Richard Susskind spent 75 minutes sharing with AALL attendees his vision of what the legal marketplace would look like in 15 - 20 years. The message was clear -- if the US legal marketplace does not innovate, it will be left behind Europe and the rest of the world.
He made a clear distinction between automation vs. innovation. It is not enough to automate (to use technology to improve current legal processes). He talked about innovation as the use of technology to do what was not possible before.
He certainly gave attendees lots of food for thought about where law librarianship should fit into this new legal marketplace. Law librarians are uniquely qualified to be legal knowledge engineers, legal technologists, legal process analysts and legal project managers.
Speakers background: Professor Richard Susskind, OBE, is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms, in-house legal departments, and national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of legal service. He has a law degree from the University of Glasgow, and a doctorate in law and computers from Balliol College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Computer Society.
The Virginia Association of Law Libraries (VALL) supports and serves its members’ professional pursuits by fostering a spirit of leadership and cooperation, providing educational and leadership opportunities, and promoting and enhancing the value of law libraries.