This week on The Geek in Review, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert talk with Curt Meltzer, principal of Meltzer Consulting, LLC. Meltzer has over 40 years of experience in the legal and legal tech industry. He discusses his interest in pro bono and community outreach programs in law firms and legal tech companies. He notes that while 95% of AmLaw 200 law firms highlight pro bono work on their websites, many legal tech companies do not prioritize these efforts.

Meltzer emphasizes that pro bono and community work is good for business. It enhances company culture, helps with recruiting and retaining top talent, and strengthens customer relationships. He argues that legal tech companies should consider emulating their law firm clients’ community programs. This could include donating software or services, allowing employees paid time off for volunteer work, or collaborating directly with organizations that law firm clients support.

Meltzer highlights LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters as leaders in the legal tech industry for their work promoting access to justice and the rule of law around the world. However, he notes that companies of any size can contribute, whether through recognizing employees who volunteer or donating resources. He published a list of 41 legal tech companies that do highlight community outreach on their websites to raise awareness, though he found 39 companies with no mention of such efforts.

Meltzer sees both opportunities and challenges ahead. Private equity investment in legal tech companies may prioritize short-term profits over community programs. However, companies that do not respond to customer interest in their pro bono and corporate social responsibility initiatives risk losing business to competitors. Overall, Meltzer aims to foster conversations about strengthening the relationship between the legal tech community and the broader community. Corporations that embrace ESG programs and give back to the communities they serve will thrive.

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Continue Reading Curt Meltzer on Why Legal Tech Companies Should Give Back: The Business Case for Pro Bono, A2J, and Community Outreach (TGIR Ep. 207)

Last Thursday, a group of some 400 legal knowledge management professionals came together for the Strategic Knowledge & Innovation Legal Leaders Summit (SKILLS) conferenceOz Benamram asked me to pull together a 20 minute recap of all of the presentations that day, and share it with the 3 Geeks’ readers. So, here’s about a 20 minute recap of the 20 presentations for that day. Enjoy!!

Jason Barnwell – Keynote

There are two things that most of us know about Jason. First, he thinks there is always opportunities for improvement. Whether that is for himself, his team at Microsoft, and especially for law firms looking to better service their clients. His takeaway quote for me was when Kay Kim asked him what are law firms doing right and what are they doing wrong?

So the biggest challenge I see is, is structural, and as much as the business model works pretty well for about right now. But it doesn’t necessarily work great for where we’re going.

The other thing that we know about Jason is that if you are presenting on innovation in a law firm, he’s going to ask you specifically “is what you are doing benefitting the law firm only, or does it benefit the client?” So, expect to answer that question… at a minimum to yourself, even if Jason isn’t in the room.

Digital Transformation – Shark-TED-Talk-Tank (Part 1)

I loved all three sessions of our Shark-Ted-Talk-Tank presentations. We were just missing the three billionaires, and the large red carpet. But, the content was all there.
Continue Reading SKILLS 2022 – Recap

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we have seen many firms expand and publicize their diversity efforts in the community. Many of these efforts are part of pro bono programs supported by individual firms. Brenna DeVaney, Director of Pro Bono Programs and Pro Bono Counsel at Skadden and the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance (LFAA) have a different approach–leverage the legal and technical expertise of law firms and legal vendors as a whole while working with legal services organizations and race equity advocates to battle systemic racism long term. Brenna provides us with some insights into the mission of the LFAA and its plans for the future. [PDF of LFAA Mission]

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Information Inspirations
Bon Appétit? Apparently not if you have dark skin. Greg discusses how Bon Appetite’s popular Test Kitchen got derailed due to racist policies. He also ponders how individual freedom can hamper good solutions–in this case the use of COVID-19 tracing apps.
For those of you who can’t take being on another online call, Marlene has a hack for you. You can use pre-recordings. And while the end result is great, the effort might not be worth it. But if you do choose to pre-record yourself nodding and sipping coffee, spend your free time listening to Marlene’s summary of the recent copyright litigation of Thomson Reuters v. ROSS Intelligence.
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Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 83 – The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance – Brenna DeVaney

Guest Blogger Elizabeth Black Berry, librarian and attorney with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP brings us another Pro Bono discussion to celebrate Pro Bono Week. Elizabeth discusses the opportunities for Houston area lawyers to participate in the Houston Pro Bono Network and help bring a broader access to justice for all. Elizabeth’s contact information is listed below if you