Friday, March 18, 2011

Prepare for Practice with our Research Refreshers

Legal research, it must be said, is a lot like kung fu. While everyday law practice offers sadly few opportunities to administer a roundhouse kick, both martial arts and legal research are complex subjects which require a lifetime of study and discipline before you can call yourself a master. Unfortunately, your average legal employer isn’t willing to wait that long -- a 2007 Thomson West white paper on Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students described the perceived gap between what is learned in law school and what is needed for law practice, saying that “partners agree that associates are almost completely incapable of book research, unfamiliar with print resources, over-reliant on electronic resources, and arrive on the law firm scene with uneven skills and research capabilities.”

But don’t despair that your skills might not yet measure up to your future boss’s expectations. Instead, mark your calendars for the week of March 21-25, because like the ancient Shaolin monks of yore, the Goodson Blogson has friends who can teach you some sweet research moves.

The weeklong extravaganza will begin with “Prepare to Practice” cost-effective online research sessions from our new Westlaw representative Denise Stewart (Monday 3/21 and Tuesday 3/22) and our longtime LexisNexis representative Jim O’Leary (Wednesday 3/23 and Thursday 3/24). Sign up in advance for these Prepare to Practice sessions by logging in to the training calendars on LexisNexis and Westlaw.

Then on Friday 3/25, a team of Duke Law research instructors will offer a half-day Research Refresher workshop series, reviewing some of the trickiest basics from LARW and adding some advanced topics and resources which are commonly encountered in law practice. The day's agenda:
  • 9:00 a.m.: "You Want Me To Research WHAT?!": Getting Background & Keeping Costs Down (Jennifer Behrens)
  • 10:00 a.m.: Researching Regulations & Administrative Materials (Melanie Dunshee)
  • 11:00 a.m.: Researching Statutes & Legislative History (Marguerite Most)
  • 12:00 p.m. : Putting it All Together: Taking a Research Assignment from Start to Finish (Jane Bahnson)
You can plan to spend the day and see every session, or come only to those workshop topics which interest you the most. All sessions will take place in the Fite Room (Level 2 of the Library).