Strategic Librarian

Using strategy to develop the law firm library.

SLA Conference : Legal Division Programs

My time was limited at this year’s conference and I wanted spend time at the exhibits (I’m back in my office already).  That meant missing the excellent programs put on by the legal division (ok, I might be a little biased since I was part of the program committee).   I did hear feedback along with comments (e.g., You missed a great program!) as I networked with other attendees.  The programs that I heard raves about from those who attended that I plan to purchase if recordings are available include:

60 Gadgets in 60 Minutes – I have to admit that I’ve never attended this program that is put on from year to year.   I will also admit that I have way to many gadgets in my life already and enough clutter in my mind from dealing with those that I am a bit afraid to learn about others that I will want to buy.  That aside, what I heard from others was that this program was thoroughly entertaining while being informative as well.  I might have to face my fears and attend next year.

Ethical Competitive Intelligence – This program focused on how to be ethical while doing competitive intelligence.  The comments I heard were that the speaker, Richard Horowitz, was great and the information gleaned from the program was that it was a very clear message about how to conduct a CI search and feel like you haven’t sold your soul when you’re done.

Information Professional: The New Private Investigator– Howard Trivers (Baker & Daniels) presented this program on how to find people, public records and criminal information to a standing room only crowd of over 200.  The reports I heard said that the program was a thorough review of the resources available for this kind of research and how to use them.

The Impact of Globalization of Capital on Law Librarians– After meeting with the speakers (Saule Omarova, UNC Chapel Hill School of Law and Geraldine Clement-Stoneham, Linklaters) the night before the presentation, Nola Vanhoy, Alston & Bird (the program’s moderator and current SLA Legal Division Chair) told me that the program was going to be phenomenal!  The next afternoon, an attendee of the program told me that the program was phenomenal!  The speakers really delivered on the promise of the program’s description:

For several years, the financial press has been carrying articles predicting a shift of the pre-eminence of New York as the world’s financial capital to London and some say eventually Tokyo. Is this the fall-out from Sarbanes-Oxley reforms, the rise of the AIM as an exchange or is it just the realities of a globalization of capital? This session will feature panelists who can speak to this shift of financial transactions into the global marketplace and its impact on U.S. and International law firms on their library resources and librarians.

The programs that I didn’t hear about or that happened after I left included:

  • Emerging Technologies Breakfast – Enterprise 2.0
  • Web Tools for Legal Researchers – Web 2.0
  • If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Tales from the Dark Side – Librarians who have worked on both sides of the great divide between vendors and those librarians in law firms.
  • Knowledge Management Staffing Structures in Law Firms – Discussion of KM staffing (org charts, position titles and descriptions, compensation and more).
  • Tax and Corporate Specialized Roundtable and Breakfast – this annual event focused on the off-shoring of tax librarian research/work.

Everyone I talked to felt the conference to date (as of yesterday afternoon) was well worth attending.  I know that the time I spent networking, attending CE’s, and visiting exhibitors was well worth my time.  The handouts for programs were made available on the web.  Unfortunately, none of the speakers for the legal division uploaded theirs.  Hopefully, that will be rectified after the conference.  Also, last year the association selected presentations to highlight by posting the recording and slides on the web.  I hope that happens as well.  For now you can go to the to learn more about some of the programs.

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