Congratulations to the four American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) members below who were named to the Fastcase 50 Class of 2022. Lindsey Carpino and Clanitra Stewart Nejdl are also members of the Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals (PLLIP) Special Interest Section. Lindsey teamed up with Annie Mentkowski on the “Review-It” legal tech tool that won the 2021 AALL Innovation Showcase Awards in three categories.
By Allison C. Reeve Davis, Senior Library Manager, Littler Mendelson, P.C. and Caren Luckie, Research Attorney, Jackson Walker LLP
Allison and Caren were both awardees of the PLLIP-SIS grant to attend the course and in this post share their experiences and “a-ha” moments.
On May 16-17, 2022, several legal information professionals gathered in Chicago for an immersive course on Competitive Intelligence (CI) in law firms. The small group of 11 comprised individuals from law firms of various size and included librarians and CI researchers alike. Facilitators Ben Brighoff (Foley & Lardner, L.L.P.) and Lynne Kilgore (Baker Botts, L.L.P.), along with additional speaker Nathalie Noel (Jenner & Block), led the group through several CI strategies, team development, stakeholder buy-in, working collaboratively with other departments, and other considerations. Attendees took away ideas and made connections with each other creating a larger network of colleagues working in this space. We have already seen members of the group reaching out with questions and sharing ideas.
Organizers of the course kept the attendee list intentionally small. This created an open environment in which all were encouraged to share their experiences, expertise, and ask questions in a welcoming environment. Learning that individuals came from various levels of experience or diverse groups of research settings lessened any intimidation of being in a room with only high-level experts. Quickly, the group felt comfortable asking questions and sharing their goals for further CI development on their home teams. We learned that many of us face the same problems, and that we were all searching for the right (or better) resources to help us provide enhanced competitive intelligence to our firms.
This question was posted to the PLLIP MyCommunities page on January 26, 2022.
Remote forever. The flexibility paired with increased productivity makes up for loss of in-person comradery and mentoring. While admittedly I’m a bit Zoom-weary, especially by Friday. I did visit the office a week ago, and the fluorescent lighting was so enervating and hurtful to my eyes…no way I will go back unless by command.
Remote is right for me because I am allistic and ADHD and I have sensory processing challenges that create an energy drain when I have to work in an office. I am much more efficient and effective if I don’t have to expend energy unnecessarily on dealing with crowds, public transportation, traffic or driving, just to get to the beginning of my work day. Particularly when nothing I do requires me to be there in person, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been working from home for the last 2 years without incident, it seems particularly insensitive to waste two hours of my day on moving from one location where I could do all of my work to another location where I can also do work but under much worse circumstances. For those wondering why it takes a two hour round trip to get to work, note that I would need a wealthy partner (or for Joe Biden to forgive all of my student loans) if I wanted to live on a librarians salary, in a one-bedroom apartment, closer than 30-60 minutes from the office. I am also excellent at creating and maintaining deep connections with people who I interact with online. This is also generally true of many other non-neurotypicals who, like me have difficulty processing verbal communication. It’s not impossible, it’s just a huge drain of my energy that could be better used for something else. A well written email is always going to be easier for me to understand than someone talking their words at me into the air. For me, working from home is a dream come true because now I can manage my energy levels better and avoid autistic burnout which takes a long time to recover from and demands complete rest in a room with no other people, no noise, and no light. In short, I take fewer sick days and I feel more positive towards my employer when I am allowed to work from home.
My preference is to stay remote. I have a long commute and mostly take public transportation. During the pandemic transportation service had been reduced, and currently it remains reduced for lack of drivers. If I go into the office, my time is limited because of the reduced bus schedule, or I need to drive (which I prefer not to be on the roads with crazed, high speed, reckless drivers). Our team is very busy. Being at home I have plenty of work. I also have the flexibility to stay online and work late if I need to. Though being in the office is nice seeing people, I also find I get less research work completed when I go into the office.