January 26, 2010
Information Needs of Lawyers
Joelle Rogan's Information Needs of Lawyers: A case study evaluating the information needs of lawyers in a major City law firm (VDM Verlag, 2009) is the product of a dissertation written in 2003 for Rogan's MIS. In a comment to the linked Amazon UK page, she writes:
The aims of the project are to discover the information needs and information-seeking behaviour of lawyers in this firm and whether the library is providing a completely satisfying service for the lawyers and if there are any improvements to be made. The case study was carried out by means of in-depth interviews with several lawyers of different levels of experience and status, professional support lawyers and law librarians. This evidence was supplemented by the author's observation as a member of the library team.
The London law firm Rogan surveyed had 79 partners, 150 other lawyers, more than 250 support staff and over 40 areas of expertise. Rogan was a library assistant at the time. According to Archana Venkatraman's review Rogan preferred in-depth interviews because they were "qualitative and produced rich data for analysis, unlike questionnaires, which people probably wouldn’t take as much time over or care as much about." In Venkatraman's opinion, Information Needs of Lawyers is "lucid, and full of explanations, references and detail."
In her review of Information Needs of Lawyers, Taciana Williams, Associate Director of the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library, finds Rogan's methodological weakness may prevent the book from appealing to librarians in her AALL Spectrum blog post. "However, because it clearly delineates lawyers’ information needs, it may be useful to law firm librarians, law firm library support staff and library school students."
My one question is how much time-capsule quality does this brief 80-page work present because it was written over six years ago and only published last September. A then-and-now comparison of the original findings, perhaps by way of both questionnaire and follow-up interviews, would have been very interesting. [JH]
Because of the nature of their job, lawyers must be kept abreast of the latest laws and developments in the legal industry.
Posted by: Postergal | Feb 10, 2010 10:19:33 PM
Lawyers must be informed and updated of laws and other vital legal information as laws and jurisprudence are evolving.
Posted by: Postergal | Jan 26, 2010 3:59:48 PM