“By now, its a phrase that law firm library directors likely hear in their sleep. “Do more with less” was a mantra through the recession; it guided library strategies and triggered cuts to staff, collections, and physical space. But now its become more than just a motto—its standard operating procedure in a fledgling, uneven recovery. The American Lawyers 12th annual Law Librarian Survey finds that, financial uptick not- withstanding, the pressure to contain costs continues, clients are even more reluctant to pay for research than they were a year ago, and negotiations with vendors—never exactly a festive occasion—are still often contentious.” (via American Lawyer)
“Of all the lingering effects of the recent recession on the legal industry, none has been so dramatic as client demand for efficiencies. Headcounts are down, and the billable hour model is under attack as alternative fee arrangements become more common. With fewer lawyers, some routine tasks are being assigned to non-lawyers. As a consequence, law firms must operate more leanly. So, where does that leave law librarians? I suggest that legal information professionals are a valuable resource who can support many knowledge management initiatives that directly benefit not only the practice of law, but equally important, the business of law.” (via Law.com)
“In the June edition of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay, an attorney and Editor-in-Chief of ALM’s Law Technology News invites her American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) co-presenters, Steven Lastres and D. Casey Flaherty to chat about the recent and upcoming changes in technology affecting law librarians and legal research. Bay, Lastres, and Flaherty will be presenting at AALL’s annual conference this month in Seattle. Learn how librarians are leading the charge for faster, better, and cheaper legal services!” (via Legal Talk Network)
“We have seen the legal industry evolve considerably during the past several years, largely in reaction to the sluggish economy, client demands, the rapid proliferation of information on the Internet and technological advancements. Throughout these developments, the mission of librarians has endured. The mission is to solve information needs by getting information—the right information—into the hands of the attorney or client quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. We are knowledge enhancers; the library can be described as providing “knowledge services.” However, accomplishing this mission has become more challenging as a result of the changing legal landscape—especially the information explosion and corresponding tidal wave of resources now available for solving information needs.
“Today’s economy and how it is affecting librarianship in private law firms has been the focus of many discussions. At the 2012 American Association of Law Libraries meeting and the 2012 Private Law Libraries Summit, it was the central theme running through many of the programs, and there was consensus that the current economic climate calls for innovation and flexibility from private law librarians. We all faced significant challenges with the downturn of the legal market in 2008 that culminated in the credit crisis in 2009. In mid-March and in October 2009, AALL conducted a survey of law library directors to understand how the economic crisis was affecting the profession. What they found was that in private law libraries, 30 percent saw staff reductions, but 72 percent also had a hiring freeze in place.”
via Daily Report