May 20, 2022

Carl Malamud: "The Future of Law Libraries: Twelve Tables or 7-11?"

The full text paper linked below was presented by Carl Malamud earlier today at the Harvard U. Future of Law Libraries: The Future is Now? event.

Title: “The Future of Law Libraries: Twelve Tables or 7-11?” (9 pages; PDF)
By: Carl Malamud, Public.Resource.Org

As we examine the future of the law—and of law libraries—I put it to you we are faced with an equally momentous choice. Today, we have shirked our duties. The United States has given up equal protection under the law for the principle of pay to play, we have made access to justice conditional on access to money, our public laws have been subdivided into private parcels owned by designated concessionaires. We have sat by idly while this has happened.


Today, law libraries risk becoming a 7-11, where one vendor comes in and fills up the donut case, another stocks the ATM, and your job is all about managing vendors and answering an occasional query from a customer.

Read the Complete Paper (9 pages; PDF)

Learn More About

Learn More About Carl Malamud
Mr. Malamud is a information/Internet living legend. One of his most well-known accomplishments was getting the SEC to put place company filings online via EDGAR. He is also credited with the founding of the Internet’s first radio station.

One of our favorite projects is FedFlix, where they’re digitizing U.S. government film.

See Also: Additional material from the Harvard/Berkman Center, “Future of Law Libraries: The Future is Now?” event can be found in the post immediately below this post or by clicking here.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.