March Madness: An Open Love Bracket to our Profession

It’s that time of the year again, when everyone from the POTUS to the office stock boy fills out their brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament.  It has become vogue of late to unveil a tournament style bracket for all sorts of non-sports related things.  My favorite by far is The Morning News Tournament of Books.  It generally features the sixteen most talked about works of contemporary literary fiction published in the previous year and each round is judged by another writer or literary critic.  I’m even thinking of fashioning a pennant from my Swamplandia and Art of Fielding book jackets to wave at my computer each morning when I check in for that day’s results.  That may be the last straw for my colleagues, however, so I’ll refrain from taking my love of lit fiction that far.

Sometimes, after I read alarmist news items about the death of libraries and our profession, I sit and stare at my TARDIS candy jar and ask myself, “If that thing was real, would I go back and choose a different career path?”  The answer is, nine times out of ten, no I would not.  There are things about law librarianship that I would not want to give up.  I’ve decided to put them in tournament form.

It doesn't work, but it does hold candy.

The Regions with seeding (and an explanation if needed):

Marian Gould Gallagher Region 

(1) Working with Legal Information    vs.

(4) Visiting dignitaries – In the past year, our school hosted CNN reporters for talks and Louisiana politicos often stop by the school for visits.

(2)  Every day is a little different      vs.

(3)  Technologically driven collections and services

Roy M Mersky Region 

(1) Working with highly educated colleagues – all of my fellow librarians have graduate degrees.  Most have JD’s.  Some have master’s degrees in other subjects.  It makes for a fantastic working environment!


(4) Pro se patrons – okay, I know.  Sometimes they can be really….taxing, but every once in a while you help one out with their research needs and it feels like you have done some good.

(2) Name brand recognition – When I told my uncle about getting hired at LSU Law he said, “that’s name brand recognition.  People know where you are talking about.  It’s like working at Ford.”


(3) Small enough patron base to really get to know our patrons

Morris L. Cohen Region

(1) Opportunity to teach courses


(4) Not a t0o large of a profession – you get to know other law librarians and it can feel like a small community.

(2) Fantastic professional organizations


(3) Quirky law faculty – Let’s face it, they provide comedic relief sometimes and they are fun to work for.

AJ Small First President of AALL Region

(1) Academic freedom – want to publish an article on technology?  On aviation?  Even a law review article?  Why not?  It all looks good in a tenure review packet.


(4) FCIL Librarians –  we have a whole subset of professionals whose whole job is to provide expertise on foreign and international law.  How cool is that?

(2) Opportunities for further education –  there’s about one lecture a week around here that I want to attend.  Next week it’s “The Pros and Cons of Legalizing Prostitution.”  Sounds like an interesting brown bag lunch to me.


(3) Continual output of legal information – it never seems to stop!

So, who would you have in your Final Four?  Did I leave a worthy reason out of the tournament, outside of the proverbial “bubble”?

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