Lawyers Say Legal Research Skills are Very Important

BAR/BRI has released the first of what it intends to be an annual survey on the “State of the Legal Field.” The objective is to “evaluate industry perceptions about the state of the legal field,” establishing benchmarks related to student practice readiness, employment expectations, employment trends, and law degree return on investment. Faculty, law students, and practitioners were surveyed.

As one law library director noted, “[m]ost telling for [law librarians], I think, is “key finding #2.” Key finding number 2 of the report noted that:

“Faculty placed very little importance on research, with just 4 percent citing it as the most important skill for recent law school graduates. In contrast, 18 percent of attorneys named research the most important skill a new lawyer should possess.

This survey conveys similar information as a survey from 2013 that said that:

  • Newer attorneys spend more than 30% of their time doing legal research
  • Approximately 50% of associates think legal research should be a larger part of the law school curriculum

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HeinOnline

HeinOnline has rolled out several improvements to its interface and libraries in the past few months and has an exciting upgrade in the works. The popular database has a new interface designed to provide improved subject categories for publications, advanced searching capabilities, and improved site navigation. As of August 2015, Hein expanded the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals to include 30 years of indexing and linking to articles contained in the HeinOnline database. And in response to subscriber feedback, Hein has announced they have a plan in place to index all Session Laws at the chapter or act level in the Session Laws Library. Texas Session Laws for the years 2005-2013 have already been completed as part of the first seven states to be indexed in this ongoing project.heinonline3