October 25, 2005
Spotlight on Paul Hellyer
Marshall-Wythe Law Library
College of William & Mary
B.A. 1996, UCLA
J.D. 1999, UCLA
M.L.I.S. 2005, San Jose State University
I began working as a reference librarian at William & Mary in July 2005, shortly after earning my library degree at San Jose State University. This is my first permanent position as a reference librarian. I practiced law for a few years before I decided to pursue librarianship, and so far I’ve found that being a librarian is a lot more enjoyable and satisfying than being a lawyer. I enjoy teaching and doing legal research, and I’m glad to have escaped all the stress, time sheets and long hours that go with being a lawyer.
While I was in library school, I worked as an intern at the University of Southern California, Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) and the Los Angeles County Law Library. I got a lot of experience on the reference desk and taught several classes during my internships, so that by the time I started my job at William & Mary, I already felt very comfortable doing reference and teaching. For anyone who is thinking of starting a new career as a law librarian, I cannot overemphasize the importance of having one or more good internships before starting your first permanent job.
The College of William & Mary is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, a small, historic city near the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to moving out here, I had spent my whole life living in or near Los Angeles, so this has been quite a change for me. On a librarian’s salary, it’s much easier to live in a small city, but I still miss L.A.
The Spotlight on Law Librarians feature is edited by Lee Peoples, Law Librarian Blog Contributing Editor and Associate Director for Faculty, Research and Instructional Services, Oklahoma City University Law Library. Please feel free to recommend a colleague for this feature to Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
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