Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

I have a friend who has her JD and will complete her MLS in '09. She has done CI at her current law firm, and is looking to, next year, strike out on her own. (She is also joining the community here and SCIP as first steps.)

What I would like to ask, on her behalf, is the following:

- Who are the thought leaders in doing CI in the legal field?
- What agencies are doing CI in the legal field?
- Are there any books geared towards this? Academics who have taught courses on this?
- Are there special considerations to doing CI in the legal field above and beyond the usual?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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...and, n.b., obviously I know nothing about doing CI within a law firm :)
I'm the friend Mr. Brown is talking about, and truly would appreciate any advice. I've had the chance to talk to other firm librarians and marketing personnel in San Francisco on this topic, but would love to get information from people outside my community. If anyone would prefer not to post publicly, my email address is in my profile, and I'd welcome any input and would be happy to update you on any resources I've found.

Information on how CI requests are handled in other corporate settings would be useful, as well (who takes the requests, the amount of time spent on requests, delivery formats, etc). I'll be digging through past threads for information on these topics, of course.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Joyce,

I would chat with Bill Fiora, who has done CI for a long time, and is now working at Nixon Peabody in Boston. Google them and give him a call. He is very approachable and wise!

Good luck,

A little late with my reply but you may also want to reach out to Jan Rivers - CI liason at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. She is also a member of this site.

Feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss. You may also wish to contact Greg Lambert at King & Spalding, Denise Rabogliatti at Fredrikson & Byron, Mark Gediman at Best, Best & Krieger and Kitty Schweyer at White & Case.

Hi. I am a law librarian who does CI. I'd suggest this article, although it might be a bit dated now (2003). Still, it is a good overview of CI and law firms.
Thank you for the link, Tim!

If you haven't already seen it, here is a link to the program materials for a presentation on CI from last year's American Association of Law Libraries annual conference: It lists a few more recent articles, but nothing as in-depth as the one you linked to on LLRX.
Hello Joyce,

Re: Special considerations beyond the usual.... advice from left field:

As you start on your own, you, like everyone else, will likely think about IT backup and recovery. Law firms have to do this too; and, as you probably know, there is a whole world of legal and technical requirements in what law firms back up - including all correspondence with customers, vendors, etc. Therefore, you might want to consider contacting i365, a subsidiary of Seagate. I believe (90% likely) they are the leader for law firms in electronic backup and recovery and they have a unit called i365 MetaLINCS E-Discovery that goes through all the thought leadership on what and how law firms have to back up data and restore lost data - and because different law practices have different legal requirements, their market segmentation on how they approach and sell to law firms might a good way for you and i365 to strike up some type of win-win relationship to quickly become the best-in-class CI provider.
As one of the few full time CI practitioners in a Canadian Law firm, I can tell you that there isn't too much happening by way of CI resources committed specifically to the legal profession but the concept in both the US and Canada is gaining momentum. However, there are a couple of places to start:

- The recent SCIP publication on Starting a Competitive Intelligence Function has a chapter on starting a function in the professional services that might be of interest.
- the Ark Group recently published a book on CI for Law Firms that can be viewed here :
- Each year in the summer, the Ark Group also puts on a small conference on CI in Law Firms that attracts about 30 people for a full day of discussion on various topics. I've attended the sessions and do find it useful. The event is usually in Chicago.
- Ann Lee Gibson is the legal CI guru, she writes a fair bit about the topic, mostly as a business development tool.

Other legal specific places to look are the SLA, LMA and PM Forum. I would be happy discuss with you (Jocelyn) in more detail if you are interested, I believe my contact information is in my profile as well.

I hope that is a helpful start for you!



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