As we near the end of 2021, legal information and knowledge professionals have continued to work primarily in a remote environment. This has not only impacted how we work, but also how we network, how we learn, and how we grow as professionals.
Law firm leaders are well past the point of approving large new technology expenditures simply because they are impressed with the latest fads or afraid of missing out on a new tool that other firms are rumored to be buying. Firms are moving toward technology solutions that drive firm, business, and practice value. Innovation is taking hold. Bottom line benefits are now core to making technology decisions, and balancing scarce IT and firm resources.
Knowledge is power. This phrase, though a cliché at this point, has been embedded in our brains for as far back as we can remember. It’s what our teachers told us in school, as they attempted to inspire a drive to learn. Guess what? Those teachers were right, and nowhere is this more evident than in the legal field where those who hold the knowledge have the competitive advantage. As a law librarian, you also learn rather quickly that the underlying information, on which you build this knowledge, is enormously expensive.
A year spent in quarantine has changed life for all of us; both personally and professionally. Things that were once commonplace are no longer. The pandemic has forced law firms and their leaders to change and adapt at extraordinary rates. As problem solvers, librarians were quick to step up and step in and demonstrated their ability to be strong leaders. Let there be no doubt, the role of a professional law librarian has changed significantly, and we are surely different leaders than we were this time last year. This year’s ARK Group Law Firm Libraries Conference, sponsored by HBR Consulting, delved into the expectations of librarians as strategic thinkers and leaders within their organizations. The event was moderated by Joanne Kiley, Senior Manager at HBR. Kiley spearheaded the event by asking attendees to set an intention to commit to a few actionable outcomes that they will take as a result of the conference, thus providing a theme of commitment to implementation and change...
For years, maybe decades, to come, we will be analyzing, examining, and dissecting the impact of COVID-19. There are sure to be many opinions and viewpoints; one thing that all the pundits will agree upon, however, is that 2020 was a time of true disruption in so many ways. It interrupted our personal and family lives and it certainly disrupted our work lives, likely changing forever the manner in which we collaborate, communicate, and connect.
According to HBR’s 2020 Law Department Survey, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution is one of the top technology solutions that law departments plan to implement in the next one to two years. If your organization is looking to add a CLM solution, consider this number: 32,700,000. That is the number of hits for the search term “contract lifecycle management software” on Google. And, while it took the search engine 0.52 seconds to deliver its responses, it would take you years to sift through those results to find the CLM that is right for your business. You may never be as speedy as Google, but you need some way to narrow down your choices.
Law firms of all sizes are seizing the moment to rethink the strategic role of the IT function within their organizations and considering various ways that IT can impact their competitive positioning in the marketplace. As my colleague Erik Schmidt wrote recently, a number of these firms are learning that a bold strategic shift to an IT managed services model is helping them achieve greater efficiencies and reduce a variety of IT-related risks.
The evolution of the U.S. legal industry has accelerated in recent years. Law firms and other legal service providers have adopted an array of new technologies that have impacted both the business and practice of law. Meanwhile, these new technologies are driving a variety of changes to legal workforce dynamics that are forcing employers to navigate internal culture shifts. These simultaneous forces of technology and workforce changes are challenging law firms to rethink the way they deliver value to internal and external clients.
Did the recent Hafnium cyber attack scare you? It should have. It is the latest and broadest attack to hit law firms.
As we emerge—hopefully soon—from the coronavirus crisis, organizations are celebrating what they have accomplished and reflecting on what they have learned in a year marked by dramatic challenges. Responding to the ever-shifting circumstances of a global pandemic demanded adapting continuously, keeping a watchful eye on current and future needs, and recalibrating technological tools and capabilities.