Lawyers on Fire Podcast

Innovation. Passion. Purpose. Lawyers are boring. No imagination, no drive. They are trained to raise concerns. Seeking security rather than opportunity. Play it by the rulebook rather than finding new ways. Many may be like this. Still there is good news: some are different. This podcast gives a voice to these shining examples of leading lawyers who act beyond their profession. Who understand the big picture and who shape the future. Whom we admire. Whom we need. Who inspire us.
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Lawyers on Fire Podcast




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Oct 26, 2018

Michele DeStefano is a professor of law at the University of Miami, Guest Faculty in Harvard Law School, Executive Education, and the founder of LawWithoutWalls, an international think-tank aimed at honing new skillsets and mindsets and creating innovations at the intersection of law, business, and technology.
As a professor of law, DeStefano researches and writes about the growing intersections between law, business, and legal innovation. Her book Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law leverages over 100 interviews of general counsels of large international corporations and heads of innovation at law firms.

Lawyers-on-Fire has spoken with Michele about her new book, her advice to students and young professionals and her view on today’s and tomorrow’s legal world. Listen and get inspired:

  1. Why? What was your motivation to write this book?
  2. What’s happening? You describe technology, shifts in socio-economics and globalization as the main forces impacting the law market today. What do these trends mean for future lawyers?
  3. Most wanted persona? Your book takes into account more than hundred interviews you conducted with partners of law firms, GC and other legal professionals. If you summarize their expectations, what would be the ideal persona of a lawyer they would like to hire?
  4. And what is the reality? You talk about the Lawyer Skills Delta…
  5. Why innovate? Many lawyers, particularly in BigLaw, don't see any reason to change or innovate. Business is going well, changing working system is risky and innovation may even jeopardize the status quo. Yet you argue that there is a need for change because of a New Value Equation in law. What is this new equation about?
  6. After the whys let's talk about the how. Your advice is to create a culture of creativity, collaboration and innovation by having an open mind, an open heart and an open door. This reminds me to a concept of leadership I once learnt at university: a good leader has a cool head, busy hands and a warm heart. What are these three rules of engagement? Do you want to give examples?
  7. Finally, you identified three groups you believe will be the front runners leading the change and shaping the future legal marketplace. Who are they and what can they do?
Jul 23, 2018

Caitlin "Cat" Moon is Director of Innovation Design for the Program in Law and Innovation (PoLI) at the Vanderbilt University Law School and an entrepreneur, creating Ledger.Law, a consultancy from blockchain related advice to regulation, policy, and legal structure. 

Professor Moon also is a co-organizer of the Music City Legal Hackathon, sponsored by PoLI and part of the global Legal Hackers community, which brings together legal professionals, technologists, designers and other professionals to create technology solutions serving access to justice and legal services.

Lawyers on Fire spoke with Cat at, Europe’s coziest conference on legal design, tech and innovation.

Jun 21, 2018

Ralf Winter is Chief Legal Officer - Europe of Toshiba and one of the challengers at the conference. He brings a real-life topic to the event to challenge the participants to come with a solution within the two days available in sunny Munich.

Lawyers of Fire spoke with Ralf right before the conference started to find out what he expects from it.

Jun 21, 2018

Kai Ebert is the president of Munich Legal Tech or MLTech in short. The association was founded just last year and its participants are attending

Lawyers on Fire talked to him to find out how law student can create together with other disciplines

Jun 21, 2018

Manfred Schick is General Counsel of ING-Diba in Germany. He is one of the GCs challenging the teams at

We've asked him what he expects from the conference and what he hopes to take back.

Jun 21, 2018

“Together we shape the experience. Together we determine the outcome. Together we create!”

That's what Sascha Theissen, co-host of says about the conference - and the future of the legal profession. Sascha is a repeat guest at Lawyers on Fire with multiple interests: He has a doctorate degree in computer engineering from KIT, an MBA in International Management from ESB Business School, is a fully qualified lawyer and a specialist IP lawyer.

Not surprisingly, Sascha aims high when co-hosting

Jun 21, 2018

The first conference of its kind, is being held on 21-22 June at allynet Work Loft in Munich. radically breaks with the traditional conference line-up of talking heads that are supposed to inspire otherwise passive attendees. Instead, will gather a mix of lawyers, coders and designers to offer them a uniquely creative and collaborative experience.

Lawyers on Fire chat with co-organizer Carsten Reimann minutes before the event starts.

Apr 18, 2018

Professor Dr. Ralph Alexander Lorz, LL.M. (Harvard) is Minister in Hesse, now holding the portfolio of public schools and church-state relations for the State Government formed by the Christian Democratic Union and the Green Party. He is also professor of  German and Foreign Public Law, European Law and Public International Law at Heinrich Heine University of Duesseldorf. Professor Lorz delivered the keynote “Who Owns the Legal Future?” at the legal ® evolution conference in Frankfurt. Lawyers.on-Fire spoke with him about legal tech and the future of the legal market.

Apr 18, 2018

Dr. Jochen Brandhoff ist Rechtsanwalt und Veranstalter der LEGAL ®EVOLUTION Expo & Congress, die zum ersten Mal im Oktober 2017 in Frankfurt stattfand. Lawyers-on-Fire waren dort und sprachen mit ihm über sein Fazit nach dem ersten Veranstaltungstag.

Feb 17, 2018

Lawyers on Fire chat with Marianne Saarikko Janson who has been the founder of Fondia Oyi, the first publicly listed law firm of the Nordics. And Fonida is not just another law firm but has rather disrupted the legal market in Finland. Lawyers on Fire explore the story of Fondia and what Marianne has in store for the future.

Feb 6, 2018

Lawyers on Fire have spoken with MAX BLOCK, CEO and Founder of Advocado ( Advocado lowers the threshold for clients to interact with lawyers and at the same time makes the work for the lawyer more efficient.

Max talked to us as part of our German Legal Tech Talk Series (in Northern German) and this is an English summary of our discussion.

Jan 25, 2018

Advocado ist eine Online-Plattform aus Deutschland, die Verbrauchern Rechtsberatung zum Festpreis anbietet. Lawyers-on-Fire sprachen mit Gründer Maximilian Block über die bisherigen Erfahrungen und weiteren Pläne von Advocado.

Dec 20, 2017

Mitchell Kowalski is a Visiting Professor in Legal Innovation at the University of Calgary, the legal innovation columnist for the National Post, a Global Legal Innovator and the author of Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century. He was formerly a partner at one of the world’s largest law firms and has also served as in-house legal counsel. Lawyers on Fire spoke with him about his new book The Great Legal Reformation which he published in late 2017, 500 years after Martin Luther started the first great reformation.

Nov 21, 2017

Sebastiaan Bos is one of the key artificial intelligence experts in Legal Tech. His expertise extends beyond his role as Director of Solution EMEA at HighQ and Lawyers on Fire had a chance to speak with Sebastiaan on his view of the legal tech market and what he thinks law firms and young lawyers should do now.

Oct 19, 2017

Xenion führte in den letzten Wochen die "Legal Design Challenge" durch. Lawyers on Fire unterhalten sich über den Hintergrund, die Teilnehmerbeiträge und die Gewinnerauswahl. Außerdem gibt es einen Ausblick auf künftige Veranstaltungen.

Sep 6, 2017

Jochen Brandhoff is the organizer of the Legal Expo - The European LegalTech Expo & Congress in Frankfurt on 23 and 24 October, 2017. LOF spoke with ihm in the German Legal Tech Talks series and this podcast summarizes the German discussion with him for our English listeners.

Sep 2, 2017

Was macht ein typischer Jurastudent in seinen letzten Semestern? – Richtig, er geht ins Rep. So auch Dr. Jochen Brandhoff, der erste Gast unserer German Legal Tech Talks Reihe. Allerdings ist er aus einem anderen Grund ins Rep gegangen – er hat es mit einem Partner gekauft, um die Inhalte onlinefähig zu machen. Jus2Click hieß das vermutlich erste rein webbasierte juristische Repetitorium.

Das war aber nicht die letzte Berührung des heutigen Gesprächspartners mit Disruption und Innovation: Jochen Brandhoff veranstaltet die Kongressmesse LEGAL ®EVOLUTION – The European LegalTech Expo & Congress. Der Anspruch ist nicht gering: LEGAL ®EVOLUTION soll zur jährlichen Leitveranstaltung der digitalen Transformation des Rechts in Europa werden.

Und das Beste: spontan hat Jochen Brandhoff noch ein besonderes Angebot für Lawyers on Fire im Gespräch gemacht. Anhören lohnt sich also!

Hier die Fragen an Jochen Brandhoff:

  1. Sie sind Rechtsanwalt und haben schon zu Referendarzeiten ein Legal Tech Unternehmen im E-Learning Bereich gegründet und erfolgreich verkauft. Woher kommt Ihre Begeisterung für Legal Tech?
  2. Mit der Legal Evolution starten Sie dieses Jahr in Frankfurt die erste Legal Tech Messe in Deutschland. Warum sollten Legal Tech Interessierte dorthin gehen und nicht auf einen der zahlreichen anderen Kongresse und Veranstaltungen zu dem Thema, die in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz angeboten werden?
  3. Wie sehen Sie den Stand von Legal Tech in Deutschland? Welche Arten von Technik nehmen Kanzleien und Unternehmen heute schon an und nutzen sie?
  4. Welche Grenzen sehen Sie auf dem deutschen Rechtsmarkt, noch mehr technische Lösungen anzuwenden, etwa im Bereich der künstlichen Intelligenz?
  5. Welche Länder sehen Sie in Europa im Bereich LegalTech als führend an?
  6. Wie kann Europa gegenüber Vorreitern wie den USA aufholen?
  7. Sie möchten die innovativsten Köpfe der juristischen Welt auf der Legal Evolution Messe versammelt sehen. Wir sprechen mit Lawyers on Fire genau diese Gruppe an. Können Sie unseren Hörern den Messebesuch besonders schmackhaft machen, vielleicht durch VIP Eintrittskarten?
  8. Gibt es Bücher, die Sie im Bereich Legal Tech empfehlen?
  9. Besondere Tools, die Sie gerne nutzen?
Aug 23, 2017
  1. You are a designer, not a lawyer. Why did you become interested in legal contracts?
  2. You just defended your dissertation on Friday! How did it go?
  3. How would you summarize the three key findings of your dissertation?
  4. What do you think of Blockchain contracts?
  5. You also founded Legal Design Jam. What is this?
  6. What is your message to lawyers wanting to get ready for tomorrow’s digital world?
  7. Are there any favourite books you recommend?
  8. Any tools?
Feb 2, 2017

Carsten and Jochen talk about the interviews they conducted in 2016 and share their most interesting moments and findings. They then go on to take a look at what is ahead in 2017.

The discussion is in German and an English will be available.

Oct 17, 2016

Dr Zev J. Eigen is a data scientist focused on cutting edge applications in HR, labor and employment law, and legal services. A former professor at Northwestern, and visiting professor at Yale and NYU, Dr Eigen was honored as one of "40 Under 40 Rising Legal Stars" by the National Law Journal, and is frequently quoted in the media as an expert on big data and predictive analytics. He is a nationally recognized expert in these fields appearing in the media frequently (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, NPR, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.). Zev is a frequent speaker on matters pertaining to workplace data analytics. Lawyers on Fire spoke to him after his speech at Legal Tech Westcoast in San Francisco.

Aug 8, 2016

Michael is an attorney with 13 years of experience in private and in-house practice. His time directing operations and providing legal counsel to a process improvement firm in China led to his experience in process improvement, project management, and change management. Michael works with internal and external clients to design and improve legal processes and to lead deployments of attorneys, process and technology for strategic initiatives. With a focus on systems, innovation and process performance effectiveness, Michael helps deliver legal solutions that reduce costs to clients, increase value, create deeper client satisfaction, and produce results. Lawyers on Fire met Michael after his speech at this year’s Legal Tech West Coast conference in San Francisco.

Jul 5, 2016

Dr. Cornelia Nett ist General Counsel für GE Capital in Deutschland. Seit

ihrem Start bei GE in 2006 hatte sie verschiedene Positionen in der

Rechtsabteilung inne und verantwortet nun den gesamten Bereich Legal von GE

Capital Deutschland. Vor GE war sie sechs Jahre lang für die Kanzlei

Shearman & Sterling LLP in Frankfurt tätig, spezialisiert auf Leveraged

Finance Transaktionen. Neben Ihrer Arbeit als General Counsel hat Frau Nett

einen Verein gegründet – „X˛ - Power of Two” (, der

Karrierewege von Frauen z.B. beim Einstieg oder Wiedereinstieg in das

Berufsleben unterstützen und gleichzeitig den steigenden Fachkräftemangel

reduzieren will. Gemeinsam mit anderen erfolgreichen Professionals sieht sie

das enorme Potenzial gut qualifizierter Frauen, das heute oft nicht voll

ausgeschöpft wird. Frau Nett traf Lawyers-on-Fire in Frankfurt und berichtet

über Ihre Motivation und Arbeit.

May 30, 2016

US-based Ron Friedmann has spent over two decades improving law practice and legal business operations with technology, knowledge management, and alternative resourcing. Today he is one of the world’s leading experts and bloggers on legal tech. Meeting Carsten in Nürnberg, Ron shares his views on the legal marketplace, current trends and opportunities for the next generation of lawyers.


Apr 29, 2016

Dr. Sascha Theißen ist seit 2013 Senior Vice President Legal/ General Counsel einer führenden internationalen Verlagsgruppe. Er begann seine Karriere als Anwalt und war zunächst sechs Jahre für zahlreiche Unternehmensmandanten tätig. Dabei spezialisierte er sich aufs IT Recht und wurde Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz (IP). Zugleich erwarb er einen Dr.-Ing. in Informatik. Als GC hat Herr Theißen erfolgreich Kanban und agile Managementmethoden eingeführt und die strategische und operative Unterstützung aller Geschäftsaktivitäten durch die Rechtsabteilung massiv ausgebaut. Er ist umfangreich interessiert und engagiert. Vor allem beschäftigen ihn Medien und Geschäftstrends, Innovationsmanagement, digitale Geschäftsmodelle, Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship, BWL und Politik. Lawyers on Fire sprach mit Herrn Theißen in Stuttgart.

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