Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award

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The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1984 to recognize extended and sustained service to law librarianship, for the exemplary service to the Association, or for contributions to the professional literature. The award was renamed the Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award in 1990. This award is the Association's highest honor.


The Marian Gould Gallagher Award is the Association’s highest honor, and recognizes colleagues who over the course of their careers have been leaders in our field and contributed substantially in terms of service to the profession and to AALL. Thus, the award is limited to those who have demonstrated expertise in law librarianship, have collaborated with colleagues and with the broader legal community, have demonstrated forward thinking, have engaged 
both within and outside AALL to build relationships, have been creative in the broadest of senses when doing their work, are recognized experts in legal information, have likely been very innovative, and have had an outward focus in sharing their expertise. Nominees must be or at one time have been a member of the American Association of Law Libraries. The award may be given posthumously.

Application Information:

Download the application

The deadline for nominations is February 1 of each year. Nominations should include either additional supporting letters or the names of the other persons to contact for further information concerning the nominee. Each candidate shall be considered individually and confidentially and will be judged according to the criteria listed above.

Petitions and letter writing campaigns (beyond those letters included with the application) are discouraged and will not be considered in the evaluation process nor will they influence the Committee.

Please email one copy or mail four copies of the nomination form and supporting documentation to Michelle Cosby at

The Award shall be a plaque issued by the American Association of Law Libraries.

Previous Winners:


  • Richard A. Danner, Rufty Research Professor of Law, Senior Associate Dean for Information Services, Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC
  • Karl T. Gruben, Awarded Posthumously, Associate Dean for Library & Information Services, Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Research Center, University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, CA
  • Gitelle Seer, Director of Library and Research Services, Retired, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Mahwah, NJ


  • S. Blair Kauffman, Law Librarian and Professor of Law, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT
  • Judith M. Wright, Retired, D'Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL


  • Timothy L. Coggins, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law Library, Richmond, VA
  • Penny A. Hazelton, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services, University of Washington Gallagher Law Library, Seattle, WA
  • Sarah G. Holterhoff, Associate Professor of Law Librarianship and Government Information/Reference Librarian, Valparaiso University Law School Library, Valparaiso, IN
  • Sarah K. Wiant, Professor of Law, Washington Lee University School of Law, Lexington, VA


  • Robert C. Berring, Jr., Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
  • Janis L. Johnston, Director and Associate Professor of Law, Retired, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law, Champaign, IL
  • Carol Avery Nicholson, Associate Director for Technical Services, Retired, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Durham, NC


  • Carolyn P. Ahearn, Director of Library Services, Retired, Wiley Rein LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Judy Meadows, Director and State Law Librarian, Retired, State Law Library of Montana, Helena, MT


  • Nancy P. Johnson, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services, Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law Library, Atlanta, GA
  • Harry S. Martin III, Henry N. Ess III Librarian and Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, Adjunct Professor, University of Texas School of Law and School of Information, Austin, TX


  • Laura N. Gasaway, Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Frank G. Houdek, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, Southern Illinois University Law Library, Carbondale, IL
  • M. Kathleen Price, Retired, Alexandria, VA





  • Carol D. Billings, Director, Law Library of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
  • Roger F. Jacobs, Retired (2006), Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Kresge Law Library, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
  • Cossette T. Sun, Law Library Director, Bernard E. Witkin Alameda County Law Library, Oakland, CA

2006 No award


  • Charles R. Dyer, Director of Libraries, San Diego County Public Law Library, San Diego, CA
  • Michael S. Miller, Retired Director, Maryland State Law Library, Annapolis, MD
  • Roy M. Mersky, Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and Director of Research, The Jamail Center for Legal Research, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, TX


  • Shirley Hart David, Director, Sacramento County Public Law Library, Sacramento, CA
  • Thomas H. Reynolds, Associate Law Librarian Emeritus University of California School of Law Library, Boalt Hall, Berkeley, CA




  • Marian Boner (deceased), Retired Director, Texas State Law Library, Austin, Texas
  • Francis Gates, Retired Circuit Librarian, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, San Francisco, California


  • Balfour Halevy, Retired Law Librarian, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Adolf Sprudzs, Retired Foreign and International Librarian, University of Chicago Law Library, Chicago, Illinois




1996 No award











1985 No award