3 Geeks and a Law Blog

We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, author of the book Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates, and talk about how associates mature into their roles as lawyers with law firms. As these second to sixth-year associates begin to take on more substantial legal roles, as well as leadership, mentorship, and allyship among their fellow lawyers, the stress of the job can become overwhelming. Bluestein talks through a number of examples of how mid-level associates can handle the increased workload, improve communications with partners at the firm, and realistically plan for their future. During…
Welcome to the 100th episode of The Geek in Review. We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast as much as we’ve had in making it. We talk with Jennifer Bluestein, Chief Talent and HR Officer for Perkins Coie in part one of a two-part interview. Jennifer’s new book, Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates helps associates, partners, HR, and professional development personnel better understand the needs of those second to sixth-year associates as they move from learning how to practice law to learning how to practice law, while managing up and down the associate ladder.…
As we near the end of a very strange year, we thought we’d ask a couple of big thinkers to come on and have a no-holds-barred discussion on Legal Technology and Innovation. Kristin Hodgins is the Project Manager for Legal Innovation at Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP in Toronto. Jason Wilson is a legal publisher and author who has worked at Thomson Reuters and O’Connor’s Publishing for over 20 years. We cover topics ranging from who are the thought leaders and where is the best community for legal tech discussion, to what are courts, firms, academics, and vendors really doing…
A couple months ago, we brought in Bob Taylor and Jeff Marple from Liberty Mutual, and Gabe Teninbaum from Suffolk Law School to discuss the Boston Legal Design Challenge being held online in November. Taylor and Marple are back to discuss how things went, and they brought with them one of the members of the championship team, Aubrie Souza. Souza is a 2L from Suffolk and her team triumphed over the other nine law school competitors from across the United States and Canada. While the event was held online, the technology, the structure, and the facilitators and judges made…
Professionals in the legal market are known for focusing on high achievement levels within their careers, and not so much on how much joy they derive from working in the profession. Tracy LaLonde, author of The Joychiever Journey: Evade Burnout, Surpass Your Goals and Out-Happy Everyone, says that achievement and joy are not mutually exclusive and that we can live lives that allow us to achieve our goals and experience joy at the same time. LaLonde discusses how increasing the enjoyment of our careers doesn’t just create a better individual experience, but that there are studies that show…
One of the modern realities of consumerism is the requirement of arbitration clauses. The idea is that consumers and businesses can settle their disagreements without going to court, and instead have an arbitrator negotiate a settlement between the parties. For many of us, it is viewed as a part of doing business, and that the arbitration process is weighted heavily in favor of the corporations. Teel Lidow and his online tool, FairShake, is working to make filing an arbitration much easier for consumers and to actually show that many corporations are quite easy to approach when it comes to…
As with everyone else in the world, the pandemic destroyed my morning routine. My thirty-minute drive to the office is literally just rolling out of bed and putting up a green screen in front of the computer at the foot of my bed. It took me a long time to find another process of finding time for myself, and not just jumping straight into work, or begin doom scrolling social media. And again, like many of you, that meant getting out of the house and going for a walk around my neighborhood. It was in that walk this week that…
We live in a society that cannot seem to come to an agreement on what is truth and what are lies. People are seeking out stories that back up their beliefs rather than seek out the truths which may undermine those beliefs. We particularly see this on social media, but there are other sites out there which pass themselves off as local news organization which is really just biased sources designed to play upon the needs of people to have their “truths” backed up with like-minded articles. We asked Dave Boitano, a veteran reporter, and Loyd Auerbach, an…
We talked about Dr. Jacqueline Walsh’s Initio Tech and Innovation Clinic in a previous Information Inspiration segment. We were so inspired by her work that we asked her to come on the show and tell us more. The Initio clinic is set up just like a law firm. In fact, it is actually recognized by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society as a law firm. Dr. Walsh uses a combination of law students, articling clerks, and the local community to help create a great experience for her startup clients, and as a result an enjoyable and authentic experience for the students…
The Answer: Pay for it. Recently I saw a marketing email from a company that sells its services to in-house legal departments. It was titled something like “Steps to Improve Diversity.” To be honest – I didn’t read it. However, this topic has been top-of-mind for me for some time now so it generated this post. More and more clients are implementing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programs in order to get their firms to not only hire diverse lawyers, but also to make sure they are engaged on that client’s work. These programs range from rewards (e.g. bonuses) to very…
A couple of episodes ago, we had Richard Hsu discuss the need to eventually bring as many of our lawyers back to a physical office in order to have a successful working environment. Stephen Embry of LegalTech Crossroads Blog reached out to us after listening and wanted to argue that while he understood Richard’s argument that in order for there to be a level playing field for all lawyers in the firm, that there were actually ways to create a successful environment where lawyers could continue to work remotely. In fact, that with the right strategy, training, support, and flexibility,…
For most of us, meetings are unavoidable, uninspiring, and an overall waste of everyone’s time. But, they don’t need to be. Douglas Ferguson, the founder of Voltage Control discusses how we think of meetings as passive ways to convey information when in reality, a meeting should be the place where we take action and get things done. The way Douglas and Voltage Control look at meetings is in much more of a diagnostic method. What works? What doesn’t? Can we borrow from one approach to make another work better? By applying a good design process, the meeting ends up…
We all know that the hybrid workplace is coming to our law firms. That is, where some lawyers are working every day from their office spaces, while others continue to work remotely. Many believe that this will be the permanent workplace of the future, and there is a Pollyannish attitude from some in the industry who think that the past seven months prove that we can do as much remotely, as we can from the office. Richard Hsu of the recruiting firm Lindsey, Major, and Africa is not one of them. While Hsu understands that there is a paradigm shift…
In order to measure what matters, it is important to have the data available to help. Sarah Lin is the Information Architect & Digital Librarian at RStudio, PBC, and is also a law librarian. RStudio wanted someone to help them manage their digital morass and to Marie Kondo their digital information. Is there anyone better than a law librarian with some tech skills to do just that? Sarah discusses what the R Programming language does, and how she got interested in the profession of statistical computing. While some may not see a direct link between being a law librarian…
A few years ago, Robert Taylor and Jeff Marple of Liberty Mutual Insurance, along with Suffolk Law School’s Gabriel Teninbaum sat down at Back Bay Harry’s and hatched a genius plan over some truffle fries and sandwiches. The idea was to leverage Suffolk’s law school technology training for students along with Liberty’s desire for the law schools to help students actually learn how to address the issue of design thinking and how it applied to real-world legal issues they were facing. And while the truffle fries were still hot, the Boston Legal Design Challenge was born. On November 13th, 2020,…
No matter what happens during this economic, political, health, and social crisis, Olga Mack reminds us that our skills are ours to keep. Olga is the CEO of Parley Pro, and brings her wisdom to the podcast on what lawyers and other legal professionals need to do to take care of themselves and thrive through the good times and the bad. Olga is the CEO of Parley Pro, a company that developed an innovative contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool, but she is so much more than that. A prolific speaker, a thought leader in the legal industry, a litigator,…