Are You Maximizing the Value of Your Firm’s Library?
Three Law Firm Library Areas to Prioritize

The COVID pandemic has dramatically changed how we work and has led many progressive law firms to review lessons learned and take a fresh look at their operations to plot their next steps. Ninety percent of respondents to HBR’s recent Workplace of the Future survey are currently addressing workplace strategy, with 62% expecting to make significant changes encompassing service delivery, ways of working, and facilities. At the same time, many firms are adopting a relatively conservative financial approach to 2021. While many law firms ultimately saw a successful end to 2020, in part because of some client industries’ success, they recognize that, for the short term, at least, the only certainty is continued uncertainty about the pandemic’s longer term effects on the economy.

The law library has always been a focus of firms’ fiscal scrutiny, and this year is no exception. The library is traditionally one of the firm’s highest cost areas after people and physical space. While firms should certainly continue to look for ways to better manage library costs, they also have an opportunity to reexamine the library with a fresh eye in tandem with other areas of firm operations. Firm leaders should consider lessons from the past and present not only for cost management, but to reassess the service delivery model and uncover the considerable untapped potential for libraries and their staff to provide continuing and new value to their organizations.

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