Canada’s online legal magazine.
Rogers OutRank
Canadian Bar Association

Archive for ‘Legal Information: Information Management’

Using Archives Collections for Legal Research

I had to visit the Provincial Archives of Alberta today. I was looking for an Order of the Planning Board from 1981. Why? Because there was a reference to the document on the title for some land.

This is not the first trip I have made to the Archives. I have visted the archives to find information for clients a number of times. Water records, repair costs for infrastructure, lists of names, my great grandfather’s homestead record (wait, that was for me, not my law firm), copies of Alberta Orders in Council (with the appendices), copies of Ministerial Orders, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

The Changing Legal Industry Sparks Opportunities for Library and KM Professionals

In the April 20123 issue of Spectrum, the American Association of Law Libraries’ monthly magazine, I read the article “Law Firm Changes Offer Opportunities for Libraries” by Sarah Sutherland with great interest. Sutherland is Manager of Library Services at McMillan LLP in Vancouver and currently Vice-President of the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries.

In this article, Sutherland closes the loop on a couple of key legal industry ideas:

  • “Certain aspects of the practice of law are changing”

    …the movement toward KM, alternative billing, and initiatives to automate some aspects of legal practice is a movement away

    . . . [more]

  • Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

    Crowdsourcing Legal Research and Precedents

    There’s not much that the large law firms have as an advantage over mid-size and small firms. Their bloated overhead, high-priced rent, and unnecessary bureaucracy, all translates into higher operating costs passed on to clients.

    There is one thing which does hold large law firms apart from the rest, and that’s the decades of institutional knowledge which is internally accumulated. As much as the law is constantly changing and evolving, much of it still remains the same, or is easily updated from precedents that have recently become obsolete. This realm, of internal legal memos and precedents, is the area where . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

    Chris Dale on Why We Can’t Just Use Google for eDiscovery

    Chris Dale, a lawyer-turned-eDisclosure-consultant based in the UK, has taken my two-post series from December on search inside the legal organization (see here and here) and applied the thinking specifically to eDiscovery. In his post Why Don’t We Just Use Google for eDiscovery? he suggests that the complexity of using litigation support tools–with concept searching, de-duplication, e-mail threading, clustering and predictive coding–has lawyers asking why not just use Google, or something like Google?

    He gets to to the crux of the problem in this notion:

    If the primary point is that Google does not purport to give you everything

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

    Don Tapscott Interview – Making Internal Collaboration Work

    Don Tapscott, author, speaker and advisor on new technologies and media, was interviewed by McKinsey Quarterly back in September 2012, and a video excerpt plus transcript of the interview was released last month. See: Making internal collaboration work: An interview with Don Tapscott. This interview has been raising questions around the web, and thought it would be useful to look at it here on SLAW. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Office Technology

    GOV.UK and the “One Stop Shop” Approach

    Nick Holmes over at Binary Law has posted an interesting review of the new GOV.UK universal website. The UK government’s attempt to make web surfing for government information “simpler, clearer, faster.”

    The website is only partially finished at the moment, with all departments expected to be integrated by April, 2013. Like any large portal, the arrangement of information — along with a dysfunctional site-search functionality, which Holmes touches on a few times — are going to be major hurdles to overcome.

    The interesting issue for me, however, is whether they are trying to accomplish too much on a singular . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

    Direct Links to Online Texts and Databases

    A LinkedIn group pointed me to an article titled “10 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Intranet“. The article, a blog post by a company that offers a turnkey intranet solution, has some good tips about frustrating navigation, stale content and lack of collaboration.

    My team is responsible for a significant amount of content on our Intranet, and skimming this vendor humour-based post got me thinking more about deep links. We have talked about deep links on CanLII and using CiteBite to link to quotes within in webpages here at Slaw. My team has been focusing on deep links, . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology

    The Changing Face of Knowledge Management

    Back in 2009 Ted Tjaden put together what I consider a seminal paper called “The 7 Faces of Legal Knowledge Management.” [PDF] Knowledge Management is still a young discipline, with thinking and the areas it encompasses in flux. At a couple of recent meetings, including Knowledge Workers Toronto (a KM-related meetup group I help to organize), we explored how KM is changing, how it is varying from these “7 Faces”. Here are a few of my notes co-mingled from those discussions.

    KM as a place to develop new frameworks and models

    As the place to develop new thinking, . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

    Why Can’t You Just Make It Work Like Google? Part 2 – Good Enough Is Not Good Enough

    My post Why Can’t You Just Make it Work Like Google? last week surprised me by going viral. Well, as viral as a blog post about information management can go. It certainly seems to have struck a nerve with people from all across the legal industry. It turns out that making search work effectively inside the organization is something a lot of people are attempting to tackle. After posting it, however, I realized there is also a reason why you would not even want to use Google as it functions out on the Internet for use inside the organization.

    Allow . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

    Why Can’t You Just Make It Work Like Google?

    How many knowledge management and IT professionals have heard this refrain? Why can’t we just use Google (or something like Google) to find documents inside our organization? Why do we need to spend time and money organizing documents and adding indexing or classification or a taxonomy?

    The problem lies with a significant difference between web pages on the Internet and internal documents: Google uses links from other websites as recommendations as to what is good content. It uses links plus a number of other things together in its secret algorithm–which gets changed periodically–to help its system figure out which web . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Office Technology

    Evernote as a Meeting Binder

    I was a bit surprised at s statistic that was reported by Jack Newton here at Slaw last week. Though a top 5 desktop app, Evernote showed a usage rate of only 16% in Clio’s annual survey.

    There has been plenty of discussion about Evernote here at Slaw, and David Whelan recently discussed Evernote Updates for iOS. An easy link for Evernote clipping was even added to Slaw a couple of years ago.

    I used Evernote (the iPad app) last weekend as a ‘meeting binder’ for the background information that I would have otherwise carried to the fall . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

    The New Librarians: AALL/ILTA Joint White Paper

    The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) which many law firms belong to jointly produced a white paper in October 2012 entitled The New Librarian. 

    According to Steven Lastres via the On Firmer Ground blog:

    The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) recently released a joint white paper that acknowledges the strategic alliance that has developed between law librarians and technologists in driving efficient and effective legal information management.

    Kate Hagan, Executive Director of AALL says, “As legal professionals retool and reskill through innovation and

    . . . [more]

    Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Office Technology