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Library May Be Right for Nonpracticing Lawyer

December 08, 1987|From the Associated Press

For law students who are not sure they want to practice law, the University of Michigan has a suggestion on how they could use their legal training: a career in the rapidly expanding field of legal information.

The demand continues to grow for law librarians with a firm knowledge of legal procedure and information technology, according to Margaret Leary, director of the school's Law Library.

"Some law students become disenchanted with the idea of going into practice but want to do some kind of work that uses their legal training," says Leary, who also is a lecturer in the university's School of Information and Library Studies.

"And many students working toward their master's degree in library science have a special interest in law. Both types are excellent candidates for law librarianship."

Lawyers with a need for case briefings and backgrounding, she points out, are faced with an information load that is continually growing, along with the capability to store and retrieve that information through computers.

This has increased the need for librarians with a knowledge of legal procedure and information technology, she adds, with positions available in academic libraries, government libraries, and private libraries in law firms, corporations, and bar associations.

According to the American Assn. of Law Libraries, law librarians are among the highest-paid librarians in the nation. In large academic institutions, Leary says, this can mean salaries of $60,000 to $85,000 a year.

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