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Anyone here pursuing law librarianship?

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 4:26 pm
by tikal
Didn't see a thread for this. I took a couple of advanced legal research courses taught by legal librarians during law school, and really enjoyed them. My understanding is that some places will hire those with just a JD, but that majority require an MLIS as well?

Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 10:31 pm
by tikal
Double posted by accident.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 11:27 pm
by HelloYesThisIsDog
One of my good friends did the law librarianship program at my law school (post JD from different law school). He ended up taking a grant funded position at the law school's library. I don't think he was making wheelbarrows of money but he was doing well, and since it was a public institution he had good benefits. His life certainly was more chill than mine at a law firm.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 9:46 am
by pancakes3
my friend worked in private practice for a couple of years, quit law to do a MS in Library/Information Sciences, and now is in bigfed somewhere at GS 13-ish. i also saw a posting for law librarian at a V50 that was JD/MS-preferred (one, the other, or both) but it didn't have salary information. I'd imagine it's a chill job w a livable wage but job openings are far an few in between.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 10:26 am
by BlendedUnicorn
I'd be worried about it being a dying field but yeah sounds chill as fuck if you can swing it.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 10:54 am
by Nony
Librarianship isn’t going anywhere, but it’s true there aren’t a lot of jobs. I think it’s pretty much a purely academic gig at law schools now, and maybe some court positions (my law school state Supreme Court had a librarian). Like big firms don’t have librarians on staff any more, right?

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:10 am
by BlendedUnicorn
Nony wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 10:54 am
Librarianship isn’t going anywhere, but it’s true there aren’t a lot of jobs. I think it’s pretty much a purely academic gig at law schools now, and maybe some court positions (my law school state Supreme Court had a librarian). Like big firms don’t have librarians on staff any more, right?
Mine does but we recently moved and scaled our physical library way down and I think it's very unlikely we'll hire anyone else.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:22 am
by heythatslife
Biglaw still employs librarians even though physical libraries are going away. Even a transactional associate I get constant reminders to lean on the firm librarians to perform any kind of research (cheaper billing rate and more efficient than me doing it).

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:27 am
by Nony
Oh interesting. I interned for a gov agency that had a librarian when I was there (obviously this was ages ago now), but I haven't seen that once I actually started working, so wasn't sure if it was still a thing.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 11:40 am
by BlendedUnicorn
heythatslife wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 11:22 am
Biglaw still employs librarians even though physical libraries are going away. Even a transactional associate I get constant reminders to lean on the firm librarians to perform any kind of research (cheaper billing rate and more efficient than me doing it).
Having stradled corporate and litigation I've actually found law librarians far more useful in corporate work. Part of that is I don't have as good of a handle on the resources out there for corporate work, part of it is that generally if I'm looking for something in corporate it's easier to describe (ownership structures or disclosures or whatever) and part is that in lit what I'm usually looking for are cases and it's easier to kick it to a junior who has context for what I'm looking for.

And firms will definitely still need to keep a few people on staff to manage all the various research tools they subscribe to and to help with research, but I think it will be a smaller number and not necessarily librarians.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:18 pm
by Kümmel
you guys do know this is manali right?

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:29 pm
by pancakes3
lol, did not know. lol.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:52 pm
by Nony
Oh yes.

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 1:12 pm
by tikal
pancakes3 wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 9:46 am
my friend worked in private practice for a couple of years, quit law to do a MS in Library/Information Sciences, and now is in bigfed somewhere at GS 13-ish. i also saw a posting for law librarian at a V50 that was JD/MS-preferred (one, the other, or both) but it didn't have salary information. I'd imagine it's a chill job w a livable wage but job openings are far an few in between.
When you say "bigfed", are you referring to a federal gov't law library? Or was your friend in a federal position unrelated to his MLIS degree? What was their motivation for leaving private practice?

Re: Anyone else consider law librarianship as a career?

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 1:14 pm
by tikal
heythatslife wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 11:22 am
Biglaw still employs librarians even though physical libraries are going away. Even a transactional associate I get constant reminders to lean on the firm librarians to perform any kind of research (cheaper billing rate and more efficient than me doing it).
Do the firm law librarian positions usually require the MLIS? Or would only a JD suffice?