Episode Notes

Stephanie catches up with the original Lawyerist podcast host, Sam Glover. In addition to a brief walk down memory lane, hear how Sam is working to make our court systems more accessible to the public and how lawyers could think differently about the value they provide. 

Additionally, Zack talks with Joyce Brafford from TimeSolv about project management, budget tracking, and determining the value of your cases and your time.

Links from the episode:

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  • 05:54. Check out Timesolv
  • 17:46. Reflections on the podcast
  • 22:46. Where is Sam now?



Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts 


Stephanie Everett (00:35): 

Hi, I’m Stephanie Everett. 


Zack Glaser (00:37): 

And I’m Zack. This is episode 501 of the Lawyerist podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today, Stephanie talks with the original Lawyerist podcast host Sam Glover, about his latest work on creating access to the court system. 


Stephanie Everett (00:51): 

Today’s show is brought to you by Timesolv, so stay tuned because you’re going to hear more about Zack’s conversation with them in a few minutes. 


Zack Glaser (00:59): 

So Stephanie, we just got back from an all team retreat in Chicago at a really cool place. It was a place that facilitates those type of things. It was a good little trip, but we discussed DISC there. And I guess DISC is kind of a personality assessment, is that what that is? 


Stephanie Everett (01:18): 

Yeah, it’s one of the many assessments that are out there. The way we use it, and most people use it is it talks about communication styles. So you get assigned DISC based on both how you like to communicate, how you work, your kind of pace of work, how you articulate ideas. So it’s behavioral. 


Zack Glaser (01:39): 

Okay. Yeah. It’s not Enneagram, but it’s in that kind of category ish of things. But yeah, it helps people interact with each other at work and whatnot. So I’m sure a lot of people know this. I’m not somebody that likes to be put in a box. I don’t like to be categorized. I don’t like feeling like, oh, well, somebody can tell my future, or anything even remotely close to that. So I was a major, major disc skeptic and looking at where I fell in the disc wheel and everything was something that I kind of poo-pooed, and I was like, ah, that’s not going to. But we had a really good conversation with one of our internal, well, both of our internal coaches, Paco and Robin, and I’m going to say it converted me, I don’t think it’s the word of God from on high or anything, but it really is a good way to get a first impression or get a first way of dealing with somebody. It doesn’t nail anyone. 


Stephanie Everett (02:45): 

No, nor does it purport to, by the way. 


Zack Glaser (02:48): 

Right. And honestly, I think that was one of the things that helped me was them saying, this isn’t the only way that you can deal with somebody, or this isn’t going to get every single time in all the ways you could possibly interact with them, but it was pretty helpful. 


Stephanie Everett (03:04): 

Yeah, I think I’m certified as a DISC trainer, and that is one of the things we offer. It comes as part of our lab membership. Every Labster gets their disc profile report, but we also have the ability to provide that to whole teams and do trainings on it, which is really fun. And when I’m explaining the results to people when we’re using it, it’s like a quick guideline and it’s maybe, if anything, it’s also a reminder. I think we get so stuck in our heads and ourselves, especially probably our team members if they haven’t been exposed to these kinds of things. It really shows people, not everyone approaches a problem. Not everyone thinks you, not everyone communicates like you. And of course, as I’m saying this right now, everybody’s like, I know that. Yes, we know you know it, but sometimes being able to put words around it, being able, in the training we did, we even used colors. Being able to put a color around how somebody might approach a problem or how they might communicate reminds us that people on our team every day, even our clients court personnel, think about all the people you interact with. And those people might approach the situation differently. And knowing that gives you some information for how you might approach the situation differently. 


Zack Glaser (04:29): 

Absolutely. Well, I also realized, and one of the things that really got me that just stuck out with me is looking at my DISC assessment and your disc assessment and then thinking about, well, how should these two people approach a meeting, whether it’s through the disc or through just us having worked together for a while. The way that one should approach a meeting with Stephanie is how I tend to try to do it. And the way that one should approach a meeting with Zach is how you tend to try to do it. And that is the significant thing is that’s not how I would normally approach somebody, and that’s not how you would normally approach somebody, but we do that in order to communicate with each other better. 


Stephanie Everett (05:12): 

Yeah, I know I laugh because my style is so obvious. Everyone in the company knows it. They’re just like, yeah, we know you’re describing a id. You’re pretty much describing me all the time. 


Zack Glaser (05:28): 

But it also can help alleviate some frustration when one says, okay, well this is how you need to show up to a meeting with Stephanie in order to communicate better. You can show up however you want, but in order to communicate better, this is how you do it. And it kind of gives people mild guidelines, and that’s helpful. 


Stephanie Everett (05:48): 

And as to me, one of the most helpful things that when I read my own dis assessment, there’s this one page, and everybody I think usually likes this page in the report where it says, here’s how you might show up and be perceived on a normal day, but here’s how that perception changes under mild and then more moderate and extreme stress. And so for me, for example, if I’m in, normally I think I’m showing up as confident and assured, whatever great words you want to put around that, but put me under stress and suddenly I might be aggressive. And what are the other words? It said? They’re really terrible words where I come across really that confidence moves to aggression. 


Zack Glaser (06:34): 

Yeah. Well, and mine does the same thing. Mine goes from being kind of creative and able to bring a lot of different things together to completely unorganized and 


Stephanie Everett (06:46): 

Fighting. Yeah, 


Zack Glaser (06:46): 

Exactly. If Zack is under pressure, you need to really, really watch out for him, just kind of going off the radar. And that kind of tracks going back in my life even. 


Stephanie Everett (06:59): 

So not only does it help you know how to approach me, but it helps me recognize some things about myself and say, Hey, if I’m under stress right now, I need to take a step back. Maybe I don’t need to approach this meeting and jump in and be like this crazy, like, ah, we got aggressive and freak everybody out because everyone will hate me. And so it really is a great tool every time I do it with small law firms for the whole team. It’s really interesting. And people walk away and they’re like, oh, this makes, and you know what it does? It kind is like, oh, this makes sense. This makes sense why this person needs this kind of information before they’re able to make a decision and why this person might just jump right in and start making decisions. It really helps everybody start to think about it. And then I, we also do some exercises of how can we think about our clients and how might we need to show up differently for our clients based on how they want to be communicated with. So some good stuff. 


Zack Glaser (08:00): 

Yeah, I think it’s helpful all around. 


Stephanie Everett (08:02): 

Yeah, I’m glad you got something out of that training. It can be. 


Zack Glaser (08:07): 

Well and seriously, people may not really get it from our conversation here. I was a skeptic, like skeptic, skeptic, skeptic. So yeah, I think it was extremely beneficial for us to get together and to do that. 


Stephanie Everett (08:20): 

Yeah, I mean, if you’re curious and you want to learn more about the training, we would love to talk to you about it. You can just always hit me up, Stephanie at Lawyerist dot com, and I can get you in touch with the right person. We can talk about what that looks like, how much it costs. It’s really pretty reasonable, by the way. 


Zack Glaser (08:37): 

Well, speaking of reasonable now, here is our sponsored guest and then Stephanie’s conversation with the Sam Glover. The Sam Glover. 



Hey y’all. It’s Zack legal tech advisor here at Lawyerist, and today I’m talking with Joyce Brafford from Profitsolv, Cosmolex, Rocket Matter Timesolv, all of these Profitsolv family companies. And we’re talking specifically about Timesolv today. Joyce, thanks for being with me. 


Joyce Brafford (09:12): 

It’s always so much fun, Zack, thank you for having me again. 


Zack Glaser (09:16): 

Absolutely. Absolutely. So, okay, Timesolv. This is a time management platform or a timekeeping and billing platform, but let’s talk about time management, specifically project management. What do y’all have in Timesolv that can help me go about my day? 


Joyce Brafford (09:34): 

Great question. So yeah, Timesolv is easy. Time and billing, that’s what people know it for. But one of the really amazing tools that Timesolv has in it that I think is just not utilized enough is our project management. Now, big difference between practice management and project management. Project management allows you to develop your tasks, your workflows, your goals, your progression points. It also involves oversight and budgets. And that is something that is lacking in a lot of practice management tools. So you’ve got this tool built directly into Timesolv that allows you to say, okay, what’s next? What have I done so far? Where am I in this project? And am I on budget? 


Zack Glaser (10:16): 

So every one of those is huge. I think for attorneys, the am I on budget? One is really big and I think people go, well, how do I know what my budget is? How would I track that? Well, first thing, you need software that will help you track it. B, whether you’re flat fee or traditional hourly tracking, we’re not talking about a budget of what am I going to spend on this? It’s hours that you’re spending, it is time that you’re spending, but tracking the budget for a matter can help you with a ton of things, not just are we being efficient? 


Joyce Brafford (10:52): 

Yeah, that’s right. So when you think about what you need to charge someone, whether it’s flat fee, whether it’s your contingency rate, whether it is truly your hourly fee, your client is kind of going to want to know what to expect at the very beginning. So time solve separately from the project management tools has budgeting tools that you can build directly into that project management tool that allows you to say, this is my expected time. I’m going to be on this project. This is the value of my time, whether it is flay or hourly or any other way you want to capture this. And it also allows you to capture your estimated costs so you really can, before you ever start work for a client, say, this is what I expect to be paid for my work. And then if you need to adjust your rate, if you need to adjust expectations with your client, and then you add that into a project management tool, you know how long it’s going to take you to get things done. 



You can give accurate, reliable, helpful updates to your client about where you are in their matter. It allows you to get things back from your staff, quickly, allows you to get things back from your clients quickly so you see where your roadblocks are. So there are a couple things here that I think are important for any attorney, anyone in a law practice, what am I working on? How long is it going to take me to get it done? How can I get paid quickly for my work? And am I doing work in a way that’s satisfactory to my clients? Right? So if I’m checking those four boxes every day, I’m probably doing a pretty good job. 


Zack Glaser (12:18): 

Absolutely. Well, so one of the things that I heard you say is oversight. I get a lot of questions from attorneys of basically, how do I, as the attorney who is overseeing this, make sure that tasks are getting done, make sure that I assign something to my assistant, I ask my assistant to do it, but I need to know that it’s getting done. Talk to me about the oversight within Timesolv here. 


Joyce Brafford (12:41): 

Yeah, so any task, any project has the ability for a managing partner, a managing attorney, to come in and look at where the project sits as a whole. So yes, you do need to see if tasks are being completed and they’re being completed on time. That is part of this project management tool. But beyond that, you’re also able to see the entirety of the scope. So you aren’t just looking, Hey, did the things that were due yesterday where they completed, you’re going to see where your team is in getting this entirety of the matter to a close. So it takes those granular data points that every manager needs and gives you the big picture view as well. 


Zack Glaser (13:20): 

Oh, that’s great. So, well, one of the things that we use project management software for in our company is making sure that people aren’t overloaded or overloaded with their stuff. So talk to me about whether we can kind of see these things. I know Timesolv and the profits solve family are known for their reports. So how can we do something like that in Timesolv? 


Joyce Brafford (13:41): 

So you have this amazing dashboard within Timesolv. Of course you have a ton of reports that are available to you, but most of the time when we want this data, we want to be able to click on a button and see it visually in front of us. We don’t want to parse these things out, right? Yes. So our project management dashboard gives you the ability to say, okay, I want to filter this down by practice area. I want to filter this down by the person who’s responsible for these tasks, the person responsible for these projects. I want to look at just Jenny’s work. I want to look at just Stew’s work so I can see how much work they have, how many tasks are required here, what the estimated timeline is here, because maybe Stu has three matters, but those matters are going to take him 18 months to conclude, and it’s going to be a lot of work. But Jenny might have maybe a really high volume practice area and she can handle 30, 35, 45 matters. So it allows you based on the needs of your staff and your individual firm to say, okay, what is the actual output required of my staff? And are my individual team members able to meet it and where they can’t, I can quickly identify roadblocks based on the visualizations that this tool is giving to me. 


Zack Glaser (14:53): 

Right? Well, it’s the old idea of just measure what matters. Measure the things that you need to look at and do, and then you can work on those things. This is, I don’t want to say comprehensive, but this is big and broad, like how you measure how your company is doing, taking the temperature of your workforce. This is helpful with just managing and especially remote managing, and I don’t necessarily mean distributed team, but lawyers are not in the office all the time. And you can then manage your remotely and you can manage people Well, talk to me about how obviously difficult this is going to be to set up, right? I’m going to have to have a degree in something, right? 


Joyce Brafford (15:39): 

Zack, listen, I love doing these podcasts with you, but you’ve got to stop giving me these softball questions. You know how easy it’s to set everything up and any Profitsolv tool. So Timesolv no different here. You build workflows, you build templates for your projects. And if you are using one of these templates, you just start a project. Of course, you can always build a project from scratch if you are doing some ad hoc work 100%. But these templates make it so easy and you know it get the same support with Timesolv that you get with any Profitsolv solution. You’ve got email, you’ve got tickets, you’ve got chat tools, you’ve got actual people who pick up the phone. So I truly do believe we have one of the best support teams in the business. So if someone is new to Project Management, that’s okay. We’re going to help you. Timesolv has always been easy time in billing, and now we’re easy project management too. 


Zack Glaser (16:31): 

Awesome. Well, so how do people pick up the phone and connect with somebody from Timesolv and learn a little bit more? 


Joyce Brafford (16:37): 

Well, so Zack, we have these things that you might know as a cellular phone, So anyone can get in touch with Timesolv. The easiest way to do this is to go to time solv.com. There is no E at the end of time Solve T-I-M-E-S-O-L-V Time solv.com. I would go to the chat team right there. You can even start a free trial Timesolv does have free trial. So this is not a solution where you’re going to have to believe it before you buy it. You can get in right now and start working with our team, and you can always call the one 800 number. Of course, it’s 1 807 1 5 1 2 8 4. You can always reach out to us via the website where you can start a free trial. And our chat team is available 24 hours a day on the website. So reach out, come to time solv.com, and we’d be happy to help. 


Zack Glaser (17:28): 

Awesome. Love it. And that’s T-I-M-E-S-O-L-V, the E. They use to make it easy. So it’s time solv.com. No E. 


Joyce Brafford (17:38): 

That’s right. Thank you. 


Zack Glaser (17:39): 

Thanks, Joyce. Always a pleasure having you on. 


Joyce Brafford (17:41): 

Oh, thank you, Zac. 


Sam Glover (17:46): 

Hi, I’m Sam Glover. I work with courts legal aid orgs and the Lit Lab team at Suffolk Law School to build online tools that make legal processes more accessible, especially for self-represented litigants. I used to do other things including host this podcast, and a long time ago before that I was a lawyer, but that’s probably not worth talking about. 


Stephanie Everett (18:07): 

Yeah. Well, hi Sam. I feel like saying I’m like, welcome to your show because 


Sam Glover (18:12): 

It’s not my show anymore. 


Stephanie Everett (18:13): 

I know, but you started it. 


Sam Glover (18:15): 

Yeah, but how many have you done now? It’s like you’re on hundreds of episodes too, so 


Stephanie Everett (18:20): 

Fair. I don’t know, but I do know this is episode 501. 


Sam Glover (18:25): 

That’s awesome. 


Stephanie Everett (18:26): 

Yeah. Can you believe it? I want to take you back for a minute back to episode one, or even right when you guys were, 


Sam Glover (18:32): 

I don’t want to talk about episode one. 


Stephanie Everett (18:33): 

No, we won’t talk about the episode. I don’t care about that either. But I don’t know, did you ever think it would be around this long? Tell me the original thoughts around it. 


Sam Glover (18:44): 

I mean, I suppose people have heard about it on the podcast before, but Aaron and I were in Patisserie 46, a little French bakery in Minneapolis and looking around and we were talking about cereal along with everybody else in there, and we’re like, we should start a podcast. And that’s about how much thought went into it. Yeah, 


Stephanie Everett (19:01): 



Sam Glover (19:01): 

So no, I didn’t know if it’d be around in a week, much less four and a half years later or whatever. It’s so more, I think 


Stephanie Everett (19:08): 

Than that. It’s a lot more than that. 


Sam Glover (19:09): 

I’m sorry, 52 weeks in a year, 52 episodes in a year. So yeah, it’s been like 10 years almost. Holy crap. 


Stephanie Everett (19:17): 

That’s nuts. It’s nuts. And congratulations. I mean, I think you’re a part of the success of the show, and I just feel honored that you trusted me to be a part of it at some point. 


Sam Glover (19:27): 

Oh my God, Stephanie, of course, I trust you. 


Stephanie Everett (19:32): 

Any favorite memories of episodes that you’re just like, oh, that was a good one. 


Sam Glover (19:37): 

I mean, at this point, I suppose people have heard them, but the ones that have stuck with me the most, when you asked that I didn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about, so the ones that immediately pop into my head are things like, I mean, I think Habin Germa was so much fun to talk to, and those episodes were, I liked them because she has, obviously, she has a unique perspective on the world, and she’s just a really cool person. And so those were pretty neat episodes. I think it was Heather Hackman had a really sort of a challenging episode about diversity and race, which I still like a lot. And was it Dean Strang was the Making a Murderer lawyer who was really interesting to talk to. And I really valued his perspective on what he did and why. I mean, how Down to earth was that guy after being on a hugely popular Netflix series, he was still just like a dude doing criminal defense. So those are a few that probably stick out for me. I mean, I’m proud of a lot of the conversations I had, and I feel like we tried to have a little bit different conversations. I think even a couple of people who would say, I haven’t had other podcasts like this, and I think we did a good job of setting that standard of no, not going to just be a generic podcast. And it’s still that way. 


Stephanie Everett (20:51): 

And the cool thing now I suspect, is there’s probably people listening to this right now, and they might not have heard the Sam Glover episodes. There’s new listeners. 


Sam Glover (21:02): 

I encounter that all the time now. No real B Sam Glover isn’t really a thing anymore. 


Stephanie Everett (21:07): 

No, it’s always a thing in my mind, but hey, if you’re a newer listener and you haven’t heard some of those older shows, I think the cool thing about our show is it’s not necessarily time bound. A lot of our episodes are still relevant today, and you could go back and listen to ’em and I think find really valuable stuff in there. 


Sam Glover (21:30): 

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think it was one of the most evergreen things we did probably, and we always tried to figure out how to do evergreen content on the site, and now it’s full of it, but for a long time that was a challenge. But the podcasts are just, yeah, they’re conversations that are good conversations that for the most part, stand the test of time. There’s probably a few that I could look back on and be like, 


Stephanie Everett (21:50): 

I mean, yeah, probably where we were predicting things like generative ai. We didn’t know at the time when we were talking about what the future in terms of that technology would look like. I don’t think any of us really understood where it would go next, or even now that it’s here, we’re still trying to wrap our brains around what it can do. 



think the speed with which it would go from theoretical to Oh, okay. Was a little surprising to a lot of people. I mean, maybe people in the industry, not so much, but I think when OpenAI came out and everyone was like, oh, ChatGPT is really smart, that was pretty surprising. 



Yeah. Well, I’m super curious to hear more about what you’re doing now since you left us, and we do miss you. But yeah, it’s been cool to watch this journey and to see now that you’ve landed with Suffolk, and when I heard that was what you were looking into, I was like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. This is right up your alley. So I’m excited about it. 


Sam Glover (22:46): 

I wasn’t planning to end up back in the legal world when I separated from Lawyerist. I knew I wanted a break, and it was during the pandemic, so it was easy to just sort of disappear down and nobody really noticed. And it’s not like conferences were happening, but when I saw this posted, I’d already started talking to a couple of people about, okay, if there’s a way I’m going to stay involved in the legal world, it’s going to be through trying to change the way people interact with the court system. So I knew that, and I’d been having some conversations with folks about how that might happen. And then I saw this job posting, and I think I started drafting my cover letter before I finished reading the job posting, because it was just such, so obviously a place I wanted to be involved in, which is incidentally totally tied up in lawyers’ own backstory. It was a place I wanted to be involved in with people. I wanted to be involved in doing work I have cared deeply about since before I started Lawyerist, honestly. And so the Lit Lab had its lit conference last week, and I was reconnecting with some old friends from the legal world, Bob Ambrogi and Adam Cameras, and they were like, well, why’d you come back? And it’s because this was sort of the one door I was willing to walk back through was trying to change the court system. 


Stephanie Everett (24:00): 

And so what are you guys working on? I just would love to even know a little bit more context about what it is you’re doing, because in my mind, it’s kind of this big picture thing, and I probably don’t even understand all the details. 


Sam Glover (24:12): 

It’s big picture and not, I suppose, I mean fundamentally. Well, so the Lit Lab has a few different components, and it was started by David Colarusso and we met, I think we met at the sort of a workshop conference at the University of Missouri, Kansas City Law School. But then David also came to our first TBD law conference that Lawyerist put on back in the day, and so did a bunch of other people. And at last week, people were like, oh, this is how I know David and Sam, and I’m doing what I’m doing now because of that first TBD law. So I mean, that was a really kind of a pivotal thing in any case. So David Colarusso started the Lit Lab, and Quentin Steinhouse just joined him as co-director. And the way to think of it is it’s sort of like a skunk works or an ex lab within the Suffolk Law School. 



Their leadership is really interested in innovation both within academics and within the legal system and the practice of law. And David has always thought in those directions, and Quentin does too. And so their goal is to come up with ideas, just be innovative. It’s amazing to see an institution just be tolerant of the kinds of false starts and flashes of brilliance and things that come with that because they are the people I’m working with, some really brilliant people who have lots of great ideas, some of which are just can’t do, and some of which lead to cool stuff like the document assembly line, which is what I’m there to do. And so the pandemic comes along and everybody’s sick of hearing about the pandemic, but it’s pretty important to the story because everything closes, including the courts and the courts. We may have been badgering Lawyerist and courts for years about the importance of being technology competent and savvy and offering innovative solutions, but nobody had really, and so all of a sudden, how do people actually still get things? 



I mean, if your husband is banging on your door and threatening your life, how do you get a restraining order if you’re being evicted before the moratoriums went into effect? What do you do about that? And so David and Quentin started trying to figure that out. What can we still do? Everybody’s stuck at home. And so they gathered a pretty impressive group of legal aid folks, court folks, and very quickly started building some technology on top of the Doc Assemble project, which is an open source document assembly project so that people could actually start filing documents with the courts. I mean, at one point, I think they’re having a community of 50 plus people meeting at least weekly building interviews to assemble documents and then file them. And then they got a wild, and that’s built an e-filing system on top of that so that when you’re done assembling your restraining order or your petition for a name change or whatever, you can actually just click a button and e-file it with the courts. 



And that’s functional now in a couple of states. So that was pretty amazing. And so they had the success and they got some funding off of that. Now they want to try and figure out how to scale it. And the role it plays in the larger educational mission is the Lit Clinic is attached to what they do, and David and Quentin find ways to help law students use technology to serve the legal industry, clients self-represented litigants, that kind of thing. Another way to think about it is a typical law clinic is you bring students in and treat them. They’re practicing Lawyerist. You get them in front of clients, you get them solving legal problems. The Lit Clinic is a lot like that, except instead of solving a problem for one lawyer, you’re solving a problem period for anybody who is able to use the tool that you built. 



And so that’s what our students are working on is things like that. And so they get to partner with courts, legal aid organizations, and then some of them actually serve the other traditional legal clinics within Suffolk. And so the family law clinic might need an intake tool or something like that. And the tools they built have been pretty amazing. There’s a story David likes to tell, which is pretty compelling about someone who is being evicted from their home. Literally sheriff is at their house or police, whoever does it in Massachusetts, and they’re pulling stuff out of their house and they pull up their phone and they use one of the web apps that was built as part of this project to file an appeal on the spot. And this is the kind of appeal that goes through fast. And so their appeal was actually accepted, eviction was overturned, and the law enforcement said, stop, put it all back in process, which is the kind of thing you cannot imagine happening any other way. 



So it’s been pretty terrific. And so my job is to come and start talking to courts, spread the word about the software tools that they’ve built, teaching people to use it, build that community around trying to get courts to, I guess the way I talk about it’s building digital public infrastructure. These are the roads and bridges of how people get into the court system. And right now, courts are built on top of proprietary technology that may or may not work well. Some of it works great, some of it doesn’t, but a lot of courts are just struggling to try and figure out how to do this stuff, how to offer a way for people to actually just get stuff done with the courts. And it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but something like I think on average is something like 80% of litigants in court are unrepresented or self-represented. 



And so there’s a lot of states where you can’t unless you’re a lawyer, which leaves them out of the process entirely. And so providing any way for people in way in for those folks is really important. Those aren’t just the majority of your users. Lawyerist are the tiny minority of your users when you think about it that way. And so it’s pretty important. And I think courts have realized that during the pandemic and afterward, there was a lot of experiments. Some of them went well, some of them didn’t. Stanford has put out some pretty interesting research and summarization that, and so has some of the national organizations for courts. But I think a lot of courts are really eager to try and move forward and figure that stuff out. And so that’s what we’re trying to do is provide them with tools so they can build that infrastructure because it’s sort of the front end of the court system. 


Stephanie Everett (29:56): 

Yeah, I mean, I love what you guys are working on, and one of the benefits of the pandemic, the good things that came out of it was just what you said. As you and I know for years all we heard because we were out there preaching this gospel, you could be remote, you could use technology, and people would always throw back all the, but you can’t, right? We’ve heard every reason you can’t for years. And then this pandemic comes along and suddenly it forces everyone to realize that maybe we were right all along. So this is our moment to kind of brag, but 


Sam Glover (30:33): 

I kind of do want to shout. I told you so, but whatever. 


Stephanie Everett (30:36): 

I know. 


Sam Glover (30:36): 

I’m just glad people figured it out. 


Stephanie Everett (30:38): 

I know, me too, because for years, I remember going and trying to challenge judges. Could you have a virtual court lawyers, like where I live in Georgia, all the Llawyers are in Atlanta. And so getting layers to remote areas, and nobody wants to pay someone to drive three and a half hours and no lawyer really wants to drive three and a half hours for a status conference. So how could we solve that problem? And we always heard, well, you can. You can’t. You can’t. And then all of a sudden now we have electronic status conferences, everything’s happening. There’s video status conferences, and the benefit, and the beautiful thing is some of this is now still in place. The judges were like, actually, this is working really well for me too. How do we make this part of the system? And so that’s been really interesting. I mean, obviously we had to learn a lot of lessons along the way too, and there were some obstacles we had to figure out and overcome, but I think it’s pushing us in the right direction. 


Sam Glover (31:35): 

I mean, technology doesn’t solve all problems, but it can help. And this is an area where it helps. Now I’m blanking on the organization that put out the report where they sort of did a retrospective on those pandemic responses. But yeah, if you’re in a rural county with only dial up internet, video meetings are kind of off limits to you. And that’s a problem that we need to work on. Not everybody does have internet connected devices that are useful for them to do things like this with. And that’s another thing. And I know from way back when the Minnesota courts did their e-filing system, they were talking about how the state system has to be different because if somebody walks into court with a complaint they drafted in cran, you have to figure out a way for them to be able to file that into the system. And so your e-filing system has to have a pretty big well thought out funnel that can bring things in on the front end. And a lot of those pandemic experiments too involved, e-filing was somebody can email it to the court clerk, which just moves the work. But it also kind of forced a lot of people to think about how much complexity really needs to be on the front end. 


Stephanie Everett (32:43): 

What do you see next now that you’re in this role and you have this whole history of seeing the problem? What are some of the solutions? What are some things we could be looking out for in the future? 


Sam Glover (32:53): 

Well, one of the things that’s kind of blown me away recently was our lit conference was about practical ai. We’re not in the clouds anymore. My kids are drafting their homework assignments with ChatGPT now, or their Snapchat AI or whatever. We’ve talked about it. We’ve talked about the honor code, but it’s boring now. Everybody’s using it and in stupid ways. And so that makes it interesting. And one of the ways in which I think it can be really interesting is Quentin has plugged, I think both an LLM, the large language model where it goes, tries and understands existing bodies of data and generate AI where it creates based on what it finds into court forms. So think about your typical conciliation court complaint. There’s all sorts of obvious stuff up there. Well, sometimes it’s hard to understand, but it’s stuff that your name, your address, your defendant’s name and address, that kind of stuff. 



And then there’s a big box that says, state your claim. How is a non-lawyer supposed to understand what that is? And so what Quentin is exploring is like, can I get an AI to do the things that a lawyer does in an interview? And he just offers a box that says, tell me about why you’re here. And it says, it sounds like there’s a negligence claim in there, and I saw that you said this element and this element. And then ask, follow-up questions on the other ones, and then it can draft that statement for you and then let you edit it according to what you think, which is more or less what a lawyer does in an intake session and then in subsequent work. And I think that’s pretty fantastic. It doesn’t always work. It has problems, but it’s really promising. And I feel like that’s the kind of thing where David also likes to say a well drafted court form helps people talk to the courts in a way that the courts can understand. 



It should actually be a win-win, right? And if you’ve ever sat through a conciliation court hearing day, which has been a while, but I have 90% of that day is a judge being exasperated by the completely irrelevant bullshit that they have to put up with nonstop all day from people who don’t understand the legal process. And it’s not their fault. They just don’t. But if you could help them craft that stuff, it will make things easier on everyone in the system. So I think that’s what gets me really excited, is when you take this really robust infrastructure or infrastructure tool that is the document assembly line that we’re working on and that we’re starting to roll out in partnership with courts. And you take that and now you have a new kind of field that isn’t name and address, but is tell me about why you’re here. And AI can help you figure it out. And I think that’s pretty fantastic. 


Stephanie Everett (35:26): 

Yeah, you’re reminding me how many conversations I’ve had with people over the years where they want to tell you all these facts that you’re like, yep, none of that matters. I just need to know, did this thing happen? And so for an AI tool to be able to help people summarize and narrow eyes and get to the important stuff, none of that needs to go into this. 


Sam Glover (35:44): 

Well, and the AI could be just as more compassionate than, I don’t have patience with that, but an AI can. That’s very interesting. Do you want to tell me more about that, or do you want me to help you craft your complaint? I wouldn’t do that. I’m not very good at that. 


Stephanie Everett (35:58): 

Yeah, there’s still people who are listening right now who are freaking out saying, but that’s what I do. That’s my value. And that’s what I think we’re fighting right now. So what do you say to those folks? 


Sam Glover (36:09): 

A friend of mine asked me the other day about my daughters and deep fakes, and my daughters are 12 and 14 now. And it’s like, how do I feel about the fact that boys in their grade could be creating pictures of them with no clothes on, using a deep fake AI thing, and the ineffective response that would be to get angry and then try to ban them. That ship has sailed. AI is a cat out of a bag. It’s not going back in. And I mean, I’m going to have to adapt my parenting to those things, which is what I think is the message to lawyers too. It kind of doesn’t matter if you’re upset about this, it’s real. It is what the landscape looks like going forward. And you can do the things we always talked about at Lawyerist where you can adapt or you can quit, and there are ways to adapt. There are things that AI can’t do, and you have to figure out what are the things AI doesn’t do well, and how can I do those things, and what are the things that AI does do well and how can I package those things up in ways that are helpful to my clients? But this cat is not going back in the bag, and you just kind of have to adapt or quit. 


Stephanie Everett (37:19): 

Thanks for also adding another item to my list to discuss with my child. 


Sam Glover (37:27): 

Yeah, I mean, fuck, middle school, man. 


Stephanie Everett (37:33): 

We’ve already talked on the show about how I had to tell all of my parents and elderly people, look, if somebody calls you and sounds like me, unless they say this secret word, this is going to be our password. And that’s a good idea. If you don’t hear this word, I’m okay. I am not in trouble. I mean, the amount of clips we needed, I mean, in episode 500, we used an AI tool to replicate my voice, and it only needed two minutes of me just saying any random thing I wanted, and then it just created it. And I’ve heard that they need a lot less than that. That was just what this tool asked for, 


Sam Glover (38:08): 

That’s just to get it better. 


Stephanie Everett (38:09): 

So I was like, oh, and having done this podcast now as many times, I mean, you too. Our voices are out in the world, and so it doesn’t take that much. 


Sam Glover (38:19): 

I suppose that’s true. Part of me is kind of impressed when people figure stuff like that out. My daughter just figured out her screen time password to her phone the other day, and she waited a week to tell me. I was impressed with her gule in sorting it out and her cleverness and figuring it out. I was like, I mean, going to change it now. So I’m kind of impressed when people figure out how to do things like that, but I am a little bit alarmed at what it can do. But I mean, sure, try and regulate and outlaw things and have penalties for things, whatever, but the idea that you can still protect a profession from the advancing technology like this is comical to me. My kids can draft term papers in seconds in Snapchat. I mean, people are already asking Snapchat for legal advice whether you like it or not. So that’s not going to change. 


Stephanie Everett (39:07): 

Yeah. Alright. Well, last question before we get too depressed on AI in our future. 


Sam Glover (39:13): 

Oh, I think there’s a lot of exciting stuff about it, but I suppose if you have a protectionist mindset, it can be a little depressing. 


Stephanie Everett (39:20): 

Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, I’m excited too. We just did a whole, I mean, we’ve been talking about it a lot around here. So one of our core values as currently framed since you’ve left us, is stay curious, which I know you are always doing. Try to be. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m curious, what are you curious about right now? What are you learning? What are you diving into? 


Sam Glover (39:42): 

I suppose one of the things I’m curious about, it’s going to be more about me, but I guess I should put this out there. So towards the end of my term as podcast host, I was talking a lot about mental health because of my own anxiety that I had discovered. Turns out I don’t have anxiety. Actually, it turns out a lot of other adults with a DH, adhd, I was misdiagnosed with anxiety first. And so I’ve been really curious. My diagnosis is only a few months old, and so I’m sort of learning as much as I can about that, and it came along with my daughters. And so that’s been pretty fascinating. So I’m really curious about that. Gosh, what else am I really curious about? I dunno, I guess I’m always just sort of curious about the world reading as much as I can. I have a really interesting design book that I’m reading and this gobbling up fiction and stuff like that. So yeah, stuff like that. 


Stephanie Everett (40:28): 

Yeah, you used to do a segment with Aaron asking him what he was reading. I’m like, oh, I’m pulling that out from way back. So I’m like, okay. Anything good that you’re reading that’s worth mentioning to our listeners, 


Sam Glover (40:41): 

I’ll put this out there because I’ve been thinking about it a lot in, and I’m not sure what to do with it. So I’m reading this book called Caps Lock, which is about how design became capitalist and whether or not we can do something about that. They talk a lot about the origins of design and things like that. And he raises a thing that I had never really thought about before, and that I don’t really know what to do with, so I’ll share it, and then people can just let it stew in their own heads. I don’t think we’re going to figure it out right now, but one of the things in their book is he is talking about the origins of terms and things like that. He’s talking about the origin of the term branding. Every time you say branding, you are referencing pushing a burning hot brand into a black person’s body. And so if you are a branding professional, what you are saying in that phrase is uncomfortable. And I don’t know a synonym that I could use instead of that, but I’ve about branding for so many years, and I had never really thought about, I always thought it meant cattle brands. 


Stephanie Everett (41:39): 

That’s where I was going, because that’s what I’ve always read too, is cattle. 


Sam Glover (41:43): 

Cattle brands were copied from the slave industry, not the other way around, or at least that’s my understanding from my reading. And so it’s one of those things like we are in time when we’re sort of investigating the meanings of words and trying to remove harmful and hurtful and offensive words from our language. And that is one of the most hurtful things I can think of, both physically and emotionally and generationally, trauma ish and all those things. And I don’t know what to do with that. And I’m sure it’s not the only word like that, but it’s just interesting to think about how deeply embedded sometimes these things are in our culture, language, whatever. There’s a lot more like that in the book. It’s a good book. If anyone’s interested in design. I’m not done with it yet. It’s kind of thick, and I pick it up now and then, but it’s very thought provocative, thought provoking book called Caps Lock. 


Stephanie Everett (42:31): 



Sam Glover (42:31): 

I just keep dropping depressing things on the conversation, I guess. 


Stephanie Everett (42:35): 

I know a little bit, but I know. I was like, okay, now I got to rethink. I’m like, oh, that’s exactly what we talked about branding in episode 500 with the chat bot. So now I’m feeling well bad about that. 


Sam Glover (42:47): 

I don’t know how else to talk. I feel bad about it too, but I don’t know how else to talk. It’s a legitimate concept that we need to talk about. It’s a skill people need to have. I just hate that. I want to invent a new word. 


Stephanie Everett (42:58): 

yeah,I know. I’ve purposely, I’ve been intentional about not saying, for example, grandfathered in. I know that’s also, I do think about that with certain words. I just did not know that about that word. 


Sam Glover (43:12): 

No, me neither. Yeah. 


Stephanie Everett (43:14): 

Alright. Well, Sam, thank you. Thanks for dusting off your podcast microphone. Got it. Back out for me. 


Sam Glover (43:22): 

You missed my random, my wandering podcast conversations. 


Stephanie Everett (43:25): 

No. Yeah, it’s good. Yeah. I’m going to sit on that one for a while. I don’t have it solved in my head yet either, but I’m glad you got the conversation started. 


Sam Glover (43:34): 

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me again. It’s fun to come back. It’s like you’re my alma mater. 


Stephanie Everett (43:39): 

Thank you. Thanks for joining us. 


The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you. 

Your Hosts

Stephanie Everett

Stephanie Everett is the President of Lawyerist, where she leads the Lawyerist Lab program. She is the co-author of the bestselling book The Small Firm Roadmap and is a regular guest and co-host of the weekly Lawyerist Podcast.

Featured Guests

Sam Glover

Sam was the founder of lawyeristbackup.kinsta.cloud and is currently developing Client Power Tools. Sam hosted the first 200-something episodes of The Lawyerist Podcast and co-authored The Small Firm Roadmap. He is also a web developer, dad, bookworm, aging skate punk, whittler, paddler, and lawyer. You can find Sam’s website at samglover.net or follow him on Twitter at @samglover. Check out Sam’s latest project here: clientpowertools.com

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Last updated April 25th, 2024