This week, we have a lively discussion with June Liebert and Cornell Winston, President and President-Elect, respectively, for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). The conversation centers around the upcoming AALL annual conference, scheduled for July 20-23, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. 

June Liebert, Director of Information Services at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, kicks off the discussion by diving into the conference theme. She emphasizes the importance of librarians taking proactive leadership roles, particularly in the context of the rapidly evolving landscape influenced by Generative AI. June highlights the concept of “innovation intermediaries,” individuals who not only generate innovative ideas but also ensure these ideas are implemented effectively. This theme resonates with the need for transformative thinking, urging librarians to embrace significant changes rather than settling for incremental improvements.

This year’s keynote speaker is Cory Doctorow, a renowned sci-fi author and advocate for digital rights, Doctorow’s presence promises to bring a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and societal impact. June shares her enthusiasm for Doctorow, whose work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and writings on “enshittification” – the degradation of online platforms over time – provide critical insights into the ethical implications of technological advancements. Doctorow’s focus on the human impact of technology, rather than just the technology itself, offers valuable reflections for the legal information profession.

Cornell Winston, law librarian at the United States Attorney’s Office, provides a comprehensive overview of what attendees can expect from the conference. With over 60 educational programs, including a pre-conference workshop on AI strategy, the event promises rich learning opportunities. Cornell underscores the value of networking and connecting with peers, highlighting the inclusive environment fostered by the Host Program for first-time attendees. His advice to explore sessions outside one’s usual domain and to meet new people each day encapsulates the spirit of professional growth and community building.

As the conversation unfolds, the trio touches on the broader theme of innovation and technology within law libraries. June and Cornell discuss the shift from physical books to digital resources, reflecting on how generative AI and other technologies are reshaping the profession. June mentions the implementation of live closed captioning for sessions, a first for the conference, enhancing accessibility and providing real-time transcripts for attendees.

June shares her experiences as the first Asian American president of the association, highlighting her efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cornell, looking ahead to his presidency, discusses plans to review AALL’s governance structure and explore the future of law libraries in an increasingly digital world. The episode wraps up with a preview of the 2024 conference in Portland, Oregon, promising another enriching experience for the legal information community.

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Continue Reading Leading, Innovating, and Transforming: Insights for the 2024 AALL Annual Conference – June Liebert and Cornell Winston

DALL-E drawing of a librarian looking over lots of documents.

There is obviously a ton of hype and buzz going on right now with ChatGPT and other AI tools, including this week’s Geek in Review podcast. I wanted to see if there’s something that I could do that was a practical use of GPT in my job as a law librarian. I think I’ve found something that might fit that bill. Summarizing text.

Law Librarians are great at finding good information and getting that quickly into the hands of lawyers, legal professionals, judges, pro se representatives, etc. However, we don’t always have a lot of time to read all of that information and create a summary for the person we are working with. It’s not uncommon for a firm to have 100 – 300 attorneys for each librarian. Any tool that would help librarians synthesize information in a useful way is a welcome tool for us all. I put GPT 3.5 (the paid version) to the test to see how it could be that electronic assistant in summarizing information quickly.

It is early in my experiment, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

The Current Process

I wanted to try something that I personally set up for myself that is “good” but not “great.” And that is tracking BigLaw Podcasts as they come out. What I have now is an RSS feed (yes, that is still a thing!) that follows AmLaw 100/200 firms’ websites and lets me know when a new episode comes out. I have that RSS feed set up in my MS Outlook folders. I’m using LexisNexis’ NewsDesk to set this up.

Right now, it looks like this:

This works fine, but it really doesn’t give me a lot of information on the podcast. I’d really like to see more of a summary of the podcast before I make a decision to click through and listen.

The Idea

I’ve got the basic information from the RSS feed, but now I want to expand that information. I’m a former programmer from “back in the day” but I haven’t done any serious programming in a long time. But, I know that Python is a great tool for processing text, so my top-of-the-head idea was to have Python look at my RSS output and see if it could get me more information. Actually, I wanted to see if Python might be able to summarize the RSS information directly. This is where the ChatGPT tool came in handy.
Continue Reading What a Law Librarian Does with AI Tools like ChatGPT – Organize and Summarize

Welcome to a mini-episode of The Geek In Review. Shot on location in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Law School Stress??  No Kidding!

This week, we continue our discussion on how law students can have a stressful time in the three years they are in law school. We can’t change what happens during law school, but we’ve asked some experts to tell us what they do to help law students reduce stress as they prep for finals, and what they can do to be successful as summer associates in law firms.

We finish our series about how law schools are reducing stress by hearing from the following schools:

  • Howard University
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Houston
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Georgia State University
  • University of Texas

We appreciate these schools (and the ones from last week) taking the time to tell us what all they are doing to help students deal with finals.\

Hey Summer Associates… Listen Up!

We also talk with a number of AmLaw 100 firms about what their expectations are for how summer associates can have a successful tour of duty at their firms. Greg and Marlene were at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, and they asked a number of their fellow attendees what they do to help summer associates succeed, or what their expectations are for how law schools should prepare them for this work, and what they allow from outside vendors in regards for training as assistance during the Summers’ time at the firm. 
Continue Reading Advice for Law Students – From Reducing Stress to Nailing Your Time as a Summer Associate

It was roughly ten years ago when I learned that half of my library co-workers at my law firm had been let go due to the financial crisis, and the downturn in the legal market. Thus ushered in “The New Normal” of having to constantly do more with less. But it also kick started a

On the 30th episode of The Geek In Review, we talk with Debbie Ginsberg, Educational Technology Librarian at the Chicago-Kent Law Library. Debbie was recently quoted in’s “Where Are All the Women in Legal Tech?” So we cut right to the chase and ask that question to Debbie. She says that there are lots of women in legal tech, but that those putting on tech conferences need to take more action toward actively recruiting women for speaker and presenter opportunities. One profession where women are a majority, and are heavily involved in legal tech, is law librarians. The American Association of Law Libraries is approximately 75% women, and with the push toward knowledge management, analytics, competitive intelligence, and advancing the legal research and information tools, law librarians are an excellent resource when it comes to professionals in the legal tech market. Ginsberg also talks about the Women in Legal Tech Summit, held right before TechShow in Chicago. She mentions that there is an effort to expand the boundaries of women in legal tech beyond just women lawyers who are working in legal tech, and begin looking for other opportunities. Dovetailing nicely with that effort is Janders Dean, who is putting out a list of 180 highly qualified women speakers for legal tech on their Twitter page, and, Sarah Glassmeyer’s crowdsourcing list of underrepresented people in legal tech and innovation.

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Self-care isn’t selfish and can actually help your performance – Author Jenna Cho interviews one of Jackson Walker’s partners, Stephanie Sparks, who discusses how she was always waiting until the right time to take care of herself, and eventually realized that there was never a “right time” and she understood that she just had to make that time.  Cho’s article reminds us that we all need to take some time to listen to your body and mind, and remember that you can’t take care of others if you don’t first take care of yourself. 
Continue Reading Episode 30: Chicago-Kent’s Debbie Ginsberg on the Value of Women in Legal Tech

With the partial government shutdown approaching one month, Marlene and Greg attempt to make some sense of what this means for those of us who rely upon the information produced by the US Government. On this episode, we have an extended talk with Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) to uncover what’s working and what’s shutdown. While the federal courts are still functioning, they are running on borrowed time, and are scheduled to run out of funds on January 25th. The Pew Research Center has listed a number of data sources which are not being updated during the shutdown. The OMB also has a list of agency shuddered at this time, and assume that the libraries are also closed. If you’re hoping to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request… good luck. Agencies my accept them, but they may not have anyone to process them. Basically, it’s a cluster-fudge right now in D.C.

Joel Lytle, Director of Information Security at Jackson Walker, talks with Greg about the issue of .gov sites which are unable to renew their security certificates during the shutdown. It may not be all that bad… for now. However, there are already reports that the shutdown of sites like and are already having some effects on consumers.

Joel’s advice… trust but verify. If you have questions about the website, call your technology security team and have them take a look at it. This is their area of expertise, so reach out to them.

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Information Inspirations:

The law library world lost a legend this month with the passing of Eileen Searls. In addition to being an influencer in the law library world, she is also the aunt of Eve Searls, who along with Jerry David DiCicca, performs the music you hear on The Geek In Review.
Continue Reading Episode 24: What Does the Federal Government Shutdown Mean for Legal Information?

On this week’s episode, Greg speaks the couple of words of French he learned on vacation.

Marlene talks about mentor/mentee relationships and Sheryl Sandberg’s discussion on how the #MeToo era places an external strain on promoting these relationships. Marlene touches on the three founders of Black Women Talk Tech, Esosa Ighodaro, Regina Gwynn, and Lauren Washington, as well as Sophia Amouruso and others on the importance of mentoring.

Continue Reading Podcast Episode 6 – Law Librarian Helps Streamline a Texas Court

Over the weekend, I had a nice conversation with some of my peers in other law firm departments (Marketing, IT, and other administration leaders), about the American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL) letter to Lexis, asking that Lexis cease their current sales requirement of tying Lexis Advance to non-related materials, including Law360, Lex Machina, print material, and other products. I think my colleague, Jean O’Grady did a great job covering this topic in her blog post, so I won’t re-hash the specifics of the letter. However, it is definitely an issue which those outside the law firm libraries should take notice, and be very concerned. This is something that affects the entire law firm, not just the law librarians.
Continue Reading Why Lexis’ Sales Approach Should Concern Law Firm Management and Leadership

I don’t think I am telling anyone something new when I say that the relationship between legal information providers (vendors) and legal information professionals (law librarians) are at all-time lows. A once vibrant and symbiotic relationship has become one of simple buyer and seller. This has been somewhat of a slow burn evolution as vendor consolidation began in the late 1990s with the West Publishing transition into Thomson West (then eventually into Thomson Reuters), the acquisition of LexisNexis by Reed Elsevier, CCH and Aspen into Wolters Kluwer, and BNA absorbed into Bloomberg. On the librarian side, there is the seemingly reduced influence of law students on vendor products, much lower budgets from government law libraries, the “single provider” movement from law firms, and the idea that law firms are somehow still suffering from the great recession, despite most big firms posting sky-high record profits and breaking the $3 billion revenue barrier.Continue Reading Can Law Librarian / Vendors Relations Ever Be a Win-Win Relationship Again?