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Activate Your Next IQ! Leadership Strategies for the 21st Century

April 10, 2014

Guest post co-written by Denise Pagh, Law Library Manager, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard and Patricia Barbone, Director of Library Services, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

You’ve heard of IQ and EQ, but are you familiar with the Next IQ?  Dr. Arin Reeves has coined this term as the next level of intelligence needed for 21st century leaders. The Next IQ happens at the intersection of Intelligence, Leadership, and Inclusion, and is all about shifting from information to insight, from aptitude to action, and from competition to collaboration.

Dr. Reeves will bring her expertise as an author, speaker, former attorney and adjunct professor to the 2014 PLL Summit.  Be prepared to explore the ideas of Dr. Reeves about intelligence and leadership in today’s global environment. Learn the difference between the RetroIQ  and the NextIQ. See how using the Next IQ will help you harness the collective knowledge of those around you to find solutions to problems, embark on new projects, and become a better leader.

In Dr. Reeves’s session, attendees will learn practical ways that they can incorporate inclusive and collaborative behavior within their organizations, and model this behavior for others in such a way that they will adopt it, too.  Sensitive to the diversity within our organizations, she will offer specific tools and techniques for collaboration within larger, multi-site organizations, as well as a few examples relevant to smaller firm settings.  Dr. Reeves’ presentation will tie in the with theme of this year’s Summit, The Voice of the Client, as she shares ideas about value added services that library departments can offer to the firm’s clients that will reinforce the important message that the firm cares for the client.

You won’t want to miss this exciting and informative afternoon breakout session at the AALL PLL-SIS 2014 Summit, so be sure to register today! Space is limited. Don’t forget to mark the box for the PLL Summit on the AALL Annual Meeting form to ensure your registration for the Summit.

Spotlight is on the 2014 PLL-SIS Summit Reception Venue

March 21, 2014

Lone Star Palace

Yet another reason to attend “The Voice of the Client” PLL-SIS Summit in San Antonio!

Bloomberg BNA is once again generously hosting the Friday evening July 11 PLL Summit Reception in beautiful San Antonio, Texas! And you are sure to be wowed by the venue they have selected.

Described as one of the most atmospheric event venues in San Antonio – and one of downtown’s best-kept secrets, the beautiful Lone Star Palace Penthouse with a contemporary Texas flair, sits atop the Hyatt Regency and is sure to wow Summit attendees with its spectacular views, especially the amazing view of the historic Alamo!  With plenty of indoor and awning covered outdoor seating complete with water misters to keep you cool, you won’t be disappointed. Expect an amazing southwestern styled event complete with refreshing beverages and wonderful fare sure to delight your senses.

Visit the 2014 Summit Blog for more information about the Friday evening reception and the Saturday Summit. Check back often for updates.

Registration for The Summit is via the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference registration page. Be certain to check the PLL-SIS Summit: The Voice of the Client box on the registration form to ensure you get registered for the 2014 Summit. But don’t delay as seating is limited to the first 250 registrants.

We look forward to seeing many of you in San Antonio at the reception and PLL Summit.

Cheryl Niemeier and Marcia Burris, 2014 PLL Summit co-Chairs

Re-engineering Law Firm Librarians: Summit Keynote Speaker – Susan Hackett

February 28, 2014

Guest post written by Marcia Burris, Senior Manager, Firm Library Services | Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

PLL Summit 2014 “The Voice of the Client” is pleased to announce our Keynote speaker, Susan Hackett.  Susan is CEO and CLO of Legal Executive Leadership, and the former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).

Often referred to as the “voice of in-house counsel,” Susan is most widely recognized for conceiving and executing the ACC Value Challenge (to reconnect value to the cost of legal services), developing networks and benchmarking practices for CLOs and law department executives, and for her leadership in driving advocacy efforts to protect the attorney-client privilege in corporate practice, promote in-house legal ethics and professionalism, and reform multijurisdictional and cross-border legal regulation.

Susan is known for her unparalleled ability to both spot and set trends in in-house legal practice and legal executive leadership.  Her unique vision and perspective derive from the rare access she’s enjoyed serving thousands of corporate legal leaders – in law departments, law firms, and professional associations, in every kind of practice environment – for more than two decades.

While a lot of folks are honing in on cost of service, Susan believes that the leading issue for both firms and law departments who are focused on leveraging change is knowledge. At the Summit she will discuss how firms and law departments (including those interested in controlling costs and improving efficiency) are looking at new ways to leverage their expertise, exploring the higher use of their most talented workers (lawyers and staff), and driving distinguishing service value based on their mastery of work process. Together with the audience, she will examine how changing business models in legal service delivery can create new opportunities for law librarians, who should be seated near the center of re-engineered legal knowledge workplaces. Her insights into real-time benchmarks and emerging practice innovations will show us concrete ideas and processes that can increase our value to the lawyers we serve and thereby to the clients we share.

In short, she will help us envision the private law librarians of the future, whose unique and distinguishing insights, and whose contributions to client service and value, make them respected members – and respected leaders – on every client service team.

Testimonial for Attending 2014 PLL Summit V

February 27, 2014

Testimonial/guest post written by Stuart Zimmerman, Director, Information Resource Center, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Looking to re-engage professionally?  Need inspiration? Attend the 2014 PLL Summit V!

I attended for the first time last year in Seattle and found the proceedings very inspiring, so much so that when the opportunity arose several months later to expand my professional role in my firm and create a new department to provide library and research services firm-wide, I “leaned in“, rather than shrinking from this fantastic, if formidable, opportunity.

If you’re looking to re-engage professionally, I encourage you to attend and learn how your colleagues are dealing with the challenges of today’s changed and changing law firm environment.  We’re all dealing with the same issues and forces.  Get new ideas and re-connect with your colleagues.  Attend the 2014 PLL Summit V in San Antonio.  I hope to see you there!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2014 PLL-SIS Summit

February 14, 2014

The Private Law Libraries Summit, now in its fifth year, continues as a vehicle for examining the impact and opportunities presented by change. Last year, we explored how to take charge, shaping ourselves as well as the services we provide to meet the changing needs of today’s law practice environment. This year we will consider “The Voice of the Client” by delving into ways librarians can help their firms deliver legal services more efficiently and add value through client-facing initiatives.

In the morning, a keynote presentation and a panel discussion will address the value that librarians can bring to the lawyers and clients they serve by examining how real-world practice innovations and changing models of legal service delivery are combining to create new opportunities for library professionals.

Following a relaxed networking luncheon, interactive afternoon break-out sessions will examine client facing initiatives, research competencies, and the concepts of leadership, intelligence, and inclusion. The breakout sessions will be presented twice so that Summit participants can benefit from two of the three afternoon sessions.

Now on to the top 10 reasons for attending….

10. Escape the office for several days and spend time in popular San Antonio, Texas

9.  Attend the destined-to-be amazing Bloomberg BNA Welcome Reception on Friday evening

8.  Funds an issue? No worries – grants are available to attend the Summit! Stay tuned to the Summit blog for more information

7.  Networking, networking, networking!

6.  Opportunity to attend two out of three interactive and sure to be practical afternoon programs

5.  Learn more about the importance of research competencies

4.  Explore practical means of adding value to and what your role can be in the firms client facing initiatives

3.  Delve into the concepts leadership, intelligence, and inclusion as they relate to our interactions with our client base

2.  Hear from an amazing lineup of well-known and influential keynote, panel, and session speakers

And the number 1 reason….

You will leave energized and armed with key takeaways on how to help your firms deliver legal services more efficiently and add value through client-facing initiatives in fresh and innovative ways!

Please visit the 2014 PLL Summit Blog to get more information, or apply for a grant to attend the Summit. Click here to register for the conference. Please note that the Summit is a pre-conference event of AALL, thus you must check the appropriate box on the annual meeting form to register for it.

In order to provide access to a wide audience, we have secured a venue that can accommodate up to 300 attendees. We encourage members to register early so they can be a part of this awesome one-day conference.

If you have additional questions please contact the co-chairs, Marcia Burris or Cheryl Niemeier

As always we thank the support of AALL leadership including Executive Director Kate Hagan and AALL President Steve Anderson.

Thank-you to our generous sponsors: Bloomberg Law/Bloomberg BNA, Thomson Reuters, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, and LexisNexis, and Fastcase.

Bruce MacEwen’s Summit Keynote: The Haiku of Adam Smith, Esq. by Jean O’Grady

July 22, 2013

This Dewey B Strategic blog post reprinted with permission from author Jean O’Grady.

Bruce MacEwen has been writing AdamSmith Esq for over a decade, but last year his series “Growth is Dead” both stunned and perplexed law firm leaders  throughout the US.
Bruce MacEwen

Bruce provided the keynote for this year’s PLL Summit in Seattle, Washington. It is impossible to summarize his dense and thorough economic analysis of the legal sector.

At best I can offer what I would call ” the Haiku of Adam Smith Esq.”
  • Financial recessions are different.
  • Law firm leaders only began to identify efficiency as a desirable goal four years ago.
  • When comparing law firms look at revenue per lawyer… it is more reliable because it is  harder “to game.”
  • Revenue per lawyer in Q1 of 2013 was down 23% for corporate work and 26% for litigation.
  • Excess capacity triggers the irrational impulse to offer irrational discounts.
  • Most law firm partners don’t know the difference between revenue and profits.
  • Lawyers still divide the world into lawyers and non-lawyers.
  • Law firms may need to move to a new leverage model of 1 partner to 1 associate.
  • Law firms should cultivate an active alumni network including lawyers who want to work part time or on a temporary basis  who can be tapped when the firm needs to staff up.
  • Proactive firms are more profitable than reactive firms.
  • Substitutes are more dangerous than competitors. LPOs are substitutes. For every one dollar an LPO gains, law firms lose 3 dollars.
  • Running a law firm is 5 times more complicated than running any other kind of business.
  • Lawyers need to practice law and let the professionals, manage the firm. He means those darned non-lawyers need to manage.
  • Law firms need credentialed, senior level executives to run the business of the firm.
  • Law firms and lawyers must determine their distinguishing strategic proposition.
  • Most partners can not and most firm websites do not describe their firms ” Unique Strategic Proposition”
  • A Distinguishing Strategic Proposition is distinctive, compelling and credible.
  • Law firms must build visibility in a digital world.
  • There is no entitlement to incumbency. Quoting from the CEO of now defunct, A&P Stores before they slid into oblivion,” You can’t argue with 100 years of success,”
  • Complacency is the biggest threat to law firms.
  • Lawyers are psychologically ill suited to adapt to reinvent their law firms. (Too skeptical, too independent and too risk averse,)
  • Lawyers hate failure. But they need to learn to take chances in order to improve their firms and become more competitive. This may involve some failures.
  • Law firms need to invest in R&D in order to reinvent their own future.
This list is not enough, read the book, Growth is Dead: Now What? and subscribe to the AdamSmithEsq website to receive Bruce’s ongoing commentary on the state of the legal marketplace. Well done Bruce!
This Dewey B Strategic blog post reprinted with permission from author Jean O’Grady.


Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Lean Up!

June 17, 2013

Guest post written by Jean O’Grady, Director of Research Services and Libraries, DLA Piper

Leave your comfort zone behind! Break out your resume, job description and a red pen.  Whether you are an entry level librarian or a Director, the Lean Up panelists will inspire you to raise your career expectations.

The morning panel, moderated by Jean O’Grady, includes a C-Level Recruiter and  two librarians, Bob Oaks and Bill Scarborough, who have reached the C-Level or have leveraged their library experience into non-traditional career paths. Bob Oaks is the Chief Library and Records Officer at Latham and Watkins. Bill Scarborough, has taken a different trajectory from Library Director to  roles in Human Resources, CIO, and law firm Executive Director. They will be joined by Rodney L. Abstone, II a  dynamic  C-Level recruiter, who will focus on how to analyze your resume and your job description to assure that you are not underselling your true value. This will be a highly interactive session which will engage you in understanding how to identify and market your highest value skills.

Add this panel to the morning keynote and three afternoon programs and you now have five good reasons to register for the Summit.   And that doesn’t even count all the fun and networking opportunities.   Join us Friday evening at the Palace Ballroom for the opening reception generously hosted by Bloomberg Law/Bloomberg BNA.  (RSVPs are required by July 5th and can be made online at .  Catch up and network with colleagues while you register and enjoy a continental breakfast (thanks LexisNexis) and again during lunch (thanks Wolters Kluwer Law & Business).

But hurry, please.  TODAY IS  THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE!!! For more detailed information on the program and speakers, and how to register, visit the Summit Blog .


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