Long live legal blogging - in all of its many forms

Monday, 28 February 2011


Newsflash: Legal Bloggers are real people! Reflections on the #LawBlogs seminar: By Ashley Connick (GDL student at The College of Law)

Ashley considers the #LawBlogs seminar he has just attended and at how strong the blawgosphere is: "One of the questions that was discussed was “who do you blog for?”. One of the things I took away from the evening about blogging is that whoever your intended audience may be and whatever effect you hope your writing will have, you are ultimately blogging for yourself. Blogging is unpaid and, as was agreed in the form of much nodding and murmuring when it was mentioned at #LawBlogs, can be very time consuming. It’s not something that any of the legal bloggers would do if they didn’t enjoy it."

Posted by Sally Peat at 15:31 0 comments  

Introducing ...

Monday, 21 February 2011

The eagle eyed may have spotted that the BIALL Blog has new authors.

We introduce ourselves below...

Philip Cable

I didn't grow up wanting to be a law librarian. However having studied Literature and Computing and worked in my University library as an undergraduate I found I had inadvertently created a perfect CV to apply for library work when I graduated.

So that's what I did. I applied all over the place but was fortunate that Norton Rose offered me a job and drew me into the Legal Library world. A year as a Library Assistant at NR convinced me that legal libraries were for me. I went back to University and studied for a postgraduate degree at the Department of Information Studies at Sheffield University (the most academically rigorous thing I have ever done!).

Having completed my degree I came back to London and was again fortunate to find a job with the Inner Temple Library. I loved my time there in a genuinely unique atmosphere. After a few years I eventually decided I better move on. I applied to Lovells now Hogan Lovells where I have been for about six years!

I've been a member of BIALL for most of this time and when I saw the Blog needed some new blood I knew that now was the time to get more involved.

Sally Peat

I haven't grown up yet and still don't know what I want to be when I do! In the meantime I'm employed by The College of Law as an active member of the Knowledge team and for the most part I work on design and information management for the College Intranet. I'm also responsible for customising our library OPAC, building our interactive user guides and supporting database access. Generally anything where I can offer my skills, I try to get involved. I very much enjoy working at The College and feel happy to be invited to participate in BIALL web based activities.

Hopefully the blog will continue to be sucessful with Philip and I contributing regularly, we both encourage members to forward any articles or news items they would like to hightlight to the rest of the BIALL community.

Posted by Philip Cable at 11:26 0 comments  

New Public Reading Stage

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Going on right now is the "Public Reading Stage" for the Protection of Freedoms Bill. In effect the Coalition Government are experimenting with crowd sourcing for laws. The Prime Minister saying that;

“Our new Public Reading Stage will improve the level of debate and scrutiny of Bills by giving everyone the opportunity to go online and offer their views on any new legislation. That will mean better laws - and more trust in our politics."

I will be interesting to see if this becomes a permanent addition to the process of scrutiny.

Posted by Philip Cable at 19:02 0 comments  

BIALL Cheese & Wine Evening: A quick reminder...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Friday 18 February is the last date for anyone interested in attending the Cheese & Wine Evening. The event will be held on Friday 25 February in the Old Hall at Lincoln's Inn and costs £20 for members and £25 for non-members.

Any profit will be given to the Wallace Breem Memorial Fund.

Booking forms are available on the BIALL website

Posted by Sally Peat at 14:38 0 comments  

Help Obtaining Transcripts

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Some things are memorable. For instance when trying to manage lawyers expectations of turnaround time - I never forget that I can only obtain an Employment Tribunal transcript by sending a cheque to the Tribunals Service in Bury St Edmunds.

However for many of the other multitude of courts and tribunals my recollection is less clear. So it's pleasing to learn that the Inner Temple Library have just completed a revised version of their guide to sources for transcripts of judicial proceedings.

Compiled by Sally McLaren, it comes as a 165 page PDF document. Find all the details here.

Posted by Philip Cable at 22:41 0 comments  

Tweeting in Court

Thursday, 10 February 2011


"Twitter has become a form of public broadcasting - as the PCC has acknowledged - and there is nothing the courts can do to stop it".

So argues Joshua Rozenberg in a piece yesterday for The Guardian. His article discusses the recently launched consultation by the Judicial Office of England and Wales "A Consultation on the Use of Live, Text‐Based Forms of Communications from Court for the Purposes of Fair and Accurate Reporting".

Is the foundation of the ICLT (Incorporated Council of Law Tweeting) the next logical step?

Posted by Philip Cable at 13:15 0 comments  

Integreon Appoint "The End of Lawyers" Author

Sunday, 6 February 2011

In a week with difficult and troubling news for the future of law libraries in the big firms the legal outsourcer Integreon has made a noteworthy appointment.

Richard Susskind a Legal Technology strategist is to head a new "client advisory board".

Susskind is the author of the book "The End of Lawyers" and argues that technology will reshape the law as we know it eroding and destroying the roles of many lawyers.

Challenging and provocative stuff.

What "The End of Lawyers" means for the future of law librarians seems equally thought provoking

Posted by Philip Cable at 20:38 0 comments  

BIALL Quiz 2011

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Yesterday evening the basement in the Penderal's Oak in central London was packed full of BIALL members for the 2011 quiz night.

The evening began with the opening of the impressive buffet that was almost entirely devoured by the assembled in less than twenty minutes.

Suitably fueled the quiz began with seven rounds of tough quizzing ahead covering general knowledge, music, pictures, TV and film, flags, notable women (and one other round which has slipped the BIALL blogs mind ...).

Top of the pile at the end sat the Inner Temple who told this blog that "they had the perfect mix of knowledge about nonsense" and also in reference to one of the questions that "the West Indies isn't a country".

The evening was superbly organised and ran like clockwork. A particular mention should be given to quiz master John Evans who delivered the quiz brilliantly and with great authority.

The evening was sponsored by Prenax Legal Library Service and Wildys & Sons Ltd.

Find the results below.

Posted by Philip Cable at 13:01 0 comments  

Are e-books taking over?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Amazon Kindle e-book downloads outsell paperbacks

"Amazon announced that in the US since the start of the year it had sold 115 e-book downloads for every 100 paperback books, even excluding its downloads of free books.
But it stressed that sales of paperback books were also growing."

Amazon are not disclosing how many of their Kindle devices they have sold but the number is greater than the copies sold for 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', which, one would guess, isn't an insignificant number!

Posted by Sally Peat at 11:37 0 comments