On this episode of The Geek in Review podcast, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert interview Kris Martin, Executive Vice President at Harbor, to discuss innovation, AI, and the future of technology in the legal industry.
They open the show by talking about Harbor’s upcoming LINKS conference and its keynote focused on exploring human potential in the age of AI. Kris provides background on how the conference originated from an annual survey Harbor conducts to take the pulse of the legal community. He explains Harbor’s goal is to support legal organizations through insights, research, and events like the LINKS conference.
The discussion moves to AI trends and Jean O’Grady and Harbor’s strategic Start/Stop Survey results. The survey reveals 93% of firms are actively exploring AI tools, with top vendors being Casetext and Thomson Reuters. Kris emphasizes law librarians play a crucial role in evaluating new AI technologies and guiding procurement decisions as firms adopt these tools.
However, with tight budgets at most firms, Kris Martin points out it’s also important to audit usage data of existing resources. This helps inform negotiations with vendors to find cost savings on research contracts. He notes legal research tools will inevitably integrate more tightly into lawyers’ daily workflows in the future. To facilitate this, Kris introduces the concept of “citizen coders” – enabling lawyers to articulate their needs and processes in technology and code terms rather than just legal terms.
Shifting gears, Kris elaborates on Harbor’s recent rebranding from HBR Consulting, which brought six previously merged companies together under one unified brand and mission. He explains that true integration requires deep alignment across the merged organizations on culture, vision, and values. This allows Harbor to provide end-to-end solutions for legal organizations.
Looking to the future, Kris predicts legal research will become even more embedded into lawyer workflows over the next 2-5 years, rather than a separate step. He sees law libraries’ roles evolving as AI capabilities increasingly integrate into legal processes and tools. Rather than going to a separate platform for research, lawyers will access these AI-enhanced tools in their daily workflows.
Overall, the wide-ranging discussion provides insights into Harbor’s efforts to support the legal community through conferences, research, and integrating emerging technologies. Kris highlights the importance of law librarians evaluating and implementing new AI tools while also managing costs through audits. He leaves listeners with an optimistic vision for the future where legal research and lawyers’ needs are more tightly connected through technology.
- Sign up for LINKS here: https://harborglobal.com/services/community-insights/legal-industry-forums-education/legal-information-knowledge-services-links
- Email with questions for LINKS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Kris: Kristopher.Martin@harborglobal.com
Twitter: @gebauerm, or @glambert
Threads: @glambertpod or @gebauerm66
Music: Jerry David DeCicca