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Law Students, Get Smart: Mine Your County Law Library


The Legal Research is Easy blog post, Hone Those Research Skills, is California-based, but the lessons it teaches apply to law students in every state where public law libraries are supported. Be a good money manager, and get smart: seek out free and cheap legal research resources, human, print, and digital:

A while back, I read an article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal (Bar proposes revised practical skills requirements) by Lyle Moran that caught my eye. Apparently, the California Bar Association wants to include 10 hours of “practical” legal instruction while law students are still in school. While the article did not say what specific skills the Bar want’s new attorneys to focus, might I offer a suggestion? Might I propose that in that 10 hour mix, law students spend at least three (3) hours at their local county law library to see what exactly their local county law library has to offer.

All too often I’ll see newly minted attorneys come into my law library without nary a clue how to find anything in print. They’ve spent countless hours using online resources but when it comes to print resources, they can’t distinguish the difference between a Table of Contents and the Index (actually, that has happened more than once). Even those students who use online resources exclusively generally only know how to use Natural Language searching (and that only taps about 15% of the full potential of online resources).

County law libraries are the oasis for attorneys who are just starting out. …” [Link to Legal Research is Easy blog post.]

Link to your Oregon County Law Library – and don’t forget that your local public library may also give you access to several statewide legal research databases, including those with remote access from the State of Oregon Law Library. (But talk to a professional law librarian if you need a legal research expert.)

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