Interview of AALL Chair Elect and PLLIP member Greg Lambert
How has the PLLIP-SIS helped you in your career path?
I have been a member of many Special Interest Sections over the years, and enjoy the focus that each SIS has to help those members in their specific library or expertise areas. PLLIP serves its members very well and allows those of us within the private law firms a platform to share ideas and learn from one another. PLLIP has helped me with my interests toward Competitive Intelligence and Business Development, and enabled me to find others within the SIS with similar interests. Whether it is one-on-one engagements with other PLLIP members, or through educational programming, being a member of PLLIP has provided me with many opportunities to put my ideas into action, build upon the experiences of my peers, and to share my own successes and failures with others.
How do you see PLLIP growing and what would you like to see our SIS do better or more of?
The rebranding and name change of PLLIP over the past year shows that there are opportunities toward growth in recruiting those Information Professionals who do not yet understand the value that PLLIP can bring to their careers. Thinking broadly, and sharing educational and real world experiences with those within our industry who conduct research, analyze information, and provide intelligence for their law firms or corporations, will not only help PLLIP grow, but will create new opportunities for current members as well as draw in new.
What tips would you recommend to your fellow PLLIP colleagues as a successful career path?
Be bold, and promote your ideas and skills to your organizations. PLLIP members are forward thinking and have great ideas to help their organizations achieve their overall strategic goals. In many cases, the organizational leadership relies upon you to push them forward because you have the experience, expertise, and relationships needed in achieving key pieces of those goals. PLLIP members are there to help share their own experiences, and help advise on their own successes and failures. Remember that you are not alone. PLLIP members are a community that is there when you need advice, and where you can return the favor when your peers need your guidance.
What is your view of the fact that many private law firm libraries are eliminating director/manager positions and having the Library report to IT?
Leaders within private law firms tend to look toward the competition when it comes to making decisions. With the situation of how the law libraries report within the organization, many firms are relying upon those outside the law library to guide them on how to manage these departments. Each firm is unique, but most are looking for solid advice on what to do. There is an opportunity here for PLLIP to step in and provide guidance and advise organizational structures that serve the organization well, and creates opportunities for leaders within our profession to step up and be a leader of the department, and a leader within the organization. PLLIP, and its members should take the lead in promoting the idea within the private law firm that the gathering of research, information, knowledge, and intelligence is the responsibility of Law Librarians and Information Professionals. This is not about organizing data, or building technology solutions, this is about intelligence gathering and analysis which manages risk for the organization, and creates a competitive advantage for the organization. This is something that law librarians and information professionals own, and lead.
What is the core value that PLLIP professionals bring to the table for their organizations?
PLLIP members provide the highest quality results and protect the organization's bottom line. The service that PLLIP members provide their organization that is often overlooked is risk management. PLLIP members understand the information and knowledge needs of their organizations, they know the vendors which provide varying products to fill those needs, and understand how to negotiate with those vendors to provide a fair price that fits the budgetary needs of their organizations. In this unique time of big vendor consolidation, coupled with the influx of legal industry startups, the law librarians and information professionals are needed more than ever.
What are your goals as incoming president of the AALL and how might those goals help the PLLIP-SIS members provide greater value to the organization at large as well as the smaller scale as a vital and contributing SIS for our members.
My goals are to expand the reach of AALL and attract new members that may not currently understand how an organization of legal industry informational professionals and law librarians can help them advance within their careers. We must promote opportunities for law librarians and information professions within the legal community, and work toward advising the legal industry on the ways to leverage our services, experiences, and expertise. AALL and PLLIP should lead the conversation and be viewed as the go to advisors within the industry when it comes to all law library and legal information professional needs.