Using Cycles to your Advantage
Law school is full of cycles both for the students and for the faculty and staff. You can think of them as larger 3 year cycles which have small mini cycles that are operating at the same time. The larger three year cycle starts with law school application, moves to orientation and ends with graduation and then the bar exam. A smaller cycle may be the annual cycle or even the semester cycle where the start of classes, midterms and finals are the highlights. Preparing for the variety of events can be stressful if not done with enough time. I propose using group work to inventory tasks and documents and then using backcasting, a strategic planning concept where you work backwards from your final product, to better prioritize and manage tasks associated with one or more projects. Using a wheel based calendar graphic that can be tiered and color coded allows better tracking and realization of the each task to the final goal across the library and between projects.
This LibGuide has been created to accompany my essay, Reimagining the Wheel: Using Circular Calendars for Planning in Law School Libraries, 36 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 103 (2017) DOI: 10.1080/0270319X.2017.1359063
I provide templates for creating these planning wheels using commonly found software such as Microsoft's Powerpoint and Publisher. These templates can be downloaded and edited using a Creative Commons License.
I also share graphics I have used for teaching the process of legal research and a graphic that depicts the thought process for moving through a legal problem that I developed with our Legal Writing faculty.
I hope that these resources will be helpful as you explore using a wheel format for planning and for illustrating legal research processes. If you develop your own wheel and would like to share them, please let me know.