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.
Today’s Guest is Jason Barnwell, Associate General Counsel, Modern Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs at Microsoft. In that role, he leads innovation efforts for the law department, as well as Microsoft’s law firm engagement strategy. Jason has an active and vocal thought leadership role on the evolution of the profession, bringing his experience as an engineer to his insights. In his conversation with Steve, Jason reveals the three things he brings to his work from his engineering training, the moment he understood the misalignment of big law incentives with efficiency, and the role of storytelling in change management.
Today’s guest is Dan Linna, Senior Lecturer and Director of Law and Technology Initiatives at Northwestern, a joint appointment in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and McCormick School of Engineering. He also holds a number of roles at international law schools, and organizations that promote the integration of technology into the profession.
Dan began his career as an information technology manager, developer, and consultant. His work included computerizing and automating business processes, developing dynamic, data-driven websites, and building enterprise information systems. Before moving full time into teaching, Dan was a business, contract, and bankruptcy litigation partner at an Am Law 200 law firm.
Dan brings this multidisciplinary perspective to his thoughts on the industry, and how COVID will change the experience of law students, and the practice itself. Listen to this episode to learn how and why Dan moved from IT to the legal profession, how Dan brings multiple disciplines including law, engineering, and medicine together, and why he thinks quality is the next wave in legal.
For the last few years, legal technology has seen an incredible boom, as more and more companies and entrepreneurs enter the space. Today’s guest, Nicole Bradick, comes from this world. Nicole is the CEO and founder of Theory and Principle, a technology product design and development firm for the legal industry. Like many of our guests, Nicole has had a fascinating journey from former litigator to three-time legal technology entrepreneur. Listen in as Steve and Nicole discuss why and how Nicole transitioned from the courtroom to legal tech founder, get her take on the most critical skill for founders, and how small risks can reap big rewards.
About Theory and Principle
Theory and Principle is the premier product design and development firm for the legal industry. T&P’s designers, developers, strategists, and product managers have deep knowledge in both legal technology and the possibilities of emerging technologies. Together, they have built some of the most highly acclaimed digital products in the legal industry in recent years, and are proud to be 100% woman-owned. Theory and Principle has been engaged by clients globally to improve the delivery of legal services, the justice system, lawyer efficiency, legal education, and access to justice for all. They work with clients who are moved to innovate and build to create a better system.
Dr. Heidi Gardner
Welcome to the premiere episode of Pioneers and Pathfinders. Today’s guest is Dr. Heidi Gardner, is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and Faculty Chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program and Sector Leadership Masterclass. She is also the best-selling author of Smart Collaboration and noted thought leader on the topics of collaboration, lateral hiring, in-house legal teams, leadership, and performance.
Dr. Gardner couldn’t be more representative of the pioneers and pathfinders this podcast will host. Her life’s work creates a roadmap for collaboration among lawyers who are by both disposition and training, highly autonomous. Dr. Gardner and Steve jump right in with a discussion of how working virtually has enhanced collaboration then move through the genesis of her scholarship, specific barriers to collaboration in legal, and the erosion of trust during the pandemic. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
Trailer: Introducing Pioneers and Pathfinders
Join our host Steve Poor for a brief behind-the-scenes of our newest podcast Pioneers and Pathfinders. Subscribe today for new episodes weekly.
Highlighted guests include:
Dan Linna, Northwestern Law
Susan Hackett, Legal Executive Leadership, LLC
Jae Um, Six Parsecs
Cat Moon, Vanderbilt Law
Nicole Bradick, Theory and Principle