Joe Noel …Success Story

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

My interview with success story, Joe

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Joe: I found my current job listed on the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) website. Most jobs for law librarians end up there sooner or later, but a few fall between the cracks, so I also regularly checked my school’s job board, a number of random job sites and listservs, and of course INALJ.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Joe: It’s hard to pick just one because I have never been to one I didn’t like. If I was pressed I guess I’d have to go with the Pritzker Legal Research Center at the Northwestern University School of Law. You just can’t beat the view of Lake Michigan and the beautiful environment in the middle of all the chaos downtown Chicago.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Joe: I can’t pick just one so I’ll narrow it down to two: Michel de Montaigne’s Essays and Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. My reading skews toward non-fiction, which I suppose isn’t that surprising since I’m a law librarian.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Joe: I love that libraries open the world to people. As for library technologies, I don’t think the spaces themselves can be replaced, but anything that provides more and easier access to our great resources makes me happy as well.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Joe: If you’re a law librarian, you should definitely be following King & Spalding librarian Greg Lambert on Twitter (@glambert) and the Three Geeks and a Law blog ( I also follow AALL on Twitter (@AALLNET), because they do a pretty good job re-tweeting other interesting tidbits and sending out job listings as they are posted.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Joe: I certainly don’t consider myself an expert, and am actually inclined to think that much of it has to do with timing and circumstances – two things you just can’t control. But the one piece of advice I would suggest is simply to put yourself out there and talk to people who do the type of job you might be interested in. As librarians, we might all be a bit shy at times, but we are also some of the most helpful people around. If you reach out to people you will likely be pleasantly surprised how helpful they will be.

Two weeks from now I start my first full-time professional job as a reference librarian at the Tarlton Law Library at The University of Texas School of Law. I will also receive my MLIS next month from the University of Illinois LEEP online program. I hold a BS in Economics from the University of Evansville and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School. I worked for one year doing economic development as an Americorps VISTA after college, and for almost five years as a corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps in Chicago following law school. While in library school I interned and worked as an evening reference associate at two law school libraries. Outside of the library I spend a lot of time biking, reading, watching sports – mostly mixed martial arts and basketball, watching documentaries, and traveling.


Republished from 9/2/12 and formerly titled Joe Noel …In Six