A Smarter Way to Make Early and Mid-Career Decisions

AALL Spectrum, Volume 24, Number 3, January/February 2020

Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2020-02

5 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2020

See all articles by Franklin Runge

Franklin Runge

Washington & Lee, School of Law

Alyson Drake

Texas Tech University School of Law

Austin Martin Williams

Georgetown University Law Library

Date Written: January 22, 2020

Abstract

Libraries set themselves apart as safe spaces for people of all ages to learn, explore, and share new ideas. That being said, how comfortable are you talking to your colleagues about making a career move? Do you have reliable information to help you make decisions?

In the summer of 2018, a group of law librarians escaped a conference at lunchtime. They braved the hot weather and an unfamiliar city to find a lunch spot where they openly compared notes on career satisfaction, work/life balance, the role of librarians at different institutions (including management responsibilities), and how to navigate a career move. The people sitting around the table were in their mid-30s to mid-40s and they represented a variety of academic institutions. Each of them had at least seven years of librarianship experience. For some at the table, it was their first honest conversation about their career development since becoming a law librarian. Following that lunch, the conversation kept going.

In March 2019, some of the same librarians presented a program at the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries (SEAALL) Institute on Leadership and Career Development. Their goal with that program—along with this article—is to formalize information sharing about early and mid-career decisions in a safe and productive space.

Keywords: law library, librarians, professional development, career, decision making, AALL, network, mentor, mentoring, management

Suggested Citation

Runge, Franklin and Drake, Alyson and Williams, Austin Martin, A Smarter Way to Make Early and Mid-Career Decisions (January 22, 2020). AALL Spectrum, Volume 24, Number 3, January/February 2020; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2020-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3523919

Franklin Runge (Contact Author)

Washington & Lee, School of Law ( email )

204 W Washington St
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8547 (Phone)

Alyson Drake

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Austin Martin Williams

Georgetown University Law Library ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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