Tag Archives for " prepare "

Jan 13

3 Things every Administrator Needs to be Doing in January

By Michael Feit | Librarians , Resources

Start the year off right with proper planning and strategy development. Success, in large part, is determined by the correct allocation of resources. This includes having enough time to collect needed information, ensuring staff understand the priorities with enough time to execute. Here are three things a Legal Information Administrator or Librarian can do to start the year off right.

  1. Calendar out important vendor contract dates. Contract expirations are important. Go a step further. Plan out far in advance of contract expiration when planning for contract negotiations will take place. Allow time for evaluating the value of resources such as number of users and how much these users utilize a certain resource.
  2. Revisit your Legal Information Strategy. Reviewing your strategy ensures your goal setting for 2018 is in line with the firm/organization’s anticipated changes and goals.
  3. Determine which big initiative the Library will take on this year. Will it be a Collection Audit? Modern Library Audit? New ERM tool? No matter how small or large, allocate a few hours for each staff member to collect data and details that will eventually feed into the business case or announcement to the firm.

 

 

Jul 06

Forgo the Status Quo: Preparing for the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference

By Michael Feit | Associations , Events

The 110th American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL) Annual Meeting and Conference is scheduled for July 15-18, 2017 in Austin, TX. The theme of this year’s conference, “Forgo the Status Quo”, seems perfect for such an eclectic and vibrant city such as Austin! According to recent attendee surveys, 22% of attendees are from law firm libraries. For that reason, we are excited to attend this year’s conference.

We want to know what our clients want to know.

Below, we offer some suggestions and tips on how best to prepare for the upcoming conference and optimize your time there:

Plan in advance what you want to attend. Prior to the conference, study the conference schedule and decide what programs interest you the most. You have the option of downloading the conference app to your device, making it a handy option for planning on the go and managing your conference schedule (https://eventmobi.com/aall2017/). While you will receive a program upon arrival, come prepared and have the program and the programs you are most interested in attending already highlighted if you prefer paper. As some programs are bound to be more popular than others, try to arrive early to ensure that you can get a seat. Check out the events and meetings scheduled, and map out what events interest you the most.

Schedule time for the vendor hall. Be sure to leave ample time to explore the exhibitor hall and find out what is new and exciting with vendors and databases. You probably won’t be able to do it one day, so plan on popping in once or twice during the conference to connect with vendors and see the greatest and latest offerings. And this is a great time to collect literature on new vendors and databases to share with your colleagues back at your firm.

Bring an extra sweater or long-sleeved shirt, and dress comfortably. Summertime in Austin is HOT, but the Austin Convention Center will be cool. Some conference rooms might be chilly, so come prepared!

Network, network, network! If you attend the conference with colleagues, it might tempting to stick close to them. It’s best to divide and conquer and meet new librarians! And if you go to different programs, you can present what you’ve learned to your colleagues after the conference.

Get Social! If you are on Twitter or Facebook, find the conference hashtag #AALL2017 and follow along for conference news, events, photographs, tips, and commentary. Use #AALL2017 in all of your social media conversations and posts! If you don’t have a chance to attend the conference, this is a great way to follow along.

Bring business cards! Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile before heading to the conference. You may exchange business cards with new folks you meet, but they will likely add you soon after on LinkedIn.

Follow Feit Consulting on LinkedIn to see daily highlights from the conference.

Jun 20

Timing Is Important

By Michael Feit | Contract Negotiations , White Papers

Obviously, the timeline for negotiating is dictated by contract expirations. With 3+ year contracts, the deadlines can seem to immediately appear without realizing the time left to prepare. Allowing for adequate time to prepare for contract negotiations is necessary to achieve optimal pricing and terms for the correct content needed by the firm.

It is recommended to allow for 2+years to develop and execute a well-planned legal information resource strategy. By doing so, there is time for gaining management buy-in, diffusing potential pushback, developing work-arounds for lost resources, conducting trials of new products, and holding ongoing trainings.

Learn more about preparing for contract negotiations to achieve optimal pricing in Feit Consulting’s latest white paper Optimizing Legal Information Pricing.

Apr 18

Value of the Office Copy Audit

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Budgeting

Savvy librarians are always looking for ways to assess and right-size their collections, both print and electronic. As practice groups come and go, information needs change and new products come to market. There are several kinds of collection audits that can be conducted at different times. For instance, the Office Copy Audit can be a valuable tool in annual budget preparation.

“Office Copies” is a budget line that is continually growing and can be an emotional powder keg when surveying attorneys about their office-copy needs. As you review office copies by practice group, you can build a report with data showing Management exactly how much it costs to support a practice area’s information needs. Finance is always interested in data that provides insight into practice-group spend versus practice-group profitability.

For report generation, you will need to categorize and sort your resources by title, vendor, practice group and price. Areas to consider for your Office Copy Audit:

(1) Are you choosing the best content for the price?

(2) Have other vendors moved into the market with the same content, but at a better value?

(3) Are you including office copies in a LMA, and if so, does the Swap-Out Period give you enough flexibility to add and delete copies as attorney numbers change?

(4) When was the last time you actually surveyed attorneys on the value of the office copies they receive?

Once you have your report in hand, set aside a time to meet with the Practice Chair to review titles and expenses charged to the group. This can be a real eye-opener when it comes to costs incurred. Many times the mere cost of publications will gain support for cancellation of materials that are seldom used. This conversation can bring up other factors to consider, such as format changes from electronic to print for better access.

The Office Copy Audit is a win-win for the library, because it highlights to Management that you care about your budget spend. The audit opens a line of communication with the Practice Chair and shows that you are thinking about how to best support their legal information needs in a cost-effective manner.

As firms continue to question the costs of library real estate and resources, a full Collection Audit might be something to consider. As prices of print and online resources escalate, the Collection Audit will identify redundant content and help you right-size your resources better. Feit Consulting can work with your firm on an Office Copy Audit or a full Collection Audit. Click here for how your firm can work with Feit.

Apr 17

A Librarian’s Perspective: Concerns of Eliminating a Vendor

By Michael Feit | Sole Provider , White Papers

As a former research librarian who has worked at various large law firms across the country, I always looked forward to visits from our vendors, in particular our regular weekly Lexis and Westlaw rep visits. Throughout my many years of working in law firms, I developed numerous friendships and truly considered our Westlaw and Lexis reps to be part of our extended library team. During this time I always considered how difficult it must be for law library directors to make the decision to go sole-provider, especially when so often there are strong relationships in place with both vendor reps and account managers. Today, that seems to be less of an issue, as there has been an increase in turnover of Lexis and Westlaw reps and decreased firm visits.

Law library directors are under significant pressure from administrators tasking them with saving their firm money, all the while having to deal with the pressure and demands of attorneys and paralegals who are terrified of losing content if one of the vendors is eliminated, and keeping their users happy. It is critical to take emotions out of the equation when making critical decisions about vendors and focus on what is best for your law firm and users. With so much duplicate content on both Westlaw and Lexis, cutting one of these providers can mean significant savings to law firms. As a new member of the Feit Consulting team, reading our white paper The Sole Provider Playbook was eye-opening for me, as I didn’t realize all of the steps involved when going sole-provider and the length of time the entire process can take.

Some things I learned:

1.) Eliminating Westlaw is a much more difficult task than eliminating Lexis. Westlaw’s popularity is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome.

2.) Feit Consulting forecasts that by 2018, 58% of large law firms will have eliminated a vendor. For the first time since the 1990’s, retaining just one vendor has become the norm.

3.) Creating small 2-4 person task forces, comprised of librarians, associates, IT staff, etc., can help make the transition to a sole provider easier and more inclusive. Ideas for task forces include ones on Vendor Strategies, Content Hurdles, Purchasing, and a User Buy-In task force. The more inclusive the process is, the easier the transition will be for everyone involved. Heavy users of the vendors should be included.

4.) Today, there are numerous on-demand research services that that can serve as an excellent tool for access to lost content.

If you are new to the process and want to be prepared, this step-by-step inclusive guide is essential reading to help you navigate all of the intricacies of vendor elimination. Law firms should carefully evaluate their need to retain both vendors. Our Sole Provider Playbook will not only guide you, but will empower you, through the sole-provider process.

Apr 15

Value of the Office Copy Audit

By Michael Feit | Best Practices , Budgeting

Savvy librarians are always looking for ways to assess and right-size their collections, both print and electronic. As practice groups come and go, information needs change, and new products come to market. There are several kinds of collection audits that can be conducted at different times. For instance, the Office Copy Audit can be a valuable tool in annual budget preparation.

"Office Copies" is a budget line that is continually growing and can be an emotional powder keg when surveying attorneys about their office copy needs. As you review office copies by practice group, you can build a report with data showing Management exactly how much it costs to support a practice area's information needs. Finance is always interested in data that provides insight into practice group spend versus practice group profitability.

For report generation, you will need to categorize and sort your resources by title, vendor, practice group and price. Areas to consider for your Office Copy Audit:

(1) Are you choosing the best content for the price?

(2) Have other vendors moved into the market with the same content but at a better value?

(3) Are you including office copies in a LMA; and if so, does the Swap-Out Period give you enough flexibility to add and delete copies as attorney numbers change?

(4) When was the last time you actually surveyed attorneys on the value of the office copies they receive?

Once you have your report in hand, set aside a time to meet with the Practice Chair to review titles and expenses charged to the group. This can be a real eye-opener when it comes to costs incurred. Many times the mere cost of publications will gain support for cancellation of materials that are seldom used. This conversation can bring up other factors to consider, such as format changes from electronic to print for better access.

The Office Copy Audit is a win-win for the library, because it highlights to Management that you care about your budget spend. The audit opens a line of communication with the Practice Chair and shows that you are thinking about how to best support their legal information needs in a cost-effective manner.

As firms continue to question the costs of library real estate and resources, a full Collection Audit might be something to consider. As prices of print and online resources escalate, the Collection Audit will identify redundant content and help you right-size your resources better. Feit Consulting can work with your firm on an Office Copy Audit or a full Collection Audit. Click here to learn how your firm can work with Feit.