In March and April of this year, I spent 10 days in Yerevan, Armenia,
as part of the Rule of Law project funded by the USAID. The project is
between Armenia State University Law School and New York University Law
Library. During my assignment there I trained faculty and students on online
legal research and on building the School of Law Home Page. My curriculum
covered HTML editing, designing Home Pages, creating a virtual electronic
library, legal research using Westlaw and Lexis, specialized legal research
in the field of Public International Law, Private International Law, Foreign
and Comparative Law on the Internet legal databases. I also provided training
on the U.S. legal system and U.S. government legal databases.
My time was spent on teaching (5-7 hours per day) and preparing my lectures according with the reality I met at the Yerevan Law School. Despite Internet problems or LAN problems, some language obstacles (at the beginning, not all my students were able to understand English
even though they were able to read English very well) or some software
complications - the program covered all proposed objectives. In my teaching
I emphasized individual research and independent work while tests checked
the level of acquired knowledge every day.
During my training program I covered:
-HTML basics, search engines, database evaluation and acquisition of electronic resources
-Westlaw, Lexis from description to legal research (especially international
and foreign legal materials, primary and secondary
-European Union, Council of Europe databases, CELEX, GLIN, United Nations ODS and Web, WTO, CIESG, CIESIN, ACE, UN Treaty Collection.
-Specialized legal research in the field of Human Rights, International
Organizations, International Courts, International Criminal
Law, International Treaties.
-Foreign Legal databases (Russia, France, USA, etc).
-Secondary sources (law reviews, legal journals, scholarly publications available online)
-Principles for electronic collection development and maintaining the virtual library
-The School of Law Home Page in three languages (Armenian, English,
I am very fortunate to have had such hard working students able to follow the entire program at the pace I imposed and the load I proposed in my Syllabus. They stayed for hours in the class room without a break, eager to learn more, to understand more. Every student or professor in my class of fourteen had a personal project so I had to supervise their work individually. It was exhausting to be jumping from one computer to another but exhilarating to see how the group was progressing day by day.
My hosts were wonderful and caring and they made my visit not only very nice but also very fruitful. I would like to mention here Karen Kevorgyan, the School of Law Vice Dean, and Sergey Arakelyan, the Law Library's director. I also would like to thank all my students whose feedback and final evaluation of the program showed that my efforts were useful and meaningful to them.
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