157 US law school deans issue collective statement on 2020 election, Capitol attack

Law school deans from 157 law schools across the US issued a collective statement on Tuesday addressing the 2020 election and condemning the attack on the US Capitol on January 6. Because law school deans usually do not collectively speak on issues outside of legal education, this was an unusual occurrence.
The deans who signed the statement on Tuesday represented about two-thirds of US law schools. There are about 235 law schools in the US, 203 of which are ABA-approved. The 157 deans who signed the statement included those of Harvard, CUNY, Stanford and Yale, as well as many other schools throughout the nation.
In the statement, the deans condemned the attack on the Capitol as an “effort to disrupt the certification of a free and fair election” that “was a betrayal of the core values that undergird our Constitution.” They also wrote that, even though many lawyers and judges “worked honestly and

Original URL: https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/157-us-law-school-deans-issue-collective-statement-on-2020-election-capitol-attack/

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Welcome, 2021! – and a Round-Up of Pedagogy Sessions at this week’s AALS Annual Meeting

Dear readers, authors, commenters, and friends far and wide: Happy New Year! We look forward to another year of exciting and thought-provoking discussion with you through the Best Practices for Legal Education blog.  We begin 2021 with the AALS annual meeting, being held virtually, that you can access here.  The conference will include some fantastic […]

Original URL: https://bestpracticeslegaled.com/2021/01/04/welcome-2021-and-a-round-up-of-pedagogy-sessions-at-this-weeks-aals-annual-meeting/

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Legal Education Goes Digital

For the past few years, Queen’s Law has been exploring new teaching and learning tools in the classroom and beyond. “Blended” learning has been a growing component in our teaching: providing more course materials and videos online, so instructors can use more of the classroom time for discussion, problem solving and the application of the materials – and less time in a traditional top-down lecture format. And, while that approach is not new, it has led to other educational initiatives at Queen’s.
We are currently participating in a pilot project to explore Echo 360, a remarkable program developed by one of our graduates, Fred Singer, Law ’88. Echo 360 does a variety of things that can enhance classroom teaching and learning. Using a special device, it records the lecture and posts it on the course webpage, tying the lecture directly to a student’s notes and the instructor’s slides, so that when

Original URL: http://www.slaw.ca/2017/08/18/legal-education-goes-digital/

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Disrupting Law School

In a new whitepaper, Disrupting Law School, Michael B. Horn and I explore various aspects of disruption in the legal services sector with an eye toward how law schools can respond proactively. As we state in the whitepaper, it is clear to us that law schools need to change. But many in the academy believe […]

Original URL: http://bestpracticeslegaled.albanylawblogs.org/2016/03/21/disrupting-law-school/

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A Matter of Trust: Why the Time is Right to Adopt the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) in Florida

This this article, Law Librarian Patricia Morgan brings our attention to a group of prominently related issues on electronic legal research whose application are critical for attorneys, librarians and courts. In an era where cost-cutting has become increasingly important, there already exists an untapped resource related to legal research. More and more resources exist online (some exclusively). It has been a long time since the introduction of the Internet, but it is finally going to prove instrumental in reducing the cost of legal research. It is time to come to terms with the fact that most legal material should be readily available electronically and that there must be a way to verify that the material is authentic. As Morgan queries and answers – Uniform Law, Anyone?

Original URL: http://www.llrx.com/features/time-is-right-to-adopt-uniform-electronic-legal-materials-act-in-florida.htm

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The Law School Laboratory

As a librarian, I’ve been trying to avoid talking about libraries in this column. Mainly because there is already a legal information column on Slaw and I wanted to keep talking about “true” law school issues.

Then I realized I was being an idiot and part of the problem that plagues libraries.

What sparked my realization was reading a couple of closely timed items. Item the first was a article on Above the Law about Washington & Lee School of Law’s Strategic Transition Plan. In reference to the plan’s “Operating budgets will be reduced by 10 percent in 2015-16 with the exception of the library budget, which will grow by 2 percent.” the Above the Law columnist wrote:

“Students? Get by with less. Institution that no one uses anymore? Here’s your raise!!! … So… law school takes a tumble in U.S. News rankings, and one of the easiest investments it can make is throwing more money at the obsolete library”


And a law professor blogged in reference to W&L’s library budget increase:

“UCLA’s law library is fabulous and our reference librarians are a wonderful resource. But I haven’t set foot in it for years. Almost [all] of my research is done online, supplemented by office copies of a few books. If we got rid of the books tomorrow neither my teaching nor my research would take a major hit (probably not even a minor one).

Granted, the law school library can be a useful study hall for the students, but that doesn’t mean that their budgets should be going up while everything else is getting slashed.”


And then finally, the US News and World Report annual law school rankings. I decided to look at their methodology, especially with regards to how the library figures into the calculations. Imagine my surprise when they only counted titles and volumes contained by the library and that this only accounted for .75% of a school’s total score.



Why is it that everyone loves libraries and librarians, but no one seems to care if we are kept around anymore? Also, why does everyone think libraries are just books? Or a study hall?

Part of the problem does lie with librarians. We’re a service profession and are sometimes loathe to toot our own horns, especially to the law faculty that we serve. I mean, the fact that I had to debate with myself whether or not to even write this column when I generally don’t hold my tongue on many topics speaks to that. Our goal is to make the research process for law professors as smooth and seamless as possible – not to interrupt the flow and correct them when they think of subscription databases like Westlaw or Lexis as “The Internet” or that they are free.

But I do also put part of the blame on those with the mistaken ideas. It’s 2015. If you consider a major portion of your job to be scholarship, you should have a basic understanding of the tools of your trade.

Some basic facts:

  • While, in the above example, the library budget is increasing by 2%, I can almost guarantee that its material costs are going up 10% or more. Annually.
  • The subscription databases that are “replacing libraries” are actually paid for from the library budget. They are not a competitor to the library, but rather they are a digital branch of it.
  • Yes, even books are on the databases. But not all are. Also, depending on the agreement with the database vendors, they may or may not be accessible to members of the public. As many academic law libraries are open to the public and are a filler of the Access to Justice, it’s important that the library has resources available to them.
  • Everything is not on the Internet. Not even close.

It’s cliché at this point to say that Legal Education is in a time of upheaval and change. There are calls on all sides to create practice ready attorneys or at least more real world skills training. Guess what? Your law school is already doing this. Yes, the legal research and writing faculty (who are often librarians) at your school has been using the law school library as a practice laboratory to give students the real world skills they need. As we are all struggling to find new and innovative techniques to improve legal education, we should remember that we all have a laboratory filled with all the tools that our students will use in their practice that we can utilize in our endeavors.

Original URL: http://www.slaw.ca/2015/04/02/the-law-school-laboratory/

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Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice Now Open Access

Prepared by
Laverne Jacobs, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
University of Windsor, Faculty of Law

Hi Everyone,

it’s with great pleasure that I’m writing to announce that the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice has become an open access journal.

Our first open access issue (31(1)) became available last week. The move to open access was initiated by an editorial team of our colleagues over the past few years, along with Yearbook coordinator, Vidya Balachandar. The initiative was led by former Editors-in-Chief, Reem Bahdi and Myra Tawfik. Here is a link to issue 31(1): http://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/WYAJ

The Yearbook’s move to open access has been prompted by a desire to remain true to its access to justice roots. WYAJ is cognizant of the power of access, including access to information, in maintaining social and legal inequalities. We recognize that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge

Our open access platform allows the public free access over the Internet. There is also a print-on-demand option for any person or institution interested in purchasing a hard copy subscription. All information may be found on the website.

In becoming an open access journal, the Yearbook will join several other peer-reviewed scholarly journals from other disciplines delivered under the Open Journal System (OJS) at the University of Windsor through in-kind support of our libraries and librarians.

As an open access journal, we hope to have even greater readership and impact.

To find out more about WYAJ, including submission guidelines, please visit our main website at www.uwindsor.ca/law/wyaj. We are always happy to receive and consider submissions from colleagues.

Thank you!

Laverne Jacobs, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Editor-in-Chief, Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
-on behalf of the current WYAJ Editorial Board
Muharem Kianieff , Anneke Smit, Sujith Xavier, Pascale Chapdelaine & Noel Semple

Original URL: http://www.slaw.ca/2015/03/12/windsor-yearbook-of-access-to-justice-now-open-access/

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