Those of you who attended the annual meeting in Orlando may remember that early Monday evening, July 22, 2002 was perhaps the busiest time of the convention with a host of SIS, Chapter and social events scheduled. Nevertheless a group of law librarians dedicated to legal research resisted other tempting options and met with the ALL-SIS Legal Research Roundtable. Energized by the music and smells from the huge Aspen party right across the hall, the roundtable group managed to have a very productive meeting.
The evening included both presentations and roundtable discussions. Pauline Aranas spoke about the intense involvement of law librarians at Vanderbilt in the required first year legal research course. Carol Hinchcliff spoke about legal research instruction at Ohio State, and Wendy Scott discussed activities of the 2001-2002 Task Force on Advanced Legal Research. After the presentations, the discussion focused on identifying effective teaching strategies and new techniques adopted in teaching. Several participants mentioned that they had found having students work in small groups or teams an effective strategy. One participant mentioned that he had found using "hot topics" for research problems more effective than other canned, recycled problems. Another insisted that too much reliance on power point had NOT been effective.
Participants also suggested topics for future legal research activities. Some ideas suggested were:
In the end, the roundtable meeting was the opportunity for a thought provoking exchange of experiences, successes and frustrations for librarians engaged in teaching legal research in a variety of venues--credit courses, required courses, informal one time sessions, or in "teachable moments."
Submitted by Rosalie Sanderson