Sunday, October 13, 2013

The changing role of law firm librarians

This article from Law Technology News discusses how both the recession and digital technologies are dramatically changing the role of law firm librarians from providers of traditional legal research services to curators of all types of digital information.  As expert managers of digital information, law librarians are best positioned to help lawyers with everything from developing in-house databases to more effective social networking.  An excerpt from the LTN article below.

Redesign Research:  Today's law librarians contribute to both the practice and business of law. How 'digital first' is changing their roles.

The role of the legal information professional has changed. Firms implement knowledge management not just to make lawyers smarter faster, but to provide a competitive advantage. Law librarians have been moving away from their traditional roles of providing on-demand research to support true knowledge management. They apply their expertise to deliver a more lean and analytical model of law firm practice.

. . . .

  • Creation of expertise databases. Whether tracking expert witnesses, outside counsel, alumni, or other business parties, law librarians are well positioned to manage expertise databases that enable lawyers to readily track the right parties.
  • Search engine optimization. Librarians spend their days searching hundreds of proprietary databases and internet resources. Who is better equipped to help firms conduct search engine optimization analysis?
  • Business and competitive intelligence . . . . Law librarians know what lawyers need to know — their cases, deals, clients, and industry information.
  • Development and maintenance of social networking tools.

Continue reading here.


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