May 22, 2022

Selected Findings From the Just Released American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2021 Salary Survey

From AALL:

The newly released 2021 AALL Biennial Salary Survey & Organizational Characteristics report (AALL Salary Survey) conducted by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) features extensive compensation
data for law librarians and legal information professionals.


The AALL Salary Survey provides a thorough overview of compensation and benefits for the professionincluding data on the impact of COVID19. In a time of tremendous change in both the job market and law librarianship, this publication provides essential information for experienced, new, and potential law librarians,” noted Diane M.  Rodriguez, president of AALL. It’s a valuable resource for organizations and individuals  alike as they continue to assess, plan, and move forward during a challenging and pivotal time.

Among other key findings from this edition of the survey were the differences in  compensation for law librarians across library types and positions. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for librarians across all library types overall was $60,820 in 2020. The 2021 AALL Salary Survey found that the  average salary for reference/research law librarians was $91,431 in firm/corporate, $74,227 in academic, and $71,393 in government law libraries. Additionally, the average annual salary for a director or chief law librarian was $162,558 in academia, $144,460 in firm/corporate, and $107,255 in government law libraries.

The AALL Salary Survey has been tracking expenditures on electronic resources since the 1990s, and the 2021 findings showed that those expenses continue to claim a greater portion of the budget for all three types of law libraries relative to 2019. On average,  firm/corporate law libraries used 85 percent of their total information budgets on  electronic resources, while academic and government law librarians spent 59 and 34  percent, respectively.

The survey was distributed to 651 law libraries around the country with 308 surveys completed for a response rate of 47.3 percent. The complete survey report is available as a complimentary digital edition to AALL members. Print and digital editions are also available for sale to nonmembers.

Read the Complete AALL Release

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.