This week on the In Seclusion Podcast, the discussion began a pivot away from how are we adjusting to working remotely, to how are we planning the slow progress toward reopening some offices. Let’s be honest, it is very possible that some legal professionals never go back to the office full time ever again. But,

While most of us in the legal industry were still finding their sea legs when it came to working from home, today’s guests were planning a moon shot experiment of creating a virtual legal conference completely from scratch. Haley Altman and Alma Asay from Litera Microsystems talk with us about their experiences in creating and

One of the most consistent themes of the over 40 people I’ve interviewed for my In Seclusion Podcast, is that everyone is handling the stress of the pandemic in their own ways. As with companies like Twitter, it is very possible that some of us may never return to an office permanently ever again. For some people that is a godsend. For some people that is a nightmare. Just as in diversity and inclusion, the broad range of how we are looking at our future is a good thing. (I’m looking at you Google… diversity and inclusion is a good thing!)

This week, I talked with association leaders who are guiding members through the process of how to work, manage, and stay physically and mentally healthy through this pandemic. At the same time trying to rework the business model of their own organizations. I’ve talked with those in faraway places who understand the major, minor, and unchanged processes that they are going to face over the next weeks, months, and years. And, I had a conversation with someone questioning the idea that if you work remotely, you still have to be physically close to an office that you don’t really need to go to.

In other words, I had some great discussions with some very thoughtful people.

Monday, May 11th – Young Lawyers Working and Living Through the Pandemic – Victor Flores, City of Plano and President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association
The pandemic and the changes in our overall work structure can be challenging to even the most experienced of us in the legal industry. For younger lawyers, those just starting off, or those who are having to take care of younger children at home while balancing work, this can be overwhelming. I talk with Victor Flores, Assistant City Attorney at the City of Plano, who is managing all of these challenges and is leading some 27,000 of his peers through his work as the current President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.


Tuesday, May 12th – Providing Access to Justice in Paradise – Jenny Silbiger, State Law Librarian/Access to Justice Coordinator, Hawaii State Judiciary
The pandemic is sparing no one, even in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. I talk with the Hawaiian State Law Librarian, Jenny Silbiger about how she led her staff through the transition to remote work and service to the courts, the bar, and to the citizens across the multiple islands of Hawaii. As many law librarians do, she reached out to others across the country and sought best practices guidance from librarians, museum curators, and government agencies like the CDC. It shows that even those who are thousands of miles away are still not alone.
Continue Reading The Consistent Theme of this Pandemic – We Are All Handling It Differently

On my In Seclusion Podcast miniseries this week I’ve talked with government law librarians from across the country to see how they are continuing services through the shelter-in-place rules, and how they are preparing to reopen as states start to ease these restrictions. The common emotions are a mix of frustration and determination. One of the traits of librarians, especially those who serve the public directly, is that nothing should get in the way of access to justice and the open availability of government resources and information to those people who need it to protect their personal freedom and their property. But this pandemic is different. Whereas libraries have been seen as a safe haven for our communities, the physical closeness that comes with public libraries is now a threat to those communities. Unlike many businesses that can simply take a computer home and operate with little limitations, public libraries serve a group who struggle with technology, may not have technology at all, or may not even have a home to use the technology. All of these factors are discussed with the six law librarians I interviewed this week.


Monday, May 4th – Serving the Public’s Legal Information Needs During a Pandemic – Joe Lawson, Harris County Law Library
May 1st began phase one of the reopening efforts for the State of Texas. Governor Abbott’s order specifically lists libraries as one of the businesses which can open at a 25% capacity rate (and social distancing), but not all libraries are ready to open right away. I talk with Joe Lawson, Deputy Director of the Harris County Law Library about how he and the staff in Texas’ largest metropolitan area are preparing to open later this month, and how they are providing vital services to the courts, the bar, and the general public.


Tuesday, May 5th – How Do We Continue to Serve People Who Are Far Away? – Amy Small, Texas State Law Library

One of the bright spots of this pandemic, when it comes to the legal industry, is that many of us are realizing that the important thing we provide is tied to our services rather than our physical location. Law Librarians have been saying this for well over a decade, and now other parts of the industry are realizing that we are much more than an office in a tall building. Today I talk with Amy Small, Assistant Director of the Texas State Law Library, who is coordinating efforts across the state to provide services to a public who is in need. Amy sees the future of her services as being focused on how do we create services that focus on providing help to those who are far away.
Continue Reading How are Government Law Librarians Handling the Pandemic?

It’s episode 75!! We think we look fabulous and that we definitely don’t look a day over 50.
While most professional associations are experiencing significant changes due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, today’s guests have launched a brand new network and say that this might be one of the best times to enter the market. The Legal Value Network (LVN) focuses on the delivery of services and connecting professionals from law firms, corporate legal departments, alternative legal services companies, and technology providers. Kristina Lambright and Purvi Sanghvi are part of the LVN Executive Board and discuss the launch of the network, and how they are providing content and connections to those in the network.

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Information Inspirations
Denton’s Managing Partner wrote an excellent article in The Hill entitled “Let’s stop asking ‘When are We Going Back to the Office?’” The leader of the world’s largest law firm had some sharp criticism for many of the partners at his firm who are pushing for a return to the office. He points out the privilege that many of these partners are expressing without consideration to the staff, and the gender disparity that will occur if there is a rush to get back to the office.

It’s not unusual for law firms to invest $1M or more in recruiting, hiring, training, and retention of Associates over the first four years of their legal career. However, if you look at the actual retention rates through the fourth or fifth year, it is essentially a coin flip on whether the firm retains, or