Kelly Browne

Kelly on the "set" of SCPLL's latest offering: a series of Photo-Novellas, examining—with both words and pictures—every day law issues, based on questions received from real library patrons. Check out the first episode, “Medical Marijuana,” was published on May 5th at

Kelly on the “set” of SCPLL’s latest offering: a series of Photo-Novellas, examining everyday law issues, based on questions received from real library patrons. Check out the first episode, “Medical Marijuana,” at

Submitted by Kelly Browne.

After graduation Kelly moved to Seattle, where she practiced law for a couple of years1; had a baby2; got her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science3; had another baby4; moved to Tennessee to be a Reference Librarian at the University of Tennessee College of Law,5; and moved to Connecticut to be the Head of Reference at the University of Connecticut School of Law6 before finally landing in California and becoming the Assistant Director of the Sacramento County Public Law Library7, where she plans to stay8. Kelly’s boys are now in college, and she and her husband, Timothy C. King9 will celebrate their thirty-third wedding anniversary in December.

Kelly loves her job. She supervises the Reference Librarians and circulation staff, directs SCPLL’s outreach efforts, and oversees the day-to-day operations of SCPLL’s Civil Self Help Center.10 The CSHC is unique in that it run by the Library and staffed by Library employees, an attorney and a bilingual Spanish-speaking paralegal, and is the first, if not only, self-help center dealing solely with civil matters11 in California, and possibly, the country.

Kelly also reviews and edits all of SCPLL’s publications, including all the content on the Law Library’s website12, and the Library’s award-winning13 series of Step-by-Step Guides, which provide instructions for completing common legal procedures, including sample forms and fill-in-the blank electronic templates of those forms. “SCPLL is nationally known for its creative programs and methods of using technology to improve access to justice for self-represented litigants,” Kelly says. “I’m very proud to be a part of that.”

When asked if she misses academia, Kelly laughs. “Not a bit. I still get to write, and teach, only here I get to write about and teach what I want. I love being able to come up with an idea and then run with it, without having to go through the mind-numbing bureaucracy of academia. Not to mention the faculty meetings! In academic law librarianship, it is considered the unauthorized practice of law to tell someone which form to use, which I think is ludicrous! Here I work with the smartest, most talented group of people I know. Access to legal information is my passion, and I feel as if I make a practical difference in people’s lives here.” She hesitates, then smiles. “But I did like being called ‘Professor Browne.’”

End Notes

1Perkins Coie, 1989-1991.

2James Paul King, 7/13/92.

3University of Washington, 1993.

4Ryan Clark King, 2/18/94.

5Knoxville, 1994-1999.

6Hartford, 1999-2004.

7Hereinafter, “SCPLL.”

82004 – ? .

9Tim is a software engineer.

10Hereinafter, “CSHC.”

11As opposed to Family Law, Small Claims, Landlord-Tenant, etc.

13SCPLL’s series of Step-by-Step Guides won the American Association of Law Libraries 2014 Award for “Best Print Publication.”




You may remember that Kelly was referred to (in some circles, anyway) as “The Bluebook Queen,” since she was probably the only one among us who actually understood correct legal citation form.  Hence the end notes, which are in correct form, as if you had any doubts,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s