PLL Member Resources

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Benefits of Membership

The Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries was established in 1977 to “improve the quality and service of private law libraries by emphasizing the goals, needs, and special interests and to represent its members’ interests and concerns within AALL.” Today, PLL is one of the largest SISs in AALL, and has grown to more than 1300 members across the United States. The issues targeted by the organization have expanded to include the future of legal research instruction, the development of information technology, and the revolution in law firm structure and management. Among the benefits are:.

  • Advocacy/Community/Leadership: By identifying opportunities to serve on the AALL Board, Committees, Caucuses, and Task Forces, PLL has worked to promote its own members to represent specialized and relevant concerns with regard to Consumer Advocacy, Diversity, and the Economics Status of Law Librarians; ; for improvements to the AALL Library Procurement Process and Annual Meeting; as well as in the areas of Law Student Research Competencies, Membership Mentoring and Development, and Government Relations. PLL helped co-found the blog called “On Firmer Ground, “with an overarching mission to promote the value that law firm librarians bring to the business and practice of law. Seven international law librarian associations have joined PLL in sponsoring this effort.
  • Communication and Networking: Through its e-publications, website, Linkedin Communities, Blogs, Wikis, and ListServ, PLL provides ways to maintain an effective internal communication structure among its members and other professional communities. The Section has internal Groups which focus on Competitive Intelligence, Corporate Librarians, Independent and Solo Librarians, Intellectual Property, Knowledge Management, Records/Conflict Management, and Technical Services, which also communicate through Linkedin.
  • Media Relations and Marketing: In addition to many outreaching communications and publications to promote the value of law firm librarianship, PLL has produced six well-regarded Resource Guides. The topics include: How to Hire a Law Librarian, New Roles for Law Libraries, Space Planning, Collection Rebalancing, Using the Internet as a Legal Research Tool, Negotiations, and The Library as a Business Development, Competitive Intelligence and Client Relations Asset for Law Firms. Prominent and knowledgeable members are identified and contacted as sources for articles in publications of other professional entities, and speakers
  • Professional Development: The PLL Education Committee is its largest, and includes SubCommittees which produce frequent, targeted Webinars, exemplary AALL Conference Programming, and the PLL Summitt—an annual day-long session devoted to the exciting and continuous changes in the field of law librarianship as well as the legal profession, and law firm management.

PLL Grants and Awards

  • Grants: PLL/makes funds available to cover the cost of transportation to the AALL Annual Meeting, and to attend the PLL Summit, usually held right before the Conference. All PLL members are eligible and are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to obtain support for their attendance at these professional meetings.
  • Awards: PLL gives two awards each year, one for a newer member and one for a more seasoned member: The PLL Emerging Leader award is designed to recognize a member in the early stages of his/ her career who has already made significant contributions to the Private Law Libraries SIS and shows outstanding potential for continued service and leadership within the SIS and the profession. The Service to PLL award is designed to recognize a member who has provided significant service to the Private Law Libraries SIS.

For more information, see the Grants Committee and Awards Committee pages.


New Member Information

New members must designate PLL as the Special Interest Section they wish to add to their AALL Membership. There is a $20 fee in addition to the normal AALL Membership Fees. You may download the brochure here.

The PLL Membership Committee works with the AALL Membership Staff to identify incoming members of the Special Interest Section, as well as potential members from among others joining AALL who may not be aware of the targeted resources and benefits offered by PLL. Future plans include outreach to local library schools via the Chapters, increasing involvement and support to the Conference of Newer Law Librarians at the AALL Annual Meeting, and presenting the benefits of having a Law Librarian to local Bar Associations and Chapters of the Association of Legal Administrators.