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2011 Unsung Heroes – Law Librarian

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

2011 Unsung Heroes – Law Librarian

By: Jane Pribek//November 18, 2011//

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Law Librarian of the Year

Maureen Burns
Law librarian, Godfrey & Kahn SC

“Maureen Burns has always been fascinated by law, but, in college, decided she wasn’t interested in pursuing a law degree.

When an advisor suggested law librarianship as an alternative, Burns jumped at the opportunity.

She earned a master’s degree in library science and, in 1994, went to work at Jones Day in Chicago. The firm often relied upon her to help research for its corporate and securities cases.

Burns came to Milwaukee-based Godfrey & Kahn SC in 2007 where her previous research work was seen as a big asset.

She also was recognized for her facility with technology; a quality that’s become critical in modern law librarianship.

She said she enjoys the speediness of computer-aided library work because it keeps her on her toes.

“I don’t go to the books as often as I used to. And overall, there’s a much faster pace: You have to know what’s available, with all these online resources, or other resources, to find an answer,” Burns said. “It’s become a little harder to keep up.”

The increasingly difficult requests keep Burns on her toes, she said, and hold her interest in law.

“These days, we tend to get the more complicated questions, after the attorneys have exhausted the more obvious possibilities,” she said, “and that’s more fun for us.”

— Jane Pribek


Beverly Butula,
law librarian, Davis & Kuelthau SC

“Bev is an amazing, resourceful and energetic law librarian. She is always happy to help her patrons and can find anything, it seems. She is creative about increasing interest in her services and
increasing usage of the firm’s library materials, through methods such as having a weekly quiz written on a marker board at her desk. She is also an invaluable source for her law librarian colleagues across the state, who look to her as a master of the law library.”

Alyson Lynch
marketing coordinator and law librarian,
Stafford Rosenbaum LLP


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