If you were challenged to build a library starting with a blank slate, where .... In
creating your new operation, you can certainly aim for a “build it and they will ...
Build It and They Will Come: What Business Are You In? Ronda Fisch, Director of Research and Library Systems, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA; Deborah Schwarz, Chief Executive Officer, LAC Group, Los Angeles, CA If you were challenged to build a library starting with a blank slate, where would you start? What questions would you ask and which resources would you use? This article explores the steps you can take to let go of "what is" and focus on "what could be." Siri as Reference Assistant? Siri represents an amazing step forward in voice recognition and personal virtual assistant technology, but law firms should not get rid of their actual (as opposed to virtual) reference assistants quite yet. In our test, Siri worked best when questions were very specific. Any level of abstraction in the question created difficulty. Most of the performance deficiency was the voice recognition aspect (i.e., Siri not understanding the question correctly), but some was the Web search once the verbal question was understood. Siri improves its accuracy the longer it is used by a particular person/voice. KM: It’s Time to Evolve The intent of KM is at once to collect knowledge and distribute knowledge. It's about optimizing collaboration, increasing information transparency, and making it easier to reuse content. Offering rewards − and a fun way to earn them − may be just what KM needs to drive knowledge sharing in law firms. The Future of eBooks in Law Firms and the Future of Libraries The reading public has widely embraced eBooks, but their future in law firms remains unclear. The success of eBooks likely will hinge on a close collaboration of law librarians and legal publishers. It will take time, but the right platform with the best workflow at the right price could be a “win-win” for law firms and legal publishers. Impact of New Legal Research Platforms on Attorney Research The economic challenges faced by law firms in the past three years have required them to innovate and adapt to meet the changing expectations of clients. Technology is playing a crucial and leading role in helping redefine value between the corporate client and the law firm as well as presenting opportunities to implement processes to deliver information more efficiently and cost-effectively. Specifically, new developments in legal research are transforming the way attorneys approach finding a solution for their client. The legal industry saw a dramatic leap forward in the area of legal research with the launch of WestlawNext® in February of 2010. The iPad: How Did We Make Do Without It? In a short two years, the iPad has redefined how we interact with technology; we have embraced it at home, at work, and at play. As a device, the iPad is friendly, accessible, and highly functional, and in short, we love it. We love it for its portability, its speed, its versatility; we can do research, play games, read books, watch movies, take dictation, surf the Web, check email, manage our calendars, and so much more. The possibilities seem endless, but has it had a real impact on how we work and how attorneys practice law? What are attorneys using their iPads for?
EDITORS IN CHIEF William P. Scarbrough Chief Human Resources Officer Barnes & Thornburg LLP Grand Rapids, MI
Janet Accardo Director of Library Services Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP New York, NY
EDITORIAL BOARD Sharon Meit Abrahams, Ed.D. National Director of Professional Development Foley & Lardner LLP Miami, FL
Jean O'Grady Director of Research Services DLA Piper, US, LLP Washington, DC
Silvia Coulter Vice President LawVision Group Boston, MA
Don Philmlee Technology Manager and Advocate Centreville, VA
Elaine M. Egan Manager, Information Center Shearman & Sterling LLP New York, NY Lisa Kellar Gianakos Director of Knowledge Management Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Washington, DC
Lynn R. Watson Deputy Chief Knowledge Officer Hogan Lovells US, LLP Washington, DC Linda Will Manager of Libraries Thompson & Knight LLP Houston, TX
Rhonda Fisch Director of Research and Library Systems Reed Smith LLP Pittsburgh, PA
Please direct any comments or questions to either of the editors in chief: William P. Scarbrough Barnes & Thornburg LLP 171 Monroe Avenue, NW Suite 1000 Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2694 616.742-3933 email: [email protected]
Janet Accardo Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Four Times Square New York, NY 10036-6522 212.735.2345 email: [email protected]
If you were challenged to build a library starting with a blank slate, where would you start? What questions would you ask and which resources would you use? This article explores the steps you can take to let go of "what is" and focus on "what could be." What would you do if the managing partner of the law firm, the CEO of your company, or the dean of your law school challenged you to step away from the library you are managing and design a new operation entirely from the ground up? No legacy contracts, no existing print collection, no physical space – nothing but a blank page! Chances are not many of us have been given this assignment, but it is an extremely helpful exercise to undertake when developing a strategic plan for the future. Throwing out all that exists in the present is a challenge because it is only natural to look at constructing future plans through the eyes of established behavior and operations. At the same time, it is immensely liberating to start entirely from scratch! This article will explore steps you can take to let go of “what is” and focus on “what could be.” Where and how do you start? What information will you need in order to determine how your new department will function in the organization? With whom will you consult to obtain this information? Why are you being asked to develop this plan in the first place? Most of these questions can be answered by focusing on the foundation that necessarily drives all planning decisions: the mission statement. Think about the goals and objectives of the firm as you begin to design the new operation; even an entirely transformed library rebuilt from scratch will be successful only if it exists to support the organization it supports. The library’s raison d’être must dovetail directly with the firm’s strategic plan. Understanding the strategic plan is key to ensuring the success of the new organization you are developing or changing. Where do you find the mission statement? The firm’s strategic plan may be openly accessible or it may be limited to management. Some firms promote transparency, others are more covert, especially if a merger looms or a major lateral hire bringing in a new practice area is under confidential discussion. It is incumbent upon you to find out as much as you can in order to justify and develop the new enterprise. You may be a member of the inner circle of decision makers, or you may be on the fringes, but even if you aren’t directly privy to the information needed to make your plan a success, find someone who is. You need enough information to form realistic assumptions upon which to build the foundation for your new enterprise. Bottom line: if you don’t know, find out whom to ask and be ready to explain why you need to know. Remember that the future is unpredictable, even to those at the top who are in the know. Just as the firm’s strategic plan makes room to accommodate the unexpected, your plan must avoid rigidity and allow for change. The dizzying evolution of digital content alone is cause enough to build flexibility and adaptability into your new plan.
At this point, you may be considering a survey of your users to determine what they need or want from the library. Remember, your assignment was to throw out the present and start from scratch, so the purpose of a survey would be to build upon the future plans and not serve as a tool to assess the present or past services. To that end, attorneys and other library users who are asked to participate in a survey need to be let in on the assignment and directed to respond in that context. For information professionals, it is second nature to leverage our network, not only to learn what our peers are doing but also to become “the expert” on trends and best practices. How information is obtained, delivered, and utilized is critical to making decisions on the information organization you are going to construct. Social media, conference papers, webinars, and publications abound that touch on trends and emerging themes as well as the advantages and possible pitfalls of employing new tools and technologies. A word of caution – this wealth of information can quickly descend into information overload. Put your organizational skills to work! Armed with a clear understanding of the organization’s strategic mission, you can begin to survey resources, staffing levels, and technologies needed to support the plan. This is the fun part because, at this juncture, you don’t need to worry about the budget (remember, this is an exercise only). However, if you get to the point of implementing the exercise in the real world, funding principles will apply. Suppose your firm’s mission is a commitment to delivering high-quality service and developing long-term client relationships. Leveraging competitive advantage by delivering superior services to attract and retain clients, thereby increasing revenue, is central to this mission. How does the library support this mission and goal? Directly partnering with practice or industry groups and emphasizing business intelligence may be the cornerstone from which the new library is constructed. All other services and resources may exist only to support the research intelligence functions. What about the tools and resources needed to support the functions? If a practice-centric approach makes sense, then perhaps a centralized library is never built. Print resources as well as library researchers might be located where the attorneys are (satellite collections with embedded librarians). Collection development activities will include the evaluation of materials, content, and virtual tools that are spread amongst the librarians supporting specific practice groups. As needs shift, resources keep step, and contracts and licenses are negotiated to the degree possible. Administrative roles and responsibilities likely will change. The library director’s role might focus on building and supporting the research team, as well as on internal marketing and public relations. This will ensure that the researchers are included as essential players in the firm’s organizational structure. The purchasing power as well as fiscal accountability for all services, tools, resources, materials, and technology that support the research functions could remain under the director’s responsibility or could be transferred as an administrative function within the department or practice group. The research team might consist of librarians and research attorneys as well as subject matter specialists capable of performing analytical research. At least some of the librarians might serve as generalists to perform legal research that is nonspecific to a practice group, conduct legislative histories, write and develop content for a research portal, orient new attorneys and staff to services and resources, and conduct training on the use of electronic resources such as, Westlaw® online legal research. There are a host of logistical factors to consider based upon the organization’s size and number of locations. Answering research questions and providing training, content delivery, and resource support via a virtual platform accessible from mobile devices, in multiple languages is the “new normal” for most libraries. The new library operation will need to include provisions to expand this type of support. The operational design and workflow, as well as the staffing levels, need to be flexible and capable of mobility and scalability so any new technology or change in the firm’s mission and strategic planning can be accommodated relatively easily. In creating your new operation, you can certainly aim for a “build it and they will come” approach. However, to really ensure that the dream becomes a reality, build an enterprise that is firmly aligned with
the firm’s strategic goals and is nimble enough to shift or adapt in lockstep with change when it occurs. Stay focused on your blueprint and be creative with the resources you use to accessorize your new library environment. As “What if” transforms into “What is” – enjoy your new view!
Siri represents an amazing step forward in voice recognition and personal virtual assistant technology, but law firms should not get rid of their actual (as opposed to virtual) reference assistants quite yet. In our test, Siri worked best when questions were very specific. Any level of abstraction in the question created difficulty. Most of the performance deficiency was the voice recognition aspect (i.e., Siri not understanding the question correctly), but some was the Web search once the verbal question was understood. Siri improves its accuracy the longer it is used by a particular person/voice. “The most significant advancement of the 4S over previous versions of the iPhone®, and possibly another game changing product innovation from Apple®, is Siri, a virtual personal assistant.” Apple made another product splash, or at least a “splashette,” in 2011 with the introduction of its iPhone 4S. While Apple geeks everywhere were hoping for an iPhone 5 with amazing new features in a svelte new package, they instead received a beefed up iPhone 4 that looked exactly like the previous iPhone 4. Nevertheless, Apple has sold record numbers of the new 4S in the United States and abroad. The most significant advancement of the 4S over previous versions of the iPhone, and possibly another game-changing product innovation from Apple, is Siri, a virtual (and voice activated) personal assistant. Siri can do everything from placing phone calls, to sending email messages, scheduling meetings, providing weather forecasts, and − of particular significance to the law firm library world − providing information and answers to questions upon request. Siri responds to voice commands, searches the Web, and delivers answers (or possible answers). It is impressive artificial intelligence technology that was developed originally by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The self-standing application, which Apple purchased, may help the company move into the lucrative search market eventually. Siri was introduced with the iPhone, but will likely migrate to the iPad® and other Apple products in the near future. Could an iPhone replace a law firm reference assistant? In preparation for this article, we put Siri through its (or her) paces by asking a number of actual reference and research questions that the Smith Haughey Information Services team received recently. A sampling follows. Who are the top ten manufacturers in Muskegon, MI? (Siri) I can't answer that, but I can search the web for it. Click on Search Web. (Seven links down was www.manufacturers.trivok.com, which listed six manufacturers.) Can you locate articles or publications discussing the cumulative effects of head injuries? That's a good question, now where were we? Can you locate articles or publications discussing the cumulative effects of head injuries?
I'm sorry, I can't answer that. What are some articles on cumulative effects of head injuries? I don't know what you mean. Click on Search Web. (Third link was a journal article about repeated head trauma in rats.) Please locate construction safety experts. I don't know what you mean by, "Please locate construction safety experts." Who are some construction safety experts? I don't know; would you like to search the Web for it? Click on Search Web. (Second link was www.jurispro.com/category/construction-safety-s-248/ .) Where is the Grand Haven County Courthouse located? I didn't find any courthouses. Is there a courthouse located in Grand Haven, MI? I don’t see any courthouses. Sorry about that. What is the contact information for Michael Zitta in Grand Haven, MI? Which "Michael"? (There are eight.) (Zitta is not in the eight listed.) Please locate the webinar, "Mastering the Move to Legal Project Management" by the ABA. I can't search nearby businesses. My apologies. Find "Mastering the Move to Legal Project Management." I don't know what you mean by, "Find mastering the move to eagle project management." Tried two more times, and Siri still didn't get the wording correct. When it did get it right, it said: Sorry. I don't understand, "Find mastering the move to legal project management" Click on Search Web. (First link is ABA page on the webinar.) Find the phone number for The Grand Rapids Press. Call The Grand Rapids Press on 155 Michigan Street in Grand Rapids? (Click No or Yes.) Find the phone number for Scholten Fant in Grand Haven, MI. rd Call Scholten Fant on North 3 Street in Grand Haven? (Click No or Yes.) Find the Michigan Court Rules. I didn't find any courthouses. (No Search Web option.) Who authored "Practical Aviation Law"? I'm on it. OK, how about a web search for, "Who authored practical aviation law"? (Click on Search Web.) (Six links down was the author's full name, J. Scott Hamilton.) Find caselaw number 131531. I don't understand "Find caselaw 131531." Do you want to search the Web? (Click on Search Web.) (First link was the case.) Will an iPhone and Siri replace a well-trained and experienced law firm reference assistant any day soon? Well, no. Based on this very limited sample, the technology worked best when the questions were very
specific. Any level of abstraction in the question threw Siri for a bit of a loop. Most of the performance deficiency in this test was the voice recognition aspect (i.e., Siri not understanding the question correctly), but some was the Web search once the verbal question was understood. Siri improves its accuracy the longer it is used by a particular person/voice. As part of our research for this article, we spoke with Gerry Riskin, a leading law firm consultant and self described Apple fan, at a recent Association of Legal Administrators program in Grand Rapids. Gerry makes extensive use of Siri for basic iPhone personal digital assistant tasks (e.g., sending email or text messages, placing phone calls, scheduling meetings), particularly while traveling (which is most of the time for him). He also uses his iPhone to dictate lengthy email messages for his assistant to format into more formal correspondence. He is amazed by Siri’s accuracy and efficiency but admits that answering factual questions via Web search is not yet the technology’s strongest suit. Through our testing, we noticed that using Siri for research purposes makes the user wish the software were installed on an iPad rather than on an iPhone. It would be much easier to read and navigate through the search results that way. Siri represents an amazing step forward in voice recognition and personal virtual-assistant technology, but law firms should not get rid of their actual (as opposed to virtual) reference assistants quite yet.
The intent of KM is at once to collect knowledge and distribute knowledge. It's about optimizing collaboration, increasing information transparency, and making it easier to reuse content. Offering rewards − and a fun way to earn them − may be just what KM needs to drive knowledge sharing in law firms. From its early beginnings, knowledge management (KM) has offered law firms the promise of improved profitability: put systems and processes in place to encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing, and you've solved the problem of capturing what's in people’s heads for the benefit of the organization. If only it were that easy. The intent of KM is at once to collect knowledge and distribute knowledge. It's about optimizing collaboration, increasing information transparency, and making it easier to reuse content. In working toward these goals, initial KM efforts in law firms focused on making the knowledge embedded within documents more discoverable. When systems such as West km® evolved offering full-text indexing and enhanced metadata, it became possible to retrieve and filter through large document collections quickly and easily according to specific legal criteria. Enterprise search was adopted to look beyond documents and enable search across additional sources of information, such as a firm's website, intranet, and other internal data stores. Systems like these did indeed make information more transparent and reusable, so what could possibly be in store for KM going forward? A look at just a few technology trends suggests some new ways firms might encourage people to share their knowledge. Show Them What's Behind the Curtain − Big Data At some point, we've all resisted doing something for the common good when it required extra effort on our part. But when we can see the value of that effort, when the question, "What's in it for me?" is answered, we're more likely to step up to the plate and bat for the team. Many law firms are already gathering and storing enormous volumes of data and some of that data is surely making it into the hands of attorneys through systems like West km and enterprise search. The real power of data, however, is revealed when data silos are dismantled and recombined to illuminate trends, opportunities, areas for improvement and inefficiencies. This is "big data." According to McKinsey, big data can "substantially improve decision making" by "making information i transparent and usable at much higher frequency" (Manyika, et. al., 2011) . When data is captured and integrated, analytics can be applied to transform that data into information. Here, harvested data is not merely accessible but made meaningful and actionable. What would have once been a tiresome (and thereby quickly dismissed) exercise of consulting a number of different sources of data to try to make insightful connections and inferences is no longer necessary or reasonable.
Instead, data from various systems now can be manipulated, brought forward and presented in dynamic ways, directly illustrating to attorneys how the details they contribute about themselves and their projects can reveal patterns and trends that can lead to better service to clients and improvements to the firm's bottom line. Make it Effortless − Social Media Not everyone likes to share, but what if sharing were seamless? What if sharing knowledge with colleagues was as easy as sharing photos and updates on the events of our everyday lives with family and friends online? In the social media space, many of us eagerly connect with one another and automatically share information about our interests and ourselves. Social media have become so pervasive that in due time they may influence behavior in other spheres, including law firms. Until then, firms that implement enterprise social media tools can make sharing "frictionless" through ii activity streams (Cannell, 2012) . Colleagues can "follow" each other and communities of interest and thereby remain informed by virtue of their membership in a group or their status, and according to various parameters. Attorneys won't have to take the time to email colleagues to say that an important document has been completed and added to a client site, that a meeting has taken place, or a key project milestone reached. Instead, that information will instantly be made available to the appropriate community. With activity streams, keeping up to date on key activities and information becomes less mediated (i.e., dependent upon others to do the "right thing" proactively) and more automated (i.e., instantaneous), increasing the likelihood that everyone will be "in the know." Offer Cool Tools − Tablets Of course, just because information may be shared seamlessly doesn't mean attorneys will contribute. Many IT departments have fretted over partners who insist upon saving everything to their hard drives. For these folks, maybe it's a matter of providing the right toy − er, tool − to entice them to get on the bandwagon. The rise of the tablet is well reported, both in the consumer market and in the workplace. Email, video, music, photographs, documents, books, the Internet, instant messaging, and so much more are now all readily at our fingertips − literally − on the iPad, the Kindle™ Fire, and other tablet devices. It's not surprising, then, that lawyers are increasingly expecting IT to permit these devices to connect to their firms' networks. Beyond the sex appeal of these devices, apps transform them from mere gadgets to invaluable tools for the home and the workplace. Apps have been developed to support all sorts of professional activities. Lawyers can manage email, annotate documents, track projects and tasks, conduct legal research, write articles, and more using these elegant and inexpensive software programs. Many apps offer features that make it easy to share information, connect with others, and collaborate, though first and foremost they've been developed to meet the needs of the individual. As tablet adoption continues, apps surely will evolve to address the needs of organizations as well. In March 2012, app support emerged for legal KM when the WestlawNext® app was updated to allow for secure connection to West km. The future of KM and the tablet may ultimately be driven by apps developed by law firms themselves, apps that tap into the enterprise social network and allow attorneys to access, monitor, and contribute to the "big data" tools described above. Make it Fun − Gamification When all else fails and coercion is not an option, make it a game. Online gaming is estimated to be a $10.5 billion industry. Clearly many of us enjoy the challenge of competing and collaborating to achieve a goal, even when that goal exists in a virtual world. If managing one's inbox can be turned into a game, as iii one attorney describes on The Lawyerist blog , why can't knowledge management tools be more entertaining? Gamification is the use of game mechanics − such as time limits, obstacles, status levels, and rewards for iv accomplishments − "to drive engagement in traditionally non-gaming products" (Edwards, 2011) . Evidence suggests it works. Samsung, for example, saw a 66% rise in visitors and a 309% increase in
comments after they introduced a "gamification layer" to its site using a platform called Badgeville v (Rosenbaum, 2012) . Beyond making customers more engaged in a product or brand, Badgeville and like platforms also can be used to influence the behavior of employees. In the KM space, Deloitte is successfully stimulating knowledge sharing by offering badges as a reward. As badges are accumulated, the employee's status changes on a "leader board," revealing to colleagues and upper management alike who is meeting with clients, who is innovating, and who is expanding his or her knowledge through learning opportunities. For those lawyers who thrive on competition, public recognition may be all it takes to get them to play ball. Offering rewards - and a fun way to earn them - may be just what KM needs to drive knowledge sharing in law firms. Perhaps offering a sleek app on a tablet that taps into data attorneys already are providing will move knowledge hoarders to share what they know. Or maybe giving attorneys a means to connect with each other on their own terms, where sharing is done for them, will do the trick. Certainly no one technology trend discussed here will entice all attorneys to contribute to KM efforts. Nevertheless, together, big data, social media, tablets, and gamification suggest that knowledge management may very well one day be as simple as providing systems and processes and letting the technology, and the attorneys, do the rest. Sources i
James Manyika, et. al., Big data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity, May 2011. ii
Larry Cannell, Frictionless Sharing and the Enterprise Social Network, Jan. 27, 2012.
Kate Battle, The Gamification of Your Inbox, Lawyerist.com, Aug. 18. 2011.
Tom Edwards, 15 Brand Examples of Gamification, Aug. 3, 2011.
David Rosenbaum, The Games Businesses Play, CFO.com, Feb. 14, 2012.
Suggested Other Reading Daniel Burrus, Technology-Driven Trends for 2012, HuffingtonPost.com, Feb. 2, 2012. Pete Cashmore, The Top 10 tech trends for 2012, CNN.com, Dec. 19, 2011. Gamification.org, Game Mechanics: Achievements, Gamification Wiki. Idyf, The Gamification of Online Communities, Jan. 18, 2012. Juli, BMO Raises Apple Estimates on Enterprise iPad Adoption, Pad Gadget, Mar. 30, 2012.
The reading public has widely embraced eBooks, but their future in law firms remains unclear. The success of eBooks likely will hinge on a close collaboration of law librarians and legal publishers. It will take time, but the right platform with the best workflow at the right price could be a “win-win” for law firms and legal publishers. A year ago I was wildly excited by the prospect of eBooks for law firms. In the near future could we be handing new associates an iPad loaded with a custom practice library? Could eBooks liberate law firms from the significant cost of housing, maintaining, and updating print resources? Could eBooks relieve librarians from managing the substantial overhead of staff time for processing, the cost of filers for updating, and the real estate footprint demanded by print resources? Could we be freed to spend even more time engaged in value added client support activities? Having watched the legal eBook market evolve over the past year, I now am guardedly optimistic about the future of eBooks in law firms. The proverbial “devil is in the details” and as of today many of those details remain unresolved. Twenty years ago, during a job interview, I was asked when I thought I could give the law firm a library that was “the size of a phone booth.” I responded that this was contingent upon the availability of reliable electronic resources and the willingness of lawyers to adapt to them. At that time, the major information providers were not yet offering flat-fee contracts and CD-ROM libraries were heralded as the “Holy Grail” that would deliver the phone-booth-sized library. Today I would add two things to that list: 1) The availability of resource management tools for distribution and workflow 2) Acceptable pricing schemes that eliminate additional costs for redundant content in different “containers” While CD-ROM libraries briefly held promise, they ultimately were eclipsed by the emergence of Webbased products, which were, for the most part, platform and hardware neutral. Among the factors that slowed and ultimately doomed the adoption of CD-ROMs was the lack of standardization both in platforms and licensing terms. There are some parallels in the emergence of eBooks, but eBooks are entering the law firm market with some decided advantages. Devices Driving Opportunity/ Productivity and Portable Personal Devices Fifteen million iPads were sold in the first week they were on the market. It only took one week for a million iPad 2s to be sold. The Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group collaborated on a report stating that in 2010, 114 million eBooks were sold. The success of eBooks in the public marketplace cannot be questioned.
The recent turmoil in the legal market has underscored the need for lawyers to maximize their productivity as well as their accessibility to clients. Simultaneously, the proliferation of lightweight devices such as smartphones and iPads has blurred the line between work and personal devices. IPads have been widely embraced by lawyers for personal use. It is the first technology which I have seen lawyers adopt well in advance of their law firm IT departments. While a few large firms have begun to provide iPads to all lawyers or give them the option of getting an iPad as an alternative to a laptop, this has happened before the major legal publishers had established products and workflows for eBook collection management. The directory Mobile Apps for Law currently lists more than 300 separate apps that provide statutory codes. The “Wild West” quality of the legal app marketplace is suggested by the absence of major legal publishers from the roster. It is worrisome to librarians that lawyers may be purchasing low-cost codes from unknown publishers such as Appbrain, BigTwit and Tekk Innovations. It is hard to determine the editorial quality and updating policies for this wide array of publications. From a risk-management standpoint, law librarians are highly motivated to guide lawyers to high-quality eBooks. Lexis® was scheduled to release more than 1,000 titles in April 2012, and Thomson Reuters is schedule to release almost 500 titles in late 2012. The major legal publishers, Lexis, Thomson Reuters Westlaw™, and CCH, wisely have not raced to release content in advance of a long-term strategy addressing both the enhanced functionality needs of lawyers and library management workflows. While eBooks are being developed to be hardware “agnostic,” the platforms and workflows for library management are at a critical development stage, and each major publisher is taking a very different approach from the others. This mirrors the lack of standardization that bedeviled the brief ascent and quick decline of CD-ROMs. The next year will be crucial, and may, in fact, be determinative of the long term fate of eBooks in institutional law libraries. The scales finally could tip away from print – but only if the leading legal information publishers quickly resolve the complex administrative issues arising from the management and deployment of eBooks. It is not only lawyers who are under fire to increase their productivity. All administrative areas of law firms are intensifying their focus on this area. In a word, the eBook solution must offer administrative as well as practice and space efficiencies. Thomson Reuters ProView™ Several years ago Thomson Reuters tested eBooks on Kindles and smartphones. The study revealed that lawyers have a fundamentally different kind of relationship and interaction with their eBooks than a public library user would have with an eBook such as a novel. Lawyers don’t just read their practice books, they need to personalize them and interact with them over time. Their books need to be updated and provide links to primary sources and sources of validation. In response to this study, Thomson Reuters developed its own propriety platform called ProView. ProView offers professional-grade eReader applications, which include significant functionality beyond linear reading. These features include: • True Boolean searching • Links to WestlawNext • Uniform experience across devices • Mechanisms for updating content • Personalization features, including highlighting, annotating, and bookmarking • A system for migrating users' notes to new editions of the book • Capability to search across an eBook collection Thomson Reuters offers unannotated court rules from 125 state and federal courts and is on track to release 250 treatises as well as some topical statute slices in the second half of 2012. eBook Management Workflow – The Last Frontier
Publishers are faced with developing a workflow for a new use model of distribution. Relying too much on traditional circulation models for guidance could prove to be fatal. Publishers are faced with multiple use scenarios: • One Book for One Lawyer − Deskbooks, such as codes and rulebooks, offer the easiest distribution model. Librarians need to designate and centrally control the list of lawyers who have a practice need for these materials. After they are deployed, such eBooks need to be automatically updated annually for as long as the lawyer is an authorized recipient. In a large law firm the prospect of eliminating the annual processing and distribution of thousands of volumes of desk books makes a very compelling case for eBooks as a driver of administrative efficiency. • Multi-volume Books for Many Lawyers − This may be a model that dies of its own complexity. I am reminded of the Black & Decker CEO’s quote: “People don’t want to buy drills; they want to buy a half-inch hole in a board.” Lawyers don’t want to borrow a book, they want to obtain information. Any model that is not focused on facilitating the primary need of the lawyer to get information and adds too much complexity to the “process of circulating the eBook” is likely to fail. Circulation is inherently a print-based concept. Although circulation of eBooks works well in public libraries, law firms and lawyers are different. Law firms are not public libraries. We are purchasing corporate access to content. We need a model that permits the unfettered access to appropriate units of content on an asneeded basis. Treatises are not monographs; they are complex organisms that change over time. Lawyers need information, not volumes. Lawyers require updating by "push," not "pull." (We learned this lesson with electronic newsletters. Lawyers didn't go to a website to get the current issue of an electronic newsletter; it had to be delivered.) • Access vs. Circulation − Perhaps the most viable model for treatises is a model in which a firm purchases unlimited access to a defined collection of titles to which lawyers can simply log in and use the content as needed. Reports from the Field Several AmLaw 100 law firms have been testing eBooks in recent months. Debevoise & Plimpton has tested eBooks and platforms from all the major legal publishers. Bess Reynolds, the manager of technical services who has been heading up the project at Debevoise, thinks all of the eBook management platforms need additional development. "None of them currently satisfies the core need for a standardized and simple delivery process, a simple updating process, and increased streamlining of workflow." In addition, she feels that there are many open questions about licensing and access. “What happens when a lawyer needs access to a prior version of a court rule and it has expired?” Ann Stemlar, director of research and library services at Goodwin Procter, wonders about ownership versus control. “How does a firm control access to an eBook after a lawyer leaves the firm?” Deborah Cinque, director of library and research services at Weil Gotshal & Manges, sums it up this way: “I think the transition to eBooks for mobile will be much like the transition to electronic circulation of current news and newsletters, if a little faster. People will eventually see how it benefits them, and a few will still like print.” The Bottom Line The success of eBooks likely will hinge on a close collaboration of law librarians and legal publishers. It appears at this point that development of the optimal platform may require an iterative process of testing and improving, identifying challenges, and inventing new solutions. It will require open mindedness and creative thinking on both sides. It will take time, but the right platform with the best workflow at the right price could be a “win-win” for law firms and legal publishers and result in a library “the size of a phone booth.”
The economic challenges faced by law firms in the past three years have required them to innovate and adapt to meet the changing expectations of clients. Technology is playing a crucial and leading role in helping redefine value between the corporate client and the law firm as well as presenting opportunities to implement processes to deliver information more efficiently and cost-effectively. Specifically, new developments in legal research are transforming the way attorneys approach finding a solution for their client. The legal industry saw a dramatic leap forward in the area of legal research with the launch of WestlawNext® in February of 2010. Innovations in the form of a powerful search engine, collaboration tools, and mobile technology are enabling legal professionals to find the best information for their client’s issue quickly and cost-effectively. The quality of the results and the time savings and efficiencies that these innovations offer translate to higher-value work and savings to the client. Cutting-Edge Search Technology: A Better Answer, Faster It’s what’s behind the search box that matters. One of the most significant advancements ushered in by modern legal research technology was to substantially improve the research experience by making the interface easier to use, more like navigating the Web, and to improve the search technology dramatically. While new legal platforms offer a global box similar to Internet searching, the difference is in the content and quality of the results that they deliver. For example, in WestlawNext one can enter the issue in simple descriptive words, Boolean, or even a citation into an all-in-one search box. WestSearch®, the powerful search engine, automatically recognizes the search format and does a global search across the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of legal content gathered from the courts, legislatures, and leading authors of analytical content. This saves time because researchers don’t have to pick a database, run multiple searches in different databases, or go to multiple resources to do research. The algorithm also addresses the issue of language variety by employing editorial enhancements and proprietary research tools, and goes beyond literal text searching to retrieve relevant documents even if they contain phrasing different from the query. With Boolean searching or literal search engines, the burden is on the researcher to know all of the terms to describe the particular legal concept or fact pattern in the jurisdiction. The syntax often varies widely and thus, the researcher runs multiple searches to identify all the terms that may be used. In contrast, the modern legal search engine applies advanced search technology from the fields of artificial intelligence, data mining, and natural language processing to the over 125-year collection of editorial analysis of the law available through the West Key Number System®, KeyCite®, headnotes,
notes of decisions, proprietary indexes, and secondary sources such as American Law Reports (ALR®), ® American Jurisprudence (Am Jur®), Corpus Juris Secundum® (C.J.S. ), Causes of Action (COA®), and the only completely annotated Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). As a result, WestSearch is able to retrieve relevant documents even when the legal term of art or the language variety that is used to describe the particular legal concept, fact pattern, or issue in a jurisdiction is not known. This is something no other search engine can do. For instance, with older technology, a search for “noncompete agreement” would return only documents with that phrase. However, WestSearch will return documents that use variations of “noncompete agreement” such as “covenant not to compete” or “non-compete provision” or “noncompete clause in the contract.” Another compelling example is the feudal maxim, “A man’s home is his castle,” which formed the basis of the defense of habitation and gave rise to the modern castle doctrine. In Pennsylvania, there are no cases with the term “castle doctrine” in them. However searching “castle doctrine” in WestlawNext, the top 10 cases are all about defense of habitation and/or self-defense. WestSearch is able to retrieve these results because these cases contain relevant discussions of defense of habitation and/or self-defense and each of these opinions has a headnote classified under 203k802 of the Homicide topic: Self-Defense, Duty to Retreat or Avoid Danger, Confrontation on Accused’s Own Premises. If you run this search in other services, the relevant cases do not come up or are buried far down in the result list. In these examples, the researcher would save valuable time and be confident of having on-point materials and important law, especially when under a tight deadline. Proven efficiencies – help deliver client value and control costs. Not only does modern legal research technology enable a better understanding of the law and identify additional and relevant sources that otherwise might not have been found, but it also helps attorneys deliver better client service at a lower cost. Results of a study conducted by the Legal Research Center show that attorneys using this cutting-edge technology successfully completed assignments 64% faster. According to Tom Scrivo, managing partner of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter’s Newark office, “With this platform in place, we turn around research projects in one-tenth of the time that we did before using different research tools.” http://store.westlaw.com/pdf/wln2/L-358520.pdf For instance, in literal search engines, the cost of rerunning searches in an effort to account for language variety and in additional content types can result in unforeseen legal research costs to the client both in research costs and billable time. As a result, research can be written off or written down. In fact, market research has shown that, on average, 95 hours of associate research time is written off annually, which equates to about $20,000 per year. However, with modern legal research technology, it is likely that there will be fewer write-offs or write-downs. Imagine improving research realization by 10% for each associate at a firm? This represents a gain to the firm of over $2,000 a year per associate! The ability to reduce research time can either be a direct cost savings to the client, or it can free up time to create higher value work product for the client in the same amount of time. Researchers can focus on core aspects of the matter, find the solution, and deliver better advice or work product much faster than before – thereby improving client service and overall value. Moreover, the efficiency and improved productivity enable outside counsel to explore alternative fee arrangements (AFA). Being able to project reduced time and billable hours provides an incentive to consider value-based AFAs. This has been the case for Goulston and Storrs, a Boston-based law firm. “We certainly believe that [modern legal research technology] is one of the technologies that helps us bring efficiencies to the client and therefore offer alternative arrangements that are different from the traditional billing methods,” says Marty Fantozzi, co-managing director of the firm.
Collaboration Tools: Connecting Research to Value Folder sharing introduced new ways of collaborating in the research process. While sharing documents in other applications is common (such as in a document management system), the ability to share documents as part of the research workflow drives even more efficiencies. This innovation provides greater opportunities for a practice group or client team to collaborate on research and to leverage the collective knowledge of their entire organization. This means the most knowledgeable lawyers in the organization can share their expertise easily. The research and accompanying citations stored in folders are updated automatically in real time, showing whether the prior case or statutory law is still good law. Moreover, the ability to add notes to documents and highlight within the document as part of the research workflow saves valuable time and ensures better organization of documents, both of which directly impact the bottom line. To realize the benefits of folder sharing, research should be organized by practice area, projects, or issue. This creates a dynamic categorization system that can be used by others, even after a researcher has left an organization. The risk of research being misplaced, lost, or difficult to find is no longer an issue when it is stored in folders. This is far superior to research saved in shared drives or email management systems, which do not provide the same search and real-time updating as WestlawNext folders. Repurposing prior research for future projects saves a tremendous amount of time and enhances productivity. Mary Ellen Kass, library director for McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, says, “Within the library, we can use folders to good advantage by saving articles and materials on certain issues that we search for frequently, and we are likely to have to produce it at a moment's notice, usually for that 3 o’clock meeting that's happening in five minutes. Putting that kind of information in folders internally is a good way to leverage the power of [modern legal research technology].” In an effort to control legal costs and deliver value, law firms are supporting folder sharing initiatives to avoid billing a client for duplicative research by others on the research team. These folders are knowledge collections that can be leveraged to drive efficiencies for both parties, creating mutually beneficial savings through lower costs and enhanced value in the legal research process. In some instances, law firms are using folder sharing to drive AFA initiatives. Sharing research between in-house counsel, outside counsel and co-counsel through folders provides benefits in connecting legal services to value. In-house and outside counsel are able to share information in a timely and efficient manner and ensure that work is being handled properly. This saves photocopying and scanning costs, as well as delays with mail or email. Most importantly, stronger partnerships and trust are created through transparency in the legal research process.
Access Anywhere, Anytime: Greater Responsiveness Mobile communications technology such as smartphones, the iPad, and eReaders are changing how legal practitioners communicate, access information, and present ideas, from the boardroom to the courtroom. According to the American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey, 88% of lawyers used a smartphone for law-related tasks while away from their primary workplace in 2011. Among those same users, 20% regularly used mobile-specific research apps on their smartphones, compared with 16% in 2010. While there are legal research apps available to practitioners, greater efficiencies and productivity are realized when the app offers comprehensive capabilities. The flexibility to conduct research while you are away from the office, in court, or at a deposition enables an attorney to be more responsive so the client
doesn’t have to wait. Even when offline, one can be productive by viewing and annotating documents, and when reconnected, the annotations synchronize automatically. Lawyers can take advantage of downtime while away from the office, which helps time management. Tim Johnson, a Houston-based attorney, is an avid user of his legal research app. “I can pick up where I left off on my research sessions at any point in time and really address the issues that my clients are having. Having that access and the ability to take advantage of those spare moments in time while I’m on the go is just a tremendous benefit to the client and to the firm, because you can work more efficiently.” The ability to share research through folders and to access internal work product via a legal research app drives even further efficiencies and savings that benefit the client. Teams working remotely are also able to collaborate and share research using mobile technology. When leveraged efficiently, mobile technology can eliminate the need to bring supporting attorneys to trial, or for that matter, boxes of supporting hard-copy documents that have been stored in folders. This translates to savings for clients because they are not being billed for the additional legal staffing or the cost of document production. Mobile computing provides an opportunity to have both a competitive advantage and to differentiate service. Impact on Legal Delivery Services – Value and Cost-Control As innovations in legal research technology are embraced by both corporate legal departments and law firms, greater value and cost-control are achieved. WestlawNext presents a paradigm shift in the legal research process, offering significant benefits as law firms think creatively about new initiatives to meet the evolving expectations of their clients. For many law firms, modern legal research technology has helped differentiate client service. “Clients have become more sophisticated in the last few years in a number of ways,“ says Richard Rosensweig, litigation group director, at Goulston and Storrs. “They consume a lot of legal services, and they don't necessarily use one firm for all of their needs. So it's very easy for them to compare the work that you're doing with the work that other law firms are doing. … if you don't have the best technology, that comparison is not going to necessarily inure to your benefit. So you need to make sure that you've got the best technology, and that you're operating efficiently so that you comparatively don't come off like you're less efficient than your competition.” If implemented in the right way and to benefit the client, modern legal research technology can enable a law firm to differentiate its service, remain competitive, and gain a leading edge – all critical to succeeding in the new economy.
In a short two years, the iPad has redefined how we interact with technology; we have embraced it at home, at work, and at play. As a device, the iPad is friendly, accessible, and highly functional, and in short, we love it. We love it for its portability, its speed, its versatility; we can do research, play games, read books, watch movies, take dictation, surf the Web, check email, manage our calendars, and so much more. The possibilities seem endless, but has it had a real impact on how we work and how attorneys practice law? What are attorneys using their iPads for? When I first began contemplating this article last year, the idea was "The iPad a Year Later: How Are Attorneys Really Using Them?" Of course, the iPad has been on the market for two years now, but let's just say that I'm glad I didn't try to get a head start by writing this article in advance. The iPad landscape has changed so much in the last year; it's hard to believe that it's such a young platform because it has evolved and matured quickly, and law firms, corporate America, and consumers alike have adopted it in droves. Here are a few quick statistics I've uncovered. In roughly two years, there have been three significant iPad releases: the original iPad on March 12, i 2010; the iPad 2 on March 2, 2011; and the new iPad March 7 2010. (Wikipedia 2012) As of the end of 2011, Apple had sold an estimated 55 million iPads, and they are estimating they ii could sell as many as 65.6 million in 2012. (Gustin 2012) Of course, the devices themselves are only part of the equation. The available apps also add to the power of the platform. As of April, there were reportedly more than 600,000 apps available in the App iii Store (Kingsley-Hughes 2012) and in March, Apple reached yet another milestone: the 25 billionth iv app was downloaded. (Murphy 2012) The iPad quickly overcame the initial skepticism that pegged it as nothing more than a toy, a fad, or a gadget. Of course, you can use it as a toy, a gadget, an eReader, a high-def media player, a camera, a music player, a video recorder − you get the idea − but it's obvious that it's all that and more. Within the first 90 days of its release it had penetrated 50% of Fortune 100 companies, and that number has v continued to increase. (Wikipedia 2012) It's now uncommon to go into a meeting where at least one person doesn't reach for an iPad, and you're likely to run into more than one. And lawyers? According to an ABA technology survey conducted last year (prior to the release of the iPad 2, which was a significant upgrade over the first generation), 13% of attorneys had an iPad. vi (Richardson 2011) That is a very impressive number when you consider how slow attorneys have traditionally been to adopt new technologies. So why the iPad? First, it's cool; second, it's ultraportable; third, it's very versatile, and finally, it's cool. The size and cool factors have definitely been huge contributors to the device's overall success, but it is its versatility that is going to prove its legitimacy and contribute to its overall staying power. The Lawyers
The lawyers themselves were the first to embrace the iPad; after all, the initial target audience was the consumer. Overnight, there was a lightweight portable device that could be used for accessing the Internet, taking quick notes, and checking email, and the screen was large enough to make the device very functional. Many attorneys, as well as other consumers, saw the potential for this new device immediately; others were a little more skeptical, but in time, they would be swayed too. As one senior partner in my firm put it: “I am a diehard PC guy. And I was not a fan of Apple in general ... until I bought the iPad. As a funny aside, I actually bought the iPad for my wife and kids. But when I brought it home, I set up my work account just to see how it worked. I never let my family touch it after I saw the way it worked. I went out and bought them a Kindle Fire and 2 iTouches [iPod® touch] ....” The attorneys I know who have iPads are in love with their devices, and they have become diehard fans − even if they weren't in the beginning. But the real question is, has the iPad really changed the way attorneys work? I surveyed three key partners in my firm who were early adopters of the iPad. All three indicated that the iPad had exceeded their expectations, and all felt that the iPad made them more productive and allowed them to do more with their time. The most common uses were the usual suspects: email, Internet, calendaring/scheduling, and, of course, there were the typical personal uses: music, movies, bill paying, books, and news. I was surprised how unanimous the sentiment was that the iPad is a viable alternative to a laptop. It was deemed suitable, even preferable, for tasks such as short document reviews, presentations, remote access, depositions, and some legal research. Generally speaking, the key apps seem to be the native apps: Safari®, email, and calendar. There are some specialized apps people have adopted such as: Instapaper, The Wall Street Journal, Kindle, Nook, the Citrix Receiver, and DocstoGo; but overall, legal apps have had a lower adoption rate. There was reference to WestlawNext, but there was no legal app that seemed to have awed people yet. It was mentioned that many legal apps have failed to live up to expectations; however, it's important to remember that this is a young market and there's still a lot of trial and error as vendors rush into this new space. In addition, with the enhanced features of the newer iPad models, new possibilities are constantly materializing: such as video-conferencing, document scanning, and dictation. The Firms’ IT Departments Beyond the individual attorneys, the demands surrounding the iPad are influencing initiatives at the firm level. Once the attorneys began to see the potential for iPads they began forcing the hand of most of their IT departments. IOS devices in the form of the iPhone have been around for several years with the first vii release in 2007 (Wikipedia 2012) , but IT departments have been heavily invested in RIM® BlackBerry® technologies. The iPad has been the impetus for IT to take a serious look at Apple products, and the users are demanding that IT find a way to support their iPhones and iPads. IT Departments in several firms caught this wave early and proactively embraced the change. Shortly after the iPad 2 came out, Proskauer Rose announced an iPad 2 program where they would begin making iPads available to all of their attorneys. Apparently the program was a hit; shortly after the program was announced, 500 of their 700 attorneys had opted for an iPad and a desktop over the use of a laptop. Other firms have instituted similar iPad initiatives. Holland and Knight gave iPads to their associates as holiday presents, and Patterson Belknap gave $675 Apple gift cards to their associates last viii summer. (Donovan 2011) Other firms have iPad support initiatives in place but do not proactively provide the devices − at least not yet. From Consumer to Producer Several firms are moving into the field of developing and providing their own apps. Firms such as Latham and Watkins, Arnold & Porter and Littler Mendelson have all produced apps. Among the firms on the 2011 Amlaw 200 and Global 100 lists, there have been 26 apps developed. They range in focus from
recruitment to the presentation of general firm information to providing legal resources. (Law Firm Mobile ix 2012) This area is guaranteed to see a flourish of activity in coming months; it's very likely that there are initiatives in your firm centered around apps as well. The iPad has been a real game changer. It is technology that is accessible and friendly, and as one of the partners I surveyed said, "It's a godsend; I turn it on, and it just works." At this stage, people are still exploring the boundaries of what is possible. By far the heaviest usage is still in the area of information consumption, but people are beginning to produce and create with their iPads as well. People are still very excited about this new platform, and that's not waning anytime soon. They want to share the innovative uses they've found for the device. Anecdotally, I was surprised by how fast I received responses to my random survey. I emailed three top partners at 6:30 in the evening; by the next morning I had received responses from all three, and that's almost unheard of. I have no empirical evidence, but I would almost guarantee that if the inquiry had been centered on their laptop or BlackBerry the responses would have been much slower coming in − if I had gotten any replies at all. The people I surveyed each had a different model and different plans for how to continue to integrate these devices into their work, and more importantly, their lives. The iPad has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Unlike the laptop, desktop, Blackerry, etc. it helps us manage our lives as a whole and doesn't create silos for work, for play, and for family. It's a rare occurrence when attorneys discover, adopt, and bring the technology to IT, but then again, the iPad is the consumer's device. Sources I
iPad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2012). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipad#First_generation/ ii
Gustin, Sam. (2012, March 18). How Many iPads Can Apple Sell? | Business | TIME.com. Business | The latest news and commentary on the economy, the markets, and business | TIME.com. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://business.time.com/2012/03/16/how-many-ipads-can-apple-sell/ iii
Kingsley-Hughes, A. (2012, April 6). 600,000 apps in Apple's App Store, yet I can't find anything I want | ZDNet . Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/600000-apps-in-apples-app-storeyet-i-cant-find-anything-i-want/19549 iv
Murphy, David (2012, March 8) Apple's App Store Hits 25 Billion Downloads: How Many Per iPhone? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com. (n.d.). Technology Product Reviews, News, Prices & Downloads | PCMag.com | PC Magazine. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401122,00.asp v
Richardson, J. (2011, July 11). 2011 ABA Technology Survey suggests around 300,000 U.S. lawyers use an iPhone, around 130,000 use an iPad - iPhone J.D. iPhone J.D.. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.iphonejd.com/iphone_jd/2011/07/aba-technology-survey-reveals-increase-in-smartphoneuse.html vii
DONOVAN, K. (2011, April 22). Law Firms Turn to iPad for Work - NYTimes.com. Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds - DealBook - NYTimes.com. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/the-rise-of-the-legal-ipad/ ix
Law Firm Mobile. (2012, March 28). Law Firm Mobile. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://lawfirmmobile.com/
### Thomson Reuters, the Kinesis logo, Thomson Reuters Westlaw, WestlawNext, Westlaw, WestSearch, West Key Number System, KeyCite, ALR, Am Jur, Corpus Juris Secundum, C.J.S., and COA are trademarks of Thomson Reuters. Apple, iPad, iPhone, iPod, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Corp. Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Fire, the Amazon Kindle logo and the Kindle Fire logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. RIM and BlackBerry are trademarks of Research in Motion.