New Archives Advice to Solicitors and Law Firms

Friday, 27 May 2011

In the current climate of archiving electronic material it may sound anachronistic to be concerned about documents that are hundreds of years old, but now is just the time to be aware of them so that they are not lost through ignorance.

A news item in the Spring 2011 Newsletter of the London Metropolitan Archives:

"A new practice note for solicitors has been published by The Law Society in
conjunction with the Selden Society. The Law Society sought advice from Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist (Business Archives) at LMA who advised on and ontributed to the note. The guidance provides advice on caring for and depositing client documents and solicitor firms' own records with the appropriate repositories, such as local authority-run record offices."

The guidance note

"The information is summarised succinctly under headings. Examples of records found in solicitors' business archives are listed to help those managing these records ensure that key categories are retained for long-term preservation. The distinction between client papers and firms' own records is made clear. The importance of manorial records and related legal requirements is emphasised. The requirements for semi current records are given. There is also advice on depositing archives and the likely expectations of archivists. Lastly, useful web links are given including the ARCHON directory of archive repositories, the British Records Association, the Managing Business Archives website, and the Selden Society (the learned society and publisher devoted to English legal history)."

Source: LMA website

Posted by Sally Peat at 09:11 0 comments  

Time to have your say

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Have Your Say is where you ask the questions about BIALL's activities, and it will once again be taking place at Conference in June.

This is your formal opportunity to raise issues about the whole range of committees, awards, conference, activities, publications and events that BIALL promotes or produces.

It's not just for those able to make the session in Gateshead. Membership Services Committee would really encourage you to add your query, comment, suggestion, praise or complaint to the agenda here on the BIALL blog or to send it by email to Olwyn Mitchell (MSC committee chair)-- or catch us at the conference before the session.

Comments posted here will be used as the basis for the discussions in the HYS slot. Committee chairs or other relevant people will be invited to respond to comments from here and the conference forum.

Whether you are attending Conference or not, we want to hear from you.

Posted by Sally Peat at 14:16 0 comments  

Become a Little Bit Famous in Canada

Monday, 23 May 2011

Posted on Lis-Law last week is your opportunity to become a little bit famous in Canada. The Canadian Law Library Review is looking for a UK librarian to contribute a quarterly column on - well - it seems almost anything you fancy library related.

Nancy McCormack, editor of the Canadian Library Law Review writes;

"I'm hoping you can help me. I'm trying to find someone in the U.K. who would be willing to write a page or two (or more if that person has more to say) on developments in U.K. libraries. The subject range is broad--anything about what is happening in that person's library or libraries in general, teaching, new legislation, interesting cases, political news, updates on conferences etc. The column will be published in the Canadian Law Library Review four times a year along with a column from the U.S. and one from Australia.
I'd be most grateful if you could ask your fellow U.K. librarians if anyone is interested."

Interested? If so you can email Nancy McCormack directly at the email address below.

Posted by Philip Cable at 10:39 0 comments  

BIALL Newsletter

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

BIALL members will find the latest version of the BIALL Newsletter will be hitting their mailboxes any day now!

If you are attending the conference it is a must read. It features a detailed update from the Conference Committee Chair John Furlong - which having read it myself has left me particularly intrigued and looking forward to the opening reception at the Annual Dinner!

That's not all however as the Newsletter also features a walking tour of Newcastle Quayside and both the regular A Day in the Life and On the Spot features are authored by North East BIALLers.

As well as the conference material the Newsletter has a new feature highlighting updates on the BIALL How Do I? wiki. This time Welsh Circulars and Employment Tribunal decisions have seen some updating action! You will also have your eye opened when you read just how much Internet traffic the wiki receives.

So when you receive your copy make sure you give the Newsletter the attention it deserves!

Posted by Philip Cable at 19:19 2 comments  

Wanted: Competent, enthusiastic photographer...

who can apply professional skills to BIALL Conference Event, 16-18 June 2011

Must have:

· an eye to capture both the formal and informal moments of Conference

· friendly approach and flair to engage people

· ability to timetable formal duties required e.g. opening of the Conference, programme sessions

Reward: Free conference registration (not $1000)!

Apply ASAP!

To apply please provide some examples of your work to John Furlong, Chair of Conference Committee. John can arrange a follow up chat about your availability.

Image credits: Poster | photographer

Posted by Sally Peat at 11:29 2 comments  

The Supreme Court - Live!

Monday, 16 May 2011

The UK Supreme Court, in a bold move can now be watched live on the Internet. The press release from the Court tells us;

"Sky News has today launched a live stream of the court’s hearings and judgments, as they happen, via their website at
The Supreme Court is exempt from the prohibition on filming court proceedings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland*, and has four cameras installed in each of its three court rooms, but until now use of footage has generally been limited to news coverage and occasional documentaries.

The move means that legal professionals, students and members of the public interested in the work of the Supreme Court do not have to travel to London to see proceedings. The website contains direct links to the Supreme Court’s own summaries of each case, to enable viewers to read some background material."

For some interesting perspectives on the development try Max Atkinson's Blog , and the UK Human Rights Blog.

This is a good moment to mention that generally for coverage of the UK Supreme Court the best place to go is the UKSC blog who have terrific coverage of all the upcoming cases.

Posted by Philip Cable at 22:30 0 comments  

Representing CILIP and BIALL at a recent 6th Form Careers Fair at John Roan’s School

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Author: Clare Brown- Library & Information Manager, Collyer Bristow LLP solicitors

A few weeks ago I volunteered to attend The John Roan’s School 6th Form Careers Fair to represent CILIP and BIALL. As far as visitors to my stand – when I was competing with a lot of cool stands and careers, I think it was a resounding success.

4 points to takeaway:

1. 6th formers love technology; the stand with the electronic beeping noises and swish Apple notebook was immediately pounced upon
2. Freebies go down well; the stands with pens, bags, stuff to takeaway were also mobbed
3. Fire fighting and the police are cool careers; my stand managed a respectable number of visitors but information is a hard sell to cool kids
4. Money talks; kids want to know what they will earn!

Undeterred, when groups of 2 or 3 (safety in numbers, clearly!) came across to ask what I did, I explained that every career/university/business stand in the hall relied on information to function. Whether police, nursing, law, banking, every professional would at some point rely on someone like me to provide them with information on a particular topic. This underlined not only the importance of information professionals but also the incredible diversity of what we do. The breadth of what we do is part of the problem in getting our message across - the waters can become very confusingly muddied. However the students were quick to catch on and it was heartening to hear them explaining and discussing what sort of people needed information.

The second way I was able to impress was to point out that much of what goes on in the news is directly applicable to what my users (lawyers) were interested in. About half of the students were familiar with the Twitter super injunction furore and as that was something I'd researched the day before I was able to directly relate it back to celebrities and how the weathy were being protected. Making a connection like was brilliant at illustrating how I went about my work.

Thirdly the next big topic was salary and longevity of the job, with one enterprising chap asking, 'what is the point of being a librarian when they're all shutting'. Again I explained that many companies/industries were actively recruiting skilled information people simply because they were at an economic disadvantage if they didn't have access to the right level of organised information. Not all library jobs are government or public - industry/business/legal were happy to take on excellent researchers. Some may scoff but I pointed out that managers of legal information services were well paid and (according to the salary survey) can earn upwards of £60k pa.

Naturally I was happy to say that my job as a legal information professional was amazing; varied, interesting, well rewarded and provided scope for an excellent work/life balance!
It was a joy to talk to such interesting students and go round to enjoy the other stands - in my next career, I may be a very cool fire fighter.


Posted by Sally Peat at 10:49 0 comments  

Halsbury's Awards - call for nominations

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Nominations are now being accepted for the Halsbury's Awards 2011, to be presented at the BIALL Annual Conference in June.

The Categories

· Best Legal Information Service (Commercial Sector) - London Only

· Best Legal Information Service (Commercial Sector)

· Best Legal Information Service (Non-Commercial Sector)

To make a nomination, please visit the Halsbury's Awards website.

We would like to encourage you to inform colleagues of The Awards and the link for nominations. The deadline for all nominations is Friday May 20th 2011.

Posted by Sally Peat at 14:05 0 comments  

BIALL Early Bird Discount - 1 Day Left!

A quick note to point out that the Early Bird discount for the BIALL Conference 2011 in Newcastle expires soon. The discount applies to bookings made before Friday 6th May 2011.

So don't delay! Also why not let people know you will be there by adding yourself as attending the event on LinkedIn?

Posted by Philip Cable at 09:13 0 comments