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Heather Simmons

Law & Business Reference Librarian and Assistant Teaching Professor
University of Illinois College of Law

Heather Simmons earned her B.A. and M.L.S. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Wayne State University. She started her career at Wayne State University’s Arthur Neef Law Library in Detroit, Michigan, where she became assistant director in 1988. There, she developed a legal research program for first-year law students. Heather has taught courses on legal information for the Schools of Library Science at both Wayne State and the University of Michigan. In 1994, Heather left academia to run the law library at the General Motors Corporation, where she learned the art of patent and trademark searching. She became a science & technical librarian at the GM Research & Development Library in 1999, while continuing to serve the legal staff. She led the Scientific & Technical Research & Analysis Team from 2003 to 2010. This group of information professionals handled large projects on a wide variety of topics for customers around the company. She also served as GM’s copyright agent from 2008-12. In this capacity she educated GM scientists and engineers about copyright compliance issues. Heather is active in the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), having received the Matthew Bender Scholarship Award in 1988, and serving on AALL’s Executive Board from 1997-2000, and is currently Vice-Chair / Chair Elect of AALL's Legal Information Services to the Public Special Interest Section. She is currently serving on the State Bar of Michigan’s Standing Committee on Libraries, Legal Research and Legal Publications, and is Co-Chairing the Program Committee for the Patent Information User Group's 2017 Annual Meeting. Her research interests include mindfulness in the law, teaching methods, law librarianship, business intelligence, and intellectual property. Follow Heather on Twitter @heatherjsimmons


  • M.L.S., University of Michigan, 1986
  • J.D., Wayne State University, 1985
  • A.B., University of Michigan, 1981