Long ago, legal information moved off the page and beyond the book. However, both information vendors and their customers remain mired in paper- and book-based metaphors that affect the way vendors price and package legal information, as well as the way librarians buy, organize, and disseminate it. Conventional thinking about legal information has led this industry to the impasse faced when vendors continue to raise prices to sustain needed profit margins, while librarians hold down costs by cutting titles. The current legal information economy is not sustainable.
Takeaway 1: Participants will learn how emerging technologies are enabling alternative models for buying and selling legal information.
Takeaway 2: By discussing and providing alternatives to prevailing book- and page-based legal information metaphors, participants will be able to ask better questions about emerging technologies and imagine more sustainable solutions for information delivery problems.
Takeaway 3: Participants will be able to return to their home libraries ready and willing to advocate and negotiate for more rational, useful, efficient, and sustainable legal information purchase and delivery models.
Who should attend: Library managers, acquisitions professionals, and reference librarians in all types of libraries; librarians and vendors who seek common ground in their (sometimes-contentious) relationships with one another
Track(s): Library Management, Information Technology, Reference, Research and Client Services, Collection Development and Cataloging, General or Core Programs
Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company based in Washington, D.C. Since 1999, Fastcase has grown to become one of the world’s largest legal publishers, serving more than 500,000 subscribers from around the world.
Before founding Fastcase, Ed worked at Covington & Burling, in Washington D.C. and Brussels, where he advised Microsoft, the Business Software Alliance, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League. His practice focused on corporate advisory work for software companies and sports leagues, and intellectual property litigation.
Ed worked in the White House from 1991-1993, first in the Office of Media Affairs and then in the Office of Presidential Speechwriting. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The University of Chicago Law Review, The Green Bag, and Legal Times, and has spoken extensively on legal publishing around the country.
He serves on the boards of Pro Bono Net and Friends of Telecom Without Borders. Ed has previously served on the Visiting Committee for the University of Chicago Law School, and the Visiting Committee for the University of Chicago Main Campus Library System.
I am currently Vice President of Jones McClure Publishing, which we affectionately refer to as "JMP." Established in 1992, we had a mission: to provide accurate and dependable legal analysis in a user-friendly format that could easily fit into a briefcase and be referenced quickly as needed. Just as we anticipated, our books filled lawyer’s needs like no other, and new purchasers quickly became loyal customers. Our little company has since published many volumes in the areas of Texas, federal, and California law—our O’Connor’s Texas Rules * Civil Trials has gained a reputation as the “trial lawyer’s bible”. We focus on detail without sacrificing accessibility, so our books are easy-to-use without skimping on critical content that attorneys need to get the job done. With 23 titles under our belt, our goal is to continue developing new titles and to explore new subjects, markets, and platforms. Over the years, we have grown into a large family of lawyers and non-lawyers alike, working together in a fast-paced environment that demands quality but respects a balance between work and life outside the office. We are an eco-conscious business dedicated to making a positive impact not just through what we publish, but who we are.