Strategic Librarian

Using strategy to develop the law firm library.

Ark Group/Managing Partner Magazine’s 3rd Annual Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library & Information Service Centers

The following is a description of second session of the Ark Group/Managing Partner Magazine’s 3rd Annual Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library & Information Service Centers which I am attending today (I presented during the first session so don’t have a report on that).  This session is on Aligning Technology with Explicit Business Goals.

Janet Accardo and Anthony Amabile started the session with a discussion on their library’s work with a specific practice group to support the business goals of that group. 

They worked with the group to improve practice page including access to

  • LoisLaw Bankruptcy codes and rules and Ordin on Contesting Confirmation
  • Mergent
  • HeinOnline
  • Electronic subscriptions including Mealey’s publication (via Lexis Nexis Publisher) and Andrews publications (via Westlaw Watch)
  • Forms Workflow
  • Specific law review articles (via HeinOnline
  • Bibliographic records from the library catalog (Innovative Interfaces Millennium)

They also worked on:

  •  Use of Serials Solutions to add catalog records for premium databases
  • Use of Outlook for email subscriptions.  (Side note:  Participant/speaker Steve Lastres (Debevoise) said he is working with his library vendor (EOSi) to have that system intercept emails that arrive in the subscription email box and then routes it using the routing information within the system.)
  • News from Factiva sources & legal materials via LNP
  • Use of Westlaw Watch for Docket news.
  • Customized subject and practice area alerts written by librarians based on RSS feeds, newsletters, etc.
  • Use of LookUp Precision basically using to measure usage.  Client validation for 20 years.  Who uses our electronic subscriptions, substantiates charging to practice groups, provides usage statistics for contract negotiation.
  • Areus by Iconitel provides contract alerts and store usernames and passwords.

Ted Tjaden, director of library and knowledge management for McMillan LLP, Toronto Canada, went next with his presentation.  He provided snapshots of online catalog including their French interface. 

McMillan’s innovations include:

  • Formally merged Library and Knowledge Management departments
  • Created value-added “knowledge products” that leverage research, precedents and the document management system including best practices for practice groups
  • Created E-books page on intranet. 
  • Created online legal research and writing tutorial, research guides by topic, etc.
  • Working with SharePoint to better organize information
  • Exploring use of RSS, Wikis, and Blogs

Jean O’Grady was the last speaker of the session focusing on financial alignment and service enhancements.  She described the innovations that they have undertaken including:

  • Implementing Onelog
  • Leveraging the ILS with the implementation of Innovative Interface’s Millennium. 
  • Took to heart the adages “Simplify – Just Say No – Less is More
  • Put vendors to work providing analytics of the firm’s use of their systems
  • Using technology to reach their clients

 Jean’s emphasis in closing was on the importance of getting a handle on the analytics available to us to better manage costs with a focus on billable vs nonbillable.

The session provided a lot of interesting discussion leading to more ideas and questions.  This afternoon’s first session will be “Partnering for Profibility: The Convergence of Business Analytics, Competitive Intelligence & Client Relationship Management.  I’m looking forward to more of the discussions that come out of this program.

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