Posts

Transitioning From Peer to Manager

Image
After transitioning to interim law library director in March 2018, I attended AALL's Leadership Academy as a Leadership Fellow, was accepted to the New Directors' pre-AALL Annual Meeting Workshop, and was selected as a university representative and Leadership Fellow in the Texas Academic Leadership Academy.
2018 has officially been the year of leadership training. 
During each of these wonderful leadership-training events, the speakers all touched on transitioning from peer to manager -- mostly noting that it was often a difficult transition. They were certainly right about that.
Continuing research into the tough transition from peer to manager led me to a 2013 Forbes article titled 8 Tips to Transition from Co-Worker to Manager. This article is particularly helpful for the practical tips it provides. 
As noted, making the move from co-worker to department manager can be a tricky transition because, as the new manager, you are responsible for the productivity and results of …

Ravel View for Lexis Advance Visually Showcases Case Data for Faster Searching

Image
Context: Daniel Lewis was just in his second year at Stanford Law School when he had an idea for a different way to do legal research. His idea was to display search results visually, along a cluster map that shows the relationships among cases and their relative importance to each other. Shortly after he graduated in 2012, he and classmate Nicholas Reed had launched the legal research platform derived from his idea, Ravel Law. Last June, five years after its founding, Ravel was acquired by legal research giant LexisNexis.

Ravel View for Lexis Advance is here!

In the latest iteration of Lexis's push to sift through massive amounts of data and provide meaningful results, Ravel View provides additional metrics and a visual, data-driven view for legal research results.

The programmers' constant tweaking of Lexis Advance to aid users is wonderful, but Ravel View showcases a truly innovative step in legal research visualization that meets users where they are likely to look.

The tra…

Using the Servant-Leadership Style in Law Libraries

Image
The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware.
Next comes one whom they love and praise.
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

When you are lacking in faith,
Others will be unfaithful to you.

The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words.
When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!’ -- Lao-Tzu

Over the past 10 years working in law libraries, I've gone from Student Circulation Assistant to Student Reference Assistant to a general Reference Librarian to a more specialized Faculty Services & Scholarly Communications Librarian to Associate Director to Interim Director. For the first 8 years or so, I spent my time honing the front-line skills necessary for exemplary library work. As I've entered middle and now upper management, there's an entirely new set of skills necessary to effectively perform these roles.

Needless to say, I've …

A Legal Framework for the "Information Apocalypse"

Image
In 2009, a CNN article noted that the law is "at least five years behind technology as it is developing."

In late 2016, Aviv Ovadya was one of the first people to see that there was something fundamentally wrong with the internet. A few weeks before the 2016 election, he presented his concerns to technologists in San Francisco’s Bay Area and warned of an impending crisis of misinformation in a presentation he titled “Infocalypse.”

Ovadya saw early what many — including lawmakers, journalists, and Big Tech CEOs — wouldn’t grasp until months later: Our platformed and algorithmically optimized world is vulnerable — to propaganda, to misinformation, to dark targeted advertising from foreign governments — so much so that it threatens to undermine a cornerstone of human discourse: the credibility of fact.

Ovadya — now the chief technologist for the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Media Responsibility and a Knight News innovation fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journ…

Creatively Harvesting Bluebook Data

Image
As late as 2016, I was ready to join Justice Posner and give up on The Bluebook. After research into the use of algorithms in the era of big data, however, my thinking has changed.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran an article articulating the concerns with following a particular citation style. The problem with the rules-heavy approach to teaching [citation] isn’t just the rigidity with which students are taught those rules or follow them. It’s that too often students are taught rules without any context or justification. That’s just "the way things are." Students are left following rules just because a [law review editor] told them to, none the wiser about their function or history. It’s a recipe for seeing writing as foreign or external — something a student is supposed to do but not necessarily understand. Just follow the rules, kid, and there won’t be any trouble.

Instead of taking this approach to citation, the author leads a discussion not about citation st…

Aligning the Law Library Strategic Plan with "Program of Legal Education"

Image
In addition to ABA Standard Chapter 6 concerns, as the ABA continues to focus on a law school's "program of legal education," it is wise for law libraries to take note and align their strategic plans directly with the "program of legal education."

Accordingly, Standard 601 states:
Standard 601. GENERAL PROVISIONS
(a) A law school shall maintain a law library that:
(1) provides support through expertise, resources, and services adequate to enable the law
school to carry out its program of legal education, accomplish its mission, and support
scholarship and research;
(2) develops and maintains a direct, informed, and responsive relationship with the faculty,
students, and administration of the law school;
(3) working with the dean and faculty, engages in a regular planning and assessment process, including written assessment of the effectiveness of the library in achieving its mission
and realizing its established goals; and
(4) remains informed on and implements…

Proposed Change to ABA Standard 601: Written Assessment of Law Library Effectiveness

Image
The recent proposed change to ABA Standard 601(a)(3), calls for the removal of a written assessment of the effectiveness of the library in achieving its mission and realizing its established goals. 

Standard 601. Library and Information Resources, General Provisions

Explanation of Changes:

The current version of Standard 601(3)(a) was developed during the Comprehensive Review as a method of involving a law library in the process of strategic planning required of a law school. It was envisioned that the planning and assessment taking place for a law school (under what was then Standard 203) would incorporate the work done by the library under this new Standard. To ensure that incorporation, it was decided that a written assessment should be completed by the library. However, when the requirement for strategic planning for a law school was removed during a later phase of the Comprehensive Review, no change was made to the new Standard 601. As a result, the library community has been left…