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The AALL Spectrum® Blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. The previous Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.
1/16/2014 4:18:00 PM

Law School v. Library School

This post describes some of the differences of law school versus library school as viewed by a current library school student.

As soon as I began my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, I could not help but start comparing my recent library school experience to my previous law school experience. Initially I struggled between thinking like a lawyer and thinking like a librarian. Law schools’ pride themselves on teaching their students through the Socratic method and developing legally trained minds. On the other hand, while library school does offer a practical approach, it does so through a more theoretical way of calling upon student group discussion in developing an ideal.

In law school, students develop a concise way of writing, which uses IRAC (a Issue, Analysis, Rule and Conclusion) format. However, in library school, students are encouraged to explain their thoughts and ideas in a less structured, but wordier manner. In library school, the Bluebook method of legal citation is reverted back to the ALA or MLA citation formation. In addition, you will no longer have to worry about getting called on in class, as library school provides a much more relaxed environment for higher learning.

Library students seem to go above and beyond to help one another out. Maybe it’s our commitment to service or interest in reference. Nonetheless, library students are willing to discuss homework assignments and even post links and resources on the collaborative online Moodle space when they find something that might be helpful to the rest of the class. Therefore, library students are extremely resourceful and quick to respond.

While law school students do help one another out, I found they were not as forthcoming. That was most likely because, there is this ever-present competitiveness in law school. You are competing with your classmates for grades, summer associate positions, internships, jobs, moot court, journal and everything else. In library school, while we are all competing for similar positions, we all have differing concentrations.

Library students are very passionate and well versed on worldly issues. They seem to look at the bigger picture and world at large. On the other hand, law school students seem to be inundated with the law, creating this self-contained law school world. However, law schools are developing more cultivated students by encouraging outside activities such as study aboard programs, community service and a variety of athletic activities.

In the end, although law school and library school have many differences, there are some commonalities among the diverse fields. Both librarians and lawyers are very passionate, analytical, hard working and provide a service that helps others. Both library school and law school create dedicated professionals to their craft. I look forward to putting both my legal and library training together towards a rewarding career. 

By: Lindsey Ann Carpino, J.D.

Posted By Lindsey Carpino at 1/16/2014 4:18:00 PM  0 Comments
1/13/2014 2:59:09 PM

Chapter Newsletter Highlights: MALL, SNELLA, and ORALL

This post describes some articles in AALL chapter newsletters that are likely to be interesting to librarians outside those chapters.

The Fall 2013 issue of the MALL Newsletter, publication of the Minnesota Association of Law Libraries, contains a number of detailed accounts of members' experiences at the last AALL Annual Meeting. Anyone wanting a sense of what to expect at Annual Meetings or a refresher on the past meeting would find these accounts useful.

The September 2013 issue of Obiter Dicta, publication of the Southern New England Law Librarians Association, has a profile of Judge William J. Lavery, who was awarded the SNELLA Annual Law Library Advocate Award. The piece illustrates very well the importance of strong advocates for libraries.

The September 2013 issue of ORALL Newsletter, publication of the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries, presents a brief introduction to flipped classrooms, a teaching model in which prepared instruction is delivered outside of the class session, and the class time is used for practice, discussion, and addressing challenges. The flipped classroom model has received a great deal of attention recently, and this article is an accessible starting point for librarians considering flipping any aspect of their classes.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 1/13/2014 2:59:09 PM  0 Comments
1/13/2014 2:07:38 PM

Chapter Newsletter Highlights: SWALL, LLAW, and WPLLA

This post describes some articles in AALL chapter newsletters that are likely to be interesting to librarians outside those chapters.

The Fall 2013 issue of SWALL Bulletin, the newsletter of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, contains an article describing themed book displays at the St. Mary's University School of Law Library. A vast variety of themes are possible and help show students and faculty the breadth of the library's collection. Also interesting in an article applying the marketing advice from an ABA Journal piece on marketing one's law practice. Joseph Lawson of the Fort Bend County Law Library shows how the marketing ideas can be used in private, government, and academic law libraries.

The Fall 2013 issue of WPLLA Newsletter, the publication of the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association, contains reports on efforts to digitize the back files of the WPLLA Newsletter, the Cool Tools Café at the last AALL Annual Meeting, and a presentation on LexisNexis's process of editing and posting case law.

The Summer 2013 issue of LLAW Briefs, the publication of the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin, has very thorough committee reports and an account of Korean librarians visiting the U.S. Courts Library in Milwaukee.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 1/13/2014 2:07:38 PM  0 Comments