When the lawyers ignore the law

For those of us who work within law firms, we know there is one true and inviolable rule – whatever any law may say, it definitely doesn’t apply to lawyers.

However, the fact that this rule is only in effect inside the heads of lawyers leads to problems for those of us who do have to work within the law. In particular, it brings problems for information services staff, when you uncover activities that the lawyers have been engaged in that they really shouldn’t be. Nothing criminal (no bodies being disposed of in landfill sites, or shipments of suspicious powders being couriered between offices), but things which breach certain contracts, or certain laws. Favourites are: Continue reading

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Not lesser. Just different.

Working within a law firm, there is a very clear division in staff: there are lawyers, and there are non-lawyers. Lawyers believe that they are important, intelligent, innovative, indispensable, and all sorts of other “i” words.  In the eyes of the lawyers, us non-lawyers are often seen to be none of those “i” words…we are other i’s – irritating, in-the-way, inconvenient. Which can create quite a number of problems for those of us who make up that generic mass of non-lawyer staff, particularly librarians. Continue reading

What is a librarian without a library? – another perspective

By Felicity Cross of the Scottish Law Librarians Group

Recently whenever I have been thinking about being a law librarian and what that means the issue of space has kept popping up. How much space a library takes up? Do we need a physical space for a library anymore? I think in an increasingly digital world as e-books become more popular and more legal text books become available in a digital format the issue of space becomes more and more important for law librarians. But for me the focus should not just be on physical space, but also on mental space. Continue reading

Networking in Neutral

Although written in the first person this post contains ideas from several members of the Scottish Law Librarians Group.

Social media is a hot topic in UK law firms at the moment with endless articles in the legal press. There are of course many ethical and risk issues and both the Law Society and the Law Society of Scotland have recently issued guidelines for lawyers. Continue reading

For each library, a librarian. Preferably in it.

There has been a lot of comment in the blogosphere recently about embedding librarians into legal teams, whilst this might work well in bigger firms for the solo librarian in a smaller firm it’s not always practical or desirable.  This post by a member of the Scottish Law Librarians Group discusses this in the context of a library relocation. Continue reading