicize their diversity efforts in the community. Many of these efforts are part of pro bono programs supported by individual firms. Brenna DeVaney, Director of Pro Bono Programs and Pro Bono Counsel at Skadden and the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance (LFAA) have a different approach–leverage the legal and technical expertise of law firms and legal vendors as a whole while working with legal services organizations and race equity advocates to battle systemic racism long term. Brenna provides us with some insights into the mission of the LFAA and its plans for the future. [PDF of LFAA Mission]

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Information Inspirations
Bon Appétit? Apparently not if you have dark skin. Greg discusses how Bon Appetite’s popular Test Kitchen got derailed due to racist policies. He also ponders how individual freedom can hamper good solutions–in this case the use of COVID-19 tracing apps.
For those of you who can’t take being on another online call, Marlene has a hack for you. You can use pre-recordings. And while the end result is great, the effort might not be worth it. But if you do choose to pre-record yourself nodding and sipping coffee, spend your free time listening to Marlene’s summary of the recent copyright litigation of Thomson Reuters v. ROSS Intelligence.
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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 83 – The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance – Brenna DeVaney

Andre Davison was literally a sixteen year old student when he began his career in law firm libraries. Now the Research Technology Manager at Blank Rome’s Houston office, Andre has taken a leadership role both within his firm with technology and diversity programs, and has been rewarded for his efforts with multiple awards. Andre was awarded his firm’s Nathaniel R. Jones Diversity Award for his diversity efforts, and he was the American Association of Law Libraries’ Innovation Tournament winner for his Seamless Access to Secondary Sources (SASS) which enabled lawyers and others at his firm to dive into the portions of research materials directly, and without having to worry about usernames, passwords, or client numbers. Previous TGIR interviewee, David Whelan, has a great summary of his experiences as a judge for the AALL Innovation Tournament.

Andre’s work expands past his award winning efforts at his firm, and he has taken on leadership roles on the local level with the Houston Area Law Libraries (HALL) as the current President. The local chapters are a wealth of professional development, and local community efforts which he says brings a family-like environment to him and his peers.

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How does your family describe what you do?

Speaking of family, we share stories of how our families describe to others what we do for work. As might be expected, it doesn’t always match the reality of the situation. Greg thinks that it might have been easier on his family if he worked at Walmart. We’d love to get more stories to put on the show of what it is that your family members think you do. Leave us a voicemail at 713-487-7270 or email us at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com and share your story!

Information Inspirations

How Should Law Schools Adjust for Gen Z?


Continue Reading The Geek In Review Ep. 51 – Andre Davison – Winning with Diversity and Technology

It’s the episode of The Geek In Review that Greg has dreamed about. Beer law!

Courtney Selby, Associate Dean for Information Services, Director of the Law Library, and Professor of Law at Hoftra University Law School, walks us through the strange and interesting topic of beer laws. Selby has immersed herself in the topic for years, and has an upcoming publication with W.S. Hein on Brewery Law with a national survey of state laws on the topic. Not only does Courtney Selby explain some of the more bizarre rules around beer, ciders, and other alcohol laws, she also give some great suggestions on different beers to try.

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The Geek In Review is now available on Spotify and Stitcher platforms. That brings us up to over a dozen platforms. So make sure that you subscribe on whatever your favorite platform is. Chances are, we’re there.

Information Inspirations:

Rob Saccone’s article, Fractal dysfunction and the mathematics of #biglaw innovationdiscusses moving your innovation ideas off of the drawing board and into measurable actions. Saccone brings out his inner-math nerd to walk us through the fractals and the vectors of making innovation more than just an abstract concept. Shout out to Jae Um for her inspiration on this article.
Continue Reading Courtney Selby on Beer Law