Forgo the Status Quo: Preparing for the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference

By Michael Feit | Associations

Jul 06

The 110th American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL) Annual Meeting and Conference is scheduled for July 15-18, 2017 in Austin, TX. The theme of this year’s conference, “Forgo the Status Quo”, seems perfect for such an eclectic and vibrant city such as Austin! According to recent attendee surveys, 22% of attendees are from law firm libraries. For that reason, we are excited to attend this year’s conference.

We want to know what our clients want to know.

Below, we offer some suggestions and tips on how best to prepare for the upcoming conference and optimize your time there:

Plan in advance what you want to attend. Prior to the conference, study the conference schedule and decide what programs interest you the most. You have the option of downloading the conference app to your device, making it a handy option for planning on the go and managing your conference schedule ( While you will receive a program upon arrival, come prepared and have the program and the programs you are most interested in attending already highlighted if you prefer paper. As some programs are bound to be more popular than others, try to arrive early to ensure that you can get a seat. Check out the events and meetings scheduled, and map out what events interest you the most.

Schedule time for the vendor hall. Be sure to leave ample time to explore the exhibitor hall and find out what is new and exciting with vendors and databases. You probably won’t be able to do it one day, so plan on popping in once or twice during the conference to connect with vendors and see the greatest and latest offerings. And this is a great time to collect literature on new vendors and databases to share with your colleagues back at your firm.

Bring an extra sweater or long-sleeved shirt, and dress comfortably. Summertime in Austin is HOT, but the Austin Convention Center will be cool. Some conference rooms might be chilly, so come prepared!

Network, network, network! If you attend the conference with colleagues, it might tempting to stick close to them. It’s best to divide and conquer and meet new librarians! And if you go to different programs, you can present what you’ve learned to your colleagues after the conference.

Get Social! If you are on Twitter or Facebook, find the conference hashtag #AALL2017 and follow along for conference news, events, photographs, tips, and commentary. Use #AALL2017 in all of your social media conversations and posts! If you don’t have a chance to attend the conference, this is a great way to follow along.

Bring business cards! Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile before heading to the conference. You may exchange business cards with new folks you meet, but they will likely add you soon after on LinkedIn.

Follow Feit Consulting on LinkedIn to see daily highlights from the conference.

About the Author

Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at