Using Podcasts to Teach Legal Research

Jim Milles, director of the Law Library at the University of Buffalo Law School, is teaching a course this spring entitled Teaching Legal Research.

The lecture for his first class was yesterday and is available in the form of a podcast.

Milles will be podcasting all of his lectures in the class.

On their own, I don’t think podcasts make for effective teaching tools because a large part of the learning experience involves interaction, reading, etc.

It appears though that the intention is for the site to include links to teaching materials in other formats such as PDF. I hope that the various student projects as well as course handouts will also be added to the website.

But this class is an interesting experiment in its attempt to show how podcasts can be incorporated as an additional dissemination tool. And Milles is certainly the person who can make it work.

He is a pioneer in law library podcasting and his podcast Check This Out! is already up to its 56th weekly episode.


  1. Thanks! I hadn’t seen that. The course is for people learning *how to teach* legal research, and it appears Jim is covering Web 2.0 techniques, including podcasting. The fantastic thing about this is that, for those of us who are not attending the course, we will be able to follow along and hopefully learn something as well. Jim is very interested in teaching those of us in the legal research / law librarianship community, so I expect he is not just doing this for his students but also for the larger community.

    Kudos, Jim!

  2. Thanks for the kind words! I’m looking forward to this new course and the experiment in podcasting it.

    I have several reasons for podcasting the course. First, since the course is starting on the Library School schedule, there are one or two law students who are missing the first session, so I wanted to record it for them. But then, once the course is recorded, it’s a simple matter to podcast it for anyone who might like to listen. I do hope that other law librarians and legal researchers will learn something from the course. I think it will also be helpful for the students to hear how their recorded voices sound so they can get used to the idea before they do their own podcasts. Mostly, though, I have a roomful of bright students and I think they’ll have insightful things to say about the readings and about ways of teaching legal research.