John DiGilio’s must-read list for researchers

The continuing (r)evolution of law and legal librarianship

Laptop research
Laptop research

The legal services industry has faced many scare factors over the last decade, while new ones like the potential of artificial intelligence to learn and automate everything are looming on the horizon. But as we’ve learned, the changes coming at us can scare us or motivate us to respond and adapt as needed. It’s a matter of turning challenges into opportunities!

Upside to AI hype—sparking authentic new look at legal services

As exciting—and frightening—as artificial intelligence promises to be, there is still a lot more hype surrounding the technology than there are practical applications for it. That is to be expected with anything new and so potentially disruptive. Scott Bailey takes a badly needed breath and looks at the hubbub for what it is: an excellent conversation starter for a deeper dive into what we do. Scott writes,

“Regardless of the level of buy-in to the AI hype, the investigation of what AI means to you and your firm is a worthwhile conversation to have, and one that will yield authentic collaboration and genuine human insight if handled correctly.”

You really need to hear him out in A Legal Research Perspective: Artificial Intelligence Hype Leads to Authentic Conversations in Law Firms.

Forget robots, the future is bright for lawyers and librarians

Bully for Us! Anyone who knows me, knows all too well just how bullish I am on librarians and librarianship generally. Sure, we have challenges ahead. But I have long believed an evolution of our profession is underway and something powerful and important is emerging. My friend and colleague Jean O’Grady is every bit as optimistic as I am. Her recent posting regarding our future has been reprinted on ‘On Firmer Ground’ and is offered up here as a rallying call to all of us in this industry. The future is our oyster; we just have to know where to look for that pearl. Jean draws us a map in Will a Robot Take My Job? Study Predicts Increased Demand for Lawyers and Librarians Through 2030.

Library real estate

Digital development frees up costly library real estate

Gregg Wirth takes an international look at the slow but steady push towards eBook adoption in law firms. With anecdotes from Spain and Canada, he reminds us that change takes time and effective execution. As space continues to become a premium for law firms around the world, Gregg notes that the drive towards digital is being fueled by the need to better use real estate. It is an interesting read, Law libraries’ digital revolution.

The 21st century librarian as trusted peer and advisor

Don Hawkins at LibConf.com brings us his impressions from a recent presentation by Paul Kaidy Barrows, Research Librarian at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Paul was addressing the potential and need for librarians to embrace the notion of serving on “a peer level with the requester”. It’s a service model for the future and one that we all need to consider. See Don’s summary of Paul’s presentation at The Librarian as a Trusted Advisor: New Skills and Mindsets for the 21st Century.

The need for basic legal research instruction for new lawyers

Bret Christensen has penned a fantastic piece on ways in which we can best work with new attorneys. Talk about a timely posting! Bret writes,

“I really dig these new attorneys. Most are scared out of their minds, what, with having just taken on their first case, accepting their first check(s) as a retainer, and then realizing that they don’t know where to start.”

The positive attitude in this piece is infectious. Catch the service bug in First Things First: Basic Legal Research for the Newly Minted.

Book publishing

Fastcase’s BOLD move into…publishing?

We have been saying all along that the reported death of print was a gross exaggeration. The latest move by industry juggernaut Fastcase drives that point home. The little guy that dared challenge the industry heavyweights in the online legal research arena is stepping into the publishing ring. Bob Ambrogi writes,

“Fastcase is launching a major initiative, a publishing arm called ‘Full Court Press’ that will produce law journals, legal treatises, deskbooks, forms, checklists and workflow tools.”

It’s a bold endeavor by a company that has already proven that it can hold its own in a field dominated by larger players. Bob has the inside scoop at Fastcase Launches Legal Publishing Arm; Introduces Inaugural Law Journal.

CARA engine from Casetext earning high marks from litigators

Who doesn’t like targeted, personalized, actionable data delivered directly to them? When it comes to staying on top of critical developments in a case, being ahead of the game is particularly crucial. Casetext’s CARA engine has already earned kudos for its intelligence and efficiency. As Bob Ambrogi points out, this latest innovation is sure to resonate well with info-hungry litigators. Check out Casetext Now Automatically ‘Pushes’ Legal Research to Attorneys.

That’s all for this roundup. What subjects are you most passionate or concerned about? Drop me a line and mention it’s for John D—our webmaster will ensure it gets to me!

John DiGilio

John DiGilio

John DiGilio is the Senior Director of Research & Intelligence at LibSource. He has written for numerous regional and national publications as well as taught college and graduate courses in such topics as business ethics, e-commerce, fair employment practices, research methodology and business law.
John DiGilio
John DiGilio

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