Friday, September 11, 2009

Lambert & Gediman on Reevaluating BigLaw Library Services

If you work in a law firm library, do yourself a favour and go read 3 Geeks and a Law Blog: Reevaluating BigLaw Library Services - Two Views. Great insight from Greg Lambert and Mark Gediman.

Reminds me of an old post I wrote in Mar./05: The Law Firm Library - Customers & Consumers.

Here we are four years later, and still walking that tightrope. Once budget pressures start, anyone who doesn't use the library (including most admin/operations mtg) will have little understanding of (or empathy for) the Library's role in providing legal services. The natural tendency is, unfortunately, to marginalize.

Subject specialists (both research lawyers and librarians) are at times the lifeblood of practice groups; but without vocal lawyer support, almost invisible to administration. I enjoyed Mark's comments on making the Library indispensable, and see this as critical to the survival of the profession.

We often talk about embedded librarianship, but this is where theory meets practice - especially for law firms. I say, put a tech-savvy librarian and an info-savvy technologist into a practice group for six months. Let them work directly with the lawyers - creating practice specific automations, document automations, cultivate precedent collections, research and KM organization. ... Generally optimize everything about routine business engagements at a matter level.

Want a Susskind-ian vision for the future of Law Librarians? This would be a start. Breaking down a few silos. ... Lawyers with billable targets don't have the time for this type of introspective approach. A 'swat team' of others just might.


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