The Changing Nature of Law Librarianship & What It Means for a Law Firm's Bottom Line

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you take a look at Beyond the Books which appeared in the July issue of The American Lawyer.
Author Alan Cohen discusses the changing nature of law librarianship and what it can mean for a law firm’s bottom line. Here are some of the highlights from the article:

  • “Historically, 90 percent of the information we dealt with was legal-related, now it’s about 50 percent,” says [Thomas] Fleming [director of information resources management at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro, Fleming]. “We’re doing a lot more work in client development and marketing.”
  • “Most of the attorneys are realizing that with the resources we can tap into, we can get company information and background information faster and less expensively than they can,” says [Yvonne] Boyer [firmwide library manager for Cooley Godward].
  • [I]t’s not only the work that’s changing, but the business model as well. Once a cost center for law firms, libraries are billing more hours than ever to clients: a median of 393 hours per library staff member in 2005, compared to 292 in 2004.