By Alicia Navarro, Electronic Resources Manager, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
I had the opportunity to attend the Ark Group’s 11th Annual Conference on Best Practices & Management Strategies held on February 23, 2017. It was my first time attending, and there were many takeaways for me in terms of best practices to apply. Below are some of the programs that stood out for me and what was discussed.
The program kicked off with Robert DeFabrizio, Manager of Library Services at Goulston & Storrs. He reviewed the steps to develop a plan for reintegrating the library into the business of law and discussed how to align the library with the firm’s mission. Robert mentioned we should always “start with a goal and a strategy.” Often we tend to focus on the goal, when we should also be on the “lookout for what changes may be happening in the industry” and “be adaptable to changes.” My takeaway from this session is that we should consider letting go of things that are no longer relevant, challenge ourselves, and avoid plateauing in the performing zone and not growing in the learning zone. We must always review to see where we are and where we are going. Continue reading
By Julie Bozzell, Chief Research and Knowledge Services Officer, Hogan Lovells
Finding who knows what or has experience doing XYZ quickly in most law firms today is not as simple as we’d like it to be. At ILTACON in August, I participated in a panel titled “Finding a Needle in a Haystack with 21st Century Expertise Systems.” Other panelists included Kate Cain, Director of Market Intelligence at Sidley Austin LLP; Marybeth Corbett, Director of Knowledge Asset Services at WilmerHale; and Joshua Fireman of Fireman & Company.
Our session included discussion of expertise v. experience, expertise systems and solutions, why firms need expertise location tools, and the fun range of challenges that exist with implementing any such solution in a law firm. I emphasized to the audience the expertise librarians can bring to these projects based on their experience with, and love of, developing and managing controlled vocabularies and taxonomies. Along with that, librarians and information professionals have a deep passion for searching and for refining search tools to better meet our discovery needs.
ILTACON Session Description:
Expertise location systems are ubiquitous at law firms of all sizes and are key solutions that help with everything from responding to client proposals to finding the right attorney to help with a particular matter. An effective expertise location tool can be a differentiator for law firms, yet they are tricky because of the need to pull together multiple sources of information while providing clear answers. People from the trenches will share their experiences of implementing various solutions and tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re evaluating a new solution.
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.
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.
As we get to the end of fall, it seemed timely to revisit associate and law student training topics discussed at this summer’s AALL Annual Meeting and see if anyone had implemented new associate training initiatives or new approaches to legal research classes this fall. The post about the Attorney Research Skills session is available here.
By Debbie Ginsberg, Educational Technology Librarian at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Library
“In the Wake of the Kia Audit,” a 2015 AALL session, focused on the importance of technology skills and training programs for law students and new lawyers, and on how librarians can be a part of the process.