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Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Alyne Queener Massey Law Library

Prepare to Practice

Prepare to Practice, an annual lecture and workshop series sponsored by the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt Law School, prepares students for the professional challenges of legal practice by highlighting and discussing the latest trends and hot topics in legal practice.




Friday, February 8:Tom Martin, CEO of LawDroid - The Potential of Legal Chatbots. 12:10 pm, Ray Room 


Interested in the future of the practice of law? Come learn about what chatbots are, how they are relevant to the legal industry, and what they can do for you. Tom Martin, the founder of award-winning legal AI company, LawDroid, will present. Lunch will be provided for those in attendance.


Thursday, February 14:Steve Lastres, Director of Knowledge Management Services at Debevoise & Plimpton - Knowledge Management as a Cornerstone in Today’s Law Practice. 9:30 am, Bennett Miller


Participate in a breakfast discussion with Steve Lastres, Director of Knowledge Management Services at Debevoise & Plimpton, as he breaks down the future of Knowledge Management services in the practice of law. Coffee, bagels, and pastries will be provided for those in attendance.


Monday, March 11th: Bianca White, LexisNexis representative at University of Tennessee Law School and Vanderbilt Law School – Real World Lexis & Legal Analytics. 12:10pm, Hyatt Room


What happens after law school? Join Vanderbilt Law School Lexis representative, Bianca White, for this practice focused session where we will review Lexis access after graduation, bill back practices, ways to research cost effectively and the new wave of legal analytics. We will also take a look at a few Lexis resources that you do not have access to in law school but will once you are practicing. Lunch will be provided for those in attendance.


Tuesday, March 19th: Anna Guerra, Westlaw – Cost and Time Effective Research Using Westlaw. 12:10pm, Alexander Room


Learn more about how you can be prepared when that first summer associate assignment arrives and tricks you can use to ensure you are on top of your research skills. This workshop will cover advanced research tips as wells as how billing works in practice. Lunch will be provided for those in attendance.


Tuesday, March 26th: Kathy Marrero, Wolters Kluwer – Introduction & Tour of Cheetah™. 12:10pm, Tarkington Room

Participate in a tour of Cheetah™, Wolter Kluwer’s intuitive legal research platform, which combines legal information with in-depth expertise and analysis by Wolters Kluwer attorney specialists and experts. Wolter Kluwer’s proprietary content, along with Cheetah’s technology, will be emphasized to demonstrate how attorneys who practice in highly-regulated areas of law such as securities and tax use Cheetah™ to make their research easier and more efficient. 

In this session, you’ll:

  • Learn what makes Wolters Kluwer’s trusted reporters and publications unique
  • Find explanatory content related to primary law only one click away
  • Watch how a 50-state survey can be built in just in 3 clicks using Smart Chart technology
  • Review judicial profiles from the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary

Kathy will also use a sample research issue to demonstrate Cheetah™ in action. Lunch will be provided for those in attendance.

Monday, April 8th: Meredith Capps, Foreign and International Law Librarian, Head of Faculty Services, Law Library Lecturer in Law at Vanderbilt University Law School – E-Discovery for Litigators. 12:10pm, Alexander Room


If you’re interested in litigation, there is no escaping electronic discovery.  Be sure that the word “metadata” is not something you hear first from an opposing party in this e-discovery introduction, where we will discuss the basics of handling “ESI” (electronically stored information).   Before becoming a law librarian, Meredith Capps gained extensive experience with e-discovery and subpoena compliance as an associate in the white collar and investigations group at Hogan Lovells US LLP in Washington, DC. Lunch will be provided for those in attendance.



Meredith Capps is the Foreign and International Law Librarian, Head of Faculty Services, Law Library Lecturer in Law at Vanderbilt University Law School. She began her legal career as an associate with Hogan Lovells US, based in Washington, D.C., where she practiced for seven years in the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group, focusing on the health care industry. She left legal practice to earn her master’s degree in library science with a focus on law librarianship. While studying for her M.S., she was a library intern at the U.S. Department of Justice and served as a reference and faculty services librarian at the George Mason University Law Library. As a law student at Vanderbilt, she served as symposium editor and articles editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. She is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries.


Anna Guerra is the Westlaw Academic Account Manager for Vanderbilt.  She graduated from Loyola Law School-New Orleans in 1999, and has a degree in Library and Information Science from LSU. She began working for Westlaw as a student representative in 1998 and was hired as the Seattle Academic Account Manager in 1999 where she worked until 2006 when she transferred back to the south to manage law schools in Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Her home base is in Baton Rouge, LA. She enjoys traveling, reading, going to the movies, and cheering for the New Orleans Saints. In her spare time, Anna works as a licensed tour guide in New Orleans.


Steve Lastres is Director of Knowledge Management Services for Debevoise & Plimpton. Steve is active professionally and is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Leadership Committee, and Manager of the ARMA Northeast Region, amongst other roles. Steve is also a prolific writer and speaker on the topics of KM and law librarianship. He was recently recognized as a FastCase 50 award winner which recognizes the top 50 innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders.


Kathy Marrero is a Wolters Kluwer Legal Training Consultant representative based in Chicago, IL. Kathy began her career as Law Department Librarian for Kraft Foods in suburban Chicago, where she managed a 22,000 volume law library. She held sales, training, and marketing positions with LexisNexis, where she worked with large law firms and federal agencies, and developed a modular training program used nationally in the federal courts. She joined Wolters Kluwer as Legal Training Consultant in 2004, and works primarily with large- and medium-sized law firms providing training and consulting services. She recently created a series of corporate and securities workflow-based courses emphasizing the company's expert-authored content online. Kathy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago in 1989, and her paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1990.


Tom Martin is a legal bot advocate, author and speaker. He is a lawyer and founder of LawDroid (a bot development and consulting company for the legal industry). Tom is also co-founder of Vancouver Legal Hackers, advisor to ATJ Tech Fellow Program, member of ARAG Technology Innovation Committee, and Chair of Education for Group Legal Services Association.


Bianca White is the LexisNexis representative at University of Tennessee Law School and Vanderbilt Law School. She received her B.A. in History from Freed-Hardeman University in 2006, her J.D. from the University of Memphis in 2009 and her M.B.A. from Bryan College in 2015. She will receive her M.L.I.S. in May 2019. While in law school she volunteered with the Memphis Area Legal Services and clerked for one year doing criminal defense work. Ms. White practiced primarily labor and employment defense work at a Knoxville firm until she joined LexisNexis in 2011.

The inaugural series, held in March 2014, focused on Professionalism, Ethics and Practical Legal Research Skills. The 2015 program, held in April 2015, focused on Mentoring and Collaboration in Legal Practice. Prepare to Practice is developed and sponsored by the Vanderbilt Alyne Queener Massey Law Library.