3 Geeks and A Law Blog

A law blog addressing the foci of 3 intrepid law geeks, specializing in their respective fields of knowledge management, internet marketing and library sciences, melding together to form the Dynamic Trio.

It’s not unusual for law firms to invest $1M or more in recruiting, hiring, training, and retention of Associates over the first four years of their legal career. However, if you look at the actual retention rates through the fourth or fifth year, it is essentially a coin flip on whether the firm retains, or loses that talent. Bryan Parker, CEO of Legal Innovators thinks that it is not a good return on the law firm’s (and the Associate’s) time and capital investment. Parker believes that you can take a more holistic approach to the recruitment process and evaluate the…
Heidi Gardner, Distinguished Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, and Brian Stearns, Chief Commercial Officer at Workstorm, talk with us about collaboration when most of us are under a shelter-in-place order. There are definitely tools to make it easier to collaborate remotely, but there is a process that must be evaluated first. There’s also a human element that must be considered in who people react to the stress they are currently under. As we have said before, never let an emergency go to waste, and Gardner and Stearns have some insights on how to evaluate your…
There is no reason why we should let an emergency go to waste. So, we’ve both taken on a side project while we work remotely. Marlene’s new daily ILTA blog presents a quick update on the skills we need to work on while we’re working from home. Her first post, Be Sheltering: Not Sheltered discusses a number of initiatives going on which we all can contribute. You can find out more on the ILTA blog page. Greg began his daily podcast miniseries, In Seclusion, this week. These are short, less than 15 minutes, interviews of an eclectic group…
I am launching a podcast miniseries called In Seclusion. The first episode dropped this morning. #oklaHOMEa In the inaugural episode of In Seclusion, I talk with Jim Calloway, the Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program (MAP). Calloway and I go back to my early legal days with the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network. He discusses the issues facing the state bar, the courts, and the members of the bar as everyone faces the reality of working from home over an extended time period. Jim reminds us that this is going to be a marathon and not a…
We try… and fail to stay off the COVID-19 topic this week, but it’s just too ingrained in our lives right now. For those of you out there doing the remote work thing, we understand and hope you are adapting to the new work mode with little interruption. We, too, are working remotely, and hope there are not too many background noises of kids, refrigerators, or pets making cameo appearances on this week’s show. We have a great talk with Charlie Uniman, Legal Tech Startup Evangelist, and founder of Legal Tech Startup Focus. LTSF is an online community…
 At the recent, excellent Law 2030, Vijay Govindarajan observed, “There is only so much Six Sigma you can do.” Despite my affinities, I concur. Low baselines can have an outsized impact on the efficacy of interventions—but then baselines stop being low. Consider buying a car with an eye towards better gas mileage. Which technological leap saves more gas? Improving a car’s miles per gallon (i) from 10 mpg to 20 mpg or (ii) from 20 mpg to 100 mpg? Put another way, from the perspective of gallons saved, what is the ‘bigger improvement’ (i) +10 mpg/2x or (ii) +80 mpg/5x? Since…
  Using Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural Language Processing to hold a conversation might seem like a far off idea when it comes to the legal industry, but it is not. We sit down with Baker Hostetler’s Katherine Lowry, and Puerto Rico defense attorney Diego Alcala to get a better understanding of how chatbots work, and what value they can bring from legal practices ranging from BigLaw Bankruptcy practice to a solo attorney’s criminal law practice. Katherine Lowry won the American Association of Law Libraries’ Innovation Tournament in 2018 with her attorney-facing chatbot. In the nearly two years…
Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash With all of the news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) making its way into the United States, it is time for law firms to think about what they are going to do to prepare for a possible outbreak that will affect their business operations. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans need to be dusted off and updated to manage the different scenarios that may come our with over the next few months. We asked the Association of Legal Administrators interim Executive Director, April Campbell, to discuss what law firms need to be doing to prepare.…
The legal industry relies upon the writings and communications of lawyers, judges, and lawmakers. For the citizens and clients who are subject to these legal writings, understanding the legalese is painfully frustrating. We were asked by a fan of the show (in full disclosure, it was Greg’s sister-in-law Wendy) why lawyers can’t write in plain English. We pulled together a panel of four experts on legal communications and asked them just that. It turns out that writing in plain English is not only possible, but it is the preferred method of legal writing. Our guests on this episode are: Listen…
We reach across the Atlantic Ocean and talk with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Nick Pryor on his work the firm’s BCLP³ innovation objectives. Nick heads up the firm’s European, Middle East, and Asia innovation projects, and gives us some insights on the joys and hardships that come with innovation in the global legal market. Whether it is regulations, cultural challenges, competition, or setting a long-term vision, innovation is challenging. However, Nick also stresses that it is also very rewarding. Innovation Inspirations If you had any doubts that privacy was dying, the work that Clearview AI is doing may put those…
January was a busy month on my LinkedIn. Birthday and a work anniversary. The automatic notifications prompted some splendid exchanges with old friends. And I received a few questions worth answering more publicly. Where you been? Working. Took the new job at the beginning of 2019. It was exciting at the time. Even more exciting now. But I wanted to do something before I said something. When you spill ink decrying the lack of substance underpinning many discussions of innovation in legal service delivery, you set yourself up to be indicted on charges of hypocrisy (a misdemeanor). I’ve mostly kept…
If there’s one thing that many of us need these days, it is a cybersecurity expert on retainer. Luckily, law professor Steve Black, visiting professor at the University of Houston fills that need. Prof. Black talks with us on a number of issues including what motivates hackers and cybercriminals (spoiler: it’s money), the dark web, how law firms and business approach information stored in the cloud, and what process automation means for data security. Law firms might be a weak link in the eyes of cybercriminals when it comes to acquiring information. Professor Black discusses the different tactics cybercriminals…
The social media platform Fishbowl is designed to create an anonymous but verified space for professionals to socialize with others in the same profession. CEO and co-founder Matt Sunbulli joins us this week to talk about FIshbowl’s entry into the legal industry social media space. It’s been about eight weeks, but there is already a large number of attorneys and other legal professionals using the platform to discuss issues ranging from what’s an appropriate salary range, to advice on lateral moves, to is it okay to vape in the workplace. The answer to that last one is a solid, NO!…
While we may have had a tough time pronouncing things correctly, this week’s guests said all the right things when it comes to being a leader within their organizations. Laura Toledo, Communications and Marketing Manager at Nilan Johnson Lewis PA in Minneapolis, and Kevin Iredell, Chief Marketing Officer at Lowenstein Sandler LLP in New York, discuss their year-long experience in the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute. Both are leaders within the Legal Marketing Association, which sponsored their attendance at the institute. While people in leadership positions may feel that they need to have all the answers, Toledo says that she…
Jimmy Baikovicius from Montevideo, Uruguay [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] Last Friday evening I attended Winter Jazz Fest, an annual New York City tradition that sees hundreds of performers playing a dozen or more venues over a few nights each January. I made it to 5 concerts at 5 separate venues in the Village before finally hailing a cab and heading back to Brooklyn at 1AM on Saturday morning. All of the acts I saw were memorable. Some of them were amazing performers. Some played incredible music. I would likely go out of my way to see one or two of them perform again,…
With the new decade comes a new tagline for The Geek in Review introduction. Let us know what you think of the change. Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Information Technology/Director of Marketing at New York Law Institute and is the editor of the new book, Law Librarianship in the Age of AI. Whenever there is a monumental shift in technology and processes, there will be winners and there will be those who are left behind. The authors of this compilation give the readers a path to better understanding what Artificial Intelligence is, and what it isn’t. Ranging…