Welcome to the Winter issue of Legal Information Management. As is customary, this particular issue, the fourth and final of the year, includes an array of papers that were delivered at the BIALL conference in June, together with a number of other interesting articles and reports on current issues and work that is being carried out by colleagues across the legal information profession. I am truly grateful to all contributors for their timely submissions.
BIALL Conference Papers
The BIALL Conference, which was held in June at The Sage, Gateshead, proved once again to be a highly successful conference thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Association's Conference Committee. The programme included many outstanding presentations and a small selection is included here. The 3rd Willi Steiner Memorial Lecture focused on reasons for studying law and the relevance of legal information where the law student, the advanced researcher and the legal practitioner are concerned. It was presented by Professor Graham Virgo, a distinguished colleague from the Law Faculty at the University of Cambridge.
At the conference a number of highly relevant sessions were given on subject matters ranging from e-textbooks in relation to the legal practice course (Marianne Barber of The College of Law), the practical use of SharePoint (by Jackie Fishleigh of Payne Hicks Beach Solicitors) and the engagement of the complacent law student where legal research skills are concerned (Emily Allbon of City University, London).
This set of published presentations completes with an article entitled ‘No-cost and low-cost U.S. Legal Research’ and is based on the Pre-Conference Seminar delivered by Alison Shea of Fordham Law Library, New York. Finally, the entertaining Nick Davies (barrister, trainer and stand-up performer) who delivered memorable plenary and parallel sessions during the conference, contributes a piece on useful techniques for delivery of training courses and making presentations.
Away from the Conference papers, this issue continues an occasional series in which Lesley Dingle, Foreign and International Law Librarian at Cambridge, reports on the latest contribution to the Squire Law Library Eminent Scholars Archive. This time the focus is on Emeritus Professor Tony Jolowicz, Professor of Comparative Law and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Current Topics section includes four pieces. Firstly, Peter Clinch (formerly of Cardiff Law Library, now retired) and Steve Whittle (of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) outline recent developments and progression in relation to the FLARE Index to Treaties (FIT).
Peter Clinch also contributes his final SLS/BIALL Academic Law Library Survey report. As usual this invaluable project results in a report that is highly informative and revealing, as trends and developments in law library provision are identified and explained in detail. The survey will be continued into the future but without Peter at the helm as he sails happily into retirement. Peter's sterling work on the survey over many years has amounted to an admirable contribution to the academic law library sector and for which, those of us working in Universities, are most grateful.
Another piece in this section is, again, academic in nature and has been submitted by Ginevra Peruginelli who examines issues relating to mapping concepts of different legal orders, with a focus on legal terminology and semantics of the law.
The fourth article concerns law firm mergers and is written by Jon Beaumont and Helen Marshall.
In the penultimate session of this issue there are two overseas conference reports. Victoria Jannetta offers some general thoughts on the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries which took place in Philadelphia in July while Martha Facey reports on a particular session connected with interdisciplinary research that was given at the equivalent Canadian Conference organised by CALL/ACBD, hosted in Calgary in May 2011.
Finally, as usual, much gratitude goes to Katherine Read and Laura Griffiths for their work on the Current Awareness section which closes not just this issue of LIM but completes Volume 11 and the year 2011.