Friday, September 7, 2007

Site Links Students and Practitioners on Research Topics

Acs ACH Research Link, developed by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy,

collects legal research topics submitted by practitioners for law students to explore in faculty-supervised writing projects for academic credit.  Topic authors will receive a copy of the resulting student papers, which ACS will also post in a searchable online library.  By connecting law students and faculty with the research needs of public interest organizations and advocates, ACS ResearchLink will become an increasingly comprehensive and powerful engine for change, while also enhancing the relevance and influence of student academic scholarship.

This seems to me a great idea.  I vividly recall as a student the difficulty of choosing a novel, timely, relevant paper topic at the beginning of a law school course, when by definition I knew very little about the subject of the course.  Because the semester-long time-line for student papers is unlikely to correspond with briefing schedules, it's unlikely that practitioners will use this as a source of free legal research work -- but practitioners working on long-term projects could benefit from getting a different perspective on the legal issues on which they are working.  One caveat: law school professors teaching seminar courses and offering independent studies will need to regularly peruse the site's online library to ensure that student papers are not being recycled.

Hat tip: Mike Whiteman.

rb

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