As Laura Leopard‘s team at Leopard Solutions was analyzing the 2021 law firm lateral movement data, a glaring statistic stood out. There were a lot of women attorneys leaving AmLaw200 firms, and were not coming back like their male counterparts were. As with any good data expert, Laura worked with her team to find out the reasoning behind this trend. The results of that study were released earlier this summer in Leopard Solution’s “Women Leaving Law” report.
We sit down with Laura to discuss statistics that show that some 64% of women lawyers who leave AmLaw200 firms don’t come back to those firms, some 60% of male attorneys don’t either. And while many might think that the reasons for women not returning are part of the “Shecession” of the pandemic, the survey shows that is not the primary reason. The actual reasons involve things like law firm culture, lack of lateral recruiting of women, uneven promotions, and lack of flexibility needed to retain women in the legal workforce.
The report does give eleven processes that law firms can implement to help recruit and retain women. We go through each of those, one by one to learn more.
AALL Crystal Ball Question
We have a familiar voice joining us this week as Bob Ambrogi answers our Crystal Ball Question and discusses the path he predicts state legal regulatory sandboxes are going to take over the next few years.

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Transcript


Continue Reading 11 Steps Law Firms Can Take to Stop “Women Leaving Law” – Laura Leopard (TGIR Ep. 170)

While we are still struggling with COVID outbreaks this summer, the 2022 Summer Associate ranks are faring quite differently than their 2021 counterparts according to a recent survey conducted by Law360. Kerry Benn, Director of Series Surveys and Data at Law360 breaks down the results of the survey and explains how the struggles differ significantly this year. One of the biggest shifts from 2021 to 2022 was around mentorship and the need for the summer associate to “connect” with the lawyers of the firm in face to face interactions. While many law firms still stressed the need access to mentorship, the summers had much less of a concern for that this year versus last. One stressor that did rise this year was the ability to handle the workload being placed upon the summer associates this year. 
Not surprisingly, the preferred places to work as a summer associate were Kirkland & Ellis (the new #1), Latham, Cooley, Skadden, and Sidley Austin. One thing that was surprising was the salary ranges for those summers who did not land a BigLaw job. Some firms were paying as little as $15.00 and hour. That made some law students reconsider working at a law firm, or going back to Target or Olive Garden and make more. The flexibility of law firms to allow for associates to work remotely continued and seems to be something that may have a long-term affect going forward for a number of years. However, 92% of summers said they would be willing to work in the office, so there may be some flexibility on both sides of this equation.
We also ask Kerry Benn about future surveys that Law360 is producing including the second part of the Summer Associate Survey that reviews their actual experiences, the Glass Ceiling Survey, and Diversity Reports. Benn looks into her crystal ball and projects that there will be more demand for LGBTQ+ and additional diversity surveys and how law firms are implementing alternative structures in their fee arrangements with clients.  

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Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 162 – Law360’s Kerry Benn on 2022 Summer Associate Preferences, Challenges, and Options

When the pandemic began, many law firms prepared for the worst by furloughing or laying off lawyers and legal professionals. Many of these same firms then found themselves at a disadvantage when the hiring spree began in the fourth quarter of 2020. Leopard Solution‘s Phil Flora joins us this week to talk about the numbers that they tracked over this time on hiring and movement in the legal industry. Pre-pandemic, there were 6,000 – 7,000 open jobs at any given moment. Currently, that number is 12,000+. And it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

Phil Flora discusses a number of issues around how law firms and others are managing, recruiting, and retaining talent in such an active market. Of course, money is the traditional approach for law firms, and that is no exception this time around. However, Flora points out that there are a lot of “greats” going on in the market, including the “Great Pause”, the “Great Resurgence”, and the “Great Reflection” to name a few. And while money will be one piece of the solution, legal talent is wanting many more adjustments in order to keep them content and in place. This includes more work flexibility, mentoring, and even more social awareness by the law firms when it comes to how they align with societal goals.

Crystal Ball Question

We asked Norton Rose Fulbright’s Zack Barnes to look into his crystal ball and predict what he sees for the legal industry. Barnes’ future expands upon the ability for the legal market to expand upon the sandboxes created by Utah and Arizona to allow for ownership of law firms beyond the licensed attorney ranks. For true business innovation, there needs to be diversity in the ownership ranks.

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Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 153 – Phil Flora on What Law Firms are doing in the Battle for Talent

One of the things we love to talk about on this podcast is how to take data and make it tell a story. This week’s guests are doing just that on the topic of Community Policing and making sure that there is equal coverage for both the Community part, as well as the Policing part. Ama Romaine, co-founder and Chair, and Wayne Harris, Executive Director of The Initiative: Advancing the Blue and Black Partnership, join us to describe how they are taking quantitative and qualitative data from both communities and the police agencies to identify the current relationship between them, and how they are aligned and misaligned when it comes to community policing.
The conversation about [community] policing… really needs to get to where we recognize that we’re in this together. That there’s very little separation between the men and women wearing a police uniform, and the people that they are working with.” – Wayne Harris
What we are really trying to do is give voice to individuals in their communities and create a way for local leaders, for police leaders, for anyone, really, to be able to understand what a community needs. And then let’s focus on creating and providing those needs for that community. That’s what’s going to create thriving communities in the end and, frankly, reduce the need for law enforcement to solve every single problem that we have.” – Ama Romaine
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Information Inspirations:

Our fellow geek, Casey Flaherty talks about his recent blog post series with Chad Main of the Technically Legal Podcast.

Is a workcation or bleisure travel in your future? A survey of business/leisure travelers seems to point in that direction.
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. 145 – Ama Romaine and Wayne Harris on The Initiative: Advancing the Blue and Black Partnership

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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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

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.
Share with a friend
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. 131 – Innovation Adoption – The Law Firm Field of Dreams

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.
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 120 – How COVID Changed Law Students’ On Campus Interview Experiences with Law360’s Kerry Benn

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
Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 117 – Molly Huie on Bloomberg Law’s New DEI Framework

This week, we bring on Kevin Clem, Chief Commercial Officer for HBR Consulting. Kevin discusses the HBR Law Department Survey which has become a staple in the industry over the past 16 years. There is still a bit of a Family Feud between the in-house and the outside counsel ranks, but the survey is showing that there are lots of opportunities for the two sides to communicate and collaborate, rather than keep the status quo in the relationship. GC’s are wanting their outside firms to help them beyond their legal issues, and really get to understand their business needs and pressures. Whether it is laying out strategy and pricing, or assisting the law department with their understanding of legal tools or knowledge collection, there are needs which law firms need to help with, or someone else may fill that void.
Clem has used the platform of the TV game show, The Family Feud to show his audiences of corporate counsels how they see their relationships. And the survey says… it’s not great. Some 87% of GC’s he had surveyed found the relationship to be either okay, or needing help. It’s a great conversation, and we cover a number of topics, and the one thing that we all agreed with, is that Richard Dawson was our favorite host.

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Information Inspirations:
Pepperdine’s online course makes a PR push for “nons.” Greg thinks maybe they should find another term. After all, hospital administration professionals are not referred to as non-doctors. Marlene suggests that TGIR listeners call in with suggested terms you’d like to see.
There’s some inspirational tweets out there ranging from why it’s okay to talk about your projects at conferences, to how great a brother (and customer service provider) Levi is.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 56 – And the Survey Says… Kevin Clem on the HBR Law Department Survey