Lawyers Crushed by Information Overload

This is the attention grabbing results of a Survey by Lexis Nexis which looked at the information requirements of all "white-collar" professionals.

Laywers appear to be particularly affected by Information Overload with 80% reporting being overloaded with information and 70% reporting that they spend too much time sifting through irrelevant information.

Having said that "nearly 70 percent of lawyers said that finding specific pieces of legal research is easier today compared with two years ago. Virtually all agree that having leading-edge legal technology is crucial to cutting through the clutter. For the lawyers surveyed, the most important technology tools are those that return comprehensive results, focus on the lawyer's practice area, provide analysis and expertise in addition to data, and are regularly updated. Less than half thought it was important to have a tool that offers access to online communities where they can discuss issues of law with their peers."

Hat Tip - Law.com Legal Blog Watch

Are you an Information Hub?

This is an interesting post from the Headshift blog which reports on a piece of research carried out by MIT Sloane Research the research basically looked at emails flows and found that:

"Information workers whose strong e-mail networks allow them to receive new information sooner than their peers -- or to receive more pieces of new information -- are likely to be more productive than their less well-connected counterparts. Workers who are "information hubs" complete more projects in a given period of time and thus generate more revenue for their firm. As part of a study of an executive recruiting firm conducted over a five-year period, the researchers were able to analyze ten months of the firm's e-mail traffic. While the content of the recruiting firms' e-mails was encrypted to ensure individuals' privacy, the research team could track the flow of particular encrypted words through the firm's e-mail network. The researchers then correlated those findings with data (provided by the firm and by individual employees who voluntarily took part in a survey) about factors such as individual workers' project workload, project completion time and compensation -- to gain dramatic new insights into productivity in the Information Age."

It's a shame as the Headshift blog says that they didn't look at other communication tools like Twitter or the use of RSS.

Parliament Podcasts

The UK Parliament is trialling the use of Podcasts on their website. Although the Podcast isn't directly relevant to Law Librarians it's nice to see this technology in use.

You could also win a bottle of champagne if you provide them with some feedback!

Web 2.0...why?

Some shameless self marketing here, but it's my blog, so I'll cry or sing if I want to...anyway, the City Legal Information Group (CLIG) have very kindly asked me to speak at an event they have organised in March.

Called "Why Web 2.0 : The opportunities and challenges for the Legal Sector" I'll be looking at some of the pratcial uses for Web 2.0 technologies within Law Firm Libraries. So if you want to come along and hear me talk, you know what you need to do!

Virtual worlds...real challenges...

This is the title of an interesting article by David Naylor and Andrew Jaworski, David and Andrew both work for Field Fisher Waterhouse, Field Fisher Waterhouse were one of the first Law Firms to have a presence in Second Life.

In this article, which is available on the Sweet & Maxwell Legal Hub, they discuss some of the "real world" challenges that can occur as a result of activities in Second Life, these include:

  • The protection of Intellectual Property
  • Consumer protection
  • Defamation
  • Employment issues

Unfortunately you need to be registered to read articles on the Legal Hub, but it is free to register.

Ozmosys...not Osmosis

Slaw has just published a nice review of Ozmosys, that's Ozmosys not Osmosis. Ozmosys is a tool that allows you to "funnel" content outside of your existing online subscriptions into a single consolidated email/alert or newsletter which could then be sent to your users.

What you produce can be customized to include your organistions logo, colour scheme and incorporated on your organisations website or intranet if required.

I happened to see a demonstration of Ozmosys a while ago and was quite impressed, anything that can incorporate free content, including RSS feeds and new information from websites, is in my mind a useful tool. As such I don't imagine it will be cheap.

Web 2.0 in your Library

There isn't much new here, but these are a nice set of slides for anyone looking for an introduction to Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 The slides are from a presentation given by Martin De Saulles, a Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton.

DLA Piper thinks "Inside the tent"

An interesting story her from the Lawyer on the rollout by DLA Piper of a "Social networking" site by its graduate recruitment team. According to the Lawyer "The portal is very similar to other social networking sites such as Facebook, but DLA has called it "Inside the Tent"

I suppose it's better to be "Inside the tent" rather then outside?