Jean O’Grady — Librarian and Legal Rebel

Jean O’Grady, ‎Senior Director of Research & Knowledge at DLA Piper and blogger at Dewey B. Strategic, was  recently interviewed for an ABA Journal Legal Rebels podcast.  Jean has been a long-time law firm librarian and is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries.  She has served in several leadership roles for the Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals’ Special Interest Section, and now she can also claim the title of “legal rebel.”

Listen to the podcast to hear Jean discuss the strategic role information professionals are playing in law firms and how law firm information and research centers are helping keep attorneys ahead of the curve.

More on ILTACON 2016—Social Collaboration Tools as an E-mail Alternative

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Emily Florio’s post on attending ILTACON mentioned some of the private law librarians and information professionals that presented.  Katherine Lowry, Director of Practice Services at BakerHostetler, participated as a panelist for the session, “The Social Collaboration Tools Making a Meal Out of Email”.  The session focused on social collaboration tools, such as Slack, ThreadKM, Yammer, and Beezy, that law firms are using to facilitate collaboration and to help stem the endless stream of e-mail messages.

Katherine contributed to the panel by discussing BakerHostetler’s use of Yammer, and described the roll-out and adoption process.  According to Katherine, “[I]t was a great panel filled with a diverse set of products supporting social networks in the legal industry”, and she’s happy to see “social networks gaining even more momentum”.  She recommended the recap of the presentation written by Sameena Kluck, a Strategic Account Executive for Thomson Reuters and Westlaw.

The session’s moderator was Patrick DiDomenico, Chief Knowledge Officer at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.  Other panelists included Ginevra Saylor, National Director of Knowledge Management at Dentons; Raul Taveras, Manager of Litigation Technology Solutions at Fish & Richardson P.C., and Cindy Thurston Bare, Director of Knowledge Management at Orrick.

ILTACON: An Opportunity for Information Professionals

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By Emily R. Florio, Director of Library Services at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

From August 28 through September 1, ILTACON, the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference, took over National Harbor, Maryland.  The conference filled the immediate area with close to 200 educational sessions, presented by more than 350 speakers, on topics such as information management, business management, applications/desktop and technology operations.  Just from this small sampling of topics that are of interest to ILTACON attendees, it is clear that there are opportunities for law librarians and information professionals to be involved with creating and attending programming during this event.

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The 2016 Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Summit – It’s Time to Make a Strategic Impact

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by Jeremy Sullivan, Manager Library Research Services at DLA Piper LLP and Co-Chair of PLLIP Summit

Private law librarians and information professionals have a long history of bringing new technologies and processes into their organizations, with an eye to enhancing service and improving client support. From the early adoption of online research platforms, to the implementation of knowledge management solutions, and through the manipulation and repurposing of big data, information professionals have a proven track record of providing practical and innovative solutions.

The question that the PLLIP Summit will strive to answer is “What’s next?” Now in its sixth year, the 2016 PLLIP Summit has the goal of taking what we have done, what we know, and who we know and putting it all to strategic use in our organizations.

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5 Tips to Make Your Outreach Efforts Stick

Guest post by Michayla Sullivan, Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP, Knowledge & Research Services Specialist

As law firms continue to look for ways to cut budgets, it is important that all employees add value to their firm. Firm librarians can do this most efficiently by leveraging their research experience to assist attorneys on cases and business development. In order to provide this assistance, librarians must first persuade attorneys to send them research requests. In many firms, whether due to lack of awareness of the full scope of library services or forgetfulness of those services’ existence, many attorneys do not utilize their libraries’ research services as often as they could.

Firm librarians can address this under-utilization by conducting library outreach within their firms. There are several methods law firm librarians can use to gain and retain research requests that require little time from the attorney while maximizing the amount of attention gained for the library’s research services.

Stickiness of Everyday Promotional Materials

Every single item that passes through the library to an attorney is an opportunity for outreach. Thus, every routed current awareness publication, book delivered to an attorney’s office, and document written to an attorney that comes from your library should have a sticker containing the library’s interoffice contact information. The sticker message can directly call to attorneys to “Save time!” and “Send us your research questions!”

The stickers can be created using Canva, a free online tool for creating graphics, which can then be imported into a Word label template. Thereafter, simply print, peel, and stick the labels on as needed or add a digital image of the sticker to the footer of every email sent out. Doing so provides continuous and consistent library promotion, which may result in immediate research requests when the attorneys see the stickers reminding them of the information services offered. The value added from time spent on the research requests generated can more than make up for the initial time spent creating the stickers.

Occasional Promotional Materials

Utilizing promotional materials that require a little more time and attention from attorneys and distributing them on an occasional basis are another great way to promote services. Creating a flyer with longer descriptions of the types of research services provided and examples of actual research questions you’ve successfully addressed is another option. This helps provide attorneys with a better picture of the types of complex research handled.

Getting to Know You

Making yourself more visible will help your attorneys remember to use your services. A personal conversation about your research skills will often be more memorable than a flyer. Utilize interoffice mail delivery as little as possible and instead personally deliver items to the attorneys.

Given the large volume of materials that need to be delivered, it is not likely feasible to hand-deliver everything. Just do what time allows, and if the attorneys seem amenable to a little conversation when you make the deliveries, take the opportunity to talk to them about ways you can assist them with research, as conversations may reveal that attorneys are unaware of the variety of information needs with which you can help them.

Remember the Paralegals

It is not just attorneys who can benefit from your research services. When they do not have time to address a research need, attorneys will often push these tasks to their paralegals. Like attorneys, paralegals are often short on time. Librarians can help alleviate this burden by taking on some of their research tasks. Make special efforts to reach out to your paralegals and you will likely find they are pleased to hear how you can assist them. Value added to a paralegal’s work is also value added to the firm overall.

Put in the Time Again and Again

The above efforts require both time and repetition, as many attorneys may forget the research services offered even after they have used them. Given this never-ending time commitment, how can an already busy librarian find time for outreach? Just do what you can.

You do not have to deliver everything to every attorney in your office. Perhaps you can deliver only to attorneys you have not seen in a while. You do not have to create new stickers and flyers all the time. Just expend time creating them once and then occasionally refresh the design by making a few changes to the message. Only you can judge how much time to spend on outreach, because you know your law firm and its library best.