Building LINKS: Trends, Strategies, and Best Practices from the Second Annual Legal Information and Knowledge Services Conference

Theresa Greco | October 06, 2022

HBR recently concluded the second annual Legal Information and Knowledge Services (LINKS) Conference, bringing together information and knowledge leaders, managers, and professionals from over 70 law firms.

The day-long symposium included a mix of networking, education, and content focused on best practices in legal knowledge services. Throughout the conference, attendees shared their experiences including current strategies, successful and unsuccessful, and gained a deeper understanding of upcoming trends in the rapidly shifting legal environment.

Following are a few highlights from the sessions:

  • Keynote speaker Katherine Lowry, Director of Practice Services and Head of IncuBaker at BakerHostetler, emphasized the importance of helping lawyers navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging tech, and the law in her presentation Legal Technology for a New Age. Katherine encouraged attendees to build a business case for technology investments, move forward to push past fears of technology, develop resilience and be open to consider/implement alternative solutions, share the vision of the program through effective communication, and anticipate outcomes while navigating risk.

  • The session entitled The Bottom Line: ROI for Technology and Innovation Investments, led by Andre Davison, Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe's Research & Information Services Operations Manager, Josh Nardo, HBR Managing Director, and Sarah Happy, HBR Senior Manager, discussed the importance, process, and challenges of effectively measuring ROI. This presentation stressed the importance of understanding and communicating effectively the "who" and "why" of ROI. Additionally, presenters highlighted total cost of ownership (TCO). Considerations of TCO include integration and other associated costs, time to sunset old applications, and the process of understanding how a practice utilizes a product. 

  • Axelle Flemming, HBR Director of Organizational Development and Change, took a unique approach to the popular topic of the change management in her session, Today's Challenge: Moving from Embracing Change to Embodying Change. Through sharing her personal story, Axelle illustrated the power of shifting from the more passive stance of embracing and acknowledging change to a more active stance of embodying and acting upon it. During the session, attendees participated in a “Change Challenge” in which they reflected upon the change they wanted to see in their lives, factors that would facilitate this change, and ways to differentiate the controllable vs. uncontrollable. Axelle also provided tips on how intentional leaders can focus on the controllable factors to effectively leverage the significant opportunities that change can present.

  • This year’s case study was entitled Assessing Outreach Efforts Through Technology and was presented by Jill Strand, Director of Research at Fish & Richardson with colleagues Chad Gilman, Research Services Lead, and Abby Walters, Research Systems Lead, along with Alia Plasencia-Bishop, HBR Customer Success Manager. The group shared the development and launch of an outreach initiative for attorneys with support from HBR’s SpendConnect technology. The initiative led to multiple meaningful outcomes, including increased attorney awareness enabling a more strategic engagement with the knowledge management program, shifting from a reactive to a proactive model, and more consistent usage of user data to drive the team’s focus and efforts.

  • In the Start/Stop Survey session, Jean O'Grady, Editor and Author at Dewey B Strategic Blog and Director of Research at Venable LLP, Kris Martin, Managing Director at HBR Consulting, and Peggy Chevel, Senior Manager at HBR Consulting, hosted a lively discussion around hot topics that people either want to start, stop, or continue. This session utilized data from HBR’s 2022 Start/Stop Survey, HBR’s BLISS Survey, and live event polling to shed light on key focus areas, top implemented technologies, and challenges to overcome. More details are shared in Kris Martin's blog post.

  • The final session was titled 3 Geeks (+John) Break it Down, in which John DiGillio, Firmwide Director of Library Services at Sidley Austin LLP, Greg Lambert, Host, Geek in Review Podcast and Chief Knowledge Services Officer, Jackson Walker, and Marlene Gebauer, Co-Host, Geek in Review Podcast and Assistant Director of Innovation for the Americas, Mayer Brown LLP, wrapped up the LINKS conference by offering their unique perspective on key topics and highlights of the day.

Thank you to all those who spoke and attended for making the second annual LINKS conference a success. We look forward to connecting again in 2023. For more information about RIS or LINKS, please contact