Education & Training

Materials created through AALL programs, web programs, online discussions and more.

LISP-SIS Programs at the AALL Annual Meeting


Texas-Sized Access to Justice: A Conversation with Trish Mcallister

The Texas Access to Justice Commission, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 2001, is charged with developing and implementing initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. Led by Executive Director Trish McAllister, the commission’s work includes building partnerships, fundraising, harnessing technology, and working with the legal community. Structured in the form of a fireside chat, this program aims to show how one state has approached civil A2J and how it has succeeded (and sometimes failed) with a number of innovative initiatives. This program is sponsored by the LISP-SIS.

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Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Public and Pro Bono Legal Reference

According to the Sentencing Project, the United States is the world’s leader in incarceration, with 2.2 million people currently behind bars. Including those on probation and parole, nearly 7 million people in the United States were under some form of criminal justice supervision in 2012.  In addition to those currently under supervision, there are innumerable criminal law and procedure related requests received by public law libraries. This program aims to provide a platform of general criminal law information on which reference librarians can build appropriate responses to such patrons. This timely program is an introduction to the topic of mass incarceration in America, as well as a conversation about how to best meet the legal research needs of this large and largely unsophisticated patron group.

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List of suggested readings


Communicating with Everyone: Clear Writing and Expression

Law librarians communicate with patrons with a wide range of learning abilities and educational backgrounds. The complexity of the law adds a unique challenge to this communication. Librarians must convey information about both the substantive and procedural aspects of the law in an accurate manner, while not providing legal advice. Additionally, librarians must make information accessible to patrons. This means translating complicated information into plain, simple, and straightforward language, without losing the subtleties of the law. The program panelists will share techniques and insights relating to clearly communicating the law to non-lawyers. Panelists will discuss best practices for completing written material in the clearest language possible, as well as provide tips on practicing clear verbal communication. A list of resources, including samples and examples of clear writing, will be provided.

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Online Discussions


Five Topics in Five Days:  Service Limits in Public Law Libraries

A coalition of four AALL Special Interest Sections, LISP (Legal Information Service to the Public), GLL (Government Law Libraries), RIPS (Research Instruction and Patron Services) and SR (Social Responsibility) took on the task of shepherding a week‐long online conversation that explored service limits in public law libraries.

Summary of the discussion


Five Topics in Five Days:  Mental Health Issues in Law Libraries

A web-discussion sponsored by the Social Responsibilities SIS, the Government Law Libraries SIS (fka SCCLL-SIS) and RIP-SIS covered topics such as library rules and policies, maintaining mental health at work, security issues, and further resources that discuss mental health topics.

Mental Health Law Resources