#AALL 2019: Q&A with Mike Abbott, Thomson Reuters
The nation’s capital will serve as host to the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual meeting and conference, where legal information professionals from across the world will gather.
Thomson Reuters is proud to continue its involvement and sponsorship of AALL, the annual meeting and the numerous local and regional chapters. Legal Current recently sat down with Mike Abbott, vice president, Enterprise Thought Leadership and Content Strategy for Thomson Reuters, to talk about the annual meeting, the value of the relationship between Thomson Reuters and AALL, connecting with customers and more. Below is the conversation.
Legal Current: Mike, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What is the value of the relationship between Thomson Reuters and AALL? And why does Thomson Reuters sponsor the AALL annual meeting?
Mike Abbott: We have an excellent and longstanding relationship with this organization and its members. Librarians are among the most sophisticated users of our information products and they provide us valuable insight into product development and the pain points legal professionals face, which helps us improve what we can do for our customers. Our involvement and sponsorship with the annual meeting provides us a great opportunity to engage with numerous information professionals at one time, hear what is working well and areas where we can help more. Plus, we feel our sponsorship provides meaningful support to the organization.
LC: What will Thomson Reuters be talking about at the annual meeting?
MA: We will be talking about multiple product initiatives, highlighted by all the enhancements added to Westlaw Edge since launching at this time last year. Our booth will feature experts demonstrating our products and their features and answering questions people may have. And there will be some nice giveaway items as well. We are always interested in hearing from our customers and AALL provides a good platform for that. Additionally, we will be celebrating our customers with our traditional Customer Appreciation Event.
LC: What sessions or highlights will Thomson Reuters be participating in or showcasing?
MA: First off, our booth will allow attendees to see our offerings relevant to their needs, whether they work for a law firm, a government agency or an academic institution. We also will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of American Law Reports, maybe better known as ALR. As for sessions, we will have multiple theater sessions in the booth highlighting various products and features. We also will be participating on three panels.
- On Monday, Jeff Arvidson, director of Product Management, will be on Deep Dive: The Federal and State Court Analytics Market—Should the Buyer Beware? What’s on the Horizon? This multi-part discussion will feature three panels exploring the federal and state litigation analytics space, products and where this area could go.
- Khalid Al-Kofahi, vice president of Research and Development, will be on a Tuesday panel titled Artificial Intelligence and Implicit Bias. The discussion will focus on the way AI platforms rely on human product developers and the impact of implicit bias.
- And I will be moderating Fostering the NextGen Library Professional: How the Changing Legal Market Shapes Our Roles on Monday. We will look at market studies on librarian roles, the state of the industry and the impact on the current and future role of the library professional.
LC: And now, maybe what many attendees are really looking forward to, what details can you share about the Customer Appreciation Event?
MA: The Thomson Reuters Customer Appreciation Event is one of the highlights for us and one our customers enjoy. This year’s celebration will be held at the Library of Congress on Monday, July 15. Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, will provide remarks on public access to justice and legal information. Additionally, guests can explore the largest library in the world, enjoy music from multiple string quartets, and enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. I hope that all our customers at the annual meeting are able to attend and appreciate the magnificence of this institution and the value it places on information.
LC: Mike, thank you for taking the time and we are excited for all the AALL activities in Washington DC.
MA: Thank you. And I look forward to seeing everyone in Washington DC. Please stop by and say hello. We would love to hear from you.