Mid-size US law firm

Business need: Transform the firm library to optimize resources and leverage information tools and technology

Attorneys are pressed for time, especially lawyers in small to mid-size firms who may not have the support staff and other resources of big law firms. That was true for this mid-size American law firm in one mid-western city.

Because they’re pressed for time and their time is valuable, the CIO wanted his lawyers to turn to the library whenever they were stuck or “spending more than 5 minutes trying to start their research.” He also wanted the library to make better use of information resource tools and technologies.

The end of 2016, the library manager left the firm, leaving one full-time and one part-time librarian to report directly to the CIO. While he wanted to elevate them to higher-level responsibilities, the full-time librarian was either unwilling or unable to accept the challenge, resigning several months later. He decided to explore legal research and library outsourcing as a solution, gaining approval from an internal library committee and governance committee, both of whom were supportive of outsourcing, and choosing LAC Group as his provider.

Business solution: Managed services for legal research

After an assessment of staffing and information needs, the CIO offloaded the research to LAC Group. The firm began with LAC’s virtual research offering, with researchers working remotely and handling requests via the online Research Management System. A three-month trial developed into a month-to-month contract and then an annual contract for virtual research.  

When attorneys need legal information or support for business development work, they make a request to the virtual team. The CIO receives monthly usage reports and periodic reviews.

Monthly usage reports

Business outcome: Efficient, modern firm library with no operational burdens or surprises

The firm’s CIO calls LAC Group Director of Research Services, James Hurley, “a rock star” since James has freed him from his library and research personnel and administrative responsibilities. The CIO has since taken over other projects and initiatives including the e-discovery team and continuing the firm’s library transition to more digital practices.

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