116 episodes

Welcome to The Geek In Review, where podcast hosts, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert discuss current events in legal information.

The Geek In Review Greg Lambert & Marlene Gebauer

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 15 Ratings

Welcome to The Geek In Review, where podcast hosts, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert discuss current events in legal information.

    Jennifer Leonard of Penn Law's Future of the Profession Initiative

    Jennifer Leonard of Penn Law's Future of the Profession Initiative

    This week's guest is Jennifer Leonard, Chief Innovation Officer at The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and the Executive Director of the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI) at Penn Law. Jennifer joins us to talk about her work with FPI, the record $125M donation to Penn Law from the W.P. Carey Foundation, and the amazing Board of Advisors and people behind FPI. The multidisciplinary approach that FPI takes toward shaping the future of the practice brings together the wealth of schools there at Penn, including the Wharton School, Penn Engineering, the School of Nursing, and more. This approach fits Penn's founder, Benjamin Franklin's "entire notion of what education should be is deeply interdisciplinary" and it bridges the ideas of different industries in a way that overcomes some self-limitations that the legal industry places upon itself.

    The Future of the Profession Initiative allows for creative approaches to how we educate our lawyers, and how we envision what the profession looks like in ten years with events such as the Law 2030 Conference, and the Future of Racial Equality webinar. One of the most unique projects coming out of Penn Law and FPI is the Five-Year Out Academy which brings back Penn Law alumni at their five-year post-graduation mark and helps these grads navigate the next phase of their career.

    Information Inspirations
    There are big data, and there are small data, and there is storytelling. The trick is understanding how to leverage all three. The upcoming webinar on "Storytelling: How to bridge the gap between small and big data" looks to explain exactly how to do that.

    Sara Lin, a former guest on the podcast, points out that Data Science and Library Science are partners when it comes to ways of working smarter with information. Her article, "10 ways Data science can help Librarians" in AALL Spectrum, checks off the reason librarians need to develop data science skills.

    Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are a big deal these days. K&L Gates decided to put out a client alert explaining NFTs and then minted that article into its own NFT.

    In-house legal departments are demanding that tech companies start recruiting talent who have firsthand knowledge of the problems facing their departments. With companies like Deloitte hiring people like Bob Taylor, it seems that some are getting the message.

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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.

    • 51 min
    Nicole Bradick and Ryan McClead on the Launch of Map Engine and Life as a Startup Founder

    Nicole Bradick and Ryan McClead on the Launch of Map Engine and Life as a Startup Founder

    Nicole Bradick, Founder and CEO of Theory and Principle, along with Ryan McClead, Principle at Sente Advisors, join us to talk about their collaborative product Map Engine. Map Engine is an easy-to-use, but powerful data visualization tool that allows law firms to quickly and easily turn their multi-jurisdictional data into beautiful, shareable maps. Instead of the common approach of placing data in flat documents like PDFs, Map Engine allows the firms to tell the story embedded in some or all of the data and allows for the maps to enhance the consumer's experience through the interactive interface.

    Along the way, we also discuss Nicole and Ryan's individual experiences in launching a startup (without breaking the bank or eating only ramen.)

    Information Inspirations

    Bloomberg Law is developing a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Framework to measure how law firms are meeting and/or surpassing DEI metrics which Bloomberg is developing with experts across the industry. 

    Steve Embry breaks down some of the problems AmLaw firms will eventually face if they keep moving more partners into non-equity roles, and keep the "old boy's network" going on in the equity ranks.

    The Association of Legal Administrators released a new white paper on "Remote Working as an Effective Recruitment and Retention Tool for Law Firms Post-COVID-19. [PDF]" The firms that remain flexible on remote working options will benefit over those competitors that demand that all work be done in the office. 

    Clients love multidisciplinary teams (MTD), but it seems that law firms only have a very narrow definition of what that means. Spoiler: only lawyers should make up the MTD.

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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.

    [See 3 Geeks post for transcript]

    • 35 min
    Pablo Arredondo on CaseText's New WeSearch Tool and How the Neural Net Is Making Its Way Into Legal Information

    Pablo Arredondo on CaseText's New WeSearch Tool and How the Neural Net Is Making Its Way Into Legal Information

    We hope that you like your Geek in Review with a little extra geekiness this week because we dive in with CaseText's Chief Product Officer Pablo Arredondo on their innovative search tool, WeSearch.  This completely unique method of indexing texts into what Arredondo calls a "sublimely complex, 768-dimensional vector space"  creates a truly beautiful, and useful method of searching not just the words in the documents, but the concepts and meanings of those documents. Unlike the Artificial Intelligence tools many of us in the legal industry currently use, there's no need to spend weeks or months training the system to understand the documents. The Neural Net techniques developed by the likes of Jacob Devlin, Google Researcher, and BERT author, allows the system to train itself, and the folks at CaseText have turned it loose to learn American case law.

    While this new method of research opens many potential usages (and we brainstorm a few in the interview), but it also opens up some issues that aren't unique to the legal industry, but are common in this industry. Issues such as acceptance of cloud-based utilities, what can and what cannot be accessed by the neural net tool, and perhaps the biggest issue we discuss, and that is the black box issue. Traditionally, when vendors provide search tools with AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP), there are Intellectual Property issues of the "Black Box" of the tool. While the methodology of how the system works is known by the vendor, just like the formula for Coke, it isn't something they are willing to share. When it comes to this tool, the neural net and vectors work in ways that can be explained on a basic level, but after the system is trained, it begins functioning in a way that can't be explained. This will be an issue that law librarians and academics may need to dive into in the not-so-distant future.

    The WeSearch tool is available to test out. Let us know what you think.

    Information Inspirations
    We'd all like to know what "The Future of the Law Firm Office" is going to be after we begin entering a post-pandemic workplace. Texas Lawbook's Brooks Igo is hosting an upcoming webinar on May 11th which tackles that very topic.

    Jae Um gives us ten questions we need to ask ourselves on how resilient our law firms are as we come out of COVID. Resiliency was a key factor in 2008, and it will be in 2021 as well.

    Law firms might be different than corporations, but our clients have a Customer Experience (CX) with us whether we think about it or not. In a new podcast launched by Accenture called Built for Change, the inaugural episode discusses the importance of CX, and how some companies have successfully pivoted how their customers interact with them, and make that experience better.

    Law firms have an issue with the "NONs"... only this time it is non-equity partners.

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    Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Music byJerry David DeCicca.

    • 44 min
    Bob Taylor, Valerie Dickerson, and Mark Ross on Deloitte Legal Business Services

    Bob Taylor, Valerie Dickerson, and Mark Ross on Deloitte Legal Business Services

    After 25 years at Liberty Mutual, Bob Taylor began his new adventure in legal services when he joined Deloitte's Legal Business Services (LBS) as the Managing Director a few weeks ago. His in-house experience and desire to help create innovative and creative ways of providing legal business services make him a perfect fit to join his new colleagues, Valerie Dickerson, Legal Business Services Partner at Deloitte Tax LLP in Washington, DC, and Mark Ross, Principal at Deloitte Legal Business Services in Los Angeles.

    We discuss Bob's move over to Deloitte, along with the holistic approach LBS is taking with understanding its client's entire business, and providing multiple services where the overall service is greater than the individual sum of its parts. We also ask each of them to look into their crystal balls and project how they see the Big Four Professional Services, like Deloitte, changing the legal environment over the next decade. 

    Information Inspirations

    Our friend Kristin Hodgins asked a very interesting question on Twitter about how to start a start-up when you're not wealthy or have a partner to rely upon. 

    You don't have to be a young lawyer to enjoy the insights of young lawyers. The ABA Young Lawyer Division launched its new Young Lawyer Rising Podcast this week and the first two episodes cover Civility and being a young lawyer in the era of COVID. 

    We all know there's some hype around big tech, AI, and ethics. Well, MIT Tech Review gives us "50-ish words you can use to show you care without incriminating yourself."

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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.

    • 44 min
    Dan Packel on the Rise of Distributed Law Firms

    Dan Packel on the Rise of Distributed Law Firms

    Over the past year, many of us have said "I guess all law firms are virtual law firms now." While that may technically be true, there are many firms whose business model is based on being a virtual firm. Dan Packel from The American Lawyer gives us a primer on Distributed Law Firms like Fisher Broyles, Ramon, Taylor English and Duma, and Culhane Meadows and how they operate without a physical environment. While many of these firms may fly below the radar for many biglaw firms, distributed firms like Fisher Broyles may be poised to break into the AmLaw 200. And if that happens, and it might happen this year, many big firms will start to take notice.

    Information Inspirations

    While we don't want you to replace us as your favorite podcast, we do think that Stephen Poor's new podcast from Seyfarth, Pioneer and Pathfinders, provides some good sit-down discussions with legal innovators like Dr. Heidi Gardner, Dan Linna, Nicole Bradick, and more to come. Go check it out.

    There are only eleven states now which do not require lawyers to have a competence level when it comes to legal technology. California is the latest to make such a requirement.

    Our fellow geek, Casey Flaherty is the last of the Baker McKenzie dream team to finally leave Baker and go back into the legal innovation consulting world. Casey is now the Chief Strategy Officer at LexFusion and is bringing his talent back into the open legal market to help legal departments and law firms implement technology to improve overall legal processes.

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly brings us a new blockchain sheriff in Texas. The Texas Blockchain Council is a nonprofit trade association with the objective to make Texas the center of the universe for blockchain technology.

    Listen, Subscribe, Comment
    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.

    • 25 min
    Adam Tsao and The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers

    Adam Tsao and The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers

    For those who went to law school, do you remember that class we all took on creativity in the legal work environment? No? We don't remember it either. That's why Adam Tsao decided to write The Creativity Playbook for Lawyers: Strategies for the Business of Legal Practice. Adam sits down with us and discusses how he integrated creativity into his own legal education at Penn Law School, as well as his legal work at Skadden and Covington before starting his own business, At Philosophy. He stresses that creativity is a vital process in a person’s legal career, and why we each need our own playbook to help us build creative processes into our professional activities. Adam also co-hosts a non-legal podcast on creativity called Double Agent.

    Information Inspirations
    Baseball season is upon us. If you are a fan, you most likely have a favorite team. Darren Siegle from Specops Software reminds us that it is okay to root for the home team, just don't use them as your password.

    While law librarians can take a joke as much as the next profession (maybe even more), a recent American Lawyer article that runs comparisons between lawyer's spouses, kids, and pets to secretaries and law librarians didn't land well with Greg. Legal reporters seem to lack an understanding of what amazing benefits law librarians brought to their firms during COVID. We take the time to educate them.

    It seems that the law firm librarians aren't the only ones taking a hit from the press. The latest US News Law School rankings admitted to some flaws in its initial numbers for this year in how it measured law library metrics. In a portion of the ranking that only made up .25%, the change in the statistics caused nine schools to have their rankings altered.

    While officially, Womens' History Month came to a close yesterday, it's always a good time to honor women in the legal industry, and we bring you a couple of good podcasts that do just that.


    Véronique Goy Veenhuys on EQUAL-SALARY and Gender Equalit‪y‬
    Stolen: The Search for Jermain

    Listen, Subscribe, Comment
    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.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Dina Cataldo ,

Fun and thought provoking

They introduce innovators who are reframing how the law can be practiced whether it's with tech or concepts that make lawyers think about how they're practicing the law.

gaillardia ,

Thought provoking

This entertaining and warmly hosted podcast is geared towards law librarians and the legal profession, but it has something for everyone interested in technology, and increasing leadership and research skills. I’m an educator and always find items of value in each episode.

crawmacdad ,

Great show!

Thoughtful, interesting, and entertaining podcast about the latest trends in tech in the legal industry. I really enjoy it.

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