Outreach

  • For Bar Examiners

    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 include a substantial number of information professionals actively engaged in performing and teaching legal research.

    The National Conference of Bar Examiners recently completed a job analysis study of lawyers who had been in practice from one to three years. Ninety-eight percent of the lawyers surveyed stated that they were performing electronic research, giving it a significance of 3.26 on a four-point scale considering importance and frequency. The NCBE is discussing assessing important skills that are not currently being measured on the bar examination, including legal research. Susan Case discusses this study in The Testing Column of the March 2013 issue of The Bar Examiner.

    AALL’s Principles, 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 of the AALL website also includes the AALL report on the Principles and information on how law firms, law schools, courts, and bar examiners have used or contemplate using the Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency.

    We hope that the AALL Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency will be useful to the legal community. New attorneys often arrive at their first legal jobs directly from law school, and may be immediately exposed to areas of the law which are new or unfamiliar. Quite often, they also have no strong sense of the various ways their research will be used or implemented by clients, particularly in non-litigation practices. The Principles, Standards, and Competencies can guide researchers by providing a framework for selection of sources and performing research. The Principles and Standards can also be used as part of a core competency training and skills assessment program for new associates or attorneys within law firms, corporate law departments or other legal environments.

    As this section of the AALL website develops, we expect to gather examples of how the Principles and Standards may be used in various settings: courts, law firms, law schools, bar examiners. We encourage you to explore this content to see how the Principles and Standards could be used to assess the skills researchers need to perform with excellence in the workplace.

  • For Courts

    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 be useful to courts. Law clerks often arrive immediately following law school. Law clerks may be exposed to an area of the law which is new or unfamiliar. The Principles, Standards, and Competencies can guide researchers by providing a framework for selection of sources and performing research. The Principles and Standards can also be used as part of an orientation program for new law clerks or other researchers within the court.

    As this section develops, we expect to gather examples of how the Principles and Standards may be used in various settings: courts, law firms, law schools, bar examiners. We encourage you to explore the section to see how the Principles and Standards might be used in your court to provide researchers the skills they need to perform their work.

  • For Law Firms

    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 (“Principles”). AALL members include a substantial number of information professionals actively engaged in performing and teaching legal research in the law firm setting.

    The current legal environment is notable for increased client demands for efficiency, enhanced digital platforms for legal information, and fundamental changes to regulatory structures. Together these require highly developed research skills, for both the new and the experienced lawyer. The economics of law practice cause an ongoing tension between training time and the need to derive revenue. New law graduates are expected to be practice-ready, even when they have not had specific curricula in all subject areas of the law. The Principles offer a structure for focused training that can dramatically increase the effectiveness of newer lawyers. They can also be used as part of a core competency training and skills assessment program for new associates or other researchers within the firm environment.

    The literature of the legal profession suggests that research competency directly impacts professional efficiency and effectiveness. AALL’s Principles 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 of the AALL website includes the AALL report on the Principles as well as information on how Law Firms, Law Schools, Courts, and Bar Examiners have used or contemplate using them.

    As this section of the AALL website develops, we expect to gather examples of how the Principles and Standards may be used in various settings: courts, law firms, law schools, bar examiners. We encourage you to explore this content to see how the Principles and Standards could be used in your law firm to provide researchers the skills they need to perform with excellence in the workplace.

  • For Law Schools

    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.