No matter what happens during this economic, political, health, and social crisis, Olga Mack reminds us that our skills are ours to keep. Olga is the CEO of Parley Pro, and brings her wisdom to the podcast on what lawyers and other legal professionals need to do to take care of themselves and thrive through the good times and the bad. Olga is the CEO of Parley Pro, a company that developed an innovative contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool, but she is so much more than that. A prolific speaker, a thought leader in the legal industry, a litigator, a transactional attorney, an in-house, as well as BigLaw attorney alumni. If you can name it, she’s probably mastered it. We sit down with Olga to talk about a range of topics and share in her wisdom and experiences. Come along for the ride.

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Information Inspirations
Artificial Lawyer and Legal Examiner both covered stories about a unique type of litigation funding company called LawAsYouGo. While they tout their ability to enhance Access to Justice (A2J) issues, there are a number of issues that we’d like to see addressed with how they actually create a positive influence on the A2J movement.
Our friends at Legal Innovators produced a White Paper called “Restoring Lost Hope: How to finally achieve meaningful diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.” Bryan Parker and Jon Greenblatt cover the issues of current and historic racial discrimination in the legal industry and suggestions on how to move forward. One major issue that we worry about is the fatigue that seems to be setting in on certain segments of the population. Now is not the time to rest, or think we’ve learned enough. Sharing this paper with the powers that be at your organization might be one way to help power through and look for meaningful ways to encourage diversity, inclusion, and equality.
In a recent Lindsey, Africa, and Major survey, women partners are paid an average of $332,000 less than their male counterparts. Business Insider looks at this report and explains how one of the best options for female partners to increase their pay and their happiness, is to leave and go to somewhere else.
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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 88 – Olga Mack on Valuing Your Skills, Reputation, and Determination

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

How successful have firms been in handling the stress of adjusting to the needs of the market, knowing how to present that message to clients, and understanding how a sustained firm culture plays a critical role in their ability to cope? Barbara Malin, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Jackson Walker, LLP, and Jennifer Johnson, CEO of Calibrate Legal discuss the critical role marketing, business development, and firm culture play in times of crisis. Our guests tackle some very tough questions about whether firms know and embody their culture and if cultural bias hampers their ability to succeed. They also highlight how firms have adjusted their business development plans to support clients in light of COVID and anti-racism movements.

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Information Inspirations

Are you feeling inspired this August? We certainly are. From identifying songbirds via neural networks to Deloitte Legal’s AI pro bono project in the UK to pornography suits in Martha’s Vineyard, we share our thoughts on the news of the week.

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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.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 82 – Law Firm Culture and Marketing, and How to Market Law Firm Culture – Barbara Malin and Jennifer Johnson

It’s not unusual for law firms to invest $1M or more in recruiting, hiring, training, and retention of Associates over the first four years of their legal career. However, if you look at the actual retention rates through the fourth or fifth year, it is essentially a coin flip on whether the firm retains, or

If there’s one thing that many of us need these days, it is a cybersecurity expert on retainer. Luckily, law professor Steve Black, visiting professor at the University of Houston fills that need. Prof. Black talks with us on a number of issues including what motivates hackers and cybercriminals (spoiler: it’s money), the dark web, how law firms and business approach information stored in the cloud, and what process automation means for data security.
Law firms might be a weak link in the eyes of cybercriminals when it comes to acquiring information. Professor Black discusses the different tactics cybercriminals use, the vulnerabilities found in law firms, and the actions that we need to take with our equipment, our network, our people, and our data. We guarantee that his discussion would be the highlight of any party.

Information Inspirations
While some still think of Millennials as the new kids in the workforce, that isn’t really true. In a recent white paper from Thomson Reuters titled, “Becoming the firm where millennials want to work,” the authors discuss the needs of a generation which is now the largest percentage in the workforce. Greg ponders the idea of there actually being two subsets within the generation of those in the workforce through the Great Recession and those who entered after the downturn. There is almost a decade of lawyers who have never actually experienced what it’s like to work during a recession.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 66 – Professor Steve Black on Cybersecurity in the Legal Market

Three law school innovators, three law firm innovators, a law student, and a BigLaw Partner meet on a podcast… this podcast… and share thoughts on how to improve law students’ tech skills before they arrive at the firm. That is the setting for this episode of The Geek in Review.
Nikki Shaver, Director of Innovation and Knowledge from Paul Hastings got this conversation started on Twitter when she discovered that most of the New Fall Associates (NFAs) did not take any technology or innovation courses while in law school. This is not an uncommon story. There seems to be little incentive, either on the law school, or law firm side of recruiting which stresses tech competencies. But just because that’s the way it has always been, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. There is definitely room for improvement! So we wanted to get a group together and do just that.

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We asked Vanderbilt Law School’s Cat Moon, Vermont Law School’s Jeannette Eicks, and University of Oklahoma Law School’s Kenton Brice to cover the law school innovation perspective.
Nikki Shaver, Marlene, and Greg cover the law firm innovation perspective.
We also asked Jackson Walker Partner Matt Acosta, and Michigan State University Law School student, Kanza Khan to jump in and share their experiences with the expectations for legal technology skills.
We take a deep dive into the topic ranging from what law schools are actually offering students, what are law firms expectations for tech skills, and are law firm recruiting, and law school placement incentivizing students to be more proficient with tech before they arrive as NFAs?


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 55 – The Legal Tech and Innovation Pipeline – Can Law Schools and Law Firms Better the Process?

There are two standard answers to questions asked in a law firm setting.

  1. Well… it depends.
  2. You have to understand, we’re unique.

Both of them drive us nuts, but we get used to them and adjust or responses over time to limit the eye-roll and shaking of the head to a minimum.

When it comes