kicked off the 2014 Private Law Libraries Summit with a bang. This year’s theme was “The Voice of the Client” and Hackett delivered a powerful message which
focused on “Re-engineering the Role and Value of Private Law Librarian: Practical Strategies for Leadership in Serving
|Susan Hackett Points the Way
Photo (c) Bess Reynolds
We’ve Come A Long Way. I couldn’t help but contemplate the trajectory which the Summit has taken since the first Summit in 2010. Although the theme of the first Summit was “Change as Opportunity,” it was fear and bewilderment that fueled the discussions. By 2014 the Summit had moved information professionals from survival at the margins to front and center in the delivery of value to clients. Not only did we have Hackett the former Sr. VP and GC of the Association of Corporate Counsel delivering the keynote, but she was followed by a panel of In House Counsel who reinforced and validated Hackett’s insights into the value librarians can bring to multi-disciplinary client support teams. It is time for information professionals to move from the shadows of administrative support to center stage with a seat at the client table and with a voice in the value and process improvement discussions.
the result of the recession. Law firms will continue to struggle if they don’t
realign their business strategy with delivering value to clients. Law firm’s continue
to focus on cost, profit and pricing
which are the symptoms of dysfunction and not the root cause.
to sell their expertise by the hour. Clients want to buy business solutions and
suited to help lawyers leverage the firm’s knowledge resources and develop new
products, processes and multi-disciplinary strategies which will respond to the client demand for efficient business solutions.
initiatives at two law firms Seyfarth
(Lean Six Sigma) and Eversheds (Agile) and two Legal Departments Intel (Dynamic
KM) and Cisco (Global Center of Excellence) as examples of workflow reengineering.
does it take for an associate to perform a function that we as information professionals can demonstrably
deliver more quickly. Measure the time saved and translate into a value to clients.
Management Practices – firms and clients
work centers to drive down project costs
a new kind of “contract lawyer” – you/your team.
client and firm exposure: training, client deep dives, issue monitoring, etc.
with feeding or writing blogs, Tweets, Social Media – push knowledge to firms
lawyers and clients
increasingly sophisticated work to those who do it faster and cheaper than
collect, catalog, and manage data, including big data. Offer it up to clients.
a collaborative knowledge library of firm practices or one that shares clients’
practices. Offer it
up to clients.
of Concept” Discussions – questions posted online in firm communities are
answered communally and archived.
associates to capture partner knowledge experience as part of their training –
catalog it for future training.
knowledge capture a legacy project for elder partners
playbooks, process maps, trainings, etc.
Equals Opportunity. According to Hackett the primary competition for law firms
is not other law firms, it is the legal department itself. As legal departments
become more efficient, information innovators can help law firms develop value
strategies and services which can help firms compete effectively with their