Location: Fisher & Phillips
President Deborah Schander welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2015 and thanked Fisher & Phillips for hosting.
The topics for this meeting was “The Current State of Legal Research Training in Atlanta.” The panelist for this topic discussed the levels of research instruction they are providing to law students and new associates. The panelists included:
- Austin Martin Williams, Coordinator of Research Instructional Services, Georgia State University College of Law
- A.J. Doucett, Reference Librarian, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
- Christina Glon, Assistant Law Librarian for Reference, Emory University School of Law
- Sarah Mauldin, Director of Library Services at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
- Julia Berry, Electronic Services/Reference Librarian , Alston & Bird
- Mica Maddry, Branch Library Manager, Chamberlain Hrdlicka
Williams described the legal research curriculum at Georgia State University College of Law. The law librarians all teach one-credit hour legal research course for first year law students. Additionally, several law librarians also teach two-credit courses, which include Advanced Legal Research, Foreign and International Legal Research, and Georgia Legal Research.
Doucett explained that the librarians at John Marshall do not teach legal research in the first year curriculum, but John Marshall does offer an Advanced Legal Research course that some students will take during their third year.
Glon provided an overview of Emory’s current legal research offerings, which includes Advanced Legal Research and several seven week topic specific courses. The law librarians plan to teach up to 10 different legal research courses in next academic year.
Because Mauldin provides library services for attorneys in three separate locations, she has to conduct trainings differently than she did at her prior firms. Mauldin conducts a two hour training for associates either in person or via video conferencing. Mauldin also prepares several handouts and worksheets attorneys can use when researching an issue. In addition to Westlaw, Mauldin continues to encourage attorneys to utilize print resources.
Berry revealed that the librarians at Alston & Bird provide a 20 minute orientation to new associates. In addition, new associates receive one hour trainings on Westlaw and LexisNexis. Moreover, Westlaw and LexisNexis offer trainings throughout the year for attorneys.
Maddry explained that at Chamberlin, librarians get one hour on the first day of associate orientation to discuss legal research and billing. Maddry noted that more often than not, librarians provide in-depth training when there is a “fire.” Maddry notes that he tries to make the associates comfortable with him so they will seek him out before a crises happens.
Schander will send out a notice for the February meeting.