Who Is a Legal Information Specialist in 2021?

About a million years ago…wait, that was just 2020.

Back in 2011-2012 I was invited to collaborate with colleagues on Legal Information Specialists: A Guide to Launching and Building Your Career with colleagues from the Canadian Association of Law Libraries. At the time, Annette Demers asked contributors to gather some quotes from our colleagues about the value they considered in having a Legal Information Specialist team member. As uncomfortable as it was, I asked colleagues to write something. My colleague James T. Casey, QC who was then Managing Partner of Field Law wrote this which appears on page 1 of the book:

In my view, the term “law librarians” is now badly outdated. The group of people that we used to call “law librarians” have morphed into true legal information specialists providing a broad range of knowledge management services to lawyers and to law firm management. I consider our firm’s “law librarian” to be a key part of our management team making a very important contribution to our firm’s success.

Jim’s words still make me blush.
They also fill me with excitement for the profession of law librarianship.
They also resonate with members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

As President of CALL/ACBD I was delighted that during a November Town Hall members of our association raised the issue of what we call ourselves. Our Executive Board has focused on broadening our tent. We know that many members work in aligned positions and have titles or responsibilities that “law librarian” doesn’t quite fit.

2021 may hold the answer to who is a Legal Information Specialist. Most importantly for me, it may encourage more people to select being a member of CALL/ACBD while we sort out the question of whether to change our name to reflect that we are not only law librarians who work in law libraries.

Being a law librarian for 20+ years was an extremely positive experience. Becoming a Client Relationship Manager (post-retirement) for a legal technology company whose legal research product is based on AI means I continue to be a Legal Information Specialist.

Are you a Legal Information Specialist? Are you a member of CALL/ACBD?

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