Ellyssa Kroski, the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute  assembled a group of law library and technology thought leaders to contribute to her new book “Law Librarianship in the Age of AI” which was released last week by the American Library Association.

I was honored to have the opportunity to

I recently authored the following article which appeared in the October issue of Thomson Reuter’s Practice Innovations.

Knowing Value: The Rise of the Law Firm Chief Knowledge Officer

This past July the American Lawyer published its first rebranded annual Survey of Law Firm Knowledge Management, Library, and Research Professionals and focused on the rise of

The recent AALL Annual Conference in Austin was “hands down,”  the most exciting AALL Program I have ever attended. The programs were great – it was often hard to decide which panel to attend. I found my own panels  (Moneyball Analytics and Hits and Misses in New Products) up against programs that I hated to miss (the Innovation Tournament and an “all star”  CEO panel ( Fastcase – Walters, Casetext – Heller, Ross – Aruda,  Ravel – Lewis ) on AI and analytics prodded and provoked  by moderator Prof, Susan Nevelow Mart.

Legal Bloggers O’Keefe and Ambrogi Join Me in The AALL Exhibit Hall

Legal Tech thought leaders Bob Ambrogi and Kevin O’Keefe were a familiar sight at the panets, events, exhibits (and the nightly Fastcase after party). Earlier this week Ambrogi lauded AALL as one of the best conferences for those interested in legal tech. Is the market finally getting what information professionals have known all along? The legal profession requires content experts to navigate the burgeoning market of AI and analytics offerings. AALL: The Other Legal Tech Conference

The Second Oldest Legal Profession I spent time in the exhibit hall with Lexblog’s Kevin O’Keefe who commented on  the quality and variety of  panels and programs at the conference.

O’Keefe was surprised to learn that AALL had been around since 1906. In fact, in the legal community,  only the American Bar Association has an earlier founding …1878. AALL predates every other law related association by decades. It was 65 years before the Association of Legal Administrators was founded in 1971, 74 years before ILTA was founded in 1980, 79 years before the Legal Marketing Association was founded in 1985.

O’Keefe also commented on the importance of information professionals by comparison to other law firm administrative functions. “Lawyers could still practice law without technology, or marketing or administrative help, but legal information always was and remains core to the practice of law.”

O’Keefe has a point which goes beyond the core practice of law. Law firms have become complex, regional, national and multi-national organizations. Business intelligence and legal knowledge has never been more critical to the current high stakes competitive market, no one else in the firm is better qualified to assess the potential value of research products offering AI and analytics… and yet…information professionals occupy relatively few seats in the legal C-Suite compared to the technologists and marketing professionals. The person who understand the quality of information should be at the table and not down the organization chart out of ear shot.

But this may be about to change…
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Last year I pleaded with ALM to change the name of their annual Library survey since they had been predicting the end of Library’s for about 14 years. It was time to stipulate that print collections are shrinking and move on to exploring the dynamic organizations which have emerged in their place.

This year The American Lawyer has finally renamed the annual survey as the Survey of Law Firm Management Library and Research Professionals. The accompanying articles have shifted gear as well. The articles are titled “Law Librarian? Trying Chief Knowledge Officer” by Mary Ellen Egan and ‘From Providing Data to Providing Insight.” by Lizzy McLellan


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Yes Libraries are Shrinking Now What?

Two weeks ago American Lawyer Media released it’s 2016 library survey with the unfortunate headline “Downsizing continues at  law firm libraries.”  The headline is problematic for two reasons: 1. Shrinking libraries are old news and 2. Information professionals are driving some of the most important new technologies into the practice of law….

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The American Association of Law Libraries Board (and myself by proxy) received a harsh rebuke from the AALL membership when the rebranding vote results were announced today.   I wasn’t surprised that  the name  “Association for Legal Information” was rejected. I was stunned that it was  voted down by a  huge majority. I expected a close

“The
future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.”
William Gibson,
author and futurist.
 
The
uneven “distribution of the future” is fueling an intense debate within the
American Association of Law Libraries. Last week the  organization
announced that the Executive Committee had voted unanimously to change the name
of the organization to the