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UC Law library director receives national law librarianship award

Kenneth Hirsh, the University of Cincinnati College of Law’s director of the Law Library and Professor of Practice, is the recipient of the 2019 Marian Gould Gallagher Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). The organization will formally recognize Hirsh at its July annual meeting.  

The Gallagher Award is the highest honor bestowed by the AALL. Established in 1984 to recognize sustained service to law librarianship, exemplary support to the Association, and outstanding contributions to professional literature, the Award goes to individuals who have completed, or are nearing completion of, an active professional career. Hirsh is retiring at the end of this academic year.

Ken Hirsh

“Ken Hirsh is a leader, a technology and education innovator, and an extremely deserving recipient of the Marian Gould Gallagher Award,” said AALL President Femi Cadmus. “Not only is he a forerunner in developing the Technology in Law Practice Course, which now serves as a template in many law schools, but Ken has been a long-serving leader in AALL and other organizations throughout his impressive career.”

“I am both honored and humbled to have received this award,” said Hirsh. “It is a wonderful feeling to be recognized for achievement in a career which I truly love.”

“Always forward thinking, Ken has played an important role in bringing technological advancements into the classroom,” said Verna Williams, dean at Cincinnati Law. “Today’s students and faculty are reaping the benefits of his ideas.  We are grateful to Ken for his innovation and commitment to moving the field forward.”

With extensive experience in reference and information technology, Hirsh has a reputation as a visionary, using his legal education, practice background, and technical expertise to bring new technologies to students and faculty. He is a prominent leader in two of the foremost organizations in his field—the AALL and the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).  The AALL named its distinguished service award in the area of computing services for him. CALI honored him with the Excellence in Service Award in 2000.  

Hirsh’s prominence in the field has garnered him recognition in other areas, as well. For example, the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries presented him with the Service to SEAALL Award in 2015, and in 2013, Fastcase, a leading net-generation legal research service, named Hirsh to its annual “Fastcase 50” list, recognizing him as one of the law’s 50 smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.

Hirsh is a graduate of the University of Miami and received his JD from the University of Florida. After practicing law in Florida for nearly 10 years, he earned his MS in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. He then joined the Law Library at Duke University School of Law, serving in many positions, including that of senior lecturing fellow. Last, but not least, Hirsh fulfilled a life-long dream by appearing on "Jeopardy!" in 2016.