Dispatches from AALL Philadelphia: Legal Innovation

So here’s a good rule of thumb: whenever you get the opportunity to hear Legal Informatics fellows Pablo Arredondo (Casetext) & Daniel Lewis (Ravel Law) speak, you should take it.  Add Cisco security expert Lance Hayden and you’ve got the makings of a really excellent program.  I’m reporting here just a fraction of the program – if you get a chance to listen to it when it comes up on AALLnet, you should.

Daniel talked about processes being data driven – and how law is really becoming one of those processes.  He analogized data analytics in law to Baseball (see Moneyball) & Politics as examples of fields where data analytics gives players clear advantages. All of the information is available in the legal opinions: which judges are more likely to rule for or against you given a set of circumstances – the analytics harnessed by Ravel harvests that information and uses it to help lawyers make better strategic decisions.

Pablo talked about his goals in developing casetext – a resource that harnesses the power of information produced by attorneys: client alert letters, blogs, online briefs and newsletters, and uses that to enhance a legal search engine that includes state and federal cases.  Casetext leverages this great untapped source of information to create a free legal research engine, essentially annotated by these alert letters and blogs.  Members of the legal community are invited to annotate legal opinions, or to upload appellate briefs that they have access to.  This is not crowdsourcing per se, it’s more “communitysourcing,” where your name is attached to any annotations that you add – a sort of quality control by reputation.

Lance talked a lot about security and hacking – and how “hacking” did not always have the negative connotations it does today.  “Hackers” were people – programmers – who could manipulate a system to do something quicker, easier, accurately, and efficiently (think “Life hacks”).   He spoke in metaphor a good deal: he talked about law being the “software we use to run society,” and how good lawyers are essentially hackers of the law.

This was an especially thought provoking program & worth a listen.  Towards the end, Lance articulated something that I think gets to the heart of what is so deeply awesome about librarians: as a group, we are dedicated to doing right by information and by information consumers.

Dispatches from AALL Philadelphia – something I learned: presentation resources

From Diane D’Angelo: Want to create cool animated presentations? Check out Powtoon! It’s a free resource that will help you captivate & engage students. Attorneys, judges, faculty and deans will also be drawn in to what you have to say with this fun way of presenting. http://www.powtoon.com

Dispatches from AALL Philadelphia – More praise of round tables:

Because there are so many folks from LLNE here in the city of heat and humidity – er, I mean brotherly love, I’ve been asking folks to send me snippets of things they’ve learned at various programs, from posters, & from interactions with library folk from around the country.  Over the next few days, I’m hoping to post short snippets of what they say here.

One of the first things I went to here in Philly was a RIPS roundtable on distance learning.  We’re in the process of putting together an asynchronous research class, and so I took this opportunity to learn from folks who have been doing it.  The overall take-aways were: there are as many different ways of doing this as there are people doing it, on platforms from TWEN to Canvass, some using interactive discussion boards, some relying more on video presentation & written work.  What is very clear is that the folks who are doing this all benefit from a sharing of resources and best practices – and to that end, we began a collection of names and email addresses of folks interested in sharing resources and best practices.

A few of the things we talked about:

  • In terms of assessment, consensus was that students should be asked on a weekly basis to do short research assignments, & produce written trails that require students to demonstrate the ability to use the resources they’ve learned about, rather than just regurgitate what was in the reading or on the video.
  • Students may expect quicker turnaround of assignments for online classes. Their impatience may be forestalled by giving general feedback to the class as a whole (i.e. “What I’m seeing in these assignments…”) before actually returning the assignments.
  • People had various ideas for inspiring interactive discussion, i.e. getting students to use online discussion boards. Some suggested that a short video presentation – either the beginning of an instructor-student discussion of a topic, or even a short “client interview” type skit – has worked to spur active discussion.
  • Some folks are using the interactive discussion boards as a way of “taking attendance” – making sure that the class comports with the ABA Standard 316, which governs distance learning.
  • As always: humor works – & is a great tool to engage students, even asynchronously.

There was a great deal of enthusiasm in the room – at the table – because it seems clear that asynchronous/distance classes are a large part of the future of legal education.  Sharing resources & best practices will become more essential as we all work to figure out how to do this most efficiently.

LLNE at AALL 2015: Exhibitors, Presenters, Award Winners, and Leaders

By Raquel Ortiz, Membership Development Committee Chair

Heading to Philly later this month? LLNE will be well represented, so here are some tips on who and what not to miss during the conference.

Starting at Saturday’s Exhibit Hall Ribbon Cutting Ceremony/Opening Reception and throughout the conference, drop by the LLNE table. We will have highlights from 2014-2015, information about the LLNE Legal Link, giveaways, and a prize raffle perfect for Philly! While you’re at the table, sign up as a volunteer to help us plan LLNE’s 70th Anniversary next year. Pat will also be there at times during the conference, when he’s not visiting old friends in the Exhibit Hall or checking out Philly.

Also during the Opening Reception, stop by the AALL booth and congratulate our AALL award-winning members, who will be photographed from 5:30-6:30 that evening.

On Sunday night from 6 to 8pm, please join members of the LLNE Executive Board for our Meet and Greet at Vintage Wine Bar, a short walk from the convention center and the conference hotels. Business optional, casual conversation and fun are a given!

If you have not already done so, please register for the LLNE Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon on Tuesday. While you enjoy a lovely meal, catch up with friends and meet new LLNE colleagues, participate in our business meeting, and vote on our candidates for LLNE office.

Throughout the conference, our members will be busy receiving AALL awards, section awards, presenting programs and poster sessions, and wrapping up or stepping into leadership roles. Congratulations to the following members, who put the Leadership in LLNE!

  • Section Award winners: Blair Kauffman (ALL-SIS), Meg Kribble (CS-SIS)
  • Poster Sessions: Timothy Dannay, Nicole Dyszlewski, Corinne Griffiths, Rebecca Martin, Jessica Panella, Jennifer Robble
  • Programs: Nicole Dyszlewski, Scott Matheson, Sarah Ryan, Michael VanderHeijden, Ron Wheeler
  • Special Interest Sections: Jennifer Allison, Patrick Butler, Melanie Cornell, Steven Alexandre DaCosta-Ellis, Laurel Davis, Nicole Dyszlewski, Stephanie Edwards, Christine Iaconeta, Jordan Jefferson, Susan Karpuk, Catherine Kellett, Jocelyn Kennedy, Liza Rosenof, Sarah Ryan
  • AALL Committees: Patrick Butler, June Casey, Nicole Dyszlewski, Darcy Kirk, Meg Kribble, Jootaek Lee, Anne McDonald, John Nann, Anupama Pal, Ron Wheeler
  • AALL Board: Katherine Coolidge, Ron Wheeler

Did we miss you on our list of LLNE stars? Please email rortiz@rwu.edu so that you can be counted!



Register for LLNE Business Meeting & Luncheon

Don’t forget to register for the LLNE Business Meeting and Luncheon in Philly!  We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, July 21st from 12:30-2 pm.  You can register here: http://llne.org/meetings/2015-annual-luncheon/

The deadline is Friday, July 10th, so register today!  We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

Enhance Your AALL Experience in Philly

By the Service Committee

Whether you’ve already mapped out your Annual Meeting schedule, or you plan to pick sessions on the plane, consider blocking off some time to volunteer in Philly. This year’s meeting needs lots of helpers to make sure everything runs smoothly in the following areas:

  • Registration Desk
  • Registration Bag Stuffing
  • Opening Reception
  • Library Tours
  • Hospitality Booth
  • Association Luncheon

Sign up today or ask questions at aallvolunteers2015@gmail.com.

This year’s meeting has an additional volunteer opportunity for Annual Meeting Pros: the First-Time Annual Meeting Host Program. Volunteers will be given the names and contact information for one or more first-time conference attendees. As a host, you would be expected to contact your newbies before travelling to Philly to give them an idea of what to expect, and answer any questions they have. Once you’re at the conference, spend some time with them and introduce them to all of the cool people you know. Want to make a difference in the life of a new law librarian? Email your name, contact information, and the number of first-time attendees you are willing to host (one, two, or three) to annualmeetinghost@aall.org.