Since Justice Antonin Scalia was not available to be on the podcast, we reached out to Northwestern Law School’s John Paul Steven’s Professor of Law, Andrew Koppelman, and Jackson Walker Labor & Employment attorney, Sara Harris, to fill in. Justice Scalia believed in the concept of textualism when it came to the Court interpreting the law, without allowing one’s personal political bias to play a role. According to Merriam Webster, textualism is “a legal philosophy that laws and legal documents (such as the U.S. Constitution) should be interpreted by considering only the words used in the law or document as they are commonly understood.” The problem, according to Koppelman is that textualism has to be balanced with context. If a Justice were to apply or misapply the context of the issue, then textualism could be made to fit the outcome the Justice wants, regardless of what the text of the law says. In the Bostock v. Clayton Co., Georgia decision, the five conservative judges split 3-2 on how textualism applied to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII issue of “because of sex” discrimination, and gave the LGBTQ+ community a win in the process. We dive deep into the text, and the context of the decision.
Andrew Koppelman is also the author of the recently published book, Gay Rights vs. Religious Liberty? The Unnecessary Conflict (2020).

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Information Inspirations
After a bit of a hiatus, we bring back a few items that inspired us this week, and we hope to inspire you as well.
Greg may be retiring his In Seclusion Podcast at the end of this week (awwww), but there are plenty of legal podcasts to fill the void. Here is a couple.


Continue Reading The Geek In Review Ep. 79 – Text, Context, and SCOTUS’ Textualism in Bostock – Andrew Koppelman and Sara Harris

This upcoming week will be the final week for the In Seclusion Podcast. It’s been a great run, and I hope that you listen to the final episodes. Last week I had a fantastic and diverse group of guests who shared their stories of life during a pandemic from the perspectives of race, changing jobs,

On March 23, 2020, I launched what I thought would be a three or four-week project. A daily podcast, called In Seclusion, asking legal professionals how they were dealing with the changes resulting from working from home during a pandemic. My fifteen to twenty-episodes ballooned into 60+ episodes. Lawyers, law librarians, law students, law

I had a chance to talk with a number of people for the In Seclusion Podcast recently who have been holding down the fort, in one way or another, to make sure the wheels of Justice and the economy keep turning. Some of us had to look out for those still caught in the justice system. Some remained in the office to make sure others didn’t need to. Some of us found new ways to provide training and professional development processes. Some of us leveraged the crisis to try new experiments. And some of us made sure that the stories of those struggling are heard.

Monday June 1 – Now’s the Perfect Time To Experiment – Maya Markovich

Maya Markovich, Chief Growth Officer at Nextlaw Labs, thinks that the current environment within the legal industry is the perfect time to rethink the old ways of doing things. The time is ripe to try new processes as well as experiment in ways that we might not normally try because we have somewhat of a safety net to try and fail with less judgment. For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to put your ideas into action.


Tuesday, June 2 – Those Who Kept Our Offices Running – Clare Hart, CEO Williams Lea

Not all of us left the office back in March. Many of our office services staff remained to make sure that the workplaces most of us left behind, were still operational and ready for when we make our way back to a physical office. Clare Hart, CEO of Williams Lea, provided many of the people who were designated the essential employees who kept the lights on in our offices these past few months. I asked her to talk with me about how she worked with her clients to make that happen, all while keeping everyone safe.


Wednesday, June 3 – Will COVID-19 Be the Great Equalizer for the Legal Industry? – Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen is Senior Columnist at ALM, and Chief Blogger for The Careerist. She talks with me about how the pandemic may finally be the impetus to break large law firms from their vanity. With the cultural and societal changes that will most likely come out of the pandemic, there will be no need for lavish law offices or high-end client events to impress those who no longer want to come to your offices or attend your events. There may be a balancing of the scales between competing law firms based more on the substance of the firms’ quality of service than in the quality of their coffee bar. We cover this as well as how women’s needs are handled as we begin reopening offices, and what the real metric of success will be for law firms in 2020.


Continue Reading Holding Down the Fort

As we approach the three-month mark of the pandemic and alternative working environments, it is important to remember that we still provide a service that is focused upon the needs of people. On the In Seclusion Podcast last week, I talked with four consultants and business development professionals to see how they are adjusting to these unique times. The common theme was that we needed to have more personal and professional discussions with our clients, not less. What that means, however, is that those conversations need to be sincere, relevant, helpful, and empathetic. Clients are drinking from a fire hose of information and it is our job as a trusted counsel to guide them through complex issues and make it simple and easy to understand. Listen in on the insights of four leaders in the industry.

Tuesday, May 26 – We’re Getting Used to This New, Ambiguous, Different, and Uncomfortable Work-Life – Marcie Borgal Shunk

Marcie Borgal Shunk of The Tilt Institute, Inc. is used to working closely with attorneys and law firm leadership. Traditionally, this meant gathering large groups of lawyers into a room for hours, or days at a time, and walking through scenarios together. With the current situation, it means having to adjust to fit the online nature of education and training. For many lawyers, this is new, it’s ambiguous, it’s different, it’s uncomfortable… and they’re actually getting used to it.


Wednesday, May 27 – It Turns Out That Law Firms ARE Pretty Adaptable – Tim Corcoran

Tim Corcoran advises law firms on how to improve the business delivery side of things. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic has been the ability for firms to actually look at the processes of their business, and not just focusing on the tools. As we begin to develop a hybrid office where some people will be working in the office, and some will continue to work remotely, it will test how good our management skills really are. Maybe now we’ll give some real management training.


Thursday, May 28 – It’s Time to Put Our Energy Into New Engagement Models – Roy Sexton
Continue Reading We Are Still In The People Business

This week on the In Seclusion Podcast, the discussion began a pivot away from how are we adjusting to working remotely, to how are we planning the slow progress toward reopening some offices. Let’s be honest, it is very possible that some legal professionals never go back to the office full time ever again. But,