Monthly Archives: May 2009

Upcoming Speaking Engagement

Sarah Clark Kavanagh will be speaking at an upcoming meeting of the Cleveland Chapter of the ALA. If you would like us to speak at your association meeting, please use the contact form on our website.

CHAPTER MEETING NOTICE

The Cleveland Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators

is pleased to invite you to an important chapter meeting on the topic of:

“THE LAW LIBRARY: MOVING AHEAD WITHOUT FEAR”

Speaker:

SARAH CLARK KAVANAGH, ESQ.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

12:00-1:30 p.m.

The Forum Conference Center

One Cleveland Center

1375 E. 9th Street

**RSVP by Noon on 6/1/09**

Sarah Clark Kavanagh will focus on trends, cost savings and updating reference resources. Her primary thrust will be what you can do now to bring value to your firm within your law library. Sarah is a nationally recognized authority on law libraries. She manages an active consulting practice and is a past speaker at the ALA National Conference. Her work is focused on partnering with law firms to optimize their legal information spend, innovate delivery methodology and develop effective approaches to legal research training. She received her BS from Iowa State University and JD from the University of Iowa, College of Law. She is admitted to practice in California and Iowa.

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Vendor News & New Resources

LexisNexis

Thomson Reuters

Other

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Cost Recovery Practices Called into Question in Lawsuit

Last week a lawsuit was filed alleging that law firms overcharge for computerized legal research. You may be asking, “Are we profiting from online legal research?”

The May 7th edition of the National law Journal reports that New York’s Chadbourne & Parke faces litigation regarding allegedly using online contracts to create profits. Firms are reacting by turning to the ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 93-379 and a new tool on the ABA’s website, Cost Recovery: 50 State Survey Results (September 2008), for state-by-state rules and regulations.

However, this issue isn’t black and white and every firm is different. It takes experience, knowledge and an understanding of the intricacies involved with cost recovery issues and methodologies to keep a firm within the ethical guidelines, while meeting their goals.

Cable&Clark offers such expertise and understanding by:

1. Reviewing your current cost recovery process,

2. Recommending customized cost recovery policies and procedures,and

3. Implementing the new procedures internally and externally to clients.

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LexisNexis Technology Gap Survey: How Does it Affect Your Firm?

LexisNexis surveyed 700 legal and white collar professionals in the United States to determine the extent of a generation gap in terms of technology in the workplace. Three generations took the survey, which included Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. While it is no surprise that Boomers appear notably more concerned about information overload than Gen X, you will find some surprising responses regarding workplace productivity, etiquette, and the impact on confidentiality.

For a full look into the generation gap, click here to view the entire survey.

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Associate Training Back in the News

Associate training and retention has certainly taken a backseat in this new era of layoffs and deferred start dates, but Drinker Biddle is bucking the trend with a new program for its Fall Associates. The comprehensive training program includes courses taught by attorneys, professional development staff and clients. Associates will also shadow partners and may assist with some client work. Initial feedback from clients has been positive.

Kudo’s to Drinker Biddle for responding to client feedback and thinking long-term about the success of their young lawyers.

To read more about the program, click here.

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2009 Technology Trends

In a recent post, Dennis Kennedy laid out his technology trends for 2009. I’m especially intrigued by the first one, as it echos what we have been talking about in the library world.

1. Technology Budgets Get Decimated. At many firms, technology spending has crept up to be a substantial line-item on the firm’s budget. If it comes to cutting the tech budget or laying off people, most of us would like to be at a place that puts people first.

I originally was going say that technology budgets stay flat, but I’ve changed my mind. And I use the word “decimate” deliberately. The word originally meant the killing of one of ten soldiers. It later had the sense of drastic losses. In many firms, a large portion of the tech budget is set in stone and can’t realistically be cut during the year. That’s why my initial thought was that we’d see freezes rather than cuts. Now I believe that we’ll see cost—cutting as the year progresses. For the average lawyer, don’t expect to see a new laptop this year. In fact, don’t expect to see much of anything new this year.

What to do: Technology audits to determine what you are doing and where you can make cuts. Reduce duplication and increase standardization. Look for volume discounts, renegotiate large contracts, and consider outsourcing as an option in many more instances. Require IT department to explain and justify budgets. (emphasis added)

I completely agree with Mr. Kennedy, and the way he succinctly provides a road map for successfully moving forward in these tough times. Let’s apply his plan to the library:

  1. Audit the collection to determine what you have and where you can make cuts.
  2. Reduce duplication between print and online.
  3. Increase subscription standardization within practice groups (e.g. one online tax subscription, instead of five).
  4. Renegotiate large contracts and look for additional discounts.
  5. Require attorneys to explain and justify new purchases or reluctance to cancel subscriptions.

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