2020 Benchmarking + Legal Information Services Survey (BLISS) Key Takeaways

The remote work environment necessitated by COVID forced law firm libraries to rethink the way they work, the services they provide, and their resource collections. As HBR Consulting’s 2020 Benchmarking + Legal Information Services Survey results demonstrated, librarians largely opted for short-term fixes and held off on long-term solutions. Since the 2020 survey results were captured only a few months into the pandemic, HBR believes that more changes are likely to take place in 2021: librarians will be more informed about how their firms’ legal practices have been affected by the pandemic and thus how staffing, technology and resources need to be adjusted accordingly.

Of course, because COVID’s impact was first felt on the cusp of 2020’s first and second quarters, most law libraries’ annual budgets already were set, and many renewals already were executed or underway. This timing impacted the available options for change. HBR has observed that the degree of flexibility vendors offered their law firm customers also affected firms’ ability to implement changes, with both positive and negative outcomes. For more about how libraries reacted to COVID, see the 2020 Benchmarking + Legal Information Services Survey (BLISS) Highlights: Law Firm Research and Information Services’ Response to the Pandemic. The 2020 survey was open during June and July and received responses from 61 law firms of all sizes. The survey focused on several major areas, for which some of our key findings and takeaways are summarized here.

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