AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
A BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS
WE’RE LEADERS IN LEGAL INFORMATION. The AALL Body of Knowledge (BoK)—designed to serve as a blueprint for career development—defines the domains, competencies, and skills today’s legal information professionals need for success.
DOMAINS: core content areas of expertise
COMPETENCIES: key knowledge areas required for proficiency in each domain
SKILLS: actions demonstrating the required knowledge and experience to appropriately practice the competency
WE STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME. As the profession evolves, so must the BoK. The BoK is future-focused and sets the stage for continued development; regular reviews and updates will maintain the BoK’s relevance as shifts in the profession and industry occur.
BODY OF KNOWLEDGE (BOK) COMPETENCIES SELF-ASSESSMENT
AALL's Body of Knowledge (BOK) Competencies Self-Assessment will help you gauge not only where there is alignment with the BoK, but also where opportunities exist for improvement and enhancement. This tool is self-scored with no right or wrong answers. Use the results to make a professional development plan and complete the competencies tool at desired intervals to measure growth over time. Receive a curated list of AALL educational resources based on your individual responses.
DOMAINS / COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
PROFESSIONALISM + LEADERSHIP AT EVERY LEVEL
Committing to lifelong learning and professional accountability that cultivates communication and collaboration and fosters immediate and long-term goals.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
- Listen actively, respectfully, and meaningfully.
- Develop professional speaking and writing skills.
- Communicate with clarity and confidence.
- Master nonverbal skills, cultural sensitivity, and emotional intelligence.
- Define problems, challenges, and opportunities.
- Identify options and solutions.
- Assess impact and risk of possible solutions.
- Develop flexibility to change direction as needed.
- Implement solutions and maintain accountability.
STRATEGIC PROBLEM SOLVING
- Seek opportunities for creative thinking and solutions.
- Experiment with different strategic models.
- Develop a future-focused outlook.
- Break down silos and barriers.
- Engage stakeholders and explore multiple perspectives.
COLLABORATION + TEAM BUILDING
- Establish a vision.
- Cultivate open communication and knowledge sharing.
- Foster the development of leadership qualities within teams.
- Keep collaborative initiatives moving forward.
- Expand definitions of success and recognize contributions.
- Adhere to professional standards, guidelines, and rules.
- Ensure integrity, accountability, and fairness throughout the organization.
- Cultivate an atmosphere of civility.
- Develop trust and transparent decision making.
CONTINUOUS LEARNING + PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- Perform routine self-evaluation and assess gaps in knowledge.
- Pursue varied opportunities for professional learning.
- Formulate a professional learning plan.
RESEARCH + ANALYSIS
Expertise in harnessing, interpreting, and leveraging legal knowledge and data to create a competitive edge that solves real-world problems and satisfies stakeholders.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
KNOWLEDGE OF LAW + LEGAL SYSTEMS
- Develop basic understanding of relevant legal systems and areas of law.
- Demonstrate ability to identify jurisdiction and legal issues.
- Analyze the interrelationship of primary legal materials.
- Develop expertise in core subjects needed to support the organization.
KNOWLEDGE + NAVIGATION OF INFORMATION SOURCES
- Construct and apply research plans.
- Identify and locate relevant primary and secondary legal authority across subject areas.
- Differentiate among information sources for relevance, authority, and currency.
- Choose the most efficient and cost-effective legal and nonlegal information sources.
- Employ varied finding tools and research methods.
- Keep pace with new tools and content.
CRITICAL EVALUATION + SYNTHESIS OF INFORMATION
- Analyze information and identify the most relevant content.
- Organize information into logical sequence.
- Identify and address gaps in information.
- Integrate findings and analysis into high-quality work product.
ETHICAL USE OF INFORMATION
- Comply with all confidentiality and security requirements.
- Adhere to and advocate for professional and legal guidelines regarding legitimate uses of information.
- Appraise and communicate source authenticity and reliability.
Ensuring and facilitating timely access to relevant legal information fosters sound legal arguments and wise legal decisions while mitigating loss and risk.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
- Formulate a collection development policy.
- Select high-quality, relevant resources.
- Plan expenditures managed to budget priorities.
- Manage the acquisitions workflow.
- Perform collection evaluations and analyses.
- Evaluate and negotiate vendor contracts and licenses.
- Develop and implement resource sharing arrangements.
- Appraise and implement acquisition technologies and systems.
ORGANIZATION + ACCESS
- Organize library resources appropriately for user access.
- Catalog all types of library resources.
- Ensure consistency of metadata classifications.
- Design library systems and services to provide optimal access to resources.
- Evaluate and deploy library systems, discovery layers, and other access systems.
PRESERVATION + RETENTION
- Implement appropriate techniques for preservation and conservation, including policies and procedures for digitization of library resources.
- Establish and follow policies for collection retention and withdrawal of materials.
- Evaluate and implement best practices for special collections.
- Plan disaster recovery strategies.
- Create organizational knowledge management policies and procedures.
- Identify and implement knowledge management technologies and strategies.
- Link library resources and organizational resources using tools such as enterprise search.
- Establish and manage an institutional repository and digital archives.
INFORMATION GOVERNANCE + RISK MANAGEMENT
- Identify and utilize the basic principles of information governance, including developing expertise in enterprise and life cycle management of information.
- Develop and maintain knowledge of intellectual property rights, rights management, privacy, and other legal issues.
- Assess reasonable risks to the collection and protect its security, integrity, and authenticity against internal and external threats.
- Utilize technology to create efficient use and governance of information.
TEACHING + TRAINING
Developing, delivering, and assessing learning opportunities that prepare students, lawyers, and others for workplace excellence.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN + PLANNING
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of planning in an instructional environment.
- Establish learning outcomes, training parameters, and assessment in compliance with organization policies and legal requirements.
- Develop assessments that are rigorous and accommodate different learning styles.
- Cultivate an atmosphere of experimentation and positivity in learning environments.
- Utilize current technologies to enhance learning.
PRESENTATION + DELIVERY
- Hone speaking skills, including vocal control, body language, pacing, and organization.
- Understand and employ a variety of teaching methods, including presentation styles, delivery, and visual aids.
- Nurture cultural sensitivity to topics and styles of delivery.
- Utilize current and developing technologies to aid in the delivery of information.
ASSESSMENT + METRICS
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of assessment techniques and data collection.
- Develop formative and summative assessments.
- Revise instruction based on feedback.
- Use current technologies to analyze and present collected assessment data.
- Track trends and the development of new techniques for assessment and data collection.
MARKETING + OUTREACH
Illustrating value through effective communications, creating value through services, and building value through strategic partnerships.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
PROMOTION OF VALUE
- Create a vision for the organization based on its values and help others see its importance and their role in it.
- Develop strong presentation skills, including persuasive and confident speech, meaningful visual aids, and use of appropriate technologies.
- Build strong relationships and rapport with key stakeholders.
- Use assessment metrics to evaluate use and services, and deliver key metrics to stakeholders to show return on investment (ROI).
- Identify the needs and preferences of users.
- Analyze all aspects of a user’s interaction with the organization and its services.
- Create promotional opportunities where targeted users will naturally encounter them.
- Solicit and incorporate feedback.
PARTNERSHIPS + COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
- Promote the role of law libraries and legal information within the larger community.
- Coordinate and share services to achieve the best institution-wide solution.
- Identify opportunities to establish or enhance partnerships and community relationships.
- Coordinate individual efforts with national and local professional organizations.
- Champion new ways to share legal information expertise and promote services both inside and outside the organization.
- Work to secure access to justice through ensuring reliable, long-term access to authentic legal resources.
- Engage in outreach to local, state, and national lawmakers and propose policy solutions to legal information issues.
- Promote legal information services to those in need.
MANAGEMENT + BUSINESS ACUMEN
Aligning organizational strategic goals with departmental goals, managing resources, and evaluating progress.
COMPETENCIES + SKILLS
VISION + STRATEGIC PLANNING
- Demonstrate strategic planning processes and best practices.
- Formulate a strategic plan framework including vision, mission, and goals.
- Prepare an operational plan for implementing strategic plan goals.
- Measure achievement of strategic plan goals and alter as needed.
BUDGETING + PROCUREMENT
- Use generally accepted accounting principles.
- Monitor budget allocations, expenditures, fund balances, and related financial activities.
- Perform cost analyses and return on investment (ROI) calculations to determine resource allocation.
- Track national cost and spending trends related to library and information resources.
- Establish efficient and legally compliant procurement guidelines.
- Demonstrate bargaining and contract negotiation skills.
FUNDING + DEVELOPMENT
- Maintain knowledge of and pursue internal and external funding opportunities.
- Compile annual budget requests using past financial records, detailed rationales, future needs, and economic indices.
- Advocate for institutional support to ensure maintenance and growth of the library.
- Establish effective networks and partnerships for resource sharing, collaboration, and consortial purchases.
- Monitor national trends in library funding and market price fluctuations.
BENCHMARKING + DATA ANALYSIS
- Deliver key metrics of business operations, user analytics, and ROI to stakeholders.
- Select and use appropriate data analysis tools and methods including visualization, text analysis, and statistical modeling.
- Identify and apply analytics to business issues.
- Create and communicate effective analytical and benchmarking reports.
- Develop hiring expertise including recruitment tactics and interview skills.
- Implement policies and procedures that comply with federal and state employment law.
- Create training programs that empower employees to fulfill daily job functions, advance to other positions, and adapt to institutional changes and industry shifts.
- Demonstrate supervisory best practices including fostering teamwork and clearly communicating goals and expectations.
- Evaluate organizational structure and workflows to maximize efficiency and job performance.
- Design a staffing succession plan.
- Describe fundamental project management processes, methodologies, and tools.
- Analyze project requirements and develop a clear statement of the project’s scope.
- Plan, organize, and manage resources to successfully complete specific project objectives within a specified time frame.
- Establish effective team structure and delegate areas of responsibility appropriately.
- Monitor project progress, control risks, and realign project parameters if needed.
- Communicate project information to stakeholders in clear written and verbal formats.
- Apply industry standards for design, facilities, and space management.
- Implement inventory control policies and procedures.
- Evaluate and monitor building infrastructure systems.
- Develop emergency preparedness and business continuity plans.
- Establish security policies that align with those of the parent organization.
- Monitor national trends in library facilities, emergency preparedness, and security.
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