This is Nicole L. Black’s primer for the legal profession on an emerging technology which is defined as a “type of computing that is comparable to grid computing, [and] relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud computing is to apply traditional supercomputing power (normally used by military and research facilities) to perform tens of trillions of computations per second.”
Sarah Rhodes discusses the monumental challenge of preserving our digital heritage. She argues that law libraries specifically have a critically important role to play in this undertaking as access to legal and law-related information is a core underpinning of our democratic society. Our current digital preservation strategies and systems are imperfect but tremendous strides have been made over the past decade to stave off the dreaded digital dark age, and libraries today have a number of viable tools, services, and best practices at our disposal for the preservation of digital content.
Attorney David Navetta contends that there there will be significant financial pressure on organizations to take advantage of the pricing and efficiency of cloud computing, and if attorneys fail to understand the issues ahead of time there is a serious risk of getting “bulldozed” into cloud computing arrangements without time or resources to address some serious legal issues that are implicated.
Attorney and KM expert V. Mary Abraham provides details on how one law firm has found a way to create real transparency in its dealings with clients via an extranet, and whether this process may start a trend.
The End of Institutional Repositories & the Beginning of Social Academic Research Service: An Enhanced Role For Libraries
Stuart Basefsky advocates broadening the concept of institutional repositories (IRs) to serve as full-fledged electronic libraries and documents how they can then serve the greater purpose of collecting, disseminating, analyzing and exchanging useful digital information for academic purposes.
Heather Colman explains how wikis were an ideal KM solution for her law firm. Quick and easy to set up, requiring little IT support, wikis support central data repositories and provide features including search capabilities, email, RSS, and also allow users to create a taxonomy of subject tags to classify information.
Stuart Basefsky supports the concept that the quintessential leader is an informed leader. However, effectively communicating and leveraging the power of information, in leadership roles, is subject to a range of interpretations that he discusses in this forward thinking series.
Conrad J. Jacoby addresses the issues of whether discovery requests served on the company also extend to home computers, cell phones, and other equipment personally owned by employees of the company.
Claire M. Germain presents an overview of the public policy issues surrounding digital libraries, and discusses the impact of globalization and the Internet on international and foreign law information, the free access to law movement and open access scholarship, mass digitization projects, and preservation of born digital legal information.
Dennis Kennedy contends that by the end of 2007, there will be a clearly distinguishable digital divide between technology-forward and technology-backward firms. He suggests seven trends that should be on the agendas of law firm technology committees.