During the first business session of the 71st Annual Meeting of the AALL in Rochester, New York, two more regional law librarian associations gained recognition asAALL chapters on June 26, 1978. The Greater Hartford Law Library Association became the 14th chapter of the AALL. It was later renamed the Southern New England Law Librarians Association.
The Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association was recognized as the 15th chapter of the AALL. A few months later, in September of 1978, the AALL Code of Ethics was adopted.
On June 19, 1979, the AALL entered into a contract with the Information Access Corporation for the development of a new legal periodical indexing service. Legal Resources Index and Current Law Index began publication in 1980.
In August of 1979, AALL membership reached 3,002. This included 115 student members, 181 life members, and one honorary member. The AALL had nearly doubled in size in six years. The phenomenal growth in membership reflected a growth in the number of law librarians, which reflected a growth in the number of lawyers.
On January 2, 1980, fifteen past AALL presidents submitted a letter to the AALL Executive Board in support of the proposal to create a new position of Executive Director. The AALL Executive Board voted to submit the proposal to the membership at the 1980 Annual Meeting of the AALL in St. Louis. During that meeting, on June 25, 1980, the AALL Executive Board’s recommendation to increase membership dues in order to finance the office of executive director was adopted by vote of the AALL membership.
On June 23, 1980, chapters from Atlanta, Michigan, and Northern California were approved by a vote of the AALL membership at the Annual Meeting of the AALL in St. Louis. This brought the total number of AALL chapters to eighteen.
In 1980, the AALL Executive Board signed an agreement to establish the AALL Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The agreement went into effect on June 24, 1980 and was executed on November 12, 1980.
The AALL took this step “to preserve the history of the organization and promote the understanding of its role in the development of law librarianship.” From its inception in 1980–81 to June of 2008, the AALL Archives grew from twenty series containing 18.1 cubic feet of records to 207 series containing 266 cubic feet of records.
The AALL Archives “collects, arranges, and describes AALL records that represent the history of the AALL and its members. It includes papers of past presidents and association members as well as records and publications of committees, Special Interest Sections, chapters, and regional associations.”
The Arthur J. Small Papers, 1907-1930, “include correspondence relating to the joint committee on a National Legislation Information Service (1916) and to the history of AALL (1928), membership lists (1923), photographs of 1923 annual meeting, announcements of AALL activities, annual meeting programs (1907, 1909-12, 1914, 1916, 1919, 1923-25, 1927-29), and papers read by Small at annual meetings, including 1930 ‘Reflections’ on the history of AALL.”
On December 1, 1980, production was completed on LAWNET COM 1, the initial phase of AALL’s effort to create a unified law library database. It contained 262 microfiche that held 176,533 records from fifty-three participating law libraries.
On March 4, 1981, former AALL President Connie Bolden forwarded “all files I have collected during my term in office, from approximately June 1978 to February 1981, for their inclusion in the archives of the American Association of Law Libraries.” Bolden, who had been president when the AALL Archives deposit agreement became effective on June 24, 1980, was the first past president to deposit his papers in the AALL Archives. As of June of 2008, the Archives contained papers from twenty-seven former presidents.
In June of 1981, at the 74th Annual Meeting of the AALL held in Washington, D.C., a Council of Chapter Presidents was formed to coordinate activities among chapters and to facilitate communication between chapters and the national leadership of AALL. That same month, two AALL Special Interest Sections, Contemporary Social Problems and Law Library Service to Institutional Residents, voted to merge. There were more than seventy members of the combined SIS.
On June 29, 1981, the AALL membership voted to give chapter status to two regional associations in the South. These were the Houston Area Law Librarians and the South Florida Association of Law Libraries.
On September 8, 1981 the AALL appointed its first executive director, William H. Jepson. He is not to be confused with the mathematician William “Bill” H. Jepson who is Director of the Urban Simulation Lab at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design.
On June 14, 1982, AALL members voted to give chapter status to the Dallas Association of Law Libraries, the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin, and the Law Library Association of Maryland. There are now twenty-three AALL chapters. Two days later, on June 16, 1982, the AALL honored Margaret Moody with a special certificate in recognition of her editorship of the Harvard Annual Legal Bibliography from 1969 to 1981 and her distinguished contribution to law librarianship.
In September of 1982, the proceedings of the 74th Annual Meeting of the AALL held in Washington, D.C. in 1981 were published as Number 17 of the AALL Publications Series with the title, Legal Information for the 1980s.