Almost all players in the legal market talk about innovation. Law firms start incubators, clients demand innovation, and providers promote their innovative solutions. But just what is innovation, who’s doing it, and how do rank and file legal market workers handle it?  I am moderating a Hot Topic panel at AALL  Embracing Sustainable Innovation – Building a Future Focused Library. To prepare for a conference,  the panelists are seeking to answer these questions by conducting an anonymous survey. I hope you will participate. Please click here.

BACKGROUND – CONFERENCE SESSION PROMPTING THE SURVEY: I will be a panelist on Sunday, July 14, at 11:30am in Washington, DC at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual conference. The session is Hot Topic: Embracing Sustainable Innovation Initiatives to Build a Future-Focused Library. The session description appears at the end of this post. The panelists are:

  • Darin Fox, Associate Dean, Director of the Law Library and Professor of law, University of Oklahoma Law Library
  • Marlene Gebauer, Global Director of Strategic Legal Insights, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Ron Friedmann, Chief Knowledge + Information Officer, LAC Group
  • Jean O’Grady, Sr. Director of Research & Knowledge Services, DLA Piper (Moderator)

THE SURVEY: As we prepared for our session, we agreed that we wanted to understand innovation from the bottom up. That is, unlike many surveys, which target law firm management or people with innovation in their title, we wanted to hear from a broad cross-section of line managers across organization types and functions. We keep the questions simple:

  • Title
  • Organization type and size
  • Is there an innovation initiative, and if yes, describe it.
  • Did you initiate or collaborate on innovation, and if yes, describe it.
  • What challenges do you face in innovating?
  • What is the biggest “innovation” you have been involved in?
  • Ignoring any constraints, what one innovation project you do?
  • Will you attend the AALL or ILTA conferences?

We think – with your help – that this 3 minute survey will provide good insight on what’s really happening with innovation and what the challenges are in doing it. To participate, click here to go to Survey Monkey.

After the conference, I will publish the results and my analysis of them here and include any commentary my co-panelists care to offer.


Technology and legal market disruption will transform the organizations we serve, presenting innovation opportunities for legal information professionals—do you know how to identify them? What are the perils of maintaining the status quo? How do you evolve the services you provide to ensure that they are integral to your organization’s success? What are the skills you need to learn (and the skillsets you need to hire)? AI, analytics, and workflow tools can be optimized with the expertise and insights of information professionals. Are you ready to drive new initiatives to help transform your role, your department, and your organization?

1) Attendees will be able to assess the market forces and technologies that will impact the need for innovative solutions over the next five years, and how information professionals (and their organizations) can respond.
2) Attendees will be able to compare the experiences of a private firm librarian and an academic librarian as they transformed their roles and the services they provide for their attorneys and students.
3) Attendees will be able to proactively leverage changes in technology and the legal field to create new opportunities for delivering valuable services to their organizations.

Who should attend: Anyone with an incentive to adapt to the changing legal and technology environment and amplify their value in their organization.

Please respond by July 1st in order to have your feedback included in the AALL panel data.

Please feel free to share this link  to  relevant responders, we want to gather as much input as possible.

Results will be posted here and in other related social media platforms.