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  Friday, June 21, 2002

From FOS News:

Charles W. Bailey Jr. has released Version 43 of his Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. The new edition cites over 1,600 print and online sources.

This is a wonderful resource if you have any interest in this area.  Mr Bailey updates his bibliography in a weblog. 

12:57:34 PM comment []   

From Ernie the Attorney:

I taught legal research & writing for a year at one point, and since then I have observed closely the learning process that young lawyers have to go through to become proficient at finding answers to questions.  And, sadly, not everything is in the law books.  For example, law schools will teach you that if you want to know the filing requirements of a particular court you should look up the local rules.  True enough.  But, as one who clerked in a court, here's how I often do it if I have any sort of unusual pleading or filing.  I call the intake clerk and very, very politely (and with great deference) ask them if there are any "new" rules that apply to what I'm filing.  Then they tell me either "yes" (and I learn about a rule that isn't in the books yet), or "no" and then they tell me the rule and also usually some additional tidbit of information that will help me get the thing filed without any hitches.  After several calls like this, I get to know the intake person, and they come to know me.  And, guess what?  When I do have problems they are usually inclined to help me out. 

They don't teach you useful stuff like that in law school.  And research often involves calling someone who knows the answer and being nice to them to have them help you out.

This is so important to law students.  Law schools are getting better at explaining the practical stuff, but so many students still graduate without having much of a clue how to actually do anything in court.  Our Legal Writing & Research program here uses practioners as adjuncts to teach writing and librarians to teach research.  Most of the librarians either practiced law, worked as law firm librarians, or have been law librarians for years.  So both sets of instructors then provide practical examples to the students about what the "real" practice of law involves.  Getting on the phone is often the best answer.

12:22:52 PM comment []   

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