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Why A Library Is A Must-Have For Your Growing Law Firm

Introduction

A law firm’s primary goal is to provide excellent and timely legal services to a stable or growing customer base at an acceptable cost, resulting in a decent return for the company’s members or partners. 

The library is the primary source of intellectual materials for legal practice. Law firms take great pride in their intellectual resources, which include a wealth of material (such as books and databases) as well as the ability to successfully access additional databases. 

How does the library align with the firm’s goals and purpose? 

Legal research is an important part of practising law. The purpose of a law firm’s library is to pool legal research resources in order to capitalise on economies of scale and specialisation. 

For instance, the legal industry maintains a centralised repository of laws that all lawyers have access to. Instead of requiring all advocates to be educated about new and changing sources of information in the field of law, one or more librarians are dedicated to constantly acquiring such knowledge. A legal firm’s library also helps in improving service quality and revenue. 

Are Law Libraries Providing the Firm with the Services They Require? 

Some legal libraries understand the importance of focusing on electronic research abilities, while others do not. Libraries that recognise the need for specialisation and have the resources to implement it for the benefit of lawyers will provide the services that will benefit the firms the most. 

Libraries that provide electronic information services make available additional resources beyond case reporter services. Libraries also help in expanding their capabilities beyond pure legal research to include data collection on current and prospective clients as part of the law firm’s marketing efforts. 

“There are  primarily five purposes that a library serves as a storehouse of resources and information : (1) to avoid mistakes; (2) to enhance advocacy positions; (3) to track the activities of clients, client industries and emerging trends; (4) to identify new opportunities for growth; and (5) to improve methods and procedures, both in the delivery of legal services and in management of the organisation.

What does the Law Library represent for your firm? 

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A library serves as a fun and diverse space for intellectual activity while also raising awareness among clients that their information needs are being addressed. 

Recognising the library as a significant resource for problem-solving and consistently producing high-quality, value-added work can lead to successful outcomes. Furthermore, leveraging resources is becoming increasingly important in providing cost-effective legal services and maintaining a firm’s competitive advantage. 

A Microsoft software developer recently predicted the rise of new information managers in professional service firms, forecasting that as we move into a multimedia environment, businesses will need skilled professionals to prescreen available information and filter it for internal use. Consequently, firms should prioritise a strong, proactive library in their workplace to supplement traditional research functions.

Does it improve a lawyer’s effectiveness? 

Having a well-staffed library at a firm allows lawyers to focus on clients instead of constantly hunting for content. 

A library becomes a significant component of legal success since staff members are hired to provide research assistance, advise on the most efficient search technique for online research, select resources to keep a lawyer current in a new subject of law and perform other similar jobs. The professional librarian can make the most of legal time by focusing on the analytical methods that the client requires. Librarians are more knowledgeable about reference materials and computer-assisted research than lawyers, thus saving time and money for the firm.

While librarians should choose and inform persons in managerial and administrative positions, the major value for clients is how the library supports the quality and delivery of legal services.

By aiding other firm employees and advocates in being successful, the library staff creates opportunities for itself to be regarded as a useful contributor. Advocates and firms do not realise how useful the knowledge available through the library is unless they comprehend what they are missing. The library gains a new “friend” by demonstrating its importance to their success.

Does it save money? 

A library obviously costs money to be a part of the firm’s facilities. However, having a well-staffed library saves money in two different ways. First, the staff manages the library budget in a cost-effective manner to keep expenses low, decrease investment in rarely used materials, and make strategic decisions among competing formats to ensure the availability of resources without restricting their use. Second, the library may keep the cost of legal work low by providing legal and nonlegal references and research help so that the staff can perform more efficiently than lawyers and bill at a cheaper rate. 

Before lawyers recognised they needed to be company owners, librarians were constantly planning and looking for methods to save money. They also provide new services to the firm, such as the Internet and bulletin boards, while ensuring cost-effectiveness. It also maximises the value of firms’ technology investments, which are often limited.

Does it contribute to a law firm’s competitive advantage? 

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Excellent library work can provide a competitive advantage with clients and future possibilities. Among other things, it is believed the staff’s level of competency and the resources at their disposal contribute to achieving that goal. Access to information when serving customers improves overall service excellence. 

Moreover, libraries play a crucial role in enhancing a company’s competitiveness by providing access to valuable information. It enables organisations to stay competitive through innovation, cost reduction, and quality improvement.

Conclusion

Investing in high-quality library locations can provide profits for law firms by capitalising on the social capital established. Library space can support productive research techniques. Providing high-quality library spaces can help attract new customers and address information-related concerns, resulting in greater success for the firm. 

References

  1. Elizabeth Finley & Librarian, 97 LAW David S. Mao, Recollections of a Mid-Twentieth-Century Law Firm LIBR. J. 565 (2005).
  2. Lee F. Peoples, Designing a Law Library to Encourage Learning, 63 J. LEGAL EDUC. 612 (2014).
  3. The Future of the Law Firm Library, 89 LAW LIBR. J. 99 (1997).

 

Ghostline Legal is India’s leading, BCI-compliant, full-service tech and content firm catering exclusively to advocates and litigation chambers.

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