Renovations can uncover many surprises – some unexpected, some forgettable, and then some with historical significance. A renovation at the Cook County Law Library (CCLL) uncovered all three of the above. However, one surprise led me on a quest into the history of CALL and AALL. Continue reading A Gavel and Our Connections to History
We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Have you ever taken a moment to ask why?
If pictures affect us differently than text, how can we use the power of pictures to enhance our communication? On the other hand, how can we make sure we aren’t being manipulated?
Librarians are experts in managing information, but visual information is viewed, interpreted, accessed, and stored very differently than textual information. Still, though we may need other tools or resources to find and review images, I believe our analytical skills and frameworks are just as relevant to evaluating the value of images as information.
When I began my position just over two years ago, I was tasked with implementing an exhibit program at the Pritzker Legal Research Center. Different libraries handle exhibits in different ways. Some have an exhibit committee with an schedule looking years in advance; others simply plan for exhibits as opportunities arise.
I found myself somewhere in the middle, doing exhibits independently, rather than as part of a committee, but I would have a set schedule with ideas planned (at least somewhat) in advance. In this piece, I highlight some of my practices for curating and presenting exhibits at the Pritzker Legal Research Center. Continue reading Planning an Exhibit: How to Make Exhibits and Displays That Work
The Mentorship and Leadership Development Committee (MDLC) recently hosted a mentorship brown bag event at Chicago-Kent College of Law on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
With the demands of work, professional development, and our personal lives, it can be challenging to add mentorship to your task list. Because of this, we decided to invite our newer CALL members to an informal mentorship event where we could share our insights and take questions over lunch and cookies.
Mentoring New Members
This approach was successful. Our new members were able to get their questions answered and start forming bonds with some of our CALL leaders. Additionally, they now associate names with faces for the next business meeting.
Some of the questions included revolved around the best committees for new CALL members to ease into involvement, and we encouraged Bulletin writing. Also, there were questions about where to find conferences and how to apply for grants – the MDLC calendar where our members can find this information. Continue reading Modern Mentorship
The CALL Bulletin is proud to announce the candidates for the 2019-2020 CALL Executive Board. The Election for these candidates (and for the Bylaws Amendments) will be held from February 15-March 15, 2019. Please read the candidate statements and bios by following the link below, and don’t forget to vote!
Candidates for Vice-President/President-Elect
Candidates for Secretary
Candidates for Director
The meeting was held on the Berghoff, 17 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL 60603 on November 8, 2018.
CALL president Joe Mitzenmacher opened the meeting at 12:00 p.m. There were 90 CALL members in attendance, including three new members: Angela Arroyo, Foley & Lardner LLP, Kelsey Cox, student member, and Leslie Strauss, DuPage County Law Library.
CALL vice-president Jessie LeMar introduced and thanked the meeting sponsors, Ellen Ryan and Tami Carson from Thomson Reuters. Ellen spoke very briefly about Westlaw’s latest enhancement, Westlaw Edge and it is enhanced search functions and enhance litigation analytics.
Next, Jessie introduced the meeting’s speaker Fastcase’s Ed Walters. Walters just published a book on data driven law called Data Analytics and the New Legal Services. Walters’ presentation to CALL was about data analytics and Fastcase’s analytics capabilities.
He framed his discussion around cartography and travel. In antiquity before good maps travel was rare and if one were traveling a navigator would be hired. Over time navigators began to record travels aggregating maps, which became strategic assets. For example, kings would horde them and in the modern context Churchill’s war room was kept top secret, primarily because of the maps. Over time maps become democratized when they were printed and made available to everyone, and in modern times maps have become even more sophisticated and accessible. Photos for maps are taken from the air by pigeons, satellites, and drones, or information is collected in real time with apps like Waze. Due to the innovations from map design and dissemination to travelers, the act of travel is now less risky and more affordable.
Walters’s stated that the map/travel analogy is applicable to the legal landscape: lawyers are the navigators and clients are the traveler. Clients are no longer content with the “it depends” answer. Before making a decision about how to proceed with a legal matter clients want to know: How much will the matter cost? Will I win? How much should I offer in settlement? In the past, lawyers typically answered these questions based on their past experience or on hunches. This approach to law is like traveling without a map, making legal services risky and expensive. Through analytics this approach is no longer necessary. Lawyers can now answer data driven questions with data driven answers because data analytics (just like maps) lay out the most accurate and predictable choices and outcomes available.
Extending the metaphor, Walters’ used a docket sheet as an example of a “Map of the Case”. As such, once many docket sheets get aggregated you start to see really interesting information. Fastcase has a docket aggregating tool called Docket Alarm that maps docket information, which can be mined to help build business and firm management tools since more information is now available: you can see who is doing what, what arguments are working, and who is winning.
Walters believes that the legal landscape is changing and analytics will transition from “nice to have” to “need to have”. He also believes that legal analytics will live in the law library, and the library will become the map room for firms.
At the conclusion of the presentation, members had several questions:
Q: Do you know of a case where a firm used analytics to drop a case?
A: This tends to be confidential but it happens. Probably happens with settlements.
Q: Who are the new cartographers in this era?
A: It’s information professionals, for the most part not data scientists. AI sandbox is training these skills and competencies within law firms.
Q: What’s the impetus for a court to move into the brave new world?
A: We hope it is generational. The old school clerks are retiring. Or, shame because courts need to get with the times.
Q: Can algorithms determine outcomes that have to be hand coded in the past?
A: Fastcase has an analytics workbench that does this. You can run all sorts of reports and customize them.
Q: What skills do law students need to have use analytics?
A: Curiosity. Never stop asking hard questions.
Q: How do you run the search?
A: It is different for everything that you are doing. You can build a search based on what you need for a particular research problem. It is a multi-stage process but not like computer programming.
After the presentation, several committees made announcements:
- Community Service (Nan Norton):
The committee was collecting for Safe Haven in honor of Veteran’s Day. Collection canisters were on the tables, in kind donations and online donations were also welcome.
- Mentorship & Leadership Development (Lindsey Carpino):
The committee introduced its new page on the CALL website and reminded members, if they are interested they should fill out a mentor/mentee application form.
- Grants & Chapter Awards (Clare Willis)
The committee reminded the membership that grants were available to attend conferences and continuing education events.
- Continuing Education (Tom Keefe)
The committee announced that it will be hosting an introduction to securities webinar.
- Bulletin (Matt Timko)
The committee announced that it was looking for content for the Winter edition of the Bulletin.
- Government Relations Committee (Sarah Sherman)
The committee reminded the membership that AALL was hosting a webinar on the incoming Congress. The committee was also looking for more people to join the committee.
- CALL Listserv Reminder (Jessie Bowman)
Jessie announced that the old listserv was no longer active.
- Nominations & Elections (Todd Ito)
Todd announced the slate for the 2019 election. The candidates were: Vice President Lindsey Carpino and Matt Timko, Secretary Todd Hillmer and Philip Johnson, Directors Sarah Andeen and Megan Butman.
Then, Eric Parker announced the vote for the proposed amendments to the Bylaws. The membership needed to vote to put the Bylaws change proposal on the ballot. The proposal is to eliminate the associate member and eliminate the rule that to be a retired member you had to be a CALL member for 10 years. Eugene Guidice moved to vote. Clare Willis seconded the motion. The membership voted unanimously to make the change and the measure will move to the ballot.
The meeting ended with the door prize sponsored by LexisNexis. Matt Timko and Keith Ann Stiverson were the winners.
Well the weather outside is Winter, but welcome to the Fall Issue of the Call Bulletin. This issue has several great articles from regular contributors, as well as two new authors to the Bulletin.
Dear CALL Colleagues:
The daylight hours are getting shorter, the weather is turning colder, and the tension from looming final exams is starting to creep into the atmosphere within the walls of our law schools. There’s no question that we find ourselves in the middle of the fall/winter holiday season. In this letter, I want to focus on the fall holiday that I feel exemplifies the traits of CALL members: Thanksgiving.
In October, I attended the Knowledge Management (KM) in the Legal Profession presented by Ark in New York. Speakers were from a diverse range of law firms and corporate legal departments – diverse in size, geographic location, and practice focus. Attendees likewise represented a cross-section of the private legal industry. While there were many law librarians in attendance, they were outnumbered by those from I.T. departments, knowledge management attorneys, and others in high level positions within their organizations – law firms, corporations, and consulting firms.
As is the case any time you dive into the world of KM, one finds it to be a frustratingly nebulous concept which intertwines throughout an organization’s departments. With that intertwining comes the question of who should be in charge of it? Law firms and corporate legal departments have answered that question in a variety of ways. Many see this as data work and should therefore fall under I.T. Others see it as needing to be led by attorneys. Still others have housed this responsibility with the library – clearly the right place for it! Self-interest aside, the more I learn of knowledge management, the more certain I am that the responsibility and, more importantly, the strategic direction for this rapidly developing area belongs with the library.
CALL held its September Business Meeting on September 20th at Wildfire. Eighty-six members attended the meeting. We welcomed several new members: Molly Caballero from Locke Lord, Michael Hensler from Kirkland & Ellis, Anne Hudson from DePaul University College of Law, and Mary Ellen Murphy from the American Dental Association.
The sponsor of the meeting was Deal Point Data. Tom Quinn spoke on behalf of the company. Mr. Quinn said that the company’s purpose is to help corporate research. He discussed a tool to search and monitor charters and bylaws. Quinn emphasized that Deal Point Data is a small company and it does all of its research, product development, and customer support in the United States.