Embedded Librarians: Teaching Legal Research as a Lawyering Skill
Villanova University School of Law
David A. Clarke School of Law, Charles N. & Hilda H. M. Mason Law Library
September 30, 2010
Villanova Law/Public Policy Research Paper No. 2013-3031
The current movement for reform of legal education focuses on teaching both knowledge and practical skills in combination, as recommended in the 2007 Carnegie Report, Educating Lawyers. In light of technology that now makes masses of law and related information available online, unorganized and seemingly unmanageable, this article proposes that law schools draw on the professional skills of their law librarians to teach students advanced legal research and analysis by embedding them in law school clinics. It outlines a pedagogy for teaching legal research in clinics as a lawyering skill, complete with ethical responsibilities and professional standards, consonant with the recommendations of the Carnegie Report, Educating Lawyers, the 2009 Boulder Statement on Legal Research Education, and the 1992 ABA Taskforce on Law Schools and the Profession, Legal Education and Professional Development (the MacCrate Report). It examines how the relatively new trend of embedding librarians in practice settings, offering assistance at the point of need, could be effective in law schools. Finally, it advances a model for embedding law librarians in law school clinics based on the experiment conducted at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, begun by first embedding one librarian in the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic and then continued by adding on other clinics. This article has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Legal Education.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Legal Education, Lawyering Skills, Research, Practice Environment, Clinical Education, Legal Clinics, Law School, Law Librarians, Advanced Legal Research, Legal Research, Embedding
JEL Classification: K19
Date posted: October 20, 2010 ; Last revised: April 29, 2013
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