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Dayton Docket

Shhhh! The Secret to Loving Life in a Law Library

Like most law students Jessica Perovich (Drewitz) spent a lot of time in the library.

But for her it wasn’t just about studying, it had as much to do with job training.

“I knew I wanted to be a law librarian,” Perovich says.

Perovich ’07 is now the Assistant Librarian for Reference Services at the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. She works right across from the White House and her job revolves around laws.

“I get to focus on really in depth reference questions dealing with legislative history,” Perovich says. “I’m loving it.”

Perovich took her first job in a library as an undergrad at Catholic University because it was close by and it was paid, but she quickly found the position provided much more for her than just spending money while in college.

“I really fell in love with it,” Perovich says. “I was made one of the stack supervisors right away. I just really took to it.”

What appealed to Perovich was helping people find what they needed.

“I’m the type of person, if you ask a question, I’m on my phone in a second,” Perovich says. “I have to find the answer.”

She had only one problem.

“I didn’t like not knowing what the books were about,” Perovich says. “I could show you where the art books were or the statistics books or whatever, but not knowing what the subject was about was very annoying.”

So Perovich decided to specialize in a topic and law seemed like the best option.

“I thought law was the most interesting,” Perovich says. “I was an English major. I loved reading. I thought law was cool.”

When looking at law schools, Perovich says the University of Dayton School of Law stood out for its supportive environment.

“I remember how nice all the faculty were,” Perovich says. “They were very welcoming. They seemed caring and nurturing and wanted us to succeed.”

Law school still had its share of challenges for Perovich.

“I hated public speaking,” Perovich says. “Now I actually enjoy it, but getting called out in class was terrifying.”

But it also helped set her up for her future as a law librarian. Perovich says Zimmerman Law Library Director, Professor Susan Elliott, and Assistant Director for Public Services, Professor Maureen Anderson, were instrumental in teaching her what the job was all about.

“They were my mentors the whole time,” Perovich says. “They were amazing.”

After graduating from UDSL, Perovich got a job at the Pepperdine School of Law’s Jerene Appleby Harnish Law Library, where she worked until moving back across the country to Washington D.C. for her current position.

“It was a cool experience,” Perovich says of her time in California. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. After 7 or 8 years out there I was ready to come home.”

Perovich hopes her career path can serve as a reminder for anyone considering law school that the job prospects don’t always involve a courtroom.

“There are multiple avenues that you can take with your law degree,” Perovich says. “You don’t have to be a litigator.”
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