The American Association of Law Libraries is seeking nominations for the 2024 Product of the year award. Both members and vendors can submit nominations.

This award honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials.

A “new” product is defined as one which has been in the library-related marketplace for two years or less. New products may include, but are not limited to, computer hardware and/or software, educational or bibliographic material, or other products or devices that aid or improve library workflow, research, or intellectual access. Products that have been reintroduced in a new format or with substantial changes are eligible.

The world before and after Generative AI If you are scratching your head and trying to Continue Reading Nominate Your Favorite Products for AALL’s Product of the Year Award

Once Again We Must Ask –What business are we in?

Over the years when speaking to library and knowledge management audiences, I have often invoked the importance of knowing what business we are in.

,I became a librarian because “I loved books.” Yet on the day when I started my first law library job, a hulking piece of equipment was rolled through the door of the Pace University Law  Library. This was an omen, like a comet across the night sky, my career path would pivot in unforeseeable directions. The Lexis DeLuxe research terminal was the size of a washing machine, and it connected to Mead Data Central computers in Ohio via a dial-up modem. This “state of the art” equipment provided access to Ohio statutes and cases. Within 10 years the Lexis and Westlaw WALT terminals would shrink, the World Wide Web would be born and the stacks of books would be compressed into bits of data accessible on everyone’s desktop.

I love the “Black & Decker marketing strategy that recognized that their customers “don’t want a drill they want a half-inch hole in a board.” And librarians who thought lawyers and law firm administrators only needed books became flotsam in a surging tide of technology. Librarians and knowledge managers need to be aligned with what lawyers really need and  that they have the unique expertise to deliver: information that gives them a competitive edge, new clients, happy clients, predictive and  actionable insights , efficient workflow, and tools that make their lives easier. (Read the full post at Legal Tech Hub)

Seizing the Technology of the DayContinue Reading AI and the Future of Law Libraries : Opportunity or Armageddon

As the 2024 budget planning season ramps up, we all look to both internal and external intelligence to support renewal, cancellation and acquisition decisions.

In August many of my readers participated in the annual Start/Stop survey which was open during the month of August 2023. I partnered with Harbor to conduct the survey and present the results On Thursday, September 14, 2023, at the third annual Legal Information + Knowledge Services Conference (LINKS)— a full day of virtual thought leadership conference.

As in the past, this survey was intended to  gather feedback on both products and projects which readers started or stopped during the past year or plan to start or stop in the near future. For this years survey I added new questions related to the emergence of generative AI. Thirty-tree organizations participated in the survey (93% were law firms)

Some overall trends – Generative AI trending up. Analytics Market Shaking out.

Generative AI although legal publishers have been embedding and utilizing AI in their products for decades, the emergence of large language models (LLMs) has captured the market in a rather feverish way. There are firms out on the bleeding edge, but most are  holding back and struggling to create an AI policy and select from the ever expanding galaxy of products. Vendors are plunging ahead with AI offerings.

The most dramatic “shape shifting” market event was Thomson Reuters acquisition of Casetext, less than a year after the launch of WESTLAW Precision. The move was clearly designed to catapult TR  over competitors, who are developing  muti-modallarge language models  based AI products internally.Continue Reading The 2023 Start/Stop Survey: CoCounsel Best New Product, Analytics Segment Shakeout.

On July 6th Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law released a survey Generative AI in the Law: Where Could This All Be Headed? The survey queried lawyers and other business professionals in the legal industry to assess the expected impact of Generative AI on the Legal Profession. It seems that every day there is a survey or a webinar offering to answer the big question – can AI replace lawyers and other allied legal business professionals? It is a kind of anticipatory l marketing – lets just plant a flag on “Planet AI.”

The long term impact of Generative AI may well be profound, but today there is no consensus on how soon or how dramatically it will impact the practice of law. The survey respondents suggests a pessimistic future for law librarians and knowledge professionals. I have heard it all before. For the past 20 years the end of law librarians was immanent and yet for those 20 years we have been at the forefront of introducing new technologies that eliminated some traditional work and made room for us to climb the value ladder…. analytics, insights, APIs….New roles in support of Generative AI testing are already obvious.

Librarians Invented Prompt Engineering One of the key challenges to using Generative AI is learning how to construct the right query to generate the best result. Well law libraries are already “prompt” experts. Their skills reach back to the early days of “dot command” platforms that practically required a programming language to extract research results. Prompt Engineering sounds a lot less demanding than the technologies we mastered in the past.

The Chief Query Officer In 2013, I predicted the rise of a role I called “The Chief Query Officer” writing that “In a Big Data world, advantage will be  gained by asking better questions….In a Big Data world, every firm will be striving to be one question ahead of the competition……..And it will need to be the right question!” Librarians have mastered the “art of the Query.”.. step aside…

Key Findings of The Wolters Kluwer ATL Survey:

Continue Reading Another AI Survey– Another Cliché about the End of Librarians — But I See the Rise of The Chief Query Officer!

Courtroom Insight  is announcing  today the launch of CI API Connectors which will enable subscribers to import complete complete Courtroom Insight directories and profile information, along with linked private/external content, and seamlessly integrate this data with existing case and contact information held within  the organizations systems. This is a big advance for KM and BI initiatives involving lawyers, arbitrators, experts and judge information.

“Courtroom Insight has long been an innovator in delivering the comprehensive and proven insights about litigation professionals that legal organizations need when preparing their cases,” shared Nikki Shaver, founder of Legaltech Hub. “With the announcement of CI API
Continue Reading Courtroom Insight Announces Launch of CI API Connectors

The 2020-2021 Dewey B Strategic Hits and Misses survey asked responders to identify products purchased in 2020 or to be purchased in 2021. Despite the financial concerns triggered by the pandemic, law firm librarians continued to consider new products. Some new products such as Westlaw Edge and Lexis + are often driven by an impeding contract renewal. Other product selections are  driven by  practice demands as well as a desire to remain competitive by introducing innovative solutions and enhance productivity.

The Top Products Four was the magic number this year. Each of the top vote getters were identified by 4 responders as new purchases.
Continue Reading The Dewey B Strategic 2020-21 Hits and Misses Survey: What Research, KM/Workflow and Analytics Products are Readers Buying?

Is any law firm or company immune from Brexit,  trade law or global privacy  (GDPR) issues? Thomson Reuters is responding to the growth of cross-border legal issues with the launch of the Practical Law Global which allows researchers to browse for foreign law answers by country  or topic.  Jurisdiction-specific resources are written by a prestigious roster of  local experts. Practical Law Global will be available on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

Practical Law Global

Practical Law Global offers:Continue Reading Exclusive: Thomson Reuters Launches Practical Law Global Experience

Today Bloomberg Law announced the expansion of Litigation Practice Guidance which includes overviews, checklists, sample forms and filings that are organized around the litigation process. They are structured to guide attorneys through each phase of initiating and defending litigation– addressing both legal and logistical issues. A new Litigation Resources page organizes the key research tools