How and Why Your Firm Can Make the Case for the Modern Library

By Michael Feit | Feit Consulting

Nov 14

Change is a constant in the legal industry.

Clients are not only applying tremendous downward pressure on price but are driving their law firms to provide more value.  And they want that value delivered faster – and cheaper.

These pressures affect the modern law library as it is a core component of any firm’s ability to deliver client value.  Firms know this, but are challenged to know where to start when investigating how their information services compare to peer firms.  Here are just a few of the levers law firm libraries need to assess:

  • Work-flow Efficiencies
  • Using Technology for Service & Process Improvement
  • New Generations of Research Tools
  • Showcasing Value through Metrics
  • Remote Access – Resources on the go
  • Inter-Departmental Collaboration

This assessment can best be accomplished with a thorough audit of the library to evaluate current practices.  A library audit can be performed internally, but results in these situations are often better achieved by a third party consultancy.  They not only bring an objective, unbiased presence to the audit process, but also deliver a broader, industry-wide insight.

When Feit Consulting leads a library audit, we deliver an integrated project approach.  Through a combination of surveys, interviews and site visits, we provide analysis and a comprehensive plan to enhance the delivery of legal information. Specifically:

  • Project meetings with firm.
  • Stakeholders are identified.
  • Surveys, interviews and site visits are calendared with key stakeholders.
  • Feit Consulting on-site visits include:
  • Review physical operations.
  • One-on-one interviews with: Attorneys, IT, Marketing, Administrator, Library Staff, Paralegal/Investigator
  • Key information is gathered including budgets, library AP, library shelf list, existing policies and other information as determined.

With these insights from library users, Feit industry experts perform a SWOT analysis, to understand current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  The SWOT analysis will identify those things that the library is currently doing well, as well as those areas where there is room for improvement.

A library audit requires some attention and time, but it is an opportunity for information professionals to ensure that they are deploying best-practices to maximize the value that the library brings to the firm.

About the Author

Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at