For Law Schools

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In response to the perceived need for improvement in legal research training, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has developed Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency. AALL members are information professionals engaged in performing and teaching legal research.

The literature of the legal profession suggests that research competency directly impacts professional efficiency and effectiveness. The Standards and Competencies provide a concrete framework for the assessment of research competency that can be applied at any point on the continuum of a legal professional's career and in any specific field within the legal profession.

This section includes the Principles and Standards, the AALL report on the Principles and information on reports and studies that discuss the issue of legal research competency, and information on how law firms, law schools, courts, and bar examiners have contemplated using the Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency.

We hope that the AALL Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency will useful to law schools. Law schools are required to ensure by the American Bar Association that each student receive substantial instruction in legal research. The proposed Standards state that a law school shall establish learning outcomes that shall, at a minimum, include competency in legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context; The Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency will provide a standard for establishing learning outcomes.