When we all started working from home last March, we each did something to help us keep sane and stay engaged with our families, our friends, and our peers. Eugene Giudice found a unique way of doing just that with a daily note to all of the above. After more than a year of these daily inspirational emails, he put them into a book called Reflections During a Pandemic: Thoughts While Sheltering In Place. Eugene’s writings mark places in time and bring back memories of those periods of hope and despair. As we begin exiting the pandemic, it helps to reflect back on where we were, and how we managed to get through it.

Information Inspirations
Wolters Kluwer just released the results of the 2021 Future Ready Lawyers survey: Moving beyond the pandemic. Marlene presented this week on a panel to discuss the findings.
There are three sessions (Marlene’s is on June 30th)
Roger Williams Law School in Rhode Island is requiring all of its 2Ls to take a course on “Race & the Foundations of American Law” starting this Fall Semester. To learn more about Critical Race Theory and how it is taught in law school, listen to Cheryl Harris discuss her program at UCLA Law School.
Foley & Lardner presented a session on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and the new areas of legal practice that are to follow along with this blockchain technology.
Private company ownership of law firms may be expanding into Florida soon. The subcommittee of the Florida Supreme Court just returned its recommendations (“in concept only”) to follow the Utah Regulatory Sandbox. TO learn more about what Utah is doing listen to Lucy Ricca’s interview on Pioneers and Pathfinders.
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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. 123 – Eugene Giudice on Reflections During a Pandemic

Leading a professional association over the past year has been tough. It’s like getting all of the work, and not getting any of the fun experiences of traveling to meet people around the world. For the American Association of Law Libraries’ President Emily Florio and President-Elect Diane Rodriguez, they’ve made the most of the situation they found themselves in. (Hat tip to the past-President Michelle Cosby, too!) As Florio and Rodriguez prepare for AALL’s second remote annual conference in a row, they are leveraging the experience from last year’s remote conference to make this year’s experience even better. A longer conference. More individual interactions. A virtual tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And, expanded vendor opportunities. In July, the favel will be passed to the new president, but Florio still looks forward to sticking around for another year as the association and the executive board begins the process of getting back to face-to-face interactions, and an in-person conference in Denver in July of 2022.
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Information inspirations
Reuters Legal News commentator, Jenna Greene, seems to have cracked the formula for AmLaw 100 firm’s slogans. It’s actually more of a haiku.
Remember those ads in the 1980s of “This is your brain on drugs”? Well, the 21st Century version could be “This is your brain on email.” The Innovation Hub podcast discusses Cal Newport’s study on how distracting the constant checking of email is to productivity.
Jon Greenblatt and Bryan Parker over at Legal Innovators put on a heck of a webinar last week featuring the deans from UConn Law School, William & Mary Law School, Howard University School of Law, and The George Washington School of law. Even these forward-thinking law school deans admitted that the students are ready for more “change” than they are providing. Just remember law firms… these students are coming your way.
Marlene shares her experience with Andrew Lawless’ Introduction to High-Performance Habits, and how it helped her focus on areas like influence, self-care and productivity, and expertise.
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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. 122 – AALL’s Emily Florio and Diane Rodriguez on Leading an Association Remotely

As we make our way to the next version of the workforce in a post-pandemic world, we look back at a discussion of the Delta Model Competencies with Northwestern Law School’s Alyson Carrel and Vanderbilt Law School’s Cat Moon. This interview from November of 2019 is possibly more relevant today than it was when we initially recorded it. While we typically focus on the T-Shaped lawyer model of being an expert in certain areas of the law, and knowledgeable of the necessary disciplines and technology. Moon and Carrel add a third layer to this model to cover the personal effectiveness skills needed to provide effective legal services.
In their recent substack articles, Moon and Carrel have continued expanding the Delta Model competencies to fit the current disruption in the legal services industry. While the pandemic is the most obvious disrupter, there are many other factors within the work environment that make the Delta Model even more useful today as it did in its inception.

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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. 121 – The Delta Model Lawyer with Cat Moon and Alyson Carrel

Summer Associates and the upcoming Fall Associates had a unique experience with their On-Campus Interviews (or OCI) over the past two years. Some of the recruits still have not actually met face to face, the members of their firm who hired them. We talk with Kerry Benn, Director of Series, Surveys & Data at Law360 about Law360 Pulse’s recent survey on this topic and see how the firms, the students, and the schools adjusted during the pandemic. The survey of over 1,200 law students breaks down the popular firms and practice areas, how COVID impacted the process, and how things look as students make their way into the firms this Summer.

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Information Inspirations
Our previous guests Cat Moon and Alyson Carrel are teaming up with Dennis Kennedy later this month for a TRB (Thorn, Rose, Bud) Retrospective. They are asking for law students, legal educators, law school administrators, and education experts to apply for this three-hour event to be held on June 24th and share their COVID era experiences and talk about what they should STOP doing (thorn), KEEP doing (rose), as well NURTURE (bud) once the pandemic comes to a close. 
The offices may be reopening in some areas, but in the theme of “let no crisis go to waste,” Perkins Coie and some other firms are using this transition back to the office to test things like hoteling, reverse hoteling, and telepresence rooms. There won’t be a return to a normal office routine, but the next year is going to show us what is “next” in how we work in a post-pandemic legal industry.
Back in Ep. 112, we talked with Dan Packel about FisherBroyles’ desire to show that a distributed law firm could compete with the AmLaw200 firms. Well, it turns out that they can. FisherBroyles came in at #198 this year and showed that alternative methods to the traditional law firm works. This is making other firms take notice of the competition.
Trailblazers in diversity efforts want neurodiversity included in the conversation. Last week’s guest is one of those trailblazers. In her recent Medium article, Dr. Caitlin Handron openly discussed her battle with bipolar disorder, and “outed herself” to her boss and to the world in order to take steps toward normalizing the discussion of neurodiversity in the workplace. Let’s all learn from her bravery and willingness to be vulnerable, and continue this conversation with our colleagues at our own workplaces.
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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. 120 – How COVID Changed Law Students’ On Campus Interview Experiences with Law360’s Kerry Benn

Dr. Caitlin Handron

When Ropes & Gray launched their R&G Insights Lab consulting arm, one of their goals was to create a dynamic legal team with specialized expertise in analytics, behavioral science, and strategic consulting. Dr. Caitlin Handron completes the behavior science part of that mission, and she talks with us about how that expertise helps guide clients on issues of risk and compliance, DEI goals, and cultural assessments. Dr. Handron’s experience at Stanford University’s SPARQ “Do Tank” prepared her for applying behavioral science to the real world of the corporate environment and put those scientific techniques into practice. While it may seem strange for a law firm to apply these types of scientific principles to the advising of clients, Dr. Handron mentions that the legal environment is really not much different from the rest of the world… as much as we lawyers would like to think we are.

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Information Inspirations
In a recent Bloomberg Law article, former TGIR guest, Olga Mack discusses no-code and low-code processes will be the key to automating tasks, and that a recent Gartner report pointed out that these processes will help reduce legal tasks in in-house legal departments by 50% in just a few years.
Ryan Steadman writes that the rising costs of mental fatigue us costing us dearly at law firms, and that technology is both a solution and a problem.
The Artificial Lawyer took a look at Wilson Sonsini’s Build-A-Bot program and how Summer Associates are required to design bots to improve their processes by using tools like Contract Mill and Documate.
The prosecutors in the Rudy Guiliani case have once again shown that redaction only works when you actually properly use the redaction software. Otherwise, you end up with embarrassing details uncovered on CNN.
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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. 119 – Law and Cultural Psychology with R&G Insights Lab’s Dr. Caitlin Handron

As much as we complain about the PACER federal dockets, it pales in comparison to most of the state court docket systems when it comes to tracking and searching cases at the state and local levels. Josh Blandi, the co-founder, and CEO of Unicourt is leveraging APIs and normalizing court data across multiple state and local courts to help clean up the data and make searching and tracking better. Josh joins us to discuss how they are gathering the information, the roadblocks that state courts and the private companies they contract with throw up to restrict data, and some new advancements in Unicourt’s APIs that link multiple pieces of data to allow for better analytics. We also discuss the collaboration between companies like Justia, Fastcase, and others to pool their resources and reduce the overall costs of accessing the very expensive data that courts produce. One other side project Josh is doing with Public.Resources’ Carl Malamud is the Code Improvement Commission GitHub where they are posting the state statutes for Georgia, Tennessee, and other states for anyone to download and use without any copyright or licensing restrictions.

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Information Inspiration

Rocket Lawyer just announced that they will be testing the sandbox of non-lawyer ownership in Arizona. Rocket Lawyer already established such an operation in the UK and in Utah, and they and eight other companies have applied to the Arizona Supreme Court for their approval to start operations there with the goal of providing legal services for less than the price of hiring an attorney. Eyes are moving over to California now to see if they are the next state to create a sandbox for companies to provide alternative legal services.

The legal job market is hot! Leopard Solutions released a report showing that there are almost 8,300 open and available attorney jobs in the 1,000+ law firms they are tracking. Recruiters are overloaded with opportunities, so if you have a decent practice, expect some calls. We speculate that the same is going on for many of the law firm support positions. There’s going to be a lot of movement over the next year.

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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. 118 – Unicourt’s Josh Blandi on Improving Access to Federal, State, and Local Court Data

To modify the quote from Field of Dreams, “ask for it, and they will come” applies to this week’s show as we mentioned the Bloomberg Law Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Framework survey a few weeks ago and suggested that they come on the show and talk more about it. Molly Huie from Bloomberg Law is running the survey and joins us this week to talk about what the mission of the survey is, and how it differs and supplements other surveys and certifications currently in the industry. The DEI Framework is Bloomberg’s effort at creating a benchmark for DEI results in the legal industry. With corporations asking law firms for their diversity statistics, the DEI Framework may work as a common metric between firms and clients. Huie discusses the nearly two-year process of pulling the survey together, their efforts to work with other DEI partners in the legal industry, and the process of how to score firms who submit data. While getting diversity statistics may be a challenge, Huie thinks that the DEI Framework will get firms to start collecting the data and measuring their success. Firms can use the contact form to request access to submit their data. The survey is open until the end of August.

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Information Inspirations

Dechert is collaborating with Silicon Valley design firm Ideo to create a human-centered design approach for their new innovation program. With around 100 hours of training and projects lined up for the initial 40 participants, Dechert is looking for “real-life or business challenges” to solve.

The Utah Supreme Court expanded its regulatory sandbox to include legal advice on medical debt advice given by non-lawyers.

What happens when you combine a collection of mini-hackathons and the concepts of eSports gaming? You come up with something that NYU Law Professor Houman Shadab calls the No-Code Sports League.

Michigan Legal Help is assisting in Access to Justice issues through DIY tool kits arranged by Michigan counties.

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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. 117 – Molly Huie on Bloomberg Law’s New DEI Framework

This week’s guest is Jennifer Leonard, Chief Innovation Officer at The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and the Executive Director of the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI) at Penn Law. Jennifer joins us to talk about her work with FPI, the record $125M donation to Penn Law from the W.P. Carey Foundation, and the amazing Board of Advisors and people behind FPI. The multidisciplinary approach that FPI takes toward shaping the future of the practice brings together the wealth of schools there at Penn, including the Wharton School, Penn Engineering, the School of Nursing, and more. This approach fits Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin’s “entire notion of what education should be is deeply interdisciplinary” and it bridges the ideas of different industries in a way that overcomes some self-limitations that the legal industry places upon itself.

The Future of the Profession Initiative allows for creative approaches to how we educate our lawyers, and how we envision what the profession looks like in ten years with events such as the Law 2030 Conference, and the Future of Racial Equality webinar. One of the most unique projects coming out of Penn Law and FPI is the Five-Year Out Academy which brings back Penn Law alumni at their five-year post-graduation mark and helps these grads navigate the next phase of their career.

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Information Inspirations

There are big data, and there are small data, and there is storytelling. The trick is understanding how to leverage all three. The upcoming webinar on “Storytelling: How to bridge the gap between small and big data” looks to explain exactly how to do that.

Sara Lin, a former guest on the podcast, points out that Data Science and Library Science are partners when it comes to ways of working smarter with information. Her article, “10 ways Data science can help Librarians in AALL Spectrum, checks off the reason librarians need to develop data science skills.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are a big deal these days. K&L Gates decided to put out a client alert explaining NFTs and then minted that article into its own NFT.

In-house legal departments are demanding that tech companies start recruiting talent who have firsthand knowledge of the problems facing their departments. With companies like Deloitte hiring people like Bob Taylor, it seems that some are getting the message.

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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. 116 – Jennifer Leonard of Penn Law’s Future of the Profession Initiative

Nicole Bradick, Founder and CEO of Theory and Principle, along with Ryan McClead, Principle at Sente Advisors, join us to talk about their collaborative product Map Engine. Map Engine is an easy-to-use, but powerful data visualization tool that allows law firms to quickly and easily turn their multi-jurisdictional data into beautiful, shareable maps. Instead of the common approach of placing data in flat documents like PDFs, Map Engine allows the firms to tell the story embedded in some or all of the data and allows for the maps to enhance the consumer’s experience through the interactive interface.
Along the way, we also discuss Nicole and Ryan’s individual experiences in launching a startup (without breaking the bank or eating only ramen.)

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Information Inspirations
Bloomberg Law is developing a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Framework to measure how law firms are meeting and/or surpassing DEI metrics which Bloomberg is developing with experts across the industry.
Steve Embry breaks down some of the problems AmLaw firms will eventually face if they keep moving more partners into non-equity roles, and keep the “old boy’s network” going on in the equity ranks.
The Association of Legal Administrators released a new white paper on “Remote Working as an Effective Recruitment and Retention Tool for Law Firms Post-COVID-19. [PDF]” The firms that remain flexible on remote working options will benefit over those competitors that demand that all work be done in the office.
Clients love multidisciplinary teams (MTD), but it seems that law firms only have a very narrow definition of what that means. Spoiler: only lawyers should make up the MTD.
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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. 115 – Nicole Bradick and Ryan McClead on the Launch of Map Engine and Life as a Startup Founder

We hope that you like your Geek in Review with a little extra geekiness this week because we dive in with CaseText’s Chief Product Officer Pablo Arredondo on their innovative search tool, WeSearch.  This completely unique method of indexing texts into what Arredondo calls a “sublimely complex, 768-dimensional vector space”  creates a truly beautiful, and useful method of searching not just the words in the documents, but the concepts and meanings of those documents. Unlike the Artificial Intelligence tools many of us in the legal industry currently use, there’s no need to spend weeks or months training the system to understand the documents. The Neural Net techniques developed by the likes of Jacob Devlin, Google Researcher, and BERT author, allows the system to train itself, and the folks at CaseText have turned it loose to learn American case law.

While this new method of research opens many potential usages (and we brainstorm a few in the interview), but it also opens up some issues that aren’t unique to the legal industry, but are common in this industry. Issues such as acceptance of cloud-based utilities, what can and what cannot be accessed by the neural net tool, and perhaps the biggest issue we discuss, and that is the black box issue. Traditionally, when vendors provide search tools with AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), there are Intellectual Property issues of the “Black Box” of the tool. While the methodology of how the system works is known by the vendor, just like the formula for Coke, it isn’t something they are willing to share. When it comes to this tool, the neural net and vectors work in ways that can be explained on a basic level, but after the system is trained, it begins functioning in a way that can’t be explained. This will be an issue that law librarians and academics may need to dive into in the not-so-distant future.

The WeSearch tool is available to test out. Let us know what you think.

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Information Inspirations

We’d all like to know what “The Future of the Law Firm Office” is going to be after we begin entering a post-pandemic workplace. Texas Lawbook’s Brooks Igo is hosting an upcoming webinar on May 11th which tackles that very topic.

Jae Um gives us ten questions we need to ask ourselves on how resilient our law firms are as we come out of COVID. Resiliency was a key factor in 2008, and it will be in 2021 as well.

Law firms might be different than corporations, but our clients have a Customer Experience (CX) with us whether we think about it or not. In a new podcast launched by Accenture called Built for Change, the inaugural episode discusses the importance of CX, and how some companies have successfully pivoted how their customers interact with them, and make that experience better.

Law firms have an issue with the “NONs”… only this time it is non-equity partners.

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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. 114: Pablo Arredondo on CaseText’s New WeSearch Tool and How the Neural Net Is Making Its Way Into Legal Information