Aliza B. Kaplan & Kathleen Darvil*
- Download PDF file (713 KB) Get Adobe Reader
The PDF version includes font examples not available in the html version.
Calls for law school reform have grown louder over the past thirty years.1 Criticism of legal education has come from every quarter of the profession. Groups of dissatisfied lawyers, judges, and academics have argued that “most law school graduates lack the minimum competencies required to provide effective and responsible legal services,”2 and numerous studies reveal that new lawyers lack critical practical skills.3 This verdict finds support in the MacCrate Report4 and the Carnegie Report,5 both of which offered valuable suggestions for curriculum reform. Despite this criticism, for the most part, legal educators and law schools have resisted change.6 Meanwhile, law school tuition has skyrocketed.7 Law students, who are graduating with crippling debt and facing a shrinking job market, are unprepared to practice law in the global marketplace.8 There is strong support in favor of an overhaul of the legal education system.9
The problem runs deeper than law school curriculum. Teaching methods also need updating to meet the need of the new breed of law student. Generation Y, or Millennials,10 are the first students raised with technology as a major component in their lives.11 Some have described these students as special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving.12 They are also ambitious, demanding, and they question everything.13 Old teaching techniques do not work for Millennials. These law students have a new set of skills and priorities, and they demand a new approach to teaching, career planning, grading, and feedback. Rather than a teacher-centered approach to education, Millennials require a learning-centered approach in which the student, not the teacher, is the focus.14
The need for curriculum modifications and instructional strategies geared for technology-savvy students combined with the current economic downturn and demands for change from legal professionals provide law schools with the opportunity to transform legal education. One area ripe for significant change is how our law schools teach legal research. Legal professionals in particular are critical of new lawyers’ research skills; they say that these new lawyers are unprepared to conduct legal research and that their research skills are unsophisticated.15 Law employers complain that many students and new practitioners overuse LexisNexis and Westlaw, cannot provide preliminary answers in a short time frame, are ignorant of how to research statutes and regulations, are uncertain when to stop researching, and have no understanding of how to conduct cost-effective research.16 Today’s legal research instruction neither trains students for the complexities of practitioner research nor reinforces good research habits and skills. Research instruction is generally mandated only in the first year of law school,17 which is insufficient to develop the skills necessary for legal practice. It also sends the message that research is not an important skill. Moreover, many legal writing professors18 who teach research do not have expertise in legal research,19 which would not be the case with any other specialized subject in most law schools. In order to best prepare our students to practice law, legal research instruction should be integrated throughout the law school curriculum, taught by those with the appropriate level of expertise, and should incorporate the resources and technology used by practitioners. Finally, it should take into account the cost of conducting research and include constantly increasing and changing online research tools and resources.
In part II of this article we discuss the criticism of today’s new attorneys’ research skills. Specifically, we explain the longstanding perception, which numerous studies confirm, that research skills of today’s new attorneys are deficient. For example, new attorneys are unprepared to do cost-effective research; are unfamiliar with the numerous finding tools, secondary sources, and free resources that exist; and are unable to think conceptually when researching. We also offer an explanation as to why new associates are unable to research proficiently.
Part III focuses on how law schools teach legal research and why the current educational model does not teach students skills critical to their practicing law. In addition, we discuss the results of a study we conducted at Brooklyn Law School to determine the research habits of our own students. The results of the study confirmed our criticisms of the current regime of legal research instruction. It also showed that most students wish to be more prepared researchers when entering the job market.
Part IV highlights several recommendations for legal education reform including those in the MacCrate and Carnegie Reports, which both suggest that incorporating more practical skills, such as legal research, into the law school curriculum is necessary to better prepare students to practice law. Following up on these recommendations and based on our own experience, we propose a number of specific ways to improve upon and change the way legal research is currently taught. Specifically, we recommend that legal research instruction should use 1) multimedia technologies, 2) exploratory and collaborative strategies, 3) relevant subject matters, 4) and cost-effective tools. It should be integrated throughout the curriculum and taught by experts, which would convey its importance and assure adequate training. Making some timely and necessary changes to legal research instruction will integrate more practical skills into the law school curriculum and help us better prepare our Millennial students to be skilled practicing lawyers.
II. Criticism of New Attorneys’ Skills
Over the years, the criticism of legal education has been consistent and clear from legal professionals, who complain that new attorneys do not write well, have poor legal research skills, and are unprepared to practice law.20 In today’s legal market, law firm clients are less willing to pay the firm’s high costs, including in part those costs to cover the training of new attorneys. So it is more important than ever for new attorneys to already possess essential lawyering skills.21 One commentator recently explained,
As the profession has grown in size, the number of very large law firms expanded, and the use of contract lawyers, outsourcing and other costcutting measures has intruded. Over time, the legal profession has increasingly demanded change in the academy—not to become more theoretical, inter-disciplinary and divorced from the “real world,” but to focus more on lawyering, professionalism and inculcating values.22
Yet most law schools have not budged, and practitioners continue to lament that recent graduates are lacking in practical skills.23 Specifically, they believe that new attorneys are unable to perform cost-effective research, are unable to think conceptually when researching, and are unable to use print and online sources interchangeably.24 They complain
that new lawyers do not know what questions to ask when given a research assignment, that they cling to buzzwords for online searching, and that they have no idea about which databases are appropriate to search or what to do with the search results.25 They also criticize new associates26 for not evaluating the cost of a search in terms of both time and money.27 For example, practitioners report that in order to understand a legal issue, new attorneys conduct keyword searches in expensive case-law databases rather than identify relevant treatises or practice aids.28 Law firms argue that their new hires need to know when and why they use a particular source in a particular format29 and that they need to be able to evaluate the cost of a search in terms of both time and money before they begin the research process.30 These deficiencies relate to and compound each other. If an attorney does not understand the big picture surrounding a legal issue, she will waste time and money researching that issue and will miss analogous concepts.31 If a lawyer is uncomfortable using either print or online sources, she will not use the proper tools to research an issue quickly and competently.32
Legal employers have good reason to criticize. Several recent studies highlight new attorneys’ deficiencies in conducting research, including a 2006–2007 Westlaw study that compared new associates’ research skills with those of senior associates.33 The study found that new associates’ lack of research skills is an unnecessary expense for law firms and their clients.34 The law firms surveyed reported that partners typically write off half to all of new associates’ research costs because new attorneys fail to perform cost-effective multimedia research.35 With new associates spending forty-five percent of their time in their first year performing research and forty percent of their time performing research in their second and third years, writing off half to all of those expenses is costly.36 Thus, it comes as no surprise that a 2007 survey found that 84.8% of law firm librarians ranked cost-effective research as the most important research task.37 The law firm librarians surveyed also complained that new associates are unfamiliar with the tools of legal research. Specifically, law firm librarians stated that new hires do not know the difference between regulations and statutes, and that they “don’t have a clue about indexes, digests, encyclopedias, or case table volumes in hard copy.”38 After reviewing the results of its own study as well as several others, the survey concluded that new attorneys must develop more integrated print and online legal research skills, including the use of secondary sources and finding aids.39 In 2009, a law firm librarian’s published a survey polled attorneys and law firm librarians on the skills new hires should possess and how law schools and law firms should assist new hires in acquiring those skills.40 These findings were similar to those of both preceding surveys. The attorneys surveyed stated that new associates need not only know about secondary sources like legal encyclopedias and American Law Reports annotations, but also how useful these sources are in practice.41 The attorneys and law firm librarians also stated that the new hires need to know how to search efficiently and effectively, using Boolean search logic and Westlaw Key numbers to make the most of their searches.42 In all these studies, the lawyers and law firm librarians surveyed express unequivocally that new attorneys’ inability to perform competent and quality research unnecessarily wastes both time and money.
As these studies indicate, attorneys need to be familiar with a broad range of legal research tools in order to perform cost-effective, quality research.43 They need to know, for example, that a treatise will provide them with a broad overview of an issue, identify the controlling authority for an issue, and highlight related legal issues.44 They also need to understand that not all secondary-source material is available electronically. 45 New attorneys need to know that a statute’s annotations identify relevant cases and secondary sources.46 Recent graduates need to be comfortable using secondary sources and finding aids because these tools provide context: they help attorneys see analogous concepts and broader themes.47 Because the law is concept-oriented, being able to draw comparisons between legal concepts is essential. A researcher needs to understand an issue’s broad implications in order to thoroughly and competently research that issue.
The inability of new attorneys to see analogous concepts when conducting research is due in large part to the shift from print-based research to electronic research.48 One recent article explains that this shift created a new “legal paradigm”49 because the sources of law are no longer finite and structured but are now almost limitless and unorganized. Traditional print-based research imposed a structured hierarchy on the law50 that allowed researchers to determine the legal context surrounding an issue and to draw comparisons to other legal principles.51 Electronic resources have dismantled that structure because each of the myriad resources organizes and retrieves content in its own way.52 Consequently, the shift from print-based research to electronic research has changed the way research is performed and how research findings are interpreted.53
This shift has also affected the way legal research is taught.54 Because legal research instruction focuses on teaching how to use the two main electronic legal research platforms, Westlaw and Lexis, rather than on how to understand the structure of law, new lawyers do not understand how to research the law conceptually. The danger in all of this is that in their search to find the “perfect” case, new attorneys either fail to retrieve or overlook key authorities and therefore miss the fundamental principles governing the issue.
To properly prepare law school graduates for today’s legal market - place, research instruction needs to be revamped. Emphasis should be placed on researching within law’s hierarchy, using a broad range of tools, regardless of whether that tool is available online or in print. Cost-effective research strategies should be taught to students, stressing the utility of popular secondary sources and other efficient search strategies and techniques. In order for new attorneys to be competent, competitive, and an asset to their employers, law schools should seek out the advice of practitioners and law firm librarians in the development of the legal research curriculum.
III. Teaching Legal Research
Law schools famously teach students to “think like a lawyer” but not actually how to “practice like a lawyer.”55 In the area of legal research, law school graduates often lack a comprehensive understanding of the research process. They lack the skills to analyze a client’s problem, are unfamiliar with many necessary research tools and resources, and do not know how to create a research plan.56 As a result, they are often unable to perform the necessary research required of them in the workplace. Law schools expect firms and other employers to train their graduates to write, to do research, and to be practitioners. Due in part to hard economic times and high entry-level-associate salaries, many law firms are less interested in playing this role and are frustrated with new lawyers’ lack of training and skills.57 Other law firms have been forced to implement training boot camps for new associates or different salary structures for less practice-ready attorneys. This reflects poorly on both the new attorneys and their law schools. There is no question that making some timely changes to legal research instruction would be a win–win for students, law schools, and employers.
A. How We Teach Legal Research
Whereas the importance of legal research is often stressed, most law schools are not properly training students to perform this essential lawyering task. Law schools have not made significant advances to their research programs to keep up with the changes in technology or the characteristics of the Millennials. Among other reasons, the lack of resources devoted to legal research and the stagnancy of legal research programs have made legal research one of the skills critiqued by those who debate the importance of lawyering skills in legal education58 and legal practitioners and employers.59 Nonelective legal research training is for the most part limited to the first year of law school and is often taught by a legal writing professor or by the representative of an information vendor (or by a combination of the two).60 Using this model, writing professors are required to cover topics such as “introduction to the law and the common law system, sources of the law, the court system, analyzing legal authority, legal method, briefing cases . . . writing legal memoranda, organizing legal discussions, constructing effective paragraphs . . . formatting appellate briefs, advocacy, and oral argument.”61 Writing professors provide feedback to students with detailed written comments and in individual conferences. After all that, they must also squeeze in legal research instruction. As a result, legal research cannot be taught in depth at the only point in law school where it is required. Most first-year research curricula introduce students to basic electronic legal research instruction (usually limited to Westlaw and LexisNexis) and a few print materials. Their focus is teaching a few primary and secondary sources, finding tools, citators, and mastering citation form. These courses are generally case-law centered and do not cover any public law, foreign law, or nonlegal sources.62 Even at schools where the first-year curriculum has been updated, teaching legal research is often undervalued.63 In some instances, it has been marginalized as first-year legal writing courses have transformed into first-year “lawyering skills” courses. These courses cover additional subject areas such as negotiation, interviewing, and client counseling. Many of these courses are taught without increased credits or class time. Furthermore, at many law schools, research skills are neither respected64 nor incorporated across the curriculum in either the first year of law school or in upper-level courses.65 Unfortunately, substantive-law professors often have no interest in incorporating research instruction into their courses.66 Therefore, students get in-depth research instruction only when they choose to take an advanced legal research course taught by librarians.67
In addition to these law school curricula limitations, students today arrive in law school with a misplaced confidence in their research skills.68 They believe that the skills necessary to conduct a Google search are the same skills needed to conduct thorough and accurate legal research.69 They do not understand that legal research is not solely task-oriented or answer-oriented. Legal research is a complex process that involves strategizing and designing an effective research plan, learning about the topic or issues involved, considering different sources and their hierarchy, and working meticulously and patiently.70 Today’s Millennials want fast answers and expect that they can just “plug in a couple of words with a connector or within quotation marks”71 and they will get everything they need. Because of these attitudes and the lack of interest and commitment by law schools to truly teach students legal research, it is no wonder that law students’ and graduates’ research skills are inadequate.
* Associate Professor of Legal Analysis & Writing, Lewis & Clark Law School. J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, B.A. The George Washington University. I am indebted to my former colleagues at Brooklyn Law School, Professors Elizabeth Fajans, Linda Feldman, Jayne Ressler, and Cynthia Godsoe, who provided their suggestions or comments on previous drafts of this article. I would also like to thank Brooklyn Law School students, Kristin Gallagher (2011) and Kristie LaSalle (2012) for their invaluable assistance. Thank you Guruji for your light, my parents for their encouragement, and Sean, Ezra, and our girls for their love. ** Access Services–Reference Librarian and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School; Fordham University, School of Law, J.D.; University of Michigan, School of Information, M.S.I.; University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, A.B. I would like to specially thank Professor Victoria Szymczak, Director of the Brooklyn Law School Library for providing me with the opportunity and time to write this article, and for her invaluable commentary in reviewing previous drafts. I would also like to thank Professor Jean Davis, Reference Librarian for the Brooklyn Law School Library, for offering insightful guidance and criticism in reviewing previous drafts of this paper. Finally, I am forever grateful for the continual love and support of my family, especially my husband, Ben.
1 See generally Roger C. Cramton & Barry B. Boyer, A Proposed Program of Studies in Legal Education (1973) [hereinafter Cramton Report]; ABA Sec. Leg. Educ. & Admis. to B., Legal Education and Professional Development—An Educational Continuum, Report of The Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap (ABA 1992) [hereinafter MacCrate Report]; Elizabeth Mertz, The Language of Law School: Learning to Think Like a Lawyer (Oxford U. Press 2007); William M. Sullivan et al., Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law (Jossey–Bass 2007) [hereinafter Carnegie Report]; Roy Stuckey et al., Best Practices for Legal Education: A Vision and a Road Map (Clinical Leg. Educ. Assn. 2007) [hereinafter Best Practices].
2 Best Practices, supra n. 1, at 1; see also Steven C. Bennett, When Will Law School Change? 89 Neb. L. Rev. 87, 90 (2010) (“Law schools primarily produce one thing: graduates who—for the most part—plan to practice law in one or more fields, in connection with one or more institutions, for some period of time. Increasingly, critics and commentators, inside and outside academia, have suggested that law schools can perform that central function better.”).
3 See generally Gene Koo, New Skills, New Learning: Legal Education and the Promise of New Technology (Berkman Ctr. for Internet & Socy., Harv. L. Sch., Pubs. No. 2007–4, 2007) (available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=976646) (discussing a study by Berkman Fellow at Harvard Law School in partnership with LexisNexis that found that most new lawyers lack critical practice skills, including adequate legal research skills).
4 MacCrate Report, supra n. 1.
5 Carnegie Report, supra n. 1, at 7.
6 See e.g. Amy Vorenberg & Margaret Sova McCabe, Practice Writing: Responding to the Needs of the Bench and Bar in First- Year Writing Programs, 2 Phoenix L. Rev. 1, 3 (2009) (explaining that legal writing programs have made little substantive changes over the past twenty-five years).
7 See Katy Hopkins, Law School Tuition Climbs Despite Legal Recession, U.S. News & World Rpt. (Sept. 9, 2010) (available at http://articles.bestlawfirms.usnews.com/articles/law/2010/09/09/rising-demand-rising-tuition.html); Ameet Sachdev, Law School Tuition Hike Sparks Talk of Bubble, Chi. Trib. (Apr. 27, 2010).
8 David I.C. Thomson, Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age vii (Matthew Bender & Co., Inc. 2009); see also Hopkins, supra n. 7; Sachdev, supra n. 7.
9 See Katherine Mangan, Law Schools Could Take a Hint From Medical Schools on Curriculum Reform, Experts Advise, Chron. Higher Educ. (Apr. 27, 2010); see e.g. Thomson, supra n. 8.
10 Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (or Millennials), were born between 1982 and the early 2000s. Neil Howe & William Strauss, Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation 3–7 (Vintage Bks. 2000); see also Reynol Junco & Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Connecting to the Net.Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know about Today’s Students 6 (NASPA, Inc. 2007).
11 See generally Eliza Krigman, Millennials Defined by Technology Use, Nat’l J. (Feb. 25, 2010) (available at http://nationaljournal. com/njonline/no_20100225_3691.php).
12 Howe & Strauss, supra n. 10, at 6–16; Tricia Kastings, Commentary: The Millennial Law Student Generation, 186 N.J. L.J. 265, 265 (2006) (describing Millennials as “confident” as they believe in themselves, “conventional” as they accept social rules, “sheltered” as they have had highly structured lives, “team-oriented” as they like to work together, “achieving” as they have high expectations for themselves, and “pressured” as much is expected from them).
13 Howe & Strauss, supra n. 10, at 6–16.
14 See David Whetten, Principles of Effective Course Design: What I Wish I Had Known about Learning–Centered Teaching 30 Years Ago, 31 J. Mgt. Educ. 339, 342 (2007).
15 See Thomson West, White Paper: Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students 2–3 (2007) [hereinafter Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students] (available at http://west.thomson.com/pdf/librarian/Legal_Research_white_paper.pdf) (“First year associates are ineffective because they generally start with an online keyword search, racking up unnecessary billings and online charges, while not understanding the context of the results they retrieved.”).
16 Leah Wortham, The Lawyering Process: My Thanks For the Book and the Movie, 10 Clin. L. Rev. 399, 439 (2003).
17 The American Bar Association does not mandate a specific curriculum for first-year law students. See ABA Sec. Leg. Educ. & Admis. to B., Standards and Rules of Procedures for Approval of Law Schools § 302, 21 (2009–2010 ed., ABA 2009) [hereinafter ABA Standards and Rules] (Section 302(a) (1) requires only the study of “substantive law” that will lead to “effective and responsible practice in the legal profession.”). However, most law schools have their own mandatory first-year curricula that include Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Torts, Legal Research and Legal Writing, and usually Constitutional Law and Criminal Law, too. See e.g. Brooklyn Law School, First-Year Program, www.brooklaw.edu/ academics/curriculum/firstyearprogram.aspx (accessed Mar. 14, 2011); Columbia Law School, First-Year Courses, http://www.law.columbia.edu/jd_applicants/curriculum/1l (accessed Mar. 14, 2011); Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, First Year Curriculum, http://www.cardozo.yu.edu/MemberContentDisplay.aspx?ccmd=ContentDisplay&ucmd= UserDisplay&userid=10354&contentid=3848 (accessed Mar. 14, 2011).
18 In this article we will be using the terms professor and instructor interchangeably when discussing legal research teachers. Due to some of the issues noted, those who teach legal research and writing hold a variety of titles. At forty schools we are called “professor” (recognizing gradation from assistant to associate to full). At fortyseven school[s] we are called “professor of legal writing.” “Clinical professor” is used at seventeen schools. Apart from these titles with the magic word “professor” in them, we have twenty-five schools that use the title “instructor” and seventeen that use “lecturer.” An additional thirty-two schools marked the ever-present survey response “other,” which includes assistant deans and visitors. The Legal Writing Institute: Celebrating 25 of Teaching & Scholarship, A Symposium of the Mercer Law Review, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 803, 829–30 (2009) (discussing the results of a 2008 survey of legal research and writing programs).
19 Duncan Alford, The Development of the Skills Curriculum in Law Schools: Lessons for Directors of Academic Law Libraries, 28 Leg. Ref. Servs. Q. 301, 306–09, 311 (No. 3, 2009) (stating that writing professors are infrequently research experts).
20 See generally Vorenberg & McCabe, supra n. 6; Molly Warner Lien, Breach of Trust: Legal Education’s Failure to Prepare Students for the Practice of Law, 1 J. ALWD 118 (2002); Scott P. Stolley, The Corruption of Legal Research 2, http://terrenceberres. com/sto-cor.pdf (accessed Mar. 14, 2011); Patrick Meyer, Law Firm Legal Research Requirements for New Attorneys, 101 Law Lib. J. 297, 321 (2009).
21 From 2004 to 2008, the legal field grew less than one percent on average (and the same growth rate is predicted until
2016). Fully one-third of U.S. law school graduates will likely not find employment as attorneys. Mark Greenbaum, No More
Room at the Bench, L.A. Times (Jan. 8, 2010) (available at http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/08/opinion/la-oegreenbaum8-
2010jan08); see also Gina Passarella, Post Recession Law Firms: A New Caste System Emerges, Legal Intelligencer
(Oct. 6, 2010) (available at http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202472939044&
PostRecession_Law_Firms_A_New_Caste_System_Emerges). In particular, they have begun to insist that junior lawyers at law firms add value to the project teams on which they are staffed, and in some cases have insisted that “grunt” legal work be outsourced to lower-cost service providers. The inability of law firms to absorb large quantities of law school graduates, to pay them handsomely for novice work, and to return contributions to school endowments could dramatically affect the economics of law school administration. Bennett, supra n. 2, at 109–10.
22 Bennett, supra n. 2, at 108 (citing Carnegie Report, supra n. 1, at 7).
23 See Vorenberg & McCabe, supra n. 6 at 9–22 (describing the authors’ survey that asked judges and practitioners to rate lawyers’ research and writing skills); see alsoMeyer, supra n. 20, at 312–14; see generally Jill L.K. Brooks, Great Expectations: New Associates Research Skills from Law School to Law Firm, 28 Legal Ref. Serv. Q. 291 (No. 3/4, 2009).
24 See Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 2–3; Meyer, supra n. 20, at 303; Stolley, supra n. 20, at 6–7; Barbara Bintliff, Context and Legal Research, 99 Law Lib. J. 249, 259–60 (2007) (arguing that the shift from print-based research to electronic research fundamentally alters the way lawyers conduct research because it rids us of law’s structure and legal context); see also Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Dwight D. Opperman Lecture (Drake U. L. Sch., Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 2, 2008), in 57 Drake L. Rev. 1 (2008).
25 Meyer, supra n. 20, at 303.
26 See generallyWarner Lien, supra n. 20; Stolley, supra n. 20; Meyer, supra n. 20.
27 Stolley, supra n. 20, at 8.
29 Meyer, supra n. 20, at 304; see also MacCrate Report, supra n. 1, at 157–63.
30 Id. at 312.
31 Stolley, supra n. 20, at 6–7; Bintliff, supra n. 24 at 258 (“Effective legal research starts within a sophisticated context of background information and knowledge.”).
32 See Thomson West, White Paper: Partnerships and Solutions for Preparing Job Ready Attorneys 4, west.thomson.com/ support/librarian/event/AALLwhitepaper.pdf (July 2008) [hereinafter Partnerships and Solutions]; see generally Stolley, supra n. 20, passim.
33 See Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 2.
34 See id. at 7; Partnerships and Solutions, supra n. 32, at 6. In 2006–07, Thomson West conducted a study comparing new associates’ research skills with those of senior associates. Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 2. After receiving positive feedback from this initial report, West conducted another study the following year. See Partnerships and Solutions, supra n. 32. This second report compared how law firms expect new associates to conduct research with how new associates actually conduct research. The findings of the second study and report reinforced the findings of the first in that the second report confirmed that new associates are generally not able to effectively and efficiently frame a legal issue and use all the resources available to them. Id. at 4 (listing the largest gap in the skill set new associates should possess); see also Meyer, supra n. 20, at 301. In 2007, Meyer surveyed law firm librarians to ascertain the research needs of law firms. He surveyed 162 law librarians, who worked for firms ranging in size from 1 to 25 to over 200 attorneys. Id. at 311. According to these librarians, the most important research task that entry-level attorneys are required to perform is cost-effective research. Id. at 311 tbl. 1. The librarians surveyed stated that most new associates do not know how to perform cost-effective research, do not use secondary sources, and do not know how and when to use a print resource. Id. at 312–14, 319–20; see also generally Sanford N. Greenberg, Legal Research Training: Preparing Students for a Rapidly Changing Research Environment, 13 Leg. Writing 241 (2007). Greenberg’s 2005 study surveyed Chicago-area lawyers regarding their legal research methods in the hopes of better preparing law students to enter the workforce. Id. at 241. The survey found that lawyers are dissatisfied with the way new attorneys are “overly eager to jump online before using print resources.” Id. at 242; see also Stolley, supra n. 20, at 8; see Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 2; Meyer, supra n. 20, at 312.
35 Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 2.
37 Meyer, supra n. 20, at 311.
38 Id. at 303.
39 Id. at 307.
40 See generally Brooks, supra n. 23.
41 Id. at 293.
42 Id. at 295.
43 Partnerships and Solutions, supra n. 32, at 4; see also Meyer, supra n. 20, at 311–12; Stolley, supra n. 20, at 11–12.
44 Stolley, supra n. 20, at 7; Bintliff, supra n. 24, at 258.
45 Meyer, supra n. 20, at 319–20.
46 Bintliff, supra n. 24, at 261.
47 Id. at 258, 303; Stolley, supra n. 20, at 5–6.
48 See id. at 258–59. [The majority of the resources used] (digests, statutes, regulations, treatises) consist of information assembled by judges, legislators, attorneys, regulators, law professors—legal professionals all—who work in a shared context gained through education and practice in the prevailing paradigm. Indexes, tables of contents, chapters, and sections all give visible and accessible structure to print resources. Shared context allowed these professionals to communicate their conclusions. And it allowed legal researchers to investigate and experiment, to find and use information, within the paradigm defined by legal professionals. Id.
50 Id. at 251 (“West’s comprehensive research structure also provided a shared context for legal research and analysis and, by extension, for the law itself. Attorneys, professors, and law students all used the same tools as springboards for research. . . . The legal research process was carried out in a context that allowed for effective communication as arguments were based on the same types of authorities, generally found in the same way.”).
51 Id. at 251, 258; Stolley, supra n. 20, at 11.
52 Bintliff, supra n. 24, at 259.
53 Id. at 251–52, 257.
54 See infra pt. III(A) (How We Teach Legal Research).
55 Best Practices, supra n. 1, at 5 (“[M]ost law schools are not committed to preparing students for [law] practice.”).
56 See infra pt. III(C) (Brooklyn Law School Survey).
58 Susan P. Liemer & Hollee S. Temple, Did Your Legal Writing Professor Go to Harvard?: The Credentials of Legal Writing Faculty at Hiring Time, 46 U. Louisville L. Rev. 383, 385 (2008) (“[I]t is no secret that most law school faculties in the United States have well-defined hierarchies and that legal [research and] writing professors often are relegated to low positions within those hierarchies.” (internal citations omitted)); see also Kent D. Syverud, The Caste System and Best Practices in Legal Education, 1 J. ALWD 12, 14 (2001) (comparing the hierarchies in law faculties to the traditional caste system in India). Along with a lack of tenure or long-term contract status, legal research and writing faculty often have a “lack of job security that accompanies tenure and exclusion of participation in faculty governance, as well as petty indignities such as inferior titles and physical conditions.” John A. Lynch, Jr., Teaching Legal Writing After A Thirty–Year Respite: No Country for Old Men? 38 Cap. U. L. Rev. 1, 5 (2009).
59 Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students, supra n. 15, at 7.
60 Writing instructors are not always experts in teaching legal research, Alford, supra n. 19, at 306–09, 311 (stating that writing professors are infrequently research experts), and vendor representatives instruct students on the basics of Westlaw and LexisNexis while often pushing their product. See generally Shawn G. Nevers, Candy, Points, and Highlighters: Why Librarians, Not Vendors, Should Teach CALR to First–Year Students, 99 Law Lib. J. 757 (2007).
61 Roy M. Mersky, Legal Research Versus Legal Writing Within the Law School Curriculum, 99 Law Lib. J. 395, 398 (2007). These courses are already not given adequate credit hours and class time to do all of this because most legal writing and research courses teach all of this in a two-credit course each semester. Id.
62 Often with the help of law librarians, Brooklyn Law School writing professors provide this type of research instruction in the first year. See Carrie W. Teitcher, Rebooting the Approach to Teaching Legal Research: Embracing the Computer Age, 99 Law Lib. J. 555, 556 n. 7 (2007).
63 Robert C. Berring, A Sort of Response: Brutal Non-Choices, 4 Persps. 81, 81 (No. 3 1996) (explaining that creating good research programs is difficult due to lack of faculty support).
64 Bennett, supra n. 2, at 105 (quoting Comments on the Report of the ABA Council L. Educ. & Admis. B., Spec. Comm. Sec. Positions, http://www.abanet.org/legaled/committees/subcomm.html (July 21, 2008) (noting that many law school faculty believe that practice-oriented courses are of “secondary intellectual value and importance”)).
65 See Sarah E. Valentine, Legal Research as a Fundamental Skill: A Lifeboat for Students and Law Schools, 39 U. Balt. L. Rev. 173, 198–204 (2010) (discussing the numerous reasons why most law schools “fail to provide the necessary course coverage or to support the legal analysis skills and doctrine taught in other courses”).
66 “[T]hey may believe that the content of their courses is just that—theirs.” Brooke J. Bowman, Researching Across the Curriculum: The Road Must Continue Beyond the First Year, 61 Okla. L. Rev. 503, 549 (2008). Or they may believe that a substantive-law course is more important than a skills course. However, for our students who go on to practice law, they must be taught that the law and lawyering skills are both necessary to be a competent and ethical attorney. “Since the value of legal research becomes acute in the practice of law, faculty members [should] be expected to bring their substantive knowledge about research sources to bear in every course taught,” Donald J. Dunn, Why Legal Research Skills Declined, or When Two Rights Make a Wrong, in Expert Views on Improving the Quality of Legal Research Education in the United States 19, 26 (West Publg Co. 1992), or work with research instructions and librarians to do this.
67 See Ann Hemens, Advanced Legal Research Courses: A Survey of ABA–Accredited Law Schools, 94 Law Lib. J. 209, 223 (2002).
68 See Valentine, supra n. 65, at 189–90 (explaining that “[t]oday’s students arrive at law school often bereft of any legal skills except the ability to google,” yet they believe that these skills translate to conducting legal research) (internal quotations omitted); see also infra pt. V(A) (The Millenials).
69 “Since our law students grew up on the Internet, they overlook valuable resources because they do not understand what content is available in what type of sources and do not take the time to understand basic [legal] research strategies such as, using indices, consulting table of contents, and starting with general terms and working to more specific terms.” Bowman, supra n. 66, at 529.
70 “[L]egal research will be unlike any research [most students] have previously done because legal research requires [them] to use legal analysis. This analysis will tell [them] which issues to research and how to use the sources [they] find to solve the client’s problem. Without being able to do legal analysis, [they] may be able to perform the mechanical functions of research, but [they] will not be able to understand the results of the research.” Suzanne Rowe, Legal Research, Legal Writing, and Legal Analysis: Putting Law School into Practice, 29 Stetson L. Rev. 1193, 1197–98 (2000).
71 See infra pt. III(A) (How We Teach Legal Research); see also Teitcher, supra n. 62, at 568–69.