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BIALL Special Interest and Working Groups

There are a number of BIALL special interest groups and shorter-term working groups. Details of the groups are below along with relevant contact details. If you would like general information about the role of special interest groups and/or working groups within BIALL or would like to discuss an idea for a group please contact the BIALL President Elect.

Special Interest Groups

BIALL Academic Law Librarian Special Interest Group (BI-ALLSIG)

The Acadamic group was established in 2008, after Peter Clinch's successful session on standards for academic law libraries at the BIALL Conference in Dublin (June 2008).  The Academic group meets annually at the BIALL Conference in a designated Academic Forum, to discuss issues of specific interest to law librarians in the higher education sector.  The Academic group also has an email discussion list BI-ALLSIG (British and Irish Academic Law Librarian Special Interest Group), which is open to all law librarians working in the academic sector.  It provides an opportunity for academic law librarians ask questions, discuss issues, and be part of our community.  The list can be a tremendous source of information and support to those who may be the only law librarian in their university.  To join the list, please send the following command subscribe BI-ALLSIG FIRSTNAME LASTNAME in the body of an email to; alternatively, go the BI-ALLSIG homepage, and click on Subscribe or Unsubscribe.

Contacts: Terry Dooley (Chair), Jackie Hanes (List Owner), Sue House (List Owner)

BIALL Irish Group

The BIALL Irish Group currently has over 70 members from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our members are information professionals from a range of organisations; law firms, government organisations/departments, professional associations and the academic sector. We meet three times a year to discuss topical issues and to exchange information and ideas. We also run occasional training courses in conjunction with the Professional Development Committee. The BIALL Irish Group has a separate email discussion list which is open to all members of BIALL working in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

For more details contact Sarah Foley.

BIALL Knowledge Management Group

The BIALL KM Group was established in early 2016. The group is aimed at providing a network for professionals working within, or interested in, the legal KM sphere. Various events are planned for 2016, please keep up to date by visiting the BIALL blog and joining the LinkedIn group.

For further information please contact Jon Beaumont, Tim Barlow or Sandra Smythe.


BIALL’s diverse membership includes professionals who are running information services single-handed or with minimal assistance. BIALL Solos was formed to ensure that there is a network for those members who face the unique issues that arise from working alone or in a small team and provides a forum for sharing experiences and seeking advice from peers. The group holds discussions via the mailing list and LinkedIn.

Regular audio seminars are organised by the steering group, allowing members to continue with their professional development from anywhere in the world, without having to leave their desk. We aim to use the latest technology to keep expense to a minimum.

Contact: TBC

BIALL Solos LinkedIn group

BIALL Solos Event Resources

US Law Firms Librarians Network

The US Law Firms Librarians Network is an informal group, set up in December 2001, to provide additional support to those information professionals working in US law firms, or working with US legal information. Professionals based in US law firms may have special concerns that affect them e.g. issues related to contracts negotiated Stateside; working across time zones; working in small teams or in one-man-bands; or specific US legal information databases. The network meets on an ad-hoc basis, with meetings arranged by members on a voluntary basis, and often features product demonstrations. The group is not exclusive to US law firms - if you would like more information please contact TBC.

If you would like to join the group's mailing list please go to the following link:

Working Groups

BIALL Law Firms Benchmarking Survey working group

This working group was sent up to devise a benchmarking survey for knowledge and information services in commercial law firms. This survey is intended as an equivalent survey to the academic benchmarking survey which has been running for a number of years. The group currently intends to send out the first survey around October 2016. The survey will then become the responsibility of BIALL Council and is intended to be run yearly from January 2018.

For further information on the current survey please contact the working group leader Claire Greening.

BIALL Sierra Leone working group

This working group has been sent up to establish how BIALL can best assist law librarians in Sierra Leone in conjunction with the Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network. This is BIALL's current pro bono project and the working group will be in existence until at least June 2017. There are a number of initiatives that the group is currently looking into, including securing donations for law libraries in Sierra Leone, setting up a network of interested members in this country who will provide support and advice to law librarians in Sierra Leone via email and assisting with updating SierraLii.

For background, see the update from Jas Breslin (Sept 2014) and update from Richard Honey in the May 2016 edition of the BIALL Newsletter.

If you would like any further information on this initiative or would be interested in becoming involved with the group please contact the President Elect.

BIALL Skills Benchmarking working group

This working group, led by Karen Brown, was sent up to devise a skills benchmarking document for the benefit of members covering the skills and levels of competencies which should be expected from those working within as a legal information professional. It has been designed to cover all sectors within which BIALL members work and it was launched at the BIALL Conference in June 2016 (see related blog post). The Professional Skills Framework can be found in under Resources & Info.

The BIALL Professional Development Committee is responsible for the framework.