PLL Perspectives Volume 19 Issue 2 (Winter 2008)


Winter 2008 Volume 19 Issue 2

Download the entire issue in Adobe Acrobat format 


by Beth Maser, The History Factory, Chantilly, VA

by Bria O�Brien, Littler Mendelson, P.C., San Francisco, CA

by Cindy Carlson, Thomson West, Washington, DC

by Julie Melvin, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, Chicago, IL

by Rebecca Olson, Alston & Bird, Charlotte, NC

by LaJean Humphries, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Portland, OR


reviewed by Amanda Steinbacher, Phillips Lytle LLP, Buffalo, NY

reviewed by Deborah L. Rusin, Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, IL

reviewed by Susan Rubinstein, Balkin Information Services, Rochester, NY


by Ellen Callinan, Axelroth & Associates, Washington, DC

by Kathie J. Sullivan, Sullivan Information Management Services, Colchester, VT


by Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY

by Kellee L. Selden-Huston, Davis & Kuelthau, s.c., Milwaukee, WI

Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY


Never again will I think of �The Matrix� as series of science fiction action films about a computer hacker's cyber-journey to the �One.� I now know that the true path to enlightenment is through the AALL annual meeting scheduling spreadsheet, the real �Matrix.� Instead of Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, I was accompanied on my �Matrix� undertaking of creating the 2008 Portland AALL program and meeting schedule by the equally able past and present PLL Education Committee, by the Group Chairs, and by many other industrious and creative independent, law firm, and corporate legal department librarians. The result is a program as engaging, stimulating, and thought provoking as the movies.

Our preliminary program of 28 continuing education workshops, programs, social networking functions, and association activities is designed to energize our professional and individual lives, to reveal new possibilities and connections, and to advance our careers. It is easy to see that the time and money you and your firm or corporation will spend in Portland this summer will be well spent. Although July seems a long way off, it is never too soon to plan ahead for these opportunities.

As the current fiscal year comes to an end and a new budget cycles begins, it is a good time to secure management's financial and time support for the Portland Annual Meeting and Conference. The process of demonstrating to a chief executive or financial officer that AALL is a true working and leaning experience can be a daunting task. Donna Fisher in her recent article, � Will You be in New Orleans? How to Obtain Funding for the AALL Conference � 18 PLL Perspectives 1 (Spring 2007), offers some very practical advice on getting that backing and writing that memo or budget justification. The preliminary program listed in the table below should help persuade you and your �C� people of the value of AALL for private law librarians. If employer funding is not available to you, SIS and Chapter travel grant money may be. The applications forms will be available on the AALL site very soon.

Many details of the Portland meeting remain to be decided. Suggestions or recommendations for our luncheon keynote speaker and our guest VIP, �Valuable Invited Participant�, are welcome and should be sent to me . Still to be worked out are the food function menus.

Food is a very appropriate topic as I write this letter to the membership during this season of Thanksgiving and celebrations. I am thankful that our many friends and colleagues in Southern California are safe after October's wildfires. I am grateful for the advice and insight of my PLL colleagues. My best wishes to all for a happy and healthy holiday.

by Beth Maser, The History Factory, Chantilly, VA

What is an archives?

Whenever the term �archives' is used in a conversation, most of us automatically believe the term relates to really old �stuff' which is perceived to have relatively little value. This article will show that the historical materials found within a law firm or an organization can provide a free and inexhaustible resource that can be utilized in perpetuity without having to pay additional fees or royalties.

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) defines archives as: the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value. Formats represented in the modern archival repository include photographs, films, video and sound recordings, computer tapes, and video and optical disks, as well as the more traditional unpublished letters, diaries, and other manuscripts. Archival records are the products of everyday activity ( ).

SAA also gives some examples of how archives and archival materials can be utilized by researchers on an everyday basis. Researchers use them both for their administrative value and for purposes other than those for which they were created. For example, Native Americans may use archival records to establish legal claims to land and privileges guaranteed by federal and state governments; medical researchers utilize records to study patterns of diseases; authors use archives to acquire a feel for the people and times about which they are writing; historians and genealogists rely on archival sources to analyze past events to reconstruct family histories; and businesses use the records to improve their public relations and to promote new products. In short, archives benefit nearly everyone, even those who have never directly used them ( ).

Why does my firm need an archives?

A law firm would benefit from the creation of an archives in a number of ways. First, it would be a way to capture and preserve the history of the firm. Second, the archives would make historical information accessible and understandable to those seeking the information. Third, if the archives is maintained in an electronic format, it will provide easy online access to information and materials. Lastly, properly maintaining a firm archives allows for an infrastructure fully capable of capturing current data and materials to augment the archive on a consistent basis.

Who maintains custody of the archives?

Frequently the archival function falls under the custody of the Marketing or Communications department of a corporation or a law firm. As a librarian, this scenario leads me to question if this is the optimal location for the law firm archives since most research requests for historical or archival information will be channeled through the library. More specifically, when the Marketing department is searching for materials to promote a milestone or an anniversary, chances are it's the librarian that will have to locate the information or retain a vendor to conduct this research. For the most part, law librarians may maintain archival or historical materials like books and periodicals within their libraries, but they are not tasked with maintaining the firm's archives. In fact, while it may not come as a surprise to most law librarians, most law firms do not maintain an official archive to leverage their own histories. This fact was confirmed by a number of law librarians that responded to that exact question when I posted it to law-lib. Not one respondent mentioned that their firm maintained a formal archives; however a few mentioned that they did have custody of historical materials in their libraries.

Sharon Stinson, Cook, Yancey, King & Galloway, APLC, maintains a collection of leather-bound volumes of The Acts of The Louisiana Legislature back to 1816, when the short title was Martin's Digest . She notes that the books are rarely used, but are irreplaceable. Lisa Marks, Foley & Lardner's Los Angeles librarian, maintains a collection of hard to find Medicaid materials and houses the firm's event photo albums, but does not have the responsibility of maintaining them. Bill O'Connor, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, maintains a small historical and archival collection to support his firm's water law practice. Allison Perry from Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley, LLP in Boise, Idaho came closest to the example of an archives that I am defining. �As part of the centennial of an historic trial that took place here in Boise in 1907 (and which involved the grandfather of the Hawley brothers who were among the four partners who started our firm), the firm's marketing director and I began ensuring we had a collection of firm history material that includes some interviews, newspaper articles, and other miscellany (oral history interviews on DVD and CD-ROM, speech notes from firm functions, etc.) in one place to ensure we caught some kind of "snapshot" of the firm's history which, in its present form dates from 1964, although our ties go back to territorial Idaho (pre-1890). This material is now retained in the library office and I do catalog them for our library collection.�

How can the firm leverage its archives?

By now you are wondering what types of activities these archival materials can support. Archives can support firm recruiting, employee retention, continuity of firm culture, strategic decision making, knowledge management, relationship management, and marketing and branding. Archival information may also be used to update the firm webpage or intranet.

Why aren't law firms leveraging their histories?

Many law firms have long and distinguished histories coupled with influential and prominent partners, clients, and courtroom victories. The Legal Marketing Association was founded in 1985, while the American Marketing Association can trace its origins back to 1915. That gap alone speaks volumes to how law firms value marketing and managing their own heritage. (AALL was founded in 1906.)

Sally Schmidt, president of Schmidt Marketing, believes that one of the reasons why firms have a difficult time aggregating this information is because before the Marketing department was created, each practice group used to keep this information separately to use for their own proposals. Schmidt added that historically this practice has not been done very well, nor has it been enforced in a consistent manner. �The need to do a better job tracking what you have done is critical, but it is difficult to gather.� In Schmidt's view, the primary reason Marketing handles these materials is because it can be gathered quickly through the firm's databases, Customer Relationship Management or accounting systems. She also added that the internal administration of a firm works well as a team and that scenario is best when undertaking a project such as the creation of a firm archives.

A quick internet search for �Law Firm Archives� yielded no results, whereas a search for �Corporate Archives� yielded unbelievable archival sites for IBM ( ), Intel ( ) and Siemens ( ). Again, if your clients have sites like these, why shouldn't your firm have one too?

Doing a little more due diligence, I conducted another internet search for the phrase �Law Firm History.� The results were significantly better using this terminology. The following is a list of firms from the first results page: Haynes Boone, Littler , McguireWoods , Powell Goldstein, McKeown Law Firm, Finnegan Henderson, Maslon Law Firm, Fulbright & Jaworski, Lane Powell, and Drinker Biddle. However, firms such as Orrick, Hughes Hubbard, and Baker & Daniels do not appear in the search results until the eleventh page.

Of the firms listed first, there were a few good examples of firms utilizing their history. My favorite was Fulbright & Jaworski's interactive timeline. Drinker Biddle had the second best History page, but for a firm about to celebrate its 150 th anniversary, it could be much better. Finally, an ad hoc search of firms did locate a real gem. Kelley Drye's historical section is by far the best of all of the firm sites I reviewed for this article ( ).

Conversely, some major law firms do not even mention their history on their websites. Those include Skadden, Latham & Watkins, White & Case, and Meyer Brown. Of the firms that briefly mention their histories on their sites, most if not all, maintain either a few paragraphs of extremely dry narrative, describing the history of the firm, or a rudimentary timeline.

So, if legal marketing is relatively new, coupled with the fact that most law firms do not maintain archives, how can a firm utilize its history to its advantage and why is highlighting your heritage critical?

Highlighting your firm's heritage is critical for a number of reasons. First, it will indoctrinate new hires into the values, mission, and culture of your firm. Second, heritage will authenticate, publicize, and reinforce the reputation your brand is built upon. Third, heritage will establish credibility when entering new markets. Lastly, using heritage as a marketing tool will get you into market spaces in which you could previously not market.

How can heritage get your message across to new markets? Bruce Weindruch, CEO of The History Factory, believes that �by utilizing your firm's history, it can connect within your communities, commemorate philanthropic activities, demonstrate proven performance to perspective clients, establish and maintain an informative and motivating presence in your offices, and most importantly, ensure that leadership capitalizes on prior successes and does not repeat past mistakes.�

Beth Maser can be contacted at .

by Bria O�Brien, Littler Mendelson, P.C., San Francisco, CA

Law Firms as Big Business

The �business of law� is increasingly becoming an issue of importance. This is evidenced by the proliferation of articles, books, and CLEs focusing on this topic. Urban Lawyers: The New Social Structure of the Bar, published by University of Chicago Press discusses the dramatic changes in law firms over the last 20 years. In this book, John Heinz states that the modernization of law firms has occurred and that aggressive business tactics have been adopted. Over the past 20 years, marketing departments, professional development departments, and business development departments have sprung up in firms across the country. Employees with a business background are increasingly playing a role in making firms �big business.� Administrators are often co-opted from large corporations precisely because of their corporate background. They help to model law firm structure on the corporate structure of the clients the law firm represents.

Business Skills for Attorneys

As law firms become more and more corporate, attorneys are increasingly seen as businessmen/women. They are expected to market their services, manage ever growing expectations of their time, develop lasting relationships with clients, and take on leadership roles. To this end, there has been a response in the legal community to educate attorneys on these topics. The Association of Legal Administrators designed a curriculum called, A Business Skills Curriculum for Law Firm Associates , based on a study which concluded that there were 58 business and management skills which associates should possess and without which significant legal and managerial problems can be created, resulting in lost profits. The Puget Sound Association of Legal Administrators confirms that the state of Washington has started a two-year pilot CLE program based on this curriculum. As attorneys are expected to be more business savvy, the library must respond by furnishing business books and articles which focus on building these skills.

Legal Administrators as Strategic Players

Not only do law librarians need to consider the business skills needs of attorneys, the information needs of legal administrators must be taken into account. As law firms transition to a business model, non-legal departments take on an increasing responsibility for the strategic planning of the firm. Heinz quotes the Institute of Management and Administration's annual survey of law firm administrators, which demonstrates the new role administrators are taking: �[T]he role an administrator plays in a firm is really dependent on the culture � of the firm.  In one firm, the administrator may be the �cattle prod' for strategic thinking.�

Once law firm libraries recognize that �non-law� departments are becoming more vital to the strategic development of the firm, the library must partner with these groups in order to address their information needs. Human Resources, Practice Development, Business Development, Marketing, Professional Development, and other legal administrative groups are an important force in making the firm profitable. The library needs to be involved in any collection development for these groups so that these departments see the library as integral to their departmental goals. By developing a business skills collection to support the growing career needs of attorneys, the law library can at the same time demonstrate its value to other key departments, as these books are also applicable to their roles within the firm.

Library Literature and Executive Reading

The law library community has had little to say about business skills books and executive reading. Ironically, law librarians have been inundated with articles about business skills. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of articles in library literature addressing the need for librarians to improve communication, take an active role in leadership, manage time more efficiently, and market themselves. In her essay "Learning to Lead: Debunking Leadership Myths" (Law Library Journal, Fall 2005) Jean Holcomb states �...for law librarians to receive the recognition and esteem due to them as experts in legal information, research and technology, law librarians must increase their abilities to 'position themselves as essential to the mission of their organizations.'� In her article she relies heavily on a well known leadership book by Michael Feiner, The Feiner Points of Leadership: The Fifty Basic Laws That will Make People Want to Perform Better For You. Her excellent article stresses the importance of law librarians taking a leadership role to be recognized as strong players within their organizations.  However her article, like so many that echo the importance of marketing, leadership, time management etc., does not impress the importance of having such books as The Fiener Points of Leadership in the library collection from which librarians, attorneys, and administrators may benefit.

Learning from Corporate Counter Parts and Special Libraries

If law firms are moving in the direction of modeling their business practices on the clients for whom they work, perhaps it is time for law librarians to consider modeling law firm libraries on the special libraries of such corporations. A useful question law librarians can ask is: What do other libraries which support professionals have in their catalogs? Do engineering, medical, software, and accounting libraries host a collection of business books in their libraries to aid employees in developing vital business skills which contribute to the bottom line of the organization? I asked this question of the special libraries listservs of San Francisco , Washington DC , and Chicago metropolitan areas. Thirty of the thirty-two respondents had at least more than twenty books of this nature in their collection, and many had hundreds of such titles. The libraries that responded ranged from corporate (accounting, financing, engineering, software, and pharmaceutical) to non-profit associations (medical profession, government employees, and realtors). If libraries that serve specialized careers and professions provide access to business skills books and executive reading, law librarians must question whether their customer base of attorneys and administrators might also profit from having this kind of information available to them.

Who Houses the Collection?

The question of who houses this material is an important one. As this information becomes more strategic to a firm's profit, it is essential that the library play a key role in buying, organizing, and housing the information. Librarians must partner with professional development staff to create a small library of such texts and house them in the physical library as well as in other formats, such as podcasts and e-books. By doing this, we will show that we are paying attention not just to the legal information needs of the attorneys, but that we understand our company's business as a whole. We will show we are paying attention to the pulse of the profession which is rapidly becoming more corporate in its practices.

Building and Marketing a Business Skills Collection

Since attorneys, summer associates, and legal administrators tend to not think of the law library as a resource for business books, it is essential to market the books as collections are developed. As librarians, it is our job not just to furnish our shelves with these kinds of books, but to make sure that clients know that we have this information in the library.

Advantages of books:

  • Business skills books are inexpensive, about $6.00 to $60.00.
  • They make catchy items as a part of a new books display.
  • The books are generally small and easy to read, which makes them ideal for busy attorneys who can read them easily while traveling.

Ideas for marketing a business skills collection:

  • Partner with non-law departments within the firm to find out their needs.
  • Create a �business corner� which contains business skills books and rotating articles on business topics of interest.
  • Create a book display around the theme of Law Office Management and highlight general business books.
  • Create a section of your library web site that lists some of the business books owned by the library, in both print and e format.
  • Host links on the library website to the professional development page of your firm.

Below is a list of a few places to find good business titles:

Annotated Bibliography:

Classic Business Books:

Bossidy, Larry and Charan, Ram. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. New York , NY : Crown Business, 2002. �Execution� is the keyword in this book. Bossidy and Charan discuss the importance of discipline when executing an action plan. In the companies they have studied and been a part of, they see discipline translating to action which translates to profit. They give the reader the building blocks needed in order to get from results promised to results delivered.

Collins, Jim. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't . New York , NY : HarperBusiness, 2001. Explores how companies can effect change to become top market producers. Collins' researches Fortune 500 companies and found 11 that met his criteria for success. He then focuses on what these companies have in common that make them not just good, but great.

Covey, Stephen. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. New York , NY : Simon and Schuster, 1989. Covey presents a step by step guide to how to become a more effective person, both in one's personal life and in one's professional life. He reminds us that we are always in transition of some sort and to embrace change and take advantage of the opportunities change affords.

Harvard Business School Press. Business Etiquette for the New Workplace: The Results-Driven Manager Series. Boston , MA : Harvard Business School Press, 2005. Practicing good etiquette in the workplace is crucial for business successes. Etiquette is a branch of good communications. Human interaction is vulnerable to awkward moments that can be embarrassing or even worse, punitive. This book offers advice for managers on how to conduct themselves professionally in many common workplace situations.

Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. New York , NY : Little, Brown and Co., 2005. Focuses on the idea of rapid cognition to make important decisions. Explores the value of instinct in a world overloaded with information and analysis. Has been popularly applied to the business world.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference . Boston , MA : Little, Brown, 2002. Celebrated New York Times bestseller. The study of how phenomena are created. Introduces the idea of the social epidemic. Compares the �tipping point� in the physical epidemic of HIV to a business epidemic like Microsoft.

Levit, Alexandra. They Don't Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something's' Guide to the Business World. Franklin Lakes , NJ: Career Press, 2004. Levit writes from the perspective of a twenty-something in the corporate world. She discusses everything from the obvious; do not gossip at work, to the less obvious, how to approach work friendships. It is truly a guide for young professionals for getting through the transition from college to the corporate world with their professional persona in tact.

Watkins, Michael. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels. Boston , MA : Harvard Business School Press, 2003. Not all managers are trained from the start on how to be a manager. Often employees are given leadership responsibilities overnight. They have to learn not only the new substantive content of their positions, but also how to manage people. This book gives concrete examples of how to prepare for this transition in those first months in a new role.

Legal Business Books

Bennett, Steven. The Path to Partnership: A Guide for Junior Associates . Westport , CT : Praeger, 2004.

With his real world experience as a trainer, Steven Bennett explains the common pitfalls associates fall into to throw themselves off the partner track. Steven covers topics from communication skills and time management to how to tap into power resources at your firm.

Chitwood, Stephen et al , A Business Skills Curriculum for Law Firm Associates ALA , Lincolnshire , IL : Administrative Law Association, 2001. This resource guide and curriculum planning tool details the critical business, management, and supervisory skills that law firm associates need to be successful contributors to their firms. This curriculum guide, complete with disk, provides learning objectives and key resources to launch and conduct a successful associate training program.

Epstein, Phyllis Horn. Women-at-Law: Lessons Learned Along the Pathways to Success .

Chicago , IL : ABA Law Practice Management Section, 2005. Women attorneys face challenges along the pathway to success. Epstein has gathered stories of successful women in the legal field. She shares them with younger generations of female attorneys so that they can have an insider's handbook of how to succeed as a female in the legal profession.

Nischwitz, Jeffery L. Think Again! Innovative Approaches to the Business of Law . Chicago , IL : ABA Law Practice Management Series, 2007. Nischwitz presses the importance of business solutions in the successful practice of law. He provides ideas and strategies for increasing the efficiency of your law firm and legal career. He discusses how to improve the other set of skills needed by today's lawyers; good communication, good marketing, and good management skills.

Weishar, Hollis Hatfield. Marketing Success Stories: Conversations with Leading Lawyers. Chicago , IL : American Bar Association Law Practice Management Section, 2004. Weisher and Smiley share the success stories of a wide range of attorneys. Success stories are written in two and three page increments. They include approaches that have done well over time and are formatted so that you can easily incorporate it into your practice. In addition to success stories from leading attorneys, there is candid feedback about what works and what doesn't from lead in-house counsel.

by Cindy Carlson, Thomson West, Washington, DC

I have never gotten the hang of real juggling, but happily, I am better with the metaphoric kind. I tend to plan big, and that means I usually have a lot of balls up in the air. Time and experience have taught me to moderate my expectations and to use the tools I've been given to help manage my responsibilities, though it's an ongoing process of improvement. The balls change from time to time, but I juggle every day, both at work and at home. I have worked in law firms as a reference librarian and trainer for most of my career, but recently I became a Librarian Relations Manager (LRM) for Thomson West, and my new job has taught me some things about organization, time management, and motivation that I had never really learned before.

My main responsibilities are to keep law librarians in Washington , DC and Virginia informed about changes in content and functionality on Westlaw and other new products and to gather feedback on what is working and what isn't. Much of my time is devoted to learning our products inside and out, but I also work on newsletters, presentations and other events. I travel for work about five weeks out of the year, and I try to stay involved in my local law library associations. There's much more that comes up on both a regular and ad hoc basis, but that gives you a general idea of the kind and number of balls I keep in the air. I now also work from home, a situation that comes with its own problems.

Leaving aside the basic and ever-present challenge of communication, the three things most likely to trip up my juggling act and bring the balls bouncing down are issues of organization, time management, and motivation.


Being organized definitely makes keeping the balls in the air easier. The better organized you are, the less time you waste trying to find things or figure them out, so it helps with time management as well. I used to think of myself as a naturally well organized person, but for a combination of reasons, I need to resort to more coping strategies these days to keep all the balls in the air. My two best tips for getting organized are 1) go electronic and 2) minimize distractions.

Strategies for Going Electronic

1) Use an Electronic Organizer

If you haven't done so already, make the best possible use of electronic tools you have at hand. Before I became an LRM, I had tried electronic organization but hadn't committed to any one platform, and I often kept to-do lists, addresses, and calendars on paper. I was afraid that if I made a serious investment in time or money in getting all my data in one spot electronically, I would lose my organizer and/or the data would get corrupted and I would not only be without my data, but also out several hundred dollars. Becoming an LRM encouraged me to consolidate all my separate storage formats. I was issued a Blackberry that automatically syncs to Outlook, and because I am more often out at client meetings than at a desk, it makes sense to rely on my Blackberry to provide access to email, calendar, contacts, and task lists. Moving around to appointments as I do, it is easy to lose paper notes or forget to enter something in Outlook after the fact. Trust me when I say that it is much easier to keep everything on the handheld.

2) Automate Payments, Reports and Reminders

Another way to go electronic is to consider paying bills, or at least receiving invoices, online. You may save an enormous amount of time by spending a little up-front arranging for direct payment of some bills online. You can even get email notification that bills are due and go online from there to take care of payment if it isn't automated to begin with. No more waiting for the bill in the mail or wondering where it got to after it arrived. I never lose the record that I made the payments either, because that is online too.

3) Create an Electronic Filing System

As much as possible, I store my documents online � I rarely even print them anymore. This not only saves me from filing the paper but also the guilt I used to feel looking at accumulating stacks of documents waiting to be put away. I long ago created an electronic folder system for emails (tip: change subject lines if necessary so that they will make more sense when you need them later), but now that I handle so many other online documents, my hard drive is also organized in folders by topic for easy storage and retrieval. If your email system won't save messages beyond a certain date, note that they can be saved on your hard drive too. With Internet access so much more reliable and readily available, I can also email copies of documents to myself for use when I am doing client presentations. Nothing gets lost, and I don't have to carry my laptop or an extra small drive.

Minimize Distractions

Distractions are inevitable. Unless you minimize them, it is very easy to lose track of time and find that you didn't get much done at the end of the day. One answer can be as easy as changing your office configuration, or simply closing your door. Service-oriented as most librarians are, this is surprisingly difficult, but if you need to focus on a single task (filing, time entry, budgeting), it can be a huge help. Having your desk face away from the door is another tactic. You don't have to put your back to the door and appear unwelcoming. Even sitting sideways to the door or in an area of your office where you aren't visible to passersby can help minimize interruptions.

Virtual filters to limit distractions are available too. While email has come to seem like it needs an immediate response, you can close it for an hour to concentrate on another task or set particular times during the day to check it. If you don't want to miss something urgent, set up an out-of-office message that refers your users to an alternative resource for help while you are busy. As long as you are managing your users' expectations and meet them as advertised, you may be surprised by how flexible they can be. You can do the same with your phone � most now have a �Do Not Disturb� feature. Email rules also allow you to automatically sort incoming mail into folders based on recipient or topic. You probably already have a filter to minimize spam, but if you get personal emails at your office, you can set up a filter for those too. That will help minimize the urge to read them as they arrive. Since they go to a separate folder, they won't be visible in your inbox, but they will still be readily accessible. Also, limit the volume of email you cope with by unsubscribing from email lists that you don't read. If someone must monitor them, maybe the responsibility can be shared out, or the mail can be read in digest format at the end of the day.

Time Management

Once you get better organized, the next challenge comes with managing your time. The first step is to assess the things you are trying to get done and what resources you have to do them. Then, you need prioritize. Most of us know how to choose which tasks are priorities; but sometimes you need to eliminate a task entirely. It may be better to juggle fewer balls than to have one drop. Another alternative for lightening your load is to delegate. Find someone who can do your task or teach someone to take over. The trick here is also in letting go; you are not gaining any time if you micromanage the task you've assigned to someone else.

Once you have honed your task list to a minimum, your only remaining option is to get through your work more efficiently. This requires serious evaluation of how you are currently managing your tasks and what you could be doing differently. The balls I tend to drop are those follow-up or non-urgent tasks. They tend to drift to the bottom of my to-do lists. Also, older emails that I have set aside to read or which are a little complicated to do and take some extra effort to answer often get lost as I attempt to deal with newer requests. My solutions for those are to transfer the to-do list items to my calendar with assigned times and to reverse the order of my inbox so that my oldest messages stay on top. When the older emails are more visible, they stand as reminders not to procrastinate. If I don't take care of them, I end up wasting time reading through them again when I finally get back to the task anyway.


As the saying goes, �All days are good, but some days are better than others.� No one stays motivated all the time, but the better you manage your time, the more time you have to devote to what you love. Doing what you love, of course, is one of the keys to staying motivated. Set aside some time on your calendar every week or every day to do the part if your job that inspires you. I love visiting my librarians and I love teaching � that's the easy part of my work where the balls are a joy to keep in the air.

But what can you do to stay motivated about the parts that are not your favorites? How do you avoid procrastinating about filing and time entry, the lead weights that can disrupt your balance as you toss things around? Long ago, I learned the only solution, for me at least, is to tackle them head on. Breaking them up into smaller jobs and working on them a little at a time � entering your time every day, for instance � works for many people. Resist the urge to put things off; if you cave to that impulse you have to get over a mental hurdle to begin working on what can seem an impossible job when it's been let go for too long. Still, even if you have some intimidating tasks, the only way they will get easier is to make a start, and if you don't, they will only get worse. Again, it may help to create a space on you calendar to do those tasks on a regular basis. Many of us are more productive at a particular time of the day � maybe first thing in the morning, or after the 3:00 PM run to the snack machine. Schedule your least favorite tasks for whatever that time of the day is for you. If you can make yourself do them regularly, they should become part of your rhythm and be less difficult to accomplish.

Speaking of rhythm, I also lose momentum at work when my schedule is interrupted. Travel, especially trips that last longer than a few days, can really break my stride, and it can take me almost as long as I was away to get it back. Once I realized that travel was so disruptive for me, I found two things that helped: 1) Before I go away, I schedule time for my favorite activities during the first two or three days after I get home. 2) The day before I get home, I give myself a pep-talk about diving right in to my task list as soon as I get back to my office. It sounds corny, but doing a little mental preparation or visualization can get you past that limbo where none of the balls are in the air, and you feel like you have to start from scratch to get moving again.

No One Likes to Hear They've Dropped the Ball

A couple of organizational strategies, some time management tips, and a few insights into staying motivated may not keep you from dropping the ball all the time, but every ball saved is one that doesn't land on your head. I hope you find the strategies that I've learned in my first year as a Librarian Relations Manager useful, and I'd love to hear about your favorite tips for making the daily aspects of your job run more smoothly. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact me at Cindy.Carlson at

For Further Reference

I am indebted to my Librarian Relations colleague, Blythe McCoy, for her seminar, �Making Time for the Challenge,� presented at AALL in New Orleans in 2007. Blythe and her presentation were a wonderful source of information and inspiration for this article. Her presentation also offered a nice list of additional resources which she has given me permission to list here as well:

  • Adair, John (1982) Effective Time Management
  • Covey, Stephen R. (1989) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Mayer, Jeffrey J. (1999) Time Management for Dummies
  • Roesch, Roberta (1998) Time Management for Busy People
  • Wright, Robert J. (1997) Beyond Time Management, Business with Purpose

by Julie Melvin, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, Chicago, IL

The stated purpose of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution of the United States, the copyright clause, is: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Initially, I had intended to write an informative article on methods several law firms are presently using to promote copyright compliance. What are their copyright compliance policies? What works for them and what does not work for them? And, what specific challenges do they face enforcing their policies? However, I quickly found that there was a problem with this approach. Few, if any, librarians want to reveal the real difficulties they are having with copyright compliance and enforcement issues in a publication that could possibly be read by vendors and copyright holders. This reticence is perfectly understandable. The reluctance comes not because anyone knowingly or intentionally violates copyright, but from the difficulty of determining whether one, or one's employer, IS actually violating copyright. All of us are afraid we might be toeing, or even crossing, the copyright line without knowing we are not in compliance.

One of the reasons for this zone of copyright insecurity is that we all live in the land of �fair use.� We work in for-profit institutions where the application of the �fair use� doctrine becomes quite fuzzy at best and impossible at worst. So, since I could not write the article I originally intended to write, I am giving you one which will examine the value of printed copyright compliance policies, the nature of fair use, the suitability of the AALL Model Copyright Policy, and the special challenge presented by periodicals and their circulation. I will also share some thoughts, issues, and valuable insights provided by smart librarians who face copyright issues on a daily basis.

After extensive discussion with several law firm librarians, my somewhat willing victims were: Mindy Maddrey, National Library Manager, SONNENSCHEIN NATH & ROSENTHAL LLP; Mary Beth Kamraczewski, Research Specialist, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP; and Valerie Kropf, Research Librarian, DLA PIPER. Additional information is included from librarians who were not able to comment on the record for a number of reasons, but were willing to share some insights based on their own experiences. That being said, please understand that these librarians are speaking from their own experiences and sharing their personal impressions. None of the interviewees is acting as a policy spokesperson for their respective firms.

One of the questions that caused a bit of concern for every librarian I asked, far beyond the three that were willing to go �into print� with me, was whether their firm actually had a formal written copyright compliance policy. I will not provide the answer for any one librarian (to protect the innocent), but I will share the fact that almost all of the close to fifteen librarians I spoke to (including those beyond the willing participants listed above) did not know whether their law firms have a formal written copyright compliance policy. The librarians who did know the answer overwhelmingly said their firms did not have a formal written copyright compliance policy in place. Mindy Maddrey did share that one of her former employers was actually sued for violation of copyright law. While the firm settled the suit for a substantial amount of money, the firm administration could not agree on a written copyright policy after several attempts by Ms. Maddrey and her colleagues to develop a suitable one based on AALL's Model Copyright Compliance Policy. As one of the panelists so succinctly put the problem: �Without a formal policy, it puts the research staff into that uncomfortable grey zone where something just doesn't seem right, but you're reluctant to say anything because: 1) you didn't go to law school about copyright and 2) you're just trying to get the information to someone who wants it � typical people-pleaser problem.�

When asked what role, if any, law librarians should play in addressing copyright compliance, our experts all agree that librarians currently play a significant role in the policing of copyright issues because of their placement on the �front lines.� The panelists also largely agree that the librarians' role in copyright compliance policy should actually be a more limited one. Mindy Maddrey expressed concern that because libraries in law firms tend to have limited political capital, it is ideally preferable for us not to have to spend that political capital on issues such as copyright. As stated previously; most of us have not been to law school for copyright training and, therefore, we should have more fully informed professionals offering enterprise wide guidance. The panelists agree that librarians should absolutely have a seat at the table for policy formation because we usually are responsible for managing whatever copyrighted materials the firm has access to, we do tend to get the �special� problems and situations that will help more fully inform a sensible policy, and we often are the ones participating in the copyright �discussion� on a daily basis.

Despite the confusion over copyright law and its application in law firms, Ms. Maddrey says, "Most law firms are extremely well-intentioned when it comes to copyright compliance. We try to follow both the letter and the spirit of the law. We understand that authors have rights, and we do our best to protect them, both in our libraries and throughout our firms." One of the firms, for example, includes a discussion of copyright in the library orientations for lateral hire attorneys. One librarian commented that copyright compliance is something that must ultimately be decided privately, but that librarians can only really remind users to conform to copyright laws.

Certainly, we have all been faced with the request for copies of entire books or periodicals and have had to simply remind our users that we must comply with copyright law and cannot, therefore, copy an entire work for them. The challenges occur when requests come in for 25-35 percent of an article, or one page of a lengthy publication that the user indicates they want to send out to all of their clients. Ms. Maddrey, formerly a practicing trademark and copyright attorney, points out that one of the most complex issues relative to copyright compliance is the determination of what constitutes �fair use.� For anyone who does not know, fair use is the copyright niche that librarians try to occupy by saying that we are copying materials for the personal use of ourselves and our patrons or that the copying we are doing for others is de minimis. The problem with interpretation of copyright standards is understanding the application of a complicated four prong test for determining fair use. The standards for interpretation of fair use are so complicated, in fact, that interpretations vary between Federal District Courts and among Circuit Courts of Appeals. In sum, the �fair use� analysis involves the following four questions:

  1. What is the purpose and the character of the use?
  2. What is the nature of the original copyrighted work?
  3. What is the amount or portion of the original work used?
  4. What is the economic or market impact of the use?

What do those questions actually MEAN?? While this article is not intended as a treatise on copyright law, you can see from these elements that there is wide latitude for subjective interpretation, and on the face of it, librarians may not be the best suited professionals for making these legal interpretations in a law firm setting.

One of the formal and noticeable steps many law firms do take to work toward copyright compliance is to post signs, near firm copiers, that remind users about copyright laws and that violation of copyright can involve serious penalties. In fact, one of Ms. Maddrey's former employers went so far as to include images of hands in handcuffs on their copyright signage. However, our experts agree that signage has limited, if any, concrete benefit. Admit it, when you look at the same sign day in and day out do YOU really read it anymore? Additionally, when one does not have a clear understanding of what behavior constitutes a violation of law and one rarely sees first hand the consequences of violating such a confusing law, that takes a bit of the bite out of the posted warnings not to violate that misunderstood law. Mary Beth Kamraczewski suggests that copyright �footers� be included on materials that are provided electronically. While she understands they may �disappear� as the signs on the wall do, the additional reminder may help prevent people from forwarding copyrighted materials. Kirkland & Ellis posts signs at each copier that explain what fair use is and what is not (multiple copies, entire copy, etc.) and includes the name of an attorney who can help evaluate whether one's intended actions are in compliance with copyright law.

Another area in the copyright arena that troubles all of our library professionals involves the routing of subscription materials to attorneys. The librarians all observe that the advent of electronic routing has increased the temptation for our users to forward helpful articles and other materials of interest to their colleagues or even to clients without any barriers. All of the parties interviewed have instituted at least a partial �table of contents only� approach to electronic routing. I know from personal experience that this approach has caused some difficult �teaching� moments with our attorneys, but generally patient repetition of detailed explanations about the purpose of this approach has paid off. Additionally, many firms address routing issues by limiting the number of recipients on any one routing list. When the list has �X� number of recipients the firm automatically adds another subscription to the requested material. As one of the panelists points out, �we also need funds in the budget for the additional copies that are necessary to stay within the limits of the Copyright Law by purchasing additional copies rather than having extremely long routing lists.�

Some discussion of the AALL Model Law Firm Copyright Policy is warranted here. All the librarians I spoke to sincerely appreciate the fact that AALL has made an effort to provide some assistance to firm librarians in tackling this Gordian knot of a problem, but all the librarians also agree that the Model Policy leaves something to be desired in terms of language clarity. The Model Policy contains several references to fair use, but does not provide a specific definition of the term. Additionally the Firm Statement provision in the AALL Model Policy provides:

�[FIRM] does not condone the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials, in any format. Unauthorized reproduction includes copying done beyond that which is permitted under the Copyright Act , if it is done without permission and/or payment of royalties.� [Emphasis added].

Ms. Kamraczewski's response: �A bit unclear as to what is meant to the lay person, �copying done beyond that which is permitted under the Copyright Act.' Be mindful, it is not likely that the copier (who may not be the ultimate user) is someone familiar with the Copyright Act and what �beyond' could mean.�

Ms. Maddrey's response: �The Model Policy does not define fair use sufficiently. Fair use is a term of art and should be removed entirely from the Model Policy with more concrete explanations in place instead. The Model Policy, like many of AALL's policies, is really geared more toward academic law libraries than to law firm law libraries. Academic libraries have at least a partial mission to sustain intellectual inquiry across a broad range of bases, which requires them to build their collections in a more complete and archival fashion. Law firm libraries have a very strong pressure to be fiscally conservative, while still, of course, complying with the Copyright Act.�

Ms. Kropf's response: �I certainly appreciate AALL for creating a model copyright policy. For the librarian who is asked for two cents on a copyright policy, at least this gives a starting point. However, I don't think the policy enhances the librarians' ability to enforce. Librarians can only control what is in their control. For example, a librarian can order additional subscriptions of popular periodicals. Or refuse to photocopy entire issues. Or a librarian can request written permission from the publisher to distribute photocopied tables of contents. But, if an attorney decides to make bundles of copyrighted articles for clients, how would library staff know? What kind of enforcement mechanisms are there?�

Another anonymous, but none-the-less applicable conclusion drawn by a librarian was: �I think Copyright Law remains fuzzy, but yes, these statements help us draw the line, but the line is still fuzzy.�

Finally, after discussions with the panelists, it is apparent to me that for a copyright policy to be effective at all, many areas of the organization must be involved in its creation and enforcement. Proper training of staff is essential and there must be an avenue for escalating questions or issues that fall into any �grey� area. If you take anything from this article, I hope it is the understanding that copyright compliance is an issue with which all of us in the law firm library world struggle. We sincerely want to do a good job at copyright compliance and are all challenged by the lack of real, concrete, everyday issue guidance that is specifically applicable to our work places. An experienced librarian I spoke with summed the practicalities up nicely; �Being the Librarian that respects and follows Copyright Law adds an expense to our budgets, but it is much less than our firms would face if challenged by a vendor for Copyright abuse. I say embrace the concept, budget for it, and in the process we protect our firms.�

Note: The author wishes to sincerely thank all of the panelists for their time and insights. Without their contributions this article would not have been possible. Special thanks to Mindy Maddrey for extra guidance in redirecting the topic focus.

by Rebecca Olson, Alston & Bird, Charlotte, NC

Has this happened to you? An attorney comes to you with an urgent, last minute request to find out who owns a domain similar to one belonging to one of your major clients. It may be a �Phishing� attempt for information from unsuspecting visitors to what they believe is's website. Or, in another scenario, your attorney is involved with finding all domains owned by a company for a list of Intellectual Property for a merger agreement.

Searching for domain ownership information can be easy or difficult depending upon whether you are searching for who owns a particular domain or if you want to determine what domains a certain company or individual owns. Attorneys have come to expect a simple answer when IP ownership questions arise, due to the fact that many of the issuing countries have their patent and trademark registries available either on the web or on a private search platform such as Dialog, Lexis, or other products. To understand why it is so difficult to locate domain ownership, an explanation of the history of domain registration must be given.

History of Domain Name Registration.

Network Solutions, Inc (NSI) was originally granted the contract to issue and maintain domain registrations. NSI held this monopoly until 1998 when the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Commerce Department asked for proposals from the private sector for a new nonprofit organization to take over control of domain names. In October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was chosen by NSI to administer domain names and addresses. ICANN is a multinational nonprofit corporation that has established market competition for domain registrations by allowing many companies to register websites, implementing the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, and overseeing the introduction of new Top-Level Domains (such as .biz, .travel, etc).

Under NSI and in the early years of ICANN, it was fairly easy to research ownership of a web address and to find out what other web addresses someone owned. There was only one registrant (NSI), and that registrant provided this information online. This information, including historical ownership, was also available on Dialog (file 225) and other database providers. The problem is that with the decentralization of the registration process, there is no single centrally accessible database to find ownership information on a domain name. With competition and cheaper URL registrations came confusion. In addition, the domain registers started allowing privacy to be protected by use of a proxy registrant, so that a WHOIS search would result in the Proxy Registrar's name. In 2005, the US government declared that any domain ending in .US had to have the correct owner's information listed in the WHOIS record. .Com, .Net, and other domains are unaffected by this mandate. However, challenges to privacy levels in domain registrations is periodically revisited by governments, corporations, and privacy groups, so that this may change at some point.

Who owns this URL?

If you would like to find the owner of a URL, you can search a WHOIS database. Network Solutions, Inc ( ) is still a very popular registrar and used by many businesses. Enter the URL and you will often find the contact information of the person who registered the address along with the contact information of the registrar. You might also find a technical contact. You might find that the name listed is �private� or is the name of the registrar. In that case, you may try searching historical records (on Dialog) to see past ownership of the URL, but this may not be the current owner. searches multiple registrars' WHOIS databases. Occasionally you will be redirected to a URL of the individual WHOIS database, but often you will find the results of the search in the DNS website. For country domains, such as .nl or .in, you can often find a WHOIS database by searching for �WHOIS .NL (country code domain).� Another option is to check the list at ( ).

What other URL'S does this company own?

None of the free WHOIS search sites provides an option to search all the domains owned by a company or individual. You can try to find the URLs by running an Internet search with the company name and noting the URLs and then double checking against a WHOIS database. The problem is that many URLs are not obvious. Most companies register variations of their own name � in positive and negative phrases, misspellings, etc. For instance, Widgit Co may register,, and Enter a Company name at PsychicWhois ( ) and you will find suggested URLs that may be registered � or are still available � that starts with your term. If your target is to find out what other URLs a supposed �Phisher� has registered, this option probably won't work, because often individuals register deceptive URLs for many different companies at a time.

Two commercial databases do provide this information, although neither is comprehensive. MarkMonitor provides a �Reverse WHOIS� search on that allows one to search by company, email address, individual name, or physical location. The search is by keyword only, and does not allow for Boolean "OR" searching. Results can be downloaded in Excel spreadsheet format and modified. You can enter the whole or partial contact name, company name, email, or physical address. Successful searches can be run using just as opposed to . Information included in the results consists of the URL and the contact name, email, address, phone and fax numbers of the Registrant, Administrative Contact, and the Domain Register Service. Expiration date and DNS Name Server information are also included. MarkMonitor's records are not comprehensive but, until October, 2007, were the only resource to use in order to find information. Searches run on this service may miss some domains, and a WHOIS search on MarkMonitor's site will often turn up the company in question in the record, even if that domain does not show up on the Reverse WHOIS Search. The ability to download the results in Excel is a strong benefit, especially when the results include hundreds of domains. The search is a transactional fee and is not dependant upon the numbers of results (so you are charged if you receive no hits, but you're charged the same fee if you retrieve 5000). There is no fee to export as an Excel spreadsheet.

As of October, 2007, a competitor to MarkMonitor has emerged, a creation of, Registrant Search ( ). This site has a very simple search interface consisting of a search box to enter a required search term and a search box to list excluded terms. There is no Boolean searching, and the terms are combined as �AND� not �OR.� The number of domains found that contain the term in the URL or in the WHOIS registration record appears at the bottom of the search screen. You have the ability to preview the report and then order a copy based upon how many results were found. You also need a paid membership to The search works better if you have a complete company name or email address. Registrant Search's database consists of 80 million cached WHOIS records.

The future

The twelve years that domain registration services have been around have seen multiple changes in what, how, and who can register domain names. As privacy laws are changed, levels of access to this information will also change. The one thing that is a constant is that when it comes time to check for ownership information, you will have to be flexible in searching out current resources.

For more information on intellectual property, visit the IP Group's website at .

by LaJean Humphries, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Portland, OR

Carol Rogers, Global Manager of Information Resources, and Robert Oakes, Chief Library and Records Officer, of Latham and Watkins gave a stellar presentation in New Orleans on �Annual Reports: From Ho-hum to Hurrah in Five Easy Steps.� They travel around the world to present their annual report in each of the Latham & Watkins global offices. This article summarizes their presentation and suggests ways the small firm or solo librarian can adapt Carol and Bob's techniques. Their �five easy steps� are discussion, gathering information / collaboration, analyzing & reviewing information, preparing the report, and presenting / engaging.

Some reasons for writing an annual report are for your own knowledge, to be aware of trends, to respond to management, to develop your presentation skills, to brand the library, and to educate others in the firm about what the library does. Carol and Bob present a hybrid participatory report which means that their annual report is both print (text and visuals) and verbal and involves staff in each office. A solo librarian may do a less complex report but can still follow their basic steps to make the process easy.

It was good advice when I was in library school and it's good advice now: keep your own records! Law firm accounting departments often keep records in a manner that is not helpful to librarians. Having your own documentation allows you to verify and understand financial records more easily.

Bob and Carol stressed that Excel and PowerPoint are your friends; learn to use them. As Carol says, �embrace PowerPoint.� But, what if your firm doesn't have Excel or won't give you a copy for the library? You can always go to the local stationery store and purchase a general ledger notepad. These worked well for decades and still work well although they don't come with bells and whistles. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets persons of your choosing update files from their own computers. Linux users now have a Microsoft Excel-compatible spreadsheet program available at . The Gnumeric spreadsheet is part of the GNOME desktop environment: a project to create a free, user friendly desktop environment, . The solo librarian may have to be a little more creative but there are numerous resources available.

Talk to people in accounting, information technology, practice group leaders, and other stakeholders in the firm. Find out what your management wants to know about the library. Gather information for the annual report by gleaning the general ledger, Lexis/Westlaw/BNA bills, and your own accounting department reports. Review external sources such as the ALM reports or the Ken Svengalis report (view his recent AALL presentation at and scroll to the bottom of page, then click on the Legal Information: Globalization, Conglomerates and Competition � Monopoly or Free Market July 2007 link). Contact vendors for billing data and for information on upcoming price increases.

The Accounting Department (whether it's a huge staff or a single person) is thrilled to have you interested in numbers and you definitely want to make friends with them. They can provide valuable assistance in providing and interpreting complex data and crunching numbers. Collaborate with colleagues. Obviously, a solo can't share firm specific data but nonetheless you can draw upon the larger local librarian network for suggestions and help tweaking presentation formats.

Look for major trends. Librarians are detail people. That's no surprise to any of us. In the larger law firm world, the library often plays a rather insignificant role; it is usually a small percentage of the overall firm budget. The library may be my world but it's only a very small piece of a bigger world and there are much larger line items that are rightfully going to get more attention from management. Regardless of the size of your library, look for major trends, not minutia. Nobody cares how many books you shelved or even how many new books you bought or cataloged. Your partners and management do care if the costs for print titles are increasing at a rate of 11% a year even though you are adding zero new books; they want to know if the use and cost of print and electronic resources are increasing, decreasing, or staying on a parallel track. Use your detailed records to produce some simple charts that speak louder than words. However, don't use every statistic or detail in your annual report. Focus on what's important to your primary audience. One good chart is worth a dozen bullet points. For example, this chart clearly shows the trend in one (hypothetical) firm.

A number by itself has no context. Relationships and comparisons give meaning to numbers. If your firm has more than one office you may want to compare trends between offices. Compare trends over time whether you have one office or many. Possibly you'll want to compare in-house to external information. My management is most interested in comparing our library with the libraries of the half dozen similar sized firms in our city, not with the large national or international firms or with the very small firms. Your management undoubtedly has its own special interests. Know your audience and present information accordingly! Use colorful and meaningful charts and graphs. Be brief but use text for more complex explanations. Focus on what's important. Don't drown your audience in details.

A few useful measurements that you may want to consider adding to your annual report include: staff size, headcount, billable hours, print vs. electronic expense, office copy expense, client chargebacks, Lexis vs. Westlaw use and recovery, total actual expenses, and total cost per attorney trend.

Profits per partner rule in the law firm. Consequently, most data are filtered in terms of �per attorney.� Rather than expressing a price increase in total dollars, consider price per attorney or a percentage.

Include a statement of accomplishments, goals, and future projects in the annual report. This shows management you have objectives, helps in planning and budgeting, and makes reviewing the report easier for people who just don't like statistics! When you do use numbers and statistics, have someone review them to be sure they make sense before you unveil your annual report.

Your annual report presentation may be a written, verbal, visual, or combination report. A presentation provides immediate feedback and engages management and staff. Some data are too complex for presentation and must be in a written report format to be clearly understood. A PowerPoint presentation requires a different format and organization than a simple text report. Think about what will be most effective in your firm. Provide the report in the format most acceptable to your audience (whether it's the managing partner, a library committee, or supervisor). Carol and Bob give a combination report with written, visual (PowerPoint), and verbal aspects. They include pictures of library personnel and activities to lend a human face to any statistics. You can purchase the audio CD of their 2007 AALL presentation and can view their handouts on the AALL annual meeting page and/or the PLL website.

There are other options than PowerPoint. KPresenter, , is the presentation software included in the free KOffice suite of programs for Unix-like systems running the KDE desktop. It can import PowerPoint files and export HTML pages. Since its feature set is driven by the needs and interests of its developers, it's a fairly simple product, and doesn't have a very large array of templates included, but it's more than adequate for many presentation needs. As an open source project, it is likely to improve dramatically over time.

MagicPoint is another free presentation tool for Unix-like systems, designed to make simple presentations easy, while making complicated presentations possible. Its presentations are stored in text format, allowing you to create and modify presentation files with your favorite text editor, ( see ). Both of these products are an inexpensive (or even free) alternative to PowerPoint and offer a strong challenge to Microsoft's influence.

The first annual report is always the hardest to prepare. Remember, you don't have to write a book. One or two succinct pages with a couple of meaningful charts or graphs can be extremely effective. The most important thing is to take that first easy step. Five steps later you'll have your 2007 Annual Report � a job well-done!


reviewed by Amanda Steinbacher, Phillips Lytle LLP, Buffalo, NY

Trick-or-treaters dressed as pirates were on a quest for the best candy in my neighborhood this Halloween. I, too, had my sights on a treasure this year. It does not resemble chocolate or gold coins, but it lies within 807 pages and a cd-rom . Who would share this treasure with all legal professionals? Authors Carole Levitt and Mark E. Rosch.

Levitt has more than twenty years of experience as a law librarian and attorney. As founder and president of Internet for Lawyers (see, she works with Rosch, who is Vice President of Marketing for Internet for Lawyers. Rosch is also responsible for developing and managing the web site. Both have made contributions to the legal field through presenting and writing for numerous venues.

The first edition of this book is titled The Internet Fact Finder for Lawyers: How to Find Anything on the Net , by Joshua Blackman and David Jank. For the second edition, the title changed and coauthors Levitt and Rosch took the helm. With this third edition, it seems only updating was needed. The majority of the work's goal, to �write a book that would save researchers time and money and help them avoid frustration� (p. xxi), was already accomplished. Added to this edition was a new chapter on blogs and podcasts and a glossary of technology terms.

The style of the book reminds me of the � X for Dummies � books. Similarities are in the easy-to-read font, use of symbols for quick mental imagery communication (for example, a dollar sign with a slash through it to signify a web site is free), the informal language, generous spacing, and overall friendly tone. For a little tongue-in-cheek, on page 21 the authors point out that a law professor's last name is Lawless. Firsthand war stories throughout the book are from attorneys and librarians who reveal their positive and negative experiences with the Internet while searching for factual information. The only minor disappointment is the gray scale, which, when making references to colors such as, �Blue tabs at the top� (p. xxvi), could cause a slight disconnect for the reader being introduced to a web site.

The authors thoroughly explain what they are going to do. Their execution and attention to detail surpassed my expectations. They anticipated my questions and provided answers before I could form a complete inquiry in my head. Recommended sites are arranged in subject order. The reader is steered through the fleet of resources in a uniform fashion; sites are hierarchical by cost and research value (Where should I start?), and accompanying a screenshot are details like the name of the site, web address, usually a two-line summary of purpose, explanation of coverage, and what the site can do (for instance on p. 497, when Lexis and Westlaw coverage of Secretary of State records is compared), the authors' opinions of the site's advantages and disadvantages, and hints for using the site efficiently. Did you know that if you get no results on the Social Security Death Index, you should try removing that middle initial? (p. 328).

Resources are recommended for many different types of research: news, public records, expert witnesses, competitive intelligence, international, medical, scientific, statistical, intellectual property, and business. If you need to do some catching up on technology, Chapters One through Four are dedicated to making sense of some essential vocabulary: browser, search engine, Netiquette, Boolean, PDF, invisible or deep web, software, chat reference, how to cite a web site, and they even discuss copyright issues and source credibility. They advise you on the pros and cons of pay databases versus the free Internet.

A compass is offered to help you navigate this adventure of internet fact finding � a cd-rom included with the book, divided into checklists for finding and verifying information, forming a search strategy, and a PDF list of hyperlinks that were the gems of the book. Corresponding chapter pages are noted in the cd 's files. I'll admit I wasn't thrilled to use a cd-rom because of its usual stagnant nature and expense to update and replace, but inside, the dynamic hyperlinks were impressive. Only one did not work during my random testing, Plus, there is a free, one year subscription offer on the last page insert for a �bimonthly newsletter" updating this book.

Attorneys as well as librarians, and those who can wear both hats, would benefit from this book. The new and inexperienced will relate to me; I sighed many times thinking aloud, �Look at how much I'm missing out on!� Better late than never to learn about these many useful sites and ways of using them. Experienced surfers may learn about some site that swam by undetected before, or appreciate this �shortcut to finding relevant sites� (p. 63), or even if they are satisfied with what they use now, it can't hurt to be aware of options and quality back-ups to the tried-and-true, encouraging evaluation of current resources. These authors made me enthused to explore, beginning with their suggestions and inevitably leading me to discover more uncharted waters, that I am sure, if worthy, will end up in future editions.

reviewed by Deborah L. Rusin, Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, IL

It is always a pleasure to read and review a publication that is both informative and fun. That is the case with The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook. If you have a desire to expand on your Internet searching skills, this is definitely a source worth checking out. This publication is filled with tips, tricks, and hidden treasures. From this publication, you will not only learn how to expand upon your searching techniques, but you will do so in a fun and fascinating way that will expose you to many �top internet sources,� in the process.

After great success with the first edition of this popular book, Randolph Hock decided it was worth going another round and put out a second edition. This book is written with �researchers� in mind; whether those researchers are teachers, writers, librarians, archivists, or students is irrelevant. This publication delivers to us on two fronts: first, with that which one really needs to know in order to be a �top� researcher and secondly, with that which adds to our knowledge base and makes learning a little bit more fun.

Upon my initial flipping through the book, my attention was grabbed with the word mashups. What the heck are mashups? If you are like me, and have an immediate need to understand something you just realized you knew nothing about, you can turn to pages 75-76 of this publication to have your knowledge appetite of mashups satiated.

Randolph Hock starts out his publication with a refresher of some of the basics. He reminds us that there really is a difference between the Web and the Internet. They are not the same things although most of us now use the terms interchangeably. I love the timeline he provides the reader of the �historical highlights� of the Internet. It is at this point, that I find myself asking if I am really that old (I have a vivid memory of being in college and going to the school's library with my roll of dimes to put in the library typewriter to type up my term papers. One dime bought you fifteen minutes worth of time on the library typewriter), or is the Internet a fairly new phenomenon? I am going to go with the answer that the Internet is a fairly new phenomenon. At the same time, the content on the Internet has grown so voluminously and so quickly that it is hard to know where to begin with one's research. That is were Randolph Hock comes in.

A PhD, Randolph Hock has extensive experience in the realm of researching and training. He has worked as a teacher, librarian at two universities, and has held training and management positions at DIALOG Information Services and Knight-Ridder Information. In addition to this publication, he has written The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, Yahoo! to the Max and The Traveler's Web.

Randolph Hock has first hand knowledge and experience of the challenges that searching the Internet poses. It is so vast and contains so many �mis-hits� that it is sometimes hard to know just where to start. In The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook , he breaks down the chapters into easily understandable segments, for example: general web directories and portals, specialized directories, search engines, audio and video resources, blogging, and podcasting. In addition, there is a glossary of terms as they are to be understood in the context of the Internet (e.g. gopher � �a menu-based directory that allows access to files from the remote computer," not gopher in the sense of burrowing rodent). The publication also contains a valuable list of URL addresses including one of my favorites which I use almost In his text, Randolph Hock refers to as "just plain amazing." It includes access to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations , Roget's International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases , Strunk & White's The Element of Style, various dictionaries, and Emily Post's Etiquette, to name a few . The book also has an extensive index. Lastly as a supplement to his publication, Randolph Hock maintains a website ( ) of all the URLs that are found in his publications. This website is updated on a continual basis. In the instance that a URL in this publication should suddenly one day change and is no longer valid (as occasionally happens) one can find updated URL information at this website.

I am not a technical or cyber person by nature, but realize the need to understand the cyber world in our professional lives. As the world continues on its cyber track and our need to increase our �cyber knowledge� increases, we all need a resource that we can turn to, rely on, and understand. The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook is that source and I believe that you will agree. I was not overwhelmed by its content nor do I think others will be. I did not feel that I spent my money on a book that I would never use because it was so inaccessible, dry, or technical that after a few glances, it ended up on the book shelf never to be glanced at again. I highly recommend the The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook for any researcher.

reviewed by Susan Rubinstein, Balkin Information Services, Rochester, NY

Former lawyer Joey Asher has written a how-to guide to marketing your law practice. Although it is geared towards attorneys, many of these ideas can be incorporated into your own marketing plan. Asher starts out by assuming that the reader (the attorney) is a competent specialist in his field. Clients will also assume this. They are more interested in what you can do for them. How can you help their business grow? Do you understand their business? In his world, word of mouth is no longer enough to guarantee growth. You must actively search out new clients and contacts. Networking is a must.

Different strategies are outlined. Asher uses his own and other attorneys' experiences to explain how to strike up conversations, how to talk to other business owners, what to do with business cards (collect more than you hand out), what to say on an airplane and an elevator. And here's a simple rule of thumb, the Five-Foot Rule: �Thou shalt say hello to anyone who is within five feet of you.�

He explores the fear of sounding like a salesman or, as he dubs it, �call reluctance,� and how to cold-call. What some business people feel are tried and true methods for selling � writing articles and giving seminars � are also examined.

One of the more interesting and useful chapters describes how to break down a presentation by limiting the amount of facts and ideas presented and how to put yourself into the listener's place. He repeatedly emphasizes that clients are interested in how much you understand their business and how you can help them grow.

The book is nicely laid out in sections that are highlighted in a large bold font. This makes for easier reading. Although this book is really geared to attorneys in medium to large law firms, some of the marketing tips may be useful for other consultants.

Susan Rubinstein can be reached at 585-482-1506 or


by Ellen Callinan, Axelroth & Associates, Washington, DC

Bob Oakley was the consummate academic law librarian, supremely comfortable in the roles of scholar, administrator, politician, and fundraiser. These responsibilities would be all-consuming for an ordinary librarian, but Bob was no ordinary librarian. His passion for librarianship extended beyond academia, and he reached out to the broader Washington law library community in his own quiet way. He initiated the Bridge the Gap program not only to teach summer associates the practical skills they'd need to succeed, but also to create an opportunity for firm and academic librarians to work together toward this common goal. He invited firm librarians to join the Georgetown library staff for lunch several times a year to share their insights on the world in which our students would be working. His Public Patron program opened the vast collection at Georgetown to the city's law firms and legal organizations. He created Georgetown 's Resident Librarian program to encourage diversity in the profession and to create a unique learning opportunity for young librarians.

A long time ago, I was one of those young librarians to whom Bob extended opportunities to grow in the profession. As a result of his mentorship, I had the privilege of working for or with him for much of my career. Bob was an inspirational boss, a creative colleague, and an insightful mentor, but was also a funny, interesting, and kind person who took delight in the simple pleasures of friendship and small triumphs of every day librarianship. His funeral and memorial reflected the remarkable range of his interests and the stunning achievements of a life well lived.

We gathered for Bob's funeral on a sunny day in October at the Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists in Germantown, Maryland, where the fingertips of McMansion developments encircle pockets of rolling hills and farmland. Bob and Barbara lived there, a long commute to DC by most standards, but one Bob embraced as an opportunity to hop on the commuter train and settle in for some tranquil time with a good book and good music.

Some of that good music played as we took our places in a wooded, natural amphitheater near the church where the service was held. After several formal reflections on Bob's professional and personal achievements, friends and colleagues rose to share their own recollections. Each speaker seemed to reveal another facet of Bob's rich life � the nurturing older brother, the proud Scout dad who let Daniel make his own car for the Pinebox Derby, the Cornell Chimes Master who missed his own graduation ceremony to serenade his class with those familiar bells. One friend captured a feeling I think many of us had. �Gee,� she said after introducing herself as a fellow folk-dancer from Bob's Unitarian community, �I had no idea Bob had such an impressive career. I just thought he was a funny guy who liked to dance!� I think most of us walked away from Bob's funeral with an even deeper sadness, having found new reason to mourn his untimely death.

Several weeks later, Georgetown held a memorial to celebrate Bob's life and legacy, on what would have been his birthday, November 6. Librarians flew in from around the country to pay their respects to a dear friend and professional giant. Once again, speakers chronicled Bob's professional achievements as a copyright scholar, dedicated legislative advocate, resourceful administrator, and national leader.

Professor Jeffery Bauman spoke of his long friendship with Bob and made an observation that resonated with me. In the weeks since Bob's death, Professor Bauman had recalled and regretted the many lunches he and Bob had to cancel because they were too busy to meet. Tears pricked my eyes as I watched heads nod knowingly all around me. How many lunches have we cancelled, thinking we had all the time in the world for lunch at some later date?

For several years, Bob and I had a regular lunch date, ostensibly to catch up on the happenings in my department, but in reality, it was a gabfest about new technology toys. Eventually, our lunch was downgraded to a long coffee break when we couldn't find time in the calendars of our Palm Pilots, our favorite toy. After I left the Georgetown staff, we managed a few lunches and even had the chance to work together on a consulting project, but I'd give anything to go back a few months and enjoy one of our regular lunches at the Washington Court Hotel on New Jersey Avenue across from the law school.

Since the funeral, I'd been thinking about the last lines of a poem by Ronald Gittelsohn entitled �We Remember Them,� which we all read at the end of his service:

When we have decisions that are difficult to make, we remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs, we remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

I'd been hoping to find an appropriate way to remember Bob, and when Professor Bauman expressed his regret about those cancelled lunches, I was struck by a crazy idea. What better way to pay tribute to Bob than to stop making excuses and meet a colleague for lunch?

So here's what I propose to honor Bob's memory. Right here, right now, drop this issue of PLL Perspectives and call someone you keep meaning to meet for lunch and get a date on your calendars. Don't give up until you do. When that date rolls around, remember Bob and do not succumb to the temptation to reschedule. Go meet your friend and enjoy the pleasure of the company. And when you part, commit to meet again next year on November 6 to remember the exceptional legacy of an extraordinary man.

by Kathie J. Sullivan, Sullivan Information Management Services, Colchester, VT

We quite suddenly and unexpectedly lost a good friend and colleague on September 29, 2007. Robert L. �Bob� Oakley was serving the Association as the Washington Affairs Representative and was the Director of the E.B. Williams and John Wolff Law Libraries and Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School, but he was so much more than these titles would reveal.

At the memorial service held at Georgetown on November 6, Bob's 62nd birthday, over 200 friends came together to share memories and affection for Bob. Universally, Bob was described as a teacher, a mentor, a colleague, an advocate, an expert, a father, a husband, a boss, a contractor, and a builder, but overall everyone was there because Bob was a friend.

I had the honor and privilege to work with Bob in a few capacities, most recently as a Board member. He attended board meetings to give the Washington Affairs Office updates, telling us about the testimonies he had provided, his advocacy on a national and international level, and explaining issues in clear enough terms that even those of us who were not as well versed in copyright and digital rights matters could feel empowered. On more than one occasion, we joked that he should create �Bob Casts� to stream out to members to share his insights on advocacy processes and efforts.

Prior to my Board service, I was privileged to chair the Program Committee for his Presidential Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in 2001. At the time I was quite surprised he selected me out of all the possible contenders he had at his disposal, but I jumped at the chance to work with him and make my mark�and make his mark. We worked together so well it was almost scary; when it came time to selecting the meeting logo, the graphic by which we would brand the meeting and all print materials leading to the meeting, we agreed on the single graphic as a first choice with no discussion. What was harder was selecting the correct �red� for the color�from the hundreds of possibilities we compared and contrasted, put the swatches under different lights and such until we had the correct shade. Of course the logo came after we developed the theme�which we discussed sitting near a pool with scraps of paper in front of us. We brainstormed, we wordsmithed, we developed our concept. We did the same when it came to selecting the members of the committee who we felt could carry out the theme and mission we envisioned. And then, for the most part, Bob let me go to work. He didn't micromanage but he was interested in the process. It was the perfect learning experience�he mentored by letting the committee do its work, but he also mentored others in the association through his conscientious efforts to reach out to and include members from underrepresented groups and those newer to the association. Bob's Candidate's Statement when he was running for AALL President is most telling about the man and leader he was when he spoke of the rich texture of our association community. See

Even earlier, I was consulted by Bob when the FTC was eliminating the guidelines for law book vendors. You may recall we submitted comments opposing the elimination. I was PLL Chair at the time and Bob did what he was best at: consulting a wide variety of schools of thought to frame the best argument with all aspects of an issue covered.

Did I have daily contact with Bob, as his staff and family did, and did I know what went on in his world on a daily basis? No, and now that he's gone I have a small amount of regret about the lack of more frequent contact. I didn't know he was a ham operator, but I knew he loved technology and gadgets. I didn't know he loved folk dancing, but I knew he was interested in drumming. I knew he favored Birkenstocks and cuff bracelets with magnets in them. What I was sure of, and was reminded of every time we saw each other, was that I was in his circle. He never failed to greet me with a �Hello, friend!� and that is what I will remember most of all.


by Kellee L. Selden-Huston, Davis & Kuelthau, s.c., Milwaukee, WI

Editor's Note: This is the first of Perspective's advice columns, intended to help librarians find solutions to the daily challenges they face.

How do you encourage attorneys to switch from using print to online sources when downsizing your library and trying to discard print materials?

Mary Koshollek, Director of Information and Records Services at Godfrey and Kahn, offered this suggestion. �One surefire technique is peer pressure. Either from inside, or better yet, their colleagues in other firms. I can send them brochures and get trials, but once a buddy uses a product and has success, it's usually in the door.� She encourages attorneys who have transferred from other firms to tell their departments about tools they used at their previous workplace. That often gets their co-workers interested in trying it too, Koshollek says.

The Table of Contents features offered by Westlaw and Lexis can also be helpful. Both vendors have added this service for some treatises and librarians can use it as an alternative to owning the set thus saving space and usually, time and money. When an attorney says they don't have a specific section they need, but are looking for a topic, send them the table of contents of a treatise and let them choose which sections they want to see in full. Printing several sections is a lot cheaper than owning the set.

Carol Bannen, Director, Information Resources of Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren , s.c. advises, �Training, training, training and most attorneys don't have time for non-billable training.� This is when she promotes her department. She writes that her staff is � available to help those people who can't figure out the new electronic resources and we are also available to walk people through their initial visits with the electronic product.� The librarians do this by working with the practice departments and offering training at monthly practice group meetings. They have �created subject specific legal research classes where all [the] electronic resources are reviewed.�

An anonymous contributor emailed, �If we have a request for a large set of books that is expensive to buy and maintain, I look for it on Westlaw and Lexis .� She then checks to see whether other firms or law school libraries own it. If so, she will try to persuade the attorneys to let them copy or borrow materials from the other libraries. If the librarians can get what the attorney needs within an hour or so, it is not worth keeping the set on the shelf. She reminds the attorneys of the cost of shelf space, especially if the books are not used on a regular basis.

It takes creativity and lots of marketing to find ways to keep the materials we really need and use, while getting rid of others that may be industry titles but no one refers to any more. Keep trying new things and pass success stories on to fellow professionals.

prepared by Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY

W-4 So Now You're Conflicts / So Now You're Docket: The Evolving Law Library Manager ( PLL-SIS) 1/2 day workshop

PLL-SIS Business Meeting and Breakfast

PLL-SIS Luncheon (speaker T/B/A)

A-3 Educating the C People: Engage Your Decision Makers and Help Them to Evolve

B-3 Evolving Fair Use Policies in the Private Law Firm ( PLL-SIS / Copyright Committee)

C-2 Strategic Plans that Work: Creating a Strategic Plan for a Law Library (PLL-SIS)

PLL-SIS Board Meeting

PLL-SIS Corporate Librarians Group Business Meeting & Program

PLL-SIS Intellectual Property Librarians Group Program "IP Search Tools and Products"

PLL-SIS Intellectual Property Librarians Group Program Reception

PLL-SIS Education Committee Meeting

D-4 Exploring Direct Results: Energizing Teaching and Using Audience Response Tools (PLL-SIS/RIPS-SIS)

E-3 Evolving Role of the Solo Librarian; When to Suggest or Welcome New Responsibilities & When to Politely Decline (PLL-SLS)

PLL-SIS One-Person (Solo) Library Group Program "Best Practices in the Small Law Library

PLL-SIS Intellectual Property Law Librarians Business Meeting

PLL-SIS Education - Regional Committee Meeting

PLL-SIS Newsletter Committee Business Meeting

PLL-SIS Public Relations Committee Business Meeting

PLL-SIS Program "Best Practices for Litigation Support"

PLL-SIS Independent Librarians Group Business Meeting & Program "Managing Transitions in Your Personal Life"

G-6 Nuts and Bolts of Competitive Intelligence-Information Gathering (PLL-SIS)

PLL-SIS Competitive Intelligence Business Meeting

PLL-SIS Records/Conflicts Management Group Business Meeting

PLL-SIS Technical Services Law Librarians' Group Program "Managing the Stress of Technical Services Change

H-5 Patent Searching Demystified (PLL-SIS)

I-3 Nuts & Bolts of Competitive Intelligence Deliverables (PLL-SIS)

OBS & PLL-SIS joint meeting: eleven local systems Law Users Roundtables are tentatively scheduled

PLL-SIS Program "Energize Your Presentations!"


PLL held a special election September 24 - October 4, 2007 to select a new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. The new Vice-Chair/Chair Elect is Tina Dumas. Congratulations to Tina and thanks to both Tina and Rebecca Corliss for running.

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