In the conclusion of his three part series, Paul Gatz joins the themes of the first two articles, the teaching of metacognition, legal bibliography, and legal analysis and argument to his conclusion that “to be the experts in legal research we must also be leaders in developing knowledge in our field, furthering the understanding of the legal domain and of our own place within it.” The accuracy of Gatz’s conclusions can enrich our work as we teach students on range of expert subject matter that aligns with and overlaps legal research.
In the first of a three part series, Paul Gatz articulates the importance of acknowledging the “learner’s paradox” that “legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving the law-related information necessary to support legal decision-making.” Expert legal researchers conduct their work within the territory of the known and the unknown, the facts, the suppositions, and the possibilities that skilled and strategic students seek to learn and thereafter apply within their course of studies, and subsequently bring forward to support their respective practice of law. [Link to Part 2 of this series]
In Part 2 of his series [see Part 1 here], Paul Gatz takes a deeper dive into the challenges of effectively teaching the “why” of a document’s relevance to assist students to understand the reasons a given document occupies the role it does within the subject literature. Gatz focuses on the concept of how knowledge in a particular discipline is created, disseminated, and organized (subject knowledge relevance). Gatz states that knowledge content of a discipline is helpful in determining the relevance of a particular document, but an effective relevance determination relies upon a theory of what counts as knowledge, or, in legal practice, what counts as legally valid.
Small and midsize law firms are benefiting from a range of agile, expert, value added services increasingly provided by Library team members in collaboration with firm colleagues in Conflicts, Finance and Marketing. Diana Koppang articulates the strategic impact of this multifaceted linchpin work product.
Law librarian and professor Brandon Adler identifies core issues to support educating third year law students in a wide range of reliable free and low cost legal resources. Many law librarians acknowledge that there is a lack of awareness and use of alternative legal resources, with the law student community as well across a large swath of attorneys in firms both large and small.
Greg Lambert eloquently gives voice to truth which has been delivered through action by many fellow professionals throughout the course of our respective (some decades long) careers – we are not “gatekeepers” nor do we impede the purchase and distribution of innovative, subject matter focused, effective, forward moving technologies, services and resources within our respective organizations. To the contrary, change and disruption are often associated with the work of law librarians, knowledge managers and research professionals in firms.
Ashley Ahlbrand is the Educational Technology at Librarian Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. Her expert teaching and training skills offer readers insights into the role of Google as well as integrative browser add-ons like Lexis Views in preparing students to effectively and comprehensively complete research assignments.
Alan Rothman discusses the growing interest in and need for attorneys who have degrees and skills from another field that serves client requirements, previously focused on areas such as engineering, business and medicine. Already well established in professions that include journalism and economics, the legal arena is increasingly embracing the skills and value added work product associated with technical coding. This is reflected in new course offerings in advanced degree programs as well as in job positions that focus on data management and data analytics.
Many librarians have a set of research guides that they are responsible for keeping up to date, but finding time to devote to this important task can be extremely difficult. As libraries migrate to LibGuides 2.0, many are using this opportunity to study their users’ preferences, implement new policies, and completely refresh their research guide collection. If your library is going through this process, or you are simply planning on using the (relatively) calm summer months to update your research guides, here are ten best practice tips to keep in mind – by Kara Dunn, D`Angelo Law Library.
Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute discusses how Google Scholar’s caselaw collection is a victory for open access to legal information and the democratization of law. He strongly acknowledges the fifth anniversary of this open access legal web site, but goes further to focus on the importance of this benchmark to the expanding value of freely accessible legal information combined with technically advanced search features available to diverse user communities outside the scope of the legal profession, for free. From caselaw to the rapidly expanding regulatory arena, fed by rules created by over 400 federal agencies that have enormous and multifaceted impact on our lives, the potential for search, discovery, education, empowerment and citizen engagement remains under development. Thank you Tom and all the experts at LII for blazing, maintaining and pioneering the next wave of critical paths to enable access to free legal research.