Monday, July 23, 2012

Teaching Legal Research Pre-Conference Workshop

This is your DALL reporter, Deinna Mims-Johnson, on the ground reporting from Boston, MA at the 105th AALL Annual Meeting and Conference.  Saturday I attended an all day workshop at Harvard Law School on "Teaching Legal Research".

The four presenters: Catherine M. Dunn, Karen Storin Linitz, Kate Irwin-Smiler, Margaret Butler and Sara Sampson were dynamic and thought provoking.  The 7 hour workshop was intense and had a massive amount of information to digest.  I walked away from this workshop knowing one thing: that law students are being introduced to primary and secondary resources along with being taught how to effectively utilize them in their legal studies while attending law school.

What was an eye opener is the amount of preparation, dedication, and passion these librarians have for their chosen profession. When we have the opportunity to meet the new associates, too much time has passed since initial instructions and actual real life use of the resources are required.

We left the workshop energized and determined to impart knowledge and instruction in many ways as possible:  taking into consideration learning styles, methods, pedagogy and the types of resources available online or print. After learning the correct way to engage in legal research the young attorneys will resort to old ways of conducting Google research. I am certain it is not because they have not been instructed or exposed to those materials.

Deinna Mims-Johnson is the Research Librarian at the Dallas Office of Thompson & Knight. She is the Grants & Scholarship Chair of the Dallas Association of Law Librarians.

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