After all, when’s the last time you thought about how emerging technologies had changed the game not just for lawyers but for law librarians?
What has been your biggest obstacle to overcome in your blogging career?
Lack of time and exhaustion. I often can’t carve out the time to write until I am too tired to think straight. So managing my personal time after work is critical.
What’s your favorite type of post to write?
I like to jump into a controversy when I see a lot of press repeating an idea without examining all the issues and consequences – e.g. the shrinking of physical libraries has diminished the importance of information professionals—the exact opposite is true—just as print libraries shrink information professionals simultaneously spearheading the introduction of transformative tools using big data for predictive insights and process improvement and knowledge enhancement.
I also enjoy interviewing Legal Tech entrepreneurs—many are former practicing lawyers. I love to hear about how they moved from problem to idea to product. I feel like I am documenting a first draft of legal tech history in my blog.
Tell us your most successful/exciting blogging story.
In the first few months of my blog I wrote a post “the myth and the madness of cost effective online research training” which highlighted how the literally thousands of Lexis and Westlaw price points had undermined the value of online research. Everyone had lost sight of the main goal—finding the answer for the client! Since them both Lexis and WL have introduced simplified billing systems (not sure I can take credit but it did happen after my blogpost.) The blog also caused some controversy—people thought I was against training lawyers on legal research techniques—which was not the point. The point was – that the librarian community should rebel against a system which was incomprehensible and undermined the best interests of the clients.
Do you have a favorite post?
Yes. It was called “The librarian as hero: the Bard, the bride, the bookseller, the Cuban cutie and the mystery of the Durham first folio” It was about how librarians at the Folger Shakespeare Library used their guile and expertise to get a thief to turn over a stolen Shakespeare Folio. I had actually worked with Richard Kuhta the Library Director years ago in New York and he sent me an email saying that my post was the best description of the “folio caper” he had read.
I also love “Throwing law firm intelligence out with the books?” a post I wrote earlier this year clarifying the “growing trend in law library outsourcing.”
What has made you a successful writer and helped you get to the point where you are?
Reading good writers is important. I have been especially influenced by “new journalists” such as Tom Wolfe—who infuse their writing with realism and electricity. Not saying I am in their league!
Also—Working in law firms and having to communicate with lawyers has had a big impact. Lawyers live and die by words and expect to know what your point is right up front.