Future Law

Reimagining Law: The Importance of Law Librarians in a Digital World

In this episode of Reimagining Law, we talk to Lindsey Carpino, Legal Content Services Supervisor at BakerHostetler. Lindsey discusses innovations in the rise of digital information and the law, how firms should be leveraging their law librarians, and what the future of legal technology looks like for lawyers and law librarians.

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  • 0:46 – The rise of information available on the internet has changed the profession in many ways. Is technology threatening the jobs of law librarians?
  • 1:28 – How should firms be leveraging their law librarians?
  • 2:04 – How has COVID-19 impacted firm librarians?
  • 3:13 – The American Association of Law Librarians recently released a report that shows a drop in AI/machine learning initiatives in law libraries in favor of collaboration platforms, data privacy, and security. Is this something you’ve witnessed?
  • 3:56 – Where do you see the industry moving in terms of the technology that lawyers and law librarians use?

Related Reading

Lindsey Carpino

Lindsey Carpino is the Legal Content Services Supervisor at BakerHostetler. She has her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and M.L.I.S. from the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences. Lindsey is currently the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Counsel of Chapter Presidents Chair and Past President of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL). In 2020, Lindsey was awarded the AALL Emerging Leader Award.

Connect with Lindsey
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsey-carpino/

Interview Transcription

Note – Transcription has been edited for clarity

Jayne Reardon 0:07
Hi, I’m Jayne Reardon and welcome to Reimagining Law. Today I’m joined by Lindsay Carpino, legal content services supervisor at BakerHostetler. Lindsay also received the Emerging Leaders Award from the American Association of Law Libraries, and is past president of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries. Thanks for joining me, Lindsay.

Lindsey Carpino 0:33
Thanks, Jayne. Thanks for having me.

Jayne Reardon 0:34
Sure. Before we jump in, I’d like to remind our viewers to please like this video and subscribe to our channel to stay updated on new episodes. So Lindsay, the rise of information available and technology has vastly changed our profession. Tell me, is technology making the law librarian’s job less important?

Lindsey Carpino 1:00
No, not at all. Jayne, I think it’s really given law librarians a great deal of opportunity, since there’s so much information available and out there through so many resources, it’s important for us to be able to call through that information and presented to attorneys in a very easy to digest format. And I also think that we, you know, kind of serve as a bridge between IT and the attorney. So we need to understand the tools to best present them to the attorneys.

Jayne Reardon 1:28
So from the attorneys perspective, how should they be leveraging the law librarians at the firm?

Lindsey Carpino 1:34
So, I think many attorneys don’t realize that law librarians, also, many of us have our JDs, and also our masters of library science, many of us have actually practiced so we really understand the law very well and could do very complex legal research. And also, we really have a pulse on new products out there. So any new technology and research tools, law librarians are always reviewing, and many times best know how they will fit into library budgets and best fit with practice groups.

Jayne Reardon 2:04
How has COVID-19 changed the role of law librarians?

Lindsey Carpino 2:09
So, COVID actually presented a great opportunity for us. So for almost a decade now, law librarians have been trying to move away from our print collections and print resources into our electronic digital libraries. And we did this through COVID, in a training that we call “No Print No Problem”, where we trained our attorneys and paralegals on how to use all of our electronic resources and digital libraries. All the print was actually you know, locked away in the office for over a year and a half. And that print wasn’t been wasn’t able to be utilized or updated by our filers. So the print is now essentially out of date. So it was a great opportunity to move electronically.

Jayne Reardon 2:50
So are we throwing away the books in the law firm libraries?

Lindsey Carpino 2:55
Yes, we are taking a really deep dive into what we can get rid of because most of the print is outdated. And most of these resources we do have available electronically. We do have some, you know, practice groups that really like their print. So we are very cautious of that. So it’s kind of a good balance of both.

Jayne Reardon 3:13
Interesting. The American Association of Law Libraries issued a report saying compared to 2019, law libraries are using less AI and machine learning tools in favor of collaboration and other tools. Have you witnessed such a shift over the last couple of years?

Lindsey Carpino 3:33
I think that you know, it might seem like we’re using less because much of this AI is already baked into the resources we already own. For example, Lexus Bloomberg Westlaw, the big resources already have AI built in and their judge analytics and also their brief analyzers. So maybe there’s less of a focus on buying additional tools that do this, since we already have access to these tools.

Jayne Reardon 3:56
So where do you see the industry moving in terms of technology down the road?

Lindsey Carpino 4:01
So I really see us focusing more on niche products that support our practice groups and also specific client needs. I also see a move towards more state court analytic tools and also tools that really predict court behavior. So if a judge ruled a certain way, on one case, maybe they might roll similarly on, you know, a similar case. Also, our firm BakerHostetler is unique in that under our practice services team where the library sits, we also have a team called IncuBaker, and this team directly supports our attorneys and our clients through technology, and helping support our clients and introducing their technology and tools to their institutions. And we have a really cool product. That’s a tool it’s basically a bot. So if someone writes into the library say about bankruptcy question, the bot will automatically predict what you’re looking for and it will direct you to an answer that on a tool that we already subscribe to.

Jayne Reardon 4:59
This is available to clients, lawyers?

Lindsey Carpino 5:02
The bot is available to our attorneys.

Jayne Reardon 5:05
Okay. But you are directly serving your clients as well.

Lindsey Carpino 5:09
Yes, we are.

Jayne Reardon 5:11
Is that a trend across many firms?

Lindsey Carpino 5:14
Yes, I do see this as a trend, getting more into these bots and kind of automated, you know, resource tools like that. So we can be available 24 seven and also supporting our clients is another big trend.

Jayne Reardon 5:26
Yeah. So you’re not only a bridge between it and the lawyers, you’re also bridging the lawyers to the clients through Yes, yes, definitely. Fascinating. Thank you. Thanks, Lindsey Carpino for joining me today. Please like and share this video and subscribe to our channel to stay updated on new episodes. Until we see you again be well.

This episode was recorded on July 13, 2021.

Check out more episodes of Reimagining Law here.

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