The Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee (RLLC) has enjoyed a busy and productive year. Our ongoing charge is broad, and includes developing and maintaining information on education and careers, and outreach to potential law librarians, as well as disseminating this information via our website and print materials.
Our charge also includes being a ‘first contact’ for persons considering law librarianship as a career. Over this year we have received and answered over 40 inquiries, most of them submitted via the form on our website. The individuals submitting these inquiries ranged from practicing attorneys to those just starting their undergraduate education, and were from as far away as Australia and Africa. Often the initial response was followed up by additional telephone calls, emails, referrals to local law librarians, and even visits.
Diane Murley, whose tenure on RLLC expired in July 2007, agreed to stay on as our webmaster for 2007–2008. We are especially grateful to her for donating this additional time. Diane helped move information previously maintained by the now-discharged Task Force to Enhance Law Librarianship Education to the RLLC website. She also posted approximately 12 new articles to our website, several referred to us by AALL members not on our committee.
RLLC undertook and completed two major projects this year. The first was an outreach survey of all AALL chapters to learn about recruitment activities and needs. Each committee member contacted several chapters via telephone or email and asked the following:
- What kind of recruitment efforts are they undertaking?
- Are there any regional activities that our committee could assist with?
- Are the chapter officers and committee members aware of the RLLC website resources?
- May the RLLC place contact information on the RLLC website, listing one or more spokespersons from your chapter who would be willing to speak with individuals from your area who are interested in law librarianship?
- Is there any other support that the chapters would like to see coming from AALL nationally or through RLLC?
We received responses from 30 of AALL's 31 chapters. We concluded that “[t]he future of both AALL and the profession of law librarianship can be greatly enhanced by concerted, well-funded recruitment efforts. Our membership is rich with ideas, some already implemented at the chapter level.” We also recommended both short- and long-term actions that should be undertaken, in conjunction with the work of the Special Committee for Developing Law Librarians for the Future (DLLF). RLLC chair Barbara Traub presented a written report (copy on file at AALL Headquarters) to DLLF when the latter met at AALL headquarters in February. The report includes specific data about local recruitment efforts.
Our second major project was to produce a new brochure about law librarianship. The older “Finding Your Way in the Information Age” had not been in print for quite a while, and there were many requests for printed material to distribute at career fairs and similar events. The new brochure, “Careers in Law Librarianship” is colorful, concise, but full of just the right information to illustrate the many facets and opportunities of our profession. Sample copies are being made available when we ‘unveil’ it at the Annual Meeting in Portland, and supplies will be sent to chapters soon thereafter.
Barbara G. Traub, 2007–2008 committee chair, and incoming committee chair Sarah Mauldin are representing RLLC at the CONELL Marketplace at the Annual Meeting in Portland. RLLC will also have a presence in the activities area of the Exhibit Hall. Our new brochure and business cards bearing the slogan “What's it Like to be a Law Librarian?” with links to the RLLC and AALL webpages, will be on display
During the 2006–2007 year RLLC participated in a web-based seminar about other legal careers for paralegals and legal assistants. We were quite interested in participating again this year, but the host of the seminar, the International Paralegal Management Association, did not run it. We asked that they keep us in mind if they decide to run it again.
We developed and furthered relationships with two other related organizations. Following up on an initiative begun in 2006–2007, the chair worked with NALP (National Association of Law Placement) to have a link to the RLLC website added to NALP's “Alternative Careers for Lawyers: Web Sites of Interest” (found at http://www.nalp.org/assets/296_alternativecareerswebsite.pdf). The RLLC chair and NALP Executive Director James G. Leipold also discussed adding our new brochure to their website, and including a law librarian on the panel the next time a program on alternative careers is presented at their annual conference. Continuing another tradition begun in 2006–2007, AALL had a presence at the ALA Spectrum Professional Options Fair in Anaheim, Ca. in June. Our Board Liaison, Cornell H. Winston, and PLL-SIS Secretary Lynn Connor Merring attended, and distributed information about law librarianship and AALL.
Last but certainly not least, the chair would like to thank 2007–2008 committee members Eric W. Brust, Sarah Mauldin, Cheryl Niemeier, Sara R. Paul, Leah Sandwell-Weiss, Anna K. Teller, Hollie White and Amy J. Wright for all their hard work this past year. Many thanks also go out to Board Liaison Cornell Winston for his support and guidance as well as for representing us at the 2008 Spectrum Scholars Fair at the ALA meeting in June. We also thank our AALL staff liaison, Hannah Phelps. Finally, our production of the much-needed new AALL recruitment brochure would not have succeeded without the terrific input and assistance of Julia O'Donnell, AALL Director of Publications, and her team of designers.
Sarah Mauldin will chair the Recruitment Committee in the 2008–2009 year, and Anna Teller will serve as Vice-Chair/Chair Elect.
Barbara G. Traub, Chair