Molly Brownfield is the Director of Research at Kelly IP, LLP.
Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL as a student member while pursuing my MSIS and working part-time at UT’s Tarlton Law Library in Austin, TX. The AALL Annual Meeting happened to be in San Antonio the summer after my first year, and it presented the ideal opportunity to meet people and learn more about the law librarian profession.
Why do you stay a member?
I stay a member of AALL both because I applaud and appreciate the Association’s mission to foster law librarianship and promote its value, and because I have benefited tremendously from my AALL membership. My membership has afforded me countless opportunities for professional and personal growth, including early and ongoing networking opportunities, speaking forums, and leadership training. Plus, I like that it’s an eclectic group of people who have seen all sides of the profession and endured a lot of change and challenges. I am proud to be part of such a group.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
The Annual Meetings have been very valuable to me, particularly the ideas, knowledge, friendships, and experiences that have stayed with me long after the actual Meetings concluded.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
The first Annual Meeting I attended in San Antonio is probably my favorite memory associated with AALL. Going into that meeting, I knew only a handful of law librarians and very little about the profession, so I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I walked away with many new friends, and a new appreciation for the world of law librarianship.
How did you get to your current position from where you started in academia?
The short answer is by being lucky to have great opportunities come my way, and remaining open to taking risks. I loved working in academic law librarianship, but when an opportunity opened up to manage a law firm library, I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t go for it. The same was true for my current position as a practicing attorney and director of research with Kelly IP, LLP. I was presented with an opportunity that offered new challenges, but also capitalized on my past experience. Looking back on everything, I could not have predicted my path but can definitely see in hindsight how every experience helped prepare me for the next one.
In what ways do you apply your background in law librarianship in your current post?
I apply my law librarianship background in many aspects of my current post including tackling complex legal research projects, analyzing and synthesizing information into a usable work product, effectively communicating with colleagues and clients, and staying abreast of relevant legal news and developments. I pursued law librarianship rather than legal practice after law school, and it was my background in law librarianship that ended up positioning me for the ideal opportunity to practice.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Traveling with my husband, Andy, even if it’s just ambling around D.C. together, and horseback riding on the weekends.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I just finished Six Days in Leningrad
by Paullina Simons, and started The Litigators
by John Grisham.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
I love traveling to new places, but my favorite regular travel destinations are those with a lot of personal history and great memories like my family’s lake house in Wisconsin.