One of my favourite tasks as a firm librarian is to provide training (formal) and mentoring (informal) to articling students on gathering materials to answer legal research problems. Another favourite task is identifying trends (industry trends, process trends, changes in the use of language, emerging technologies) that will affect legal practice at my firm. I have noticed some interesting crossover lately.
- The Legal Education Society of Alberta is hosting an Advanced Legal Research and Writing seminar on December 3 in Calgary and they recently offered a basic Legal Research session
- A DVD on Advanced Legal Research by Bonnie Fish is on the market
- The CBA Research Lawyers North section invited a LRW instructor to present a session about the University of Alberta 1L research class and what they teach
- The Edmonton Law Libraries Association HeadStart program was sold out this spring
- Legal research training will be at topic on the CALL 2010 conference program.
Is there a perception among partners that law firm juniors only look in electronic sources and are therefore missing vital information when performing analysis? Is the perception a truth or even a valid generalization? What does this mean for those of us who attempt to teach gathering skills?
Should we skip teaching methods for gathering from electronic sources in favour of a short lecture on reading the computer screen? Should we spend more time on identifying appropriate sources and instruction on how to apply search results to a legal research problem?
Program planning for HeadStart 2010 is underway so I hope for comments.