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Law Librarians: The Missing Link As Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Adapt to Artificial Intelligence

Earlier this week, I lead a roundtable discussion on Artificial Intelligence in Legal Research and Law Practice at the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) which took place in Washington D.C.  I was grateful for the invitation from @robtruman, the law librarian at the Lewis & Clark Law School because the event forced me to review all of the posts on AI and law practice that I’ve been meaning to read and because any opportunity to talk about AI – which is the work that my husband studied back in grad school in the late ‘80s before the subject was ready for prime time – is always a privilege.   

In this post, I’ll share some of the information in AI that I gathered in preparation for my talk. One of MyShingle’s missions has always been to ensure that solo and small firms have current information not just on new technology developments but also on how those new tools can be applied in practice.  And because AI is such a fast-moving target that many solo and small firm lawyers haven’t yet had a chance to wrap their heads around, I’ve written a multi-part post that will cover everything that solo and small firm lawyers need to know.  

This post is organized as a series as follows . In Part I, I’ll provide an explanation of general AI concepts – which will prove important in understanding the current state of technology.  Part II  summarizes much of the content that I covered in my AALL presentation, including AI tools of interest to solos and smalls.  With new applications launching left and right and limited transparency about what’s actually under the hood, solo and small firm lawyers face the risk of either not having learned about a tool that could help their practice, or worse, employing a tool that produces inaccurate results. And since that’s an ongoing problem that can’t be addressed even in a multi-part post, in Part III, I’ll make the case for why today’s law librarians are uniquely qualified to assist solo and small firm lawyers in staying abreast of AI technologies in a way that vendors or the bars cannot.