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.
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.