Monday, March 1, 2010

Research Madness: All This Month!

March is usually a turning point in the spring semester, when law students' focus begins to officially shift from schoolwork to summer employment. Whether you’re still on the job market or have an offer in place, the main concern is the same: to stand out from the crowd with your superior skills. The quickest way to make a good impression on your employers? Set yourself apart as a savvy researcher. Surveys of law firms consistently reveal a wide gap between expectation and reality for new associates’ research skills. (See a 2007 Thomson West white paper for one sobering example, finding that new associates overwhelmingly need help conducting cost-effective legal research.)

The library has always offered a week or two of “Research Refresher” workshops in the spring, in order to help ease the transition from academia to real-world research. This year, though, we’ve teamed up with the Career Center, as well as our LexisNexis and Westlaw campus representatives, to bring you an entire month of reviewing legal research basics, taking on some specialized research topics, and even providing career-minded course selection advice. On the advice of our legal team, we’re calling it…RESEARCH MADNESS (download full calendar).

Week 1 kicks off with LexisNexis and Westlaw’s “Prepare to Practice” trainings, which focus on cost-effective use of the popular legal research services. Can’t make it this week? Don’t worry—they’ll continue at various times throughout the entire month of March. Online sign-up is available:
Week 2 is Spring Break; no classes or trainings will be scheduled. If you need one-on-one research help, the library will be open Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The remaining weeks of March feature a variety of workshops presented by the reference librarians on researching legal topics, offered every Monday and Wednesday-Friday from 9:55-10:55 am in the Fite Room (Library, Level 2). Topics include legislative history; regulations/administrative law materials; locating business & company information; backgrounding people; tracking down court rules and filings; and even “Putting It All Together: Taking a Research Assignment from Start to Finish.”

On Tuesdays from March 16 through April 6, the Career Center will hold academic advisement sessions in Room 3043, intended to help students choose courses which will be useful in their chosen career paths. Beginning with a general overview of course selection for rising 2Ls on March 16, subsequent entries will discuss “Litigation Focus” (March 23), “Corporate/Transactional” (March 30), and “Government/Public Interest” (April 6).

Download the master calendar and join the Research Madness!