News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Survey of Legal Research Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans

Survey Results Pie ChartC|M|Law Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian Laura Ray recently presented a poster at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting on “Legal Research Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans: A Survey of Current Developments and Methods for Law Librarian Engagement.”  Laura worked with Stacy Etheredge, University of Idaho Law Library Associate Director, in a review of the websites of 84 law schools in 29 states and the District of Columbia.  [Ohio law schools were not included.]  The poster presented a composite summary of readily available law school learning outcomes* and assessment plans** related to legal research.  Only 11 law schools (13.1%) had well developed legal research learning outcomes, and 45 law schools (53.6%) had a simple statement of such learning outcomes.  The poster also presented sample mappings of legal research learning outcomes to law school curricula, performance criteria and measurement instruments for such learning outcomes, and suggested methods for law librarians to engage in the development of such learning outcomes and assessment plans.  In the coming year, Laura and Stacy plan to continue their survey by reviewing the websites of the remaining 112 law schools, as well as contacting law schools not providing information on their websites.

*Standard 302(b) of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools specifies one of the four minimum learning outcomes to be competency in “legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context.”  **Standard 315 specifies conducting “ongoing evaluation of the law school’s program of legal education, learning outcomes, and assessment methods … to determine the degree of student attainment of competency in the learning outcomes and to make appropriate changes to improve the curriculum.”  Standards 302 and 315 were revised and became legally effective at the end of the ABA Annual Meeting on August 12, 2014, but the ABA did not require the application of these Standards until the 2016-2017 academic year. [See Transition to and Implementation of the New Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools August 13, 2014.]

Ohio Legal Help: The Website for Pro Se Civil Legal Help

In 2015, Ohio’s Task Force on Access to Justice, convened by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and comprising members of the courts, legal aid, the Ohio Legal Help Foundation, and the private bar, recommended specific actions to help close the civil justice gap. The sixth recommendation from the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Task Force Report was to “develop and maintain a statewide website devoted to providing free and accurate legal information to Ohio residents,” which resulted in the development of Ohio Legal Help.

Ohio Legal Help is a nonprofit organization that was founded to help Ohioans access the civil justice system. It provides plain language legal help information, interactive self-help tools, and connections to local legal and community resources that can help people resolve their legal issues. The information on Ohio Legal Help is reviewed by expert private and legal aid lawyers. Users can get self-directed legal information including forms and even lawyer referrals.

IT and Law Library Orientation Now Open for 1Ls

In conjunction with C|M|Law’s Jump Start program for students starting school in the fall, the Information Technology department and law library are offering orientation materials on a drop-in basis.

How it works:

  1. Come by the research services office (Room 112) across from the circulation desk during normal hours.
  2. You will meet and talk with one of our librarians, who will give you a scavenger hunt handout and IT information for your law school computer accounts. The scavenger hunt takes 20-30 minutes and will help you get orientated to the law library and IT services.
  3. Upon completion of the scavenger hunt, give your results to a librarian in Room 112, at which point you will be given registration information for Lexis, Westlaw, CALI, and Scholar along with information on our legal research seminars and digital badge program.
  4. All students who complete the scavenger hunt will be entered into a contest for a $50 Amazon gift card; the drawing will be held during the first full week of classes.

Take the Pledge and You Could get a $1000 Scholarship

money bagIn order to help make law education more affordable and to help spread awareness about Driving Under the Influence and Distracted Driving, the Arizona law firm of Cantor Crane is offering a $1,000 law student scholarship to help current, or soon-to-be, law students ease the burden of higher education costs. Cantor Crane specializes in personal injury law.

Touro Law Center Launches New Journal on Experiential Learning

The Touro Law Center on Long Island, New York has recently launched the inaugural issue of the Journal of Experiential Learning. Articles are available full text online. The inaugural issue addresses the definition of experiential learning, as well as importance, cost, integration, and management issues. The editors are soliciting submissions for a second issue on law firm incubators and residency programs. Submissions are due by March 15, 2015.