Category Archives: Skill Development

Inspiring Innovation: Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating the Web 2.0 Challenge

I’m pleased to share that an article I co-wrote, Inspiring Innovation: Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating the Web 2.0 Challenge, appears in the latest Legal Information & Technology eJournal on SSRN (available by subscription).
In the article, my co-authors and I discuss the Web 2.0 Challenge, a five week, online course designed to introduce popular Web 2.0 applications to law librarians. The free course, hosted on Moodle, is still available.
The article, which has also been accepted for publication in the Law Library Journal, was co-written by Deborah Ginsberg from Chicago Kent and Meg Kribble of the Harvard Law School Library.

Back to the Future of Legal Research Symposium – Librarian and Practitioner Legal Research Survey Results

At the mid-morning session at the Back to the Future Symposium, we learned about the results from various practitioner and librarian surveys regarding legal research practices. Speakers were Sanford Greenberg and Tom Gaylord of Chicago-Kent College of Law and Patrick Meyer of Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
There was a lot of interesting data presented, including recommendations by Chicago law firm librarians on what skills they would like to see from new associates:

  • Electronic Searching Knowledge – 28.57%
  • Print Materials Knowledge – 37.14%
  • Subject Area Knowledge – 20%
  • Online Cost Efficiency – 14.29%
  • General Research Strategies – 22.86%
  • Google/Web – 2.86%

Also interesting were the recommendations by law firm librarians on which types of information are better accessed online and which are better in print. The majority of librarians surveyed felt that cases and digests were better used online while legislative and administrative codes were better used in print. And it’s no surprise that the vast majority felt that Shepards/KeyCite was better online. Over three quarters of survey respondents felt that secondary sources were better used in print.

Article on Gathering Competitive Intelligence for Litigators and Business Lawyers

Tony Chan, information specialist at Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee and LLAW Government Relations Committee Chair, has written an excellent article on Gathering Competitive Intelligence for Litigators and Business Lawyers. In the article, which appears in the April 2007 Wisconsin Lawyer, Tony covers:

  • Online Sources of Public Records
  • Background Checks
  • Finding Company and Industry Information
  • Opponent or Co-counsel records

Litilaw, a Database of CLE Articles

Litilaw is a new, free online collection of CLE materials and other articles of interest to litigators and other legal professionals. Articles are organized categories including Appellate Practice, Antitrust, e-Discovery, Expert Witnesses, Health Care, Product Liability, and more.
The collection is keyword search-able and all articles are available full-text in PDF format. Search results includes a brief summary of each article, the year presented, author and number of pages.

On-Demand CLE Approved for Wisconsin attorneys

Nerino Petro’s Compujurist reports that effective January 29, 2007, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin has approved On-Demand CLE for Wisconsin attorneys.
Supreme Court Rule 31.01(6m) is created to read:

“Repeated on-demand program” means an on-line program delivered over the Internet, repeating a program previously approved by the board, and given at a time of the attendee’s choosing within twelve (12) months of the approval of the on-demand on-line program.

Top 10 Hidden Features of PowerPoint for Litigators

TechnoLawyer Blog has a very handy guide to the Top 10 Hidden Features of PowerPoint for Litigators. Author Timothy Piganelli explains how to:

  • easily add and images and video to a presentation
  • customize backgrounds
  • display your presentation on a projector while having the edit screen display on your laptop
  • advance to any slide out of sequence
  • blank the screen during a presentation
  • highlight something in the presentation
  • save the presentation with all accompanying images & video on to a CD

Lots of great tips here – and not just for litigators. I know that I learned a few tricks.

Berring’s Legal Research Podcast

Thanks to Jim Milles for the post about Bob Berring’s podcasting project.
From the site:

In the Berring on Legal Research DVD set, Professor Robert C. Berring provides expert, holistic instruction on the core principles of effective legal research. Now, Professor Berring, in conjunction with West, will be producing rich supplemental podcasts, which will explore the finer points of the key legal research topics already touched upon in the DVD set. Designed to be interactive, Professor Berring will respond to listener questions, discuss new research tools, and expound upon the essential “deep principles” that guide both experienced and developing legal researchers.

So far, there are three podcasts: Legal Periodicals and How to Find Them; Legislative Histories, and Topics; and Key Numbers and Searching for Cases By Subject.
From Jim: “From I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but if anyone can make audio lectures on legal research interesting and entertaining, it’s Bob.”

Principles of Persuasion

The Association of College and Research Libraries has prepared a useful toolkit entitled The Power of Personal Persuasion. Although it is targeted toward academic librarians, the content can be applied to anyone.
According to the toolkit, the six major principles of persuasion are (paraphrased):

  1. Principle of Reciprocation (If you gave me a favor, I owe you a favor.)
    In the context of obligation people say YES to those they owe. When people say thank you for what you’ve
    given them, don’t say “don’t think anything of it” or “no problem” Instead, you should just say “you’re welcome.” And rather than saying “YOU owe me one now!” say, “I know that if the situation were reversed, you’d do the same for me.”
    This was me a few years ago. I always used to say “no problem” when someone thanked me until someone pointed out that I was devaluing my own work. Now I always just say “you’re welcome.”

  2. Principle of Scarcity (People want what they can’t have)
    Data show that it is not enough to say what people will gain — people are more motivated by what they will lose.
    I could see think in a library budget context – specifically state what resources patrons will no longer have access to the if its budget is cut. It might also be useful in convincing people to attend training sessions – if you don’t attend, you won’t learn a valuable skill to improve your efficiency & save your client’s time.

  3. Principle of Authority (If an expert says it, it must be true)
    Before you present your strongest arguments, raise your weakness first. Then present your strongest
    points that are designed to outweigh/overwhelm the weaknesses.

  4. Principle of Consistency & Commitment
    We want to persuade people to say yes to our message AND to identify if they have said yes to us in the past AND
    we want them to continue to support us by telling us verbally and to put their commitment to us in writing.
    Rather than say “we hope you will,” you should say:
    – “Would you please?” or
    – “When can you?” or
    – “Can we count on your to…?

  5. Principle of Consensus (“A lot of other people are doing this or saying yes; therefore, it must be the right thing to do.”)
    Bringing in general names and general categories, such as “all faculty” or “deans agree,” doesn’t work as well as saying similar or specific people (like them) who are “signing on” to your idea/request/saying yes.

  6. Principle of Liking
    People like to say yes when:
    – They are aware that others who are involved are those whom they like and who are like them.
    – They are complimented and thanked for their support
    – They feel they are part of the whole that is working together for success.

Source: Library Marketing – Thinking Outside the Box