Joseph Lawson

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Joseph Lawson is the Deputy Director at the Harris County Law Library in Houston, Texas. 

Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL while working on my MLIS for the networking and educational opportunities. As the only national association dedicated specifically to law librarianship, AALL was the clear choice for my limited professional development budget.

Why do you stay a member?
Opportunity. AALL is full of opportunities to stretch your limits as a law librarian. Whether that’s meeting colleagues who can challenge you, presenting a program at an annual meeting, or writing an article for LLJ, AALL presents an opportunity for anyone in the profession to grow and succeed.

What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
The Annual Meeting. There really is no better benefit than the chance to meet with and learn from colleagues in person. Virtual officemates are great and all, but sometimes you just need to have a buffer-free conversation.

What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
Sharing deep dish pizza with colleagues at the 2015 Management Institute. The Institute itself was a fantastic experience and I met a lot of great people. At the end of the day, we discovered that all of the Chicagoans went home and left the out-of-towners to fend for themselves. I grew up in the Midwest, so even though I flew in from Houston, I had a recommendation for deep dish nearby. A group of relieved colleagues who hailed from New York to California and Minnesota to Louisiana joined me for a two-block hike to Pizzeria Due. We all had a pretty good time.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My wife and I welcomed a baby girl into the world last June. At 7 months, Maggie is already running the show and I like to spend my free time working on being a good dad.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor… sign of the times, I guess. 

What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Indiana. Perhaps that’s not the most glamorous place for some, but it’s where my wife and I grew up and where we go to visit a lot of family. I’m especially thrilled on those rare occasions when I get to visit the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in my hometown of Michigan City or to take the South Shore Line to the Randolph Street station in Downtown Chicago. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, trust me, it’s lovely.