I was a law student not so long ago. About 4.5 months ago, actually. Who’s counting? My legal research class in 1L was pretty funny; it is also possible that I was already a law librarian. Again, who’s counting?

AALL has a set of Law Student Research Competencies and Information Literacy Principles that are open for comment (by members) until October 20. I recommend everyone who’s ever suffered through (which includes teaching) a 1L library research class to comment.

Here are my comments, re-posted for non-AALL types, and for people who can’t remember their password to login at AALLnet:

  • First, I agree with Holly’s comment: the ability to differentiate between levels of government is equally important as distinguishing between the branches.
  • Under the third point of Principle I on awareness of the cost of research, consider recommending competency in free, open sources as well as proprietary ones. [ Aside: Dear Congress, I heart FDsys, please keep funding it. xoxo, Meg ]
  • Under Principle IV, on effectively resolving a specific research need, there is no mention of understanding when to stop, or recognizing when research is complete. This could be included under the third point. Or, perhaps a fifth point, “Law students should recognize when their research is complete. When sources become self-referential, or repetitive, they should stop, and assess their findings with respect to the issue at hand.”

I would also like to note that on International Plain Language Day, the drafting of the research competencies left something to be desired.