161 episodes

Pioneers and Pathfinders is a podcast about the people driving change in the legal industry. Interviews will focus on how their unique journeys inform their thinking about the profession, the business of law, the solutions they create, and where the industry is going next. The podcast will feature guests with multiple backgrounds and perspectives drawn from a number of areas including talent, technology, diversity and inclusion, social justice, education, training, and the business of law. The host of Pioneers and Pathfinders is J. Stephen Poor, chair emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw. During his 15 year tenure as chair and managing partner, the firm pioneered the application of Lean Six Sigma in legal service delivery. Today, he co-leads Seyfarth Labs, the firm’s technology research and development team and continues to serve as an advisor to firm leadership and as executive sponsor of strategic initiatives focused on innovation and growth. Steve brings his own experience as a legal industry pioneer to these conversations, resulting in insights that are both fascinating and instructive.

Pioneers and Pathfinders Seyfarth Shaw LLP

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 10 Ratings

Pioneers and Pathfinders is a podcast about the people driving change in the legal industry. Interviews will focus on how their unique journeys inform their thinking about the profession, the business of law, the solutions they create, and where the industry is going next. The podcast will feature guests with multiple backgrounds and perspectives drawn from a number of areas including talent, technology, diversity and inclusion, social justice, education, training, and the business of law. The host of Pioneers and Pathfinders is J. Stephen Poor, chair emeritus of Seyfarth Shaw. During his 15 year tenure as chair and managing partner, the firm pioneered the application of Lean Six Sigma in legal service delivery. Today, he co-leads Seyfarth Labs, the firm’s technology research and development team and continues to serve as an advisor to firm leadership and as executive sponsor of strategic initiatives focused on innovation and growth. Steve brings his own experience as a legal industry pioneer to these conversations, resulting in insights that are both fascinating and instructive.

    Sanjay Kamlani

    Sanjay Kamlani

    Today we're joined by a true pioneer in the legal profession: Sanjay Kamlani, founder and CEO of Maker5, a law firm innovation advisory and software development services business that also builds new legal industry startups through its venture studio. Sanjay started his career as an international tax lawyer at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), focusing on US-India business advisory work. Wanting to do business in India himself, he left PwC to co-found OfficeTiger, a company that pioneered the offshore professional support services industry in India. At OfficeTiger, Sanjay served as CFO, general counsel, and member of the board. He would later co-found Pangea3, one of the first major businesses in the legal process outsourcing industry. At Maker5, Sanjay helps law firms and legal departments transform their processes, workflows, and outcomes. He is also involved with Duke Capital Partners, Duke University's early-stage venture investment fund.

    In our discussion, Sanjay talks about why he felt confident venturing into business, the challenges he had faced in the outsourcing industry, his advice for legal tech entrepreneurs, and what it's like to manage a multicultural organization.

    • 27 min
    Keith Maziarek

    Keith Maziarek

    Keith Maziarek joins us on the podcast today. Keith is Director of Pricing and Legal Project Management at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Keith entered the legal world as a Marketing and Communications Manager at the ABA, where he learned about working with lawyers, as well as the business side of the industry. He later went on to serve as a business development manager at DLA Piper. There, Keith began exploring pricing and profitability matters, eventually becoming the firm's first head of strategic pricing. He continued in this field at Perkins Coie, where he worked as Senior Director of Client Value. Today, in his wide-ranging role at Katten, he collaborates with others to design, build, and implement the firm’s robust and scalable strategic pricing, profitability, process improvement, legal project management, and client value capability. Additionally, Keith is a board member of the Legal Value Network, where he helps further the evolution of the business of law in the commercial legal services sector. He has also authored several published articles on the topics of pricing, client value, and collaboration, and he speaks regularly at industry conferences.

    In today's discussion, Keith talks about what led him to work in pricing, how discussions about pricing have evolved in the legal profession, the key factor about generative AI tools that people often overlook, and how he became involved with the Legal Value Network.

    • 33 min
    Best of Pioneers and Pathfinders: Cindy Cohn

    Best of Pioneers and Pathfinders: Cindy Cohn

    In honor of Independence Day, we're revisiting our discussion with Cindy Cohn, executive director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). For many years, Cindy has been a champion for civil liberties in the digital space. In our conversation, she spoke about the EFF's history and mission, as well as the human rights issues she focuses on today. We hope you enjoy the holiday this week. We will return next week with a new episode.

    As technology has progressed, we have also seen emerging concerns for freedom of speech and privacy. Our guest today has spent the past 30 years defending individual liberties in the digital space. Cindy Cohn is the executive director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading nonprofit organization ensuring that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all people. She started her career as a civil litigator in private practice, where she handled various cases related to technology. Then, in 1993, the EFF offered her the opportunity to serve as outside lead attorney in the case Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the US export restrictions on cryptography. Today, she handles legal matters involving NSA spying, platform censorship, and surveillance technologies, among other issues. Cindy has received numerous awards and honors for her work. In 2020, she was included in The Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50 list, honoring movers and shakers.

    In today’s discussion, Cindy talks about the fascinating origins of the EFF, how she became involved in human rights work, how her practice has evolved over the years, and her strategies for protecting people's privacy.

    • 37 min
    Steve Harmon, Pt. II

    Steve Harmon, Pt. II

    Today’s episode is part two of our conversation with Steve Harmon, chief operating officer and general counsel at Elevate. Last week, Steve spoke with us about why he decided to become a lawyer, his insights on the business of law, working in Cisco’s legal department, and how he co-founded CLOC.

    In the second half of our discussion, we talk to Steve about encouraging technology adoption, what legal professionals can learn from past technology evolutions, how Elevate balances competing factors when using tech, and his recommendations for legal professionals today.

    • 28 min
    Steve Harmon, Pt. I

    Steve Harmon, Pt. I

    In this week’s episode, we speak with Steve Harmon, chief operating officer and general counsel at Elevate, a company that provides software and services for the intersection of business and law. Like many of our guests, Steve has had an unconventional—but truly fascinating—career path. While attending undergrad at BYU, he and some of his classmates founded a company, prompting him to earn a business degree and attend law school so that he could serve as the patent lawyer on the team. He would go on to leverage his combined legal and business knowledge throughout his career. Before joining Elevate, he worked at Cisco Systems for almost 20 years in various functions, where he and his team built one of the most innovative legal departments in the world. Steve was also a co-founder and board member of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). Although he is no longer on the board, he remains committed to its mission to promote collaboration among legal ops professionals.

    We had so much to discuss with Steve that we split the conversation into two parts. In the first half of our chat, he talks about how he learned to be an in-house lawyer, the question every lawyer should ask their clients, his proudest accomplishment at Cisco, and his initial skepticism of having a legal ops role.

    We will be taking a break next week, but we will return on June 26 for part two of the conversation, where we explore Steve’s work at Elevate, the impact of legal technology, and other fascinating topics.

    • 32 min
    Carolyn Elefant

    Carolyn Elefant

    Today we're joined by Carolyn Elefant, a change-maker in energy and environmental justice law specifically, as well as the legal profession generally. Carolyn is an attorney and an author, blogger, and legal innovation influencer at MyShingle.com. She started as a lawyer at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). After working in a law firm for a few years, she took the leap into starting her own practice. In her energy and environmental justice work, Carolyn helps innovative alternative energy companies navigate the FERC, state commissions, and energy markets. She also defends landowners and communities from pipeline infrastructure by helping them challenge adverse rulings and change laws. Nearly two decades ago, Carolyn co-founded the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, which has since merged with the National Hydropower Association. This organization has helped draft and implement the laws that govern offshore wind and wave energy today, and has lobbied for hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development for the industry. In addition, Carolyn helps other lawyers venture into solo practice—sharing her thoughts and experiences through her award-winning blog, MyShingle.com, and her book, Solo by Choice.

    In our conversation, Carolyn discusses the surprising reason she chose to attend law school, starting a solo practice, how she approaches legal technology, and her work in energy and environmental justice law.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Hpearce9 ,

Terrific podcast for lawyers who think differently!

As an attorney interested in creative solutions within the legal marketplace, and as someone who cares about issues like access to justice and positive change in a long-standing and traditional industry, this podcast has been a terrific find. I enjoy Stephen‘s insights and the vast experience and creativity his guests bring to these conversations and the legal field in general. I highly recommend!

Clevy_Law ,

Insightful and thoughtful conversations

I really enjoy this podcast for its engaging and insightful approach to people finding their way in the legal ecosystem. I always learn something new!

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