Farewell to Jeanne Ullian

by Greg Stoner

As you may already know, our friend and colleague Jeanne Ullian will soon be retiring from Williams Mullen after 13 years of dedicated service. Throughout the course of her time with the firm, our staff and attorneys have come to depend upon Jeanne and her ability to provide reliable information and assistance. Bob Nusbaum, a partner in our Norfolk office, has known Jeanne since her arrival at the firm:

“Jeanne Ullian is the consummate law librarian. She has managed our Law Library at Williams Mullen – Norfolk with a quiet efficiency that masks the magnitude of the routine work of receiving, shelving and maintaining a large volume of books and publications. Our lawyers, young and old, are daily beneficiaries of her uncommon skill in researching and delivering good legal authority for diverse and arcane propositions, both substantive and procedural. All this is done promptly and graciously. To say that Jeanne will be missed is a massive understatement! We wish her well.”

Many of you may have met Jeanne at a VALL meeting or event or had the opportunity to connect through your work. I first met Jeanne in 2008 when I came to Williams Mullen as a librarian in our Richmond office. New to the world of law libraries, I quickly found Jeanne’s approach to her work and the profession to be both inspiring and motivating. I soon realized her level of organization and attention to detail was second to none, and her diligence in dealing with any task or issue before her truly impressive. Regular conversations regarding matters both important and mundane soon became not only opportunities for us to make progress in our work, but also occasions for me to learn and help shape my developing understanding of the true essence of law librarianship.

While Jeanne has taught me so much, I do take great pleasure in knowing I was able to convince her to help share that knowledge with others in the form of a session at the 2011 VLA/VALL conference. While initially hesitant, she quickly jumped in with both feet (in characteristic fashion) and helped orchestrate a program on legal literacy we co-presented with Terry Long (and valuable assistance from Isabel Paul).

For me, Jeanne has been not only a colleague, but a valued friend and mentor. I know there are many others out there who have also reaped the benefits of Jeanne’s contributions to our profession or have come to count her as a friend. It almost goes without saying that we will miss her - but for someone who has worked so hard and done so much I can hardly think of anyone more deserving of the rewards of retirement. Our best wishes to Jeanne on this next chapter of her life!

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