American Journal of Public Health: Current Issues

This is the fourth in a four part series blog post spotlighting the American Public Health Association’s American Journal of Public Health.

The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) website gives you access to the current issue of the AJPH. To access the Current Issue from the home page, select the Articles tab and then select Current Issue.

Below, the blue arrow indicates where the Current Issue can be located on the home page.

AJPH current issue with arrow

After selecting the Current Issue, the site directs you to a different page with the articles and content found in the current issue. The articles in the current issue are organized by topics such as Editor’s Choice, Editorials, Perspectives, and Policy. The articles are further organized by sub-topics including children, science, and vaccination.

Below is a view of the various articles in AJPH’s September 2017 issue organized by topics and sub-topics.

AJPH current issue 2

From the Current Issue page, you can see the author(s) of a specific article. Additionally, you can access an article’s full text, citation, references, and PDF.

AJPH article

If you would like to access the previous issue, it can be easily accessed from the Current Issue page. To access the previous issue, select Previous Issue located at the top right of the screen.

Below, the blue arrow indicates the location of the Previous Issue on the Current Issue page.

AJPH previous issue 2

Access to the American Journal of Public Health’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

The Importance of Legal Research Skills for Practice

Nearly all law schools are focusing on preparing “practice-ready” graduates. This approach to legal education was advanced in the 1990’s with the McCrate Report, and it has really taken hold within the last few years. A major part of preparing practice-ready grads is teaching effective, efficient legal research skills. For the past couple of years, survey after survey has shown the continued importance of legal research skills for practice.

In 2013, Steve Lastres, Director of Library & Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, analyzed the results of a recent survey conducted by The Research Intelligence Group called the “New Attorney Research Methods Survey.” Survey respondents “included 190 young attorneys equally represented by large and small law firms across a variety of practice areas. Nearly forty percent of the respondents were 28 or younger, in practice for five or less years, and a quarter of the respondents were recent law school graduates from the class of 2011 or 2012.”

Key findings from the survey included the following:

  • 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
  • Over 80% of associates use an extensive range of content from traditional primary law and secondary materials to News, Court Transcripts, Verdicts, Dockets, Public Records and more.
  • Legal Classification systems are rarely used (only 12% begin with a legal classification system)
  • Attorneys use free online research resources but spend most of their time, over 8 hours per week, using paid-for online research services.

Additionally in 2013, the Wall Street Journal blog posted the results of a focus-group study with legal employers where the results showed that employers are looking for expert researchers with people skills. According to this study, “[t]he focus-group participants said ideal job applicants have a strong work ethic, can work independently without excessive ‘hand holding,’ and would bring a positive attitude to the workplace.” The other important skill was the ability to research. 

“Employers, particularly those with more years in practice, rely on new attorneys to be research experts. The employers in [the] focus groups have high expectations when it comes to new hires’ research skills, i.e., ‘[t]hey should be able to adequately and effectively find everything that’s up to the minute.’” Susan Wawrose, What Do Legal Employers Want to See in New Graduates?: Using Focus Groups to Find Out, 39 Ohio N. U. L. Rev. 505 (2013).

The legal employers noted that “[b]eing a research expert also means knowing how to scour books, not just websites. ‘Statutes, treatises and encyclopedias, and desk books are the sources employers still use in paper form. For this reason, new attorneys may want to be familiar with these paper sources.’” Id.

Last but not least, BAR/BRI recently 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” and establish benchmarks related to student practice readiness, employment expectations, employment trends, and law degree return on investment. Faculty, law students, and practitioners were surveyed.

Key finding number 2 from the BAR/BRI report stated that “[f]aculty 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.”

These surveys offer proof from practitioners that legal research is a necessary skill for practice.

*This post was originally published on the RIPS Law Librarian Blog.

Law School’s 50th Anniversary Display

50th Anniversary collage

Have you ever wondered what that empty desk in the Upper Basement of the Law Library is?  And what does that have to do with the Law School’s 50th Anniversary?  Wonder no more.

The Law School is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. To help commemorate the occasion the Law Library created a display of historical material to celebrate.  In the display you will see items showing our history from the construction of the new Law School to the addition of the Lanier Center.

  • pictures of the new Law School construction
  • various Law School publications (including a yearbook with pictures of students struggling over finals)
  • an invitation to the grand opening of the Lanier Center

The Law Library has many items concerning the history of the Law Library preserved in ScHOLAR, the law school’s digital repository.  Check out the “Texas Tech Law History” community in the repository to see more historical items.

As for the desk in the Upper Basement, it belonged to the first dean of the Law School, Richard B. Amandes, who served as dean from 1967 until 1977.  If you look closely at the desk, there is a brass plaque on the desktop that explains the desk’s history.

Amandes
From W. Reed Quilliam, Texas Tech University School of Law:  the first 35 years:  1967-2002 (2006).

 

What can I get at the Circulation desk?

Students, don’t forget the staff at the Circulation desk are here to help you!  They are here to ensure you get what you need, when you need it.  Here are some of the services and helpful items that are available to you from the Circulation desk:

Office Supplies:  Whether you forget your pencil bag at home or urgently need to staple an assignment minutes before class starts, the Circulation desk has what you need. Pens, pencils, erasers, calculators, paper clips, rulers, staplers, hole punch, tape, and scissors are all available upon request.

Umbrellas:  It doesn’t rain in West Texas very often, but when it does you might need an umbrella.  The Circulation desk has a limited number of umbrellas available to keep you, and your pricey books, dry when the rain catches you unprepared.  All we ask is, if you borrow an umbrella, please return it so we can loan it out again!

Electronics and Chargers:  Forget your charger at home? The Circulation desk has a wide variety of charging cords available so you can spend less time commuting and more time studying. Additionally, the Circulation desk also carries thumb drives and cords for connecting to video equipment, small camcorders, and projectors.

Pain Medication:  Headaches and muscle aches can slow your study pace to a crawl, so it is important to get relief as soon as possible.  The Circulation desk has ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin available upon request.

First Aid Supplies:  The Circulation desk has a variety of bandages, alcohol pads, and antiseptic available for minor cuts and abrasions. A bigger first aid kit is also available for more serious situations.  Additionally, the Law Library has two defibrillators: one by the 1st floor elevator and one out side the Library entrance, under the message board.

Cleaning Supplies:  For life’s little messes, the Circulation desk has an assortment of cleaning supplies you may borrow at your convenience.

Study Room Reservations:  Law Library Study Room reservations can be made at the Circulation desk.  If you want to make sure a study room is available for you at the time you need it, come by the Circulation desk and reserve the room you need.

Last but most importantly, the Circulation desk has Answers!  If you need help, but are not sure where to go or who can help; the Circulation Desk staff can help!  Ask, and the Circulation desk staff will either provide you the answer or connect you with the person who can help.