Adam Curphey’s new book, The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills guides the reader through the need for less silos in legal practice and much more reliance upon teams and collaborative efforts. The idea of a “Law+” model for the profession brings in the essential processes of adding people, business, change, and technology to the law and creating legal teams to solve legal problems.
Curphey’s experiences at law firms like White & Case LLP, Reed Smith LLP, and Mayer Brown LLP helped provide insights into what worked and didn’t work in legal innovation. His membership on the O-Shaped Lawyer Steering Board also provided the human-centric skills needed for the integration of teams into an industry filled with accomplished individuals used to going it alone. This expansion of the T-Shaped and the Delta Model Lawyers brings in more of that human interaction that is needed in today’s complex legal environment.
The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills also lays out multiple case studies and examples of collaboration, teamwork, and professional progression. We talk about some of the case studies along with Adam Curphey’s view into his crystal ball on what is on the horizon for the legal industry in terms of legal innovation.
Links to Order The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills
LVNx Crystal Ball Answer
This week, Purvi Sanghvi  from Paul Hastings, and a current Legal Value Network Executive Board Member, explains how the legal industry may approach a potential economic downturn in 2023, and how that must be different from the 2008 or the 2020 approaches on previous challenges to the profession.
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7821 (note the NEW NUMBER!)
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: 
Jerry David DeCicca
Transcript


Continue Reading Preparing for the Legal Team of the Future – Adam Curphey (TGIR Ep. 176)

For the first time ever, we have a guest co-host this week while Marlene wears her fancy sneakers around ILTACon seeking answers to our Crystal Ball question.
Katie Brown, Associate Dean for Information Resources at Charleston School of Law is on a mission to increase the teaching of practical technology skills to law students. In her view, law professors “are required to educate people so that they can go out into the practice and successfully do that. And so beyond just, rule 1.1 with legal technology and having that competency, for us as law schools, I think we have an ethical obligation to be teaching legal technology.” This approach needs to be embedded into the Law School’s culture, because it costs money, time, and effort to do correctly.
In upcoming research collected with University of Connecticut Law’s Jessica de Perio Wittman, Brown and de Perio Wittman calculated that on average, law students have less than 4 classes during their entire time in law school that have some aspect of teaching them the technology skills in that topic. Brown wants to see that number rise.
AALL Crystal Ball Answer

While in Denver at the AALL Conference, Katie not only answered our Crystal Ball question, she also persuaded Abby Dos Santos, Reference Librarian at Caplin & Drysdale, to sit down with her and have a conversation about the pipeline of technology teaching from law school to law firms. We cover both of those answers and then Katie turns the mic on Greg to ask what law students need to understand about court dockets before landing in law firms.

Special thanks to Katie Brown for stepping in and co-hosting this week!!

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Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Transcript


Continue Reading Teaching (and Pressuring) Law Professors to Teach Technology – Katie Brown (TGIR Ep. 171)

Five years ago, Dr. Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and co-founder, Gardner & Co, wrote the book, “Smart Collaboration” where she laid out the “why” behind smart collaboration efforts. In her upcoming sequel, “Smarter Collaboration: A New Approach to Breaking Down Barriers and Transforming Work,” Dr. Gardner explains the “who” and the “how” behind collaboration. The issues that law firms face today are incredibly complex and multifaceted. And in an industry famous for “going it alone,” that approach exposes firms to much greater risk than those who find ways of implementing “smarter collaboration” techniques. 
Smarter Collaboration helps increase revenues, profits, and efficiencies while reducing risks and improving client relationships and positive outcomes. While the idea of collaboration may sound like a “soft topic” for law firm leaders, Dr. Gardner points out that there is empirical data behind this and if firms are not engaging in smarter collaboration when doing the “real work” then they are either doing something that is pretty low value, or that falls into the realm of commodity work.  
In addition to data driven analysis, Smarter Collaboration also includes a number of examples of how companies and law firms thrive through the use of Smarter Collaboration. Plus, there is a test on determining behavioral tendencies when it comes to collaboration. This psychometric tool helps identify seven different dimensions which can lead to great collaboration within the organization, or may be barriers to collaboration. And, as strange as it may sound to those of us in the legal industry, law firms are not unique when it comes to collaborative behaviors. In fact, Dr. Gardner says law firms are more different from each other than they are from other professional services industries or large corporations.
Listen in for more details on the upcoming book, Smarter Collaboration.

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AALL Crystal Ball Question
This week we have John Beatty from the University of Buffalo Law School answer our crystal ball question where he points out that the pipeline of traditional law librarians for law schools may be running dry.
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Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript


Continue Reading Increased Revenue, Profits, and Efficiencies through “Smarter Collaboration” – Dr. Heidi Gardner (TGIR Ep. 169)

When the pandemic began, many law firms prepared for the worst by furloughing or laying off lawyers and legal professionals. Many of these same firms then found themselves at a disadvantage when the hiring spree began in the fourth quarter of 2020. Leopard Solution‘s Phil Flora joins us this week to talk about the numbers that they tracked over this time on hiring and movement in the legal industry. Pre-pandemic, there were 6,000 – 7,000 open jobs at any given moment. Currently, that number is 12,000+. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Phil Flora discusses a number of issues around how law firms and others are managing, recruiting, and retaining talent in such an active market. Of course, money is the traditional approach for law firms, and that is no exception this time around. However, Flora points out that there are a lot of “greats” going on in the market, including the “Great Pause”, the “Great Resurgence”, and the “Great Reflection” to name a few. And while money will be one piece of the solution, legal talent is wanting many more adjustments in order to keep them content and in place. This includes more work flexibility, mentoring, and even more social awareness by the law firms when it comes to how they align with societal goals.

Crystal Ball Question

We asked Norton Rose Fulbright’s Zack Barnes to look into his crystal ball and predict what he sees for the legal industry. Barnes’ future expands upon the ability for the legal market to expand upon the sandboxes created by Utah and Arizona to allow for ownership of law firms beyond the licensed attorney ranks. For true business innovation, there needs to be diversity in the ownership ranks.

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Contact Us

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert

Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 153 – Phil Flora on What Law Firms are doing in the Battle for Talent

With the influx of Venture Capital and overall interests in Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), the rest of the legal industry is finally figuring out what InnoLaw‘s Lucy Bassli has known for years; contracts are sexy. We sit down with Lucy to discuss her second book, CLM Simplified: Efficient Contracting for Law Departments and the potential of making the contract process faster, better, easier, smarter, more efficient, operationalized, and automated is the concept that is so appealing. Lucy Bassli’s experience in-house with Microsoft helped launch her new career advising other in-house and outside counsel on legal operations, and how to really communicate with one another in ways to produce true innovation.

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Information Inspirations

The Debt Relief Clinic was named the 2022 recipient of the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access for its commitment to increasing legal services to low-income Tennesseans and reaching that goal through the innovative use of technology.

We talked about the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance back in August of 2020 (Ep. 83), well our guest, Skadden’s Brenna DeVaney along with Cravath’s Kiisha Morrow talk with Thomson Reuter’s Thomas Kim to catch us all up on the progress that LFAA member firms are doing in order to keep up the momentum we all felt after the summer of 2020.

Contact Us

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.

Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.

Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 148 – InnoLaw’s Lucy Bassli on the Sexiness of Contracts

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Yogi Berra
Yet that never stops us from asking our “crystal ball” questions to our guests like Axiom’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Pierce. Some of the traits that David believes will make for successful businesses and people include:
  • Emphasis on creativity and great imaginations
  • Make it clear that everyone’s health and safety are top priorities through clear communication and transparent efforts
  • Be flexible on work environments with clear policies
  • Lay out clear business missions and objectives and make it clear what role each person plays in helping accomplish that mission
We also dive into Axiom’s mission and the role that David has played over the past few years. As well as David dropping some knowledge about Yellow Loading Zones he learned in law school.

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 142 – Axiom’s David Pierce on Talent Recruitment and Flexible Working-Models Amid Shifting Industry Expectations

In an industry focused on revenue and profit, where does something like customer experience stand in the priorities of legal providers? Leigh Vickery, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Level Legal, as well as CEO and founder of Queso Mama, says that we need to look at the corporate and legal industry world differently. Instead of putting shareholders and partners first, they need to fall much further down the list. If you take care of your employees and your customers first, there will still be plenty left over for the shareholders and everyone is better off in the end. 
We dive into the topic of how other industries approach customer data and use the information to create a better experience. Can examples like Eleven Madison Park restaurant teach the legal industry better client interactions? Vickery believes so. Metrics like Profits Per Partner might show the industry how profitable the law firms are, but perhaps we need different metrics to show how satisfied the law firm’s clients really are. See Leigh’s article on Economics of Mutuality.

Information Inspirations
Casey Flaherty has an excellent article on how incremental improvements can create better returns on investment than big moon-shot projects. Check it out, right here on 3 Geeks
Wikipedia biographies are surprisingly difficult for women to not only get them on the platform, but to also keep them from being deleted. UNC Professor Franchesca Trapoti discusses the bias in her paper, “Miscatagorized: Gender, Notability, and Inequality on Wikipedia” and Marketplace Tech breaks down some examples.
Bob Ambrogi’s two-part article/podcast focuses on the unique resurrection of UpCounsel’s “legal as a service” model, as well as the interesting crowdfunding to raise capital. It’ll be interesting to see how well this crowdfunding goes, and if other legal services use this model.
Hey kids, lemonade stands are “legal” in New Hampshire and Illinois.
The Netherlands is using AI to pick up butts on the beach. Cigarette butts, that is.
Listen, Subscribe, Comment
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


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 126 – Leigh Vickery on Creating Top-Shelf Customer Experience in Legal

Over the past year, many of us have said “I guess all law firms are virtual law firms now.” While that may technically be true, there are many firms whose business model is based on being a virtual firm. Dan Packel from The American Lawyer gives us a primer on Distributed Law Firms like Fisher Broyles, Ramon, Taylor English and Duma, and Culhane Meadows and how they operate without a physical environment. While many of these firms may fly below the radar for many biglaw firms, distributed firms like Fisher Broyles may be poised to break into the AmLaw 200. And if that happens, and it might happen this year, many big firms will start to take notice.

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Information Inspirations

While we don’t want you to replace us as your favorite podcast, we do think that Stephen Poor’s new podcast from Seyfarth, Pioneer and Pathfinders, provides some good sit-down discussions with legal innovators like Dr. Heidi Gardner, Dan Linna, Nicole Bradick, and more to come. Go check it out.

There are only eleven states now which do not require lawyers to have a competence level when it comes to legal technology. California is the latest to make such a requirement.

Our fellow geek, Casey Flaherty is the last of the Baker McKenzie dream team to finally leave Baker and go back into the legal innovation consulting world. Casey is now the Chief Strategy Officer at LexFusion and is bringing his talent back into the open legal market to help legal departments and law firms implement technology to improve overall legal processes.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly brings us a new blockchain sheriff in Texas. The Texas Blockchain Council is a nonprofit trade association with the objective to make Texas the center of the universe for blockchain technology.

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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


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 112 – Dan Packel on the Rise of Distributed Law Firms

Most of us in the legal industry did not think of the employment market as being anything close to stable in 2020. However, as we are witnessing from the AmLaw 100/200 firm revenue numbers being released, many firms had record revenue and profits. In fact, recent reports show that the industry actually added some 5,000 jobs recently. Geoff Zodda, Chief Solutions Officer of IT Search at PearlCare Search Group, talks with us about what happened in the legal market surrounding the technology, information, analytics, and knowledge workers in 2020, and the projections for these types of professions as the industry refashions itself for a post-COVID economy. For those who are flexible, can wear multiple work hats, and can analyze data, the world may be your oyster.

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Information Inspirations

If a human adds some words into a computer, and that computer uses AI to produce art based on that human input, who owns the rights to that art? Charlotte Kilpatrick from ManagingIP talks with three experts to answer that question.

There is a topic that a lot of us avoid and that is succession planning First, it is uncomfortable, second it is uncomfortable.

We have discussed T-Shaped and Delta-Model lawyers in the past. However, easyJet is making its outside counsel show how O-Shaped they are by creating innovative questions on their request for proposals and law firm pitches for business.

Ken Crutchfield points out some of the traps that innovators fall into when they don’t listen or interpret customers or seek feedback. His experience showing his father about the Trapper Keeper when he was 15 helped him understand what customer feedback meant for success.

Listen, Subscribe, Comment

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


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 106 – Geoff Zodda on Legal Industry Employment Trends in a Post-COVID World