Law Libraries

Law Libraries

Law Libraries

Law Librarians

The American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) publishes the annual AALL Directory & Handbook, which lists most of the law librarians in the U.S. and a few abroad. Members can search the Directory on New memberships are published in the AALL’s Spectrum magazine.

The AALL also publishes the AALL Biennial Salary Survey, which is available in many larger law libraries. Members can view the Survey on the AALL Web site. A rivalCompensation and Benefits Survey by the Association of Legal Administrators seem to have consistently lower figures.

Discussion Groups: The main librarian discussion group is called law-lib. To subscribe, see the Law-Lib Listserv FAQ. A searchable archive of law-lib postings is available in theLaw-Lib Archives (click on “Other Users Click Here” for free registration).

Also useful are the discussion groups sponsored by the regional AALL chapters. To subscribe, see the Chapter Discussion Forums page on the AALL Web site.

Career Choice: Law librarianship has its pros and cons. Anyone considering the field should read Mary Whisner’s Choosing Law Librarianship: Thoughts for People Contemplating a Career Move. You might also want to check out: (a) the salary information discussed above; (b) the AALL Chapter for a particular region (; (c) the relevant library schools; (d) the want ads and job postings for law librarians in a particular region; (e) the career information and job listings posted on the AALL Job Placement Hotline; (f) the AALL’s pages on Law Library Careers; and/or (g) the number of law libraries and law librarians listed for a particular region in the AALL Directory & Handbook.

Finally, visit various kinds of law libraries, talk to various kinds of law librarians and consider whether these are people and places you would want to spend most of your waking hours for the next few decades.

Continuing Education: Law librarians have various continuing education opportunities. Perhaps the best known are programs presented at the annual conventions hosted by the American Association of Law Libraries. The Special Libraries Association also hosts an annual meeting, as well as traditional and online continuing education classes. Classes are also provided by at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School.

In addition, select vendors provide professional development opportunities for law librarians. For example Lexis Library Relations offers regular programs on Teaching Legal Research (TRIPLL and TRICALL) and library management (AMPLL), as well as a Certificate of Mastery Program for law librarians.

See Also

American Association of Law Libraries
Law Librarianship



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