The Legal Division is proud to feature Marie Grace Cannon in its December/January Profiles in Law Librarianship feature:
A Little Bit About Marie:
Marie gained her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Literature from Warwick University in 2010, before beginning her career in librarianship as a graduate trainee for the international law firm Norton Rose LLP. Following her traineeship Marie studied at UCL, completing her MA in Library and Information Studies in November 2012. While studying, Marie ventured in to the academic sector through volunteering at Senate House Library and working at the London Business School. It was also during this time that she first got involved with the SLA when she was awarded the SLA Early Career Conference Award co-sponsored by the Legal Division, and attended the annual conference in Chicago.
Since then she has become a board member of SLA Europe and runs the SLA Europe blog as its editor. Marie has also secured her first professional post at Trowers & Hamlins LLP where she has been an Information Officer for nearly 6 months, and she is looking forward to presenting on the subject of new professionals at the BIALL conference in Glasgow 2013.
Marie is particularly interested in social media, open access and the development of new professionals, and blogs regularly here and can be found on Twitter as @mariegcannon.
A Few Questions for Marie:
What brought you to the legal information industry?
After deciding that librarianship was the career for me, I kind of fell in to the legal sector by accident. As I graduated from university there happened to be a graduate traineeship opening at Norton Rose LLP, which I loved. After testing the waters of academic and public libraries through work experience while studying my Library MA, I realised how much I enjoyed the dynamic and challenging atmosphere of the corporate legal sector.
Where do you see our industry in 10 years?
As someone who has grown up with the Internet, I have seen how much the Web has developed and revolutionized the way people think about organising and searching for information. I think it is extremely difficult to predict what our sector will look like in the future, but I do think there is a great possibility that legal libraries will become paperless, and that this will inevitably create a number of challenges for us as professionals to deal with. Our role will become increasingly focused on training on the use of online resources, marketing the library to reflect its evolved nature, and I also think we may find ourselves advising practitioners on the use of social media, which I find to be playing an increasingly important role in the legal sector.
What are you doing to get Future Ready?
I am doing my best to keep myself up to date on how the library world is developing both inside and outside of the legal sector, and the potential problems that we may face as a profession in the future. In particular I use Twitter to learn what my peers and professional colleagues think is important enough to share with others. I also try and attend as many conferences and events as possible, where I find that meeting and networking with other professionals can give rise to really good discussions on the topics that people feel are of the greatest importance to our work.
Do you have any advice for people looking to break into the legal information industry?
As a new professional, what has become increasingly clear to me is the importance of networking and being willing to get involved, whether through informal discussions on Twitter or more formal activities with professional associations such as the SLA. By volunteering with associations you can learn a variety of transferable skills, and you will get to meet professionals in the industry who can give you advice and support during the early stages of your career, and hopefully beyond. Also, there are a number of conference awards available to new professionals, and I would strongly recommend applying for as many of these as possible as they offer great opportunities to network and further personal development.