Refer to it as the library, and Sarah Nichols will quickly correct you, with just a bit of an edge in her voice. “We call it the Information Resource Center, or IRC,” says Nichols, the global director of research and information resources at San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. “A library doesn’t reflect what we do.” As she talks about her “service lines” and “branding opportunities,” Nichols sounds less like the stereotypical librarian — more like the stereotypical chief operating officer.

Little wonder, then, that like a company on the rise, Orrick’s IRC is not only branching out — moving beyond legal research and into competitive intelligence and client development work — but it’s also getting the word out about these efforts. It has the new name — which became official about a year-and-a-half ago — and even had its IRC logo stamped on the cover of every market analysis, industry report and company profile the group churns out for Orrick’s 980 lawyers. “Library” had to go, says Nichols, because “people had an incomplete idea of what we can deliver.”

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