Brooklyn Law School is pleased to welcome Janet Sinder as the Library’s new Director and Associate Professor of Law. Sinder comes to the Law School with almost three decades of experience in law libraries and information technology. She has been the Editor of the Law Library Journal since 2007, and for the past eight years was Associate Director for Research Services at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Previously she had been the Information Specialist at the GSM Association, a global organization that represents the interests of mobile phone operators worldwide, and the Head of Information Services and Senior Lecturing Fellow in Law at the Duke University School of Law Library.
Sinder grew up on Long Island and was primed to be a lawyer from a young age by her father, also an attorney. With dreams of becoming a civil liberties lawyer, she enrolled at the University of Michigan School of Law after attending Cornell University. When she graduated, she became an Assistant Appellate Defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Springfield, Illinois, a position she held for six years. “It was such an interesting job, and it was very exciting to be able to argue cases immediately after passing the bar. After a few years, though, I became interested in moving into academia,” she explained.
Sinder enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she obtained an M.S. in Library and Information Science. She began her library career at Duke University, starting out as a reference librarian and instructor of legal research, and later served as the library’s Head of Information Services and the Website Manager for the law school. “Redesigning the website was a great experience, and I enjoyed project management,” she said, “but in my heart I’m a librarian.”
In 1996, during her tenure at Duke, Sinder spent a summer in Ireland researching an article about Irish legal history. Six years later, in 2001, she returned to Dublin to live and work for the GSM Association as an Information Specialist, managing the content and organization of the Association’s members-only website. “I love to travel and really enjoyed living in Dublin,” she recalled.
Missing her work as a librarian, Sinder returned to the U.S. in 2004, and joined the University of Maryland’s Thurgood Marshall Law Library. There she managed the Research Services department, which included research librarians, research fellows, and instructional technology staff. She also taught Introduction to Legal Research and Advanced Legal Research each year and served as an adviser to the law school journals on copyright, contracts, and web presence.
As a supporter of open access to law journals, she championed moving all of the law school’s journals to its website in full text. “Open access expands your base of readers,” she said. “A lot of journals have such a small list of subscribers that it’s advantageous to the journal to allow the full text to be published online.”
Sinder joined Brooklyn Law School the first week in May, and she is excited to be a part of the community. “I’m very happy to be here, and I already love living in Brooklyn. I consider this to be a great opportunity.”