Another fresh voice! If we don’t have diverse groups in the legal world, we may miss the mark on many issues facing the profession. Flo Nicholas of DEI Directive joins Dennis and Tom to offer her perspectives on legal technology and how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices benefit the legal community. Flo offers up her expertise in these areas and explains the current trends in plain language to help listeners gain a clearer understanding of the scope and positive impacts of intentional DEI. She also talks about her unique career path and what led her to her current work in data-driven diversity.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.
Flo Nicholas is co-founder and chief operating officer at DEI Directive.
Show Notes – Kennedy-Mighell Report #353
A Segment: Fresh Voices on Legaltech – Flo Nicholas
B Segment: Continued discussion with Flo Nicholas
- Be proactive with technology!
- Getting a rental car? Don’t download your information.
- Go ahead and rearrange your office.
Intro: Web 2.0, innovation, trends, collaboration, software, metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can? Hear how technology can help, legally speaking, with two of the top legal technology experts, authors, and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to episode 353 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we discussed whether we might need to look back at the technologies that were super hot in legal tech before AI sucked all the oxygen out of the room. In this episode we have another very special guest in our Fresh Voices in Legal Tech series. In Fresh Voices we want to showcase different and compelling perspectives on legal tech and much more. And we have another fabulous guest. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report we are thrilled to continue our Fresh Voices on Legal Tech interview series with Flo Nicolas, who is, among other things, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of the DEI Directive and a strong voice on legal technology. We want our Fresh Voices series to not only introduce you to terrific leaders in the legal tech space, but also provide you with their unique perspective on the things you should be paying attention to, not only in legal tech, but in technology and anything else as well.
And as usual, we’re going to finish up with our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, we are so pleased to welcome Flo Nicolas to our Fresh Voices series. Flo, welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell Report.
Flo Nicolas: Well, thank you. I am delighted to be here and what a pleasure.
Tom Mighell: Awesome. Before we get started, can you give us a little bit of background? Tell us a little bit more about yourself, tell us what your role at DEI Directive is, what DEI Directive does, and kind of what our audience should know about what you do.
Flo Nicolas: Yes, thank you. I again appreciate being here. So at DEI Directive, we are actually a technology company. I know a lot of times when people hear kind of like the acronym DEI, there’s this assumption to think workshops and consultations, which that’s all great and very much needed, but what we’re doing is kind of going a step further and saying like, what do you do when you’re creating these DEI strategic roadmaps? What do you do after you do the workshops and you hire the consultations? What’s the ROI? What’s the impact on the employees and how are you measuring the progress?
So we’re focused on data analytics for organizations that are like saying, we’re building inclusive workplaces. That’s great, and we want you to do that and we want you to do it successfully, but we strongly believe that it needs to be done by measuring. Measuring who you’re hiring, understanding who is leaving your organization. And is this tied into that lack of diversity and creating inclusive workplaces?
We also have a compliance piece to it as well, because for organizations that have 100 or more employees, they have to complete the EEO-1 form. So because we integrate with HRS systems, we’re able to auto populate the EEO-1 form and help organizations stay off the naughty list of the EEOC.
So that’s in a nutshell what I do among other things as sitting on several boards and being an advocate for technology in my computer — not in my computer, in my community and globally as well.
Dennis Kennedy: Flo, as our audience knows, and you probably do as well, sometimes I get really frustrated with how difficult it still is to explain technology, both old and new technologies and its benefit to those in the legal profession. I would also say it’s really frustrating, especially these days, to explain the benefits of improving DEI in organizations as well. So when I heard you speak at the ABA’s Women of Legal Technology Summit, I knew you’d be a perfect guest for this series. Would you talk about your approach to communicating with lawyers and others in the legal profession about technology?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah. I mean I think technology, I think one of the biggest issues that I see right now is there’s so much and it’s coming at such a fast pace. So even for someone like me, who I consider myself to be tech savvy, there are some days where I’m like, oh my God, I understand how this works and then tomorrow there’s like five different products and upgrades, and I’m just like, whoa, whoa, how do I keep up with this? And I’m married to an electrical engineer and I’ve worked with engineers, and the way they talk, it’s like, I’m sorry, what did you say? Did you mean to say it like this?
So when I used to work with Laura Frederick of How to Contract, we had a YouTube channel show, which we would invite legal technology vendors to come do a demo of the product and then I would ask questions. But the way I would ask questions was very simple, because I believe in simplicity versus complications and complexities, right? And what I noticed that and the feedback that we got was, oh my God, I understand exactly what you’re saying. I’m understanding the benefits of this contract lifecycle management too because you’re explaining it in such a way that it’s so simple.
Being married to an engineer and I know this because my husband talks in this language that can be super techie that the average person might not really fully understand. So I like to kind of take all that and then just say, okay, so you meant to say A plus B equals C, correct? People want to learn. People are eager to learn. People are eager to start leveraging these tools. The problem is they need to understand the why. They need to understand the benefit, and in order to do that you’ve literally got to speak their language.
I understand that there’s this kind of ideology that with lawyers we’re super brilliant, we know everything, right? Newsflash, we don’t. We don’t. So you’ve just got to just bring it down a notch and make it a little bit more simple and less complicated. That way people will understand the benefits and they’re going to now want to actually use the tools versus, you know what, this is too much for me. It’s time-consuming because now I’ve got to learn how to use it, then I’ve got to learn how to implement it. Then once I learn, then I’ve got to train my team. Make it simple for me so that everyone can use it in my office and as well as myself.
So I think that’s the trick when it comes to really kind of pushing out the benefits of legal technology to lawyers. It’s got to make it easy for them to understand it.
Tom Mighell: Back when I was a lawyer and was learning that I didn’t want to be a practicing lawyer anymore and I was more into the technology, I was helping our lawyers with that and that was exactly kind of the right space to be in, because I could talk to them like a lawyer does, but I could also simplify it for them in a way that they’re like, oh, great, now IT is not coming and telling us all of this stuff because we don’t understand anything they’re telling us, so I totally get it. I think that’s a very important part of it.
I have a two-part question around kind of what you’re doing and what you’re seeing with DEI Directive. So my first question and I’ve been debating on whether I want to ask them separately or together, but I think I’m going to ask them together. So I work a lot with corporations these days and I don’t often come in contact with the people who are responsible for DEI management process at corporations. I’m interested to know kind of what part of the management process is the most challenging for corporations. I’m assuming that you probably also work with law firms too, but I would assume you’re working with corporations as well.
And then two, I’m from Texas, I’m sure other states have passed laws. Texas passed a law that basically abolished DEI initiatives in state government. They are threatening now to sue corporations over DEI initiatives. I’m assuming that’s probably happening in other states that are passing similar legislation. How is that affecting your work, if at all? Is it doing anything to that? I’m interested to know what’s happening out there in the corporate world in response to legislation or things that we’re starting to hear.
Flo Nicolas: Sure. So I think I’m going to start with the second part first and then it trickled down because I think that probably makes more sense. So here’s the thing, right, so we have the Supreme Court ruling that recently happened in affirmative action, right? And then we also are seeing in other, which looks like to be predominantly conservative states that are taking kind of like a harsh stance when it comes to DEI. And what we’re seeing is that all this kind of legislation and the Supreme Court ruling is creating kind of almost a massive confusion as to, is DEI dead? Is DEI illegal? Oh, we can’t have DEI in our organizations. We’ve got to stop our DEI initiatives.
I just want to make it very clear that some of the things we’re seeing are not necessarily an impact on private sector. The Supreme Court ruling was focused on the public education, the higher education system. The EEOC shortly after also issued a ruling that made it very clear, especially to corporations to hey, be careful not to stop your DEI initiatives.
And as a reminder to everyone listening, we do have employment laws. We do have civil rights laws that have not been deleted. They are still present and they are still legal, and right now the EEOC recently released their year-end report and litigation for bias and discrimination is up, all right? And just last week alone we’ve seen two companies that have gotten fines, that are over, if I calculate it, that was 20, 20, so we’re looking at over $40 million. One was Apple for bias and discrimination, where they have a fine that’s coming over about $20 million and they were biased and discriminatory in hiring practices, right?
So what organizations are struggling with now, where it’s difficult for them to know how to move forward, and some are kind of circling around, dumbing down some of their DEI, where we’re seeing even the word DEI is kind of slowly getting taken out, we’re seeing the replacement with instead of chief diversity officer, you might see a chief people officer, maybe a chief impact officer or maybe belonging officer.
And again, what I want to make very clear is we have existing laws that still protect employees, and we are seeing settlements, large settlements that are coming out in favor of employees who are suing for bias and discriminatory hiring, right?
So some of the things that we’re seeing in the media and I warn organizations is do not drown yourself with distractions, right? And I think this is where legal departments are also going to play a critical role to help their organizations understand and filter through this noise, right, and help them understand, we have existing employment laws. We still have the EEOC Office, right? We still have to push ahead. No one is saying, whether it’s the Supreme Court ruling and everything else is saying, no one is saying that we cannot create inclusive workplaces where everyone belongs, right? There is nothing that’s stopping organizations from doing that, right? So organizations can still push forward and move forward and create inclusive workplaces and be intentional.
One of the things I’m noticing where there’s probably some barriers, right, is sometimes there’s a tendency to want to follow the lead off what other organizations are doing. A great example is after George Floyd killing. Organizations were issuing out DEI statements like it was Oprah’s favorite things, right? Everybody had a DEI statement. And then now, post-George Floyd, three years later, we’ve seen the tech layoffs, right, and we’ve seen some of the data that’s coming in from those tech layoffs is disparity. And who is getting impacted? We’re seeing the impact more on women. We are seeing the impact more on people of color, and with that as well, we’re seeing a lot of organizations who are starting to essentially get rid of some of their DEI programs and some of their funding, right?
And that’s a travesty because when organizations are issuing those statements, before they do so, they need to reflect on the why, why are we issuing this statement? Why are we hiring a chief diversity officer or a chief impact officer? What is our bottom line here, right? If there is no clear path to what the bottom line is, then what happens when organizations want to have this window dressing is a term that you hear a lot of. The window dressing is almost like having a mannequin, right? It looks great, everything like, wow, that outfit is awesome. And then you go in the store and it’s empty. You can’t purchase anything, right? It’s that window dressing presumption of we’re an inclusive organization. And then when you come into the organization, it’s nothing but, right?
So the problems to a lot of organizations is the ROI and the business case justification, why do we need to be intentional and be inclusive and have diverse lawyers, for example, and have different perspective, why is it important?
And a lot of chief diversity officers that I speak to, sometimes their barrier is being empowered to actually make a change. They have been hired to come into organizations and they have no decision power. They’re not empowered to really move forward with creating this DEI strategic initiatives that actually have an angle where there is an impact, and those are the things that why we say, you’ve got to measure the progress, because if all you’re saying is just statements with no action, that’s why we’re not seeing any change happening at all in most of these organizations.
Dennis Kennedy: When I was at Mastercard as a globally diverse company, you got the message all the time that if you didn’t have like a diverse group looking at things, you just made really big mistakes. And so I think that the sort of like that why notion and to understand the benefits is so important.
Let me shift gears a little bit because one of the things we found in the Fresh Voices series, which we originally thought was going to be a lot about — specifics about technology, we found that our favorite part and our audience as well is learning about our guest’s career paths. Would you talk about your own career path and what kinds of things you’ve done?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah, I’d love to. So when I was in high school I was part of the speech and debate team and I always liked loved arguing and just having fun, coming up with different pro and con argument. And so it was either, I was going to be a doctor or I was going to be a lawyer. And chemistry was not my friend, okay?
I went to Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, so shout out to Holy Cross, and I just did not do very well. I remember my first semester in the math, it was just not doing well. But I did — I loved English and I loved philosophy. I just loved it so much and I really excelled in both of those subjects. So I said, okay, English, philosophy, okay, I’m going to law school. So ended up going to law school.
And one of the things that I look back on that I wished I had that I do see now and that’s a good news is just the mentors, right? I had no idea. I was just like, I’m going to go to law school and I’m just going to be this famous lawyer. I’m just going to be awesome, right? And that’s just was not my career path in terms of legal. I really struggled after I graduated to get work, and ended up in a small firm. But, again, just really struggled to like really sprout and grow in terms of my legal career.
So I said, all right, let me try corporate, maybe there there’ll be more opportunities, leverage my legal degree, go into the corporate atmosphere. And again, naive, didn’t know how the corporate world was set up. I thought I was going to go in, leverage my Juris Doctorate, and I don’t know, going to end up being CEO of one of this Fortune 500 companies.
And I went into telecommunications which, in telecom I was working in corporate technology operations, and I was working with engineers, construction teams, regulatory and we were doing the modifications to the cell towers and negotiating license agreements. And so I learned a lot and I think that’s where the tech side of me really came out because I had to challenge myself to learn how this technology worked, the 4G. Before I left I was doing the 5G project. I’m like reading construction drawings. I was on the business side of the house, but I’m also working with legal and I’m also negotiating directly with other legal teams and I’m explaining stuff to them and that felt great.
But one of the downsides of being in corporate was the lack of growth and looking at the org chart and seeing the lack of representation, and I wanted to transition so bad from the business side of the house to the legal side of the house because I felt like, hey, after seven-and-a-half years it’s a no-brainer. I’m already drafting, reviewing, redlining these license agreements, I know the master service agreements. I’m working directly with our business partner, so I thought it was going to be like, oh, Flo, no-brainer, how soon can you start?
But I remember speaking with the head of legal and the department that I was in and I was told, you don’t have the experience. Although you’ve been in this organization for seven-and-a-half years, your title was not legal; therefore, the work that you’ve done does not equate to legal experience.
And that killed me, like I just didn’t know what else to do, like I mean that just was a devastating blow, because at that point I felt like my legal career was essentially dead. If that’s what she is essentially saying to me, how can I convince other organizations of this experience I have, not only on the business side of the house, having created this business partnership, having negotiated like these tough deals with people like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun and the VA. And that really was a dream killer for me.
And I had the chance to work with Laura Frederick at How to Contract and be a chief growth and community officer. But from then I just — I feel like there was a part of me that just died still with that blow by the legal department and I decided to just really take a break from the whole corporate world and pursue the entrepreneurship world.
With doing that, I think that was a great idea. It was risky because you don’t have that consistent paycheck, but it allowed me to reclaim me back, right? Because I felt like I kind of lost a part of me during — my world in terms of corporate and just trying — I don’t know, just feeling disappointment in myself of not having what I considered really moved up the ladder as I had wanted to.
And so now I have to turn into an advocate, right, because I saw the impact of the lack of diversity in the legal industry for me, the lack of diversity in the corporate world, and that has become my mission now to educate organizations to don’t miss out on untapped talent that’s out there. People who are willing to come in and work hard, but all they want is just that one person to give them an opportunity, give them a chance. And since leaving corporate and finding me, finding who I am again, I’ve managed to make a huge impact, not only in my state, but I created my own show called Get Tech Smart and educating my community about technology, the benefits, the risk. I’ve won awards like New Hampshire Tech Alliance Tech Professional of the Year, New Hampshire Business Review Outstanding Women in Business, and as you know as well, with the American Bar Association with Women in Legal Tech. And I finished doing a TEDx, right?
So all I needed was that one person to give me an opportunity. But what I got was Lisa Lang, you guys are familiar with her, and Laura Frederick who saw in me what other people wouldn’t give me an opportunity and they pushed me to say you are wonderful. You are an amazing person. You’ve got to figure that out on your own, go out there and create things on your own. You don’t have to wait for the doors to open, create your own doors. And that’s what I have been doing and also being an advocate for again diversity, equity, inclusion in corporations and in the legal field as well.
And I’m happy to also share that I recently signed a contract where I’m going to be helping a couple of these top law firms here in New Hampshire that are working on their 1L diversity internship programs and I’m going to be helping them with that as well.
Tom Mighell: Wow, that is a great path story, a great lesson for everybody who is looking for that opportunity and understanding that there are ways to get to it that are important.
We have a lot more to learn from Flo Nicolas, but we also need to take a quick break for a message from our sponsors. So let’s go ahead and do that right now.
Dennis Kennedy: And we are back with Flo Nicolas at the DEI Directive. Flo, I’ve been thinking a lot about to pick up on some of the things that you said and I do see especially with women of color in law schools that I think there’s so much talent and potential that employers aren’t seeing or as you said they sort of have these arbitrary guidelines that screen really great people out, so that to me is really interesting.
And then I also think there’s tremendous potential with the diverse law students coming out of school, getting into legal tech and other roles. So one of the things I’m thinking about at Michigan State and I don’t have the right words for it, but I kind of want to get your advice on this is, is there a way, like a program, an event, something that would appeal to this group to combine legal tech with that sort of diversity focus without maybe explicitly calling it that, but to say like hey, there’s a ton of opportunities out here, like don’t ignore them, look into these because there could be enormous possibilities for you?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah. So I think one of the things like with law schools, right, we have this, it’s almost like tunnel vision, although it’s gotten kind of better because we see all these technologies, but it’s like, work for a big law firm, get into one of these big top law firms, right, it seems to be everybody’s goal. I think that there are some law schools now that are starting to incorporate the legal technology courses, but I think that’s a start. But I think the way they’re incorporating those courses is more of a, hey lawyers, be aware of the technology tools that you should be using versus hey, there are many paths of what you can do with your legal degree, right?
And I think the advice that I would give for you is people need to know, and a great example I’ll give you is, there’s a young woman lawyer who is at UNH Law School right now, formerly the Franklin Pierce. And she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her law degree and she doesn’t know if she wants to practice or what. So somebody referred her to me and said, hey, we think that you could probably be able to talk to her because you’re in the tech and you’ve kind of done other things with your law degree besides just practice. So as I’m talking to her and I’m like hey, have you heard of legal tech? She is like no, what is that, I never heard of that? So I went in there and then I started talking to her and telling her about legal tech and talking to her about legal operations, right? And these are the things she’s like, wow, I never knew.
And so how about when we’re having these big firms coming in and doing career days, why can’t it be a combination of the firms and legal tech companies that are coming in and doing career fair days, where they are really getting exposed to, yeah, you can go the law firm route if that’s what you want. But hey, we also have people who are from legal tech company, for example, Evisort or Ironclad or any one of these, or hey, we have people who have roles for legal operations, right? So I think that’s where it starts is the exposure, right, the exposure and having them know that it’s not just about getting into a top firm in New York or California or Texas. It’s about here are these various careers that are possible, even bringing in people who have taken their legal degree. We have a lot of CEOs and other executives in companies that are not practicing but have gone the business side route and they’ve got a lot of zeros in their paychecks. So having those type of, whether it’s a hiring event, whether it’s a webinar or mini conferences where you’re bringing in various people. And again, when you’re bringing in various people, you also want to make sure that you’re being intentional, that you’re having a diverse representation of different professionals that have gone the “non-traditional route”, right? So that will be my recommendation in terms of what you guys can do and I’m glad to help if you want to reach out.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, we’re building something at Michigan State called the NewLegal Careers Platform and that’s one of our overarching goals is to make people aware of all the different, obviously the non-traditional, non-practicing, but these new types of legal careers and get the information out to people and help them make connections.
Flo Nicolas: I think that’s brilliant.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, we need to ask the obligatory artificial intelligence question that we have on the podcast. We devoted our entire last episode to the fact that AI has sort of sucked all of the oxygen as Dennis mentioned at the beginning out of the legal tech space lately and we don’t really hear much about it, but we still want to ask the question and I think we run the risk of doing the same thing ourselves, but we still want to get perspective from the people that we talk to on the series, which is, what do you see as tools like ChatGPT and artificial intelligence playing in the legal technology market? Do you see that they are — I saw something about AI as marketing gas, that it’s something that is kind of less important than it really needs to be and that lawyers should really be playing to the technologies that already exist that are really good that they should be using, or is this the salvation that has just come to save us all?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah. Well, depending on who you speak on, it could be salvation or the end of us all, right? But I think that for me, personally, I love leveraging like ChatGPT for example, especially, although my role is Chief Operating Officer, I’m also like, doing marketing stuff and the ability to just knock out in terms of right in my content and then going into ChatGPT and saying, “Does this even make any sense, what I just said?”Right? Just kind of like that oversight is great. But in terms of for the legal world, obviously there’s the caution because on the legal, we’re so known for being party-poopers, because we always got to look at the risk, right? But the reality is, there is a risk and we saw that case that happened with the lawyer who used ChatGPT and then it fabricated case law that was non-existent. So I think for lawyers, it’s really more off and this is what I also — when I’m doing speaking engagements, in the last one that I did where it was specifically directed towards AI for kids, I said, “Good tech hygiene”.
And I think that good tech hygiene is something that can be used whether for kids or adults, lawyers, doctors, for everybody. And I think that’s where we are with –it’s here. It’s not going anywhere. I mean, OpenAI is already starting to talk about ChatGPT 5. So clearly, there’s no end in sight. We now have companies like Microsoft and companies like OpenAI who are saying, “Hey, we’re willing to pay legal fees for any copyright infringement cases for people using our platform.”So, companies want us to use it. They’re willing to pay our legal fees if something goes wrong. So we know AI tools are not going away. I think what we now have to focus on, how can we leverage them in such a way where we are protecting clients. Again, we have the privacy issues, right? You don’t want to paste any information that is confidential into ChatGPT because again, there’s warning signs all over it by now, so we need to heed the warnings in and find ways of how do we use it but we’re also protecting our clients, right?
So it’s like anything else. It’s learning that good tech hygiene and being aware that it’s not going anywhere. So how do we live side-by-side with AI and use it as more of like an assistant in automation to get our day-to-day work done faster and more efficiently.
Dennis Kennedy: Flo, one of the things that I’ve picked up through this conversation so far is that you are really good at learning new technologies and staying current with them, which I think is an essential skill these days, but maybe you could share some of your approaches and your tips for people of how they might do that themselves.
Flo Nicolas: Yeah, so a lot of people are like, “Oh, what book are you reading?” I’m like, “Ah, I don’t really read a lot of books. I read a lot of tech news.” So I love following tech news, like every day I’m constantly just doing a search on what is the latest technology. And the way that I learn — because there’s so much going on and it’s hard to keep up. So I get so excited by what I see, and then what I do is I’ll create –that’s what I use my LinkedIn platform for, then I’ll create my content based on what I have found. And I also create my TikTok videos based on what I have found and educate people. So while I’m translating what’s going on currently in the tech world, not only am I helping myself stay up to date, I’m also helping my audience.
So like, I recently posted — so I do this little thing called Tech News and I do the same thing on TikTok. I always start with, “In today’s tech news…” and then I’ll tell them what’s going on. And you got to do it where — again, you got to capture their attention and you got to keep it short especially on TikTok, so it’s usually like a 60-second video. And it’s like, “Hey, guess what? Canada is snagging U.S. tech talent and they’ve opened up these Visas and they already have like 10,000 slots and they already filled out 6,000.What’s going to happen?” And the future of tech when all these tech layoffs fizzle out, and now these companies like Microsoft and Google and Apple, what’s going to happen when they want top tech talent again? They’re going to be gone. They’re going to be across the border in Canada. So I just get excited about everything that’s going on and people get excited too and I think what helps me keep going and keep researching — I research a lot, and I play around with some of these tools as well. And I also call out some of the tools.
I recently called out a tool that I use because when I uploaded my video and used one of their AI templates, right? It’s supposed to take my photo and then transition me into this AI character.
Well, but it transitioned me into a blonde, blue-eyed white woman. So I was able to take that video and then say, “When you’re hearing people talking about how AI needs –we needed to be created using more diverse data. Here’s why it’s important to have diverse data because you need to have representation. It needs to be aware of how people look differently. They have different skin tones, different hair.”And so I just use that stuff that I learn to educate others and that’s also why I created the show Get Tech Smart because then the research that I find — then I look in my community and I say, “Is there an expert who is local on blockchain, Web 3.0 technology that I can bring into the studio, and then we can talk about it?”But again, in a way where people are going to understand and simplify it.
Tom Mighell: We’ve got more to cover with Flo Nicolas, but we need to take a quick break for a message from our sponsors and then we will be right back. And now, let’s get back to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and we are joined by our special guest, Flo Nicolas, the DEI Directive. We have time for just a few more questions. So, Flo, who are the Fresh Voices in Legal Tech that you would like to single out and maybe have them join us as part of our Fresh Voices series?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah, oh my goodness, there is like so many people in Legal Tech. Have you had Cat Casey on here yet?
Dennis Kennedy: No, we have not, but we know Cat.
Flo Nicolas: Yeah, Cat is fantastic. I mean, her niche is rediscovery. I call her “The eDiscovery Queen” because that’s what she lives and breathes eDiscovery. And then I think that she would be a phenomenal and fantastic guest to definitely have on the show as well. I follow her. I love her content. She’s super bubbly. And again, where I think her and I are similar is just the simplicity. Right? Although, eDiscovery is not my thing. I used to do litigation and have used eDiscovery platforms, before it was even like Legal Tech. I was using eDiscovery and now I’m like, “Wow, I was using eDiscovery back in 2005 before it had this fancy name, legal technology.”So, I would definitely highly recommend Cat. I think she’ll be a phenomenal guest for you guys.
Tom Mighell: We haven’t had anybody talk about eDiscovery. That’s where I sort of got my chops after law school — not after law school, after law firm, was working with eDiscovery. So maybe it’s time that we bring some people on to talk about that. That’s a great suggestion.
We want to thank you, Flo Nicolas, for being our guest on the podcast. It’s been terrific, lots of great information, Flo. Can you give our listeners an idea of where they can learn more about what you’re doing, how they might want to get in touch with you, or how to follow you?
Flo Nicolas: Yeah, so I’m easy to find. You can find me either as Flo Nicolas or #nonboringlawyer. Yeah. And also too, visit www.deidirective.com,if you want to know more about DEI Data Analytics and Compliance as well.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, thank you so much, Flo. You were a fantastic guest, and non-boring, definitely. It’s an understatement. Great information. We love talking with you, really great advice for our listeners. I definitely want to find some ways to get you to speak to the law students at Michigan State and Michigan where I teach. But now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip, website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Flo, take it away.
Flo Nicolas: Well, all I have to say is this, in this fast-paced and ever-evolving world where emerging and innovative technologies are advancing more quickly than we can keep up with, staying proactive is essential. To stay competitive and relevant in business or the job market, you need to be willing to learn and adapt to these new technologies.
Tom Mighell: Amen to that. All right, my tip is something that I — it’s not something that I learned, it’s something that I forgot that I learned a while back, which is I went on a trip a couple of weeks ago and I’m a big fan if I find Android Auto in the car that I’ve rented, I like to connect it so I can get my map and I can listen to my music, and do all that stuff. But the one thing that I didn’t really think about when I connected my phone to the car, was a little box popped up,“ Download all of your contacts information into it”. And I just clicked “Yes” without even thinking about it before I go, “Oh wait, what did I just do?” And then I looked on the list and there were probably 40, 50, 60 phones that were still listed on that list.
So I could have tapped Debbie’s phone, or Jared’s phone, or iPhone 15, and they were all listed there and I thought, “How much personal information is on rental cars that we don’t know about?” This is not legal technology, but this is something that I think as soon as you turn that car in — before you turn it in, go into that phone and delete it from the car. It gives you the ability to delete that device. I’m hoping it deleted everything from it, but it’s — or at least, don’t give it the opportunity to download your contacts. I would still delete it no matter what. So just a friendly tip for all those hundreds of people who are still listed in that one car that I rented. Go back and delete that stuff before you turn in your car. Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: So, Tom, I had the same experience recently and I clicked “No” and I deleted my phone because of those concerns you expressed. I don’t know how much good ultimately it will do, but every little bit helps on your data privacy. So, I did this crazy thing — potentially crazy thing recently where I decided to change my office around. So I essentially flipped it from one side of the room to the other. So, my parting shot is — my advise is to flip your perspective from time to time. So, you may not want to take on something that big, but it’s getting colder in the year and you might want to do something really different, but just change your office around completely and see how your experience and your perspective changes. I was telling Tom — Tom and I both being left-handed is I now realize that in the old setup, there was something that wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and now I realize that I — by flipping the room, I made my setup much more left-handed for me.
And actually, I’m more comfortable, things are at a place that make more sense for me and it really works well. So whether it’s your whole office or something else, just flip your perspective from time to time and see what you might learn from that.
Tom Mighell: What you’re not mentioning there is that while you flipped your office, you also decided to flip other rooms of the house over which your wife might have had something to say about that and that maybe not all of that flipping stayed the same after she saw your flipping.
Dennis Kennedy: That will be for the next parting shot. Not necessarily — you don’t necessarily want to flip the living room while your wife is out of town, but she did like the new arrangement.
Tom Mighell: Okay, very good. All right, so that wraps it up in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode on the Legal Talk Network’s page for our show. You can find all of our previous podcasts along with transcripts on the Legal Talk Network website. If you would like to get in touch with us, reach out to us on LinkedIn or you can always leave us a voicemail. We still like getting your questions for our B segment. That number is (720) 441-6820. So until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus. As always, a big thank you to the Legal Talk Network team for producing and distributing this podcast and we’ll see you next time for another episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon. And join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report only on the Legal Talk Network.