Annual Report

PLLIP-SIS Annual Report 2021-2022

Board Members

Marcia Burris, Chair
Christine Sellers-Sullivan, Chair-Elect
Allison Reeve Davis, Secretary
Clarence Robertson, Treasurer
Ramon Barajas, Member at Large
Andre Davison, Member at Large
Chris Laut, Immediate Past Chair

Committee Chairs

Awards: Ronda Fisch
Bylaws: Janice E. Henderson and Johanna Bizub
Communications: Robyn Broughton and Megan Moltrop
Diversity Summit: Abby Dos Santos and Christina McKennerney
Education and Professional Development:  Laurel Evans and Tanya Livshits
Education for the Annual Meeting:  Shari Berkowitz Duff
Grants:  Elaine Knecht
Membership: Marie Calvaruso
Nominations:  Diana Koppang
PLLIP Summit: Abby Dos Santos
Speaker Mentoring:  Barbara Fullerton
Strategic Directions:  Leanna Simon
Competitive Intelligence: Kevin Miles and Mark Gediman
Intellectual Property:  LiMin Fields and Courtney Keaton
Knowledge Management:  Scott Bailey and Saskia Mehlhorn
Records and Conflict Management:  Lynn Fogle
Small and Medium Law Libraries: Debbie Rusin

Strategic Accomplishments

PLLIP continued efforts to provide growth opportunity for members, through ongoing professional development programs provided by PLLIP-SIS committees:  Education and Professional Development, PLLIP Summit committee, and the Diversity Summit committee (in collaboration with BLL-SIS), as well as encouraging and supporting PLLIP Members in developing content for the AALL Annual meeting, through the Education for the Annual Meeting committee.

PLLIP seeks opportunities to support diversity in our membership and profession and enhanced opportunities for all members.  This year we were pleased to fund numerous professional development grants available to PLLIP members, and to provide PLLIP funding in support of the second annual PLLIP-BLLSIS Diversity Summit.

To further facilitate growth opportunities for PLLIP-SIS members, the Speaker Mentoring committee launched in 2021 to help support aspiring PLLIP speakers in proposing, preparing, and presenting AALL annual meeting and other programs and other content.

In addition, a new committee, the Strategic Directions committee was formed in 2021 to draft a new proposed PLLIP-SIS Strategic Plan, to replace the former strategic plan dated 2012-2014.   This committee will continue its work in 2022-2023 and provide recommendations to the PLLIP Board by June 2023.

Committee Reports


Committee members: Ronda Fisch, Chair, Clarence Robertson, Board Liaison, Michelle Gorospe, Alina Kelly, Caren Luckie, Reed Nelson, Leanna Simon, Cynthia Smith, Scott Snipes, and Mary Ann Wacker

2022 Award Recipients:

  • Advocate of the Year – Shari Berkowitz Duff
  • Best Blogger/Writer of the Year – Kevin Miles
  • Distinguished Librarian of the Year – Jennifer Berman
  • Emerging Leader of the Year – Alexis Branham
  • Hall of Fame – Steve Lastres
  • Innovative Professional of the Year – Catherine Monte
  • Vendor/Outside Champion Award – Westlaw Information Management Advisor Team: Wendy Maines, Blythe McCoy, Kim Hurley, Jane Lippmann


Committee members:  Johanna C. Bizub & Janice E. Henderson, Co-Chairs, Patricia Barbone, Mary Jenkins, Caren Luckie & Lillie Murphy

This Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the SIS Bylaws annually, making sure that the SIS Bylaws are in compliance with AALL’s Constitution and Bylaws, soliciting input for changes from the Board or recommendations from AALL, drafting appropriate language, and recommending any changes it deems necessary to the Executive Committee.  Those changes are sent to the AALL Bylaws Committee for review and presented to the PLLIP Board for approval, and then sent to membership for a vote.

This year, the PLLIP Board sought to clarify Art. X: Nominations & Elections. The Committee suggested the following text:

There shall be a nominating committee appointed by the Executive Committee to consist of three – six (3-6) members, none of whom shall be a member of the Executive Committee, and none of whom shall or a be a candidate for office at the succeeding election. Each member of the committee shall serve a term of one year. The chair Chairperson of the Nominations Ccommittee shall be designated proposed by the Chair of the Executive Committee and approved by the Executive Committee.

As required, the AALL Bylaws & Resolutions Committee was contacted and approved the text to be:

There shall be a nominating committee appointed by the Executive Committee to consist of three – six (3-6) members, none of whom shall be a member of the Executive Committee or be a candidate for office at the succeeding election. Each member of the committee shall serve a term of one year. The Chair of the Nominations Committee shall be proposed by the Chair of the Executive Committee and approved by the Executive Committee.

In addition, to help the PLLIP Board and committees better understand and work under SIS Bylaws going forward, the committee is developing a 30 minute webinar to be presented to PLLIP-SIS leadership and committee chairs in Fall 2022.


Committee members:  Robyn Broughton and Megan Moltrup, Co-chairs, Amanda Marshall, Meribeth Sewell, Julie Jones, Amy Weiner, Patricia Barbone, Andrea Guldalian, Mary Cate Matta, Kevin Miles, and Linda-Jean Schneider

The Communications Committee aims to help keep PLLIP members informed of events of interest to them, and to generate and disseminate content promoting the value of private law firm librarians. The committee solicits and sends Member News updates on a monthly basis to highlight PLLIP members’ activities and PLLIP events. The Committee continues to monitor the PLLIP website to keep it updated. The Committee has also been working to keep the On Firmer Ground blog active by reposting member-authored articles, posting write-ups of webinars and other AALL/PLLIP events, and posting original content on topics of interest to the private law librarian and information professional community, and to the broader legal community.

This year the Committee created two new reoccurring series, PLLIP Picks and PLLIP Asks. PLLIP Picks contains book recommendations from the membership, often around a theme or upcoming event. PLLIP Asks compiles answers to a question that is posed to the membership via My Communities.

The committee has also begun work revamping the collection of PLLIP Resource Guides.  The first guide to be published in 2022 is Competitive Intelligence.

Diversity summit

The 2022 Diversity Summit Committee consisted of the following PLLIP and BLL-SIS members: Abby Dos Santos (Chair), Christina McKennerney (Co-Chair), Chris Laut (Board Liaison), Cynthia Brown, Marjorie Crawford, Andre Davison, Yolanda Jones, Zanada Joyner, Rachel Lyles, Janet McKinney, Denise Pagh, and Holly Riccio.

The second annual Diversity Summit “The Power of Intersectionality” was held as a virtual event on Friday, February 25, 2022, with 118 registered attendees from across AALL.

The Summit featured Keynote speaker Haben Girma, the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice.  The keynote was followed by an interactive workshop by Leverage to Lead, and concluded with a law librarian panel “Diversity Shares: Initiating Action” moderated by Rachel Lyles and featuring panelists Kristina K. Alayan, Cynthia Brown, Andre Davison, and Cas Laskowski.

This event was made possible by PLLIP funding, in addition to a $1,300 grant from the AALL Continuing Education Grants Program and Bloomberg Law, and a donation of $1,000 from the Littler Foundation.  In addition, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe donated the use of their Zoom account.

It was important for both PLLIP and BLL-SIS to continue the Diversity Summit, which was inaugurated in 2021 after a difficult 2020 that prompted important conversations regarding race, both in the world and in our profession.  Responses to the 2022 summit were highly positive, and the committee hopes to continue and expand our efforts in the coming years

Education and professional development

Committee members:  Laurel Evans and Tanya Livshits, Co-chairs, Alexis Branham, Diane Deng, Jordan McCorison, Kevin Miles, Margaret Purdy, Michelle Trovillo, Ana Toft Nielsen, and Julie Jones

This year the committee presented four webinars:

  • “Best Practices in Patent Searching”, presented by Dominic DiMarco, October 29, 2021
  • “Contract Negotiations”, featuring panelists Diana J. Koppang, Michelle Trovillo, and Ramsey B. Donnell, and moderated by Laurel Evans, February 22, 2022
  • “The Battle of Words: Dictionary Definitions and the Law”, presented by Jonathan Germann, March 3, 2022
  • “ESG: Investing in your Portfolio”, featuring panelists Kevin Miles, Leanna R. Simon, and Elizabeth Whittington, and moderated by Andre Davison, May 19, 2022

Education for the annual meeting

Committee members:  Shari Berkowitz Duff, Chair, Sarah Hooke, Kevin Miles, Megan Scanlon, and Leanna Simon

The Education for the Annual Meeting committee solicited programs from PLLIP members and recommended a program to be sponsored by the SIS:  “Can’t Afford a Consultant? Go In-House Instead: How to Evaluate Key Online Resources to Showcase Legal Information Professionals’ Value at Any Institution”

The committee also hosted a PLLIP webinar on the AALL proposal process:  “Gearing up for Denver – Tips and Tricks for Submitting Annual Meeting Program Proposals”, October 27, 2021.

The committee highlights programs of interest as well as those featuring PLLIP members as speakers, moderators, or coordinators, and publishes this information to MyCommunities and in the PLLIP member news.

The committee has provided mentorship to PLLIP members proposing Annual Meeting programs, and looks forward to collaborating with the new Speaker Mentoring committee on outreach and other materials/resources prior to the next AALL Annual Meeting Call for Proposals.


Committee members: Elaine Knecht, Chair, Lee Carnes, Whitney Brionez, and Trisha Petitt

The six PLLIP-SIS members who were awarded Annual Meeting Registration and Travel Grants for the (cancelled) 2020 meeting were offered the opportunity to use those grants at the next live meeting. All of them are expected to register for, and travel to, Denver.

Grants awarded in 2021-2022

  • 2022 Annual Meeting – Lindsay Carpino
  • Leadership Academy – Shivani Nacker, Brandy Ellis, Ana Toft-Nielsen, Amanda Marshall
  • CI Strategies & Analysis – Caren Luckie, Allison Reeve Davis
  • 2020 Annual Meeting grants carried over – Katie Barrett, Autumn Collier, Eugene Giudice, Ronit Barenboim, Nicole Guerrero, Megan Moltrup
  • Complimentary PLLIP Summit registrations were awarded to two library students


Committee members:  Marie Calvaruso, Chair, Blythe McCoy, Kathy Taggart, and Zoraida Michaud

The committee continues its outreach efforts. As of May 31, 2022, PLLLIP-SIS numbered 1284 members.


Committee members:  Diana Koppang, Chair, Lisa Fricker, Michelle Trovillo, Saskia Mehlhorn, and Rita Young

The Nominations committee presented the following slate of candidates for 2022-2023:  For Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, Christina McKennerney and Amy Weiner.  For Secretary: Juli Stahl and Ana Rosa Ramirez Toft-Nielsen.  For Member-At-Large:  Alexis Branham and LiMin Fields.

Those elected were:  Christina McKennerney, Juli Stahl, and Alexis Branham.

All the candidates are thanked for their willingness to serve PLLIP.

Pllip summit

Committee members:  Abby Dos Santos (Chair), Janet McKinney (Co-Chair), Chris Laut, Christine Sellers Sullivan, Erik Adams, Kathleen Brown, LiMin Fields, Lisa Fricker, Barbara Fullerton, Theresa Greco, Janice Henderson, Dana Jones, Amanda Marshall, Saskia Mehlhorn, Zoraida Michaud, Rita Young, Cynthia Brown, Alexandra Olson, Elizabeth Whitaker, Kathy Taggart, Kevin Miles, and Holly Riccio.

The “2022 PLLIP Summit: Rocking New Roles, Responsibility, and Realities”, was held as a virtual event on Friday, June 24, 2022, and focused on the theme of marketing the expanding roles of law librarians.  Approximately 300 people registered for the summit, which had varying attendance throughout the day, with a maximum of 275 attendees at any time during the day.

The summit featured keynote the Honorable Scott U. Schlegel, a pioneer in using technology in Louisiana state courts, interviewed by Erik Adams about breaking out of the four walls of a court and how he used online platforms to recreate the physical space people are used to, and about his rebranding as an “online judge”.

The summit was followed by a panel:  “Embedded Librarianship and Library Visibility Since the Pandemic”, moderated by Greg Lambert and featuring panelists John DiGilio, Dave Shumaker, and Rita Young, discussing the impact the pandemic has had on embedded librarianship in practice.  The panel also discussed how aspects of embedded librarianship can increase library visibility within organizations.

A second panel “Promoting Change: Takeaways and Strategies for Being More Visible” was moderated by Barbara Fullerton and featured panelists Kara Mack, Brian McCann, Holly Pinot, and Ana Ramirez Toft-Nielsen discussing how their departments and individual positions have changed in the past few year, and how they have been able to promote themselves and their departments to others in their firms.

The day concluded with a personal branding workshop led by Jennifer Ransaw Smith, a nationally recognized Personal Elevation™ Architect, Leadership Development Mentor, and Personal Brand Strategist.  Smith based the personal branding workshop for the 2022 PLLIP Summit on the theme: “If you are so great, how come nobody knows who you are.”

In addition to the four sessions , the day included three breaks with networking opportunities facilitated through breakout rooms, with topics: Reactions to Sessions; Marketing the Library; Technology Tips; Onboarding; Building Relationships with Your Team; Hybrid Working; and Open Topic.

The 6-hour virtual event was sponsored by LexisNexis ($5,000) and Thomson Reuters ($5,000), and Bloomberg Law sponsored the virtual social hour after the Summit.  This year Ropes & Gray donated the use of their Zoom account for the event.

Speaker mentoring

Committee Members:  Barbara Fullerton, Chair, Erik Adams, Kathleen Brown,  John DiGilio, Holly Riccio, Ana Toft Nielsen, Laura Weidig, and Marcia Burris

The Speaker Mentoring committee was formed in 2021 to help support aspiring PLLIP speakers in proposing, preparing, and presenting AALL annual meeting and other programs. The committee seeks to pair highly experienced presenters who are ready to give back, with newer voices within PLLIP membership who would benefit from mentorship in the area of presenting and professional speaking.

To support this new charge, the committee has reviewed available resources from other organizations, drafted procedures and guidelines for the PLLIP Speaker Mentoring committee and program, created a speaker toolkit, identified organizational liaisons, and launched a 2022 Pilot program.  The committee plans to connect with aspiring mentors and mentees at the Annual Meeting in Denver, and looks forward to further developing and expanding this mentoring program in the coming year.

Strategic directions

Committee members:  Leanna Simon, Chair, Marcia Burris, Diane Deng, John DiGilio, Chris Laut, Catherine Monte, Lillie Murphy, Lynn Murray, Holly Riccio, and Diana Koppang

The Strategic Directions committee was formed in 2021 to draft a new proposed PLLIP-SIS Strategic Plan, to replace the former strategic plan dated 2012-2014.   The committee has made significant progress in its first year, including review of prior strategic plans, conducting a survey to assess the priorities and needs of PLLIP members, and drafting initial documents.  The committee will continue its work in 2022-2023 and provide recommendations to the PLLIP Board by June 2023.

Intellectual property

Chairs:  LiMin Fields and Courtney Keaton

The Intellectual Property Committee (Caucus) of PLLIP includes over 125 members interested in intellectual property practice.  The group hosted two roundtables during the year to facilitate discussion of topics of common interest, in December and March.   The Intellectual Property group will have an in-person breakfast meeting at the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting, generously sponsored by Lexis Nexis.

Incoming board 2022-2023

  • Christine Sellers Sullivan, Chair
  • Christina McKennerney, Chair-Elect
  • Marcia Burris, Immediate Past Chair
  • Juli Stahl, Secretary (2022-2024)
  • Clarence Robertson, Treasurer (2021-2023)
  • Ramon Barajas, Member at Large (2021-2023)
  • Alexis Branham, Member at Large (2022-2024)