Alexis on joining AALL as a student member and how the AALL Mentor Match program has helped her build her network
Alexis Branham is an MLIS student in the School of Computing and Informatics at IUPUI and a Legal Content Specialist at BakerHostetler in Cleveland, Ohio.
WHY DID YOU JOIN AALL?
Two years ago, I started my MLIS program and was encouraged by every single one of my mentors to join AALL. They believed that it would be a great place for me to learn about what was going on in the profession and help me prepare for my future career.
WHY DO YOU STAY A MEMBER?
I have remained a member because my membership helps me stay up to date on anything new happening in the profession. I have found the AALL weekly KnowItAALL emails to be invaluable! The most important articles released by experts and well-respected professionals are at my fingertips and have already allowed me to surprise a new supervisor with my awareness of current events. Likewise, I have utilized the mentoring program to connect with professionals who have provided me with deep insight and advice from their own personal experiences.
WHAT ONE MEMBER BENEFIT IS MOST VALUABLE TO YOU?
As someone who is technically still a student, the most valuable benefit to my membership is the direction it provides to someone who is new to the profession. I have utilized the Body of Knowledge to better understand what it means to be a legal information professional, I have used the Knowledge Center to sign up for free webinars, I read AALL Spectrum to stay abreast of timely topics and have enjoyed free access to resources such as HeinOnline. Without AALL, I would be stuck finding all this information on my own!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY ASSOCIATED WITH AALL?
I haven’t been with AALL that long, so I hope that my best memories are yet to be made! However, I have very much enjoyed the relationship that I have built through the mentoring program. The mentor I was matched with has answered questions, helped me think about the profession differently, and even assisted me with preparing for job interviews! The best part is that I now have a good friend that I feel I can count on for the duration of my career and believe that my mentor feels the same!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I spend my weekends hiking in the nearby parks and I enjoy reading and listening to jazz music. Right now, I am working full time and am finishing up my MLIS so most of my free time is spent studying and completing projects for my program. I plan to rebuild my list of hobbies post-graduation.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I have varied interests when it comes to reading. In my free time, the books I have read most recently are: If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan-Doyle (audiobook), and Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL/VACATION DESTINATION?
I love to travel! I had not been outside my home state of Indiana before starting college, but I have traveled pretty extensively since then. Between 2011 and 2016 I traveled to seven different countries. My favorite places were Iceland and Cambodia. My twin sister and I were planning a trip to Greece for our birthday this year, but that fell through due to COVID-19. We’re hoping to replan the trip when circumstances allow.