Job well done goes to Holly Riccio, Director of Knowledge Management, Nossaman LLP! A
t the conclusion of the 2016 AALL Annual Meeting, she officially completed her AALL Executive Board service, as Vice President, then President, and Immediate Past President. She was the first private law librarian to serve as AALL President in about 20 years. The last private law librarian that was AALL President was Kay Todd from 1993-1994.
Emily Cunningham Rushing
, Director of Competitive Intelligence, Haynes and Boone will be a speaker for the CI for Technology Innovation in Law Firms: Leveraging the CI Function to Support Vision and Strategy for Technology Innovation session at Ark Group's
Competitive Intelligence in the Modern Law Firm
Sept. 29th in New York.
Jennifer Schroth Tusche
, Associate Director of Library Services, Drinker Biddle & Reath will be a speaker for the Thou Shalt Know Thy Client: Employing Business/Competitive Intelligence, Project Management and Collaboration in Support of an Aggressive Client Visitation Program session at Ark Group's
Competitive Intelligence in the Modern Law Firm
Sept.29th in New York.
Please send us your news and ideas!
Kurt R. Mattson, JD, LLM
Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals
Welcome New Members!
Laura Bucaro, Information Services Manager, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, LLP
Craig Griffith, Research Services Librarian
Andrea Hamilton, Library and Information Resources Manager, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
Jennifer Pelaia, Assistant Librarian Research, Covington & Burling LLP
Karen Schubart, Director of Library Services, Covington & Burling, LLP
Rhea Wilson, Assistant Librarian Technical Services/Library Automation, Covington & Burling LLP
Renee Bianco, Research and Business Intelligence Librarian, Cozen O'Connor
Mary Gardner, Student, Drexel University
Travel Grant Recipient's Thank-Yous and Reviews
, Director of Information Resources, Barclay Damon, LLP
Recipient of a 2016 Summit Registration Grant
I am the grateful recipient of a registration grant for the 2016 PLLIP-SIS Summit: Strategic Impact. On 17 July I spent the day with over 250 engaged, excited information professionals, all of whom had the goal of learning more about how to make a difference in our firms-for our attorneys and for ourselves.
Actually, the event started the night before with a delightful reception at Howells & Hood, a restaurant in the Tribune Tower. The Tower was designed in 1922 by architects John Howells and Raymond Hood. The building won a contest, sponsored by Col. Robert McCormick and the Chicago Tribune, that named it "the most beautiful office building in the world." The reception, sponsored by Bloomberg Law, gave us the opportunity to greet old friends, make new friends, and lay out a strategy for the days to come. (It was unfortunate that the weather prevented our ascending to the Crown.)
It's worth mentioning that several of the largest legal information providers showed their support for information professionals in the private sector by helping to make this event possible. In addition to Bloomberg's great reception, LexisNexis provided breakfast (with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options); Wolters Kluwer sponsored the keynote address by Altman Weil's Eric Seeger; and Thomson Reuters brought us lunch. Clearly, these vendors understand the importance of librarians and information professionals in the work place, and we appreciate their generosity in contributing to the success of this year's Summit.
Paul Meyer of Tecker International gave us the thought-provoking assignment of writing the speech we would want to hear, given by our boss, at our own retirement party. After which he had us turn the components of that speech into goals, objectives, and strategies. As the strategies are broken down further into individual tasks they become eminently doable action items.
After lunch there were opportunities to attend two of three sessions: Mr Meyer's Enhancing Research and Library Service Models (a more in-depth exercise regarding the development of a strategic plan that will enhance...); Securing Buy-in through Strategic Communication, facilitated by Megan Wilroy from Akina Corporation; and a panel comprising information professionals from three law firms and a large corporation covering the topics of institutional partnerships and institutional knowledge.
As has been the case for the past several years, the PLLIP Summit - the presentations, the discussions with colleagues, AND the sunglasses - has been the most important and valuable part of the Annual Meeting. I very much appreciate the registration grant. You may have heard that the Board is setting aside even more money for travel and registrations grants for next year's Summit. Be sure to apply, as I know you will benefit greatly from the event. I look forward to seeing you in Austin.
The PLLIP-SIS Annual Business Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2016
eeting called to order at 12:54 p.m.
The first order of business was approval of the minutes for the July, 2015 meeting. Jeff Berns moved to approve, Sarah Mauldin seconded, and the minutes were approved.
Laurel Evans then presented a brief Treasurer's Report. She confirmed the health of PLLIP's treasury, noted plans to increase grants in 2016-17, and encouraged anyone with questions to contact her directly.
PLLIP Committee Reports were presented next:
Membership: Diana Koppang presented on behalf of Alana Bevan. She highlighted the committee's rebranding initiatives including the new PLLIP brochure and the email recruitment campaign, which resulted in 69 new members this year. She encouraged attendees to join the committee and to assist in upcoming library school recruiting efforts and other outreach.
: Emily Florio thanked all the nominees and those who nominated them, and she encouraged the membership to contact the new chair, Kimberly Serner, with recommendations for next year's slate.
PLLIP Summit: Denise Pagh thanked her co-chair, Jeremy Sullivan, all the committee members, as well as the Summit sponsors: Bloomberg BNA, Lexis Nexis, Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer. She reported that there were 268 attendees, an increase over 2015, and she announced that Alicia Pappas would serve as the new co-chair with Jeremy for the 2017 Summit.
: Linda Jean Schneider reported on the redesigned and rebranded SIS website. She described some of the tech challenges faced by the web team in adding and maintaining content to the site. She thanked the other members of the team, Kevin Miles and Heather Williams, and also the Board for their support.
Education Committee: Jennifer Berman thanked the subcommittee chairs and members, and commended them for the successful PLLIP-sponsored program at this year's Annual Meeting. She also reported on the two webinars offered this past year and said that the Committee's goal is to offer 12 webinars in the coming year.
Intellectual Property: Diana Koppang reported on upcoming programs including a Power of Analytics webinar scheduled for the fall. She also discussed the Committee on the Economic Status of Law Libraries, and their forthcoming salary survey, stressing the importance of the members' participation.
Outgoing Chair Scott Bailey then delivered his remarks, focusing on the importance of increasing information professionals' visibility and promoting their value to key stakeholders. He proposed an Elevation Task Force which would identify leaders in the legal marketplace, identify their needs and concerns, position members to address them, and serve as a rapid response team in a fast-changing profession.
Scott next thanked the outgoing Board members: Past Chair, Cheryl Neimeier; Secretary, Nancy Rine, and Board Member, Marcia Burris. Then he introduced and welcomed the new Board Members: Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Elaine Egan; Secretary Mary Ann Wacker; and Executive Board Member, Michelle Tolley.
PLLIP-SIS Grant Recipients were acknowledged:
PLLIP Summit Registration Grant - Karen Oesterle; Elaine Knecht; Marcia Burris
AALL Annual Meeting Registration Grant - Janelle Beitz; Sarah Morris
AALL Annual Meeting Travel Grant - Janelle Beitz; Sarah Morris
CONELL Registration Grant - Michayla Sullivan
PLLIP-SIS Awards were presented to:
Distinguished Librarian - Elaine Knecht
Hall of Fame - Janet Accardo, Bess Reynolds
Best Blogger/Writer of the Year - Greg Lambert
Service to PLLIP - Lucy Curci-Gonzalez
Rookie of the Year - Corrine Vogel
Vendor/Outside Champion - Fastcase
AMPC Call for Proposals: Scott introduced Committee Chair June Liebert who thanked members for the 2016 program proposals and noted that 4 out of 6 PLLIP programs were accepted. June announced that Beth Adelman is the new chair and that the committee has a strong PLLIP representation. She encouraged all to submit program proposals, and she recommended reviewing the "must-haves" topics page on the AALL website as these will be included in the Call for Proposals in September.
Open Forum: members shared information about their programs and various announcements, including reminders to participate in the AALL Executive Board election, attend the Business Meeting, and submit articles for the newsletter.
Scott then passed the gavel to incoming Chair Cameron Gowan who shared her goals for the upcoming year. These include increasing grants and scholarships, offering more educational programs, and continuing outreach to build the membership and strengthen member engagement. She commended the high number of members who volunteered for the Summit and encouraged more to consider volunteering in the upcoming year.
The meeting adjourned at 1:38 p.m.
PLLIP-SIS Executive Board Meeting
July 17, 2016
The meeting began at 6:18 p.m.
The following were in attendance:
Cameron Gowan, Chair
Elaine Egan, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Scott Bailey, Past Chair
Laurel Evans, Treasurer
Liz Whittington, Board Member
Marcia Burris, Past Board Member
Nancy Rine, Past Secretary
Laurel moved to approve the minutes of the June 28, 2016 meeting, Elaine seconded, and the minutes were approved by the Board attendees.
- Laurel confirmed the fiscal health of the treasury, noting that it is sufficiently funded to support the Board's commitment to increasing grant awards this year.
Cameron led a discussion of the Board's priorities for 2016-17:
Scholarships and grants:
In addition to increasing the 3 Summit registrations, 3 AALL registrations, and 1 CONELL registration grants awarded this past year, Cameron reported that the Board will consider adding a grant for another conference such as LMA, ALA, or ILTA. Laurel suggested offering a grant to an open program that may be offered during the year. Cameron invited the group to consider opportunities for other scholarships and grants as well.
Increasing membership engagement is another priority. Cameron commended Alana Bevan, Diana Koppang, and the Membership Committee's recruiting initiatives this past year, and noted that library school outreach must continue.
Cameron reintroduced committee liaison appointments and asked the Board to review the draft of each Board member's assignments which she previously distributed. She asked the Board to consider the assignments, and once finalized, to discuss expectations with their respected Committee chairs. One of the expectations is regular monthly meetings, and reporting back to their committee liaisons. The committee chairs will be invited to the September Board meeting.
Scott reported that reviewing the awards criteria will be a priority and he will work with Laurel on broadening the criteria and a plan for increasing nominations.
Business of Law Tract:
Steve Lastres led a discussion of Annual Meeting programs that could build on the success of the PLLIP Summits and possibly benefit more members. The group discussed key differentiators between the Summit and the Annual Meeting programs. Steve agreed to present a proposal for the Board's consideration and further discussion.
Cameron encouraged the group to reach out to other members and solicit their feedback to ensure that the Board's priorities are aligned with the membership. Steve added that the Education programs should also be a priority and Cameron agreed.
The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
From the Chair
The PLLIP Board is in full swing planning for the upcoming year, and we WANT YOU! Are you a volunteer for one of our many committees? So far in the last month we have added 40 volunteers to our committees to re-engage our membership and support the membership's goals. If you haven't volunteered yet, what is holding you back? We want our membership to be involved in our professional organization.
Many of us are returning from 2016 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference and The PLLIP Strategic Impact Summit, which was a fabulous day filled with learning and networking. Thank you to Denise Pagh and Jeremy Sullivan and their outstanding committee for putting on such a successful Summit. We encourage everyone to take advantage of all the recordings of the meetings in order to get the most out of your AALL and PLLIP membership dues.
As a Board we created a new award this year - the ILTACON grant -- and it is with great pleasure to announce that Abby Walters of Malson LLP has been awarded this grant.
AALL has announced that we now have a new visual identity coming. Please look for more information in the coming months.
We want to thank our outgoing members Nancy Rine, Marcia Burris, and Cheryl Niemeier for their dedication and hard work on behalf of our membership.
Go to the AALL program crowd sourcing site IdeaScale ( AALL Annual Meeting Program Ideas
to post your own ideas for must have programming and to vote for the program idea PLLIP members what to see at next year's meeting in Austin. There is no commitment other than your willingness to give the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) guidance on what programs you, the members want. IdeaScale closes on Friday, August 19th. Proposals to the AMPC committee are due October 3 and we hope that many members will put the effort forward to make a proposal for the annual meeting.
I would also like to welcome our newest Executive Board members: Elaine Egan, Mary Ann Wacker and Michelle Tolley who have taken on leadership roles to benefit our membership, thank you!
As a Texan I hope to see ya'll in Austin at the AALL conference!! Keep it Weird!
Around the Blogosphere
Managing Talent and Technology in Research Services to Succeed in 2020
clearly articulates the problems and solutions needed for law firms to leverage their knowledge resources and information professional resources in order to address the artificial intelligence technologies of today and the future and thrive. Overarching conclusion is "not everyone's position will be replaced by robots", but we as law librarians must consider the value propostion of embracing technology and see how it can help us build better solutions for addressing our attorney's information needs.
On a much lighter and fanciful note have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually live in a library?
Life Behind the Stacks: The Secret Apartments of New York Libraries
is a wonderful article about the "secret apartments" of several New York City special libraries that in the mid-twentieth century were inhabited by the caretakers of those facilities. Much like apartment superintendents of today these "library superintendents" lived in the place they worked. Now that's cool!!
And on a very positive note
Have You Thanked Your Law Librarian?
posted on Above the Law blog has someone outside the law library actually singing our praises. How awesome is that?
Introducing new Chair-elect PLLIP-SIS Board member Elaine Egan, Head of Research Services - Americas with Shearman & Sterling, LLP
What made you decide to run for Chair-elect of PLLIP?
Having completed my service as LLAGNY President in 2015 it was clear to me that the path forward for our community is service. Increasingly we are faced with pressures both within our organizations and the business of law. Unless we are prepared to serve and learn from each other, those misconceptions about our capabilities and institutional value will continue to lay claim to our careers. Service and volunteerism is an opportunity to reimagine what is possible and develop long-lasting contributions to PLLIP
What do you see as some on PLLIP's highest priorities?
It seems PLLIP is never at a loss for priorities making this SIS a dynamic force for change. Our highly successful 2016 Summit focused on Strategic Impact and what it takes to move us forward. Building on this theme and in response to numerous articles and statements in the press questioning the business value of libraries and information services, nothing seems more urgent than effectively promoting your capabilities to
stakeholders and aligning yourself with organizational strategy. PLLIP is committed to exploring solutions and paths that give our members the tools and resources to respond appropriately to this challenge.
How do you see our members playing more of a significant role in their organization?
PLLIP has always been on the forefront of member engagement but the time is upon us to redefine what engagement looks like in our community. Our members possess a wealth of talent that has not been fully tapped. Crowdsourcing volunteerism through shareable workspaces and leveraging relationships through local AALL Chapters not only makes sense but it continues to build on itself.
What would you like to share with our membership re: hobbies, something unusual, or your favorite travel destinations?
Like many of our members, I like to learn and explore. So it isn't any big surprise that travel, food, wine, and theater are the way I most enjoy spending my time. I am very fortunate to live in New York because being home can sometimes feel like traveling in Europe, Asia or Latin America. But I will say that of all the places I have been lucky to visit it wasn't a city that I think about most often but a place and a day. For me it was the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and a picnic on the bank of Lake Victoria in a little town called Lamadai.
Anything else you wish to share?
It is an honor for me to help lead PLLIP with Cameron Gowan and our talented board, committee chairs and volunteers. The best interests of our members is a profound commitment we take very seriously and we look forward to providing opportunities for all of us to grow and thrive.
Annual Meeting Highlights
by Marcia Burns
This year's Annual Meeting provided a terrific opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, see what's new with legal information and technology vendors, and attend excellent programs on a wide range of highly relevant and important topics. Although there was too much happening at the Annual Meeting to list it all, here are some of my favorite experiences from AALL 2016:
Meeting up with fellow PLLIP'ers at the AALL Registration desk and all over the conference venue - friendly faces everywhere!
My first ride on the "L", and passing so close to some of the downtown buildings that you could almost touch them.
The PLLIP Summit: Strategic Impact, including Eric Seeger's presentation on the state of the legal industry. Some of Eric's insightful and humorous tips for Law Firm Administrators (which also apply to PLLIP'ers):
-- It's about the money
-- They have to like you
-- Solving little problems is part of the job
-- You don't win an argument with a partner
Excellent programs dealing with newer technology impacting our profession, many of which provided the opportunity to hear from industry insiders and other experts. A few of my favorites:
-- Deep dive on Big Data's Impact on the Legal Industry
-- Can Robots be Lawyers?: ROSS and the Future of AI in Law
-- Deep Web/Dark Web, including some cool browser tips
-- Numerous other programs dealing with legal analytics, CI, disruption, the creation and use of internal data and more
The PLLIP Business Meeting & Luncheon, with announcements from members about programs they were involved in this year and a quick introduction to the Board's plans for the coming year.
Catching up with vendors and seeing demos of new products.
Picnic lunch sitting on the Exhibit Hall floor with friends from firms across the country.
Meeting with the 2017 AMPC - planning is already under way for another excellent conference next year.
Seeing the new AALL Logo and tagline, and looking forward to AALL's continued efforts to elevate the image of our profession
Chicago architecture river tour - a truly different perspective on the city and its history.
Lots of good company and good food!
The 2016 AALL Annual Meeting was a highlight of my summer and I am grateful for the generous support provided by AALL and PLLIP that enabled me to participate. I'm looking forward to Austin in 2017!
Review of the 2016 PLLIP-SIS Summit: Strategic Impact
by Jennifer Smitherman, Director of Research and Information Services, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, P.C.
The 2016 PLLIP-SIS Summit focused on Strategic Impact, and those in attendance were provided with a day full of enlightening presentations by several speakers. Eric Seeger of Altman Weil started with the morning's keynote address, in which he highlighted the results of the Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey. He began his presentation by saying, "I am not going to tell you the history of law librarianship." Instead, he brought together the ideas of what we as law librarians can bring to the table in our firms to show our value, and simultaneously presented the major trends in the legal profession today. He urged that law librarians should know what their firms' strategies are, and should be aware of all major initiatives.
Seeger stressed that to prove our value, law librarians need to help the leaders execute their strategy. According to the results of the survey, several challenges and trends related to pursuing strategy in recent years have been:
- More price competition
- More commoditized legal work
- Technology replacing humans
- Competition from non-traditional service providers
- Focus on improved practice efficiency
- Fewer support staff
- More non-hourly billing
- Increased lateral movement
The trends affecting demand, rates, and profitability are here to stay, according to Seeger and his firm's survey results. Survey respondents believed the pace of change will stay the same or increase, but will definitely not slow down. Firms need to acquire, retain and grow client relationships to increase profitability. Seeger stressed that law librarians need to be an active participant in this aspect of the strategy of the firm.
The survey showed that less than 1% of clients do not believe that firms are serious about changing legal service delivery models to provide better value to clients. Seeger described the barriers that firms face when trying to change these models, including partners resistant to change, clients not asking for change, not enough economic pain, and firm leaders simply being unaware of what they might do differently. This is where we as law librarians could fit in to the picture perfectly, as we are constantly "in the know" when it comes to new products, trends and ideas to improve legal services. By demonstrating these ideas to firm leadership, law librarians could definitely go far in showing that the services and ideas we offer are contributing to revenue-generation, cost-savings and profitability in the firm.
Paul Meyer, President and Co-CEO of Tecker International, led an interactive session that focused on how to think and act strategically. He urged that we should be tied to something bigger than ourselves in the firm, and should align with and respond to the initiatives that are going on around us. Meyer described change leadership as four components:
- Attention- be visionary. Have the ability to put out daily fires, but also have your sights set on longer range goals. Do the right things at the right times.
- Meaning- convince and encourage others to follow the vision.
- Trust- model higher ideals and values.
- Preparation- have the necessary knowledge and know why you are doing what you are doing.
To engage the audience in strategic thinking, Meyer identified the key drivers of strategy:
- What are the current conditions?
- What are the current trends?
- What are future assumptions?
His example surrounded the idea that law firms are wanting to save money and thus, are outsourcing certain services. The future assumption could be that there will be fewer law firm libraries/librarians. He asked the attendees to develop individual statements related to this concept. Several of the attendees quickly refuted Meyer's hypothetical assumption with the reasons why law librarians might be in even higher demand in the future, including the need for advanced research skills in areas like competitive intelligence.
Meyer encouraged Summit attendees to brainstorm ways in which we could position our services to support the strategy and major initiatives at our firms. For instance, in light of the ever-increasing number of alternative fee arrangements, we could publicize our low cost and high value research services to attorneys, provide subject matter experts to groups within the firm, expand what we do and the number of services we provide, especially in a time, when there are potentially fewer attorneys at many firms.
The afternoon of the Summit was designed so that attendees could choose to attend two of three breakout sessions. The first I attended was related to securing buy-in through strategic communication, and was led by Megan Wilroy, Principal Consultant at Akina. Wilroy stressed that clients want their lawyers to know their business, their industry trends, and what they are doing. She discussed the buyer/seller paradox and how these challenges can be navigated.
Wilroy's strategy included the following steps:
- Idea- identify products or solutions that could be beneficial in the firm
- Relationship- build relationships with stakeholders (she encouraged spending at least half your time on this!!)
- Need Escalation- triggering event that escalates the urgency and legitimacy of an idea
- Sales Escalation- executes the sales process, pitches, and introduction of content/product
- Getting the Yes- includes 6 qualifiers: problem / solution/ urgency / access / expectations / budget
She discussed the types of stakeholders involved in strategy and process development, such as decision makers who have budget authority and gatekeepers that are often overlooked (assistants/associates) who could provide very beneficial input in decision-making. Wilroy discussed the vital need for preparation when getting ready to sell an idea, which includes knowing your objective, key message, the questions to ask, and the definitive next steps. She also discussed messaging frameworks and gave a 10-step guide to selling an idea.
One of the other breakout sessions included a panel discussion centering on tactics for strategic partnerships. The panel featured Elaine Egan, Connie Crosby, Marlene Gebauer and Chris Laut. They stressed that the library/information center may be hearing things that other departments are not, thus giving us a great opportunity to showcase our services and ideas.
The panel discussed the importance of relationship-building, and how this should be done in advance instead of waiting until someone's support is needed. They also urged that it is our obligation as law librarians to apprise leaders in the organization of new developments and tools in the industry. One suggestion included laying out several options when making a business case. Give the leaders several options to choose from, ranging from your most favorite to least favorite (but still acceptable). They encouraged attendees to determine what success will look like, and decide how to measure success.
PLLIP-SIS Summit attendees have benefited from many ideas, solutions and product developments over the years, and this year's Summit did a fantastic job of pulling together these many facets and focusing on how we as law librarians can put all the pieces together and use them to promote our firm's strategic mission. We are uniquely situated in the firm to hear and see many opportunities for improvement and cost-savings, and in addition to the daily contributions we provide to our firms, we also have the opportunity to expand our value by offering up ideas and solutions that can help our firms and leadership as they navigate the ever-changing legal industry landscape.
Hot Topic: Below the Surface: Diving into the Deep Dark Web
By Michayla Sullivan, Knowledge & Research Services Specialist, Bose McKinney & Evans
This session, presented by private investigators Barbara Rudd and Amanda Sexton of On the Lookout Investigations, was a discussion of what the Deep Web and Dark Web are and how law librarians can best use them in their research.
First, the panelists gave a short overview of what constitutes the Deep Web and Dark Web. The Deep Web, which includes the vast majority of pages on the internet, consists of pages that are not indexed by major search engines. Simply put, this is the part of the internet that will not appear in a Google search. The Dark Web, which is also not indexed by search engines, is only accessible through a special web browser called Tor. It was created to protect users' anonymity. While the Dark Web has a reputation for being a hotspot for illegal activity, in and of itself, it is not illegal and is often used for legitimate purposes.
Before the panelists spoke about the nuances of the Deep and Dark Webs, they gave practical tips for starting any research project in the digital age. They recommended that before doing any research with Google (or any other search engine), people should clear their web browser's cache, since Google uses a person's search and browsing history to decide which results to show. In the same vein, they suggested that researchers check their location in Google by going to the bottom of a Google search page. This is especially important for searching for information in a different area than Google thinks a user is in, as it will prioritize local search results. Users can also easily avoid the aforementioned problems with their cache and location by using incognito mode in the Google Chrome browser.
The panelists also recommended keeping research records, which could simply consist of a list of copy and pasted links of web pages visited during a research session. This could be useful if a legal issue related to the research comes up, or just for future reference. Additionally, they suggested always printing out or downloading important pages found on the web, which will protect research materials if the web page disappears or changes.
The panelists discussed many sites for finding relevant information on the Deep Web. They highlighted government websites (which vary by jurisdiction) and two mostly free public records sites: BRB Publications and Vinelink.com. The bulk of their Deep Web discussion focused on social media searches. They spoke a lot about conducting research on Facebook. They recommended doing these searches not with your own personal profile, but with a second, more anonymized (but still truthful) profile to avoid even the slightest risk that the target of the search learns that a particular law firm is interested in them. However, they heavily emphasized the legal and ethical importance of never, ever sending a friend request or message to someone you are researching for a case.
Other Deep Web search tips included:
- Using reverse image searches such as Google Image or Tineye to search for other instances of a person's social media profile picture, since many people use the same picture in multiple places on the internet.
- Doing a search for a person's chosen username, since people also often use the same username across multiple platforms.
- Using EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data from photos to access information such as the date the photo was taken, the type of camera used to take the photo, or even the exact GPS location in which it was taken. The methods of accessing this data are all fairly simple but vary across computer operating systems.
The Dark Web discussion was shorter but still practical in nature. They first talked about how the Dark Web is not as anonymous as people believe. Some high level users or organizations (such as the NSA) can, under the right circumstances, track a user on the Dark Web. The panelists also discussed how information on the Dark Web can be used in legal cases. For instance, information hacked from Ashley Madison (a website for people interested in adulterous relationships) posted on the Dark Web has been used in divorce cases.
Next, participants were instructed on how to access the Dark Web which involves downloading the Tor web browser. They then spoke about the structure of the Dark Web where the URLs are called "onions," and there is no general Web URL equivalent. Therefore, to get to a webpage, the user must know its onion. These addresses can often be found on the website Reddit, which is separate from the Dark Web.
The session wrapped up with some best practices for using the Dark Web, which often contains malicious viruses or tracking applications:
- Use a computer that is not linked to your company's network.
- Never download information or print directly from the Dark Web. Instead, use screen shots.
- When finishing a session on the Dark Web, always delete cookies from your computer.
This session was highly useful for an audience full of people who already understand the basics of internet research and were looking for more advanced practice tips. The presenters also tied the content of their session to the audience by suggesting how it could be used by law librarians. Overall, this was a highly successful addition to the AALL conference schedule.
Attorney Research Skills: Continuing the conversation between law firm and academic law librarians
by Elaine Knecht, Director of Information Resources, Barclay Damon, LLP
For the second time in as many years I attended the educational program called Attorney Research Skills, this year with the subtitle Continuing the conversation between law firm and academic law librarians. The program coordinator was Katrina Miller of the Florida State University. The moderator (and speaker) Susan Nevelow Mart from the William A Wise Law Library of the University of Colorado Law School, Laurel Evans of Lane Powell PC, Shawn G. Nevers from Brigham Young University, and Kathy Skinner of Morrison & Foerster LLP were all knowledgeable and engaging presenters.
When attendees arrived they were given color-coded papers to identify them as firm, court, or academic librarians and then instructed to choose a seat based on the mix at the table - every table was to have at least one firm librarian. This lead to a series of lively 12 minute discussions after brief presentations by members of the panel. While we at the tables were discussing, panelists were making their way among the tables, eavesdropping, and picking up on some of the major ideas that were being exchanged. Panelists then presented these topics and took additional comments from the floor.
Students' fears and librarians' concerns were represented by questions that were hotly debated and commented upon at each table. How will I know if I'm spending too much time and/or money on a research assignment? Is it reasonable to believe students can be taught how to use all possible vendor products they may encounter in practice? If a partner sees me conferring with a librarian, will the partner think I don't know what I'm doing? Why don't summer associates, sometimes even 1st year associates, understand the relationship between laws, regulations, and agency materials - on both the state and Federal levels?
The interactive aspect of this session, and the passion with which each panelist and participant approached the discussion, made this one of the highlights of the annual meeting for me. There was but one disappointing factor - not enough firm librarians. I was the only one at my table and, much as I enjoy having my opinion enthusiastically solicited, we all would have benefited from hearing another point of view as well.
AALL 2016 - Crowdsourcing a Skill Set to Manage the Legal Information of the Future
By Cheryl Niemeier, Director of Knowledge & Research Services, Bose McKinney & Evans
A one hour program and 7 panelists! That was my first thought when I entered the meeting room for the Crowdsourcing a Skill Set to manage the legal Information of the Future program. Immediately followed by wondering how will they get it all done in 6o minutes? Surprisingly, the engaging and passionate panelists did that and more, with all 7 finishing their combined presentations in 45 minutes, which included the obligatory introductions of each panelist, and included an interactive mini-crowdsourcing activity for the attendees in the final 15 minutes.
The very first two presenters gave rapid fire pep talks on how to be passionate about your job, the inevitable changes to be encountered, and how emotional intelligence can play a key role in maintaining your passion throughout your career.
- Reclaim excitement
- Reconnect with your strengths
- Network with colleagues
- Dare to be uncomfortable
- Find passion within
The overriding theme of the program was the utilization of the concept of crowdsourcing for organizational improvement and success and the panelists offered several methods for doing so:
- Cross-training/shadowing across departments within your organization in order to understand and learn what each other does
- Develop and set common goals so each person has a stake in the projects and services of the library and can if needed step in and do the others job on a least a minimal level
- Develop the art of the elevator pitch to effectively communicate an idea or information with someone in a concise, informative and engaging way so that others understand what you do and can appreciate its importance to the organization
- Share ideas, successes, failures thereby helping others in your organization learn from each other
Another speaker addressed how crowdsourcing as the new form of collaboration can be a very effective method for many library tasks and projects. The example he shared was the ongoing process of analyzing a library collection for purposes of weeding resources, due either to duplication in format, low usage or both. In a crowdsourcing manner, technical services which typically employs a specific set of methods for discarding or retaining a resources via analyzing the online catalog to determine use patterns of the print resource, and checking to see if it is available in other online subscription resources can jointly work with reference/research services staff who can provide a different perspective based on what resources they use and recommend to the students, attorneys, etc. who contact them for research help. By crowdsourcing the respective knowledge of each resource from the staff of both departments a fuller picture of the resources value emerges, thus allowing for a much more informed decision on the final fate of the item.
One panelist's assertion that really stood out was that "nothing is more exhilarating than fear of failure"! While this likely made many in the audience feel slightly uncomfortable and question if fear of failure really is exhilarating, the truth is it is only via failure that we learn what doesn't work and can ultimately find what does work! And using that as a crowdsourcing exercise can be an excellent way to get to that answer faster.
PLLIP Member Profile:
Manager of Library Services, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP by Linda-Jean Schneider
Stosh Jonjak joined the Pittsburgh office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in January 2016 after almost 6 years as a Reference Librarian at Reed Smith, also based in Pittsburgh. As the Manager of Library Services for this location, Stosh is responsible for the w
orkflow and research requests for that office, and also contributes to the broader-based Library Manager and Reference teams of the entire firm. Stoshserved as President of the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association (2013-2014) following three years on the WPLLA Board. He was a frequent contributor to the law librarian technology-focused blog iBrary Guy, and does the same for its successor site, TILTlegal (Tomorrow's Information & Legal Technology).
Stosh earned his Master's Degree in Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Library and Information Studies.
We asked Stosh how his career developed, on which current awareness resources he relies, and his thoughts on the major challenges ahead for our profession:
Stosh's path to law librarianship began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While obtaining his MLIS, he was required to participate in a practicum, and opted to fulfill that requirement at the University of Wisconsin's Law Library.
He wanted to get general reference experience, but also in a specialized setting in order to check off more boxes on potential future employment. Luckily, this strategy worked out--that practicum was definitely the beginning of his career working as a law librarian! When Stosh started working as a Reference Librarian at Reed Smith, he observed how John DiGilio, the Library Manager, communicated with the attorneys, IT, marketing, and their own staff, adapting to the various audiences which have their own 'ecosystems' in the law firm environment. These observations helped Stosh develop his understanding of working in private law libraries, and this helped formulate his work style and ethic as he moved forward in the field.
With regard to the evolution of firm Librarian position in the past seven years since he entered the profession, Stosh notes how much requestors have changed: "Newer attorneys seem to be well-versed in interfacing with software; I do not get as many questions about how to actually navigate software as I used to. I think it's a combination of newer associates being better-versed in technology, and also user interfaces improving usability. Now, rather than helping someone navigate through an interface, a lot of reference requests revolve around filling in the blanks on how data even gets created from a macro-level, e.g. how the legislative process works, what specialized software has what unique data, why some materials are not available electronically, etc."
Stosh has found adjusting to a different environment as a solo librarian in a satellite office only a slight challenge, but confirms that he occasionally finds it frustrating when software happens to crash right when a request for that software arrives-as we all do! He especially enjoys staying busy with interesting reference questions or evaluating new software. The initial library orientation with new attorneys is the real launching pad for him to reach out to the practitioners in his office. Stosh tries to emphasize contacting the library for help on a recurring basis just to try and get attorneys into this practice. Later on, small talk about the workload is always a good method, and following up the typical shoptalk with a "Do you need help with anything?" has kept him pretty busy.
Stosh keeps up with news and trends in law libraries by employing a number of aggregators to remain current, and has set up his own aggregator primarily through paper.li and aggregator alerts. He got this practice from working on his own library technology focused blog-TILTlegal (formerly iBrary Guy). He recommends many excellent bloggers in our profession that are must-reads, such as Robert Ambrogi's LawSites, Dewey B Strategic, and 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. The PinHawk Librarian Daily Digest is always a good source as are the AALL boards.
If he hadn't landed in the law library profession, Stosh says he might have been a cranberry farmer in Northern Wisconsin. He notes that "Jonjaks have been growing cranberries for a few generations at this point, (and) cranberry juice is literally in (his) blood!" His advice for new librarians just starting out is to "Just be adaptable to change. We are seeing more often than ever how workflows and established practices can quickly change, and librarians can't be resistant to this."