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.
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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. 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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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.
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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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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.

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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. 106 – Geoff Zodda on Legal Industry Employment Trends in a Post-COVID World

We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, author of the book Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates, and talk about how associates mature into their roles as lawyers with law firms. As these second to sixth-year associates begin to take on more substantial legal roles, as well as leadership, mentorship, and allyship among their fellow lawyers, the stress of the job can become overwhelming. Bluestein talks through a number of examples of how mid-level associates can handle the increased workload, improve communications with partners at the firm, and realistically plan for their future. During the COVID era, associates my struggle with their work, feel depressed, or have other troubles adjusting to a disrupted work environment. Bluestein says that law firms need to address these issues by observing behavior and constant communication with associates who need help. Our clients are still in need of their lawyer’s counsel, and now more than ever, associates are really a necessary part of the law firm’s business.

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The Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Institute published the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market. Beyond stating the obvious, that 2020 was an extraordinary year, the report suggests that the pandemic may be the tipping point for law firms and how they practice law going forward.

Summize is a new contract lifecycle product that claims to be a lightweight solution for contract review. There a number of interesting things it does, including how it summarizes the contract for easy review and exportable to MS Word and Excel.

Greg was on the other side of the interview this week when he sat down with Chad Main, host of the Technically Legal podcast. If you want to learn more about Greg on a professional and personal level, go check out the episode: Greg Lambert on the Importance of the 21st Century Law Librarian.

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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. 101 – How Mid-Level Associates Can Thrive at Law Firms – with Jennifer Bluestein

Welcome to the 100th episode of The Geek in Review. We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast as much as we’ve had in making it.

We talk with Jennifer Bluestein, Chief Talent and HR Officer for Perkins Coie in part one of a two-part interview. Jennifer’s new book, Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates helps associates, partners, HR, and professional development personnel better understand the needs of those second to sixth-year associates as they move from learning how to practice law to learning how to practice law, while managing up and down the associate ladder. In part one, we discuss the basic challenges of a mid-level when it comes to communication skills, and knowing when to delegate, and when not to delegate. We also cover the issues with understanding partner evaluations of associates and what the difference is between a coaching moment, and what is a performance issue.

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The American Bar Association reports that being a judge can be stressful.

If you’re looking for a great curated newsletter on all the mergers and other happenings in the legal tech industry, Nate’s News, curated by Nate Schorr, may be just what you are looking for.

AI bias is something we’ve all heard about. Recently the bias appeared in how the COVID vaccine is being distributed. At least that was how it was reported. Karen Hao from MIT Tech Review thinks it may be more of a people problem than an Algorithm/AI issue.

And speaking of AI, Sheppard Mullins is the first law firm to sign the EqualAI pledge, with the hope of reducing AI bias in the practice of law.

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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. 100 – Jennifer Bluestein on Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates

A couple of episodes ago, we had Richard Hsu discuss the need to eventually bring as many of our lawyers back to a physical office in order to have a successful working environment. Stephen Embry of LegalTech Crossroads Blog reached out to us after listening and wanted to argue that while he understood Richard’s argument that in order for there to be a level playing field for all lawyers in the firm, that there were actually ways to create a successful environment where lawyers could continue to work remotely. In fact, that with the right strategy, training, support, and flexibility, that it would actually attract better talent and lead to better satisfaction from not just the firm’s own lawyers, but also from the firm’s clients as well.

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Halloween is the weekend, and like any good legal nerd, you’ll want to know where to find some law review articles on the topic. Our friends at the Ohio State University Law Library have curated a list just for you.

While our guest today talks about the value of online depositions, Above the Law recently wrote about one lawyer’s desire to get back to the good old days. Which we will probably never see. But, he can keep wishing.

Dalhousie University Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia is working to help startups in Eastern Canada work through some of their basic legal needs. This subscription-based service is designed to get the startups some help, but at the same time, not actually compete with law firms. Read more about the initio Technology and Innovation Law Clinic and its Director, Jacqueline Walsh.

Is the US Supreme Court forever going to be surrounded by the political whims of the other two branches of government? Probably. But, under the right circumstances, it may not need to be.

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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. 93 – Stephen Embry – The Future of the Law Office Won’t Need Everyone to be in the Office

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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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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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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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