On June 30, the Board of Governors added the categories of law librarians, legal administrators, and court administrators as affiliate members. They join the paralegal class in that ranking, meaning the four professional groups can serve on committees or join sections, but they cannot vote on issues or hold office.
"This is a natural extension to paralegals which took place a few years ago," said ISBA Membership Committee chair Bill Jonas in South Bend. "These are professions closely related to the law, and the abilities they bring to the table can be very, greatly mutually beneficial. If they are engaged in discussions with the practicing bar on issues, and we can provide the forum for that to occur, that's nothing but good."
A law librarian is defined as someone with a master of library science or doctorate in jurisprudence, or master's degree in a related field working with legal information in a library or legal information center or law firm, government agency, law school, or court.
Meanwhile, a legal administrator must devote 75 percent of his or her time performing management responsibilities of a private firm, legal service clinic, corporate legal department, college or university legal department, governmental agency, court system, or charitable group. Court administrators are focused specifically on a Hoosier court or judicial body.
People must be at least 22 years old and be in good moral standing. Membership costs $60 a year for the first three years, and then $85 and $110 in progressing years. Applications are available on the ISBA's Web site at www.inbar.org.