April 16, 2011
An ADR Prof on Fairly Legal
ASU Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Program Art Hinshaw reviews Fairly Legal on ADR Prof Blog. A snip from his Reflections on Fairly Legal post:
After much fanfare in the mediation community when it premiered, including plenty on this blog, there’s been little mention of it. I caught up with more Fairly Legal episodes over the weekend and realized why. Mediation provides a nice setting for the show, but there [is] little mediation going on.
Well, of course. Should anyone really expect a TV show portraying the nitty & gritty work of real ADR? [JH]
April 15, 2011
It's a Perfect Friday Afternoon Diversion: Remember to Vote in AALL's Day in the Life Photo Contest
AALL members have until April 17 to choose the best photo in each category and one best overall photo in the Day in the Life of the Law Library Community photo contest. Simply log in to http://www.aallnet.org/dayinlife/finals/ with your AALLNET members-only e-mail and password. Winners will be recognized on AALLNET, in an issue of AALL Spectrum, and during the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. [JH]
Remembering Arthur Clement Pulling as This Year's National Library Week Celebration Approaches Its Conclusion
"This week is National Library Week," writes Nova Southeastern law prof Jim Levy. "To observe the week, I would like to commemorate the work of a largely forgotten hero in the world of law librarians." That would be Arthur Clement Pulling. After identifying Pulling's substantial contributions to academic law librarianship, Levy asks:
How likely is it that today someone without credentials but lots of creativity could make a mark in the world of legal education? Has the demand for credentials shut out truly innovative people?
That's a damn good question to conclude this year's National Library Week. Interested? See Levy's National Library Week: The Legend of Arthur Pulling on Legal Skills Prof Blog. [JH]
Friday Fun: Library FAQs
I think we all can say, "been there, done that" for these frequently asked library questions. [JH]
Learning and Teaching Legal Research: A Bibliographic Survey of the Learning Enterprise
In the conclusion of his article, "Learning" Research and Legal Education: A Brief Overview and Selected Bibliographical Survey, 40 Southwestern L. Rev. 449 (2011) [SSRN] Chapman law professor Donald Kochan writes:
Legal education and the subject of learning as it relates to it are intriguing and stimulating topics and the literature is filled with a rich and diverse exploration into those fields. The teacher seeking to improve his or her task should acquaint him or herself with the wisdom within this literature. The scholar whose research is directly aimed to expand on or discuss the subject of learning by necessity must engage with it. The librarian seeking to assist students and professors must be aware of this literature. And really, all those with endeavors that even indirectly relate to the legal educative enterprise cannot help but be affected by it. This overview and bibliographical survey should serve as one tool for each person finding themselves in one of those positions.
From the article's abstract:
At its core, education is about learning. Every educator, legal or otherwise, must at the same time be both a teacher and a student in the learning enterprise. Luckily, there is a wide literature to help us in these roles and it is growing every day. It should be a goal of every legal educator to appreciate this area of scholarship, understand its breadth and importance, and engage with it in our teaching and writing. This research overview aims to aid the legal educator seeking to learn about learning and access tools for self-improvement. It also provides some preliminary assistance to those researchers beginning to traverse the field on the subject of "learning" and legal education, and it equally serves as a warning of the daunting task that awaits the researcher on that multifaceted subject. This overview and selected bibliography compiles selected sources collected through various searches on legal databases, library collections, and other available sources. The text serves as a guide along the way with some explanatory material to describe the fields. The compilation of these sources will serve independently as a valuable survey, bibliographic collection, and research tool for others (including educators, academic scholars, librarians, students, and lawyers).
Call for ALWD Scholars' Forum Submissions: Scholars' Forum and the Empire State Legal Writing Conference Scheduled for May 12-13, 2011
From the announcement:
Second Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference: Teaching Legal Writing Effectively to Prepare Students for Practice, Friday, May 13, 2011
Hosted by St. John’s University School of Law, to be held at 101 Murray Street, Manhattan (Downtown)
Thursday, May 12, ALWD Scholars’ Forum: Looking for participants to present their scholarship ideas or works-in-progress to legal writing scholars. Lisa Eichhorn and Marilyn Walter will be providing critique during the workshop, in addition to St. John’s Robin Boyle. Lisa Eichhorn is Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at University of South Carolina School of Law. She serves as a Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. Marilyn Walter is Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and Director of the Legal Writing Program. She was the 2005 recipient of the AALS Legal Writing Award. She also served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Association of the Legal Writing Directors. Robin Boyle is the Assistant Dean for Academic Success and Professor of Legal Writing at St. John’s. She currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute and on the Board of Directors for the LWI. Send ALWD Scholar's submissions to Robin Boyle, boyler(at)stjohns.edu
Friday, May 13th, Second Empire State LW Conference will focus on creative teaching ideas attendees can implement immediately in their own classroom. Our keynote speaker, Professor Tina Stark, will illuminate key points in teaching transactional drafting. The conference will feature over 50 presenters from around the country. Various themes will be intertwined throughout the day, such as the following: ethics, professionalism, and plagiarism; reaching today’s millenials; grading efficiently; perspectives from the bench, bar, and clinical programs; experiential techniques; polishing drafts; oral presentations; lessons from international law; and current-day email memos.
Registration: Registration is free for both the Empire State Conference as well as the Scholars’ Forum. Participants will be able to register on-line at http://bit.ly/hKG0WF.
Conference Hotel: Millenium Hilton Hotel, 55 Church Street, New York. NY 10007. Rates: $299 for Double/$279 for King. Dates of the Block: May 11 -14, 2011. Conferece presenters and participants can call Hilton reservations at 1-888-273-0734 and refer to the St. John's Law School or group code JLS to obtain the group rate. You must call on or before April 20, 2011; after this date, the special group rate will no longer be available.
Times of the events:
- The ALWD Scholars’ Forum will begin on Thursday, May 12th at 11:30 AM and end by 5:00.
- The Empire State Conference on Friday, May 13th will open with Registration and Continental Breakfast at 8:15 AM. The Dean’s Welcome is at 9 AM. The first session will begin at 9:30 AM. The last session will conclude by 5:20 PM. There will be six 50-minute sessions with four simultaneous presentations. Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided.
Reminder: Today's Law Librarian Conversations To Address the Topic of the Future of Law Libraries
Today's Law Librarian Conversations podcast will be available on BlogTalkRadio at 2:00 PM Central Time. Click on this link. HLS's John Palfrey will be the featured guest to discuss "The Future of Law Libraries," including the upcoming conference on this topic which will be held this June at Harvard. Details about the HLS workshop here.
According to the AALL list announcement, this week's panel will include Tracy Thompson-Pryzlucki, Ken Hirsh, Jason Eiseman, Sarah Glassmeyer and Elizabeth Farrell. The podcast will also look at the ABA's proposed tenure standards for law library directors and the NCCUSL draft on Electronic Materials. Once again, another very interesting podcast being offered by the LawLibCon crew.[JH]
April 14, 2011
AAUP's Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession
From the introduction of the AAUP's 2010-11 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession:
Although the worst recession since the Great Depression is now technically over, our analysis of faculty compensation and forecasts for state revenues indicates that the negative impact on higher education will continue for years in many states. Who outside the professoriate should care what happens to faculty salaries and benefits during a recession? Everyone who hopes to be employed in the future, bring home a paycheck, and have something left over to put into savings should care.
Do US academic institutions compensate their faculties at the levels needed to produce college graduates who can compete in the global marketplace? Our analysis of this year’s data and our examination of long-term trends in faculty compensation indicate that the answer is “No!”
Hat tip to Adjunct Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Band on the Rejection of the Google Books Settlement
Jonathan Band continues his excellent LRRX series on GBS. In A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement he discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search. See also Mark Giangrande's LLB post, Some Thoughts on the Google Book Settlement Rejection. [JH]
Harvard Law School Library Hosting Workshop on the Future of Law Libraries on June 16th: Save the Date Even If You Can't Attend in Person
The offical title for this event is "The Future of Law Libraries: The Future Is Now?" From the announcement:
This is supposed to be the future of law libraries. A decade into the 21st century, how is it working? Is the digital utopia all it's cracked up to be? What's taken off like a rocket? What's misfiring? Join us on June 16, 2011 for a day of reviewing where we've come from, looking at how the predictions panned out, examining what's going well, and dissecting missteps. We'll also discuss and critique blueprints for the next iterations of our future. Anyone interested in the present and future of law libraries is welcome to attend this free event.
I know it is pretty damn difficult these days for private and public sector law librarians -- indeed, also for academic law librarians -- to attend meetings like this one. But I encourage all who can attend to consider doing so. See the workshop's agenda. My hunch is that it just might be an excellent lead-in to AALL's annual meeting, which again, in these times, many law librarians interested (and involved in making happen) the future of law libraries might not be able to attend this year.
If You Can't Attend in Person. Unlike the "closed access" advocates inside the walled garden of AALL official business like meetings the membership finance, "[b]logging and tweeting [of this workshop's] proceedings" is encouraged. The hashtag for the event is #FoLL2011." Harvard will also "livecast as much of the day as possible."
So if you can't be there in person, you will still be able to be to do so by way of modern web communication mediums. Either way, "save the date." [JH]
Celebrating National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011: On the Value of Libraries and Librarians
Honorary Chair of National Library Week John Grisham on the value of libraries and librarians. [JH]
April 13, 2011
Reminder: Free Fastcase Webinar on Keyword Searching Tomorrow at 10:00 AM EST
Fastcase is offering a free 50-minute webinar on keyword searching at 10:00 AM EST, Thursday, April 14th. I'm hoping it features keyword searching on Fastcase because it has been quite a while since I have a look-see at Fastcase and many enhancements have been made since I did (hint: how about a new free trial UN/PW for a test drive).
Fastcase, in my opinion, is one of two commercial online legal search services for primary legal source research that is pushing WEXIS to change, the other being Bloomberg Law. But while Bloomberg Law is nibbling at the high end BigLaw and SEC compliance market with its fixed rate pricing, Fastcase is the reason WEXIS is offering fixed rate pricing in the long-neglected solo-small firm online legal search market. Well, let's say Fastcase plus the consequences of the recession and client push-back on charging back costs of very expensive online legal search costs.
Hello WEXIS, Online legal research had a "wow!" factor back in the early-mid 1980s with clients. I know, I was there. "You really can do that?" "Yes, we can." Now, it is as commonplace as a law firm's print collection (read overhead) was back then.
Fastcase is also moving beyond this niche to the point that it is a viable mainstream competitor in the legal search market for primary federal and state resources. Unlike CaseMaker which is essentially still locked into marketing online legal search to state bar associations, Fastcase, which also has a very significant bar association market share, is building-out to be a price and quality contender beyond bar associations and the solo-small firm market.
How? Innovation! I particularly like how search results based on keyword searching include, after a signal, search results based on citation analysis. In ancient times, we used to call this technique "bibliographic coupling." I personally think it is a far better way to go than "crowdsourcing" embedded in WLN's WestSearch. That's one that may actually produce search output which may not display relevant results because of it's "colander" effect. All SEs filter or "drain," but WestSearch is particularly dubious. See Mark Giangrande's WestlawNext Redux. Oh well, that didn't stop AALL from naming WestlawNext the 2011 Product of the Year. But I digress... .
From the blub for tomorrow's Fastcase Webinar on Keyword Searching:
We’ll cover the advantages of full text search, slowly march through basic Boolean operators and their uses, and illustrate some examples. This webinar is perfect for experienced lawyers and researchers who didn’t learn “keyword search” in law school.
Unfortunately, no matter how often legal research instructors in law school (and law librarians outside the legal academy) promote the use of keyword searching, the use of Boolean operators, and how to override the default combinations of "and," "or" etc. so the researcher knows what the hell he or she is actually instructing the SE to do instead of thinking he or she knows, a generation of lawyers snoozed during keyword searching legal research instruction and are thinking natural language searching is the best invention since sliced Wonder Bread. Now we have a generation of law students-young practitioners who think searching Googlely-eyed is the standard of precise research. Ah, replace Wonder Bread with Hot Pockets!
|Is This What Very Expensive Online Legal Research Has Become?||I'm Thinking the Answer "Just Might Be 'Yes.'"|
And, of course, our major vendors are catering to the masses on that score. Since when is the "masses" defined as a professional community? Since our major vendors started viewing their inventory of electronic legal resources as a commodity.
Yikes, again I digress! Fastcase's free webinar is tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM, EST. Register here. [JH]
Unpaid Blogger Sues Huffington Post for Unjust Enrichment
Digital activist Jason Tasini has filed suit against Arianna Huffington for deceptive practices under New York law and for unjust enrichment. He seeks class action status for himself and all the other bloggers who contributed unpaid content to the Huffington Post. The suit comes on the heels of a $315 million sale of the site to AOL. Where there is money, there is litigation. The 38 page complaint has enough factual allegations to place ads between the pages. That's exactly what Scribd did when a copy of the complaint wound up on its site. Jason, someone else is making money off your work, or your lawyer's work, more specifically. Will another lawsuit be forthcoming?
The concept behind the suit is to set a precedent that profit-making entities should share the wealth with the unpaid labor in the trenches. Huffington, the suit says, offered exposure to writers by providing a well trafficked forum, but no money. Tasini likens Huffington to a slave owner on a plantation of bloggers in comments he made to Wired. The major difference, of course, is that Tasini and his fellow bloggers could easily have stopped providing content to the Huffington Post at any time. The suit is not based on copyright or contract, or even quasi-contract.
I'm a bit skeptical of the suit despite the fact that Huffington made a significant chunk of money in the sale to AOL. No one forced anyone to write for the Huffington Post. Tasini notes in his complaint over two hundred posts he contributed to the site. I think he could have stopped long before the sale if he was dissatisfied with the return on the effort. Some people in the journalism profession despise bloggers because they produce free content, or content that is subsidized by site ads. This reduces the value for news and causes journalists to lose jobs.
Los Angeles publisher Bill Lasarow is calling for a labor action against the Huffington Post. is also quoted in the Wired article as saying "Part of the crisis is that much of what now passes as professional writing is not. The other half is that many who once made a dignified living as respected professionals no longer are able to do so.” Again, no one who writes for a blog is forced to do so. Anyone who does takes a calculated risk as to what is the benefit for doing so. I'm not sure the fact that the Huffington Post is a money making operation was particularly hidden from its contributors. Suing to change a business model that's disruptive is an obvious strategy but not necessarily an effective one. Just ask executives from the music, movie, and porn industries, among others.
Just in case Tasini's suit against Huffington succeeds, she does have another regular source of income. She plays the voice of Arianna the Bear, wife of Tim the Bear, on the Cleveland show. [MG]
Is Flat World Knowledge the Way to Break Into the Legal Textbook Market?
padContent's Joe Tartakoff is reporting that a publisher who does not sell textbooks has invested in the open source textbook firm Flat World Knowledge. Who would that be? Random House.
Flat World Knowledge provides textbooks free online so that instructors can update them under a Creative Commons open license while charging for print and eBook versions. One has to wonder if Random House plans to venture into the textbook market by way of Flat World Knowledge, and if so, this could be a way for independent publishers to do the same in, for example, the legal textbook market.
Quoting from Tartakoff's report, Random House said in its press release that Flat World Knowledge’s "'forward-thinking digital initiatives and implementation complement ours' and that the two companies 'share a strong drive to make high-quality academically-oriented content widely available and affordable for students and educators.'" [JH]
April 12, 2011
Widener Law Prof Sues Dean for Defamation
Various press outlets are reporting on the lawsuit filed by Widener Law Professor Lawrence J. Connell against his Dean, Linda L. Ammons, for defamation. It all started when Connell used Ammons in a hypothetical in his criminal law class where an attempt on her life was made. Students complained later of his use of profanity and characterized statements he made about African Americans as racist. The Univeristy began inquiries which Connell in which refused to participate without an attorney. He was placed on leave at one point in the controversy.
Connell charges Ammons with making defamatory statements, including attributing racist and sexist remarks, and calling him a threat to campus safety. Note that Connell has taught at Widener for some 26 years and is tenured. If Connell is in fact a threat, I would assume that is a recent development. Then again, some defamation suits are more about the bad blood between people rather than reality. I think this is one of them. Jonathan Turley has a legal analysis of the complaint here. He says the university has a duty to investigate student complaints, but placing Connell on administrative leave was excessive. He also states that using colleagues in hypotheticals "generates good-faith humor on both sides." None of the news reports indicated Linda Ammons laughed off the incident. I'll say for myself that when I was in law school faculty did not use each other as hypothetical examples where bodily harm was involved. Maybe my law school experience was boring.
I can understand Connell's motivation in filing the suit. He is, if nothing else, moving the inquiry to a forum that may be less biased than the University itself. That should get at the truth of the sordid matter if nothing else. I won't speculate as to what that truth might be, but it's going to be mighty interesting to follow this case in court. More information on this case is in the Philadephia Inquirer and the National Law Journal. [MG]
Why You Should Join The New AALL Caucus on Consumer Advocacy
We are a diverse group of law librarians and legal publishers who favor fair, and competitive, business practices among vendors of legal information services (LIS). We will soon apply to become an AALL caucus, and we will meet informally during the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting. (We will announce the time and place here.) We ask you to join us as we reinvigorate our profession’s commitment to consumer advocacy. Why should you support this grassroots initiative?
Some LIS vendors continue to profit from unfair, and anti-competitive, business practices. Unfair business practices include opaque pricing, non-disclosure clauses, defective editorial standards, misleading advertising, duplicate billing, and unrequested shipments. The Information Access Alliance (IAA) has considered “problems in the scholarly and legal publishing markets,” such as “insupportably high prices, accelerating industry consolidation, and anti-competitive practices by some large publishers.” In 2006, an attorney for IAA said that “single-firm anti-competitive conduct accounts at least in some part for the serious problems confronting research libraries today.” His statement targets anti-competitve restrictions in ”bundled” subscription licenses. These and other anti-consumer practices have been sufficiently widespread to exact enormous, cumulative costs on all types of law libraries and LIS consumers. They also disadvantage LIS vendors who comply with AALL’s Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers.
As a profession, we would advance the collective interests of our employers and our patrons if we did more to overcome shared consumer problems in LIS markets. We would also promote a vital public interest, because the contested practices undermine the quality and availability of copyrighted legal publication. (See related arguments or observations here, here, here, here, and here.)
AALL has a valuable role in consumer advocacy, but falls short of its promise. Our organization participates in IAA, and has sponsored research on merger-related pricing by economist Mark McCabe. McCabe found that following the Thomson-West merger in 1996, prices of Thomson treatises and encyclopedias increased by 40 percent, and the acquired West titles increased by 23 percent. Yet this finding did not lead AALL to expand its consumer advocacy, and IAA appears to have been dormant since 2007. CRIV more than merits our praise and gratitude for resolving individual complaints when LIS vendors violate AALL’s Guide. Yet AALL has no policy to redress a history of pervasive violations by some LIS vendors. Neither AALL nor its Chapters have investigated the national scope of unfair, or anticompetitive, business practices by LIS vendors, or considered commensurate remedies. Our organization does not even rank LIS vendors by how their practices affect consumers, even though the Guide and other benchmarks would provide means of comparison.
The new AALL caucus would reinvigorate our profession’s commitment to consumer advocacy:
Statement of Purpose of New AALL Caucus on Consumer Advocacy
Business practices of legal information vendors (LIVs) warrant more vigorous consumer advocacy than our profession has pursued. Our caucus may: (1) recommend or implement improved disclosures of LIV practices that harm consumers or weaken LIV competition; (2) determine if law librarians and their supporters should renew efforts to investigate unfair, or anti-competitive, business practices by LIVs; (3) recommend further investigation to AALL, interested parties (such as library and attorney associations), or government agencies; (4) examine whether voluntary guidelines have provided adequate remedies to unfair, or anticompetitive, business practices by LIVs; (5) propose legal remedies to AALL, interested parties, or government agencies; (6) encourage law librarians to discuss or pursue these options among themselves and attorneys; and (7) partner with all parties seeking stronger consumer protections from unfair, or anti-competitive, business practices of information vendors. Our caucus may also take other actions to advance the strongest consumer advocacy allowed by law.
Once AALL approves our caucus application, we will welcome partnerships with other LIS consumers like attorneys, their affiliated associations, and LIS vendors who follow the letter and spirit of the law in their business practices.
The success of our initative depends on your support. Please contact our representative, Sarah Glassmeyer, if you wish to join in even a limited capacity, whether or not you can attend our informal meeting in Philadelphia. email@example.com) We promise to keep all inquiries confidential.
April 11, 2011
Fourth Circuit Says Faculty at Public Universities Have First Amendment Rights
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important opinion covering the First Amendment rights of faculty members at a public institution. The case was brought by Michael S. Adams, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He had applied for promotion to full professor and the application, after review, was denied. Upon suit he claimed a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for First Amendment Retaliation and Viewpoint Discrimination, Denial of Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, and religious discrimination under Title VII. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants on all counts. The Fourth Circuit upheld most of the grant but sent the First Amendment claim back for further action.
Adams wrote frequently on blogs and in other media to express conservative and Christian viewpoints. He also wrote one book and co-authored another which criticised academia. He included some of these as publications in his application along with his other scholarship. Adams also listed activism in support of conservative and Christian causes as one element of his public service listings. Adams asserted that his views led to the denial of promotion.
The major point of the appellate decision is whether the Supreme Court case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) applies to academics. There Supreme Court ruled when a public employee makes a statement pursuant to official duties, he does not speak as a citizen. The First Amendment does not protect speech in those circumstances. The District Court reasoned that since Adams supplied his blog postings and books as items for consideration for his promotion, these should be likened to official speech under Garcetti. The Fourth Circuit noted this was wrong, as Garcetti specifically reserved the question of statement by a faculty member given issues of academic freedom at a public university.
The Court then laid out a three part test from its own jurisprudence to determine whether retaliation was a factor in the denial of tenure:
(1) whether the public employee was speaking as a citizen upon a matter of public concern or as an employee about a matter of personal interest; (2) whether the employee’s interest in speaking upon the matter of public concern outweighed the government’s interest in providing effective and efficient services to the public; and (3) whether the employee’s speech was a substantial factor in the employee’s [adverse employment] decision.
The Court said the record was undeveloped for prongs (2) and (3) at this stage of the litigation.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) calls this a "big win" for freedom of academic speech. It is, definitely, as a statement that faculty members at public institutions have a First Amendment right to express unpopular views. However, Adams still has the burden showing his writings were a substantial factor in his denial of tenure. That should shed some light on the tenure process through the documents and conversations that took place in this transaction. The case is Adams v. Trustees of UNCW (10-1413, 4th Cir., April 6, 2011). [MG]
The Website is Down
So just reboot it!
Hey IT cats, I know you don't play PC games on the job but I also know an ex-Army IT systems engineer who got his butt kicked once by a 16 year old girl war-gaming online at home. [JH]
Reminder: Nominations for the 2011 Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service Due by June 1
Each year, the recently re-named Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service Committee honors one law librarian or law library organization for service to the community. Please help us recognize law librarians by nominating a worthy individual who has made a meaningful contribution to a social or charitable cause or concern. A review of past award recipients shows the variety of charitable work that may be recognized.
The award, established in 1991 by Roy M. Mersky, former director of Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and Richard Leiter, director of the Schmid Law Library at the University of Nebraska, was created in order to give special recognition to individual law librarians who might not otherwise be recognized by their peers for their important work. The award was established in lieu of accepting royalties from their book, published in 1991 by the Fred B. Rothman Company (now a division of the Wm. S. Hein and Co. Inc.), The Spirit of Law Librarianship. The second edition was published in the spring of 2004 by Alert Publications, Inc.
Award recipients are selected from nominations submitted to the Award Selection Committee, which consists of Professor Leiter; Donna M. Tuke, publisher, Alert Publications, Inc.; Dick Spinelli, senior vice president, Wm. S. Hein & Company; and, Professor Barbara Bintliff, director of the University of Texas, Tarlton Law Library. The previous award winner, David Selden, law librarian at the National Indian Law Library/Native Rights Fund, will also serve on the selection committee.
The award will be presented to the recipient at a reception during the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
An award will be given only when an outstanding individual is nominated. The committee encourages nominations from anyone with information regarding individuals who might fit the profile of an award recipient. Please help us to recognize the people who represent a special dimension of the “Spirit of Law Librarianship.”
The deadline for nominations is June 1. To make a nomination, please contact: Professor Richard Leiter, Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, NE 68583-0902; rleiter(at)unl.edu;. For more information visit the Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service.
Opening: Reference and Instruction Librarian, West Virginia Univ. College of Law Library
Primary Purpose: West Virginia University College of Law Library seeks applicants for a Reference and Instruction Librarian. The position is a full-time, twelve month, tenure-track law library faculty position. The Reference and Instruction Librarian works as part of a reference, instruction, and research support team that interacts with the Law School and University communities, as well as serves legal and general public library users. The Reference and Instruction Librarian should be proficient in research strategies and resources. Applicant should be familiar with new information technologies as they apply to instruction and communication. The applicant should maintain an awareness of developments in law librarianship and legal education. The Reference and Instruction Librarian participates actively in developing and implementing the Law Library’s policies, programs, and services to its community of users. The librarian will be a member of the WVU University Libraries’ faculty and will report to the Director of the College of Law Library.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provides reference and research services as part of a team, including the possibility of some evenings and weekends
- Develops and coordinates instructional and outreach programs
- Teaches online and print legal resources to students in small group and one-on-one sessions
- Prepares online tutorials
- Develops Law Library brochures and bibliographies for print and online distribution
- Participates in collection development and selection
- Serves on Law Library, Law School, and other University committees
- Depending on qualifications and experience, may help develop and manage a Certificate of Excellence in Legal Research program, as well as Advanced Legal Research classes, and may serve as the Law Library’s liaison to the Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing program.
Required Qualifications: Applicant must
- possess a Doctor of Jurisprudence from an ABA accredited school
- possess a Master in Library or Information Science from an ALA accredited school
- be service-oriented, innovative, and flexible
- be able to work in a fast-paced atmosphere with multiple projects and diverse users
- possess excellent organizational skills
- exhibit strong oral and written communication skills
- have the ability and willingness to work independently and as a member of team
- have the ability to meet university requirements for promotion and retention as a member for the University Libraries’ faculty
Preferred Qualifications: Applicant
- should possess substantial knowledge of traditional legal bibliography and legal electronic resources
- should have at least minimal experience in teaching, performing legal reference services, and managing/utilizing electronic resources
- with a second master degree in a field within our curriculum would be a plus
Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Fringe Benefits include TIAA-CREF retirement annuity, a variety of medical plans, 24 vacation days, 18 sick days, and group life insurance.
Environment: The West Virginia University College of Law Library serves approximately 425 full-time law students, 29 full-time faculty, 10 administrators, as well as 48 visiting and adjunct faculty. In addition to these primary users, the Library is also the major legal information resource center for the northern half of the State, serving the University, the State Bar, the judiciary, and the public.
To Apply: Send a letter of application, a resume, and the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail of three references to:
Susan E. Wolford
Acting Law Library Director
West Virginia University College of Law Library
Post Office Box 6135
Morgantown, West Virginia 26506
Electronic applications in a PDF format are welcomed and should be sent to susan.wolford(at)mail.wvu.edu. Any questions concerning the application process should be directed to Susan Wolford at susan.wolford(at)mail.wvu.edu.
West Virginia University is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals.
West Virginia University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.