AALL Spectrum Blog

  • Bookmark and Share

The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
7/18/2013 2:12:57 PM

Pizza, Pure Bliss, Sauce...Crust...Cheese, Heaven on a Plate, Satisfaction

In Pulitzer-winning journalist Jesse Katz's session titled "Releasing Your Inner Writer" I was reminded that I may grossly overestimate my ability to be understood.  I hope I am not alone.

I've not figured out how it started but it may have begun in law school where the IRAC method of writing was drilled into me for three years.  I believe I spent many years after law school writing that way; here is the Issue, here is the Rule, here is the Analysis, here is the Conclusion.

There's nothing wrong with this method, but Jesse reminds us to start with what is important and then what is less important, to what is least important.  So, this made me wonder, do we start with the conclusion instead of the issue?  I guess it depends.

We should definitely know what the point is, know our audience, and skip the corporate acronyms and jargon.

During the session we had the opportunity to write a story about our favorite food and then turn it into a poem.  I've shared my poem, a cinquaine, above in the title. 

We learned to set aside "weak" verbs for more "muscular verbs."  Jesse told us to circle all the "to be" verbs in our story and consider restructuring those sentences by removing those "to be" verbs.  He also suggested to remove adverbs and prepositions.

At the end, Jesse asked us to turn our cinquaine into a strong sentence....here's mine:

Sauce, crust and cheese dance on my tonque to create the perfect bite of pizza.

Posted By Sonal Pandya at 7/18/2013 2:12:57 PM  0 Comments
7/18/2013 1:21:13 PM

Are your Summer Associates Looking Bored During Orientation?

Steve Hughes' session titled, "Own the Room: Presentations That Captivate and Win Over Any Audience" was my favorite session at AALL 2013.

You'll likely agree that many presentations, PowerPoint or otherwise, don't capture the audience's attention nearly as much as one would like.  Steve had a useful method to get past this audience apathy.  I'm going to highlight the things I found most useful below:

*  Ask questions, if you get no answer, answer your own question and repeat. 90% of the time, the audience will join with their own questions.

*  Don't start with your name and title, start with statistics or a story first to gain attention.

*   Remember that the audience is always thinking, "How does this apply to me?"

*  Human attention span is at its max only 6-8 minutes.

*  Eye contact is important. Lock eyes with one person as you deliver one thought, for the next thought move to another person in the audience. If doing this towards the back of the room, focus on one person because to the audience it looks like you are looking at many people from that distance.

*  Remember what it's like to be a novice.

*  Keep the spotlight on the audience.

*  Steve says to use the SPARQ method:

  • S-Surprising Statistics
  • P-Pictures or Video
  • A-Anecdote
  • R-Real-life example
  • Q-Question/Quote
*  To create a good PowerPoint, consider the following factors:
  • One idea per slide
  • Visual (pictures trump words)
  • Slide Variety (bullets, charts, pictures)
  • The 4x4 Principle-4 bullets 4 words per slide
  • Create a dialogue

*  Remember to open big, have a good PowerPoint presentation if using one, make it interactive and be confident.

Posted By Sonal Pandya at 7/18/2013 1:21:13 PM  0 Comments
7/18/2013 12:37:28 PM

Briefs on Your iPad

As a law firm librarian, I was interested to see that the iPad has been rolled out to judges in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  We learned about the rollout in the AALL session titled, "It's 2013: Do You Know Where Your iPad Is?"  The project was a joint collaboration between the library and IT.   Judges can access briefs filed in their cases, as well as have note-taking and other editorial functions available on the iPad.  

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals librarian, Adriana Mark, teamed with IT support to create a tutorial iBook that helps the judges learn how best to use the iPad for their work.   Other Circuits have also incorporated the iPad and have their own policies around iPad use. 

Similarly, many law firms offer remote work options via Citrix, and this environment can also be accessed via an attorney's iPad.  Many vendors, such as Westlaw, Lexis, and Financial Times, also offer free iPad apps and many lawyers in law firms are taking advantage of this as well with their firms' subscription services. 

The presenters discussed how users' access to information is rapidly changing.  With Google Glass emerging, it will be interesting to see what challenges institutions will face in adapting to meet the needs of the end-user.

Posted By Sonal Pandya at 7/18/2013 12:37:28 PM  0 Comments