As many of you have surely experienced this semester, teaching legal research virtually poses a number of challenges, but Matthew Flyntz found that it also provides a few benefits over traditional in-person instruction. In a world of negativity, Flyntz looks on the bright side and focus on those positives in this article.
This is part one of an article by Marc Solomon calling on readers to be alert and respond effectively to critical and ongoing challenges – BS Detection in a World of Fake News and Real Threats.
Law Librarians: The Missing Link As Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Adapt to Artificial Intelligence – Part 1
In her three part article on AI in Legal Research and Law Practice, Carolyn Elefant, attorney, tech guru, and legal blogger, shares actionable information, knowledge and topical resources that were the foundation of her presentation at the AALL 2019 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Elefant’s mission has always been to ensure that solo and small firms have current information, not just on new technology developments, but also on how these new tools can be applied in practice. AI is a fast-moving target that presents significant challenges to professionals in many roles – lawyers, law librarians, KM, CI/BI, competitive intelligence, marketing, and research analysts to name but a few. Elefant’s primer illuminates the critical role law librarians play in the effective implementation of AI within their organizations. See also Part II and Part III.
Kristina L. Niedringhaus calls our attention to a recent article by Paul Heller whose research identified 357 citing relationships that one or more of the three major citators labeled as negative. “Out of these, all three citators agree that there was negative treatment only 53 times. This means that in 85% of these citing relationships, the three citators do not agree on whether there was negative treatment.”
Former CPA, writer and teacher Ken Boyd provides readers with an explanation of tax fraud that is clearly presented, instructive and relevant to the ongoing Mueller investigation. Boyd uses the extensive New York Times investigative report of November 2018 that documented a history of tax fraud allegedly committed by Donald Trump, his father and siblings, as the foundation for his lesson on various types of tax fraud. The allegations documented by the Times are under review by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Emily Donnellan is a solo librarian who shares her insights and expertise on how to increase both the patronage and the value for customers of the Boise Branch for the 9th Circuit.
Brandon Wright Adler reviews free and fee based meeting/conferencing software that meets the requirements to support effective communications with team and/or group members in disparate locations.
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.