ABOUT the AALL ALL-SIS CST Academic Law Librarian
Tenure and Employment Status Survey
(See also any recent UPDATES)
Back to Survey Main Page
This on-going survey is the work of the AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) ALL-SIS (Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section) CST (Continuing Status/Tenure) Committee.
The information on this survey was gathered from many sources. Initially, the members of the ALL-SIS Committee on Continuing Status and Tenure provided information about their individual schools. Also, a survey conducted by Sally Wise, Director of the Law Library at the University of Miami, in September 2002 on the Law Library Director's listserv provided information from over fifteen law school libraries. Next, the archive of the law-lib listserv was searched for any job announcements that indicated the status of the law librarians at the hiring law school library. These may be somewhat dated, but were used to flesh out the listings in the early development of this web page.
Next, over the past few years, I've e-mailed the directors of all academic law libraries and the members of the committee have urged librarians they know at different schools to contribute their school's employment status information. It is hoped that all schools will verify or update their listing as needed.
NOTE: If the Policy/Manual/Source of Information column for a school is blank but there is status information for that school listed, then the source is an individual's communication with me, but that individual or law school did not indicate a public point of contact to be listed. I have been asking everyone who has described their law school's librarian employment status to me but can't provide a link to or copy of a policy manual if I can list them or someone else at their law school as a point of contact for anyone having questions about their law school's policies on this question. If no one wants to be listed, I'm leaving this column blank.
We have strived to keep terminology uniform, but the variety of job status and security/tenure arrangements at academic law libraries makes this difficult. Where additional information about a particular library's librarian status is available, a link has been provided.
Any comments or suggestions, or information about your law school's librarian status, may be mailed to Brian Huddleston.
(Yes, this web page is firmly stuck in 1996-era html. My morning paper is also black text on a white background with few if any colors and no animation, but it conveys the information I need very effectively.)
March 25, 2009
I've made a few changes this past year without making any more notes. I added
the three schools given provisional approval last year (Charlotte, Drexel, and
Elon) and noticed that and the few others I've added this past year takes this
survey over 90% (barely). The downside to this is that the three new schools
are all in the category of employees at will. Somewhere I have a study of recent
law schools, and that is definitely the trend among them.
December 5, 2007
Wow. I actually HAVE been working on this page on and off since March 2003 as new information trickles in. I have new information and updates for about five schools I'm adding today. Been a busy semester with our self-study committee taking up most of my time for the past two months. So I'm catching up on stuff like this.
March 18, 2003
A law-lib posting on February 28, 2003 indicated that ALWD - the Association of Legal Writing Directors - has conducted a survey of law schools that also includes some information about librarian status. This report is deeply imbeeded in the ALWD frames-based web page, but can be found on the page at this direct link:
The report is by Sue Liemar and is called Who Votes at Law School Faculty Meetings in the United States? This is a Word file and has a column for librarians at each surveyed law school as well as other academic employees - adjuncts, writing instructors, clinicians, etc. It doesn't really have the type of information we are hoping to include for all law schools on this page.
March 25, 2003
Lee Peoples, Head of Reference Services at Oklahoma City University Law Library, has provided me with information he gathered through an informal harvesting of relevant law librarians status information from law school web pages. Several of these have information from schools I didn't have yet, as well as links to some on-line employment manuals. I'll be including this information as soon as I can. Thanks again, Lee!
March 27, 2003
We finally "go public" with this web page as I post a short announcement on both law-lib and the ALL-SIS listserv (just how many subscribe to one and not the other of these two? Or subscribe to just one of any other two or more listservs that commonly carry cross-posted messages? And, yes, it IS spelled "listserv".)
June 20, 2003
I have only now finished adding the rest of the information that Lee Peoples provided for me. He had links for many law schools to the univerisity handbooks or policies about tenure and employment for librarians. Unfortunately, many of these are less than exlicitly clear on the question of librarian status. Parsing dense academese is not a favorite pasttime of mine. So unless it was very clear, I have not put these schools in one of the standing categories of employment status but have included Lee's links and indicated what I could gleam from a cursory scan of the documentation.
We need more contacts from these schools to provide me with information about their librarian's employment status. I got a whopping fourteen schools who responded to my Law-Lib posting back in March. I will re-post that request on the ALL-SIS listserv soon and then at the AALL meeting of the committee, I'll urge everyone to find three or four schools on my master list for which we don't have information and at which they personally know someone and promise to urge them to send me those school's information. We're still not at the critical mass at which this web page is useful, and at which producing a summary is worth my time.
August 6, 2003
Since the annual AALL meeting in September last month, I've been busy with the CST web page, but not this update. We had several people attend the CST Committee meeting and we divied up many of the schools for which we need information. Between everyone there, we had committments to get information for forty-nine other law schools. I've received the details for eight of those schools so far, and they continue to come in. Thanks to everyone who has helped.
Today I also added a chart with the latest statistics of the whole project. Its linked from the frame head above.
November 12, 2003
We're up to 79 libraries included in the survey. Closing in on 50%! Way to go!
March 19, 2004
In preparation for the program I'm doing at SEAALL next week, I e-mail about thirty-eight library directors requesting employment status information about their non-director librarians. As of today I've had replies from fifteen of those schools. This has helped fill in some specific holes I and we're up to ninety-five schools which is just over fifty percent of all law schools listed in the ABA directory..
April 12, 2004
Added three more schools - the tail end of the responses I got from my e-mail messages last month. Also created a page for the SEAALL Presentation that Frank Houdek and I did last month:
Since I got about a fifty percent response rate from e-mail all those directors, and it only took me about a day and a half of effort, I'm going to e-mail all the OTHER directors for which we don't have information (and maybe those that we need to confirm the information we have). With that same response rate, that should get us up into about 130-140 schools. Then we'll only be lacking 40 or 50 and we can focus our efforts on those.
April 20, 2004
I made the list of schools one entire page. The alphabetical navigation links at the top still work, and I think I caught all the internal links that cross-referenced schools by the names that some folks might be more familiar with.
Got one more school, apparently from someone who found out their library wasn't listed (thank you) and once I get some information verified, I'll update the listings. That will bring us up to 99 schools! About to break into the triple digits. Excellent!
Oh, and I made a PDF document of the whole list of survey results so that its easy to print. Only 12 pages long.
June 4, 2004
Yesterday I sent out sixty-six e-mails to the directors of most of the other law libraries for which we don't have any information. Got over twenty replies already. That brings us up to 119 schools for which we have information, or 61.0% of all law school libraries. Interestingly, a large chunk of those are at-will libraries, so in the overall numbers now shown in the summary, 28.6% of school have tenure track, 42.0% have some variety of continuing status, and 29.4% are employees at will. Compared to the numbers from 1984 (see 78 L. Lib. J. 605, 657 (1986)), tenure track status for non-director law librarians is losing ground. Those number, which I presented in my program at SEALL, came from an 87% response rate from the 175 law libraries at that time. 33.3% of the "rank and file" librarians were on a tenure track, and 66.0% were not (and one survey didn't fill in this question).
April 18, 2006
Well, yes, more work has been done than would seem to be indicated by not having added anything here under "Updates" for almost two years. We have 83% of law school covered and have been working on a bibliography of literature related to tenure and employment status for both law librarians and other librarians.
There are now 191 full and provisionally accredited law schools in the U.S. - congratulations to Liberty U. School of Law for being the 191st! I've added them to the survey and am updating everything today.
Back to Survey Main Page