The Internal Marketing of Legal Services: The Law Library
Pages 16

Law firms have replaced their caretaker librarians of the past with skilled managers who specialize in the rapid retrieval of information and other services. These professionals play an integral role in the practice of law by supporting the research function of the firm. The majority of law firm libraries, however, still operate as "cost centers." Their budgets include categories for labor, materials, and fixed operating expenses which are categorized as "overhead."1 While many firms are reluctant to acknowledge their libraries as potential profit centers, an increasing number are interested in cost recovery by billing out library staff time. Some attorneys and librarians have resisted this trend: attorneys have been unable or unwilling to explain library services to their clients, and librarians find billing a threat to their "service to all" mentality.2 With the annual library budget in large firms reaching $2 million a year, it will be difficult for these libraries to soon become actual profit centers.3