In the fourth round of interviews of “The Geek in Review” podcast’s mini-series “Love & Legal Tech,” hosts Greg Lambert and Marlene Gebauer chat with Chris Ford and Nikki Shaver, the dynamic couple behind the Legal Technology Hub. Their project, conceived out of necessity and frustration with the lack of a single source of truth for legal technology solutions, has grown into a thriving business that categorizes and reviews over 2000 legal tech products, aiding law firms and corporate legal departments in navigating the vast landscape of available technologies.

Their story begins in Australia, where Chris and Nikki first connected through a dating site, a testament to their adventurous spirits and willingness to embrace new technologies, even in their personal lives. This spirit of innovation and exploration carried over into their professional lives when they decided to tackle the challenge of creating a centralized platform for legal technology solutions during the pandemic. Their complementary skills in marketing, legal tech, and innovation have been crucial to their success, demonstrating the power of collaboration and mutual respect in both business and personal relationships.

Working together presents its challenges, notably in balancing professional demands with family life, as they navigate attending the same industry events while ensuring the wellbeing of their two children. Yet, it’s clear that their partnership strengthens both their business and their relationship, as they share a common goal and a deep understanding of each other’s strengths.

Chris and Nikki’s journey is a shining example for other couples in the legal tech industry, emphasizing the importance of shared vision, respect for each other’s expertise, and the willingness to support one another’s ideas, no matter how ambitious. Their advice for other couples looking to work together in the industry is to focus on their common goals and leverage their unique strengths, ensuring that their partnership is both professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling.

Their dedication to innovation, coupled with their strong relationship, showcases the potential for couples to make significant contributions to the legal tech industry while building a life together.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠ and Eve Searls

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Love and Legal Tech: Nikki Shaver and Chris Ford of Legal Technology Hub

In our third installment of Love and Legal Tech, we talk with Ab Saraswat and Priti Saraswat. Ab and Priti met while training to be barristers in the UK. They were on opposing debate teams, and Ab proposed within a year of meeting Priti. They have been married for almost a decade. Though they didn’t originally intend to work together, they both ended up at legal tech company Litera for several years but in different roles. People were surprised to later learn they were married.

Currently, Ab is the Chief Revenue Officer at legal project management startup Lupl. Ab is also the podcast host at Fringe Legal. Priti is the Legal Tech Consulting Manager at Baker Hostetler’s alternative legal services provider IncuBaker. Though their roles differ, being in the same industry allows them to bounce ideas off each other. However, the blurred lines between personal and professional lives can be challenging. They try not to talk about work on vacation.

Professionally, they handle disagreements through discussion and debate thanks to their backgrounds. They present their opinions but don’t fight about them, often agreeing to disagree. Socially, they set expectations ahead of time for how long they’ll stay at events. They “divide and conquer” at conferences by networking separately but checking in.

The common reaction now is that it’s cool they work in the same industry because they understand each other’s challenges. They want to stand on their own professionally, not just be known in relation to each other. Their advice to other couples considering working together is to focus on communication and keep an open mind when sharing opinions.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ho94hGGyx4q2tuhKcfI6n?si=piRnLczqRl-Yq1t7zllKkw

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠ and Eve Searls

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Love and Legal Tech: Ab and Priti Saraswat

We kick off our new “Love & Legal Tech” series this week where we embark on a journey to explore the personal and professional lives of couples in the legal tech industry. We are excited to interview couples who share in the excitement of weaving their professional endeavors into their personal relationships. We think this is going to be a great series where couples get a chance to tell their stories of how they balance what one of our guests describes as “Work-Life-Integration.”

Our inaugural guests, Alex Macdonald and Cassie Vertovec share their unique story of how a solid professional collaboration slowly turned into a deep, personal connection.  Alex, the Chief Strategy Officer at McCarter and English, LLP, and Cassie, the Practice Director of Corporate and Director of Practice Strategies at Barnes & Thornburg, began their journey in the legal tech world at Seyfarth Shaw.  Over the years they have found themselves leading teams together, moving across the country, isolating together during the pandemic, and most recently working in similar firms. They navigated their careers with mutual respect and understanding, highlighting the importance of communication and shared values in both their professional and personal lives.

They provide insights into the dynamics of working as a couple while maintaining a balance between work and persona life. Which is no easy feat as they are both intertwined with the legal profession. Their story is a testament to the idea that professional collaboration can lead to personal growth and deeper connections.

Our hopes with the “Love & Legal Tech” series are that we not only offer a glimpse into the lives of a couple navigating love and legal tech but also shed light on broader themes within the legal industry, including the shift towards greater tech integration and the challenges and opportunities it presents. Our sincere thanks to Cassie and Alex for sharing their story with us on this series premiere.

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

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Love and Legal Tech: Cassie Vertovec and Alex Macdonald

This week, Greg Lambert sat down with Caroline Hill, Editor-in-Chief for Legal IT Insider to discuss the new partnership with NetLaw Media. Hill described the new partnership between Legal IT Insider and NetLaw Media as a mutually beneficial collaboration with significant synergy between the two organizations. She emphasized the complementarity of their focuses, with Legal IT Insider’s emphasis on impartial coverage and promotion of various conferences in the legal tech sector, and NetLaw Media’s focus on technology and IT security. Hill noted that both organizations share common sponsors and audiences, which enhances the partnership’s potential​​.

She also mentioned the importance of working with Frances Anderson, the chief executive of NetLaw Media. Hill pointed out that NetLaw Media has been running the British Legal Technology Forum for years, indicating a deep involvement in the legal tech community.

Greg and Caroline also discussed the dramatic change in Legal Tech in 2023, and the continued shift in the industry as demands increase on law firms and others to truly implement AI solutions in 2024.

Hill pointed out that many law firms lack the expertise to build AI solutions themselves and therefore rely heavily on their business partners (vendors) for these capabilities. She suggested that the solution might lie in leaning on these business partners, but noted the challenge of justifying the costs to law firm leadership. She further mentioned the challenge of capacity and waitlists for AI projects, indicating that this has become a source of competition among law firms. The ability to quickly understand and adapt to the requirements of working with AI and establish effective vendor relationships is crucial for law firms to stay competitive and relevant in the rapidly evolving legal tech landscape​​.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

⁠Transcript

Continue Reading Navigating the Future of Legal Tech with Caroline Hill (TGIR Ep. 233)

This week on The Geek in Review podcast Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert featured guests Colin Levy, Ashley Carlisle, and Dorna Moini discussing Levy’s recently published book “Handbook of Legal Tech.” Levy edited the book and contributors included Moini, Carlisle’s CEO, Tony Thai, and many more legal technology experts. The book provides an overview of key technologies transforming the legal industry like automation, AI, blockchain, document automation, CLM, and more.

Levy shared how he ended up editing the book, describing it as “herding cats” to get busy experts to contribute chapters. He wanted the book to serve as a comprehensive introduction to legal tech, with each chapter written by leaders in the various subject matter areas. Carlisle and Moini explained their motivations for taking time out of their demanding schedules to write chapters – spreading knowledge to help move the industry forward and impart insights from their work.

The guests reflected on their favorite parts of the experience. Levy enjoyed bringing together the community and seeing different perspectives. Carlisle appreciated being able to consolidate information on contract lifecycle management. Moini was proud to contribute right before having a baby. Lambert highlighted Levy juggling this book and writing his own solo book on legal tech stories from the front lines.

The guests offered advice to law students and lawyers looking to learn about and leverage legal tech. Carlisle emphasized starting with an open mind, intentional research, and reading widely from legal tech thought leaders. Moini recommended thinking big but starting small with iterative implementation. Levy stressed knowing your purpose and motivations to stay focused amidst the vast array of options.

Lambert prompted the guests to identify low-hanging fruit legal technologies those new to practice should focus on. Levy pointed to document automation and AI. Moini noted that intake and forms digitization can be a first step for laggards. Carlisle advised starting small with discrete tasks before tackling advanced tools.

For their forward-looking predictions, Carlisle saw AI hype fading but increasing tech literacy, Levy predicted growing focus on use and analysis of data as AI advances, and Moini forecasted a rise in online legal service delivery. The guests are excited about spreading awareness through the book to help transform the legal industry.

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Transcript:Continue Reading Colin Levy, Dorna Moini, and Ashley Carlisle on Herding Cats and Heralding Change: The Inside Scoop on the “Handbook of Legal Tech”

On this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert delve into how AI can transform legal writing with ClearBrief founder and CEO Jacqueline Schafer. As a former litigator, Schafer experienced firsthand the frustrating scramble to finalize briefs and prepare filings. She founded ClearBrief in 2020 to leverage AI to analyze documents and suggest relevant evidence and citations to streamline drafting.

ClearBrief integrates into Microsoft Word to align with lawyers’ existing workflows. By uploading case documents and discovery materials, the AI can pull facts and quotes directly from the record to support legal arguments in the brief. New features even generate chronologies and timelines from case files automatically. Schafer explains the AI doesn’t hallucinate text from scratch, avoiding ethical pitfalls. Rigorous security and confidentiality controls provide the trust needed to gain adoption at top law firms.

According to Schafer, attorneys now exhibit much greater openness to tailored AI tools that enhance productivity versus disrupting their workflows entirely. Younger associates and paralegals tend to be most enthusiastic about the technology while firm leadership lags. She believes empowering the next generation of legal professionals with AI will modernize law practice to better serve unmet needs.

Looking ahead, Schafer expects to expand ClearBrief’s features to assist paralegals along with corporate attorneys beyond litigation. By leveraging AI to handle tedious tasks like cite-checking, lawyers can focus their time on high-value analysis and strategy. With the aid of trusted AI writing assistants, attorneys can craft compelling briefs and filings more efficiently while still verifying the underlying sources.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript:Continue Reading Jacqueline Schafer on Writing Briefs at the Speed of AI: How ClearBrief is Transforming Legal Drafting

On this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert explore innovations in legal search with Paulina Grnarova and Yannic Kilcher, co-founders of DeepJudge. This semantic search engine for legal documents leverages proprietary AI developed by experts with backgrounds from Google and academic AI research.

As PhDs from ETH Zurich, Grnarova and Kilcher recognized lawyers needed better access to institutional knowledge rather than constantly reinventing the wheel. DeepJudge moves beyond traditional keyword searches to a deeper integration of search and generative AI models like GPT-3. Partnerships provide financial support and key insights – advisors include execs from Recommind and Kira Systems while collaborations with law firms shape real-world product capabilities.

Discussing product development, Kilcher explains connecting search to language models allows generating summaries grounded in internal data without ethical or security risks of training individual models. Grnarova finds the core problem of connecting users to full knowledge translates universally across firms, though notes larger US firms devote more resources to knowledge management and data science teams.

When asked about the future of AI, Grnarova expresses excitement for AI and humans enhancing each other rather than replacing human roles. Kilcher predicts continued growth in model scale and capability, requiring innovations to sustain rapid progress. They aim to leverage academic research and industry experience to build AI that augments, not displaces, professionals.

DeepJudge stands out for its co-founder expertise and proprietary AI enabling semantic search to tap into institutional knowledge. Instead of reinventing the wheel, lawyers can find relevant precedents and background facts at their fingertips. As Kilcher states, competitive advantage lies in accumulated know-how – their technology surfaces this asset. The future of DeepJudge lies in combining search and generative models for greater insights.

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Links:

Contact DeepJudge: info@deepjudge.ai⁠

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Paulina Grnarova and Yannic Kilcher from DeepJudge.AI: Unlocking Institutional Knowledge: How AI is Transforming Legal Search (TGIR Ep. 224)

On this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert interview Thomas Suh, Founder and CEO, and Ken Block, Senior Account Executive of LegalMation. The company provides AI-powered tools to help litigators automate repetitive tasks and work more efficiently. The conversation focuses on LegalMation’s products, overcoming resistance to adopting new legal tech, and predictions for the future evolution of legal service delivery.

Suh provides background on founding LegalMation about seven years ago to help streamline the “scut work” litigation associates spend time on. The flagship product automates drafting responses to lawsuits, discovery requests, demand letters, and more by leveraging a firm’s historical data. LegalMation initially built an automation tool internally at a law firm before deciding to spin it off into a standalone legal tech company. The product found an early champion in the form of a corporate legal department interested in licensing it. Today, LegalMation serves large corporate legal departments, law firms, and insurance companies.

Suh and Block discuss common roadblocks to adopting new legal technology like lack of trust and skepticism. Suh notes the importance of identifying the right use cases where efficiency gains matter most. For high-stakes litigation, efficiency may be less of a concern than for high-volume routine matters. Corporate legal departments are often early adopters because they are focused on efficiency and supplementing personnel. Law firms still incentivized by billable hours may be warier of efficiency gains.

For the YouTube Viewers, Block demonstrates LegalMation’s Response Creator tool for automating drafting of responses to complaints and discovery requests. The AI leverages a firm’s historical data to maintain proper tone and style while speeding up document preparation significantly. Lawyers can still review and edit the AI-generated drafts before finalizing. Suh explains that because the AI relies solely on a firm’s data, it maintains consistency rather than attempting to generate random creative language.

Looking ahead, Suh predicts that the litigation process will become more modular, with different firms or providers specializing in discrete phases rather than handling a case end-to-end. Block emphasizes that younger lawyers expect to leverage more technology and are unwilling to slog through repetitive manual tasks, which will force law firms to adapt. Technology stacks and automation will become selling points for recruiting top young talent.

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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Thomas Suh and Ken Block on How LegalMation is Revolutionizing Litigation Efficiency (TGIR Ep. 222)

In this episode of The Geek in Review, hosts Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert have an illuminating discussion with Christina Wojcik, the new Managing Director of Corporate for LexFusion. Christina has over 20 years of experience pioneering innovation in the legal services and technology space.

The conversation covers Christina’s diverse background and journey into legal tech, including formative experiences at companies like Pangea3, IBM, Seal Software, and Citi. She shares key lessons learned about the importance of visionary leadership, solving real client problems, and embracing a fearless, entrepreneurial spirit.

Christina provides insights into top pain points for legal departments today, especially at highly regulated organizations like major banks. She discusses the cautious approach many are taking with emergent technologies like generative AI—treating it like a “monster behind the door” to be carefully studied before fully unleashing.

Christina advocates for “failing fast” when testing innovations, allowing for rapid iteration in a safe sandbox environment. She explains her rationale for joining LexFusion and how she hopes to leverage her well-rounded expertise to drive value for legal tech providers and clients alike.

The conversation concludes with Christina’s predictions for the legal industry’s evolution in areas like AI adoption, CLM consolidation, and new service delivery models. She provides a fascinating insider perspective on the future of legal innovation.

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Voicemail: 713-487-7821
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Music: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Jerry David DeCicca⁠⁠⁠⁠

Transcript

Continue Reading Unleashing the Legal Monster Behind the Door – LexFusion’s Christina Wojcik (TGIR Ep. 221)

This episode of The Geek in Review podcast provides an in-depth look at how the AI assistant Paxton, created by Tanguy Chau and Mike Ulin, is transforming legal work. The hosts speak with the founders of Paxton to explore the pain points their technology aims to solve and how generative AI can enhance lawyers’ capabilities.

Tanguy and Mike discuss their backgrounds in AI, regulatory compliance, venture capital, and management consulting. This diverse experience informed their vision for Paxton as an AI assistant specifically built for legal and compliance professionals. They explain that Paxton is trained on millions of legal documents and regulations, allowing it to search this vast knowledge and retrieve highly relevant information rapidly. A key feature they highlight is Paxton’s accuracy in citing sources, with every sentence linked back to the original text.

One of the key features of Paxton is that it can automate repetitive, low-value legal work to make lawyers more efficient. Tanguy notes that tasks like reviewing thousands of sales contracts clause-by-clause or compiling 50-state surveys that once took weeks can now be done by Paxton in minutes. Mike discusses Paxton’s advanced document comparison capabilities that go beyond keyword matching to understand meaning and intent. This allows quick, substantive analysis of contracts, marketing materials, and more.

Exploring the future, Mike predicts that like software developers, lawyers who embrace AI will become much more productive. But higher-level strategic thinking will remain uniquely human. Tanguy shares an analogy of a human on a bicycle outpacing a condor, the most efficient animal. He believes combining human creativity with AI tools like Paxton will enable radically new levels of efficiency and capability.

Paxton.AI’s Tanguy and Mike make a compelling case that AI-powered tools such as Paxton will fundamentally transform legal work. By automating repetitive tasks, AI will free lawyers to focus on high-value, client-facing work. Overall, this episode provides great insights into how generative AI may soon become indispensable for legal professionals seeking to improve their productivity and capabilities.

As a special treat, we wrap up the interview with a demonstration of Paxton.AI’s capabilities. (YouTube only)

Links:

Paxton AI (try the Beta for free)

Forbes Article: Unlocking The 10x Lawyer: How Generative AI Can Transform The Legal Landscape

Using Generative AI to analyze the 45 page Trump Indictment using Paxton AI

Unveiling Paxton AI’s Newest Features: Boolean Composer and Document Compare

Instantly Analyzing the Congressional UFO Hearing with Generative AI powered by Paxton AI

Transcript:Continue Reading Paxton.AI’s Tanguy Chau & Michael Ulin: How AI Allows Legal Work to Soar to New Heights (TGIR Ep. 220)