In this episode of “The Geek in Review,” co-hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer engage with Dan Lear, VP of Partnerships at InfoTrack, capturing insights from the latest LegalWeek 2024 conference. Lear shares his observations on the evolving landscape of legal technology, noting the increased diversity of technologies present at the conference compared to previous years. He highlights a shift from a narrow focus on eDiscovery to a broader array of legal tech solutions, indicating a significant expansion in the sector’s innovation and investment interest.

Dan Lear delves into the transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry. While AI dominated previous discussions with a mix of fear and fascination, Lear suggests the narrative is shifting towards practical integration and utility. The conversation reflects on the cyclical hype surrounding AI, with speculation on whether the legal sector has reached or surpassed its peak AI moment. Lear posits that the real value of AI will unfold as it becomes more embedded in legal workflows, transforming efficiency rather than replacing legal professionals outright.

InfoTrack’s role and offerings in the legal tech space receive a detailed exploration. Lear explains how InfoTrack serves primarily small to medium-sized law firms, facilitating more efficient litigation support through integrated cloud-based solutions. He underscores the challenge and opportunity in educating and transitioning firms to embrace digital practices for docketing and court filings, emphasizing InfoTrack’s mission to expand electronic access to court services for the betterment of legal accessibility and efficiency.

Lear further discusses the demands and dynamics of InfoTrack’s clientele, identifying a trend towards specialization and business acumen within law firms. He predicts that technology will play a pivotal role in enabling firms to succeed by enhancing client acquisition, service delivery, and operational efficiency. The conversation underscores a broader industry evolution towards recognizing and leveraging technology not just for the sake of innovation, but as a strategic asset to differentiate and thrive in a competitive landscape.

Concluding the episode, Lear reflects on the future trajectory of the legal industry and InfoTrack’s place within it. He envisions a legal sector increasingly shaped by technological advancements, where AI and digital platforms streamline processes and redefine the nature of legal work. Through Lear’s insights, the episode offers a compelling snapshot of the current state and exciting prospects of legal technology, highlighting the continuous journey towards more accessible, efficient, and innovative legal services.

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Transcript:

Continue Reading LegalWeek 2024 Special Part Five – Dan Lear from LegalTrack

In the latest episode of “The Geek in Review” podcast, hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer continue their series of interviews at the 2024 LegalWeek conference with guest Bill Piwonka, the Chief Marketing Officer at Exterro. The conversation dives into Exterro’s participation at LegalWeek, highlighting the return to pre-COVID attendance levels and the

Welcome to the first of a few special Legal Week 2024 edition episodes of “The Geek in Review,” where we looked for innovative and creative ideas on the road and recorded live from the bustling environment of the 2024 Legal Week conference in New York.

Marlene Gebauer notes the transformation of Legal Week into a thought leadership conference, with a special mention of keynote speaker Bryan Cranston’s impactful talk on storytelling, branding, and the thoughtful application of AI in both the acting world and the legal tech space.

Joey Seeber, the guest for this episode, brings his experience and insights as the representative of Level Legal, a company that recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Seeber shares the origin story of Level Legal, starting from its humble beginnings in 2009 in East Texas, evolving from a document review team within a law firm to a full-service eDiscovery and forensics company based in Dallas. Underlining the transition from paper to digital and the challenges of data hygiene, Seeber emphasizes the company’s growth and its focus on human-centric service in the legal tech industry.

Discussing the influence of generative AI and other technological advancements on legal services, Seeber provides a grounded perspective on the hype versus the reality of AI’s impact on the industry. He stresses the importance of human-to-human connections and hospitality in legal services, suggesting that while technical skills are essential, the ability to serve and delight clients sets Level Legal apart. Seeber notes the challenges of adapting to various eDiscovery platforms, the importance of a diverse skill set among staff, and the evolving roles within the legal tech ecosystem. Seeber’s vision for Level Legal includes a focus on what he terms the “excellence reflex” – a combination of curiosity, service instinct, and the anticipation of client needs.

In the “crystal ball” segment, Seeber cautiously predicts the trajectory of generative AI in legal tech, suggesting that significant changes may be more gradual than some expect. He reflects on the legal industry’s slow pace of adoption and the importance of integrating new technologies thoughtfully and effectively.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Legal Week 2024 Special Part One: Joey Seeber of Level Legal

The promise of AI has been around for decades, but it is the last three months that has finally caused an awakening so forceful, that even the legal industry understands it needs to be ready for the upcoming Age of AI. This week’s guest has worked toward that goal of integrating AI and other technologies into the practice of law for more than forty years. Johannes (Jan) Scholtes is Chief Data Scientist for IPRO – ZyLAB, and Extraordinairy (Full) Professor Text Mining at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. He joins us this week to discuss the need for lawyers and law firms to use these tools to enhance the power of the practice of law. And he warns that if the traditional legal resources of lawyers and firms won’t step up, there are others who will step in to fill that void.
While the AI tools like GPT and other generative AI tools have finally begun to be true language tools, there is still a lot that these tools simply cannot do. Scholtes says that there is plenty of legal work to be done, and in fact perhaps more work now that the computers can do most of the heavy lifting and allow the lawyers to do the thinking and strategy.
Scholtes compares the relationship between the lawyer and the technology to be that of a pilot and co-pilot. A relationship in which the co-pilot cannot be completely trusted but can be trained to assist through the process of vertical training. This means that a law firm needs to work with the AI to have it better understand how to process legal information. Having the technology alongside the lawyers provides a stronger legal representation than just the lawyers or the technology alone. In addition to reducing risk and improving outcomes, Scholtes also projects that Lawyer + AI means higher rates and better profitability, while the clients receive better results.
It is exciting to be at the beginning of this change in the way law is practiced. It is important, however, that law firms, lawyers, and legal professionals understand how to teach and control the technology, and that there needs to be transparency in how the tools work and make decisions. His recommendation is that if all you are offered is and AI Black Box, then you should simply walk away. That lack of trust will come back to bite you.
For more insights from Jan Scholtes, visit his blog, Legal Tech Bridge.

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Transcript:

Continue Reading Johannes Scholtes: AI Is Finally Here. Now the Hard Work Begins for the Legal Industry (TGIR Ep. 191)