Law Librarians: Making Information Work
PLL SIS Resource Guide Series


Written from a management perspective, this eight-part series is especially appropriate for law firm administrators and managers who want a quick overview of the key points of an issue and how it may impact the law firm. The guides were written by the AALL Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section and range from eight to 12 pages in length and are available as free downloadable PDFs. Note: the PDF files are large and may take a few seconds to download.




  • Guide #1, How to Hire a Law Librarian (2011)

    This guide walks law firm administrators and managing partners through the steps of hiring a competent law librarian. It helps them assess the information needs of the firm, determine the qualifications of the candidates, ask the right questions during the interview, locate salary information, and make the most out of the opportunity to hire a professional. (It specifically addresses the question of "how big should a firm be before they need to hire a law librarian" by pointing out that it depends upon how the firm and the attorneys use information.) USES: This is a great guide to present to law firm decision-makers when the firm is experiencing a change in library personnel, or when the library is being restructured—in fact, any time that the firm is taking a closer look at how it uses information and how it can maximize its investment.
  • Guide #2, New Roles for Law Libraries (2011)

    This guide will focus on how librarians are expanding their roles with Wikis, Records Management, Legal Lean Sigma, Marketing and Competitive Intelligence, and Knowledge Management offering more value to their law firms with significant impact. Wikis are an excellent way to organize information in a dynamic, paperless environment. Records management is not new, but is becoming more integrated with the flow of information management. Legal Lean Sigma is becoming a standard that some law firms are following in achieving best practices. Marketing and CI are not new, but have more ownership and familiarity with private law librarians.
  • Guide #3, Space Planning for Law Libraries (2011)

    Technology is changing the law firm library. We wanted to make sure that law firm administrators and managing partners had all the facts before they decide to cut the library space in half. This guide walks you through the development of a library space plan, outlines some space design considerations, points out that while the stack space might actually be decreasing, staff space is still very important. In fact, for you private law librarians out there without an office, we specifically address why it is important that the librarian have his or her own private office. USES: This guide is helpful when the firm is considering a move or when they are thinking about reconfiguring their library space.
  • Guide #4, Collection Rebalancing for Law Libraries (2011)

    This guide will talk about how your librarian can take steps to review the existing firm collection, create a collection development plan based on the firm's current and future needs, and develop a process that will ensure access to the best materials in the formats best suited to the needs of the firm’s attorneys. Hopefully, we’ll save the firm money (and overhead!) in the process.
  • Guide #5, The Internet as a Legal Research Tool (2011)

    To help decision makers as well as law librarians take advantage of various free and low-cost Internet resources, this AALL Resource Guide uncovers the mysteries of using the Internet as a legal research tool - the advantages and disadvantages, issues and concerns of using the Internet for legal research, essential criteria for evaluating Internet resources, and various ways to conduct legal research on the Internet. The guide also describes some of the active roles that law librarians can play to enhance legal research experience on the Internet for legal and support staff of law firms.
  • Guide #6, Negotiations in Law Libraries (2011)

    Finely-tuned negotiation skills are crucial for law librarians. Every day presents opportunities for bargaining: human resources, space planning, vendor relations, and contract leveraging. In this guide, you will learn to approach the negotiation process as one of strenghtening relationships. We outline specific steps to follow before, during, and after negotiations and alert you to common mistakes that sabotage the process. You'll even get a reminder to breathe. USES: An essential guide for every professional who wants to work well with others.
  • Guide #7, The Library as a Business Development, Competitive Intelligence and Client Relations Asset for Law Firms (2011)

    A law firm's competitive edge is directly related to its professional talent—including the law libertarian, who is an expert at locating, evaluating, and organizing information. This guide will help firm management see how law librarians can help their firms to: identify potential practice areas and clients, understand market and industry trends, win new client business, and most importantly maximize the firm's investment in marketing. Effective marketing, as well as client resources, are essential for modern law firm profitability.
  • Guide #8, Strategic Planning for Law Firm Libraries (2015)

    This Resource Guide will help law firm management understand how librarians and other information professionals can develop a strategic plan that outlines the library’s direction, goals and objectives for aligning services with the overall strategic initiatives of the law firm, industry trends and client expectations. Strategic planning allows libraries to position themselves to help their firms adapt to changing business trends, mitigate risks, and realize opportunities for growth. In addition, this Resource Guide also serves as a roadmap for librarians that seek to initiate the process of developing a strategic plan for their department.
  • Guide #9, Law Firm Library Intranets (2015)

    Well-designed law firm intranets are powerful tools for sharing knowledge within a firm. They allow easy access to electronic research resources, documents, communication about best research practices, training materials, and much more. They drive people to the most authoritative electronic research materials and knowledge repositories, thereby allowing librarians to spend their time on other strategic and value-added projects. This Resource Guide focuses on the role librarians can play in the selection, design, content population, and maintenance of law firm intranets.