Newsletter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS)




 title of the newsletter: The Silverfish


April/May 2004

Vol VIII Issue IV

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Law MLIS Student Profile: Julie Turner

By Carmine Rau, MLIS Day
Tell me about yourself:
I was born in Sydney, Australia and completed my high school education there, plus one year of college (university) studies. I came to the US as a sophomore in college to Colorado and now reside permanently in the US. I went to law school in Washington, DC, which is where I first became aware that there were libraries devoted specifically to law. I used my law school's library, but I also discovered that the Library of Congress had a separate Law Library, where I spent many hours as a student. I remember being impressed by the knowledge of the law librarians; also their willingness to pass on some of that knowledge to students and other patrons alike. My first very positive law library experiences remained with me as a possible career alternative to the actual practice of law. After graduating from law school, I worked for a large law firm in Chicago for several years. This firm also happened to have an excellent law library with law librarians who were regarded as extremely valuable members of the firm. These experiences finally culminated in my decision to apply to the UW Law Librarianship program.

Where do you work?
At the present time, I work part-time in the law library of Davis, Wright,
Tremaine - one of Seattle's largest law firms. I find this experience very helpful because it reinforces what we have learned in the program at UW and also gives some practical experience before entering the full-time job market.

What do you think makes a successful law librarian?
The qualities that I have observed in the law librarians at the Gallagher Law Library (UW) during my reference internship, which are also exhibited by the law librarians at my law firm job: a good basic knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to know where to look for the mass of detailed information that a law library contains and a good manner with patrons of all different knowledge levels and abilities is essential.

There is an ethical issue that law librarians dealing with members of the public face on a daily basis. As they are not practicing attorneys, they are prohibited from giving legal advice. Many patrons come to a law library for legal advice, which means that the law librarian needs to diplomatically explain that they can direct the patron to helpful materials and explain how to use those materials, but they cannot tell a patron how to conduct any type of legal proceedings, or give any advice along those lines. Law librarians in law firms are in a different situation because they provide services for the lawyers and staff in their own firm, not the general public.

What motivates you?
I am fascinated by the study of law and the pivotal role that law plays in every strata of our society. I also really enjoy interacting with people and helping them to find the information they are looking for in the library. A job that combines these two things gives me a lot of motivation. I feel fortunate to have found this profession.

Do you have a favorite cop show?
Cold Case Files. I have a love of history and enjoy stories about the past, but it also fascinates me when a case that is many years old can sometimes be re-opened and solved with the help of new technology. This also appeals to my sense of justice, because the new evidence can reveal that someone has been put in jail for a crime that they did not commit.

What are your hobbies and interests outside work and school?
Hiking, going to concerts and live theater, and, of course, reading books, especially mysteries and historical novels. I also volunteer several hours each month with the Domestic Abuse Response Team run by the Kirkland Police Department, which has been a very rewarding and challenging experience.



"I remember being impressed by the knowledge of the law librarians; also their willingness to pass on some of that knowledge to students and other patrons alike."








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