Tag Archives for " changes "

Sep 21

Modern Library: Value of the Business Case

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Modern Law Library

The Modern Library evolves and shifts as needs of the firm or organization change. By being proactive to change, the law library brings added value to the firm or organization. A well-developed business case responding to changes and needs provides solutions to current issues and showcases the value the law library brings to the firm or organization.

Don’t discount what your law library can do. If you are an administrator, be open to considering business cases for new ideas, products, or processes. If you are a librarian or director, think about what solutions or new value the law library can bring.

In your business case, include the factors driving the reason for the proposed idea. Be specific, and clearly state what problem you are solving. Include a financial review with comparables. If there are several options, state each, but include your recommendation and the back-up for it. Surveying or interviewing current or potential users or recipients of this proposed idea can bring value to your business case.

Budget season can serve as an optimal time to deliver business cases. As you develop your budgets, include business cases for budget increases or changes. In short, a law library that presents well-planned business cases not only impacts the bottom line in the long run, but also showcases the value of the law library, transforming it into a Modern Library.


Sep 18

Is your library budget ready?

By Michael Feit | Budgeting , Modern Law Library

Budget season is here. Are you ready?

Budget season is here, and 2018 expense is right around the corner. While no one enjoys the necessary number-crunching of budget preparation, annual budgets are an important tool of modern-library metrics. The library budget, a microcosm of projected expense within the larger organization, should be meaningful by helping you to understand how you spend firm dollars. Your budget, broken down by categories of material, or service, or major vendor, should allow you a framework to monitor expense.

When preparing the budget, utilize all tools at your disposal. Annual budgeting should never be done in a vacuum. Talk to Finance to get a better idea of the firm’s strategy for the upcoming year. What is the firm’s fiscal goal for the new year, and what does that mean for the library? Is this a year of zero-based budgeting? Are there plans for a new office or strategic downsizing firm-wide? Is the firm planning to right-size practice groups? If so, then performing an office-copy audit becomes a valuable tool of budget preparation. Addition or deletion of attorneys and staff affects library spend and seat licenses, so make sure you are proactive in understanding what the firm is planning. If you have an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) tool in place, pull usage reports, and analyze user data and actual ROI of electronic subscriptions helping to support renewal or cancellation decisions. Don’t forget to survey your user population to make sure their needs have not changed and the firm is subscribing to the right content. Make sure you are current on legal-vendor offerings and haven’t overlooked new vendors with the same content but a better value.

The Modern Library requires individuals to change their mindset from maintaining the status quo to becoming open to new ways of doing things. Consider how you will shape your budget to reflect new solutions that you want to present to your organization. Whether it is new software to improve workflow or hiring a consultant for upcoming contract negotiations, the budget should reflect the library’s needs and projects for the upcoming year. If you are proposing something new, consider adding a business case as a supplement, providing the needs assessment and ROI derived from the new solution. For the law firm administrator that is often a numbers person, hard-budget data turned into informative charts and graphs will tell your story in a visual way that is powerful beyond just numbers. The law library budget should be well thought out and reflect your needs and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year.







Sep 18

Innovation and Value: The Modern Library

By Michael Feit | Modern Law Library , Surveys

Cutting-edge… State-of-the-art… Unconventional… Using the most up-to-date techniques, technology and metrics…

While all these ideas are traits of the Modern Library, the first step to modernization really starts with you, the administrator. Flexibility and an openness to change are necessary traits. Ask yourself: How can I change my habits to actually facilitate change? How can I move out of my mindset of “but we have always done it that way? What can I do differently to steer the law library team in a new way? Can I provide the space/opportunity for the law library team to innovate and transform?

While law firms have always depended on library and information professionals to support the research needs of their lawyers, the Modern Library is undergoing a paradigm shift. Success now depends on the library taking a more active role in the organization to help support the day-to-day business of law. The law-firm administrator is instrumental in paving the road for that new role.

It is no secret that the legal sector is in flux and change, which is the only constant in our organizations. There are changes we can forecast, and there are those we must be able to react to in order to function as a fiscally responsible unit in our organizations. The Modern Library, a business within a business, is not passive in its approach, but rather utilizes metrics and analytics to forecast, predict and analyze data as changes occur.

Rather than be a target of downsizing or outsourcing, the Modern Library is innovative and forward-thinking. Librarians have a variety of skills that can be utilized in innovative ways such as:

  • Conflicts support for new business intake
  • Partnering with marketing to provide competitive intelligence to support the RFP process
  • Partnering with IT to identify and beta-test software
  • Driving Knowledge Management

Allowing the law library to collaborate with other departments is a win-win for the library and the firm.

The Modern Library is a trend-setter, evaluating and embracing new techniques, ideas and technology to help support business processes. It strives to carve out new roles within the organization while showcasing the value of resources and staff.

Feit Consulting is interested in learning how modern you see your law library, and what obstacles stand in the way of modernization. Click here to get started on our 10-minute survey.

Sep 05

Budgeting to Maximize ROI

By Michael Feit | Budgeting , Modern Law Library , Resources

Will you play it safe or take a risk for greater returns?  

The Modern Library requires individuals to change their mindset from maintaining the status quo and becoming open to new ways of doing things. Budget season is here. Now is the time to consider how you will shape your budget with new solutions to your organization’s anticipated changes in 2018.

Checklist of budget items to consider adding or changing in your 2018 budget:
  • ERM (Electronic Resource management system): If your firm doesn’t already have an ERM, it may be time. Read more here.
  • Content Aggregators: Influencing the firm’s bottom line with current awareness on clients and potential business.
  • Library Membership Fees: Save on subscription costs, fill content gaps at a lesser cost, access to archival and historical collections and just-in-time document delivery.
  • New Software: Consider software that offers newer efficiencies, extensive analysis and taming big data.
  • Outside Services: Budgeting for value-added insights on those special projects, allocating funds for consultancy services or to purchase resources that will provide critical insights on pricing, creating efficiencies and library modernization to name a few. Tap into Feit Consulting’s white papers or other consultants’ resources.
  • Conferences and Events: Be smart in which topic class or conference you decide to attend. Think about who may also attend as networking is as valuable as the content offered. Specialized topics covered by ILTA or the Ark Group offer valuable takeaways on timely topics that will affect your bottom line. Discounts available for multiple attendees from your organization.
  • Staffing: Do your foresee a need to add staffing capacity? Will it be a short-term need or long-term? Hiring temporary or permanent staff is one option as well as outsourcing depending on how each option delivers return on the expense.


Jul 17

PLLIP Summit 2017: Nexus of Knowledge and Legal Tech

By Michael Feit | Associations , Events , Librarians

The PLLIP Summit pre-conference–always timely and ever-interesting! This year’s day-long meeting was no exception. If there was one takeaway, it would be that change is the only constant in life, and with that change comes new and exciting possibilities for our profession. What we do with those possibilities is up to us. We need to build on our established alliances and push outside of our comfort zones as we navigate the shifting landscape of organizational reporting, new technologies and artificial intelligence. Librarians must remain flexible and rethink how we apply library skills to create knowledge management solutions–solutions which help further the goals of our organizations and aid our users as they face an increasingly competitive legal landscape.

As collaborators and communicators, librarians need to devise new ways to insert themselves into the daily activities of the firm outside of legal research. Utilize your library skills differently to spread your message, and raise library visibility by supporting daily firm activities like client intake, providing competitive intelligence support during the RFP process, portal and dashboard creation, producing curated client newsletters and becoming seen as the go-to place for data analytics. Assist IT as beta-testers and software implementers. When presented with opportunities to change, meet the challenge, and grow as a person and as a professional. Evolution means moving forward, so don’t be left behind.

Follow Monice’s latest takes on the AALL Conference on Feit Consulting’s LinkedIn page.

Feb 28

Reintegrate, Reinvent, and Optimize your Role in the Modern Library

By Michael Feit | Events , Librarians , White Papers

For those who attended the ARK Conference on Best Practices & Management Strategies for Law Firm Library, Research & Information Services last week in New York, the message was loud and clear. It is no longer business as usual.

While law firms have always depended on library and information professionals to support the research needs of their lawyers, the paradigm is shifting. Success will depend on taking a more active role in your organization. ARK presenters provided viable strategies for librarians to transition into possible management roles by supporting the client intake process, assisting attorneys in managing outside counsel guidelines and a myriad of innovative ways to service the firm’s business needs.

Streamlined and efficient delivery of knowledge was another hot topic, as libraries opt for mobile strategies to push out curated and personalized knowledge to lawyers, regardless of where they reside in the world.

It’s an exciting time for legal information and knowledge management professionals, and Feit Consulting is thrilled to be joining you on this journey. In December 2017, Feit Consulting will offer another white paper in the Market Trends Series, entitled Beyond Virtualization: Transforming the Law Library.

What are the changing roles librarians play in the Modern Library? 

This white paper will help you evaluate your current library structure and align with your firm’s strategy, with discussions on leveraging technology to improve workflow, for promoting efficiency and cost savings.