Preparing for the Legal Team of the Future – Adam Curphey (TGIR Ep. 176)

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Preparing for the Legal Team of the Future – Adam Curphey (TGIR Ep. 176)
Adam Curphey’s new book, The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills guides the reader through the need for less silos in legal practice and much more reliance upon teams and collaborative efforts. The idea of a “Law+” model for the profession brings in the essential processes of adding people, business, change, and technology to the law and creating legal teams to solve legal problems.

Curphey’s experiences at law firms like White & Case LLP, Reed Smith LLP, and Mayer Brown LLP helped provide insights into what worked and didn’t work in legal innovation. His membership on the O-Shaped Lawyer Steering Board also provided the human-centric skills needed for the integration of teams into an industry filled with accomplished individuals used to going it alone. This expansion of the T-Shaped and the Delta Model Lawyers brings in more of that human interaction that is needed in today’s complex legal environment.

The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills also lays out multiple case studies and examples of collaboration, teamwork, and professional progression. We talk about some of the case studies along with Adam Curphey’s view into his crystal ball on what is on the horizon for the legal industry in terms of legal innovation.

Links to Order The Legal Team of the Future: Law+ Skills

LVNx Crystal Ball Answer

This week, Purvi Sanghvi  from Paul Hastings, and a current Legal Value Network Executive Board Member, explains how the legal industry may approach a potential economic downturn in 2023, and how that must be different from the 2008 or the 2020 approaches on previous challenges to the profession.
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Transcript

Marlene Gebauer
Welcome to The Geek in Review, podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert
And I’m Greg Lambert. Marlene, I just it hit me today that the last episode of She Hulk Attorney at Law is next week. And so I’m just not sure what I’m going to do to fill the void once that show is over.

Marlene Gebauer
I know that it’s like we need to have another Marvel rollout before, before the next one comes out for the next season.

Greg Lambert
Yeah, we’ll have to figure out something. So I know that Joshua Lenon and I are going to do at least one recap episode for our superhuman law division podcast with some guests to talk about, you know how the big law firm worked in a world where there’s, you know, super powered individuals. So

Marlene Gebauer
the really super powered individual really super powers.

Greg Lambert
The one thing that I know we’re going to talk about is apparently this law firm that She Hulk works in, obviously doesn’t have a marketing department. So we’re really going to talk

Marlene Gebauer
about crazy. Like, no and no.

Greg Lambert
So if the listeners haven’t tuned in on that, and you want to get really geeky, come join Joshua Lenon. And I, over at superhumanlaw.com. And all six or seven episodes are, are up now. So we’re just having fun.

Marlene Gebauer
Yeah, really go check it out. It’s a lot of fun. So this week, we have Adam Curphey on the show, to talk about his new book, The legal team of the future law plus skills, we added to the T shaped lawyer and the Delta lawyer and bring you the concept of the O shaped lawyer. So this builds really well on our episode a few weeks ago with Heidi Gardner on Smarter collaboration, this whole idea of moving away from the individual leader and doer in the legal industry and focuses on the value of a team approach.

Greg Lambert
Looks like we’ve kind of uncovered a trend here and about not just going alone for the lawyers and the legal professional. So I like this trend.

Marlene Gebauer
It takes a team you know, it does, it does.

Greg Lambert
Well, first up, we have Purvi Sanghvi from Paul Hastings, as well as one of the board members at the legal value network. And she stopped by my impromptu recording studio there at LBN experience conference to answer our crystal ball question on what she sees, from her point of view for the legal industry over the next to say two to five years. So we’ll hear from Purvi first, and then we’ll jump right into our discussion with Adam Curphey.

Purvi Sanghvi
I am Purvi Sanghvi, I’m the director of pricing with Paul Hastings, and I’m a founding member of the legal value network. i It’s interesting that you asked that question because I been asked people if I’m being reminded of what happened in 2008. So with the economic downturn, and lawyer demand being down, what am I seeing? Am I seeing the same kinds of requests? And what’s interesting is that, you know, there’s some tone of the same kinds of questions, but there’s so many more people on Legal Operations, and both sides and the law firm side and on the client side now that what I foresee is more collaboration, and I see easier conversations, I see more value added responses rather than reactionary habits that had happened in the past. So I’m hoping that, you know, economic cycles will always go around ups and downs and how we weather through them. This this time around, I think it’s going to be a lot more, a lot productive, a lot better for everybody in the game.

Greg Lambert
What would you think would be the worst reaction for an economic downturn from a law firm and from a client side, versus maybe a better approach this time around? And what happened say 12-15 years ago?

Purvi Sanghvi
I think a worse reaction could be just slashing prices without having a conversation around what the pain points are. I think a worst reaction would be having a conversation about something as nuanced as one bill or one price, rather than talking about the entire engagement or the scope of what’s being worked on. forby Thank you. You’re welcome.

Marlene Gebauer
We’d like to welcome Adam kirpy, Senior Manager of innovation at Mayor Brown and my good colleague, welcome, Adam and congratulations on the book.

Adam Curphey
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Greg Lambert
So, Adam, you’ve had a very career as an associate as an educator as an innovation business professional, among many, many other things, I am sure, can you tell us a little bit about your journey to writing This book, the legal team of the future law plus skills.

Adam Curphey
Yeah, sure. This really started when I was teaching, and I was just teaching business law and law firms started to come to us and say, Hey, what’s this innovation thing? What can we do with technology? How do we get new skills, and I started everyone, I don’t know. But I can find out, started meeting with various innovation teams from various different firms across the board, and found out that what they were looking for was much wider than the real focus on technology that a lot of the new legal innovation courses were coming up with. And so I devised a course there and started building that. And then I joined a group called the O shaped lawyer, which was started by a group of GCS, so started to hear from the in house voice that they were looking for human skills. And that group of skills became much more multifaceted than I think we were seeing a lot of in terms of innovation in the future of law. And then I got back into practice, and started to see more and more about how it persisted, and all these different skills that people wanted. And as part of my other activities, I was an external consultant at King’s College London. So looking at their innovation courses, and my publisher approached them and said, we are looking to break into legal publishing, we’ve done business publishing, Do you have anybody who think you could recommend for writing a book and they said, Well, this guy never shuts up. So maybe he’s got something. So I realized that from all of the experiences I’d had, and pulling all of this together, that I did, and there was a model there pulled together various bits that were out there, and could give a different way to really looking at the future of law and and how it can be done. Because it seems so much about the lawyer of the future. And I just think that that title is so unfair on so many people. So this is really on the legal team of the future and bringing together all those multidisciplinary professionals.

Marlene Gebauer
Yes, exactly. Because you’re a law Plus model really has something in it for everyone, doesn’t it? Can you explain how people in different professions can use the model? Sure, yeah.

Adam Curphey
So it really it really is for everyone on it pulls together lots of different models under the various parts of it. So it is for lawyers to see how they can adopt new skills and where they might like to focus their skills in addition to legal knowledge. But it’s also for those business professionals, allied professionals and others of us working in the legal profession. So in terms of the model, it can give you an outline of the current status of legal practice. So you can see a bit about the book talks about why do we need this? Why are we doing all of this. So that can give you that sort of background. And the model itself can give you suggestions where there might be gaps of where you can fill, how you can add value, what the lawyers are doing, and where it is that you can really bring in your skills usefully to work with them. And I try and introduce case studies. And there is a whole chapter dedicated to a single simulated case study, which is based on a real world scenario, which is how different professions can work with the lawyers to really deliver a better level of client service. So this is all about being a bridge and working with specialists. And as much as we often say, lawyers, you have to be that bridge. And you have to have that legal knowledge and also it skills and process skills and change skills and human skills. I think there is something in the business professionals being able to look at it and say, Well, I understand these bits of the law. And I can be that bridge too. And I know the right questions to ask you. And I know the right responses to give. So it’s really designed to give this overview of how we might categorize the various skill sets that we’ve got. And so it can help to build teams. And that can be with hiring people it can be with creating a team for a pitch it can be How am I going to work with the lawyers in this firm. So it is a bit for everyone.

Greg Lambert
So you introduce the concept of an O shaped lawyer and we’ve talked on the show and there’s lots of talk in the industry, about the different shapes of lawyers. Now there’s the the T shaped lawyer that Amani Smathers had created there’s the Delta lawyer which built upon that from Amani from CAP moon and Alice and Carol. And now the the O shape lawyer seems to build upon these two other concepts as well. Can you give us kind of a an overview of what is behind the O shape principle?

Adam Curphey
Sure. And I will say that the shape lawyer is not mine by any stretch is another model that I’ve introduced just like Allison and cats model and I was lucky enough to speak with Allison and cat before the book was published to get their version And to include the various parts of the Delta competency model. But the O’Shea Gloria really speaks to the human part, if we’re looking back at the Delta model, it’s the people deserve it. And this started with a guy called Dan Kane, who at the time was GC, of Network Rail. And he was thinking about taking in lawyers from private practice and how you had to almost de privatize their skill sets to turn them into in House lawyers. And in doing so realize that, actually, he wanted to see the same skills from his providers from his legal advisors, those humans skills, communication, collaboration, all those sorts of things. And that led to the Oh, which has five different Oh, words of openness, ownership, optimism, originality, and opportunism. And that’s what he wanted his legal advisors to have. So he went out and partnered with various people. And that time, one of them was me, I was I was teaching at law school at the time, and was able to talk to her about, certainly in the UK, the changing paths to legal qualification, and how it was an ideal time to look at new skills. And he did a survey with various GCS from a huge group of different companies looking at what they wanted, was this right? Were these areas that he created correct. And what really came out what kind of 12 attributes that clients are looking for, based around adaptability relationships, and value creation. And that model is now expanding to the US, he’s about to start doing the same survey in the US to build it in the same way. And I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the, as I said, right from the start and coming together with competency models for them. And I’ve drawn on that in the book for the human shape skills, because I don’t want to replace any of the good work that’s been done here. And so a lot of those O shape skills are the skills that you’ll see in the law plus people element of of the law Plus model.

Marlene Gebauer
Adam, you note that the current model of lawyering puts too much pressure on the individual and that legal teams of diverse groups with different talents are the future, which sounds right. But for some this might be seen as a law firm not being a law firm anymore, in terms of how we’ve seen it historically, you know, accomplished individuals who have run things are essentially asked to share leadership, I guess, in some areas with others, you know, even though practitioners are the ones who really take most of the risks involved and representation. So how do you change that mindset? or encourage leaders to sort of think about how this should look in the future?

Adam Curphey
Yeah, sure. I mean, that pressure on the individual is, is something that I’ve just watched happen more and more surreal. Yeah, when I was teaching I was it was, you know, when we started, even in the time that I was there, it was, it was just the law, you need to know. And then it was law and business. And then it was, well, oh, now you need to know law and technology. And then it was, well, actually, you need human skills. So now it’s law. And, and we kept piling up these things. And I used to have this slide of like this book, and keep on piling up of somebody just getting weighed under. And in an industry that’s already got mental health issues, I don’t think that it’s fantastic for us to be you are responsible solely. And I had so many students at the time saying, I feel like there’s so much I not only have to know the law and this very complex area and thing that I’m doing. But I’m also expected to be able to code and to do this and to do all these different things. So that’s really kind of part of why I think it does put too much pressure on but at the end of the day, we have to remember that law firms are businesses, even if we don’t always learn that law school. But law firms are businesses that serve clients. And although we might like to divorce our legal advice from the reality of commercial decision making, it’s just not the way the market is going. It’s not what clients want. We’ve seen GCS are being asked to be more and more of a part of the business, to give strategic advice, not just legal advice, and to be a quasi separate entity that just sits there waiting for something to go wrong. We’re seeing clients increasingly wanting their advice within the context of their business, whether that’s through asking in the relationship, or we’ve seen tenders and pitches that say, well, actually, we don’t just want you to change the law. We also think our process for doing this isn’t fantastic. So we want your firm to fix that as well. Who have you got on what have you got that can do that. And we can’t keep on saying the lawyers. Yeah, you can do all of it because it’s just not fair. And they’re not going to have to focus on the very technical, very good legal skills that they have to do that. And this trend of deregulation is already happening. People are already sharing leadership. There’s new entrants on the market, particularly in my market in England and Wales, where you’ve got new entrants in the market who are increasing competition. So To law firms in particular, if they don’t take stock and start looking at what structure might work for them, they’re gonna find the world runs away from them whether they want it or not. I think that history has changed. And we need to accept that. And if we want to continue to serve our clients and be the first point of call, and that trusted advisor, then we need to change the way we do things.

Greg Lambert
Adam, you’d mentioned earlier that you did some case studies in the book and one of those case studies talks about a latticed pathway for professional progression. Can you tell us a little bit more about this particular case study and how it worked.

Adam Curphey
So this is one of those weird situations where it’s a very small world full of coincidences. So this case study came from Nigel Spencer, who’s who’s currently at Queen Mary University. But worked at Reed Smith, just before I’d worked at Reed Smith in the l&d department. So we actually missed each other, but got to know each other separately. And this case study was something that he was engaged in when he was at the Oxford side business school and conducting research with Meridian west. So they were looking at how to establish the firm of the future. And they essentially found through that research, that the career ladder is increasingly no longer a ladder, there are new routes opening up. And as firms evolve, promotion becomes this latticed pathway, where we might jump in and out of several teams during our careers. You know, from legal education, to lawyer to innovation, you know, this is one of those lattice pathways that I’ve taken. But there’s plenty of people who I know and who I’ve worked with, who have started off as lawyers and moved in technology in the move back or have come from other areas to move into law. And we are increasingly seeing within law firms more and more paths to promotion. And I propose a similar structure in the book looking at Splinter points, which are those times of real attrition for law firms, which could be ideal points at which to introduce new training tracks for individuals to add new disciplines to their skill set. So trying to formalize some of that. But it’s something that really resonated with me when I heard it, that we’re no longer junior associate Senior Associate partner. And that’s the only way to go. And I think that’s the right way that we should grow.

Marlene Gebauer
One of your suggestions is that lifelong learning should not just be the initiative of the individual, but also firms, and they should be coordinating that initiative to support their employees and bridge gaps. So how do you think they should go about this? Yeah,

Adam Curphey
so if we, if we want law firms to really have a group of multidisciplinary professionals, that between them can fulfill all the needs of the business, then you have to go about it in a slightly more coordinated way, then it’s on you. You do what you like, go out there and search

Marlene Gebauer
stuff, you know, go pick what you want. Yeah, exactly. Where

Adam Curphey
could you possibly start, just go and learn everything. And I’m fully aware there is a lot going on with firms already and with l&d teams and and I think this really starts with grass roots. There are a handful of firms who are introducing new joiners to more rounded looks at how law firms work and skill sets. You know, even within our own firm, Mayor Brown, the apprenticeship in England and Wales involves working for Business Services teams, Reed Smith, doing things where they have people in working for Business Services teams before they join. So there are things going on with looking at that wider group of skill sets that might give people the impetus to particularly pick a route. But also it means working with Legal Education providers to have a competency framework that you want to meet that can be handed over and continue to build. And I talk a lot in the book about portfolios and building up portfolios at work of being able to say, These are the skills that I’ve pursued. This is where I excel, this is where I want to carry on going, which can be useful not only for the whole CLA and CPD type stuff, but also to make sure that we have a path and part of the reason for splitting this up into a model was to say to people that there are four different areas which have two different parts to them, that you can go down, you can go down law plus people skills and work your way through that. You can look at law plus business little plus change little plus technology, and you can start to specialize in those areas. So I think having a path for people is a real big part of it, which tracks for legal engineers, legal technologist. Now that might mean partnering with external providers like the LinkedIn learnings of this world. But I think one thing that firms near that really need to remember is that you can put all this stuff here, but if you don’t tie it to anything in terms of incentive, or progression nobody’s going to do it, and they just carry going to carry on doing the things they’ve always done. So there has to be an incentive.

Marlene Gebauer
What type of incentive? Do you do you think would work.

Adam Curphey
So talk about a huge range of incentives in the book. I mean, it comes back to, I think the one that we’d all like, which is more money for various different roles and accepting that business services professionals currently out a lot less than lawyers do. But also, it’s things like being able to give hours, if we’re going to accept the hours is the measure of success, then, and that’s what we’re going to go with and for good or ill, the billable hours here, then we need to widen what’s included in that time, what do those hours represent, we need to give people the chance to say yes, working on stuff that is going to fundamentally change the way you work, but isn’t instantly going to deliver money right now, that is worthy of your time. And it should be counted towards when we’re looking at bonuses, when we’re looking at your hours targets, that sort of stuff. If we don’t let ourselves do r&d, and there’s a stat in the book that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but it talks about how law firms don’t do anywhere near as much research and development as any other industry, that if we don’t do that, then we’re never going to change and other businesses who can now provide legal advice are going to come along and say we’ve done the r&d. And we started working on this five years ago and realize that everything’s changed. So we need to give that incentivization. I also talk about spin offs and incubators and creating that culture of innovation. So giving people the opportunity to have seats and sit comments and peek into another way of working or partnering with others, or do you get the kudos for bringing in new technologies? Do you get profit sharing, you know, there are all sorts of things that can go on around decentralization. And it sounds like I’ve thrown the kitchen sink at this, I almost slightly have because one of the things that I really recognize in the book is that every firm, every educational establishment, every in house team is different. So if I can provide a number of different routes for how to get there, you can pick the one that most resonates and most works for your organization.

Greg Lambert
Yeah, and I think all that ties into the fact that we’re dealing with professionals, both the lawyers and the allied professionals, who tend to be looking to avoid risk. That’s how we’re trained, we’re trained as issue spotters on everything that can go wrong. So I like the idea of having those incentives, and then probably having to adjust those incentives based on the needs of the people that you’re wanting to, to change behaviors. And so it’s good to have Mambo multiple ways to attack that problem, many carats, one of the things and another issue, I think, is that a lot of times, lawyers are wanting to advise clients, they’re wanting to kind of take the lead and say, here’s what you need to do, when a lot of times the clients are really wanting them to know more about their business than to and so you talk about the importance of listening on the job. And you even point out that some firms have set up what they call client listening initiatives. Can you explain what those are? And, and how one would set one up?

Adam Curphey
So we are often guilty as a profession of not listening. And then maybe it’s this need to be the smartest in the room? I don’t know. You know, we often talk first, and we want to be the one that seemed to be talking and giving that advice. I’m certainly guilty of it, I have to stop myself all the time, just be like, No, you have to listen and hear other people. But these kinds of listening initiatives are generally objective groups. So they might involve and they usually involve a BD team, because they’ll they can help to target who you should speak to. So you’ve got business development, and either perhaps an external organization and there are external organizations that can help with client feedback or former partners, or essentially somebody who’s not directly involved in the client relationship. And the current matters tend to be the makeup of these teams. And what they do is they go and they meet with the client at whatever intervals, they may decide. And they interview the clients about the relationship generally to get qualitative data to let the client talk rather than saying, Oh, how good were we on a scale of one to seven? It’s just that how are we doing? How can we help? What do you need? from us, and then you can get all of that data and start looking at it and say, Where are the opportunities, not only with this client, but across the board? What are we here? And where can we improve. And one of the things the O shape lawyer did in the early days was set up a number of pilots, with law firms, specific law firms and clients to work together to do that very sort of pulse survey, how are things going feedback loop, so they identified a particular area of their relationship they wanted to fix or work on, I wouldn’t say fix because that implies it was broken. But it’ll be communication, for example. And over the course of a set amount of time, or one single matter, both the client and the law firm would say how they thought they were doing at communication, and there’ll be a facilitator from the ownership group. So again, an objective third party that’s consistent to all of these things, who looked at that and said, Well, I noticed, you know, something’s dipping here, something’s not going very well, we need to talk about this, or you need to meet or maybe we need a training session, or maybe you just need to pick up the phone to a client. But those client listening things, I think, start with business development, they start with identifying which of those clients are most important to you, it’s them finding the right third party to work with. And I think they’re so useful because they provide honest feedback, which we’re sometimes quite scared to receive as lawyers. It’s, it’s often fraught with peril, speak to a client, and we have to go through a lot of trust as business professionals, now I professionals to be allowed to be put in front of clients. And that’s understandable, because the way in which people are incentivized is how many clients did you bring in as a partner, what’s your book of business? So I totally get that. But the more we can listen, actually, the better that relationship can be. And yeah, that does mean you might have to share your client a little bit with BD and this, whoever the third party is, but those things, once they’re set up can really help you identify how not only you can just sit there and give advice when it’s needed. But you can proactively be looking for things you can do to improve that relationship, get more work in the future. And if you do it for others, they might do it for you, which can increase cross selling, which is great, because they’re all good business reasons behind these things.

Marlene Gebauer
Right. So I’m going to shift to a practical question, you know, when you’re looking at a process or technology to see if there’s a better approach, you’ve suggested using the scamper principle, can you tell us what that is and how it works?

Adam Curphey
Yeah, sure. It’s funny that you focus on that, because scamper was actually a last minute addition that I really liked scamper it as a framework, and I undenied about whether to include it, because there are a lot of toolkits in there. And I thought, actually, you know what, the more information I can give somebody, the better. And this is, it’s one that resonated with me before I even knew what scamper was. And it’s really a guideline to help you coming up with new ideas, we don’t often have time to sit down and have ideas, especially, you know, when you’re on the billable hour, and you’re looking at targets, and you’re trying to think There’s that famous picture of the cave, people pushing a cart with square wheels, and somebody’s offering them a circular one. And they’re saying, I don’t have time to replace the wheels, we often find ourselves in that position. So scamper is just a little bit of a framework to help people come up with ideas. So each of those, you know, there’s, there’s substitutes is the s, which is kind of replacing part of an existing process or service. So the way in which you give your information to a client, do you give it in a 60 page Word document? Could you maybe give it in something that’s a bit more in line with their business contextually aligned to what they want to see a dashboard? A couple of slides? Because that’s what they have to give back to the CEO, you know, can you replace part of what you currently do? You can combine, which is the C, which is taking two things that have been separate and stick them together? We’re seeing some of that with relativity at the moment and saying, Hey, we’ve been doing ediscovery. Why don’t we do transaction based discovery as well do the due diligence piece and the AI around that? Because the two tools are pretty similar? And if we can combine them into one, would that work? Could you combine a client dashboard with a client calendar? It’s like cell phones that are phones and cameras, you’ve put them together. And you’ve got to adapt or add which is the A which is evolving or adding extra features to an existing solution. So adding on all these new things and try to think about, am I providing enough could I give an extra bit of capability for my client, you can modify which is changing one thing so it might be changing the design, how to access it, the speed, who the target group is the example I always go back to on this one, which I really like is that what about jungle gyms but for adults And you know, you’re changing the user. And that’s only because I want jungle gyms for adults that I’ll keep on talking about that one, you’ve got, you’ve got other pay, which is put to another use. So that, you know, there was a acronym that we used in education, which I would never think of using in law, but it was case, which is copy and steal everything.

Because in education, if you see something you like, do it in motion the same way, can you take another solution and apply it to law, you know, a lot of the technologies that we use, and we see a lot of the things that we do, and the way in which we do them in our personal lives is nowhere near like, how we do them. When we’re practicing law, or when we’re in the law firm. So can we borrow from elsewhere and think about, what else we could be doing is the the eliminate get bits of rid of bits of the existing process, often you find people who are far too senior are doing work that they shouldn’t be, or you’re going through more jurisdictions and more people. I remember one of the examples, which I think is in the book we talked about, we sat down with a business services team at a firm and asked them to take us through what that process was. And once they’d seen it all written down, they kind of said, here’s what we do. To go through this process every day, seeing a write down is very different. And it turned out, they actually went and asked another team for access to a technology. And then that team got it and got the information from that tech and gave it back to them. It turns out that team didn’t want to be doing that either. And everybody wanted actually, the original people who were requesting it just have straight access to the tech, but nobody had ever joined the dots. And then we did in that crowd, a huge bit of the process. And then the last one is just to reverse or rearrange. The famous example like using from this one is just a very simple process of fixing a church roof, which is, you know, proof is broken. So you raise the money, you put up the scaffolding, you fix the roof. But the church in the US didn’t do that church in the US said, Well hold on, what if we put up the scaffolding first, before we raise any money, so they put up the scaffolding. And then they sold the space for advertising. And that’s how they raise the money, which then they could fix the roof. So even just that three step process, flipping things around, and thinking about them differently, can help it be a much easier process to go through. And quite often, document automation sees you want to consider here, it’s very easy to say, ask the questions as they come up in the document. But actually, that might not be the right way to ask the questions to get the best information. So it’s just thinking about things differently. But that’s why I like scamper. It’s a quick and easy way to go to to go. Hmm, do I have an idea about this? Can I add something to take something away? Can I combine with someone else somewhere else?

Greg Lambert
Well, we we have unwittingly follow that example by restructuring how we ask some of these questions we had for you today. So I’m going to I’m going to jump now over to the our crystal ball question. And so Adam, we ask all of our guests, the crystal ball question, which is what do you see in the next three to five years in terms of legal innovation, and I’m pretty sure you have some some pretty good thoughts on this.

Adam Curphey
Like from from the people side of things, I think we’re gonna see more varied professions and tracks to promotion, we’ll see much more of these hybrid routes. And not only at the grassroots level, but as we work our way through the promotion levels as well, I think we’ll see more shared ownership and alternative Business Services entering into the legal profession. And the deregulation will continue on its path of going through various parts of the world. I think we’ll see more of a marrying between business advice and legal advice. You know, that is something that in house teams are already being pulled down into saying, Well, you need to prove yourself you’re not you know, how are you not a call center? What are you doing for us? Where are you strategically involved? We don’t just want to know what we can do. We want to know what we should do. So I think they are going to have to be dragged in. And that’s going to pull the law firms in saying, Well, no, I don’t just want 60 pages and a legal opinion that says, yeah, it could be any of these routes. But you know, don’t take us on any of these, it’s up to you, which you go with, they want strategic advice. And to do that, we’re gonna have to round out the teams that we’re providing. So I really think the future of law is much more multidisciplinary, it’s accepting that we have to get professionals from other areas and industries and working with them. And being able to provide that level of client service. And from a technology point of view, I’m still really excited about what we can achieve with data. You know, now that the honeymoon period of AI as a futuristic cure all this past and everybody’s gonna go, Okay, I can’t do everything and we’re getting down to the reality of what it can do. We can start to concentrate on saying, okay, that’s really exciting. But first, should we you know, collect structure clean In data and work with data specialist, and I think that’s going to identify new areas that legal advisors can help, I think it’s going to show us new ways that we can deliver that advice. I think it’s just going to change quite a lot, the more we learn, and the more I see data being applied to various different elements of the legal profession, the more excited I are about how we’re going to use it, and how we’re going to do things differently.

Greg Lambert
So when is the book going to be released?

Adam Curphey
So the book was released on the 22nd of September, so it came out, and it’s available on Amazon and anywhere else where you get your books?

Marlene Gebauer
Well, Adam, you’ve certainly given us a lot to think about. Thank you so much for an excellent interview and for coming on the podcast.

Greg Lambert
Thanks, Adam.

Adam Curphey
And thank you so much for having me.

Marlene Gebauer
So I’m really happy that we had the opportunity to have Adam on the podcast, you know, I did read the book. And I think it’s very comprehensive and lays things out, you know, very clearly for the reader to process and to also take advantage of and use. It’s a lot to unpack, but I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to talk to him.

Greg Lambert
I like how he also brings in the allied professionals on this, because we were talking kind of after the, through the interview on the focus on attorneys. And I mean, he’s right, we already layer so much on attorneys, and we have people that are supposed to be doing a lot of you know, the human side of this.

Marlene Gebauer
And who wants to and want to be more involved. Yeah,

Greg Lambert
yeah. And so, you know, let people do what they’re really good at doing, and not try to load everything on on the shoulders of individuals that need to be focused on other things. I guess at the same time, we’re still looking for that holistic approach to things but it doesn’t mean everyone needs to take on everything.

Marlene Gebauer
A couple of points. Like I think about this, as you know, first of all, we’re talking about attorney unicorns like, Okay, you have to have all of these skills, and you have to be fantastic at all of them. And we have to find all the attorney unicorns and we know what we know. And we know just from trying to find unicorns in our own space, that is like, you know, there aren’t unicorns. And the other thing I was thinking, you know, hear me out on this is that you’re mentioning Yes, you know, we still want to have lawyers with the skills, but it’s kind of like, if you think of a librarian, like, Okay, you have a broad range of knowledge in a lot of areas, you know, but you’re not necessarily the subject matter expert. I’m thinking of like research librarians, you know, you’re not necessarily the subject matter expert, but you know, enough about everything to be able to sort of function in that space to a certain extent until you get the expert in. So I mean, maybe we look at it, something like that, you know, you should have a level of these skills. But you know, you don’t have to be the expert in all of them.

Greg Lambert
Yeah, I agree. And I haven’t had a chance to dive deep into Adam’s book yet, but I like a number of the case studies that I’ve seen from that, and having that practical experience or practical examples that are out there. So I’m excited to dive deeper into the book. Yeah, yeah, I think you’ll like it. So thanks, again to Adam Curphey, for joining us today. The book came out on September 22. We’ll have a link to order that on the show notes.

Marlene Gebauer
Yeah, please order the books. And thanks to all of you audience for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter

Greg Lambert
And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter.

Marlene Gebauer
And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you, Jerry.

Greg Lambert
Thanks, Jerry. All right, Marlene, I will talk to you later

All right, Ciao for now