Friday, December 19, 2008

Advanced Twitter Search

Two links that should help for advanced searches using Twitter:
One more... the RSS feed icon to track those search results going forward, is located in the top right side of the search results screen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Blog from the VPD: Behind the Blue Line

An interesting new blog from the Vancouver Police Department titled Behind the Blue Line.

It's written by Sandra Glendinning, who currently works with the VPD Dog Squad. Here's a snippet from the About section:
Cst. Sandra Glendinning has been a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department since 1995 and is currently assigned to the Dog Squad. Cst. Glendinning hopes to use this blog to share with others what it is like to be a police officer in Vancouver, what it is like to work for the VPD, and how 'the job' has changed her view on many things.
The VPD look to have some innovative new projects going on these days, including a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. Sandra's blog also has a page dedicated to her partner, PSD Hondo, which does add a certain amount of charm to the site.

For anyone with an interest in the Dog Squad, this should provide a facinating window into that career. And one would think, pay dividends for the department's future recruiting efforts.

All things considered, a very web 2.0-esque strategy for police communications. Great to see such an interesting local effort. Kudos!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Are Associates & Non-Equity Partners the New Black?

Legal practice consultant Ed Poll has a great new article up on JD Supra titled Do you still want to be a partner?

The question Ed poses, considering our uncertain economy, should we assume that becoming an equity partner in a law firm is still a wise decision? He then follows up with some interesting factors one would need to consider, quoted here:
  • "When your voice may be so small in a large firm as to have no influence over the direction of the firm?
  • When the "buy-in" to the partnership is at a value asserted by that partnership rather than by an independent study?
  • When the sale of your interest could be only under very restricted terms and at a value determined by a formula different than the formula used for the "buyin" and only back to the partnership, not to a third party (even if a lawyer)?
  • When your income percentage will be determined by a "compensation committee" in which you have little or no voice?"
We often read about the market pressures on legal partnerships, and how the current economic fallout should influence the decision to admit Associates into partnership. But as Ed points out, this is a negotiation between two parties, and the answer might not be an automatic 'yes' on the other side.

With regard to pricing, if the legal industry's PPP numbers don't drop this coming year, I'll be very surprised (and suspicious they are indeed being gamed). However, if and when they do drop, you'd have to think buyin price would drop also. Yes? And also wonder... Are partnerships, big and small, being overvalued? ... all very interesting, to say the least.

The use of non-equity partners is another trend that's been on the upswing for a while now. But again, has largely been written about (and dictated) by the Firm perspective. For example, this post which cites Bruce MacEwan on Non-Equity partners effect on profitablity.

So the question on my mind, is how plausible it is, that this trend might become reversed? Will our poor economy produce a bit of a standstill on raising Associates into Partnership? (even non-equity partnership) And especially for those Associates with a solid book of business, will they be able to cut a better deal on the way in?

Even in a down economy, there will be firms who are intent on locking up their best assets. Or better yet, watching the firm across the road and wondering who's available. If quality Associates were stocks in the stock market, the buy-low sell-high adage would certainly seem to apply. How many fortunes were made via well hedged bets placed during the depression?

My point being, the move up to equity partner status is a business opportunity, for both sides. For Associates & Non-Equity Partners, you may not need that third mortgage, and could have a number of potential suitors. And for law firms, aquisition targets could also be plentiful. Especially if your competitors decide to cover their heads and wait out the storm.

Knock, knock.

Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 CLawBies off to a great start!

We’re only three days into nominations for the 2008 edition of the CLawBies, and we’ve already had plenty of submissions. As you know, this year the nomination procedure is a little different from previous years. We're spreading the link-wealth around, and those with an interest can either send me an e-mail, or better yet, blog their submission.

As of this afternoon (Monday), here's how things are shaping up for the year's best Canadian law blogs - at least for the blogged recommendations. We'll be updating the list as more nominations get published, so be sure to let us know if we've missed you...Update (December 10th):
Update (December 12th):
Update (December 23rd):
Update (December 26th):

Remember, you’ve got until December 27th, so keep ‘em coming. Happy nominating!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

News Items for Canada's Political Crisis

Nice round-up of news stories explaining Canada's political 'fun' of late. As posted by Michel-Adrien Sheppard over at his Library Boy blog. I've left his full commentary in place below. It was too good not to. :)
"Some background on the current fun and games/constitutional crisis/bad acid trip on Parliament Hill:
And then my head exploded..."

Monday, December 01, 2008

The VLLB Turns Four

As of yesterday, this blog has now been active for four years! wow.

I owe a lot to blogging. Even after my first year, I could see how the benefits were piling up. And now, four years later... well, it's indescribable. My life has completely changed because of personal web publishing, including a growing company based on some of the lessons learned.

But most of all, I blog because it's an outlet for me. It's a record of both my thoughts and reactions to life experience. And until you've done it for a while, I'm not sure you get how valuable it can be.

This blog has become much more of a personal blog in recent years, and the topics have expanded & shifted along the way. Not changed mind you, as I still like to track the use of information & knowledge within the legal industry, and being a librarian is still very important part of my life. Likely always will be.

The name, Vancouver Law Librarian Blog still resonates with me. I still take pride in my profession, and my fellow info-pro peers that deliver devil in the detail oriented work. Some people may visit this site & wonder what all this web stuff, technology & even marketing has to do with being a Librarian. But if you stay, and read a while longer, I think you'll see. It has everything to do with being a Librarian.

And if for no other reason than the fact that I get to be part of that perception change... then, I guess the VLLB has served its functionality.

Cheers! and thanks for reading! :)