Kott Gunning Lawyers Case Study

Kott Gunning Lawyers Case Study

At a Glance
Chosen Solution

Liberty Lite

Key Objectives

Modernise the management of resources and information

Core Benefits To Users

Streamlined access to digital resources for legal research

Supported Users

12 partners, 16 lawyers, 4 paralegals and 1 law graduate

Library Staff

1

Kott Gunning Lawyers is located in Perth, Australia. Founded in 1919, the firm is one of the longest operating independent legal practices in Western Australia and offers a broad range of legal services including Private Client services and Commercial, Finance, Property, Litigation, Insurance and Employment Law for both private and public sector organisations.

Throughout their long history, the firm has demonstrated an ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment, while providing a consistently high standard of informed, accurate and innovative advice to clients. To ensure their legal staff can deliver successful outcomes for clients, Kott Gunning has maintained an extensive in-house legal library.

Lorraine Pearce, joined Kott Gunning Lawyers in 2012 following a career as a History Librarian in local government where she was responsible for ensuring that the community’s history was collected, archived and made accessible through digitisation of different resource formats such as photographs and recordings.

Her expertise with the digitisation of information resources has helped Lorraine in her transition to Kott Gunning’s legal library.

Within her first year at the library, Lorraine’s title changed from ‘Librarian’ to ‘Information Resource Manager’.

Lorraine said the title of Librarian has connotations of being physically restricted to the library.

‘That’s no longer necessary for me and I have moved in to the firm’s general work area. My position encompasses meeting the lawyers training needs and maintaining the precedents database.’

Lorraine’s new title is more representative of the work she does for Kott Gunning Lawyers.

The Partners at Kott Gunning Lawyers were looking to transform to the way they were managing resources and information.

This required the use of relevant technology and one of Lorraine’s first projects was the search for a new library management system for the firm.

'Liberty met our immediate information needs and I felt confident that it would grow with us as the use of technology increased. Also, the ability to have Liberty hosted meant that it would be continually updated and the firm’s IT Manager did not have the worry of upgrading our server.'

As part of the library’s modernisation project, Lorraine also introduced iPad law subscriptions and, wherever possible, switched existing loose-leaf subscriptions to online versions.

‘When Kott Gunning staff search our Liberty catalogue, they are able to open and read electronic documents directly from the record rather than move to another source. They are also able to link to websites and online databases.’

Liberty has provided Lorraine with the ability to catalogue a wide variety of resources including PowerPoint presentations and seminar and training papers. Being able to easily search for and access so many valuable resources has impressed the firm’s lawyers.

'One of the partners suggested it would be helpful to link up summaries that have been written regarding workers’ compensation cases. Not only was I able to set up the bibliographic type of ‘Workers’ Compensation Cases’ and link up the appropriate case to its Liberty record, but also link up the summary written by a lawyer. The partner was very pleased with the outcome.'

With a diverse blend of online and physical materials on offer from the library, Lorraine’s use of bibliographic types has meant that Kott Gunning staff can easily search the catalogue for relevant resources as well as see which formats are available.

'In Liberty, the icons attached to a bibliographic type can be customised to illustrate the item’s format. It’s an easy and attractive way of distinguishing what type of material is available from the results of a search list.'

Lorraine said that Liberty also makes it easy for staff to see where physical resources are held within the Kott Gunning office.

‘With limited space, the print copies of library materials cannot all be held in the library, so they are held in different locations around the firm. Liberty has allowed me to set up different locations holding different law reports that are searchable through the system.’

For Kott Gunning Lawyers, quick access to quality, reliable resources is vital and the firm has embraced Liberty as an integral part of their research process.

'When I induct any new lawyers or students to the information resources available to them, and explain how to search Liberty to retrieve information, I always receive positive comments on how useful it is.'

To find out more about Kott Gunining Lawyers visit www.kottgunn.com.au

Kott Gunning Lawyers Case Study