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.
Anna McGrane, COO of PacerPro, shares her insights on a 200 hour coding program structured to encourage participation in the training and the value of the learning environment. McGrane describes key takeaways from the training that we can borrow and apply in the legal sector.
Dhawal Shah, Founder of the online course search engine – https://www.class-central.com/ – identifies free online courses in a dozen disciplines: Computer Science, Mathematics, Programming, Data Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education & Teaching, Health & Medicine, Business, Personal Development, Engineering, Art & Design, and Science. You are certain to find a few if not many self-paced courses to leverage for continuing education, professional development, as well as just for the fun of learning and applying new subject matter expertise.
For law librarians, the past 25 years have engaged us in a journey from fee based access to the law via books, followed by dedicated terminals and CDs, to online portal services, to the current state of far more open, accessible and free access to the law. Sarah Glassmeyer’s perspective on this journey helps us focus on information access as a key facet of justice, highlighting the critical foundation that Cornell’s Legal Information Institute established for our communities of best practice to follow as we continue to pursue complete and free access to all facets of legal information on the Internet.
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.
Ken Grady identifies significant disruptive reasons why undergraduate students are veering away from choosing law school for other graduate education, and offers effective, innovative responses which should be put into action with alacrity.
Report – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Casts Doubt on Criminal Forensics
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) stated in their report – “Among the more than 2.2 million inmates in U.S. prisons and jails, countless may have been convicted using unreliable or fabricated forensic science. The U.S. has an abiding and unfulfilled moral obligation to free citizens who were imprisoned by such questionable means.” Ken Strutin’s article features information about the PCAST Report, its reception by advocates and critics, and related articles, publications and developments concerning the science of innocence.
This expansive, comprehensive and up-to-date guide by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago D’Angelo Law Library, references resources that include books, loose-leaf, online, database and e-government sites, services and resources.
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.