Man working on laptop from library.

Library? What’s a Library? The Growing Need for Legal Information Specialists & Continuing Legal Education

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When I taught research as a writing professor, I would regale students of the olden days when I’d work in the government documents repository at my university’s library; tales of checking microfiche into a paper spreadsheet and Bates stamping their sleeves before sending them into the stacks; of the time I literally measured the length of the cards in the card catalog, so that I could more effectively space them out in the drawers; or how there were specialty resources for particular areas of study, the giant Standard & Poor’s books that business students were always asking for, or the single computer terminal marked Lexus/Nexus that only law students would visit.

It might be easy to think, “Who still uses a library?” but they are alive and well, particularly in the legal industry.

Recently, the American Association of Law Libraries published its 13th Annual Salary Survey, a comprehensive overview of comparative salary information for legal information professionals. For years, people have been saying that the need for librarians is obsolete as we move at lightning speed through the digital landscape. But, according to the AALL, the need for legal information specialists remains steady, even growing in some instances, despite changes in law firm staffing structures and declining law school enrollment. While everyone has made the switch to digital libraries? over the past ten years, the survey shows that “law firms spend on average three times more than academic libraries” when it comes to digital resources.

The need for information and knowledge will never go away, regardless of the medium (print, digital, conference panels) or the repository (library, law firm, internet). The benefit of living in the information age, is that we have so much available to us at any given moment that it’s not hard to seek out the best minds in any given field to see what they’re saying about the latest trends or best practices.

E-Discovery, of course, is no different. In fact, Friday, December 1st, is E-Discovery Day, an industry-wide event with 15 scheduled webcasts, as well as in-person gatherings across multiple time-zones. Some of the featured speakers include:

  •  Craig Ball, Esq.
  • Hon. Michelle Childs, US District Judge, South Carolina
  • Ralph Losey, Esq
  • Hon. Joy Conti, Chief District Judge, Pennsylvania
  • George Socha, Esq., Co-Founder, EDRM
  • Hon. David Waxse, US Magistrate Judge, District of Kansas
  • Maura Grossman, Research Professor, University of Waterloo
  • Sr. Master Steven Whitaker (Ret.), Courts of England & Wales, Queen’s Bench Division
  • Hon. Andrew Peck, US Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York
  • Roy Zur, CEO, Cybint Solutions (a fellow Barbri company)
  • And our own Mary Mack, Executive Director of ACEDS

ACEDS is also one of the sponsors for E-Discovery Day and was a part of four of the scheduled webinars. I think it’s easy to see that all the day’s happenings covered interesting and useful topics for anyone working in e-discovery and data management. Or as Mary Mack, ACEDS’ Executive Director puts it, “There are so many great webinars and events this year for E-Discovery Day.  I’ll be looking for the archives!”

For a full list of events and webinars, go to

Jim Gill’s writing about eDiscovery and Data Management has been twice recognized with JD Supra Reader’s Choice Awards and he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Before working in eDiscovery, Jim taught college writing at a number of institutions and his creative work has been published in numerous national literary journals, as well as being nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

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