Idea Bank: Law on Order
Bar association app gets legal books to members without a trip to the library.
What’s the great idea? An app that gives members free access to law books
Who’s doing it? Washington State Bar Association
What’s involved? Expensive law books can break the bank for lawyers at small or solo practices. That’s why WSBA updated its Legal Lending Library with an app-based interface that gives lawyers across the state easy, free access to these resources. ¶ Previously, “most people would have to physically come to our office in Seattle,” says Destinee Evers, WSBA practice management adviser. “We were not reaching many members who weren’t located in the Seattle-Puget Sound area.” WSBA has 40,000 members, some of whom live a five-hour drive from Seattle.
When Evers took over the program, she brought it into the 21st century by introducing a cataloging app. Now, attorneys can browse titles and descriptions, search for books, and check them out via the app. Because WSBA doesn’t have electronic access to the titles, it mails requested books the next business day.
WSBA’s titles tend to be expensive (as much as 35) and are especially useful to WSBA’s 5,000 small and solo practitioners. “They’re on marketing, cybersecurity, alternative fee agreements,” and other topics that may not be available in the electronic fee-based services lawyers use to research case law. Some of the most popular titles focus on malpractice insurance, policies and procedures to run a successful law office, and personal branding for attorneys.
What are people saying? Library usage has more than doubled since the app became available. “In addition to just usage going up, we send out a survey when people return a book,” Evers says. “The majority of respondents found the system really easy to navigate. A lot of people express appreciation for it.”
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with the correct spelling of Destinee Evers’ name. We apologize for the error.
(Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen/Getty Images)