2021 AALL Virtual Legislative Advocacy Training

Recorded On: 09/21/2021

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Legislative advocacy is essential to making a difference for the legal information profession. This training will teach you skills to advocate for public policy issues, including broadband access and digital equity, balanced copyright laws, and greater access to official legal information. You will also learn how to build effective partnerships and influence lawmakers while contributing to solutions for current information policy issues.


  1. Participants will gain skills to effectively advocate for public policy issues affecting law libraries and the legal information profession.
  2. Participants will be able to identify advocacy resources to help them promote the AALL legislative priorities.
  3. Participants will gain skills to build effective partnerships with allies and influence lawmakers.


  • Diane M. Rodriguez, AALL President


  • Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-4)
  • Mariann Sears, 2021 AALL Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award Recipient
  • Michael Lissner, 2021 AALL Public Access to Government Information Award Recipient


  • Amy Emerson, AALL Government Relations Committee Chair 

AALL BODY OF KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS: Professionalism + Leadership At Every Level, Teaching + Training, Marketing + Outreach

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Diane M. Rodriguez is the 2021-2022 AALL president. She currently serves as the assistant director of the San Francisco Law Library in California. As AALL’s president, one of her many goals is to advocate for access to legal information which supports access to justice. 

Diane has been an AALL member for 26 years, having served as chair of the Appointments Committee and Executive Board Strategic Directions Committee, and as a member of the Executive Board Finance & Budget Committee. In addition, she is a former president of the Northern California Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL). She also serves as a member of the Council of California County Law Librarians, which works to improve, promote, and advocate for the unique legal information services provided by county law libraries that support access to justice for all Californians. 

Congressman Hank Johnson is currently serving his eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District. He is a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He serves as the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over administration of the U.S. Courts, federal rules of evidence, civil and appellate procedure, judicial ethics, copyright law, information technology, and the internet. As a champion for digital inclusion and an open internet, Rep. Johnson has pushed to empower low-income and minority communities through digital rights and broadband access.  

Prior to taking his seat in Congress in 2006, Rep. Johnson practiced criminal defense law in Georgia for 27 years. He served 12 years as a magistrate judge, and five years as a county commissioner.

Amy Emerson is the 2021-2022 AALL Government Relations Committee chair. She is assistant dean for library and information services and associate professor of law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Her personal scholarship interests focus on open access to legal information as it informs access to justice. 

Amy is active professionally, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), as past president of the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York, and as a founding officer of the International Legal Research Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.

Michael Lissner is the executive director of Free Law Project, which received the 2021 AALL Public Access to Government Information Award. Michael co-founded Free Law Project in 2013 as a non-profit dedicated to making the legal system more competitive and fair. In his current role, Michael works with researchers, journalists, individuals, and organizations to improve and interpret the legal system. 

Prior to starting Free Law Project, Michael was a student at the School of Information at University of California, Berkeley, where he created the first version of CourtListener.com as his capstone project, and where he focused on technology law and policy. 

Mariann Sears is the 2021 AALL Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award recipient. Mariann began her tenure as the Director of the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library, a division of the Harris County Attorney’s Office, in 2012. She came to Harris County from the private sector. Before she began her career in law librarianship, Mariann was a practicing attorney in Houston for nearly 15 years.

Mariann is an active member of AALL, and she has served on the Houston Area Law Librarians (HALL) Executive Board in numerous capacities. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, and the Houston Bar Association, where she serves on the Law Week Committee. 


2021 AALL Virtual Legislative Advocacy Training
09/21/2021 at 11:00 AM (CDT)  |  Recorded On: 09/21/2021
09/21/2021 at 11:00 AM (CDT)  |  Recorded On: 09/21/2021
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