70 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 • 9 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.

    Marlene Gebauer

    Marlene Gebauer

    Marlene Gebauer is a self-described “knowledge heroine.” After a successful stint as a practicing lawyer, Marlene became a law librarian, where she then transitioned into legal information management. She focuses on research, outreach and education, procurement, licensing, and management. Today she is the director of knowledge management at Locke Lord, where she drives adoption of innovative legal service technologies. In her spare time, she is co-host of the award-winning The Geek In Review podcast with a friend of our podcast, Greg Lambert.

    In today's conversation, we talked about how an art kid ended up as a lawyer and legal industry innovator, how she went from being quiet to being co-host of a podcast, and what she has learned from more than 160 episodes of The Geek In Review.

    • 32 min
    Ed Sohn

    Ed Sohn

    Over the past decade or so, the legal industry has expanded dramatically to include different kinds of providers, and no part of the industry has contributed to that growth more than the managed services sector. Today we're joined by Ed Sohn, a veteran of that segment of the industry. As with so many of our guests, Ed started out in Big Law—in this case, as an attorney with King & Spalding. A desire to see India led Ed to spend seven years as an executive with Pangea3, the company that pioneered legal managed services and that was acquired by Thomson Reuters. When Thomson Reuters sold Pangea3 to Ernst and Young, Ed moved to EY Law, where he led its global innovation and technology initiatives. Ed has since left EY Law and joined Factor, which is a spinoff of Axiom and is a unique player in the managed services sector. In his current role at Factor, he is responsible for the learning, development, and capacity of the more than 600 lawyers who call Factor home. Ed tells us that his goal is to advance change in the legal industry by delivering practical scale and quality through managed services.

    Listen in to today's conversation to learn how key moments of reflection changed Ed’s career path, how his personal interest in traveling India led to one of the most defining experiences of his career, and more about his belief that true innovation isn't about disaggregation or artificial intelligence—instead, it's about tapping into human potential.

    • 35 min
    Noah Waisberg

    Noah Waisberg

    For those conversant with the world of legal tech, today's guest needs no introduction…but we’ll do it anyway. Noah Waisberg is a serial legal tech entrepreneur who is changing the way lawyers practice law. Most recently, he co-founded and became CEO of software company Zuva, which uses AI to extract the value out of documents and contracts within client businesses. Zuva, in turn, is a spinoff of Kira, which Noah co-founded and led as CEO from its start, through to its exit to Litera. Kira continues to be a leader in the contract analysis space, and is trusted by a majority of Am Law 100 law firms. Noah has received numerous honors for his work and is often featured in mainstream and legal media. Interestingly enough, he is also the author of the world's first children's book on machine learning, called Robbie the Robot Learns to Read, as well as AI for Lawyers, which is not for kids, but for adults, and is the definitive guide to AI in law practice.

    In our conversation, we talked about how his experience as a corporate lawyer at a global law firm in New York City led to the founding of Kira, how and why he decided to skip business school and jump straight into business, and how a slow internet connection led to his biggest sales breakthrough.

    • 44 min
    Nicole Black

    Nicole Black

    Today’s guest is Nicole Black, legal technology evangelist at MyCase. Nicole describes her role as a bridge between technology and the practice of law. On the MyCase side of the bridge, she represents the lawyer point of view, and shares insights and industry knowledge with MyCase’s tech and marketing teams. (We should note that following our recording of this episode, MyCase announced its acquisition by AffiniPay; we did not discuss that because of the timing.) On the attorney side of the bridge, she educates lawyers on using technology to streamline their law firms, increase efficiencies, and provide better client representation. In addition to her day job, Nicole has written or co-authored three books, including Cloud Computing for Lawyers. She also writes regular legal tech columns and frequently speaks at legal conferences across the country.

    Join today’s conversation to learn why Nicole considers the work she did as an intern her most significant legal work, how her history in small and solo firms set her up for success as a legal technology evangelist, the biggest challenges faced by small firm and solo practitioners, and what excites her the most about the near-term and longer-term changes in legal technology.

    • 28 min
    Nikki Shaver

    Nikki Shaver

    Today’s guest is Nikki Shaver, a high-achieving legal technology executive specializing in legal business transformation and enterprisewide change management. Her experience in the legal industry includes 10 years of legal practice with top-tier law firms and Fortune 500 companies and close to a decade of experience as a global innovation leader in large law firms. Most recently, she left her role as lead of innovation and KM lead at Paul Hastings to devote herself full-time to Legal Technology Hub, an insights and analysis platform bringing transparency to the procurement and adoption of legal technology by commercial legal organizations. Her recognition includes ILTA as Innovative Leader of the Year, Fastcase 50, and ABA Distinguished Women of Legal Tech.

    Listen in to today’s conversation to learn how she founded Legal Technology Hub, how it works, and what’s next for the platform; how she dealt with change management in her roles; and what law firms can do to make KM and innovation programs a success.

    • 34 min
    Roy Strom

    Roy Strom

    Anyone following the business of Big Law will be familiar with today’s guest. Over the past few years, Roy Strom has been one of the key reporters covering the country's biggest law firms and how money flows through the legal system. His weekly column, “Big Law Business,” examines the economics, cultures, and personalities inside law firms and an increasingly competitive industry. For the past five years, he has focused on change in Big Law, devoting his 100th column to the accelerating pace of change in the industry.

    Listen in to today’s conversation for his take on the recent Upsolve, Inc. decision in New York, which opens the door for “nonlawyer” legal practitioners; how his passion for the Cubs led to his career as a legal reporter; and the trend lines that he sees in the industry post-pandemic.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

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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