Apps for Lawyers

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By , May 26, 2011 5:19 pm

by Karen Helde

By now we’ve all become used to seeing lawyers with Blackberries and iPhones. But for me at least, an iPad in a law firm still merits a second look. As iPads become work tools for lawyers, there’s an opportunity for librarians to get involved, particularly in navigating the world of apps. There are a few resources which I’ve found helpful. My favorite is the Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers Guide maintained by UCLA’s Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library. Well-curated and sensibly organized, this guide can you help you pull off the illusion that you’ve totally got a handle on this whole app thing. Mobile Apps for Law is a new product from an old friend (Infosources Publishing). It’s fee-based, but reasonably priced right now with a $25/year introductory rate. If you like using 15th century technologies to read about 21st century innovations, pick up a copy of iPad in One Hour for Lawyers published by the ABA and available (as far as I can tell) only in paper. There are a number of legal blogs which cover law-related use of tablets and iPads. This Attorney at Work post is a good jumping off point to start exploring.

AALL2go Pick of the Month

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By , May 25, 2011 4:28 pm

AALL’s Continuing Professional Education Committee presents the AALL2go pick of the month: Federal Regulatory Information and Where to Find It.

In this one-hour video, David Pritzker of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Regulatory Information Service Center provides a handy tutorial on the federal rulemaking process, including where the public can find access to federal regulations. The GSA Regulatory Information Center publishes a semiannual unified agenda on regulatory actions under development. The fall publication of the agenda includes a regulatory plan identifying current regulatory priorities and highlighting significant regulatory actions expected in the coming year. The center also helped establish to provide a “regulatory dashboard” of current information on the regulatory process, which includes handy FAQs on the regulatory process and hyperlinks to government sources for the regulations.

Pritzker’s presentation explains the evolution of public access to regulatory information (including the genesis of the Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register), how the Administrative Procedure Act creates a legal framework for the adoption of regulations in a manner allowing for public input, and where to find regulatory information, including new, free web-based government resources.

 Find this and more than 80 other free continuing education programs and webinars for AALL members on AALL2go!

Are You a Sherpa?

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By , May 19, 2011 12:57 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

I’m not sure I have ever considered myself a sherpa before reading Seth Godin’s post on The future of the library, but I kind of like the sound of that. I can help my patrons climb the Everest of information out there. That seems pretty noble, doesn’t it?

Marketing guru and chrome-dome sage, Godin is among the many who like to speculate on what the future library will look like. He’s got the standards in there: just a smattering of books, lots of computers and the uber-hip coffeehouse vibe. He makes some salient points. To our battle for ebook lending, he says, why bother. Godin points out that “librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.” Continue reading 'Are You a Sherpa?'»

AALL’s New Look: a Do or a Don’t?

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By , May 16, 2011 12:55 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

I must begin by admitting that I do not spend inordinate amounts of time on the AALL website, so I’m not able to provide a thorough comparison of the old and the new. But I can tell you that the old website was sorely in need of a makeover, just as we ladies ought to make an occasional visit to the makeup counter to keep things fresh. A bit of advice though: careful at the Mac counter, lest you come out looking like a drag queen.

The old AALL website was a blight on our image as cutting edge information professionals. It’s like having a car on concrete blocks at the entrance to an auto dealership. The SLA website suffers from the same syndrome, but have you seen the new SLA conference website? I was impressed with their Conference Preview Program. It’s interactive, which totally excites me, even if the font requires a magnifying glass. There’s nothing quite that cool on the AALL website. Continue reading 'AALL’s New Look: a Do or a Don’t?'»

The Library of Congress is Alive with the Sound of Music

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By , May 12, 2011 2:20 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

Recently, I was visiting Portland with my parents, and we found ourselves at Clyde Common, a renowned joint thanks to the master mixologist. Even though my drink tasted like vinegar, the highlight of the visit was our ever-so-eccentric Portlandia server. Hearing that we were from Alabama, he proclaimed his love for old-timey Appalachian music. I bit my tongue and declined to point out that just because Alabama is a Southern state does not mean we are part of Appalachian country. We have more teeth.

I have a feeling that this guy would be jazzed to know about the latest development at the Library of Congress: a collaboration with Sony to create a National Jukebox website with free streaming of vintage tunes. At the project’s launch, there are over 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925, with additional material to be added. There is also a treasure trove of older recordings available thanks to Universal Music Group. Perhaps once Mr. Portland finishes his milk thistle cleanse, he’ll have the energy to do some advanced searching for his favorite Appalachian ditties at the LoC.

Summer Associate Training: What’s Lady Gaga Got to Do with It?

By , May 11, 2011 2:23 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

The blooming of dogwoods and the lengthening of our days signal the time of year when our summer associates will unpack their bags and take residence in our hallowed law firm halls. With a year or two of law school under their belts, they may have mastered the art of googling and picking the proverbial caselaw needle from the haystack, but their awareness of alternative resources is limited.

Westlaw and Lexis are staples of the daily law school diet. Even if summer associates don’t know how to use these resources cost-effectively, they know how to use them. What they don’t know about are all of the practice group specific resources that law schools either don’t subscribe to or do not regularly market to students.  As Laura Justiss laments, law students are rarely exposed to alternatives to Westlaw and Lexis.

Continue reading 'Summer Associate Training: What’s Lady Gaga Got to Do with It?'»

Washington State Law Library May Have to Close

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By , May 9, 2011 10:33 am

by Kris Henderson

The situation is dire for the Washington State Law Library. It would have to close if the State Senate budget proposal, with a budget of $1 million over 2 years, prevails during the current special session. You may have already read the postings to Law Librarian Blog or KCLL Klues. They both feature this article from an Olympia attorney about what the loss of the State Law Library would mean for both the Washington legal community and the general citizenry who don’t have lawyers.

You probably know that the State Law Library has a complete collection of Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals briefs. If I am not mistaken, that is the only complete collection of these briefs. The library has a very modestly priced document delivery service, and it will send books from the collection, again at a very modest cost. The State Law Library oversees the live chat service that the King County Law Library* participates in. The State Law Library will provide materials from the following databases free to anyone who asks (assuming the material is part of the library’s subscription): Westlaw, Shepard’s, HeinOnline, Loislaw, CCH – Labor and Employment and the Nolo databases. I’ll bet you think that all of these services enhance access to legal information for all Washingtonians.

In my position (librarian at the King County Law Library), I can’t advocate with respect to pending legislation, so I’m just informing you, in case this is news . . . .

*Still getting used to the name Public Law Library of King County.

Librarians and Robots

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By , May 5, 2011 3:04 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

News headlines that capture public attention often involve a play on words or a bit of sensationalism. This is not the case for a recently published Texas feel-good story: Robots Coming to Arlington Library Branch. Rather, it is a more humble and absolutely real story.

The East Arlington Branch Library has received a generous $95,0000 grant that will allow them to provide exciting programs and new technology. These services target the youth and aim to bridge a technological divide that exists amongst financially disadvantaged, under-served populations. Building on the status quo, such as access to computers and free wi-fi within the library, the library hopes to offer: Continue reading 'Librarians and Robots'»

Grants Committee Award for AALL

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By , May 4, 2011 5:09 pm

The LLOPS Grants Committee has awarded $1,190 to Crystal Norton in support of her attendance at the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. As Vice-President/President-Elect of LLOPS, Crystal has several commitments at the Annual Meeting, including chapter leadership training. The committee is pleased to support our incoming Presidentm, and we’ll all look forward to Crystal’s report on the events and programming of the 104th gathering of AALL.

Tacoma Union Station

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By , May 3, 2011 10:25 am

by Philippe Cloutier

Last week LLOPSters were treated to an early documentary screening and talk with Jack Hamann. This nearly final version of the film focused on Tacoma Union Station, a monument of the Progressive Era that turns 100 years old this year. Union Station played an important role in Tacoma (and U.S.) history, connecting Washington to Minnesota and the East Coast, serving U.S. Presidents, transporting Hollywood and sports celebrities, dispatching soldiers off into two world wars, and sending Japanese-Americans to internment camps. However, once automobiles and interstates took hold, the station’s glory days quickly faded. The gild and shine of a once grand structure died a slow death until being shut down in the early 80s.

Continue reading 'Tacoma Union Station'»

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