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Information Literacy Plan: Comprehensive Information Literacy Plan Outline of Instructional Components

Information Literacy at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

Information Literacy Throughout the Curriculum

All levels and types of instruction will be user-centered and interactive, integrating principles of problem-based learning and information technology, as appropriate. The AALL Standards will serve as the foundation for all instruction.

Level 1: First-Year Law Student Experience First Semester

Objectives:
Introduce basic search strategy; primary and secondary legal authority; mandatory and persuasive authority; accessing, evaluating and updating secondary legal sources; accessing, evaluating and updating case law, statutory law and administrative law; developing a coherent research strategy; and appropriate choice of electronic versus print formats and problem solving through research in the context of a client’s legal issue.

Outcomes:
Students will be able to: determine the extent of legal information needed; access the needed legal information effectively and efficiently in a cost effective manner; evaluate legal information and its sources critically; incorporate selected legal information into one’s knowledge; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Methodology:
Legal Research & Information Literacy Course
Required two-credit course taught by Library Faculty introducing basic legal research sources and tools.  Learning events include worksheets, weekly hands on participation, two research practicums providing one on one attention with professors, midterm and final.
LEXIS & Westlaw Optional Training Classes and Tutorials
Vendor presentations targeted to reinforce first year legal research topics
Optional Training Classes
Librarian presentations targeted to supplement first year legal research topics

Second Semester

Objectives:
Reinforce first semester legal research objectives in context of moot court writing problems; introduce practice-based research tools and strategies to make students client-ready for summer employment and other practice opportunities.   

Outcomes:
Students will be able to: determine the extent of legal information needed; access the needed legal information effectively and efficiently; evaluate legal information and its sources critically; incorporate selected legal information into one’s knowledge; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Methodology:
Research Presentation for Legal Writing Sections
Library Faculty review basic legal research strategies and introduce specialized research tools to jump-start student research.
Summer Research Survival
Required program taught by Library Faculty providing problem-based approach to make students client ready and able to handle the top ten research tasks asked of summer associates.  This past year this offering was done in conjunction with J.D. Legal Writing and required as a mandatory class.
Lexis & Westlaw Optional Training Classes and Tutorials
Vendor presentations targeted to reinforce first year legal research topics.
Optional Training Classes
Librarian presentations targeted to supplement first year legal research topics.

Level 2:    Second and Third Year Law Student Experience

Objectives:
Provide more in-depth exploration of basic legal research skills; exposure to specialized topical research tools and databases; develop more sophisticated search strategies; and convey transferrable nature of research skills for lifelong learning.

Outcomes:
Students will be able to: determine the extent of legal information needed; access the needed legal information effectively and efficiently; evaluate legal information and its sources critically; incorporate selected legal information into one’s knowledge; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Methodology:
Advanced Legal Research Classes

Library Faculty performs an annual review of for credit electives to evaluate existing and proposed courses.

Advanced Legal Research
Two credit elective taught by a Teaching Librarian providing instruction and exercises designed to prepare students for cost-effectively completing research tasks they will face in various areas of practice.

International Legal Research
Two-credit elective taught by Library Director providing instruction and exercises designed to prepare students for cost-effectively completing various international legal research tasks they will face in various areas of practice.

Research Presentations Throughout Law School Curriculum
Teaching Librarians invited to provide customized presentations in specific law school courses to introduce specialized research tools and databases. Teaching Librarians coordinate with Faculty to meet particular course research requirements and prepare web based course research guides.

Lexis & Westlaw Optional Training Classes and Tutorials
Vendor presentations targeted to reinforce first year legal research topics.
 

Optional Training Classes
Librarian presentations targeted to supplement second and third year legal research topics.

Level 3:    Graduate Student Experience

Objectives:
First Semester: Introduce basic search strategy; primary and secondary legal authority; mandatory and persuasive authority; accessing, evaluating and updating secondary legal sources; accessing, evaluating and updating case law, statutory law and administrative law in the context of intellectual property law. Begin to develop an understanding of the important relationship between research skills and writing skills. Sensitize students to the important research roles of librarians.

Second Semester: Provide more in-depth exploration of basic legal research skills; exposure to specialized topical research tools and databases; develop more sophisticated search strategies; convey transferrable nature of research skills for lifelong learning. Continue to build the connection between research skills and writing as well as advocacy skills.

Outcomes:
Students will be able to: determine the extent of legal information needed; access the needed legal information effectively and efficiently; evaluate legal information and its sources critically; incorporate selected legal information into one’s knowledge; skillfully weave acquired information to effectively accomplish more perfected writing abilities; to further understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and to access and use information ethically and legally.

Methodology:
Legal Research & Information Literacy Course
Required one-credit course taught by Teaching Librarians introducing basic legal research sources and tools with some focus on IP research tools and strategies and emphasis on using the open web.  Learning events include worksheets, CALI tutorials, in class participation and final exam.

International Legal Research (ICLJ Program)
One credit required asynchronous online course taught by Library Director providing instruction and exercises designed to prepare students for cost-effectively completing various international legal research tasks they will face in various areas of international criminal law and justice practice. Provide research foundations in applicable domestic law and moving into research strategies to educate students about the documents and process of International Law and how to find them efficiently through experiential exercises culminating in a final project of a research guide.

Lexis and Westlaw First Semester Required Training
Presentations targeted to instruct basic Westlaw content and searching as well as other platforms.
Advanced Legal Research Classes
Teaching Librarians perform an annual review of for credit electives to evaluate existing and proposed courses. The current portfolio of approved courses and other instructional initiatives includes:        

Advanced Legal Research
Two credit elective taught by a Teaching Librarian providing instruction and exercises designed to prepare students for cost-effectively completing research tasks they will face in various areas of practice.

International Legal Research
Two credit elective taught by Library Director providing instruction and exercises designed to prepare students for cost-effectively completing various international legal research tasks they will face in various areas of practice.

Research Presentations Through-out Law School Curriculum
Teaching Librarians invited to provide customized presentations in specific law school courses including the Advanced Writing & Information Literacy Requirement courses to introduce specialized research tools and databases. Teaching Librarians coordinate with Faculty to meet particular course research requirements and prepare web based course research guides.

Lexis & Westlaw Optional Training Classes and Tutorials
Vendor presentations targeted to reinforce previously introduced legal research topics.

Optional Training Classes
Librarian presentations targeted to supplement previously introduced research topics.

Level 4:    University of New Hampshire Community Experience

Consistent with the full integration with UNH, the librarians began a continuing dialog regarding how the librarians at the law school as well as the other campuses can best contribute to the information literacy events throughout the state. These discussions to date have resulted in many projected instructional synergies such as:

Research Presentations in classes
In Service Training between Library staff
Research presentations at public events
Consultation with librarians regarding information tools and strategies

Several examples have included the IP Librarian as visiting IP law expert for Open Source Day in Durham. The IP Librarian also consulted with the Office of Sponsored Research advising that Office on patent searching online platforms. The UNH Law Librarians have met with the UNH Manchester Librarians to discuss and implement the above strategies during the course of this Plan.