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Are We Still Needed? Reflections on the Profession in BIALL's Fiftieth Anniversary Year

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 July 2019


In this article Dunstan Speight, President of BIALL 2018–2019, provides a short overview of current challenges and opportunities facing the profession. In addition to trends affecting all types of law libraries, the article discusses some of the main issues facing the three main types of information service: academic, law firm and chambers, and professional bodies. The article concludes with a discussion of how core skills and experience are still relevant in the fast-changing world of legal information.

BIALL’s 50th Anniversary: A Celebration
Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians 

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1 Figures 1997/98 taken from Student Enrolments on Higher Education Courses at Publicly Funded Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2001/02. (HESA, 2002) Figures for 2017–18 taken from What do HE Students Study (available from the HESA website)

2 First Rise in University Applications for Three Years (UCAS press release 7th February 2019)

3 Gee, David, ‘SLS/BIALL Academic Law Library Survey 2016/17’, (2018) 18 Legal Information Management 183CrossRefGoogle Scholar.