With Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday this year… wait, I’m being told that it does that every year… we decided to release a panel discussion that Greg moderated with the General Counsel from McDonald’s, Fannie Mae, Western Union, and Tyson Foods. The discussion ranges from where these GCs are expanding their search for talent, to truly increasing diversity both in their outside law firms as well as looking at their own diversity ranks, to retaining talent by improving the overall structure of the workplace.
Speakers
  • Desiree Ralls-Morrison, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, McDonald’s
  • Terry Theologides, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Fannie Mae
  • Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Western Union
  • Amy Tu, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, Tyson Foods
Special thanks to Reuters Events for allowing us to share this discussion with our listeners. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 138 – Cultivating and Retaining the Next Generation of Legal Talent

Alex Babin, CEO at Zero, says that the beautiful part about automating processes is to make the machines work the way the lawyers work so that you get a Return on Invest starting the very first day. For many of us, Alex brings up what we might think as the Holy Grail of implementing change in a law firm, and that is to allow the attorneys to continue working the same way and have the technology do the administrative tasks in the background. With little to no interaction from the attorneys. He says that the best product is the product that doesn’t have to be implemented. The best software is no software so that you don’t have to teach them how to use it. Babin’s product Zero for email compliance, along with the new mobile time capture Apollo is designed to reduce the time spent on these non-billable, administrative tasks for lawyers.

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Information Inspirations
Brittany Luce and Eric Eddings have returned to their podcasting roots after finally leaving The Nod and the mess at Gimlet Media, and their video version of The Nod after the collapse of Quibi. After seven years, they resurrected their original podcast, For Colored Nerds (FCN) on Stitcher/SiriusXM where they discuss Black culture from their own nerdy perspective. Brittany and Eric are great and vulnerable storytellers and their return to FCN, as more mature adults, is a great place to tell and listen to their stories.
Sometimes hardcoding tech gets better results than what you might find with AI, machine learning, or neural networks. BRAIN was developed in the 1980s and is still around today using the idea of “weaving” to identify objects like pastries. The accuracy of this established technology is very good and shows that not all shiny new things are better than the tried and established processes. The New Yorker has a great article on the use of BRAIN.
Contact Us
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Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 137 – Zero’s Alex Babin – Getting the Machines to Work the Way You Work

Matthew Coatney, CIO at Thompson Hine, and author of The Human Cloud sits down and talks about what he sees as the transformation of how we work. According to Coatney, freelancing and project-based work (The Human Cloud) combined with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (The Machine Cloud) will soon disrupt the way we deliver work. Law firms will not be exempt from this disruption. Matters are really just projects.  Contract attorneys are freelancers. According to some experts, 80% of work to be done by organizations in the 2030s will be project-based work. And AI and ML will eat into the other 20%. Coatney says that we are missing out on an opportunity if we are not preparing for this reality.

We asked how life as a CIO has changed over the past couple of decades for a CIO in a law firm and Coatney says that a CIO of 2000 would have culture shock if they were to be transported to today. CIOs are still the brand ambassadors of the IT departments, but Chief Technology Officers and Chief Data Officers are making their way into the fold to help offload some of the overwhelming responsibility that many of today’s CIOs find falls on their shoulders.

Matt also co-hosts The Human Cloud Podcast with Matthew Mottola where they put out twice-weekly episodes diving deeper into these topics. Go check out “The Matthews” on their own pod if you’re curious about how the structure of work is going to change.

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Information Inspirations
You may have noticed that we took last week off from this podcast, but we were busy recording other podcasts to fill the void.
Greg went on the Legal Value Network’s “Off the Clock” podcast and talked with Keith Maziarek of Katten and Percipent’s Chad Main about the recent increase of available APIs from a number of legal information vendors. These APIs may very well open the door to a much easier method of pulling data in from vendors directly into internal law firm databases to better prepare firms to handle clients’ needs.
Marlene hosted an ILTA podcast panel on How Virtual Hearings Altered the Fabric of Dispute Resolution with Florida Circuit Judge Christopher Sprysenski, Trial Consultant with Paul Hastings, Jeremy Cooper, and Partner at Jackson Walker, Richard Howell. The three give their personal experiences on how they handled virtual trials over the past twenty months.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 136 – Matthew Coatney – The Human Cloud: The World of Projects and Freelancers

Back in May (ep. 117), we had Bloomberg Law’s Molly Huie on the show to talk about the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework survey she and her team created and were pushing law firms to contribute. So we close the loop on this conversation by asking Molly to come back and talk about the results of the survey. There were over 30 firms who participated in the survey with 28 of those firms making “the cut” to be included in the 2021 DEI Framework results. Molly walks us through why these firms jumped onboard this inaugural survey, what issues they may have had in collecting and answering the over 90 questions in the survey, and what reactions they had to the results of the survey.
The survey results are free to download from Bloomberg Law’s DEI Framework page, and the 2022 edition of the survey will be out in the first quarter of next year for any firms who want to see if they make the cut for inclusion in the DEI Framework.
 

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If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague. Or, reach out to us and let us know what you think.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 135 – Results of the Bloomberg Law DEI Framework with Molly Huie

Richmond Law School professors Jessica Erickson and Josh Kubicki join us to discuss how they are teaching law students not only the critical skills to “think like a lawyer” but also the understanding that they are entering the world of business. Whether that is in BigLaw, non-profit, in-house, public interest, or solo practice, they need to have a baseline of business acumen to practice and thrive.

Prof. Kubicki runs Richmond’s Legal Business Design Hub that delivers leading-edge competitive skills to the law students and is part of a one-two punch created by Richmond Law Dean Wendy Perdue who also hired Prof. Janice Craft to lead the Professional Identity Formation program which focuses on interpersonal skills needed to be a successful, yet healthy legal professional.

Prof. Erickson runs the Law and Business Forum which connects Richmond Law Students with the local business community and teaches students a better understanding of what it means to be a business lawyer.

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Information Inspiration

Our inspiration this week comes from someone who we met (virtually) at the HBR LINKS conference. This fellow legal information professional mentioned that he’s listened to all 133 (now hopefully 134) episodes. That is amazing! You inspire us!!

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If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague. Or, reach out to us and let us know what you think.

Contact Us

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.

Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.

Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 134 – Teaching Law Students Business Design Skills – Jessica Erickson and Josh Kubicki

As we move toward the end of the year, or as in Texas, the end of a lawyer’s birthday month, there becomes a mad scramble for completing Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. Has CLE become more about checking the box than about enhancing/maintaining a lawyer’s skill? Why is it that CLE credits are based on time, rather than knowledge? Is there a better way? Our guests this week certainly think so.

Ian Nelson, co-founder of Hotshot, a company whose business model is based on short instructional videos, originally without CLE… is now offering CLE credit with some of their packaged videos. This is a crack in the foundation of the traditional CLE model, and one that Sarah Glassmeyer, Legal Tech Curator · Reynen Court Inc. and Margaret Naughton, CLE Manager · McDermott Will & Emery hope continues.  Margaret did point out that not all CLE is boring, especially if you can kayak and learn.

Join us for a roundtable discussion on the potential for the next generation of CLE where the focus is more on true education, learning, and skills. Perhaps we can look outside the United States at places like the UK, Canada, Australia, and others where there is more focus on an educational plan than there is on the rigid structure of sitting in a seat and listening to a “sage on the stage” talking for 30 or 60 minutes.

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Information Inspirations

Jessica Gore, 3L at University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law has an attitude of “if nobody else will do it, allow me”… And she proved that by producing a better design for understanding the Federal Rules of Evidence.  She joins us, ironically on the same day as her Evidence mid-term, to talk about how she knew she could design a much better rules book than what was on the market. Her method of using Twitter to gather feedback and improve upon the prototype is exactly what we discussed in last week’s episode, so she is definitely our inspiration this week. Check out Jessica’s IP Illustrated tools website as well.

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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who 4th solo album just released a vinyl edition this month!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 133 – Ian Nelson, Sarah Glassmeyer, and Margaret Naughton on the Next Generation of CLE

You have to appreciate a book that discusses Legal Design and puts design concepts into action by working with a fellow designer on the layout and functionality of the book itself. The results of The Legal Design Book: Doing Law in the 21st Century is both a great read for the content and the physical interaction with the book. Astrid Kohlmeier and Meera Klemola, Lawyers and Legal Designers, join us from Munich, Germany, and Helsinki, Finland respectively to discuss their motivation in writing a book designed to raise awareness of legal design concepts and tools to the legal industry.
We define Legal Design and discuss the ten philosophies that legal design professionals need to understand as they implement these ideas and processes within their organizations. There is a role for legal designers within the industry, and it is one that we are constantly defining and redefining at the moment. And as we define it, we must be able to measure it and prove the value and return on investment as well. And the focus cannot simply be how lawyers and legal professionals apply Legal Design concepts, the legal user experience (LUX) must also be taken into account.
Join us for this podcast user experience into the evolving area of Legal Design.

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If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
Music: As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who 4th solo album just released a vinyl edition this month!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 132 – The Legal Design Book with Astrid Kohlmeier and Meera Klemola

We bring in Brad Blickstein and Beatrice Seravello, Co-Heads, NewLaw Practice Group at Baretz+Brunelle to discuss the recently released B+B survey, “If You Build It, Will They Come?” A Research Report on the Internal Adoption of Innovation by AmLaw 100/200 and Global 100 Law Firms. This free report breaks down the adoption of innovation and the sliding scale (1-5) in where the adoption process resides. Of course, with the reference to possibly the greatest baseball movie of all time, we geeked out and brought in some quotes from the movie. So, prepare yourself for some whispers and words of wisdom from a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.
We’ve asked Brad and Beatrice to return in a few weeks with an update on part two of the report.

Information Inspirations
We mix up our traditional Information Inspiration segment by focusing on the upcoming HBR Legal Information + Knowledge Services (LINKS) Conference. Both Marlene and Greg are speaking at the October 14th half-day conference. HBR’s Colleen Cable sat down with Greg to go over the details and topics of the conference, including an industry overview of Leadership as we head into 2022, a review of HBR’s 2021 Benchmarking in Law Library and Information Services Survey (BLISS), and a wrap-up session from the Geek in Review Podcast hosts. 3 Geeks and a Law Blog is happy to be supporting this conference. The $45 conference fee ($35 for BLISS contributors), will go to support AALL’s George A. Strait Minority Scholarship & Fellowship fund. There will also be a social event following the conference which leverages the Airmeet conference platforms special features for attendee interaction. We hope to see you there. Registration Information can be found here.
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Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who has a new album coming out in October!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 131 – Innovation Adoption – The Law Firm Field of Dreams

Ironclad‘s Chief Community Officer, Mary O’Carroll, has spent the past two decades bringing business acumen to the legal industry. In an industry run by lawyers, most of whom had little to no business training, Mary points out that it is logical that legal ops teams are needed to be the right-hand people in helping lawyers in the business process. Her experience with Orrick, Google, CLOC, and now Ironclad has one common thread, and that is the need to drive change. Mary says that it is just a part of her personality to be laser-focused on efficiency and find ways to clean up the mess she uncovers in the legal industry.
It is that desire to drive change through the use of the legal community that helped her make the decision to join Ironclad and the hot field of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM). Mary points out that the industry has worked to improve efficiency in many areas, but when it comes to contracts, we are continuing to do business as usual. Creating a digital contracting system will help scale the industry, as well as enable us to leverage data, which has always been trapped in contracts, and create new methods for the legal department to help drive the overall success of the business, and no longer be seen as a department where ideas and innovation go to die.

Information Inspirations
Our own Casey Flaherty advises us to stop trying to be a hero, and learn to say no when it comes to spreading resources too thin. Check out his latest article, “Maybe, Don’t Be MacGyver – The Value of Value Storytelling.”
Singapore is launching a couple of Dalek-looking robots to monitor “undesirable behavior” among its citizens. Is this a logical use of technology or a slippery slope toward technology overreach?
O’Melveny and Myers is the first law firm to join Peloton’s Corporate Wellness Program.
The next time you go through a drive-thru, you may hear the crisp, clear voice of an AI program taking your order. Will the robots take more and more of the service jobs away, and will there be a shift in the way the government taxes those robot workers who replace humans?
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If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who has a new album coming out in October!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 130 – Mary O’Carroll – The Power of Community in Driving Change

While technology is part of innovation, technology alone is not innovation. We brought in three guests this week to talk about what they are doing to innovate in the area of process improvement and give us some examples of some of the projects they are working on.
There is a methodology when it comes to how law firms handle process improvement. O’Neil’s process starts with communicating with the attorney and staff teams to determine what pain points they have and evaluate the current workflow. Sometimes it is as simple as tweaking the processes that already exist by adding or removing steps in the workflow, or by adding or removing the number of people involved. Sometimes it means reaching out to Alana and Jack to see how a technology tool like HighQ can improve the overall workflow through automation and improvements in communications and clearly defining and assigning steps in the overall process.
The firm’s clients are also involved in the process improvement design as well. Carson and Godsey mentioned that including clients in the overall process enables them to define what they need, and makes the law firm/client relationship stickier so that the clients really feel like a part of the firm’s efforts toward process improvement and creating a better value for the client.
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If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with a friend or colleague.
Contact Us
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert.
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.
As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca who has a new album coming out in October!
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 129 – Zen and the Art of Process Improvement – Tiffany O’Neil, Alana Carson, and Jack Godsey