Category Archives: Just for librarians

Save the Date: PLI’s Lunch & Learn @ AALL Boston

Are you attending the 2023 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Boston this summer? Join us for a luncheon to reconnect and learn what is new with PLI, including enhancements and upgrades to PLI PLUS. 

The luncheon will take place on Sunday, July 16 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Email us at to RSVP if you will attend, and we will include location details in your confirmation email. 

Happy National Library Week from Our Library Team to Yours!

Back row: Alexa Robertson (left), Ian Galloway, Annie Coreno, Emily Valentine, Kim Roma, Kay Mitchell; front row: Karen Oesterle (left), Mary MacLeod, Jennifer Fiore, Nora Elkind, Christina D’Ercole.

As information professionals living in the information age, librarians are more vital than ever. We are proud to work with so many amazing librarians and knowledge workers to provide attorneys, students, and legal professionals access to expert-authored legal analysis and practice-oriented content.

There’s More to the Story: Hidden Treasures on PLI PLUS

“Amusing” is perhaps not the first word to come to mind when describing the content you find in a legal research database. But every once in a while, you’ll come across a chapter on PLI PLUS that causes pure delight. In honor of the theme of this year’s National Library Week — “There’s More to the Story” — we’ve scoured our database to present a handful of fun, offbeat, zany, or just plain fascinating tidbits from the depths of PLI PLUS.

Anyone who practices intellectual property law surely has heard of the monkey selfie and the infamous whiskey-branded dog chew toy. Equally endearing (and hilarious) are the descriptions of feline exercise in this chapter from 2020’s Patent Fundamentals Bootcamp course handbook:

Chapter 16. Examiner Interview Script for Method of Exercising a Cat

Snippet: This method recites method of inducing aerobic exercise in an unrestrained cat; and directing an intense coherent beam of laser light … in a vicinity of the cat. Redirecting the light to induce the cat to chase it. We are not inducing humans to chase the spot from the laser pointer.

For a dose of celebrity drama, check out this chapter from the 2016 course handbook Fundamentals of Taking and Defending Depositions, which features a transcript from a deposition in which Lady Gaga testifies against her ex-best friend/former assistant:

Chapter 5. S.J. Germanotta, Deposition Transcript, Case 1:11-cv-09128-PGG (January 30, 2013)

Snippet: Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking YSL to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission.

In this lively transcript from last year’s Advertising Law Institute, you’ll find a hysterical sequel to a classic children’s book, in which the main character is all grown up and a lawyer:

The Advertising Lawyer and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Snippet:  In high school and in college, he thought he was a real bad dude. And he started smoking and maybe hanging around with a rough crowd. But I have good news for you. He turned things around, and he eventually went to law school.

The artist Banksy makes an appearance alongside a succinct history of graffiti and a fascinating discussion of Street Art and the law in this chapter from the popular PLI treatise Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Investors, Dealers & Artists (Fifth Edition):

Chapter 12: Moral Rights

Snippet: Although, from the 1960s on, a number of these artists of the street sought to initiate political change and enhance community awareness of particular issues through their art, the public largely viewed the early graffiti artists as vandals and few supported their work.

The treatise Trial Evidence Brought to Life: Illustrations from Famous Trials, Film and Fiction is chock full of pop culture. We’re particularly fond of the chapter that recalls Marissa Tomei’s superb performance as an expert witness in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny:

Chapter 14. Expert Testimony and Lay Opinion Testimony

Snippet: Well, my father was a mechanic, his father was a mechanic, my mother’s father was a mechanic, my three brothers are mechanics, four uncles on my father’s side are mechanics.

Finally, as members of the law librarian community, this chapter from 1997’s Managing the Law Library course handbook is especially dear to our hearts. Some might call it outdated, but we see it as an amusing reminder of how far our profession has come in the last several decades. It also illustrates how librarians are always looking ahead — because there’s more to the story!


Snippet: Will publishers replace CDs altogether by licensing contents on the Internet for access and downloading?

Meet Our AALL 2022 Raffle Winner: Tom Kimbrough

At the 2022 AALL Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, PLI raffled off a gift certificate to Spa Finder. We are pleased to announce this year’s winner is Tom Kimbrough, Associate Director for Collection Development at Underwood Law Library at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. In keeping with tradition, Tom kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog. Read on to learn more about Tom’s work at Southern Methodist University, his start in international law, the article that changed his life/career, and more.

Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you become a librarian?

Prior to becoming a law librarian, I spent eleven years as a transactional lawyer at four different law firms in three countries, including as a senior associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Korea practice groups at the Hong Kong office of Baker & McKenzie and as an associate in the Corporate Finance, China, and Korea practice groups at the Beijing office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.  I regularly worked on projects in China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Guam.  That fun pretty much ended once my second child came along and I basically had a choice of whether to try to save my law career or save my marriage/family life.  The precise moment of truth came in December 2003 when the partner I worked for the most told me I needed to relocate to New Delhi for four-to-six months for a big new project (representing Samsung Electronics in a new mobile phone supply network contract with an Indian counterparty).  My reply was to submit my resignation.

I had no idea what I would do next until I stumbled across (“googled across?”) Mary Whisner’s wonderful article “Choosing Law Librarianship: Thoughts for People Contemplating a Career Move,” which changed my life.  I moved from Hong Kong to Seattle/Mukilteo, spent a year as a volunteer working with Lettice Parker at the Snohomish County Law Library in Everett, and then enrolled in the University of Washington’s law librarianship program.  After graduating from UW, I was offered a job as a Foreign & International Reference Law Librarian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and now, sixteen years later, I am still very happily at the SMU Underwood Law Library as the Associate Director for Collection Development.

What do you like most about your job as Associate Director for Collection Development at SMU’s Underwood Law Library?

I enjoy the diverse combination of teaching students, doing research projects for faculty, and selecting new materials (print and electronic) for our law library’s collection.  This mix of various responsibilities keeps the work fresh and exciting.  And I am very fortunate to work with an extremely talented and kind group of colleagues who get along fantastically and thoroughly respect each other’s abilities and expertise.  It is by far the most harmonious work environment I have ever experienced, and I hope to go on for another decade at least.

Which PLI publication do you most frequently recommend to students and/or faculty?

I teach a course on International & Foreign Legal Research (three credits) in the SMU Law School.  I spend one class session discussing the legal systems of four very different non-U.S. jurisdictions (P.R. China, Iran, Kenya, and North Korea) from a comparative perspective.  When I discuss China I often refer my students to the interesting and useful panel discussion provided in PLI’s Doing Business in and With China 2021, which I enthusiastically recommend to my students as providing valuable information on many legal and practical issues facing lawyers who advise clients with projects in China.  Because this excellent resource is available on the PLI PLUS platform to which the SMU Law Library subscribes, it is easy for my students to access it.

What did you think of this year’s conference? What was the highlight for you?

I greatly enjoyed and learned from this year’s AALL conference in Denver.  For me the highlight was AALL Program H-4 “Shameless Self-Promotion for Law Librarians: How to Get Visible, Benefit Your Career, and Impact Your Profession (While Having Fun).”  I am currently trying to promote, especially to law students and young lawyers, my recently-published law journal article “Law Firm Dynamics: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game,” 75 SMU L. Rev. F. 241 (2022). I believe that my article provides useful advice to lawyers working in, or planning to work in, law firms, and I greatly appreciated the suggestions that the panelists at this AALL program provided me to try to enhance the visibility of my article.  If you know any law students or young lawyers, please consider forwarding the link to my article to them. 🙂

PLI Librarians Head West: A 2022 AALL Photo Essay

Earlier this month, the PLI librarians traveled to Denver, Colorado, to attend the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Here are some of the highlights from our trip.

At the Colorado Convention Center, where this year’s conference was held, we were greeted by a Big Blue Bear.
PLI’s president, Sharon L. Crane, speaking at the luncheon we hosted to celebrate the PLI PLUS platform’s 10th anniversary. Alexa Robertson, senior director of legal info serv & electronic publishing, also spoke at the event, followed by Kay Mitchell, associate director of library relations, who gave a live demonstration of the newly designed PLI PLUS platform.
PLI was proud to sponsor the inaugural Diversity Reception for Social Justice hosted by the Black Law Librarians SIS.
PLI President Sharon Crane speaking to attendees of the inaugural Diversity Reception for Social Justice, hosted by the Black Law Librarians SIS.
Karen Oesterle, PLI’s associate director of legal research development, poses at the conference’s photo booth.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth. It was great to see you! Visit our Training Center for digital versions of all the flyers and booklets from our booth.

PLI @ AALL 2022 – See You Soon!

As a proud Bronze-level sponsor of this year’s AALL Annual Meeting and Conference, our PLI team is looking forward to catching up with the law librarian community in Denver! After two years of remote meetings, we are excited to reconnect in person.

On July 17, our President, Sharon L. Crane, will be attending and speaking at a luncheon in celebration of our PLI PLUS platform’s 10th anniversary.

We are also pleased to be sponsoring and attending the invitation-only inaugural Diversity Reception for Social Justice hosted by the Black Law Librarians SIS.

We hope you will stop by Booth 901 to say hello, see a demo of our updated PLUS platform, and learn more about how PLI can serve you and your organization. You can also enter our raffle to win a Spafinder Gift Card — PLI PLUS got a “glow-up” and so can you!

Not attending this year? Check back later this month for a recap of our trip!

AALL 2022: Visit Us at Booth #901!

Next week Practising Law Institute will be at the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Denver, Colo., celebrating our profession and the experts who provide meaning to our organizations. We know with all the interesting sessions and networking events taking place, your conference schedules may get booked fast—so be sure to save some time to visit us at the PLI booth!

You’ll find us at booth #901, where you can see a live demonstration of the recently redesigned PLI PLUS and learn about new additions to the PLI Press catalog. And be sure to enter our raffle to win a gift certificate to a spa near you — PLI PLUS got a makeover this year, so we figured one lucky winner should too!

Find us at booth #901 at the Colorado Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

If you’d like to arrange a time to meet with someone on our team while at the conference, please contact your dedicated library relations manager or email

National Library Outreach Day

While we do not have a bookmobile (although some of you may remember the Discover PLUS bus), PLI librarians strive to regularly connect with PLI customers and to meet you where you are, whether that is at home, at the office, or on the go.

In addition to regularly meeting with customers to provide in-person and online training on the PLI PLUS platform, we…

  • Host monthly webinars to highlight PLI resources in a given practice area while also demonstrating the overall functionality of the research database. Learn more.
  • Create video tutorials and other quick reference guides. Check out the full list of training materials in our Training Center.
  • Post about new and popular PLI publications on Twitter. Follow us at @PLI_Librarian
  • Attend conferences and host events to meet in-person and virtually. Stay tuned for AALL news.