Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association

A chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.


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EVENT: Brown Bag presentation: Meet Dorothy

Three10 Solutions has built Dorothy. An Artificial Intelligence searching platform which simplifies Patent searching.

Dorothy was developed to improve an attorney’s practice by making relevant prior art easily accessible, reducing the time necessary to perform an adequate search and giving them time to focus on what’s really important:  The Clients.

Developed by local attorney Curtis Wadsworth along with a team from the Language Technology Institute at CMU, Dorothy is on the cutting edge of using AI technology to parse a full sentence search and find and match key elements.

WHERE: K&L Gates LLP, 210 Sixth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Conference Room 28-D

WHEN: February 18, 2019, Noon – 1:30

WHAT: Bring a lunch, come see Dorothy in action and hear Curt talk about patent searching and the frustrations that led him to develop Dorothy.

https://www.dorothyai.com/

Refreshments will be made available.

Please RSVP by the 18th of February.


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EVENT: JAN 29, 2019 Roundtable Discussion on Succession Planning and New Employee Orientation

This is just an informal gathering for librarians to talk about what they do or ask what TO DO to build a succession plan.

Additionally we can segue in what library orientation is done to on-ramp new staff (library)

And we will leave time open for an open floor discussion of new tools, discoveries, tips, complaints.

This will be hosted at the K&L Gates LLP Offices, 210 Sixth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Room TBD)

From: Noon to 1 (ish)

Lunch: BYO

All are welcome.

Please RSVP


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January Link Roundup

GPO Makes Documents Easy to Download and Repurpose in New XML Format A press release for the U.S. Government Printing Office (“GPO”) explains that a “. . . subset of enrolled bills, public and private laws, and the Statutes at Large” are now available in “. . . Beta United States Legislative Markup (USLM) XML, a format that makes documents easier to download and repurpose.” The GPO hopes that “[t]he conversion of legacy formats into Beta USLM XML will provide a uniform set of laws for the public to download.” Documents “. . . available in the Beta USLM XML format include enrolled bills and public laws beginning with the 113th Congress (2013) and the Statutes at Large beginning with the 108th Congress (2003).”

 

LexisNexis Relaunches Ravel Law as Context: Analytics on Judges and Expert Witnesses With Daubert Scorecard LexisNexis has moved forward with integrating Ravel into the LexisAdvance research platform; however, it will be re-branded as Context. “The Ravel citation analysis features will live on linked to Shepard’s citation data as a feature called ‘Ravel View.'” Be aware: “[c]urrent Ravel Subscribers will get access to the Judge’s analytics from Ravel in an enhanced form on the Lexis Advance platform,” and “Ravel’s Court and Firm analytics will remain available on the Ravellaw.com platform until they are completely transitioned to LexisAdvance in 2019.”

 

LinkedIn Asked 2,000 People What Makes Them Happiest at Work. 1 Answer Stood Out. It seems pretty simple when you see it spelled out for you: the number one way that people find true happiness is to make time to learn on the job. Click through this article on Inc.com to find out more about what satisfied employees do, and the mindset they strive for, in order to stay so content!

 

Nearly a century of W&M scholarship now openly accessible online William & Mary’s university libraries began “. . . its project to digitize the entire print archive of W&M master’s theses and doctoral dissertations” nearly two years ago. “Although the university’s theses and dissertations have previously been available in ProQuest’s Dissertations Theses Global database, these materials were not freely accessible.”  Over 5,000 master’s theses and dissertations, from 1920 to 2015, are now available on W&M ScholarWorks.

 

The Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division (PSD) announces the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions “Beginning December 2018, the Library of Congress’ PSD announced the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).” For a full list and more information, please click here.

 

Thomson Reuters to Layoff 3,200 Staff Through 2020, Close Offices and Eliminate Products – Which Legal Products Might Die? In the wake of a recent Thomson Reuters statement indicating that layoffs are imminent for nearly 3,200 employees, legal experts are unsure of “. . . what this means for the legal market.” Some believe that “[c]lient support could decline,” while others suggest that “[p]roducts could shrink but costs will not.” Expect this story to become more noteworthy in 2019 and 2020.

 

9 Ways to Improve Employee Retention With ‘Stay Interviews’ As opposed to the “exit interview” (a brief survey conducted between an individual and a company, when the individual already has one foot out the door), a “stay interview” allows a company to “. . . pick the brains of those employees that are not leaving.” These interviews help companies become aware of employee interests and challenges, and learn more about what keeps employees engaged. The author, Dom Nicastro of CMS Wire, even suggests could be used in lieu of exit interviews as “[d]ata gathered through stay interviews is highly valuable and offers companies the opportunities to recognize patterns or themes that have emerged strongly within employee experience.”

 

New Digital Access Partnership with the Library of Congress The Federal Depository Library Program announced that a “. . . new partnership between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Library of Congress ensures permanent public access to born digital and digitized publications within scope of the FDLP on the Library of Congress’s websites, including congress.gov and law.gov.”

 

In UC’s battle with the world’s largest scientific publisher, the future of information is at stake The University of California system is threatening to leave the entire Reed Elsevier system when its contact expires on 12/31/2018. Even though the cost seems minimal ($11 million per calendar year for access to 1,500 journals), it’s beginning to add up – and the University is fighting with the publisher over its reluctance to embrace “open access.” The subscription-based publisher is obviously balking – so who will win the negotiation as the hourglass empties?

 

UC Berkeley Law Migrates to TIND ILS UC Berkeley claims that its former ILS, Sierra, “. . . felt like a tank – a specialized but rigid vehicle well suited to doing our work.” Its new ILS, TIND, “. . . is more like a Toyota – light, flexible, and more fuel efficient.” It’s web-based and facilitates quick export of lists or records to Excel. Though there are some drawbacks (lack of a browse feature), things seem to be working well thus far!

 

  In an email from WPLLA President Melanie Cline, a reminder that AALL is “. . . accepting nominations for the Emerging Leader Award.” Selection criteria include:
The nominee must be a member in good standing of AALL
The nominee must be in his/her first 10 years of law library experience
The nominee must not have previously received an Emerging Leader Award
The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the Association and/or the profession.
The nominee must have shown outstanding promise for continuing service and leadership. Specific examples of his/her continuing activities must be provided.
The nomination deadline is February 1, 2019.

 

LSAT will be administered on Microsoft Surface Go tablets in 2019 From the Law School Admission Council (“LSAC”): “[w]hen the Law School Admission Test is given digitally starting in July 2019, it will be on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet, a device known for its smaller size and adjustable kickstand.” Accessibility is an issue, but the tablet comes with built-in assistive technology. Additionally, LSAC now offers free LSAT test prep via Khan Academy. Test security is still a concern among some, and the writing portion will be administered using an online platform than the rest of the exam – but “. . . repeat LSAT takers don’t have to complete the essay each time they take the exam.”

 

The United States Congressional Web Archive now includes content for the 113th and 114th Congresses. In a PR statement released on December 12, 2018, the Library of Congress noted that it released an update to the U.S. Congressional Web Archive. It now includes “. . . content for the 113th and 114th Congresses.”

 

Evisort’s New Document Analyzer Offers Out-of-the-Box AI to Mine All A Company’s Contracts Evisort might just be the hottest legal tech and AI company you’ve never heard of.” Its main product, called Document Analyzer, is a cloud-based AI and text-mining application that helps users (usually companies) mine contracts for data. “The idea behind Evisort is to automatically turn the unstructured text of a company’s contracts into structured data useful to the company’s legal, finance and business operations.”

 

Library of Congress pushing digitization over next 5 years Click through and listen to an 18 minute podcast explaining how the Library of Congress is pivoting for the digital age.

 

Why the US Needs a National AI Strategy and What It Should Look Like Joshua New, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation argues that “[t]he United States is the global leader in developing and using artificial intelligence (AI), but it may not be for long.” The U.S. needs a “healthy ecosystem” to allow AI to flourish, but the government refuses to take proactive steps.

 

  Melanie Cline forwarded an email from AALL, announcing the following:
The AALL Government Relations Committee (GRC) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Robert L Oakley Advocacy Award and for the Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award.

 

  Melanie Cline forwarded an email from AALL, announcing the following:
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Excellence in Community Engagement Jury is excited to announce a brand-new addition to the existing AALL awards: the Excellence in Community Engagement (ECE) Award!

 

2018’s most important legal tech stories The biggest tech news in 2018 included “. . .  Facebook’s never-ending missteps, the creation of new data privacy standards and the destruction of federal net neutrality.” Check out this round-up for more cutting-edge news.

 

Top 10 most-read legal news stories of 2018 The ABA Journal notes that its most popular stories of 2018 “. . . tend toward water-cooler topics.” Click through for ten juicy, attention-grabbing stories.

 

 


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December Link Roundup

  WPLLA member Cindy Cicco sent an invitation to join the weekly ALCTS e-Forum; specifically on called “eBook Management: What Works, What Doesn’t.” The event takes place on 11/13-11/14, so if you’re hearing about this for the first time on the WPLLA website, you’re out of luck. Perhaps one of our members who attended can fill us in on the details? Connect with any one of WPLLA’s board members and we’ll get a write-up on the site. If you’re interested in receiving information on upcoming ALCTS e-forums, check out the events website.

 

Fastcase Bulks Up on Treatises and Practice Guides From James Publishing On November 8, 2018, Fastcase announced a new partnership with James Publishing. James Publishing releases “. . . legal practice materials  including model pleadings, client letters, and step-by-step procedural checklists, pattern arguments, model questions,  and practice tips.” This move helps position Fastcase as a “. . .  full service legal research and analytics platform.”

 

Corbin on Pennsylvania Contracts The text, Corbin on Pennsylvania Contracts, is available for sale at the LexisNexis store. It covers Commonwealth-specific topics like the Uniform Written Obligations Act, the evidence of fraud needed to invalidate a contract, and the “four corners” approach to contract interpretation and construction (among many others).

 

How to Be a More Patient Person Experts have “. . . found that patience as a personality trait is modifiable.” Read through this article for info on how to control your temper and increase your patience.

 

The Essential Ebook Converter Guide For a discussion on the 12+ common file types associated with e-books (and the compatibility with different e-readers), check out this article!
PaperShip: Access Your Zotero-Stored Sources on your Phone The Harvard Law School Library’s Blog, Et Seq., recently posted information about Zotero, a citation management software. The post includes a Zotero training PowerPoint slide deck and information on PaperShip, an app available through Apple’s app store to that allows users to “. . . get immediate access to the sources you have stored in your Zotero account.”

 

The GovLab Launches The Living Library – A New Resource on Technology, Innovation and Governance The GovLab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering recently launched The Living Library. This is “. . . A new resource that seeks to inform those interested in and working at the intersection of technology, innovation, and governance.” Review, search, and filter by categories like “. . .  geography, topic, governance level, or sector.”

 

When Microsoft’s Word Count feature goes to court The Legal Office Guru explains how to set the Word Count feature to include footnotes for Microsoft Word users. (HINT: there’s a checkbox to “include textboxes, footnotes and endnotes.) Read through the post for detailed instructions!

 

You Spin Me Right Round… A good lesson on the people (” . . . In house or outside counsel, senior partner or fresh faced associate, law clerk or technologist”) “. . . grappling with what to do and how to make sense of all of the changes happening in the industry.” Many of these changes are related to tech – either direct changes because of it, or ancillary changes by adapting to it. Please read the entire thoughtful post to gain more insights into the changes, and potential ways to combat resistance to and/or pivot with them.

 

CRS Report – Types of Committee Hearings Another interesting CRS report (made available on Every CRS Report, obviously) on the four types of Congressional committee hearings: “. . . legislative, oversight, investigative, and confirmation.”

 

Here’s What It’s Actually Like To Be A Librarian A “human interest” news story from BuzzFeedNews: a tally of the 1,400 responses to an informal survey of public sector librarians (including details on projects they’re working on, their pet peeves, and more).

 

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress From the website Every CRS Report comes a link to a CRS report which details “. . . the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration.” And take note – this CRS report identifies multiple other CRS reports that detail the many other ” . . . specific elements of congressional procedure” (check out this link for more titles).

 

As Federal Courts Urge Caution On Docket Services, Vendors Respond After many federal courts sent “. . . notices to attorneys urging them to exercise caution” when using companies that provide federal docket access services, many of these vendors began taking steps to remedy the concerns – though others proclaimed loudly that the caution should not apply to them. Click the link to learn more about the issues and the PR responses.

 

Download 569 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Open Culture links to MetPublications, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website “. . . offering ‘five decades of Met Museum publications on art history available to read, download, and/or search for free.'”

 

Exonerees Racing Against a Tax Clock Defense attorneys and anyone working with populations of exonerees should know that the filing deadline for a special exoneree tax refund under the Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act is December 17, 2018.

 

THE LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE PUBLISHES ENHANCED CONSTITUTION ANNOTATED Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute has published “. . . the first publicly-available web version of the Congressional Research Service’s Constitution Annotated, a non-partisan publication that helps readers appreciate how Americans’ collective understanding of our governing principles has changed throughout our history on timely issues such as the scope of presidential power, limits on free speech, or the right to bear arms.”

 

Opinion: Inside Bloomberg BNA’s Fall Pricing Surprise Linked from Legaltechnews, author Michael Feit “. . . examines recent price increases for Bloomberg BNA and what it means for the company’s market positioning.”

 

You Think Legal Education Can’t Change? 8 Innovative Ideas from Law Schools Innovation is everywhere – even the ivory tower. Click through for eight new legal education ideas that could revamp the student experience and the profession itself.
Legal Research Companies Post Laws Online, but Do They Own the Data? If laws, regulations, and judicial opinions aren’t copyrightable, what to do about private companies who format, upload, and otherwise make this information available?

 

Top 10 Tips for Solos and Young Lawyers Collected by beSpacific from two different ABA articles, anyone new to the practice of law should click through for a series of thoughtful tips for solo practitioners and young attorneys.

 

Assessing Academic Law Libraries’ Performance And Implementing Change While Reducing Budget Paul Caron of the TaxProf Blog highlights a recent law review article by Linda Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi worked to re-orient the Chapman University Law Library; she documented results that included adding new staff and purchasing new database while decreasing total library expenditures “. . . 16% from fiscal year 2010-11 to 2015-16.”

 

How To Grow A Lawyer: A Guide For Law Schools, Law Professors, And Law Students Paul Caron of the TaxProf Blog thoughtfully reviews Fruehwald’s text, How to Grow a Lawyer. Fruehwald argues for a radical transformation to legal education, and advocates for a rejection of “. . . everything from the past that does not grow effective lawyers.”

 


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AALL Emerging Leader Nominations

AALL is now accepting nominations for the Emerging Leader Award. This award recognizes newer members who have made significant contributions to the profession and have demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing excellence.

Selection criteria include:
· The nominee must be a member in good standing of AALL
· The nominee must be in his/her first 10 years of law library experience
· The nominee must not have previously received an Emerging Leader Award
· The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the Association and/or the profession.
· The nominee must have shown outstanding promise for continuing service and leadership. Specific examples of his/her continuing activities must be provided.

Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.

The nomination deadline is February 1. Letters of recommendation can take some time to gather and holidays are approaching, so we encourage you to begin the process as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline.

More details on the award, including a link to the Nomination Form, can be found here: Emerging Leader Award