AALL Annual Meeting Wrap-up
Jul 23, 2019
As a former practicing attorney, I have always felt like an outsider when attending networking events, work conferences, or MCLE courses with fellow attorneys. As a newer law librarian however, I can honestly say that the AALL Annual Meeting felt like family. It feels strange when a work conference can make you feel as welcomed as a visit home or with close friends. But this was my general takeaway from the time I attended the conference in Washington D.C. from July 13th through the 16th. Here are just a few of my takeaways:
The Annual Meeting kicked off with keynote speaker Shon Hopwood, current professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center but also former convicted felon. Hopwood spoke on how a law library saved his life by giving him the direction, drive, and dedication to the law that he found while working at the prison law library. Although he was incarcerated for 12 years, he managed to develop the skills necessary to draft jailhouse petitions that would be heard before the United States Supreme Court. One takeaway from Hopwood’s keynote was that he was rehabilitated in spite of the broken system of incarceration, which garners more recidivism than rehabilitation. But overall, Hopwood attributed the genesis for his love of law to the law library and asked law librarians to consider working at a prison law library to have a practical impact for access to justice.
Finally, another memorable event was the Westlaw’s Customer Appreciation Event held at the Library of Congress. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
Overall, I had an amazing time in Washington D.C. I never attended a work conference that was so welcoming to newer law librarians, making networking with fellow librarians so seamless and comfortable.