CALL / ACBD 2018 Preview


Brenda and I are heading off to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) conference in Halifax this weekend, and as always, are very much looking forward to it. The theme this year is “Build Bridges / Broaden Our Reach,” a sentiment that resonates with our library and our drive to do more and work with more people. The CALL conference is an excellent opportunity for us to meet and learn from our colleagues across the country, and this year, we’ll both be contributing to the programming! Here are some of the upcoming topics:

Knowledge is Power: The Role of Law Librarians in the Future Legal Market 

Law is becoming a buyer’s market. Armed with unprecedented access to industry data, clients are ready to forge a new relationship with law firms, which themselves are facing competition from alternative legal services providers while coping with shrinking retainers and internal succession crises. In this time of upheaval, many old assumptions are falling away, and new approaches to the business of law are emerging.

In the coming years, law firms will generate revenue from a diverse range of sources — including technology-driven products and the contributions of skilled “non-lawyers” — rather than from the billable efforts of lawyers alone. The critical elements in these new offerings will be knowledge, data and information — and that will make law librarians and legal knowledge managers some of the most important people in the legal world.

Jordan Furlong, a leading legal market analyst and industry consultant, will explain the forces that have brought about such widespread change in the law, describe the key features of both tomorrow’s clients and tomorrow’s law firms, and share his insights and forecasts about the role that law librarians and legal knowledge managers will play in the law firms of the future.

Competitive Intelligence & Government Docs: Find, Use & Create Actionable Intelligence

Locating and analyzing government information can be a daunting and convoluted task, however honing these skills can give you an edge in conducting competitive intelligence (CI) and business research for lawyers and their clients. Among other things, government information can be used to:

  • Keep lawyers and clients abreast of regulatory and legislative changes,
  • Gather intel on clients and client competitors, and
  • Provide data for benchmarking and forecasting.

This hands-on session will present a few case studies- employing analytical CI frameworks and government information to create actionable intelligence. A variety of government information including regulatory changes, access to information requests, parliamentary, and ministerial/departmental information will be covered. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of basic CI frameworks, how to locate a variety of government information, and how to combine these to create actionable intelligence.

The Crown, The Copyright, and The Law

November 7, 2017 marked five years since the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act was implemented, a point by which a review of the Act is mandated. Surrounding months have seen wide discussion of Canada’s copyright regime. Librarian Amanda Wakaruk launched ePetition E-1116, a laudable attempt to assure availability of government publications. Digging deeper, there is a plausible argument that with respect to primary law of Canada – legislation and case law – Crown copyright, or indeed copyright protection generally, has never subsisted, nor should it.

This session will pursue an analysis of Canadian copyright legislation, judicial interpretation, theory, and comparative law including Indigenous law, to elucidate the contention that primary law is a copyright-free zone in this country and should be formally recognized as such. The session will also explore the possibilities and implications that might arise from such recognition, particularly for wide publication of open primary law and creative opportunities.

As I mentioned above, Brenda and I will also be presenting this year. Brenda will be leading a session on the super useful website Canva, which allows you to make really nice graphics without being a designer, while I’ll be giving a lightning talk on our Will Check program. It’s going to be a busy, but undoubtedly excellent, conference!

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