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Guides

SUMMARY

These resource guides were created by committees of experienced and dedicated legal information professionals, and were officially released at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Conference in July 2011. The resource guides are now being used by thousands of law firm management personnel, law librarians, legal researchers, knowledge managers, and records managers across the United States as best practice resources about theories, principles and techniques of various aspects of law library management or legal information setting management in the 21 Century.

Comments and suggestions are all welcome for future revisions of the resource guides.

THE GUIDES

GUIDE 1:  How to Hire a Law Librarian

Moderator:  LYNN MERRING

This AALL Resource Guide will help law firm management understand how professional librarians can assist in marketing and business development with a goal of increased revenue and profitability by joining a cross-functional team with legal staff, marketing and others in planning for marketing and business development initiatives; conducting the research necessary to support those initiatives; supporting the knowledge needed by the firm to compete effectively by developing proactive client information products (advisories, alerts, intranet content); monitoring and reporting on legal industry trends (new fee arrangements, flexible work schedules); and maximizing information resources and eliminating redundant work efforts.

GUIDE 2:  New Roles for Law Libraries

Moderator:  KEVIN MILES

This 2011 guide will focus on how librarians are expanding their roles with Wikis, Records Management, Legal Lean Sigma, Marketing and Competitive Intelligence, and Knowledge Management Developer offering more value to their law firms with significant impact. Wikis are an excellent way to organize information in a dynamic, paperless environment. Records management is not new, but is becoming more integrated with the flow of information management. Legal Lean Sigma is becoming a standard that some law firms are following in achieving best practices. Marketing and CI are not new, but have more ownership and familiarity with private law librarians.

GUIDE 3:  Space Planning for Law Libraries

Moderator:  JOAN AXELROTH

Whether you are building new space or renovating existing space, this Resource Guide provides information in each phase of the project from the initial planning process through the final move to new space. It also includes practical examples of how three law firms solved their library space and design challenges and the lessons they learned.

GUIDE 4:  Collection Rebalancing for Law Libraries

Moderator:  KATHIE SULLIVAN

In the past twenty years, the American workplace has seen a sea change in how we do business – many things that used to be done manually are now automated, and the law library is no different in that regard. Legal resources are rapidly migrating from print to digital format – but is that always a good thing? Sometimes materials are more useful in electronic format, sometimes they are simply more expensive or less easy to use. Librarians must evaluate all options when it comes to the firm’s information needs, so the firm has the best resources for the best price.

We’ll talk about how your librarian can take steps to review the existing firm collection, create a collection development plan based on the firm’s current and future needs, and develop a process that will ensure access to the best materials in the formats best suited to the needs of the firm’s attorneys. Hopefully, we’ll save the firm money (and overhead!) in the process.

GUIDE 5:  The Internet as a Legal Research Tool

Moderator:  ANDREA GULDALIAN

Since attorneys increasingly turn to the Internet for legal research, this revised Resource Guide explores how librarians and legal information professionals can help attorneys successfully utilize the web as a research tool.  The guide looks at issues specific to Internet research, such as authority and reliability of websites, their impermanence and fluidity, and resulting link rot issues.  Essential criteria for evaluating websites are highlighted, as are the active roles law librarians can play to enhance the legal research experience on the Internet for legal and support staff of law firms. A list of helpful websites is included in an online Appendix section for reference.

  • Current text of this guide.
  • References used in this guide. (coming soon)
  • Discussion regarding this guide. 
  • Bibliography: A list of useful Internet legal research resources.

GUIDE 6:  Negotiations in Law Libraries

Moderator:  LAJEAN HUMPHRIES

This AALL Resource Guide was created to help guide law firm decision makers and librarians through the steps of negotiation to achieve mutually satisfying results. It will help you to prepare for the negotiation process by completing an eight-step checklist, keep the lines of communication open, work through difficulties to achieve the desired results, and strengthen your negotiation skills.

GUIDE 7:  The Library as a Business Development, Competitive Intelligence and Client Relations Asset for Law Firms

Moderator:  CAMILLE REYNOLDS

This AALL Resource Guide will help law firm management understand how professional librarians can assist in marketing and business development with a goal of increased revenue and profitability by joining a cross-functional team with legal staff, marketing and others in planning for marketing and business development initiatives; conducting the research necessary to support those initiatives; supporting the knowledge needed by the firm to compete effectively by developing proactive client information products (advisories, alerts, intranet content); monitoring and reporting on legal industry trends (new fee arrangements, flexible work schedules); and maximizing information resources and eliminating redundant work efforts.

GUIDE 8:  Strategic Planning for Law Firm Libraries (coming soon)

Co-Moderators:  ANNA IRVIN & NATALIE LIRA

This Resource Guide will help law firm management understand how librarians and other information professionals can develop a strategic plan that outlines the library’s direction, goals and objectives for aligning services with the overall strategic initiatives of the law firm, industry trends and client expectations.  Strategic planning allows libraries to position themselves to help their firms adapt to changing business trends, mitigate risks, and realize opportunities for growth.  In addition, this Resource Guide also serves as a roadmap for librarians that seek to initiate the process of developing a strategic plan for their department.

  • Current text of this guide. (coming soon)
  • References used in this guide. (coming soon)
  • Discussion regarding this guide. (coming soon)

GUIDE 9:  Law Firm Library Intranets (coming soon)

Moderator:  JULIA BERRY

Well-designed law firm intranets are powerful tools for sharing knowledge within a firm.  They allow easy access to electronic research resources, documents, communication about best research practices, training materials, and much more.  They drive people to the most authoritative electronic research materials and knowledge repositories, thereby allowing librarians to spend their time on other strategic and value-added projects.  This Resource Guide focuses on the role librarians can play in the selection, design, content population, and maintenance of law firm intranets.

  • Current text of this guide. (coming soon)
  • References used in this guide. (coming soon)
  • Discussion regarding this guide. (coming soon)
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