Category Archives: Training

Your Librarians On the Go, To Keep You In the Know

The librarians on the BLS Library staff are members of several professional organizations that meet annually for professional development, information sharing, networking, etc.  The most important aspect of these meetings is to learn about new developments and resources from legal technology and and legal research vendors, and to bring that information back to our constituents: Brooklyn Law School students and faculty. This has been a particularly active year, and below is a summary of the organizations we belong to on behalf of Brooklyn Law School, and the meetings we attended or will attend in 2017.

Association of American Law Schools has a membership of 179 law schools.  Their mission is “to uphold excellence in legal education and improve the profession.”  Its annual meeting presents programs, offers mentoring for new faculty, and is a resource for discussions on legal issues.

Library Director and Professor Janet Sinder attended the AALS meeting in San Francisco in January 2017.  The theme was “Why Law Matters,” featuring over 250 sessions with hundreds of speakers covering a wide range of legal topics.

American Association of Law Libraries has over 5,000 members who work in law school libraries, law firms, corporations, and government libraries at all levels.  The goal of AALL is “to share knowledge of legal resources, promote the profession, and provide leadership in the legal arena.”  This year’s annual meeting was held in Austin, TX in July and the theme was “Forego the Status Quo.”  Topics ranged from “Attorney Research Skills: Continuing the Conversation Between Law Firm and Academic Law Librarians” to “How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Delivery of Legal Services.”  Reference Librarians Kathy Darvil, Loreen Peritz, and Eric Yap attended, along with Cataloging Librarian Judy Baptiste-Joseph, and Library Director Janet Sinder.

Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction is a consortium of U.S. law schools that provides legal educational resources to help law students succeed.  CALI has produced over 1,000 interactive tutorials covering 40 subject areas that are available to students in all member schools.  Their annual conference was held in Phoenix, AZ in June with Reference Librarian Harold O’Grady attending.  The topics offered ranged from artificial intelligence to video technology.

 

KOHA is the open-sources software the Library uses for acquisitions, serials control, and cataloging.  This year’s conference of the KOHA Users Group was held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in August and attended by Acquisitions Librarian Jeff Gabel.  One of the many programs offered was “KOHA Toolkit: Enhancing the User Experience.

 

North American Serials Interest Group is an organization that works “to facilitate and improve the acquisition and accessibility of information resources in all formats.”  This year’s conference, with the theme “Racing to the Crossroads,” was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in June and attended by Cataloging Librarian Judy Baptiste-Joseph. One of their many programs addressed the issue of “Accessibility of Library Collections.”

 

 

Federal Depository Library Program is a government program created to make U.S. government information available to the public through a network of designated libraries.  These libraries are called Federal Depository Libraries, and the BLS Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1974,  The FDLP program is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, and there are over 1100 depository libraries; 127 of them are law schools.  Linda Holmes, Associate Law Librarian, will attend the annual depository library conference in Arlington, VA in October. The keynote presentation at this conference will be given by Jane Sanchez, the Law Librarian of Congress.

 

International Association of Law Libraries “provides an international forum for networking and information sharing among legal professionals worldwide.”  IALL publishes the International Journal of Legal Information and offers an annual conference.  Jean Davis, Associate Librarian for International Law, will attend this year’s conference in Atlanta, GA in October.

 

As you can see from this brief survey of 2017 law-related library conferences, a very important element in these programs is the education and training of law students, and our goal by attending these conferences, is to assist them in learning both the breath and depth of legal resources.

Stressed about your seminar paper? Attend the Seminar Paper Workshop this Thursday

This Thursday Prof. Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil are holding their semi-annual workshop on how to research and write a seminar paper in Room 502.  The workshop is from 4-5:30 PM. Topics covered include sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and strategies for effectively organizing and writing your paper.  If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can access an online research guide which contains a recording of the workshop, links to and descriptions of all the research sources discussed, and the writing and research presentations.  The online guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.  From the guide’s main page, you can access the recording of the presentation, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper.  If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.

2017 AALL Annual Conference: A few thoughts from a first-time attendee

Last week, I attended the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual conference, which was held July 15-18 in Austin, Texas. The biggest takeaway for me, as a first time conference attendee, was how legal technology continues to shape the legal profession, and how the role of law librarians must continually evolve to meet technological challenges. 

Susan Nevelow Mart, Univ of Colorado Law School Library, “Understanding the Human Element in Search Algorithms”

Legal technology was the focus of many of the programs at the conference:

Understanding the Human Element in Search Algorithms

Teaching and Implementing Emerging Technologies in Legal Practice 

Case Law as Data: Making It, Sharing It, Using It

The Law Library as Technology Laboratory  and

Deep Dive: How Artificial Intelligence will Transform the Delivery of Legal Services

were just some of the programs addressing the subject.  In the exhibit hall, established and new tech vendors lured attendees to their booths with cute stuffed toy bats and other swag so they could sell you on their products.

Caselaw as Data, Harvard Law School Library Innovation Lab

Legal tech was also a constant subject offsite: vendors might gently push their services over a friendly game of shuffleboard at an evening social event; meanwhile in the Fastcase house, legal tech blogger Bob Ambrogi would be chatting in one room while Itai Gurari demonstrated Judicata’s new features in another.  In a recent blog post about the conference, Ambrogi described how legal information professionals increasingly wear the hat of “legal technologist,” stating that the AALL conference should be considered one of the top legal tech conferences.  

What does this mean for academic law librarians?  For me, attending AALL reinforced issues discussed by my BLS colleague Harold O’Grady in his entry in this blog about the new class, Tech Tools for Law Practice, that he taught this summer. If we are to ensure that our students graduate from law school with technology competency, legal tech classes should be integrated into the curriculum. We can learn from the digital initiatives and legal technology curricula at other law schools, and from our own initial experiences in teaching technology courses designed for law students. BLS Library has some legal tech resources in our collection, such as the ABA Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, and can continue to build on them. 

While there is much to consider going forward, meeting and learning from the many talented and inspiring legal information professionals at the conference was a great experience.  One highlight: learning about the random limerick generator at Harvard’s Caselaw Access Project, where each line of the limerick is derived from a case — just one small illustration of the potential use of caselaw data.

Janet honored at reception for winning Law Library Journal Article of the Year Award

Finally, I should mention that at the AALL conference, BLS Library Director Janet Sinder received the Law Library Journal Article of the Year Award for her article, The Effects of Demand-Driven Acquisitions on Law Library Collection Development, 108 Law Library Journal 155 (2016). Kudos to Janet!

UPDATE: LexisNexis Digital Library Training Webinar & Live Session

lexisnexis-digital-libraryThe BLS Library is offering a webinar and a live training session to introduce students & faculty to the LexisNexis Digital Library.  As described in Reference Librarian Rosemary Campagna’s blog of October 15, 2016, the Library recently acquired a subscription to the LexisNexis Digital Library which gives students access to treatises, practice guides, and study aids in eBook format.

In order to formally introduce students and faculty to this important new resource, the Library is offering both a webinar and a live training session for the LexisNexis Digital Library.  Both sessions will cover the following topics:

  • How to access (both on-campus and off-campus)
  • Our library’s collection
  • Tools and functionality
  • Locating a title/volumes
  • Borrowing volumes
  • Bookmarks/highlights/annotations
  • Archives
  • Linking on-line research with “print” research
  • Recent and forthcoming enhancements

These sixty minute sessions will be offered on the following dates/times:

UPDATE:  THE PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED WEBINAR FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd WILL BE REPLACED BY A LIVE TRAINING SESSION ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2016, 11AM-12NOON IN LIBRARY ROOM 113M.  SPACE IS LIMITED.  EMAIL to: linda.holmes@brooklaw.edu, if you would like to attend.

WEBINAR:  Monday, November 7, 2016, 4:00PM-5:00PM.

The instructor for both training sessions is Damian A. Burns, LexisNexis Digital & Print Sales Engineer, Damian.A.Burns@LexisNexis.com

Please follow this link at the time of the November 7th webinar to participate:

www.LexisNexisNow.com/Damian

 

 

International & Foreign Public Interest Law Research Session

international-flagsInterning at an organization that works internationally this summer?  Interested in international law or comparative law? Research skills are key in this area of practice.

 

Learn the basics of international/foreign law research with Associate Librarian for International Law Jean Davis!  This program will also feature a special guest from the International Legal Foundation.  The guest will describe selected projects assigned to interns.  Then Professor Davis will suggest tools to research one of the projects.  Professor Davis will also highlight sources to research international internships and fellowships.

Date:   Monday, February 29, 2016

Time:  12:45pm – 1:45pm

Location:  Library – Room C36 (Cellar Level)

Snacks will be provided.

Sponsored by the Library & the Public Service Office

Questions?   Email:  publicservice@brooklaw.edu

Writing a paper this semester?

This week Prof. Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil held their semi-annual workshop on how to research and write a seminar paper. Topics discussed include sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and how to effectively organize and write your paper. If you were unable to attend the workshop, you can access an online research guide which contains a recording of the workshop, links to and descriptions of all the research sources, and the writing and research presentations. The online guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper. From the guide’s landing page, you will be able to access a recording of this year’s presentation, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper. If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.

Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext

Thomson Reuters has embedded nine short videos into Westlaw Classic to aid in the transition from Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext. The videos show how to conduct in WestlawNext those tasks currently conducted on Westlaw Classic. The videos, each about 3 minutes in length, are available until June 30, 2014. The videos cover how to do the following tasks on WestlawNext:

  • Search with Terms and Connectors
  • Find and Print a Document
  • Find and Print Multiple Citations
  • Find a Statute
  • Browse a Table of Contents
  • Search with Descriptive Terms
  • Customize Your Delivery Preferences
  • Use Folders
  • Choose a Database

To access the videos on Westlaw Classic, hover over the orange “W” and click Learn More Now.

WestlawNext Webinars.png

From Classic to Next Webinars

There is also a series of webinars for law students and faculty to ease the transition from Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext. Each week, two webinars – From Classic to Next Basic and From Classic to Next Advanced – are being held, at varying times from week-to-week. These webinars cover topics such as Boolean searching, KeyCite®, Custom Pages, and Folders. Also, at the end of each webinar users have the opportunity to ask any questions about transitioning research to WestlawNext.

The next two webinars in the series are:

From Classic to Next Basic – May 19 at 1 p.m. (Noon) ET – Register today.

From Classic to Next Advance – May 20 at 4 p.m. ET – Register today.

If these days do not work, the sessions will be repeated. Visit the webinars page for future offerings.

Seminar Paper Workshop

training_iconOn Thursday February 6, Professor Elizabeth Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil will host a workshop on how to effectively research and write your seminar paper.  The workshop is from 4-5:30 and is located in Room 602.  Topics covered included sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and how to effectively organize and write your paper.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, there is no need to fear.  Kathy Darvil created an online research guide to support the seminar.  The guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.  From the guide’s landing page, you will be able to access a recording of this year’s presentation, Professor Fajan’s slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper.  Also listed and described on the guide are all the resources (as well as several others) that were discussed in the workshop.  If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.

Seminar Paper Workshop

This past Monday Professor Elizabeth Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil hosted a workshop on how to effectively research and write your seminar paper.  Topics covered included sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and how to effectively organize and write your paper.  If you were unable to attend the workshop, there is no need to fear.  Kathy Darvil created an online research guide to support the seminar.  The guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.  From the guide’s landing page, you can access a recording of last year’s presentation, Professor Fajan’s slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper.  Also listed and described on the guide are all the resources (as well as several others) that were discussed in the workshop.  If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.

Seminar Paper Workshop Tomorrow, January 31, 2013

nlyl_reading_man_with_glasses

If you are one of the many students who are writing a law note or seminar paper this semester, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment.  Several questions maybe running through your head such as:  how do I identify a “good” topic; where do I begin researching; when should I stop researching; or how do I organize my paper. Well, there is no need to fear.  Tomorrow, January 31, 2013, Professor Elizabeth Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil will host a workshop on researching and writing your seminar paper.  The workshop will be held from 4 pm-6 pm in Room  605.

Listed below are several resources available from the BLS library that can help you research and write your law note or seminar paper. General Resources for Legal Research and Writing
•    ELIZABETH FAJANS & MARY FALK, SCHOLARLY WRITING FOR LAW STUDENTS: SEMINAR PAPERS, LAW REVIEW NOTES AND LAW REVIEW COMPETITION PAPERS (4th ed. 2011).
•    EUGENE VOLOKH, ACADEMIC LEGAL WRITING: LAW REVIEW ARTICLES, STUDENT NOTES, SEMINAR PAPERS, AND GETTING ON LAW REVIEW (4th ed. 2010).
•    JEAN DAVIS, PAPER TOPIC DEVELOPMENT: INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE: A RESEARCH GUIDE (2012), http://guides.brooklaw.edu/developing
•    JEAN DAVIS, PAPER TOPIC SELECTION: INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE: A RESEARCH GUIDE (2012), http://guides.brooklaw.edu/selecting
•    KATHLEEN DARVIL, SELECTING AND DEVELOPING YOUR SEMINAR PAPER TOPIC: A RESEARCH GUIDE (2012), http://guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper
Legal Writing: Style & Grammer
•    BRYAN A. GARNER, LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH: A TEXT WITH EXERCISES (2001).
•    BRYAN A. GARNER, THE ELEMENTS OF LEGAL STYLE (2nd ed. 2002).