Paul M. Birch
When Gail Zwirner joined the law library staff in 1998, many of us had already gotten to know her well during her decade across town as a librarian for Hunton & Williams and particularly through her active involvement in the Virginia Association of Law Libraries (“VALL”). This mutual familiarity probably eased her career transition from law firm to law school librarian. At any rate, in her seventeen years at the University of Richmond School of Law, Gail has demonstrated in every way how to excel in academic law librarianship: as an information provider, as a teacher, as an administrator, and as a colleague.
Among the half a dozen librarians who staff our reference desk, Gail has been almost certainly the best versed in Virginia law materials, and she has often been the source of gracious assistance to me in identifying obscure state agency or continuing le- gal education publications. To say even that Gail wrote the book on Virginia legal research would be no exaggeration: she is co- editor of A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia and contributed two chapters to this definitive manual. One of her most lasting services to all who work with Virginia law has been her involvement with VALL’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Creation of an Administrative Code (the “Code”) for Virginia, which spearheaded legislation authorizing the Code’s creation. Subsequently, this committee worked with the Code commission and publisher to bring out its first edition. Anybody who attempted to do administrative research in this commonwealth prior to the Code’s publication will attest to the enormity of this contribution.