Tuesday, July 26, 2016

American Lawyer 2016 Library Survey: Libraries are Still Shrinking: Please Rename the Survey in 2017 So You Can Ask New Questions; Reader Suggestions Welcome!

Yes Libraries are Shrinking Now What?
Two weeks ago American Lawyer Media released it's 2016 library survey with the unfortunate headline "Downsizing continues at  law firm libraries."  The headline is problematic for two reasons: 1. Shrinking libraries are old news and 2. Information professionals are driving some of the most important new technologies into the practice of law.... and yet this is not worth examining?

I certainly appreciate the effort ALM puts into the survey, but I suggest that it is time to reframe the entire survey so that more meaningful questions can be explored. Defining the survey as a "library survey" seems to have skewed both the lines of inquiry and the analysis. We are more than our books or lack thereof!

1. Old News. Would it surprise you to learn that the first library survey headline in 2002 was "The incredible shrinking library." The vast majority of headlines for 14 years have focused on the print to digital transformation.

See for yourself  below. Keywords from  14 years of survey headlines: Downsized, digital, bookless, shrinking, less, squeeze, fewer.....

  • Downsizing Continues in Law Libraries. July 2016
  • The Bookless Library; Recent redesigns speak volumes about the changing role of firm libraries and the librarians who oversee them.  July 2015 
  • Beyond Recovery; Firms may soon be forced to throw in the towel on recouping online research costs, our annual librarians survey suggests.  July 2014 
  • Law Librarians Survey: The New Normal; Librarians have gotten accustomed to squeezing more out of their budgets, according to our 12th annual Law Librarian Survey  July 2013 
  • Law Librarian Survey: Read All About It; why are big-firm libraries slow to buy e-books?  July/August 2012 
  • Law Librarian Survey: The transition from print to online is full of glitches, our tenth Law Librarian survey finds.  July 2011 
  • Law Librarian Survey: More Bang for Fewer Bucks; Even as the recession levels off, law librarians challenge vendors' pricing models. July/August 2010 
  • Law Librarians Survey: No More Sacred Cows  September 2009 
  • Going Digital; Caught Between the Paper and Electronic Worlds. Librarians Try to Speed Service and Corral Costs. AmLaw Tech; A Supplement to The American Lawyer; Library Survey  June 2004 
  • Less is More; Library Survey  June 2003 
  • The Incredible Shrinking Library Library Survey  June 2002 

  • 2. The Real Story of Innovation: The real headline of the 2016 survey was buried in the subtitle: " Law libraries are phasing out print collections and reinventing themselves as sources of competitive intelligence and analytics." Librarians and information professionals "own" one of the most critical areas of law practice transformation:knowledge. Innovative information products from the major vendors: Thomson Reuters, Wolters Kluwer, Lexis Nexis and BloombergBNA  as well as a raft of startups (Ravel, Fastcase, Casetext, LitIQ, Intelligize, Manzama and PacerPro -- to name a few) are offering lawyers new insights and workflows leveraging augmented intelligence, big data insights, predictive analytics, intelligent documents and linguisitic analysis.

    Time to Change the Name of the Survey to Reflect Knowledge Innovation

    Last year the membership of the American Association of Law Libraries embarked on a controversial re-branding exercise. Members were asked to consider changing the name of the organization to the "Association for Legal Information." I was a strong advocate for the name change and I believe that the ALM survey illustrates the problem of being identified with "libraries."  As long as information professionals are seen through the shrinking prism of "libraries" we are defined primarily by our books... or the absence thereof. For some reason the book issue blinds people to the broad and critical roles we play in building knowledge enabled law firms.

    The 2016 "library survey" asked plenty of questions on emerging issues but these positive trends are downplayed and get only cursory treatment at the end of the article. There is an overblown examination of a "micro-trend"  in outsourcing  of library staff who are primarily involved in ... you guessed it ...book management not knowledge innovation.  By contrast...Between 10 and 20% of the survey respondents are involved in introducing analytics, machine learning, AI, workflow improvement and big data dashboards. Seventy percent are managing the exploding demand for competitive intelligence. These trends are the 'green shoots" of law practice reengineering. Is not more recognition warranted? 

    Let's Help ALM Rename the Annual Survey: Please send me your suggestions and I will pass them on to ALM. If we want to be known for what we are building and not for what we are shrinking we need to redefine the landscape of our influence.

    I will throw out my first suggestion: How about ... "The Annual Survey of Knowledge Innovation"

    Monday, July 25, 2016

    Dewey B Strategic Receives AALL Presidential Certificate of Appreciation at 2016 Annual Meeting

    I had the honor of being awarded a "Presidential Certificate of Appreciation" by outgoing AALL President, Keith Ann Stiverson,  at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries Meeting in Chicago on July 18th.

    The award recognized "dedication to serving the profession since 2011 through her blog, Dewey B Strategic and for the hard work that distinguisher her, resulting in singular contributions to AALL and to the profession."

    It certainly was my intention to highlight the value of information professionals when I launched the Dewey B Strategic in 2011. I could not have foreseen the speed with which the economics of law and emerging technologies would transform the competitive landscape.  We face unprecedented threats as well as unprecedented opportunities for those who seize the challenge.

    My thanks to Keith Ann Stiverson and AALL for the honor of this recognition to Dewey B Strategic.

    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Lex Machina Unveils Legal Analytics for Securities Lawyers

    Today Lex Machina launched the first analytics product for securities litigators at event in New York City, which was held at the Park Avenue Gansevoort Hotel. I had the opportunity to attend today’s event featuring two of  Lex Machina's top executives. Josh Becker, CEO introduced the company and Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist and General Counsel, provided an overview of the unique features offered by the new Lex Machina product. I  was asked to provide a "wrap up" commentary on the evolution of legal research. My comments include a prediction of the convergence of several technologies around analytics over the next 5 years. 

    Practice Area Expansion.This launch marks the first new practice area since the initial launch of the IP product in 2011. The development of analytics for new practice areas was driven by access to the massive resources of their parent company LexisNexis.  The securities module will be followed by several new modules including: antitrust, commercial, product liability, employment and commercial bankruptcy.

    The Lex Machina press release can be seen here. They also released an analysis of securities litigation in 2015.

    At this morning's event, Josh Becker traced the company’s history from not-profit at Stanford Law School into a small company powered by venture capital, through it's acquisition. In 2015, LexisNexis purchased Lex Machina for an undisclosed sum. Lex Machina originally  focused  exclusively on federal intellectual property litigation. over the past five years more than have of the Amlaw 100 firms and dozens of corporations have become Lex Machina subscribers. Private firm attorneys and in house counsel have leveraged Lex Machina to analyze data regarding judges, lawyers, parties and litigation history in order to predict behaviors and outcomes.

    Owen Byrd highlighted the new features and fields which are unique to securities litigation. The current data set includes 15,000 securities cases and over 1 million docket entries. 

    Cases Covered: The product analyzes all cases brought under all of the major securities laws (the 33 Act, the 34 Act, Trust Indenture, Investment Company, Investment Advisors, Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank and several other laws. The product does not include cases brought under the Commodity Exchange Act.

    Case Types include: Class Actions, Class Action Opt-Out, Government Plaintiff, SEC Enforcement: Settled Complaint, SEC Enforcement: Contested, Securities Fraud (§ 10(b) / 10b-5) and Shareholder Derivative Suit.

    Damages Include: SEC Penalties, Disgorgement, compensatory damages, Approved Class Action Settlement (Securities).
    Securities Damages

    Findings include: Securities Act Violation,  Exchange Act Violation, Other Securities Act Violations, Statute of Limitations Defense, Plaintiff Knowledge Defense, Cautionary Language / Safe Harbor Defense.
    Securities Findings 

    All of these filters can be combined with courts, circuits, judges, companies, lawyers, motion types in order to produce interactive custom charts and lists which can be used for developing a litigation strategy or to position a lawyer for a client pitch.

    Typical reports include: judge’s behavior, average time to trial, case outcomes, evaluate opposing counsel, understand settlement rates and win/loss rates for parties and counsel.

    Lex Machina's analytics can serve "double-duty" in both business strategy and litigation strategy.  As lawyers compete for a limited pool of corporate clients, analytics can provide powerful insights into  law firms as both beauty contest competitors and courtroom adversaries.

    Ten years ago, federal litigation data was limited to workload statistics and average time to trial by jurisdiction and judge. And that data was at least a year old! Today Lex Machina provides desktop access to near "real time"  data which can be combined  with dozens of criteria in infinite permutations. In the new world of litigation analytics lawyers  are given the power to ask completely new questions and discover completely new insights. I predict that in 5 years, analytics insights like those offered by Lex Machina, will be  viewed as a standard practice tool for lawyers. Lex Machina  has the advantage of being the first company to bring analytics to the desktop of litigators. The closest legal analytics competitor is Ravel Law which  has a somewhat different focus on the offers analytics focused on "precedential analysis" of judges opinions. As the demand for analytics grows new competitors are sure to follow.  But for today, Lex Machina has placed its flag in two practice areas: IP and securities litigation and owns the lead.

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    ABA Magazine Seeking Nominations for the 2016 Blawg 100: Nominate Your Favorite Legal Blogs.

    The ABA Journal is seeking nominations for the 2016 "Blawg 100" which recognizes the best legal blogs. If you would like to nominate Dewey B Strategic or any other favorite law related blogs, fill out the form at this link


     "Friend-of-the-blawg" briefs are due no later than 11:59  pm CST on August 7, 2016..

    About Blawg 100 Amici:

    The ABA has outlined these parameters:
    • We’re primarily interested in blogs in which the author is recognizable as someone working in a legal field or studying law in the vast majority of his or her posts.
    • The blog should offer insights into the practice of law and be of interest to legal professionals or law students.
    • The majority of the blog’s content should be unique to the blog and not cross-posted or cut and pasted from other publications.
    • We are not interested in blogs that more or less exist to promote the author’s products and services.
    The ABA Journal  accepting "friend of the Blawg Briefs" for the 10 annual ABA Magazine Blawg 100 list.

    The 2016 Fastcase 50 Announced: Read and Be Inspired by Legal Innovators and Visionaries

    Fastcase has just released their sixth annual Fastcase 50 list “which honors the law's smartest most courageous innovators techies visionaries and leaders." I must be doing something right I know or have met many of the innovators on this list. I am always excited to see colleagues and friends get this recognition, but it is also fascinating to discover who is behind companies, organizations and ideas which are changing the legal landscape. Congratulations to all of members of the "Class of 2016."  Thanks to Ed Walters and Phil Rosenthal, Fastcase co-founders, for inventing this vehicle for keeping us all inspired!

     The list is definitely worth a read – – learn about innovators and wonder --maybe your idea is worth pursuing. Who was the project manager behind the implementation of Congress.gov legislative database? Did you know that an attorney wrote  the “Solicitor General’s Style Guide"  which is better than “the blue book.” There is an  octogenarian Scotusblog reporter  who literally "wrote the book" on reporting and the law. If you are wondering "what is Codex" and "who is this Ross guy ?" Read on...

    The information professionals
    Janet Accardo, retired Library director at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom LLP…  A long time friend and colleague.

    Robert Oaks retired chief library and records officer, Latham and Watkins. A legend in DC.

    Catherine Bowie, state law librarian and, or gone judicial department- in partnership with fast case and Hein online launch the first statewide access to case law and law reviews for all citizens of Oregon.

    The Geeks
    Andrew Arruda the CEO and co-founder of Ross intelligence.-- I will be introducing Andrew at an AALL  conference panel next week entitled quote “can robots be lawyers? “

    Jamison Dempsey cofounder of DC’s legal hackers and associate at Kelly, Drye and Warren LLP. I am pleased to say that I am a member of the DC hackers-- well actually I’ve been on their mailing list and I have been to some really interesting programs they opposed. Amazing to see young kids right at a law school inventing self-help technology solutions.

    Zev Eigen, global director of data analytics, Littler Mendelson. I have heard Zev speak-- smart and incredibly funny.

    Michael Genesereth and Roland Vogl  Stanford Professor and  Executive Director at Stanford Codex –Ground Zero for so much legal innovation.

    Tammy Nelson, senior project manager Library of Congress. Led the 40 person team which created the new Congress.gov website which replaces THOMAS.

    Kevin O’Keefe CEO and founder, Lexblog. Kevin has made a career of c.halllanging lawyers everywhere to sit down and blog... Uh-oh  I owe Kevin an email, better get on it.

    Michael Sander, CEO Docket Alarm. I met Michael when he had a booth in the Codex  Aisle at the 2015 Legal Tech meeting in New York. Pretty nifty product was included in my post about the Codex Aisle.

    The Writers

    Lyle Denniston, supreme court reporter and blogger who literally wrote the book on reporting and the law.

    Jack Metzler attorney, Federal Trade Commission. Anyone who can write a style guide which overshadows the blue book is okay with me. Metzler authored the solicitor General’s Style Guide and the Supreme Court Style Guide.

    Michelle Olsen, Creator @AppellateDaily...play by play court side commentary at the Supreme Court.

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Law360 Celebrates Launch of 50th Newsletter and First “In Depth” Weekly Magazine

     Law360 just announced that they will be breaking out the champagne to celebrate their “Golden Tour” at the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference in Chicago July 15-19, 2016. The festivities will mark the release of Law 360’s 50th specialty newsletter as well as the release of their In Depth news publication.
    Law 360's Newsletters 2004-2016

    When  I interviewed Law 360's founder Marius Meland  for an earlier post “The Improbable Rise of Law 360…”  Meland described Law 360 as ”selling awareness.”  The simple design featuring headlines and brief summaries on a field of white – was intended to allow lawyers make a qick scan of the daily update and  feel confident that they were aware of all the  major developments and players of the day in their practice area.

    Expanding Breadth When I wrote my original post in 2013,  Law 360 had just been purchased by Lexis-Nexis. Meland expected  Law360 to remain on a growth  trajectory... adding additional newsletters and enriching stories with material from other LexisNexis resources. Since August 2013 Law360 has released 16 new newsletters covering both practice areas and industry sectors. With the release of the “Trials” newsletter, Law360 reached  50 newsletters focused on 27 practice areas, 17  sectors and 6 jurisdictions. They have also developed 11 specialty rankings including topics such as rising stars, diversity and practice groups of the year. Such surveys have become "must-read" staples of the large law firm competitive landscape. 

    Articles Published. According to the chart below, Law360 increases the number of stories published by 20 % each year. Since their birth in 2004, Law360 has published over 56,000 stories.

    Readership has also grown. Law 360 now has over 300,000 individual subscribers in about 5,000 organizations including all of the AmLaw 100 firms. Their web traffic has reached 2 million visitors and 5 million page views a month. Their staff has grown from 152 to 217 reporters and editors working in news bureaus across US. This fall they will be launching a global news bureau which will initially be based out of London.
    Articles published

    Expanding Depth While law 360 remains committed to their original format of presenting brief summaries of important news in their newsletters, they are now pivoting toward adding depth of coverage.  On June 11 they quietly launched In Depth, a weekly  news magazine that will provide deep analysis of hot topics and legal developments.  The press release stated that the new publication would offer hard hitting journalism, long form investigative pieces and op eds from legal influencers. The first issue covered  the "hot topic" of legal billing and focused on the “widening rate chasm in the legal industry where stagnant hourly billing rates stand in stark contrast to the staggering new rate high of $2,000 an hour."

     Last week I had the chance to talk to the Editor in Chief – Cat Fredenburgh about  Law 360’s pivot to “In Depth.”  Fredenburgh  explained that the idea for In-Depth arose from conversations with their editorial advisory board members who are practicing attorneys. Interviews suggested that lawyers were clamoring for deeper coverage of important legal issues. Fredenburgh sees the publication as being analogous to the New York Times Sunday Supplement. It doesn’t replace the daily news, it provides something different. Right now the In Depth publication is free to existing Law360 subscribers but at some point, In Depth will become a "fee based" subscription. Before setting the price, they might want to consider that  BloombergBNA offers similar content in Big Law Business  and Thomson Reuters offers Legal Current which are not only "free" publications but available to anyone--even non-subscribers.

     The In Depth Team. The managing editor Christine Hall field and Assistant managing editor Jocelyn Allison are managing a growing team of feature writers which includes Natalie Rodriguez, Max Stendhal, Erin Coe, Ed Beeson and Sindhu Sundar and the senior feature editor Jeremy Barker. There are two photo graphics editors Chris Yates and Jonathan Hayter. The managing editor for third-party content is Christian Lewis,who also works on the magazines op ed features. The Law 360 In Depth reporters include some of the most experienced Law 360 writers and each has a unique specialty covering specific legal issues.

    Law360 has a track record of writing their own rules and bucking the trends. It will be interesting to see if they can move their "high stress" audience of headline scanners to consume longer and and deeper articles... and pay more for the privilege.

    Friday, July 1, 2016

    It Didn't Take Long...The First Legal Newsletter Dedicated to Brexit is Published By… MLex(LexisNexis)

    Several publisher's responded to Tuesday's  "Brexit" post  by providing me with information and links to their specialized Brexit resources which I share below.  Let me first say that I never meant to imply that the major legal publishers were ignoring Brexit. Of course they are not – in Tuesday’s post I  was simply speculating  on the expected emergence of  hyper-specitalized publications completely devoted to Brexit issues.

    I am not disappointed – not only did I learn about a publication which may be the first Brexit legal newsletter- but I have received valuable insights into how various publishers are supporting lawyers need for insights and expertise regarding the vast range of issues potentially impacted by Britain’s departure from the EU.

     MLex: Brexit Market Insight Service

    It appears that MLex which was recently purchased by LexisNexis is  the first legal publisher to offer a newsletter devoted to all things Brexit.  The “Brexit Market Insight Service.”  which focuses on regulatory riskis part of the fee based MLex service. However "Brexit Market Insight" is currently available for free and will remain free through the end of July.  
    Thomson Reuters

    Thomson Reuters Practical Law team has published a special report on Brexit : UKVotes out Apr├Ęs Nous L Deluge.  The Thomson Reuters News Team has published EverythingYou Need To Know About Brexit.


    I have seen a number of Brexit stories on BloombergBNA’s free daily “Big LawBusiness.”  No surprise, the editors and writers of their many specialized regulatory publications are examining Brexit issues impacting tax, labor, manufacturing, trade and environment. Brexit related materials can easily be located entering the word “ Brexit” into the search box at BNA.com.Even though BNA’s publications require a subscription some Brexit stories can read outside the paywall. Click here to see some of BNA's Brexit stories

    Manzama: Curated Brexit News

    Last but not least, today Manzama which bills itself as a listening platform  announced  the availability of preformatted “suite of Brexit queries” for subscribers to want to easily “listen for” Brexit news. While Manzama is not technically a legal publisher, they are an increasingly important player in the legal market by allowing information specialists to develop targeted alerts focused on legal and business issues which are delivered to lawyers as a custom newsletter.