Suffolk Law Professor Shailini George joins us to talk about her new book, The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well. Professor George talks about the need for law students to take better care of their mental and physical health in order for them to not only do well in law school but to be better lawyers once they enter the profession. Whether it is stopping task switching, setting boundaries on their time, or allowing themselves to be bored, she lays out a guide for students to do better, by being better to themselves.

She shares some of the techniques and projects she developed in her classroom, that help law students better understand how they need to focus on the task at hand.  And, how to reduce the number of distractions that call out for their attention. This Fall, Professor George begins teaching a new course based on her book to help students create healthy habits and lifestyles and to develop coping mechanisms to better handle points of crisis that may come their way.

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Information Inspirations

Products like Casetext’s Compose and Brieftext.com worry Northwestern Law Professor Michael A. Zuckerman that law students will use these tools to work around the practice of drafting documents, and learning the process through doing. We think that perhaps technology doesn’t have to be seen as replacing the learning process, but rather enhancing it.

We’ve heard a number of legal tech stories, mostly involving men, but in this Women Love Tech articleLaura Keily explains how she developed Immediation in 2019, while also raising two young children. When COVID hit in 2020, Immediation suddenly became a very big deal.

Greg discovered that the big push to come back to the office can open up unexpected opportunities, including artificially increasing those serendipitous interactions by hanging out near the ice cream machine.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland laid out some new standards for the FBI to use in order to confiscate journalist’s information. The balancing of the First Amendment and the need for FBI investigations seems to be shifting in the new administration.

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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. 125 – Shailini George on Law Students Doing Well and Being Well

Professionals in the legal market are known for focusing on high achievement levels within their careers, and not so much on how much joy they derive from working in the profession. Tracy LaLonde, author of The Joychiever Journey: Evade Burnout, Surpass Your Goals and Out-Happy Everyone, says that achievement and joy are not mutually exclusive and that we can live lives that allow us to achieve our goals and experience joy at the same time. LaLonde discusses how increasing the enjoyment of our careers doesn’t just create a better individual experience, but that there are studies that show happiness drives higher incomes as well. Listen in as we discuss LaLonde’s seven-step journey of what she calls true self stops on how we explore what makes us happy and define our true values and ensure that they align with our career.

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We may be getting a little bit closer to FREE PACER. Twenty legal tech leaders encouraged Congress to take up the issue, and in fact, the US House passed a bill bringing PACER out from the paywall this week. We’ll have to see if it goes any further this year, or if we have to wait until 2021 to see further movement.

In Jordon Furlong’s blog post, The End of Serendipity, he points out that law firms have for too long relied upon part-time leadership, culture through osmosis, and professional development through serendipity. While law firms may have accidentally succeeded in the past through happenstance and accident, he suggests that modern law firms succeed through specific planning and defined purpose.

It turns out you don’t have to be the focus of a Wall Street Journal article to get one of those nice WSJ images made. Now WSJ subscribers can take a headshot and make their own images.

Marlene is still hoping for some video aspects of the podcast. Greg, however, still has the face for podcasting. This week, she is checking out WeVideo, and was looking to improve her video editing skills. It turns out that you can get experts to teach you how to improve your skills in just about anything these days. A couple of good starting points for finding anything from a basketball coach, video editing teacher, or even another language are sites like Fiverr or Bark.

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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. 97 – Tracy LaLonde and The Joychiever Journey

Welcome to the 50th Episode of the Geek in Review!!

American Lawyer Media Reporter, Dylan Jackson, joins us this week to discuss two of his recent articles which focused on the mental health of law firm staff, as well as the persistent caste system which still exists in the large law firm environment. Jackson talked with a number of people within law firms regarding how firms view the mental health of staffers, what firms are doing (or not doing) to address the issues, as well as how firms value their staff’s contribution to the success of the firm. While the days of having a chair tossed at you by a partner might have faded in the past couple of decades, the stress placed on staff to handle more work, and to take on much more strategic missions for the law firm has significantly increased over the past ten years. Jackson found that it is still difficult for even the most senior of staff to get a seat at the table within the law firm, and that old barriers still exist to separate lawyers from the professional staff. In the end, these professionals need to be recognized for their contribution, and they want to be treated with respect.

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The Dark Side of Personality Tests

Many law firms are conducting personality assessments on their lawyers and staff. The idea is that if we better understood each other’s personalities, we can communicate better. Author Quinisha Jackson-Wright points out in a New York Times piece a significant flaw in personality tests when other use it to “fix” the other person, rather than adapt their own behavior. It’s important that workers don’t feel like they are being “outed” by being a certain personality type. (Plus some extra reading)
Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 50 – ALM’s Dylan Jackson on the Issues of Mental Health and Overall Value of Law Firm Staff