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?


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[Ed. Note: Please welcome guest blogger, Sam Harden, from vLex. – GL]

I used to watch a lot of Star Trek TNG – every episode it seemed like some super complicated futuristic technology was an instant solution to an intractable problem the crew was facing. Can’t find the cloaked Romulan ship? Modulate the tachyon pulse beam transmorgifier! I didn’t know this at the time, but things like that had become so common in the series that the script writers wouldn’t even bother coming up with the technical jargon when they were writing the script:

“It became the solution to so many plot lines and so many stories,” ST:TNG writer, Ron Moore said. “It was so mechanical that we had science consultants who would just come up with the words for us and we’d just write ‘tech’ in the script. You know, Picard would say ‘Commander La Forge, tech the tech to the warp drive.’

I’m serious.

Some Context:

I’ll come back to this concept of ‘teching the tech’ in a moment, but first let me lay some context. vLex has me doing free consulting sessions with anyone who wants them. So far I’ve done a good number of interviews – all legal professionals, either practicing law or working in the legal sphere in some capacity.
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