Vishal Agnihotri is the Chief Knowledge Officer at Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP, where she oversees knowledge management, legal project management and research services in support of the practice. She has held operational, consulting and leadership roles for over two decades in enterprise Knowledge Management spanning business research, knowledge technology implementation, training and adoption, knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) and social learning. Vishal has spent her career in professional service firms, leading Knowledge Management groups at two law firms (Hinshaw & Culbertson and Akerman) and two Big 4 accounting firms (EY and KPMG). Vishal holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and frequently speaks on Knowledge Management in the professional services.
As Littler's Director of Research Services, Cynthia Brown leads a team of research librarians, assistant librarians and interns to provide the firm’s lawyers and clients with the research resources they need to succeed.
Cynthia is part of the firm’s knowledge management leadership team and is involved daily in the Knowledge Management Department’s efforts to develop innovative systems, procedures and work flows. She reports directly to the firm’s Chief Knowledge Officer.
She manages and creates roadmaps for the collection of critical data, sifting of data for relevance and preparing that data to be pushed out to the right people at the right time. She also oversees all of the firm’s research-vendor relationships, utilizes analytics to determine which tools are needed to maintain the relationships and gathers important data for negotiations. In addition, Cynthia investigates new research and technology tools to ensure that the firm has cutting-edge resources.
Cynthia started Littler’s legislative tracking team in 2010. The team feeds Littler GPS, the firm’s client-based flagship service. Thousands of bills are reviewed daily via a custom built system to provide Littler’s attorneys and clients with insights about pending and enacted labor and employment legislations on federal, state and local levels.
Cynthia leads the team that created the Knowledge Desk, a resource that enables Littler’s attorneys to connect to subject matter experts and a vast collection of databases, print materials, practice group information, internal work product and proprietary data collections. The Knowledge Desk team efficiently searches to locate the exact nugget of knowledge that attorneys need.
Via the Knowledge Desk, attorneys are connected to law firm librarians who are perfectly suited to liaise between attorneys and a legal KM department. With adept archival, research, organization, analysis and synthesis skills, Cynthia’s team takes the guesswork out of determining who to contact, where information resides and determining which external or internal resource best addresses an attorney’s need. During its first year the Knowledge Desk proved to be extraordinarily successful taking in over 18,000 requests, with 26,000 requests expected in its second year.
Cynthia is a member of the Utah State Bar, the American Association of Law Librarians, the Mid-American Association of Law Libraries, the Kansas City Association of Law Libraries and Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals. Prior to joining Littler Cynthia served as head librarian at a full-service regional law firm and as General Counsel at a privately held company.
Colleen serves as a director in the Strategic Sourcing + Business Optimization practice within the Advisory business at HBR Consulting (HBR). She supports clients by bridging the gap between libraries and law firms and develops cutting edge solutions that satisfy both groups. Colleen has been working in the legal library space for over 20 years in a career that has spanned the small and Am Law 50 law firm market.
Prior to joining HBR, Colleen worked at Thomson Reuters as well as serving in two previous consulting roles. Most recently she was the Director of Research & Information Services at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.
Outside of work, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, drinking fine wine and enjoying the great restaurant scene in Kansas City (including BBQ!).
Kathleen Coon Director of Library & Research Services
Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP
As the Director of Library & Research Services at Montgomery McCracken in Philadelphia, Kathy leads the charge to make sure her colleagues have the resources and knowledge needed to provide excellent service to our clients. As a member of the Senior Administrative Team, she often makes recommendations on ways to improve communication, streamline workflow, and find affordable solutions.
Kathy received her MSI-LIS degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University and her B.A. degree from Penn State University. She is a member of AALL, ILTA, LLAGNY, NJLLA, and GPLLA. She often speaks at GPLLA programs and served as the Project Manager for palawlibrary.com, which won the AALL New Product of the Year Award in 2004.
In her spare time, Kathy enjoys cheering for the Nittany Lions, gardening, experimenting with new recipes, and hiking with family and friends. During the pandemic she started lifting weights and volunteering as a Pardon Coach.
John J. Digilio Firmwide Director of Library Services
SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP
John is an internationally known information and intelligence professional, educator, and award-winning author with over 20 years of professional legal research and management experience in large and mid-size law firms, as well as corporations and academia. He currently directs the firmwide library and research services for an industry-leading, global law firm with 20 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. John has authored numerous articles and research papers on law librarianship, legal research, team-building, and information ethics. He is a well-known industry blogger and social media influencer. John has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in business law, e-commerce, ethics, fair employment practices, and applied research methodologies. He is a recipient of the H.W. Wilson Award for Authorship and a former "Adjunct Teacher of the Year" at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. John has been recognized with several SLA member awards and is a past treasurer of the Association.
Specialties: American legal research, EU legal research, Information Ethics, Electronic Discovery, Business Intelligence, Leadership Development, Team Building, Staff Training and Retention
Gretchen Harris Sperry is the Chair of Hinshaw's Appellate Practice Group, which is ranked Tier 1 nationally by U.S. News – Best Law Firms. She has represented clients in numerous state and federal courts of review, including the United States Supreme Court. As a former appellate court clerk, Ms. Sperry applies her experience and understanding of the judicial process at all stages of litigation, from drafting critical motions and appeals to developing long-term legal strategies in complex commercial litigation, constitutional litigation, labor and employment matters, and high-exposure catastrophic injury cases.
Ms. Sperry is highly skilled at handling the sensitive and unique legal issues that arise at the intersection of law, politics, and government. She is experienced in white collar criminal matters, having represented individuals and entities in federal criminal prosecutions and investigations, as well as conducting internal investigations in anticipation of government involvement. Ms. Sperry frequently represents government agencies and elected officials in constitutional litigation as a court-appointed Special Assistant State's Attorney. She also represents private sector clients before various governmental, legislative, and regulatory agencies, counseling them on pending legislation and regulatory compliance matters.
June Hsiao Liebert Director of Information Services
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
June Hsiao Liebert is the Director of Information Services at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles, California, where she oversees the firm's information and records management initiatives. Her extensive background in both IT and information management comes from working in law schools, law firms and legal technology consulting.
June received a J.D. and M.L.S. (Master’s in Library Science) from Indiana University and a B.S. in Management Information and Decision Systems from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining O'Melveny, she was the Firmwide Director of Library and Research Services at Sidley Austin LLP. June has also served as the CIO, library and distance education director, and professor at the University of Illinois Chicago's John Marshall Law School, as well as the CIO at the University of Texas School of Law and a research librarian at the UCLA School of Law.
Before attending law school, she worked at a small startup that created the first PC-based system for complex litigation case management, which was ultimately used by over 40 law firms and 10 major corporations. June is an active member of several professional organizations and was elected as an Executive Board Member of the American Association of Law Libraries. She currently co-chairs the alumni board of the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, and is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics including technology, data, and library management. June is also a prolific writer and co-authored an article about link rot in US Supreme Court decisions that was published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology.
Bill Josten is a Strategic Content Manager for the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. Bill’s work focuses primarily on issues of interest to high-level decision makers in the legal market, including law firm managing partners and C-Level officers, as well as corporate general counsel. Much of Bill’s research and writing focuses on issues related to law firm profitability, the future of the legal business, and law firm/client relationships. During his time with Thomson Reuters, Bill has also worked as a pricing and profitability consultant, helping firms evaluate their cost recovery strategy, and providing insight into some of the innovative approaches firms are using to change the ways costs are recovered and matters are priced. Bill has worked in account management for large law firms and as a Reference Attorney, and prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Bill was an attorney in private practice as well as a law clerk at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Simon Kam Cheong, Head of Market Research at White & Case leads the global Market Research team where he works closely with key stakeholders across the firm to help them win, develop and retain business and identify, assess and pursue attractive opportunities for growth. He has more than 15 years of commercial research and analysis experience, having led research teams at other professional services firms including Ernst & Young, CMS and now White & Case.
His focus has been on leading teams to deliver high quality, value added research, analysis and insight to help his stakeholders make better, more strategic decisions about their most important clients, sectors and markets and to develop successful propositions based on a deeper understanding of their competitors and market opportunities.
Joanne is a Senior Manager at HBR Consulting on the Research and Information Solutions team. Her experience spans over 15 years of leading Am Law200 legal library departments and consulting with Am Law100 law libraries with the focus of evolving the research & information services from within the Firm. She has extensive experience in strategic change initiatives including staffing changes, mergers, digitization, pandemic response, and cross-department collaboration.
Currently Joanne enjoys spending her free time walking along the Chicago lakefront with her family and Zoom dance classes. Post-pandemic she looks forward to seeing family and friends and attending live performances of theatre, music, and dance.
Leslie Lanphear Director of Research & Information Services
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Leslie Lanphear is the Director of Research & Information Services at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and oversees the firm's research and competitive intelligence functions. In this role, she works with her team to deliver actionable insights to the firm's attorneys and allied legal professionals to partner in solving the firm's complex legal and commercial questions.
Prior to joining Akin Gump, Leslie was the first nationwide Research Services Manager at another well-known international law firm. She has over 30 years' collective experience in both the legal and public sectors, co-authoring several articles and participating on advisory boards throughout her career. Recently, Leslie has been "Competitive IQ Certified" by SCIP (Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals).
Leslie earned her MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin, and her AB from The College of William & Mary.
In her local community, Leslie volunteers with several non-profit organizations, and has implemented and actively participates in a monthly hot meal program for the food insecure.
Steven A. Lastres Director of Knowledge Management Services
Debevoise & Plimpton
Steve Lastres is Director of Knowledge Management Services for Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (www.debevoise.com). He manages the firm's information and knowledge management initiatives with the assistance of a dedicated team of research, knowledge management ("KM"), and technical services analysts. Steve works with a KM Task Force in charge of the firm’s KM effort to develop and implement an effective KM strategy for the firm. He joined the firm in May 2005. Steve received a J.D. degree from New York Law School in 2003 where he received the Daniel Finkelstein Writing Award. He is a member of the Bars of New Jersey and New York. He received a Masters in Library Science with a Distinguished Achievement Award in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute in 1996, and a undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Pace University. Prior to joining the firm, he was previously employed by the law firms of Arnold & Porter LLP and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP as a Librarian and Information and Knowledge Management professional.
Steve is active professionally having served as President of the Law Library Association of Greater NY (LLAGNY) and ARMA Metropolitan NY Chapter. He is Past Chair of the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section (PLL SIS), member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Leadership and Nominations Committee and the ILTA Education Planning Committee, and Former Manager of the ARMA Northeast Region. Steve is also a prolific writer and speaker on the topics of KM and law librarianship. He was recognized as a FastCase 50 award winner which recognizes the top 50 innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders. He was also awarded the ILTA 2013Publication Award Winner for Best Member-Contributed White Paper entitled“Knowledge Management: A Strategic Role Change for Legal Information Professionals (http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/87421/32) and the ILTA 2014 Knowledge Management Professional of the Year Award. Most recently, he was awarded the AALL Distinguished Librarian Award in July, 2018.
Saskia Mehlhorn is the US Director of Knowledge Services at Norton Rose Fulbright, US LLP. Based in Houston, she is a trained lawyer who is responsible for the US knowledge sharing framework, overseeing the implementation of a national knowledge management strategy and action plan, and identifying opportunities to use knowledge products to add value to Norton Rose Fulbright clients. Saskia has extensive experience in designing and delivering legal training courses on a variety of topics, particularly energy law and international arbitration.
Prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright, Saskia worked for the University of Houston O’Quinn Law Library as the foreign and international law librarian supporting the international research areas, specifically NAFTA and international arbitration. She has presented on a national and local level on topics like artificial intelligence, knowledge management, and international arbitration.
Saskia received her law degree from the University of Hamburg, Germany, and practiced law in Hannover, Germany, before accepting a position in the QHSE department of a major oilfield service company. Saskia also holds a LL.M. from the University of Houston and an MLIS from the University of North Texas.
Jennifer Mendez is the Director of Knowledge Management Innovation at Fisher & Phillips LLP, a national labor and employment law firm. In this role, one of her focuses is to build and foster a culture of knowledge sharing and innovation. Starting out in law libraries before transitioning to knowledge management, Jennifer has implemented many tools for law firms over the years, including research databases, SharePoint portals, internal and client-facing collaborative tools, enterprise search, custom applications, and business development tools. She has a passion for delivering intuitive, innovative, and accessible solutions as evidenced by her involvement with the design and development of an intranet that was winner of the intranet innovation award from StepTwo Designs, an internal chatbot, which was the winner of ILTA’s 2019 Transformation Project of the Year Award, and the first employment-specific heatmap tracking COVID-19-related workplace litigation . Jennifer is a frequent author and speaker on the topics of legal knowledge management, innovation, and process improvement. She was a finalist for ILTA’s Young Professional of the Year award in 2016, a contributing author to Emerging Approach to Information Services published by ARK Group, and is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).
Jean O'Grady Former Senior Director of Research & Knowledge
Jean P. O'Grady is the former Sr. Director of Research & Knowledge at DLA Piper US, LLP. She has over 30 years of experience developing strategic information initiatives for Amlaw 100 law firms. She holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, an M.L.S. from St. John's University and a B.A. in History from Fordham University She is a member of the NY State Bar. She has previously held Director positions at WilmerHale in DC and Shea & Gould in NY. She began her career as a reference librarian at the Pace University School of Law. She has been an adjunct faculty member at the graduate schools of Library and Information Science at St. John's University and Long Island University where she taught legal research courses.
Professional Activities: Chair of the Private Law Libraries Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (2013-2014) and a past President of the Law Library Association of Greater New York (1991-1992); Board Member of the American Association of Law Libraries ( 2017- 2019). Board Member, New York Law Institute (2015-2018.)
She is a frequent author and speaker on the transformation of libraries and information centers, digital contract licensing , knowledge management, legal analytics and the legal publishing industry. She has spoken at programs sponsored by the Information Industry Association, the Association of Newsletter Publishers, Practicing Law Institute, International Legal Technology Association , West Publishing, Price Waterhouse, LegalTech, Lexis-Nexis. Janders Dean Knowledge Management Conference, American Association of Law Schools, as well as the American Association of Law Libraries, Canadian Association of Law Libraries, Australian Law Libraries Association and the Special Libraries Association.
In 2011 she launched "Dewey B Strategic" to promote awareness of the strategic importance of librarians, libraries and knowledge managers as change agents and innovators in the organizations they support. She has written provocative pieces on a variety of law firm management, publishing and technology issues which have sparked important debates in the industry.
Honor's Include: 2011 named to the FastCase 50 top legal innovators. Dewey B Strategic named to the ABA Magazine Blawg 100 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. 2016. Inducted in the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame 2016 2013 Elected to the Board of Directors of the New York Law Institute 2104 Inducted as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management. Fellows of the College are distinguished law practice management professionals who represent law firms, educational institutions, professional associations and other organizations that contribute to excellence in law practice management. Co-Chair of the ABA, Law Practice Management, Knowledge Strategy Committee 2015-16 2016: Named an ABA Magazine "Legal Rebel" 2016: AALL Presidential Certificate of Appreciation 2017-2020: Elected Board Member American Association of Law Libraries
Evan Shenkman Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Evan Shenkman leads the Knowledge Management, Innovation, and Library functions at the 400+ attorney labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips, Chairs the firm’s Innovation Committee, and won the 2020 Legal Innovator of the Year Award (Litera, Changing Lawyer Awards ceremony). Before entering the KM field, he was an AV-rated Shareholder litigating labor and employment matters for a decade. His responsibilities include creating processes, practices, and software to allow firm attorneys to work smarter, faster, and more in sync; harnessing the power of A.I. and data analytics for use in legal; creating internal and client-facing collaborative tools; and helping making the practice of law far more efficient for the firm’s attorneys and our clients. Evan frequently writes on KM, Library, and Legal Innovation topics, and has overseen the KM, Marketing, Process Improvement, and Finance tracks at ILTACON for years.
Kathy Skinner Director of Research & Information Services
White & Case LLP
Kathy Skinner is Director of Research & Information Services at White & Case LLP, where she leads a 24/7 global function comprised of researchers and library operations team members located in 23 offices around the globe. In addition to managing research delivery, lawyer research training, library procurement, budgeting, and vendor relations globally, Kathy has recently been given responsibility for leading the Firm’s Market Research function. Kathy and her team members are currently focusing their efforts on building this alignment to enhance and expand how the two teams work together to deliver best-in-class research services on client matters as well as for business development.
Kathy has been a member of the Knowledge function at White & Case for four years. During her time at the Firm, Kathy has worked to deliver “truly global” research services in an efficient and streamlined way, leading change, making process improvements, and maximizing the benefits provided by the Firm’s 24/7 support team based in Manila. The team has been recognized with an FT Innovation Award for their 24/7 service delivery model.
Kathy collaborates broadly across the Firm to deliver value-added services to clients. She also works closely with Firm colleagues on innovation, training, and other projects. Prior to joining White & Case Kathy was in a similar role in another Am Law Firm.
Melvin L. Smith, Ph.D., BCC
Professor of Organizational Behavior
Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University
Melvin L. Smith, Ph.D., BCC Professor of Organizational Behavior
Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University
Co-author “Helping People Change”
Melvin L. Smith, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior and Faculty Director of Executive Education at the Case Weatherhead School of Management. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Graduate School Alliance for Education in Coaching (GSAEC).
Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He also holds a B.S. degree in General Management and Accounting from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing from Clark-Atlanta University.
Dr. Smith’s research and teaching focus on leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace, as well as the development and use of human and social capital in organizations through executive coaching. He is co-author (with Richard Boyatzis and Ellen Van Oosten) of the book, Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth (Harvard Business Review Press).
In addition to his work with numerous U.S. organizations, Melvin has worked with executives in Canada, Dubai, India, New Zealand, Scotland, and Trinidad. He has also served as a visiting professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain where he co-taught a senior executive education course on emotionally intelligent leadership.
Prior to completing his doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh, Melvin spent over fifteen years in a series of sales/marketing management, and organization development positions with a number of Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Pepsi-Cola, and H.J. Heinz.
Tricia has worked in law firm libraries for more than 25 years. She started her career while in college as the “kid who shelved the books” and over the years worked her way up the ladder to become her firm’s national library director overseeing a team of library managers, reference librarians, technical services librarians, and library assistants. She currently serves as the Director of Research Services at Akerman LLP. Tricia loves digging for answers and enjoys tackling a challenging research project. She is keenly interested in the latest advancements in automation, data analytics, and knowledge management strategies.
Tricia is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries and serves on the Lexis Advisory Board. She received her undergraduate degree from Oglethorpe University and her MLIS from Valdosta State University. She lives in Newnan, Georgia with her husband, daughter, and two scruffy but adorable dogs.
Certified Speaking Professional, Jeff Tobe’s credentials are impressive. Insider Magazine dubbed him “The Guru of Creativity” and readers of Convention & Meetings Magazine chose him as one of their favorite speakers along with other celebrities including Bill Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Condoleezza Rice and Daniel Pink. He is a creativity and customer experience expert, professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to increase their bottom line by changing their customer experience and retaining great talent.
After having started and sold three successful businesses, Tobe founded Coloring Outside the Linesin 1994 and since then has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from ones with less than 20 employees to Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, PepsiCo, Bank of America, ReMax International and many more!
Jeff Tobe’s most requested VIRTUAL or LIVE programs focus on CREATIVITY/INNOVATION, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE and EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. His high-energy, high-fun and high-content programs create the ideal presentation for any kind of corporate or educational forum.
Jeff’s articles have been read in hundreds of publications and he is the author of the hugely popular book, Coloring Outside The Lines. He is the co-author of three other books and his newest book, ANTICIPATE: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do is quickly becoming one of the hottest business books on the market. He is also the creator of the Touch Point Focus initiative in which he helps organizations re-examine their customer touch points and change their customer experience.
Tanya is currently the Research Services Director at Crowell & Moring, LLP, a 550 attorney law firm with offices in the US and overseas. She has been at the firm since 2013, and leads a dynamic team of research and technical services staff. Previous to this position, Tanya gained experience at Cleary Gottlieb with KM systems, and was Library Manager at McKee Nelson, LLP. Tanya started her career at Arent Fox in 1993, holding many positions in that library and that is where her love of and focus on technology started, leading her early in her career to positions managing software implementations, building websites, and licensing and contracting for research tools. Tanya attended the University of Virginia, and has her MLS from University of Maryland.
Dave Wilson has vast experience within the legal technology industry, spending most of his career focusing on Work Product Management. In 2005, Dave worked to forge partnerships with key industry players (including iManage, Litera, DocsCorp and more) to build Tiger Eye – an organisation dedicated to helping professional services organisations to enhance the way they work with their documents, emails and knowledge. In 2018, Tiger Eye launched Blueprint for Knowledge Management – the platform designed by lawyers, for lawyers, for the iManage DMS. In 2019, Dave spearheaded the launch of the Blueprint User Community, an initiative which enables Tiger Eye’s Blueprint users to steer the product’s roadmap and drive the platform’s future, as part of Blueprint's signature User-led Development Cycle. Dave frequently writes about Knowledge Management in the Legal Sector, sharing his insights with a range of legal technology publications.