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As professionals in the research and information field, we frequently encounter resistance to change. Lately, it seems as though we face the books vs. bytes argument on a daily basis. As more publishers move their services to the Internet, the controversy escalates, and the phrase “paradigm shift” resounds louder. A paradigm shift occurs when the previous rules are not adequate in achieving solutions for the problems of today. Law libraries had been following the same practices for years. But when faced with size shrinkage due to rising real estate costs, elimination of duplicate subscriptions and demands for the latest information delivered quickly, things had to change. Publishers began to offer their services on the Internet, and law librarians were ready. That is not to say all Internet services are perfect. We are very vocal with criticism and about needed enhancements. But we wouldn’t turn the clock back for anything. It is commonly held that law firms and lawyers have traditionally been slower to a adapt to changes than other professions and businesses. Is this because the legal profession is based on precedent and is uncomfortable with a lack of precedent? Whatever the answer, the shift is not occurring now. It has already happened. In the April 2000 issue of Law Practice Today,Arthur Greene, the chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, wrote on paradigms: “Lawyers do not tolerate the word or the concept of a paradigm shift. Could it be that we have stumbled onto the root of the problem? Do lawyers, who have their own set of rules, think they are magically protected from the [e]ffects of change?” Research and information retrieval is only a segment of the paradigm shift. What about core competencies in general for all things relating to technology? What about electronic communication, data exchange, electronic publishing and e-filing? In our July 1999 Net-Tip, we discussed core competencies for lawyers and mentioned an article that is still worth reading for lawyers who wish to survive in today’s digital arena. “Re-training Lawyers for a Digital Age” is at Legal Technology Online. In the same Law Practice Todaycolumn, Arthur Greene continued: “Unfortunately, most individual lawyers resist change. They are not risk takers. And, to make matters worse, lawyers are trained to win, to get their way, and to consider their own view as the only correct one.” But we remain cautiously optimistic. We know many lawyers who embrace technology, who perform research on the Internet with the same skill and tenacity they use for the rest of their practice and who communicate as effectively through e-mail as they do through the phone or paper. We offer the following sites to aid in your paradigm-shift survival. � ABA Law Practice Today: Full-text articles on range of topics, not limited to technology. Technology Buzz and Technology Update are in each issue. Go to 4.21.247.201/default.shtml. � Legal Technology Primer: Articles by Dennis Kennedy, assistant editor of ABA’s Law Practice Today. Go to www.denniskennedy.com/ltprimer.htm. � ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. Technology resources and surveys. Also search the archives of Lawtech, the discussion forum on legal technology. Go to www.abanet.org/tech/ltrc/home.html. � SOHO Law Office: Not limited to trendy New York attorneys, SOHO is short for small office home office. This site claims that venue is possible through technology. Go to www.areyoucovered.com/SOHO.htm. � TechnoLawyer: Discussion forum for sharing your techno savvy and experiences. Go to www.technolawyer.com/index.html. � Litigation & Technology Law Practice: Tips on using technology to aid your practice and good legal research resources. Go to www.arkfeld.com. � Internet Product Watch: Hard-core Internet stuff and nothing else. See what is coming next. Go to http://ipw.internet.com. � Legal Technology Online: Home for the digital lawyer. Go to www.digital-lawyer.com. � Slashdot: The subtitle here is “News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters.” Topics page is easiest way to access. Go to http://www.slashdot.org. Net-Tips for Lawyers is sponsored by and available on the Law.com/pa Web site, an affiliate of The Legal Intelligencer. For easy access to the Web sites within Net Tips articles, point your browser to www.law.com/pa. Bobbi Cross ([email protected]) is the information systems librarian at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. Michelle Ayers ([email protected]) is head of JenkinSearch, a full-service research and document delivery service from Jenkins Memorial Law Library in Philadelphia. Both are members of the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association.

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