Spring 2008 Volume 19 Issue 3
Download the entire issue in Adobe Acrobat format
LAW FIRM ACCOUNTING 101
by Randall, J. Thompson, Louisiana State University , Baton Rouge , LA
IT'S A SMALL WORLD – WORKING FOR A GLOBAL LAW FIRM
by Fiona Durrant, Baker & McKenzie LLP, London , England
WPLLA SUPPORTS READING IS FUNDAMENTAL PITTSBURGH
by Lauren Vucic, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Pittsburgh , PA
EMPLOYER'S REMORSE: TIPS TO AVOID UNWISE HIRING DECISION
by Patricia L. Orr, Dykema, PLLC, Detroit , MI
MAKING YOUR MARK
by Sarah Mauldin, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Martin, Atlanta , GA
TAMING THE EMAIL MONSTER
by Donna M. Fisher, Senniger Powers LLP, St. Louis , MO
DOWN THE LIBRARY AUTOMATION PATH
by Janice Collins, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, Chicago , IL
THE NO-ASSHOLE RULE
reviewed by Mary Koshollek, Godfrey & Kahn, Milwaukee, WI
reviewed by Deborah Rusin, Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, IL
FROM THE CHAIR
by Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY
PLL CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES - VICE CHAIR/CHAIR ELECT
PLL CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES - SECRETARY
PLL CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES - BOARD MEMBER
Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY
EXPOSE YOURSELF TO … the AALL Continuing Professional Education Grants Program
By the time you read this column, PLL will have conducted two successful online live Webinars on cost recovery. The funding to support these courses comes from the AALL Continuing Professional Education Grant (CPE) program. In February and again in March, Nina Platt, moderator, and her staff and speakers assisted by Celeste Smith, Education Manager at AALL HQ, transmitted two one hour programs of highly instructive, concise and timely continuing education content over the Internet to the desktops of over 100 participants. Our CPE grant and the volunteers' time and effort allowed PLL to keep the member registration cost at $10 for each hour of instruction in recovering our costs, a real bang for the buck again from AALL and PLL!
Survey responses to “The Basics,” the first part of the two part program held in February, indicate that PLL exceeded the lofty goals of the CPE grant program:
“… [The grant program] strives to meet our core values, particularly in the area of life long learning. The strategic goal of continuing professional education is to ensure that law librarians receive the education and training needed to meet and leverage the challenges of the changing information environment…. [and] to encourage program development and promote sharing among AALL entities. This mode of continuing education allows AALL entities to participate in providing quality continuing education opportunities.” http://www.aallnet.org/prodev/
Our CPE programs will be available on the AALL members only site after an embargo of several months. As the CPE program develops, a rich collection of these professional development materials in video or audio format is being collected at http://www.aallnet.org/members/media.asp for your educational needs. Please review them to see the breadth of offerings. Yet another reason to have your AALL membership number at the ready!
About 25 years ago, eccentric Portland , Oregon., mayor Bud Clark “flashed” a statue in Pioneer Square as an election campaign stunt. A controversial photo of the event became the famous poster for a very successful ad campaign. The “Expose Yourself to Art” promotion got the residents of Portland to look around and appreciate the fact that they live in a gem of a place with remarkable and stunning architecture, fountains, gardens and other public art , great jazz, food and wine, wonderful craft shopping and a truly fantastic independent bookstore. My public plug for Powell's Books http://www.powells.com/ is both personal and professional. For the past 20 or so years, I have happily patronized Powell's both in person and online, first having been introduced to it by my kid brother who, unhappily for me, now lives elsewhere.
As an enthusiast of both Portland and AALL, I invite all PLLers to sample the bounty of Rose City in July, as well as the real time interaction at the gatherings and programs there, but to also sample the wealth of the CPE content online anytime. Expose yourself to the best priced continuing professional education available to law firm, corporate and independent law librarians!
LAW FIRM ACCOUNTING 101
by Randall, J. Thompson, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Although it comes as a shock to most young associates, at some point early in their careers they must come to understand that law firm practice is not a practice at all, but rather a business, one controlled by the harsh reality of economics. They must learn that they were hired not so much to practice law, but to make a profit. If they fail to comprehend this simple fact, their tenure at the firm will likely be short regardless of how good an attorney they may be.
Likewise firm librarians must increasingly be cognizant of their role in the firm's financial well-being. Librarians have always understood the expense side of the financial equation and their fiduciary obligation to manage information resource acquisitions in the most cost-efficient manner. But over time, increasing competitive pressures on firms have forced librarians to think in terms of revenue as well. Librarians are no longer concerned solely with simply containing costs. They are also seeking means to add to the revenue stream, including increased billable hours for research, appropriate cost recovery for client attributable expenses, and direct billable client contact.
But what should associates and librarians look for in determining a firm's financial health? There are several measures which upper management track to determine both how well the firm is doing and the extent to which each timekeeper contributes to the firm's profitability. The following is an overview of some of these benchmarks. By knowing what financials management deems important and how those financials are determined, associates and librarians alike can tailor their activities to improve the firm's bottom line.
Law firms are partnerships
The first and most obvious fact about law firms is that they are partnerships. As such, income tax consequences flow directly to the partners, not to the firm. Since the partners pay the tax rather than the firm, they want all taxable income realized and distributed to them without any retained earnings for the firm. To make sure the partners are taxed only on cash actually received rather than potential future receivables, law firms are forced to operate on a cash basis accounting system rather than an accrual basis. But cash basis accounting distorts the actual economic condition of the firm because revenue may not be received in the year in which the work generating the income is actually performed, making some years appear better than they actually were while others appear worse. As a result, since cash flow alone is insufficient for firms to determine their financial health, management has to track other metrics to determine the firm's real financial status.
How are the timekeepers doing?
Just because someone appears busy doesn't mean it's true or that any flurry of apparent activity is actually producing income. Firms thus have an interest in tracking the production of all timekeepers and in tying each person's output to profits for the firm. Although alternative billing arrangements are becoming more common, firms still rely heavily upon the billable hour as the basis for client billing, and have developed a host of measures to assess each timekeeper's hourly contribution to the firm.
Billable hours and hourly rates
Although universally condemned as a bane of law firm life, timekeeping and the billable hour are the foundation of a firm's revenue. Most firms establish an annual billable hour goal for each timekeeper in the firm which when multiplied by that timekeeper's standard hourly rate results in the timekeeper's highest expected annual revenue (HEAR). This is the maximum amount of receipts that each timekeeper can be expected to bring into the firm. When the HEAR for each timekeeper is determined and those for all the timekeepers in the firm are added together, management can begin to evaluate the firm's projected income to determine the revenue side of the budget equation. Management can also compare the firm's projected income to actual gross receipts to see how close the firm is coming to attaining its revenue goals.
Leakage and realization rates
As much as it would like, no firm is able to capture its full HEAR. From the time work is done until receipts arrive, potential income is siphoned off through leakage. Management's challenge is to determine where the money is being lost and take preventive measures. The first step is to look at realization rates.
Realization rates can be expressed in a variety of ways, but in general they track the fees actually billed and collected as a percentage of the maximum amount that could have been billed on the file. There are three points at which realization rates are measured. First is standard realization or the adjustments made to the timekeeper's standard hourly rates when the file is opened. Next is billing realization which tracks write-offs made by the billing partner when the client is billed. Last is collection realization, measuring the amount of money the client actually pays.
Realization rates can have a significant impact upon revenue. Say an associate has a standard hourly rate of $150. However, when the file is opened, the billing partner decides to give the client a discount of $10 per hour on the associate's work. Later when billing the client, the partner decides that the associate took two hours too long to do research on the file and so writes that off. The client then decides that the associate was an unnecessary participant in a conference and refuses to pay for the three hours the associate was involved in the meeting. If the associate originally billed 20 hours of time on the file, then the expected income to the firm should have been $3,000. However, with the write-offs, the amount the firm realized on the associate's work was only $2,100, resulting in a realization rate of only 70 percent on the file.
Realization rates are tracked in a variance report showing the percentage of write-offs attributed to each file over some specified time. It is likely that too many 70 percent realization rates will draw management's unwelcome attention to the billing partner to explain why so much money is being lost. And as we know that everything goes downhill, the associate will likely hear about it as well.
Effective Hourly Rates
A low realization rate can have significant repercussions for the individual timekeeper as well as the firm. Meeting annual billable hour goals is a laudable achievement for an associate, but that alone doesn't give any indication of how much income the associate actually generated. A better measurement is the effective hourly rate (EHR) which looks at how much revenue was produced for each hour worked. So in the example above, the associate's EHR was $105 per hour ($2,100 realized ÷ 20 hours), a far cry from the associate's $150 standard hourly rate. With EHRs established for all timekeepers in the firm, management can rank those most efficiently producing the highest revenue for the firm from those producing the lowest. This knowledge can be useful when it comes time to award end of year bonuses—or pink slips.
EHRs are also a good measure of client profitability. Suppose that work for two separate clients both produced $10,000 of revenue. On the surface, the income from each client appears identical. However, if the revenue from one client was generated through 50 hours of work (EHR = $200) while the other took 75 hours (EHR = $133), then the first client is much more profitable in terms of return on time invested. Ranking clients in this way can show management which clients produce income efficiently and, perhaps more importantly, which clients drain time from the firm but generate small returns.
WIP is work-in-progress and represents inventory in law firms. For all practical purposes, all that a law firm sells is time. WIP reports track that time prior to billing. As with the inventory for any company, WIP represents unrealized profits that are being wasted until billed. And as anyone who has ever worked in debt collection can attest, the longer a bill goes without being collected, the less likely it is that it will ever be paid. Management thus tracks WIP to see which files have long term unbilled time. If an active file goes longer than one billing cycle without the client being invoiced, some unlucky billing partner will probably be asked for an explanation.
Effective Billing Rate
The goal of all timekeepers in a firm is to make a profit. To do so, each timekeeper must produce more income than the total cost of all expenses that can be attributed to the individual. Whether this occurs can be measured by the effective billing rate on each file.
To determine the effective billing rate, the firm must first know its hourly cost structure—that portion of the expense of running the firm for each hour it operates which can be attributed to each timekeeper. Expense components include overhead (utilities, rent, supplies, etc.), the cost of support staffing, and direct timekeeper compensation. Overhead and support staffing costs are allocated to each timekeeper by a formula. For example, in a firm that has overhead costs of $100,000 per year and employs a receptionist with an annual salary and benefits of $25,000, management may decide to attribute 20 percent of these costs to each associate as their portion of the cost of running the firm. Say in addition, the associate has a salary with benefits of $50,000 per year. The cost of that associate to the firm is thus $75,000 per year ((($100,000 + $25,000) X 20%) + $50,000). Assuming the firm has a 1,800 billable hour requirement for associates, the associate has an effective billing rate of $41.67 per hour ($75,000 ÷ 1,800). Thus, for every hour the associate bills, the firm ultimately has to receive at least $41.67 in revenue to break even on the associate's work. If the total amount of net revenue received for the associate's work on a file divided by the hours the associate spent working is less than $41.67, then the firm actually lost money on that associate's work. Armed with the effective billing rate for each timekeeper, management can see which timekeeper produces the most profit for the firm and also which files are the least profitable.
Profit per Partner
Profit per partner is a metric developed by American Lawyer magazine to compare profitability among firms. Simply put, it is the total profits generated by a firm divided by the firm's total number of equity partners. A high AmLaw ranking is attractive to many firms hoping that the resulting bragging rights will generate an influx of wealthy clients and attract the best and brightest new associates. However, since AmLaw only includes equity partners in its calculations, the survey results can be skewed and firms can manipulate their standing simply by how they define equity partnership.
This is possible because many firms have developed multi-tiered partnership levels. Equity partners are those who have actually bought into the partnership by contributing capital to the firm's operation. Because these partners have invested in the firm, they have the most riding on the firm's financial success. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, equity partners will normally have the right to command the most say in the firm's operation, and receive the largest percentage of the firm's profit. In contrast, non-equity partners are those partners who have not contributed capital to the firm and who comprise a second tier of partnership. Non-equity partners generally have less say than the equity partners in how the firm is managed and receive fewer perks. More importantly, as partners, they are no longer paid salaries like associates, but instead receive compensation in the form of a percentage of the firm's annual profits, usually at some percentage rate less than that of the equity partners. As a result of this change in compensation structure, non-equity partners may actually make less as partners than they made as associates.
By encouraging associates to become non-equity rather than equity partners, firms can retain their profit per partner ranking without any real change in the firm's underlying profitability. For instance, if a ten-partner firm is making a profit of $1,000,000 per year, then its profit per partner is $100,000. However, if an associate becomes an equity partner with no change in the firm's actual profits, the profit per partner drops to $90,900. Making the associate a non-equity partner would keep the profit per partner at $100,000. However, the newly-minted non-equity partner, faced with a potentially reduced income along with the additional responsibilities that come with partnership, may not join in the equity partners' joy at maintaining the firm's ranking.
These are some of the benchmarks that management can use to determine if a firm's financial health is robust or is on life-support. Either way, the key is to remember that firms are in the business of making money and whatever they measure has to focus on the bottom line.
For more information on law firm financials, check out the column, Profitability , by David J. Bilinsky and Laura A. Calloway appearing monthly in Law Practice , the journal of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association. This extremely helpful and readable column provided much of the insight for this article.
IT’S A SMALL WORLD – WORKING FOR A GLOBAL LAW FIRM
by Fiona Durrant, Baker & McKenzie LLP, London, England
I have been asked to write about the unique challenges facing a librarian who works for a global firm, as opposed to a firm located just in the United States . Working for a large global law firm provides both opportunities and challenges for librarians. Some of these situations may be the same even for a firm which has a large network in one country with multiple sites. I aim to put forward some personal experiences as well as those of which I am aware for colleagues in similar situations.
The London office is the largest in the Baker & McKenzie network with over 300 fee earners and 14 staff in its Knowledge Management Department (7 of which are traditional ‘library' roles); however this is just medium-size on London scales. At the other end of the spectrum the Firm has a number of smaller offices with no librarian. Whilst rigorous reviews of standards across the Firm take place on a cyclical basis, for libraries this can mean vast differences in the level of resources and services offered. This generally wouldn't matter if a lawyer's experience was only in one office but many now spend periods of time in different offices either to support a client, underpin a particular practice area or initiative or for professional development purposes.
There are also simple things that cause problems like differences in copyright law. In the UK we buy licenses so we can photocopy journals and newspapers.1 In the UK the license terms have not yet caught up with technology and wilst we can fax an article we are not permitted to make a PDF copy of a journal article from a hardcopy magazine, but in some other jurisdictions it is more flexible. This can make visiting lawyers see us as arcane and obstructive, but when you are a large international law firm representing the intellectual property interests of major international organisations you can hardly be seen to breach the law yourself!
Access to resources on the move or from home
Lawyers travel on business and increasing numbers enjoy flexible working patterns 2 which might include working from home. Whilst not a challenge unique to a global firm these facts add another dimension to the negotiation of online contracts. Many information resources are jurisdiction-specific and so remain relevant to just a few countries. Therefore the majority of Baker & McKenzie information contracts are negotiated by the local office. A few key contracts are negotiated globally and are managed by the office that has the key interest in that resource.
For example, in London, for online subscription contracts lacking the necessary language we have inserted boilerplate clauses into many of them to permit access for lawyers wherever they are in the world, provided they are technically an employee of the London office. It is surprising how many contracts as they originally stand would mean that someone visiting another office for three months would no longer be entitled to use that resource.
There are many models for managing information in large law firms. These include:
Centralised service desk which fields calls to local offices and in effect offers a 24 hour service by shuffling an enquiry from one time zone to another. This centralised service desk may be in one of the larger offices or may be in an offshore location such as India or Malaysia .
Centralised service desk with no local support
Regionalized – where certain geographic centres are pulled together where it makes most sense, e.g. North America, Europe, Asia
Local offices only
The nature of law is that no single information professional can expect to have more than a passing knowledge of jurisdictions other than their own. At Baker & McKenzie in London we focus on English law, can cope with Scottish legislation, and take ages to get the codified version of US legislation and eventually get there in ten times the amount of time it would have taken an experienced, dedicated US librarian. Baker & McKenzie has the advantage of being able to rely on our network of librarians in other offices and get their expertise. Where synergies across borders can more easily exist is in the provision of business and industry information and it is not unknown for firms to utilize offshore or outsourced services to do this.
The very nature of a Partnership can create challenges as to how far levels of cooperation can go. An International Partnership can range from a fully open one where all resources of all offices are shared without boundaries, to each office being very independent and sharing just a name and cross-border clients, with lots of permutations in-between.
There are many counterparts in other offices which you find yourself e-mailing on a regular basis but have never actually met. Baker & McKenzie doesn't have a centralised information service but many law firms do. Working for a global law firm might involve more travel than someone else at the same level would do, especially if it involves responsibility for other offices.
In the UK most large law firms have Professional Support Lawyers (PSLs), a wonderfully accessible group of non-fee earning qualified lawyers who have roles of precedent writing, practice area business development, current awareness, or a mixture of all three. Information teams generally find themselves working very closely with PSLs which, among other things, often allows us to better understand the needs of the different practice areas without feeling like we are using up valuable fee-earning time. The regular contact with the same person also creates strong bonds that make working together easier.
I liaise with the Commonwealth offices more often than with offices that are geographically closer, due to the common elements of the law. Although Paris is only a few hours away from London by train, when having to locate non-English jurisdiction legislation or case law I tend to find myself more often looking on Austlii or a similar site. 3 The Firm's intranet can be accessed from any office and this can prove very helpful when looking for information in an unfamiliar area. It can also prove hazardous when making certain resources available that are office specific.
When it is necessary to talk to your counterparts in other offices, it is easy to rely on e-mail. With e-mail you don't need to worry about what time you are sending it if the reply isn't urgent, but you can lose that personal touch and there is a chance things might be taken in the wrong way. Organizing a time for a conference call across multiple time zones isn't easy, and usually involves one person staying late and another person arriving early and/or joining in the conference call from home. Where I've had London colleagues involved in cross jurisdiction projects such as search solutions involving Australia , the US , Philippines and the UK , London seems to be the fortunate one when it comes to the timing. Conferencing software allows participants to share PowerPoints, training and even desktops. 4 When all that is needed is a simple one-to-one telephone call, basic internet tools like The World Clock can tell you the best time to call. 5
My job is also made far easier as the official "language" of Baker & McKenzie is English, and wilst I studied French until I was 18, that was a long time ago.
Baker & McKenzie in London is fairly self-sufficient in that we purchase and buy most of our information materials direct from suppliers. Where it makes sense we purchase via our US offices, and we do the same for them. The plus side is that we get materials quickly, maintain direct relationships with suppliers and can be a demanding customer. The downside of this is that we don't always have a clear picture on a global scale of our total spent with one publisher or supplier.
Buying online materials for one of the larger offices in the network involves staff used to the negotiations and contract terms. For the smaller offices legal practice group structures (for example the Global Antitrust Group) which are global in their structure may provide the support that is needed. Online information purchasing at Baker & McKenzie is only centralised for a few core resources, which is different from the practices of a number of other similar sized firms. What works for one doesn't work for all.
Sometimes the publisher knows more about the global picture of subscriptions than a single law office does. This can mean that local negotiators are not leveraging the fullest potential from certain suppliers. Decisions need to be made about what should and can be negotiated at a global level.
Currency also makes life interesting as it can make it virtually impossible to accurately predict what your expenditure is going to be. From a UK perspective for the handful of products which we buy in US dollars, 2007 was a fantastic year. The exchange rate with the dollar was very favorable to Sterling , making prices cheaper than we expected. However if there is a dramatic shift the other way during 2008 then explaining the steep rises can just be another thing you have to take into account.
A professional career
I was very privileged to attend the AALL conference in New Orleans in June 2007. Whilst everyone I met was very professional and knowledgeable, it struck me that it was more common for a US Librarian to also be legally qualified than in the UK . In England there are Law Librarians with legal qualifications but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule.6 In smaller offices in our own network the role of a "librarian" is often devolved to the most enthusiastic person. This might seem to cause disparity among librarians, but I have found the opposite is true. There is more opportunity for professional development and benchmarking when you can do it within your own organisation. There have been many times in my eleven years at Baker & McKenzie when I have hosted another librarian at our office to show what we do. I have done the same and would love to do more.
There are a wide variety of support networks in London that can offer a Librarian career development opportunities. The City Information Group (CIG) often has courses on "How the City Works" and similar themes. City Legal Information Group (CLIG) arranges tours of Lloyds of London and arranges speakers on diverse topics including understanding securities law. The main national organisation is BIALL – the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians. The close association BIALL has with other national law librarian groups is of genuine benefit to people such as myself working in an international environment.
Partnerships are traditionally very different from one to another so one structure will not be replicated in another. This very difference can make law librarianship both an interesting and frustrating career and why I love my job so very much.
1/ Copyright Licensing Agency and Newspaper Licensing Agency
2/ Top UK firms embrace flexible working. The Lawyer , 31 August 2007. http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=128326 . For example Global firm DLA Piper has 71 fee earners working flexibly in the UK .
4/ Examples include Interval (was Raindance), WebEx, Live Meeting, GoToMeeting and many more
6/ BIALL Salary Survey 2007 reveals that out of 234 responses (across all sectors) 6 were legally qualified and 20 others had law degrees but were not legally qualified (approx 11%). In the AALL Biennial Salary survey & Organization Characteristics 2007 for individuals in Private firm/Corporation Libraries 8.8% of private firm/organization libraries had an MLS & JD, plus 4% with just a JD which isn't too different from the BIALL percentage. However in an all sector examination the AALL survey reveals 27.2% have an MLS & JD plus 5.4% just a JD which is massively higher than the UK .
WPLLA SUPPORTS READING IS FUNDAMENTAL PITTSBURGH
by Lauren Vucic, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
For the second consecutive year, the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association (WPLLA) was proud to participate in a book drive for Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh (RIF). This wonderful organization, established in 1981, collects new and lightly used books which are distributed to children ages two through twelve, who reside in the city of Pittsburgh and are in need of reading material. A trained RIF volunteer is stationed at each of the more than 80 book distribution locations to conduct a reading lesson for the children. The mission of the organization is “to provide the resources, motivation, opportunities and skills for children ages two through twelve to read.” There is a larger, national organization, Reading is Fundamental (RIF), which may be familiar to many librarians. While partly affiliated with the national organization, RIF Pittsburgh “is a separate organization, managed and operated autonomously” ( http://www.rifpittsburgh.org ).
Marirose Radelet founded RIF Pittsburgh after spending time sitting outside of her Pittsburgh home reading aloud to neighborhood children. After time, she realized the children did not have books of their own. It was here that the idea of gathering and distributing books to local children developed, and thus, RIF Pittsburgh began. Twenty-seven years later, RIF Pittsburgh has flourished, and boasts a full executive board and staff, a well-trained and highly productive volunteer group, and numerous children (now over 135,000) and families who benefit from the generosity of donators.
RIF supports several book distribution programs throughout the year, where children are able to pick out books of interest to them. One of the main goals of RIF Pittsburgh is to encourage children to read for pleasure at home, not just in the classroom. When children are able to choose books for themselves, they cultivate this interest in reading and learn to love books. There are five book distributions held annually, three throughout the school year, and two in the summer months.
In November 2006, WPLLA held a brown bag luncheon, where Cindy Krappweis, executive director of RIF Pittsburgh, was guest speaker. She informed attendees as to what the non-profit organization is about, who it supports, and its various programs. WPLLA members, as librarians, felt a true connection to the mission of RIF Pittsburgh, and decided to show our support by organizing a book drive. Individual members of WPLLA collected new and lightly used books at his or her place of employment, which included private law firms, law school libraries, and state and county law libraries. People were also encouraged to make a monetary donation to be used to purchase new books for the children in the program.
Due to last year's success, WPLLA held its second RIF Pittsburgh book drive, and will continue the tradition in future years. We hold the book drive for approximately four weeks between November and December, coinciding nicely with the holiday season. Between the two book drives in 2006 and 2007, WPLLA raised $2,300, and donated 733 books. WPLLA hopes to see an increase in donations with each passing year, and encourages other local law library chapters to seek out a local RIF program or similar organization to which to contribute. WPLLA had an extremely positive and satisfying experience, and encountered immense community support for children's literacy.
EMPLOYER’S REMORSE: TIPS TO AVOID UNWISE HIRING DECISIONS
by Patricia L. Orr, Dykema, PLLC, Detroit, MI
Position openings present opportunities to add new skills to a staff, as well as to fill an open job. Unfortunately, if the individual hired to fill the position is not a good fit, the consequences are difficult for everyone in the department. The following tips are practices that I've used in my current position, as well as at other libraries where I've managed the hiring process for librarians and support staff. Although they cannot guarantee a perfect choice, these tips should increase your confidence in the candidate you've selected.
1. Define the position with a fresh eye. Interview the departing employee to learn how the job has changed during his/her tenure. Have new skills been added to the position? Consult remaining staff; based on their interaction with the position, do they recommend any changes? Before the position is advertised, meet with the Human Resources department to revise the job description if appropriate.
2. Review the job-specific resource manual before interviews begin. It may not be necessary to complete a thorough revision of training material, however, being knowledgeable about the specific functions of the job will be helpful, should you be asked questions during an interview.
3. Enlist the aid of colleagues to review applications with you. When hiring technical services staff, the Technical Services Librarian reviews resumes with me. When Dykema filled a support position in the Chicago office Library, the Reference Librarian who supervised that position reviewed resumes with me and interviewed the applicants. The purpose is not to narrow the applicant pool through harsh criticism. The benefit of additional observations is that details might be caught that could be otherwise overlooked. Additionally, the colleagues who participate gain insight into the type of individuals who apply.
4. Create effective interview questions. One or two questions to allow the applicant to introduce him / herself to you are good ice-breaker questions. With no right or wrong answer, the applicant should tell you what they want you to know about them. Questions centering on what attracted them to the position and what they like about library work will give you some insight into their motivation.
Questions that will show the applicant's experience and preparedness are important. Can they describe a project they've recently completed or one that is currently in progress? Have they attempted a project and failed? If so, what did they learn from the experience?
One of the most difficult things to learn through an interview is whether the individual will be a good fit for your library and for the broader organization. Questions that help resolve this mystery include: what type of environment they prefer, what type of supervision brings out their best efforts, what type of supervisor do they hope to avoid. Checking references is crucial. Yes, it is quite likely that you will receive glowing reviews for the applicant. However, if the reference is checked by someone experienced in the process you may also gain valuable insight into the qualifications of the applicant.
5. Begin your relationship with your new employee before they walk in the door. I send a “Welcome to the Library Staff” email greeting to new library employees. I include a brief introduction of the staff explaining who handles various responsibilities.
6. Develop a continuing program of training and assessment to guide you through the year. Once the initial orientation and training is completed, it is easy to lose track of an employee's development. I meet weekly with support staff at their work station. They give me a status report and we discuss any item that may require my attention. An initial performance review is scheduled at 90 days. This review provides an opportunity to schedule refresher training in software applications, for the employee to give a brief self-assessment, and to set reasonable goals for the next three months. At six months, we set goals for the remainder of the year.
7. Make the most of the Annual Performance Appraisal. Throughout the year, keep a file of performance successes you've noted. Seek input from the employee's direct supervisor, as well as from peers, subordinates, and library users. Note any additional training or continuing education opportunities the employee has taken. Look for examples of success as well as failure that will help you assess the effectiveness of the hiring process.
Remember to thank your employee for hard work and best efforts. Everyone works for a salary. Most employees perform more successfully when they know their work is appreciated.
MAKING YOUR MARK
by Sarah Mauldin, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Martin, Atlanta, GA
Do you like marketing? Are you thrilled when it’s time to sit down and write a marketing plan? Do you love to spend time writing promotional materials and dreaming up activities to increase the visibility of your library? If so, this article isn’t for you. I’m talking to the rest of you, the ones who know you don’t have time to breathe, let alone brand.
What is marketing? It’s selling a product. What is your product? It’s a room (or two or none) and it’s databases and books and research. Really, though, it’s YOU, the librarian. You are the one who holds the key to all of that information, and your attorneys rely on you to help them find what they need to practice law the best they can.
Your firm has chosen to hire a librarian. Management could have just purchased subscriptions to Westlaw and Lexis or filled a room with books. Instead, they hired a professional to provide an interface between information and attorneys. Someone at your firm believes in the value of the library and the librarian. Prove them right.
One of the most important things to know about marketing is that it doesn’t require lots of fancy planning. Marketing is taking a little time each day to help your patrons know who you are and what you do. Although it would be nice to have a sharp brochure and lovely logo, it’s not necessary.
Toot your own horn. When you do something good, make sure people know about it. If you don’t remind people of your accomplishments, don’t expect anyone else to do so. Don’t feel that you have to make a big deal out of everything you do, but be sure to get the word out about major personal and library accomplishments.
Don’t be shy and retiring. Tell attorneys why the library is worthwhile. Feel empowered to speak to people in management. Don’t hide behind the librarian stereotypes. Remember that you are a highly educated professional and have been hired for your skills. You have something very specific to offer to improve the fortunes of the firm. Let people know how you can help them and don’t just wait for them to show up begging for assistance.
Provide training as often as possible. It doesn’t have to be formal training. Anything that you can do to show a user how to do something better or faster is worthwhile. Once you have shown a user how the library or librarian can save them time you have made a fan who is more likely to seek your assistance in the future. Those who know you can help and have been happy with your help in the past are more likely to tell colleagues about the value of the library and may even be willing to act as a champion when you need them. Be prepared to provide training to anyone in the firm. I’ve found that some of my best marketing has come from training secretaries who remind their attorneys that the library might be able to help with whatever they have asked the secretary to do. The more people who join your fan club, the easier it is to remind people of your value.
Be visible and take part in the life of the firm. I’m a member of the firm softball team and am sure to attend the holiday party and happy hours. These relaxed interactions make attorneys and staff members aware that the librarian is a person with interests outside of legal research. These activities also give you important face time with firm leaders you may not always have a chance to see.
Cultivate relationships. I have had an excellent relationship with the director of marketing at my current firm as well as at my previous firm. It is easy to fear the marketer as someone who is willing to take credit for research the library worked hard to create. It doesn’t have to be this way. Working with the marketing department gives you the opportunity to streamline the research process. You might determine that there are redundancies in the research capabilities of the two departments and can show the marketers a more efficient way to find what they need. You might also be able to find another way to get your research message in front of attorneys. I have assisted the marketing department with creating attorney marketing plans by finding pro bono and volunteer activities as well as identifying emerging markets on which to focus.
I also make it a point to meet new hires to remind them that the library exists and that it can help them. This includes attorneys but also receptionists, secretaries, accountants, and the people in the copy room. The relationships you have with support staff are just as important as those you have with attorneys and managers.
Write. Yes, you should write for professional publications and make sure that people know about it. But more than that, write for your firm’s internal publications. A few paragraphs in the monthly newsletter about Google search tips or new materials can help keep your message at the top of the mind of your users. If what you provide is useful right now, so much the better.
Have fun. I go all out for National Library Week every year, making the library a really fun place for the whole week. It can be difficult to get attorneys involved in frivolity but the effort is worth it. You can do something as simple as sending an email offering candy for the week or come up with elaborate games or other activities. I always have some simple games like word searches and trivia that can be taken away and returned as time allows. My prizes are all of those tchotchkes you pick up every year in the Annual Meeting exhibit hall. A little planning and a few dollars can go a long way to making people think of the library fondly.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about marketing is that it is an ongoing process. You can’t turn it on and off at will but should remember that every interaction you have with anyone in your firm can be seen as marketing. Try to make these interactions positive and you are on your way to making the library the place to go for information and answers in your firm. Go forth and make your marketing mark!
TAMING THE EMAIL MONSTER
by Donna M. Fisher, Senniger Powers LLP, St. Louis, MO
At this moment, the electronic zoo that is otherwise known as my email inbox has roughly 1323 items in it. My outbox is faring better—only about 724 messages. My Perspectives colleague Randy Thompson admitted that he has over 3200 messages in his inbox, so clearly I am not alone in my battle with this beast. Unfortunately, my mastery over it is always fleeting. Most of the time, email is the one cracking the whip while I cower in the corner. What's the solution to taming the email monster? After reading countless articles on how to make email "work" better, I've found five techniques to keep me (at least theoretically) from ending up in its gaping jaws. I hope you find them useful as well.
1. When possible, send email messages during the time of day when you work at peak efficiency. Recently I received a long and complicated email message from one of our attorneys who had composed and sent the message at 6 a.m. When I commented on how impressed I was that someone could write so coherently at such an ungodly hour of the day, he replied, "Yes, but the downside is that anything I write after 2 p.m. is incoherent." How wise he was to realize that.
For me, the rule to avoid sending messages when my brain is running on less than half a tank of gas roughly translates into, "Never send email before 7:30 a.m." I failed to heed this edict one morning when, before the unofficial 7:30 a.m. startup time, I realized I had theater tickets for the next day that I couldn't use. I graciously (or so I thought) sent a message to the whole firm—partners, associates, and support staff alike—offering the tickets free of charge to the first taker. It was only when I read the message as it arrived in my own inbox that I realized I had looked at the calendar incorrectly and the tickets were for the prior week. It wasn't pretty having to send another email admitting to being the librarian who didn't even know the date. Lesson learned: if your messages are accurately written the first time, you'll need to send fewer of them.
2. Never post a message to a listserv the day before or the day after a holiday. I get enough messages without inviting hundreds more to flood my inbox with out-of-office autoreplies (including many with cute holiday themed emoticons and other cheery messages making me feel like I must be the only librarian still in the office).
3. At the risk of stating the obvious, before sending any message, proofread it first. Then proofread it again. Once you're sure it's perfect, proofread it once more. The extra time spent could save you from the disconcerting situation of using a potentially embarrassing word. I once wrote a message that contained the phrase "mutual fund" and the millisecond before I hit the "send" button to distribute the email to the entire firm, an inner voice prompted me to proofread it one last time. It was only on that third reading that I noticed I had typed "mutual fun" instead of "mutual fund." While I fully support the concept of "mutual fun" I'm not sure that's an apt description of what I want going on in my library.
4. Set up a special sound alert for messages received from within your law firm or from other specified senders. Since I receive the majority of my research requests via email, I felt like I was a prisoner tethered to my computer. No matter what task I was doing, I felt like I had to constantly check my computer screen for new messages. Finally, I had our friendly Information Systems manager configure my inbox to play a specific sound only when I receive messages from persons within the firm. This simple but elegant solution gave me the freedom to turn away from my computer without worrying about missing any urgent research requests. Now when I hear the familiar "Tada" sound, I know it's a message I need to read right away. If I'm reshelving or a little further away from my desk, I just adjust the volume. You can also set up a rule to have a dialog box displayed when you receive a message from a particular person.
5. Direct messages to a designated folder. I have messages from a specific listserv bypass my regular inbox and go directly into my "Junk E-Mail" folder. I originally set this up in response to an exasperating and unending listserv exchange that over a period of several days interrupted me constantly with messages containing nothing but useless banter. Once the annoying thread ceased, I discovered that routing email to the folder made it very convenient for me to leisurely review and manage listserv messages.
I haven't yet tamed my email monster, but I've at least managed a little better at keeping him inside his cage.
DOWN THE LIBRARY AUTOMATION PATH
by Janice Collins, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, Chicago, IL
Deciding to implement a library automation project is not for the faint of heart. Many decisions about what functionality is needed, what kinds of new equipment will be needed to run the application, who will be responsible for maintenance of the equipment and the upgrades to the program, and finally choosing the system which will fulfill most of the requirements can keep one up nights. This is Sonnenschein's story.
In January 1994, shortly after Linda Devaun arrived as the new Head of Technical Services, the search began for a library automation system. At the time, Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal (SNR) was using the serials check-in module of Data Trek and a card catalog. The upkeep of SNR's extensive programs created an overwhelming workload for Information Services, so Linda knew she needed to choose a system which involved very little input from IS. Linda, along with Colleen McCarroll, the Library Director at that time, had to find an application in which the vendor hosted the library's data on their computers. As fate would have it, Alice Calabrese, the new Director of the Chicago Library System (CLS), announced the approval of a grant she had written to obtain technology money. CLS, now defunct, in the 1990s was a unique library system because of the mix of law, corporate, academic, school, and the Chicago Public libraries it contained. The Director of CLS knew this grant would allow the libraries to have start-up money for a library automation system they might not otherwise have been able to afford. CLS chose to partner with Marquis (now Horizon) to provide the automation software because the vendor would be doing the data hosting and the program and equipment upgrades.
After evaluating the product, Linda found that in addition to having the mandatory hosting requirement it was also able to handle SNR's serials check-in, routing and acquisitions needs. SNR became the third CLS library to sign up for Horizon. The CLS technology grant awarded to SNR was approximately $8000. The grant paid for the router, the 56K modem (Horizon was not a web based application at that time), and the OCLC costs to produce a MARC tape on the library's holdings. In addition, the grant paid for Horizon to migrate as much of the serials prediction data as possible from Data Trek to Horizon. The annual cost of Horizon is a license for each staff public access catalog (pac) seat — four in Chicago and one in each of the other six offices with library staff.
After the equipment was in place, and the OCLC tape was loaded by the vendor, work began in earnest. The information loaded into Horizon from the OCLC tape had to be verified by checking the shelves and the serials records. The OCLC tape contained records for materials no longer held by SNR which had to be deleted from Horizon. After the year-long verification process was painstakingly completed, work began on the serials check-in and routing portion and later the acquisitions portion which is used to track new orders and all Chicago and multi-office payments. Formal training for using Horizon was provided by the vendor and was paid for by CLS.
After getting the Chicago office up and running, the libraries in the other offices were added gradually. This process had to done in addition to regular work of the technical services staff in Chicago and the staff in the other offices. The St. Louis office was first, followed by Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and finally New York.
Support for Horizon includes an active users group that holds annual meetings.
The future of Horizon is uncertain. In 2006 Sirsi/Dynex acquired Horizon. The company has announced that Horizon will not be the product they will sell in the future. The date Horizon will no longer be supported has not been released.
In conclusion, when searching for a library automation system remember no application will be perfect. A library automation system, however, needs to meet your major requirements. In SNR’s case the data had be hosted by the vendor. Decide which quirks of the program you can deal with and develop work arounds as necessary. If you lack the funding, try looking for unique funding opportunities such as Library Technology grants given by your state library. Finally, try not to lose too much sleep over your selection!
[ BOOK REVIEWS ]
THE NO-ASSHOLE RULE: BUILDING A CIVILIZED WORKPLACE AND SURVIVING ONE THAT ISN’T
[Robert Sutton, Ph. D., Warner Business Books, 2007 ISBN 978-0446526562]
reviewed by Mary Koshollek, Godfrey & Kahn, Milwaukee, WI
You've encountered them and even named them--“bullies,” “jerks,” “divas” and “@$$#*!&'s.” Every office has one. Some have multiples and there is no other word that quite describes them, so forgive us for its usage here. However, no one has ever studied or written on their effect in the workplace quite the way Robert Sutton has in his book, “The No-Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't.” Sutton is a Stanford professor who has written several respected business books and has put his extensive credentials behind this work to create a guide to the whys and hows of surviving the office bully. Expanding and deepening his 2004 Harvard Business Review article titled “More Trouble Than They're Worth,” it is interesting to note that Harvard Business School Press refused to publish the book version because of the word “asshole” in its title.
Sutton's book has caused a stir in the legal world since its publication in early 2007 and not just for its startling title. He examines several professions, but also notes that the law is an archetypical industry where these personalities exist. Sutton has been featured in American Lawyer (February 2007) and received kudos from respected consultants to the service sector like David Maister (see http://davidmaister.com/blog/243/Bob-Suttons-No-Asshole-Rule ).
Although the book has several chapters, it is a quick and engaging read at 200 pages. The first chapters cover what assholes do and what exactly the rule is. According to Sutton, an asshole is one who oppresses, humiliates, de-energizes, or belittles his target. Generally the victim is someone less powerful than the bully, causing the targeted individual to feel worse following an interaction. Sutton's examples also prove that this intimidating behavior is not limited to a particular gender. He then examines how the rule should be enforced, how to keep from becoming one, how to survive nasty people and, finally, their virtues . . . yes, their virtues.
Recognizing an asshole by Sutton's definition is easy, but he also goes on to describe what their destructive effect is. Sutton lists "the dirty dozen" of everyday tactics used by this personality type. Behaviors such as personal insults, threats and intimidation (both verbal and nonverbal), sarcastic jokes used to deliver insults, email flames, rude interruptions and treating people as if they are invisible are among the classic techniques employed. He goes on to list methods of coping with such personalities, recommending things like detachment, looking for small wins, limiting your exposure to these types and, among others, exposing them if you are in a position to do so.
By far a favorite part of this book is the advice on how to avoid becoming an asshole. Every manager should read the book for this advice alone and understand how uncivilized behavior can infect every level of a company. When persistent people work to set the right example, it will be in stark contrast to unacceptable behavior. Demotivation contributes to lost efficiency and effectiveness which Sutton notes can be measured. In short, don't foster a breeding ground for jerks by your own attitude! For fans of Sutton's style, check out his blog at http://bobsutton.typepad.com/. Among the many offerings there, you will find a test with the acronym ARSE (the Asshole Rating Self-Exam). The test is composed of 24 questions to ask yourself about your own workplace style. Even better, as one reviewer suggested, h ave a few coworkers take the test to rate you.
Doubtless, this book will make you think. Take Sutton's advice if you are serious about increasing your own leadership qualities and managerial effectiveness. It is also a book to share if you dare to “clean up” the civility of your own work environment.
Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource
[Michael Miller, Que Publishing, 2007 ISBN: 0-7897-3639-X]
reviewed by Deborah Rusin, Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, Illinois
How Do you Google?
So you think you know how to search the Web via the search engine Google? Think again. You may think you are searching the Web when you plug a search string into the search box of Google, but in fact you are not searching the Web at all. Rather, you are searching a huge index of websites stored on Google's servers. That is why the typical Google search takes less than half a second to complete.
I suppose you think you know all Google has to offer? If you think you do, I would like to challenge you on that statement. Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource is 782 pages of what Google has to offer. This is a heck of a lot of Google to know and understand – especially if you are not Larry Page or Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. And while I would challenge most individuals on having 782 pages of Google “knowledge” under their belt, the same cannot be said of Michael Miller, the author of this publication. Mr. Miller knows an incredible amount about Google. What is even more intriguing is that Michael Miller does not work for Google nor was he contracted by Google to write this ultimate Google resource.
This publication is an impressive collection of Google factoids – like the title says, it is the ultimate Google resource. It consists of twelve main parts that cover topics including basic searches, multimedia, software tools, Google for businesses as well as developers, and Google labs – the future of Google. The twelve parts encompass 43 chapters (e.g., how Google works, using Google map mashups, using Picasa, beyond search: what's next for Google) and three appendixes (Google's site directory, Google's country specific sites and Google's advanced search operators).
Michael Miller objectively tells readers both what Google does and does not do well. For example, Google does not do a great job in searching the “'deep web', those web pages generated on the fly from big database-driven websites. Google also doesn't always find pages served by the big news sites, pages housed on web forums and discussion groups, blog pages and the like. These are all web pages with ‘dynamic' content that change frequently and don't always have a fixed URL. The lack of a permanent URL makes these pages difficult, if not impossible, for Googlebot to find.” (Chapter 1, page 19). Googlebot crawls the Web looking for new and updated Web content.
Peppered throughout the various chapters are margin notes. There are three different types of margin notes in this publication. The “note” margin note presents information of interest to the reader even if that information may not be critical or imperative to the immediate action at hand. The “tip” margin note presents a tip that MAY be useful to the task at hand. The “caution” margin note is included if performing a function MAY result in an undesirable consequence. These cautionary margin notes remind me of when I first started using a computer on a daily basis back in the 1980s. At the time, the only real instructions I was given was to NOT hit the keys “ctrl + alt + delete” at the same time. Other than that, it was a learn as you go process.
Googlepedia contains numerous figures and tables that are essential in illustrating how to best navigate Google. These figures and tables are a real plus to the overall publication, and while the text of these figures and tables are small, they are legible and informative.
Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource instructs the reader on the finer points of structuring a solid Google search using such things as Boolean logic, word order, stop words and word stemming. It also provides guidance and instructions on the Google family of sites that have little or nothing to do with Web searching. This publication IS ALL THINGS GOOGLE. The reader will find information on searching blogs and blog postings, searching university, technical and government information, sending and receiving e-mail with Gmail, using Google Earth, Froogle (Google's shopping search engine), using Google maps and searching Google books. This publication also gives you a glimpse into Google labs (labs.google.com), the research and development arm of Google where all of its latest and greatest ideas are born.
Overall, Googlepedia: The Ultimate Google Resource is a wonderful resource. I have had it accessible at my fingertips ever since I discovered its invaluable content.
PLL NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES - VICE-CHAIR/CHAIR-ELECT
Name: Rebecca S. Corliss
Nomination for which PLL Office: Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect
Current Job Title and Firm/Corporation Name and Address:
Information Consultant, Zone Partners
1235 S. Prairie Ave. Suite 805 , Chicago , IL 60605
Former Positions: Manager, Library Relations, Thomson West, Director of Library Services, Schiff Hardin & Waite, Library Services Manager, Freeborn & Peters
Education: University of Michigan, B.A. in French; Rosary College, River Forest, IL, M.L.S; Dominican University, River Forest, IL.. M.B.A.
Activities: Chicago Association of Law Libraries, President, 1997-1998. Treasure, 1994-1996, Co-Chair, Continuing Educations Committee, 1992-1994, Co-Chair, PR Committee, 2003-2007. Special Libraries Association: Executive Board Member, 2002-2003, Chair, Advertising Committee, 1992-1995. Dominican University , Adjunct Professor, 2000-2003. Council Member, T.R.I.P.L.L, 1995, 1996, 2000.
Publications: Co-author, Special Libraries, A Guide for Management; Author with: Tompson SR, Zipperer L. Teaching, teaming, learning. The Informant . May/June, 2002. 66(5):8-10; Author with Tompson S., Zipperer L. Systems thinking: a stepping stone to information professional integration. Business Information Alert. 2004;16(10):1-4,11.
Statement: As someone who seriously studies the concept of Systems Thinking I think it is very important for law librarians to see the big picture in all aspects of their profession. We as part of AALL are very fortunate to have colleges in such diverse constitute areas as academia, courts, corporations and competitive intelligence to learn from as their experiences in their daily jobs can impact us.
Name: Linda Will
Nominated for which PLL Office: Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
Current Job Title and Firm/Corporation Name and Address : Director of Information Services since August 2003, Dorsey & Whitney, 50 South 6 th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402.
Former Positions: Director of KM/Greenberg & Traurig, Miami 2002-2003; Director of Research/Greenberg & Traurig, Miami 1994-2002; Research and Libraries Consultant, Tampa, 1993-1994; Director of Information Services/Holland & Knight, Tampa, 1990-1993; Director of Information Services/Liddell Sapp, Houston, 1998-1990; Assistant Law Librarian/Bracewell & Patterson, Houston, 1983-1988; Associate Law Librarian/Vinson & Elkins, Houston, 1979-1983; Law Librarian/Kemp Smith, El Paso, 1978-1979.
Education: Florida International University Doctoral Program, Adult Education, University of Texas at Austin M.L.S., University of Texas at Austin, B.A. in English, Universidad Technologico de Monterrey/Mexico.
Activities: Houston Area Law Librarians Chapter President 1986-87; Program Chair AALL International SIS 1986-87; Editor of Questions and Answers, LAW LIBRARY JOURNAL, 1988090; Westlaw Advisory Board for Private Law Libraries 1991-1993; Member of the Users Group for the Copyright Clearance Center, 1993-95; Westlaw Faculty for Information Innovators Institution, 1996-2000; West Editorial Board for Practice Innovations 1999 to present; Adjunct Professor Graduate School of Library Science, University of Texas, 2000-02; AALL Nomination Committee 2002-04; Westlaw Advisory Board for Private law Firms, 2001-06; Local Arrangements AALL San Antonio, 2005; AMPC AALL St. Louis, 2006
Publications: “An Annotated Bibliography of Texas Legal Materials,” LAW LIBRARY JOURNAL, 1981; Various articles in HALL NEWSLETTER, 1984-91; Various articles in LEGAL INFORMATION ALERT, 1992-07; “Do You Photocopy? Fair Use Doctrine,” ABA LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT, 1993; “Information Brokering in the Law Firm,” LAW OFFICE ECONOMICS & MANAGEMENT, 1993; “Resources Can Yield Revenues,” THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 1993; Various articles in TREND IN LAW LIBRARY MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY, 1994; Various articles in PRACTICE INNOVATIONS, 1999-07.
Statement: PLL members are standing in a place in history where they can not just promote, but initiate dramatic changes in the world of legal information. In these tight budgetary times, it is our charge to initiate open communication with vendors addressing, pricing, bundling, contracts, content and more. It is time to take an aggressive posture in what products are created, how they are used, how they are priced, how they are maintained, and how they are marketed to our users. We have a voice.
PLL NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES - SECRETARY
Name: Ann Patterson
Nominated for which PLL Office: Secretary
Current Job Title and Firm/Corporation Name and Address: Systems/Reference Librarian, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., 1301 McKinney, Suite 5100, Houston, TX 77010
Former Positions: 1997-2005: Senior Legal Assistant/Information Analyst, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Education: University of North Texas, MLS, 2005, emphasis in information systems; University of Tulsa, B.A. History, 1996
Activities: American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) – (2005 -); AALL Research Committee Member – (2007 -); Southwest Association of Law Librarians. (SWALL) – (2005 -); Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL) – (2005 - )
Publications: Columnist for Cyberskeptic's Guide to Internet Research
Statement: Although I am new to law librarianship, I do have significant experience with the collection and dissemination of information in the private law firm environment. The private law firm library is experiencing dramatic changes financially and structurally. I offer my fresh viewpoint, my unbridled enthusiasm, and my pledge to listen to the wisdom of our experienced members of PLL as we face the ultimate challenge of developing the 21 st century law library.
Name: Karen W. Silber
Nominated for which PLL Office: Secretary
Current Job Title and Firm/Corporation Name and Address: Law Librarian, BNA, 1801 S. Bell Street , Arlington , VA 22202
Former Positions: Library Director, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP, Washington , D.C. , Aug. 1990 – Nov. 1998;
Library Assistant, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP, Washington , D.C. , July 1989 – Aug. 1990
Education: Catholic University of America , Washington , D.C. , Master of Science in Library Science; George Washington University , Washington , D.C., Bachelors of Arts in Political Science
Activities: American Association of Law Libraries - AALL: Member, Access to Electronic Legal Information, 2007-2009; Co-Chair, PLL Education Committee, 2005-2007; Member, PLL Nominations Committee, 2005; Member 1989 – present. Law Librarian's Society of Washington, DC - LLSDC: Board Member, 2006-2008; Member, Nominations Committee, 2004; Recording Secretary, 1998-2000; Chair/Moderator, Task Force on the State of the Profession, 1996-1997; Co-Chair, Contemporary and Social Issues Committee, 1994-1996; LLSDC COUNSEL Committee 1991-1992; Member 1989 – present.
Publications/Seminars: Coordinated program G-3 “Indexes, Taxonomies and the Google Generation: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You” at the 98 th AALL Annual Meeting in San Antonio , TX , July 2005. Coordinated Plenary Session II “International Privacy and Global Security” at the 97 th AALL Annual Meeting in Boston , MA , July 2004. Coordinated and Moderated Program J-5 “Maximize Current Awareness: Acquire Information at Warp Speed” at the 96 th AALL Annual Meeting, Seattle , WA , July 2003. “Every Library is Special and So is Its Collection Development Policy” 4 AALL Spectrum 10 (Dec. 1999). “Libraries Without Boarders” 40 Law Library Lights 1 (Jan./Feb. 1997). Current column contributor to LLSDC's Law Library Lights .
Statement: Volunteering as co-chair of the PLL Education Committee for the past few years provided me with the opportunity to reach out to our members and help them with getting their proposals accepted for the AALL Annual Meeting. It was our goal to have as many programs as possible sponsored by the PLL to ensure that our members had quality programs of interest in which to choose from at AALL. It also featured PLL as providers of quality programs and made us more visible within the AALL community. I would like to continue in the same capacity and reach out to the membership and the AALL community by serving on the PLL Board.
Name: Alan T. Schroeder, Jr.
Nominated for: Board Member
Current Position: Law Librarian since February 2006, Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP, 2029 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Former Positions: Business & Law Librarian for California State University , Northridge, Northridge , CA January 2004 - to 2006. Library Manager, Wal-Mart Realty Group, Bentonville , AR 2003.
Education: California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, B.A. in History; UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, M.L.I.S.; University of Southern California, M.P.A.
Activities: Special Libraries Association, Southern California Chapter, President 2006-07, President-Elect 2005-06. Sternheim Committee Scholarship Chair 2004. GLA-ARMA Chair, Local Area Convention Committee 2004. AALL 1996- . AALL, Annual Meeting Local (Advisory Committee) 1997-98.
Publications: Alan T. Schroeder, Jr. Digitizing A Real Estate Document Library . Records Management Journal. Vol. 16, #1. Pgs. 34-50. 2006. Jue Wang and Alan T. Schroeder, Jr. The Subscription Agent as E-journal Intermediary . Serials Review . Vol. 31, #1. pp 20-27. 2005. Alan T. Schroeder, Jr. A Quantitative Look at Software Licensing for IT Managers . IT Professional (IEEE). September/October 2003. Pg. 44-48. Alan T. Schroeder, Jr. Apples or Oranges ? Ford or GM? Lexis or Westlaw? Negotiating with your legal online service provider. San Francisco Daily Journal . Nocall Update. October 15, 1998. §2, pg. 18. Alan T. Schroeder, Jr. and Richard Montevideo, Esq. The 1996 Lender/Fiduciary Reforms To CERCLA Are Likely The Last Major Reforms To Superfund Until After The Millennium . The Orange County Lawyer . May 1998, pg. 34. Book review in Law Library Journal . Vol. 93, #1. Winter 2001. The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works . 5 th ed. Fishman, Stephen. Berkeley , CA : Nolo.com, 2000. 432p. WWW Report review in Journal of Government Information . Vol. 28, #3. May 2001. Pgs. 309-310. Broadband Today: A Staff Report To William E. Kennard, Chairman Federal Communications Commission On Industry Monitoring Sessions Convened By Cable Service Bureau . Washington , D.C. : ? Accessed May 2000. (Hereinafter referred to as Broadband Today.) http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/Reports/broadbandtoday.pdf Software review in Cyber esq. Fall 2000. Supplement to the Los Angeles Daily Journal . System Provides High-Tech Access: Electronic Court Filing Has Taken Shape And Is The New Wave Of Technology To Reach The Judicial System. Reprinted in SCALL Newsletter . March 2001. Vol. 28, #24. Book review in Library Journal . May 1st, 1996, pg. 111. Internet and the Law: Legal Fundamentals for the Internet User . By Raymond A. Kurz. Government Institutes Press, 1996.
Statement: Private Law Librarians provide an invaluable service to law firms and attorneys and as Director at large it would be incumbent upon myself to promote their interest in AALL programming.
Name : Jennifer S. Stephens
Nominated for : Board Member
Current Position : Librarian (Attorney Services), Haynes and Boone, LLP, Dallas , TX (2002-present)
Previous Positions: Tax Information Services, Halliburton Company, Carrollton , TX (1998-2002); Law Librarian, Dresser Industries Inc., Dallas , TX (1990-1998)
Education: Master's of Library Science, Texas Woman's University, 1990; Bachelor's of Business Administration, University of North Texas , 1986
Activities: Dallas Association of Law Librarians, 1990-present; President, Dallas Association of Law Librarians, 2000-2001;Secretary, Dallas Association of Law Librarians, 2005-2007; Internet Chair & Webmaster, Dallas Association of Law Librarians 1997-2007; Technology Chair, Dallas Association of Law Librarians, 1994-1996; Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, Member, 1990-present; American Association of Law Libraries, Member, 1990-present; PLL-SIS, Member, 1990-present
Publications: Contributor, Lex Scripta – the official blog of the Dallas Association of Law Librarians (dallnet.blogspot.com), 2006-present; “Blog Corner” (regular column) DALL Advance Sheet , Volume 30-31; "Birth of a Chapter Web Site," AALL Spectrum , Volume 3 Number 3 November 1998, p. 10; "Some Random Thoughts on the AALL Conference," PLL Perspectives , Vol. 17 Issue 1, Fall 2005, p. 13; "Business Development Resources, The Haynes and Boone, LLP Experience," PLL Perspectives , Vol. 16 Issue 4, Summer 2005, p.1.
Candidate Statement: PLL has a long history as one of the most enthusiastic sections of AALL and has shown a willingness to explore the evolution of the role of private librarian. From embracing roles as library/records manager to proactively inserting librarians into competitive intelligence, PLL has led the energetic charge to explore strange new roles and to seek out and explore new frontiers of legal librarianship.
I want to help lead that exploration. I want to spark our members' enthusiasm about our evolving roles as private law librarians, regardless of setting. I have served the membership in leadership positions on the local level for the past decade, and now I would like to spread my wings and serve the members of PLL as a board member.
Thank you for your support.
Perspectives Chair’s note: Candidate biographies are submitted by the candidates and are a direct reflection of their philosophy and qualifications. Therefore it is the policy of Perspectives that no editorial changes are made, with the exception of minor punctuation and spacing changes necessary for layout purposes.
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