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Law firm management and attorneys have often overlooked an untapped resource: the library.
Law librarians bring skill, talent, creativity, and nonconventional resources to the firm, all of which greatly assist in serving the needs of clients and the firm. As the legal landscape has changed, by developing innovative ways to find and gather firm intelligence and information, law librarians have kept pace and provided a valuable resource to attorneys.
As competition for client representation increases, the need for valuable competitive business information and analysis in firms has drastically increased. Experienced law librarians are ideally situated to manage and deliver the quality intelligence that is critical in this economy. This has been the case for several years; a 2006 National Law Journal feature noted that law firm recruiting efforts were largely focused on the law librarians and other information professionals. See Jan Rivers, "More Firms Create CI Positions," National Law Journal, June 12, 2006. As attorneys continue to use law librarians as their primary resource for research, it becomes increasingly clear the important role law librarians play in the development of the firm.
Traditionally, any discussion of the law library as place has begun—and more often than not ended—with the famous quotation from Christopher Columbus Langdell, former dean of the Harvard Law School, in which he analogized the role of the law library in the field of law to the role of a laboratory in the field of science. While certainly encouraging the now tired notion of learning to think like a lawyer, the problem with Langdell’s and much of the traditional treatment of the law library as place is the one-dimensional aspect that this approach creates. We are often left with the impression that the building is created solely for books and not for people. Lord Herbert Samuel summed up this traditional view of libraries in 1947 when he declared, “A library is thought in cold storage.”
"Sad Day" indeed... April Comes, And Three Law Libraries Close
Norwich courthouse law librarian Lori Sulmasy will spend a good deal of time over the next several weeks putting things in boxes. That includes periodicals and law books and such, 24,000 volumes in all, which will be sent to other libraries in the state.
That’s because the law library at the courthouse on Main Street closed its doors for good on April 1. So did courthouse law libraries in Milford and Willimantic, all victims of the state budget crunch.
Westlaw and LexisNexis, the dominant services in the market for computerized legal research, will undergo sweeping changes in a bid to make it easier and faster for lawyers to find the documents they need.
The changes to the research services are a reaction by Westlaw and LexisNexis to lower-priced — sometimes free — rivals and arrive at a time when law firms are working to cut overhead. The two companies also want to cater to a younger generation of lawyers accustomed to slick Web services and the search interfaces presented by companies like Google and Microsoft.
Painting stolen from historic law library
A valuable painting has been stolen from a library used by some of Scotland's most senior lawyers.
The watercolour was taken over the New Year from the historic Signet Library in Edinburgh, home of the country's legal establishment.
An open records advocate contends that a free source of legal documents could eventually save the federal government $1 billion, and he offers the Justice Department as Exhibit A.
A freedom of information request by Carl Malamud reveals that Justice Department paid more than $4 million in 2009 for access to the Pacer electronic filing system, according to the Wired blog Threat Level.
Full piece at ABA Journal
I wanted to share our holiday book art project with you - we made a tree using bound law reviews (favoring red and green colors, of course) and bound Utah Digests. We also used discarded publications to make interesting shapes, including the tree topper. Check out our photos HERE
Do you know of any other libraries that are featuring holiday book art? I'd love to see photos.
Jennifer Pickett, the Reference Librarian at the Brooks Free Library in Harwich MA, gives readers of Wicked Local some resources to check in regard to seeking legal advice (without giving legal advice).
In Massachusetts, she suggests starting at your own public library (in her case the Brooks Free Library), then checking the Barnstable Law Library and the website Mass Legal Help website. The Bar Association, like many state bars, also has a free referral service.
I had noticed that this story on LISNEWS had gotten the most hits this week: A Simple Question On Legal Information Vendors
A story with as many hits as it got with no comments seemed odd. I did some looking and found that the story related to a video that has been causing some debate.
The video and original post are here: Berring on free legal information
Bob Berring's response to debate about video: Free Law Kerfuffle
Sarah Glassmeyer wonders... Why do we delegate the reporting and indexing of the American legal information system to commericial vendors using a proprietary system? If you want to talk more about these issues, check out this Friday’s episode of The Law Librarian on Blog Talk Radio. Carl Malamud will be a guest to discuss Law.gov. You also can download it later as a podcast.