Law Library and Legal Research Systems – audit, third party liaison and implementation strategies

Law 2 Web’s approach is to review a customer’s existing “Law Library”, or, given that that term is largely anachronistic now, how Legal Research is carried out, in conjunction with all factors relevant to that customers business, and especially its specialties.

Our experience is that many organisations are not running a law library or research system in a way that properly aligns to their business and/or risks. There is also considerable confusion over the various media under which the information can be obtained, and often inconsistencies and skill deficits in the use of these media. Other common problems we see are misunderstandings as to content and how up to date particular sources are. External factors like free to air services and industry available resources (e.g. Law Society Library and research facilities) may also be underutilized, or not properly taken into account.

A key concern is to identify the different requirements within a customer profile. Within a law firm for example we will identify what particular users need to be able to do – what a senior litigator needs to know will be quite different from a property lawyer. Support staff will also have different needs.

We work with customers independently to identify the issues, review existing resources, provide solutions in conjunction with third party providers, and introduce improved systems to ensure optimal performance, reduced risk and better returns on expenditure. We prepare and implement customized training strategies, liaising with third party providers where appropriate.

The following article (which appeared in Lawtalk 782 October 2011 and is reproduced with the kind permission of Lawtalk ) provides insights into getting better accountability for Law Library expenses. Paul Steele provides a framework around what firms should be taking into account, and how they can better manage this often neglected area of operation. This is as valid in 2016 as it was in 2011.

Article: Law Library Spend (pdf, 2.4mb)

“We engaged Paul Steele to assist us with a Library review. Paul was referred to us by another mid-sized Auckland practice. We found Paul’s assistance invaluable with surveying users, reporting to us on improvements we could make, and following up with customised all-resources training.

Paul identified redundant services and we were also able to reduce our overall spend significantly, but not at the expense of running what we needed. We considered this project one of the very best we have seen run from an external consultant.

I would certainly recommend Paul’s Law Library services to other law firms.”

Keith J Wong
Partner
 Ellis Gould Lawyers
Auckland

 

“We found Paul’s help with a recent review of our legal research requirements very useful.

I feel that we have got very good value for the fee.

I would certainly be happy to recommend Paul’s services to other small practices.”

John Holmes
Principal
HDA Lawyers
Auckland