Annual Meeting Preview: Cool Tools Café

One of the highlights of the AALL Annual Meeting, Cool Tools Café, is back for another year. For about ten years, participants have learned about useful existing or emerging technologies through small group demonstrations. This year will be a little different. First, each of the presenters will present a short demonstration of their tool or tools to all participants. After these are finished, the presenters will lead small group demonstrations and answer questions from participants. This format will allow participants to learn about all of the tools presented while keeping the small group format for questions.

Cool Tools Café (program I5) will be in BCC Ballroom II on Tuesday, July 17. The formal presentation will run from 11:30am to about 12:20pm, with small group demonstrations and questions to follow.

  • Sarah Gotschall from the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona will demonstrate several Android tools to access the dark web.
  • Kris Turner from the University of Wisconsin Law School Library will be demonstrating Coggle, a mind mapping tool.
  • Rebecca Fordon from UCLA School of Law will be showing a number of GIF-creation tools for Windows and Mac.
  • Iain Barksdale from the University of Alabama School of Law will demonstrate the use of a Raspberry Pi for OPAC terminals, circa terminals, and research stations.
  • Deborah Ginsberg from the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library will be presenting a visualization showing how blockchain works,
  • Bailey Eagin from UNT Dallas College of Law will be demonstrating IFTTT, an app that connects a number of apps and devices.
  • Kenton Brice from University of Oklahoma College of Law will demonstrate TextExpander, a text automation application.
  • Mari Cheney from Lewis and Clark Law School will show Monosnap, a screenshot tool.
  • Cynthia Bassett from University of Missouri School of Law Library will demonstrate Power Notes, a browser extension that allows you to grab text from web pages and PDFs and arrange them into outlines.
  • Becka Rich from Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University will demonstrate Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.

AALL 2018 Annual Meeting: Exhibitor Showcase Sessions

As promised, here is a list of the Exhibitor Showcase Sessions at the AALL 2018 Annual Meeting that may be of interest to CS-SIS members.

For descriptions, see the conference event page or the app.

Sunday

  • 11:30
    • Legal Analytics for Winning Litigation (Lex Machina)
  • 1:15
    • You Can Implement a KM Solution in Under 30 Minutes—Lucidea Will Prove It!
  • 2:30
    • Future-Proofing Libraries with Fastcase: Building AI, Analytics, & APIs
  • 4:00
    • Law Libraries and the Evolving Research Impact Conversation (bepress)

Monday

  • 10:00
    • My Account & the Digital Experience with Thomson Reuters
  • 11:30
    • Today’s Law Firm Library: Navigating Traditional Research and New Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.)
  • 2:00
    • Oh No, Not This Renewal Again: Using Electronic Resource Management to Take Control of Your Acquisitions
    • Teaching Tech: The New Frontier

Tuesday

  • 11:30
    • How AI is Both Changing and Fooling the World (Thomson Reuters Westlaw)

AALL 2018 Annual Meeting: Program Preview

Since the AALL 2018 Annual Meeting in Baltimore is drawing closer, I’ve gone through the conference schedule to pick out some programs that may be of particular interest to CS-SIS members.

To read full descriptions of each program, visit the conference event page or app.

Exhibitor Showcase Sessions are not included here and will be listed in another post to come.

Saturday

  • 6:45 PM – Joint SIS Dine Around (CS, OBS, RIPS & TS)

Sunday

  • 11:30 am
    • Powered by AI, Built in the Law Library
    • Working in a Virtual World: Tips, Tools, and Best Practices for Forging Relationships When Working with and Managing a Remote Team
    • Manipulating Data with OpenRefine
    • Hot Topic: Keeping Up with the Legalities of Electronic Surveillance
  • 12:45 pm
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #1
  • 2:30 pm
    • APIs: What They Are and How to Use Them *Deep Dive / 2.5 hrs*
    • Game Day! It’s Librarian Skills vs. eRecords to Demonstrate ROI for the Win!
  • 4:00 pm
    • Give Me Your Knowledge!
  • 5:15 pm
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #3 (Don’t ask me why #3 is before #2, which is on Monday…)
  • 9:00 pm
    • Karaoke with Ken!

Monday

  • 10:00 am
    • Data Mining for Meaning: The Law and Corpus Linguistics Project
  • 11:30 am
    • Businesses Be Warned: Data Breaches Don’t Discriminate
    • From Concept to Deliverable: Build Your Own Law Library Chatbot
    • Demystifying Text Analysis: A Tutorial in Method and Practice
    • Compressing an Elephant: How We Shrunk Acquisitions and Collections Workflows by Developing Our Own Best Practices for Operational Excellence
  • 2:00
    • Digitization as Choose Your Own Adventure
    • Copyright, Digitize, and Lend: What You Need to Know
    • Oh No, Not This Renewal Again: Using Electronic Resource Management to Take Control of Your Acquisitions
    • Teaching Tech: The New Frontier
  • 3:30
    • Bepress and SSRN Integration Pilot Results: Exploring New Synergies for Open Access Legal Scholarship
    • CS-SIS Roundtable #2

Tuesday

  • 7:00
    • CS-SIS Breakfast and Business Meeting
  • 8:30
    • Reference Analytics for Data-Driven Decision Making
    • 25 Free Technologies for Law Libraries: Second Edition
    • The PEGI Project: Preserving Electronic Government Information
    • Biological Evidence for the Effective Use of Educational Technology
  • 10:00
    • Telling Your Story: Using Metrics to Display Your Value
    • Technology Competence in Legal Practice: Where Do Libraries Fit In?
  • 11:30
    • Cool Tools Café (NEW format this year; check it out and provide feedback, please!)

ABA Center for Innovation Explored

There has been much gnashing of teeth over the failure of the legal profession to embrace technological innovation as a way to increase the efficiency and affordability of legal services. In the 2016 Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States, dedicated to the estimated 80% of people of limited means “without meaningful access to our justice system,” the American Bar Association (ABA) acknowledged that efforts to address the access to justice crisis have been hampered by resistance to technological changes and innovations. It was further noted that the legal profession has failed to keep pace with industries such as medicine and personal finance which have invested in technologies to improve service and client relationships. In an effort to catch up, Recommendation 6 of the Report was to establish an ABA Center for Innovation.

The Center was established in 2016 with the mission to “Encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of legal services.” It operates by encouraging and supporting partnerships and initiatives and by funding fellowships.

According to the website, on rare occasions, the Center will initiate and lead a project such as it has done with the Louisiana Flood App project. The Center partnered with Stanford University and LSU law schools to create the app that helped 2016 Louisiana flood victims qualify for FEMA disaster assistance. The app is called Flood Proof: La. Legal Help and is accessible on the Web and available for download in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

The Center also joins collaborative efforts and is currently working on two projects. One involves partnering with other ABA divisions to help the New York State Unified Court System develop an online dispute resolution system to resolve consumer debt cases more efficiently. The Center is also part of an ABA effort to create a free online legal checkup tool to help the public identify legal problems and find resources to solve them.

Funding fellowships is a large part of the Center’s approach to encouraging innovation. They offer two types of fellowships – NextGen Fellows who are recently graduated attorneys who are paid a $45,000 stipend to spend one year at the ABA headquarters in Chicago or at a legal organization and Innovation Fellows who aren’t required to be attorneys who take a 9 to 12 week sabbatical from their jobs to work at the ABA headquarters in Chicago. There is no stipend for Innovation Fellows.

There are currently eight fellows, two Innovation and six NextGen. And what are some of them up to?

Amanda Brown, Microsoft NextGen Fellow, is working with Microsoft, Pro Bono Net, and the Legal Services Corporation to create an online portal to help people navigate the civil justice system.

Innovation Fellow Bryan Wilson is working on the DFENDR Project which involves using data, technology, and a network of experts to identify possibly wrongfully convicted people.

Irene Mo is a NextGen Fellow who is creating tools to help low-income and marginalized people to better understand the privacy and data security risks of the Internet.

As you can see, the Center is involved in a lot of interesting projects. Check out the Center’s website and blog for more information on their activities.

 

CS-SIS/PEGA-SIS Member Spotlight: Jordan Jefferson

The Computing-Services Special Interest Section is made up of awesome law librarians doing interesting things.   The CS-SIS Member Spotlight is designed to shine light on our membership so that we can learn more about each other and stay connected.

The intersections between Special Interest Sections offer opportunities to expand our horizons and build on each other’s knowledge. The following member spotlight is written by Eve Ross, a member of Professional Engagement, Growth & Advancement Special Interest Section (PEGA-SIS), and focuses on Jordan Jefferson, a member of both CS-SIS and PEGA-SIS.

CS-SIS/PEGA-SIS Member Spotlight: Jordan Jefferson

Jordan Jefferson is the Coordinating Librarian for Research Services and Lecturer in Legal Research at the Yale Law School.

To Jordan, PEGA means opportunity. When she was a newer member of AALL, PEGA-SIS was the main lens through which she learned about AALL as an organization. Her goal in continuing as a leader in PEGA-SIS is to give today’s newer members ongoing opportunities to lead, create, and learn. She also reminds herself to pause and learn from today’s newer members because they have so much to offer. PEGA-SIS’ strength is its transparency; as an SIS, it champions openness, honesty, and even vulnerability. As PEGA-SIS’ current newsletter editor, Jordan supports these SIS goals by including discussions of emotional labor in the library and how to have difficult conversations.

Jordan is a member of CS-SIS because she is “obsessed with technology” (her words). She loves the idea of technology and revels in the thought of how different her job would have been 50 years ago—or even 15 years—and how different it will be 15 or 50 years in the future, mostly because of changing technology. CS-SIS helps Jordan take an aspirational vision of “libraries of the future” and turn it into boots-on-the-ground conversations around specific issues others have encountered with AI or with SQL, for example. Jordan benefits from the fact that someone in CS-SIS has probably already run into any technology question she is likely to have, and fellow CS-SIS members are generously willing to offer their insight.

In the words of her Twitter bio (@jordanajeff), Jordan is a “law librarian, wife, mother, baker, [and] amateur time lord.” Her amateur time-lordship may have something to do with the fandom shelves she maintains in her office, one of which is pictured below. Jordan plans to take a 10-week Python course via Lynda.com this summer, and she recommends the book All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai as a geeky summer read.

Karaoke with Ken Returns to Its Starting Point

In July AALL brings its annual meeting back to Baltimore for the first time in twenty-one years. As we’ve noted before, the seed for our CS-SIS Karaoke with Ken outings was planted in Charm City at that annual meeting. If you’re attending the 2018 meeting, then we invite you to join us for this year’s renewal of our night of singing and good cheer. Our venue will be Supano’s Prime Steakhouse, 110 Water Street. The Debra Crawford Karaoke Show kicks off at 10 P.M., so we plan on being at the restaurant starting at 9:00 on Sunday, July 15th! Be sure to add Karaoke with Ken to your AALL 2018 App!

Social Media Use by Law Libraries

What we’ve done…

Over the past few years our library has been working to enhance our presence within our Law School community. We’ve redesigned our website, are working on a new physical and digital marketing campaign with our communications office, and are nearing the completion of a redesign for our online catalog.

As part of this focus on outreach, we decided it was time to join the masses and utilize social media to try and connect more with our users. We could no longer just rely on students visiting our website or using our catalog; we need to actively reach out to them. So, we created a working group to figure out our next steps. (I know, I know, but trust me. Keep reading…)

We met with our Law School communications office last fall and decided that–since they already manage a Law School Twitter and Instagram presence with over 18,000 and 5,000 followers respectively–we would send them content about the library to post on their threads instead of creating library-specific accounts and needing to build our own followers from zero. (We also didn’t think we would have sufficient staff time to spend generating enough content to keep up with our own account.)

We chose a hashtag to use specifically for posts from/about the library (#UMichLawLib) and planned out some things like types of content, date-specific posts, and who was responsible for posting on what days (among many other things).

We created a non-library specific Twitter account so we could utilize lists to group types/sources of content for easier browsing. Our lists include our own faculty members, some legal vendors, other Law Libraries and Law Schools, and legal education and technology sources. There are five of us in the working group, so we each took a weekday to check the twitter lists and skim what was trending on Twitter to get ideas for posts.  We also make a point to check what events are going on in the Law School or larger campus community, and often post things after an event for those who couldn’t attend or may be interested in learning more about a given topic (see below examples).

We started sending content for Twitter in early February, and since then posts specific to the library have been making a frequent appearance in the Law School’s Twitter feed (averaging 1-2 of our tweets per day since the first post). Date specific posts are being scheduled ahead of time using Hootsuite, and the types of posts vary on a scale from entertaining to informational. We have yet to post on Instagram, but are working on some ideas.

We plan to continue with our current workflow, but also wonder what more we could or should be doing to engage with our users. We’ve heard, only anecdotally, that Twitter is not the place Law Students want to connect with the library, and that the main audience for our Twitter posts is Alumni. We’ve not done a formal poll to confirm this, but we still target most of our posts toward law students and others generally interested in what’s going on in the library.

What are others doing?

Is your library using social media to connect with users / advertise events / other? If so, what are you doing, and what tips or advice would you share with those of us just getting started?

If your library has chosen not to use social media, what are the reasons? (Presumed most common might be staff time or perceived lack of content.)

Log in to leave a reply below! (AALL members can create a CALI account here and use that to log in to Classcaster to post a comment.)

 

 

 

Reopened! Call for Grant Applications for Students and Newer Law Librarians

We really want to see some students and newer law librarians this year at the upcoming 2018 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.   We have reopened the applications for CS-SIS Members that are students and newer law librarians apply for a registration grant to the annual meeting.

The purpose of the AALL CS-SIS Grants Program for Students and Newer Librarians is to provide financial assistance for newer librarians or students in library/information school or law school to attend the AALL annual meeting or a workshop offered at the annual meeting. Among the factors taken into consideration are qualities or activities that indicate the person shows promise of future involvement in the law library profession, especially those who are directly involved in providing technology support of any kind within law libraries.

Successful CS-SIS Grant awardees are expected to write an article about some aspect of their experience attending the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference in Baltimore.  The article may feature an in-depth review of one program attended or an overview of your whole conference experience, for example.

To apply for a grant, fill out the Newer Librarians form (attached to this blog post, not the email generated with this post) describing how you meet the criteria for the applicable grant to Kenton Brice, Chair of the CS-SIS Grants and Awards Committee, at kbrice@ou.edu. Applications are due via email by midnight on May 7, 2018.

Newer Lib Grant Application 2018

A Lawyer’s Duty to Understand Social Media

[Debbie the editor adds: John wrote this ages ago – my fault for the delay.]

At attorney disbarred for waging an online harassment campaign against the judges in two of her cases. A court attorney fired and publicly admonished for live tweeting a disciplinary hearing. A public defender suspended for 60 days, in part for revealing confidential client information on her blog. A judge removed from office for posting about his cases on a message board. But these are obvious breaches of the ethics rules. Surely an attorney can avoid a social media-induced breach of the ethical rules by just not posting?

Not so fast. Over half of states in the U.S. have adopted an ethical duty of technology competence for attorneys practicing in the state. But even where there is no explicit duty, an attorney has a duty of competence in any state adopting the ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. Attorneys must be competent in any technology that affects their practice. Most law firms have a web site and many have social media accounts. Most lawyers are on at least one social network. And even if they do not participate on the internet, their clients probably do.

But guidance is available. Comprehensive social media guidelines from several jurisdictions, including New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, offer guidance in seven major areas:

Competence: Attorneys must understand the workings of the social media sites they use, including their privacy policy and terms and conditions.

Advertising: Posts made on social media feeds may be considered attorney advertising under your jurisdiction’s rules. It may be necessary to review not only your own content but also posts made by others to your profiles. Rules about advertising specialties generally apply to LinkedIn profiles. Payments made to online referral services like Avvo may be considered unethical fee-splitting arrangements.

Furnishing legal advice through social media: Responding to legal questions on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can open up a host of problems including breaching client confidentiality, inadvertent establishment of an attorney-client relationship, and conflicts of interest.

Use of social media material as evidence: Social media posts can be used as evidence, under traditional evidence rules. It must be properly admitted. Attorneys must properly instruct their clients on preservation of posts after litigation begins.

Communications with clients and others: Attorneys must act to protect confidential client information. This means not only keeping such communications from public sites like Twitter and Facebook, but possibly also assessing whether or not certain communications should be sent by email. In some jurisdictions, attorney responses to negative online reviews may not contain confidential client information. Attorneys must follow ethical and other rules when gathering information from social media sites: they may not deceive a party to gain access to their social media profiles or have others do so on their behalf, and they may not contact represented parties.

Researching jurors: Attorneys must not contact jurors if researching their online profiles. The notification that LinkedIn provides to users to let them know who has viewed their profile may be considered contact. Attorneys may be required to notify the court about any juror misconduct they find on a juror’s social media account.

Communications with judges: Contact with a judge on social media, if allowed, cannot be for the purpose of attempting to influence the judge.

Social media is a possible minefield, but attorneys ignore it at their peril. At a minimum, they must understand how their own use of social media fits within their ethical requirements. They must also understand their clients’ use of social media in order to competently advise them. Librarians are the most likely people in many organizations to understand how social media websites work and to be familiar with their terms and conditions.

Legal Technology Conferences in 2018

Going into my library school program, I already knew I wanted to learn about information technology, especially about its use in the legal field.  Now, as a fairly new information professional, I’m finding that there are just as many opportunities to continue learning outside of the classroom.  The question, then, becomes which opportunities fit my professional development goals.

So, of course, I did some research.

I’ve put together a (non-comprehensive) list of the law and library technology conferences happening in the U.S. this year.  Perhaps you’ll find something that fits your goals as well.

[Debbie the editor took too long to publish this so some of these great conferences are already past… but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out their websites or plan to go in 2019!]

  • Legaltech – LegalWeek, Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, New York, NY
    • LegalWeek is a conference with programming focused on mid-sized to large firms or corporate legal departments.  The Legaltech track discusses up-and-coming technology in all aspects of firm and practice management, ranging from cybersecurity to administrative tasks.
  • ABA TECHSHOW, Mar. 7 – Mar. 10, Chicago, IL
    • ABA TECHSHOW brings together vendors and industry experts to highlight the innovative use of technology at every step of the practice of law, from the lawyers still in training to imaginative digital start-ups.
  • Computers In Libraries, Apr. 17 – Apr. 19, Arlington, VA
    • Computers In Libraries is a conference focused on librarians in public or academic settings, particularly those that work with technology or instruction, not just those in the legal field.  There is a major emphasis on technological literacy and integrating new tools into library and patron practice.
  • SLA Annual Conference, June 9 – June 13, Baltimore, MD
    • The Special Library Association hosts librarians from a variety of disciplines and library settings, including legal, business, financial, etc.  The solutions and innovations from other fields can inspire new collaborative solutions or be adapted to issues faced by legal information professionals.
  • AALL Annual Conference, July 14 – July 17, Baltimore, MD
    • AALL gives law librarians and information professionals from all types of libraries an opportunity to discuss the newest legal technologies, from research tools to practice management and beyond, and how to best implement and provide instruction for these tools.
  • ILTACON, Aug. 19 – Aug. 23, National Harbor, MD
    • ILTACON typically caters to the large firm IT, KM, and Ops professionals covering topics that are innovative, practical, and technical.
  • Clio Cloud Conference, Oct. 4 – Oct. 5, New Orleans, LA
    • Although the Clio Cloud Conference is put on by the producers of the Clio practice management software, the programs feature top speakers focused on technological innovation and the future of the practice of law for every sized firm.
  • Internet Librarian, Oct. 16 – Oct. 18, Monterey, CA
    • Internet Librarian draws public, academic, and research librarians and educators from all disciplines to learn about innovative tools and research methods with an emphasis on encouraging digital information literacy.
  • KMWorld Conference, Nov. 6 – Nov. 8, Washington, DC
    • The KMWorld Conference is specifically focused on knowledge and content management and access at businesses and organizations in all fields.  The programming is helpful for beginners and veterans, information professionals and technology professionals.

For all the variety I discovered, there are still other opportunities, such as seminars or regional conferences, for staying informed about the latest in legal technology.

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