FW: Re: Can We Throw Away the Books Yet?
- From: "Judy Allen" <judyintx@[redacted]>
- Subject: FW: Re: Can We Throw Away the Books Yet?
- Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2007 12:42:30 -0500
John asked me to forward 2 messages to the whole group. This is the first
Judy Allen, Beaumont, TX
[Moderator: This was in reply to my message about how different fields
have different needs and develop different usage patterns for online
and offline literature. This is an interesting look how it's unfolded in
one part of the legal field. - JMO]
From: Judy Allen [mailto:judyintx@[redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 10:54 PM
To: 'John Mark Ockerbloom'
Subject: RE: [BP] Re: Can We Throw Away the Books Yet?
As a former law librarian & legal researcher, I was the first in our law
firm to learn Westlaw. It was outrageously expensive (we had about 6
lawyers & several other support professionals). I was the only one who was
proficient with on-line computer technology & knew how to use the website,
so it was my job to do everyone's on-line research. Once we hired a few new
young lawyers, they did their own.
At that time, my law library was the finest in the area, having been founded
in the 1930s, with sets of books going back to the 1860s.
Several years later, I went to work for another firm with a varied
assortment of defense lawyers, tax & corporate lawyers, etc. Most lawyers
over 30 relied exclusively on my law library. The tax & corporate lawyers
were especially dependent on their books which had to be updated &
maintained daily to keep up of the many decisions bouncing around the
country, which affected their cases. If they didn't know about a brand-new
decision, it could embarrass the daylights out of them in that cut-throat
type of legal combat.
The day came when, to cut expenses, it was decided to let me go & return
updating to runners, when they had the time.
That decision preceded the death of that firm within about 3 months. The
tax professionals quit in disgust.
That happened to me twice in 2 years.
I think the need for printed books & periodicals will decline as more
lawyers who are computer-savvy are hired. The entire face of the legal
information industry is changing.
Judy in Big Thicket (of Texas)