SYLLABUS

LIS 608 LEGAL SOURCES AND SERVICES

Long Island University
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Taught by the New York University Law Library Faculty
Spring 1998

SCHEDULE
LIS 608 is a three-credit class.  The class will meet for 14 Tuesdays, from 6-7:50 PM(No class February 17--Legislative Monday; No class April 7--LIU Spring Break).  As described below, grading will be based on weekly assignments, a take home research problem, and a final paper.  There will be no in-class final examination.

INSTRUCTORS
 The NYU Law Library Faculty will team teach this course (each major topic covered throughout the semester will be taught by a different faculty member as indicated below).   This course is divided into two major components:

I. Legal Sources & Services
  (12 class sessions)

 Coordinator: Jay Shuman,Reference Librarian
    998-6310
    shumanj@turing.law.nyu.edu.

II. Professional Issues in Legal Information Services
    (2 class sessions)

 Coordinator: Kathie Price, Professor/Law Library Director
    998-6320
    pricek@turing.law.nyu.edu
 

Each instructor will announce his or her office hours.

BULLETIN DESCRIPTION

LIS 608 provides an overview of the tools and techniques of legal research.  Students are introduced to the structure and processes of the three major components of the legal system in the United States:  legislative, judicial and administrative.  Sources of foreign and international law are also examined. PREREQUISITE:  LIS 511  This course is not intended to cover the basics of database or Internet searching (except for WESTLAW and LEXIS), government information sources or any other fields covered by other Palmer School courses.  See also TECHNOLOGY below.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

LIS 608 will advance students' ability to meet each of the general objectives of the Palmer School program for the Master of Science in Library Science as set forth on in the Graduate Bulletin.  In addition, the specific objectives of this course are:

 1. To understand the basic structure, processes, concepts, terminology, and publication systems of the legislative, judicial and administrative components of the United States legal system.
 
 2. To achieve proficiency in selecting and using the major sources and tools required for researching legislative, judicial and administrative materials.

 3. To achieve basic proficiency in selecting and using the major types of sources and tools for research in specialized areas of the law.

 4. To achieve basic proficiency in using WESTLAW, LEXIS and the Internet for legal research.

 5. To develop the skills to conduct a legal research/reference interview, analyze a legal research problem, develop a research strategy, and present the results in written form.

 6. To demonstrate knowledge of both the theory and practice of law librarianship through serious examination of  current and future issues as they affect each branch of the profession (firm, corporate, public, academic, court, and government libraries).

DIVERSITY AND MULTI-CULTURAL ISSUES

 The study of the law and legal literature provides a rich ground for examination of issues of diversity and multi-culturalism in our legal system and our society.  In particular, many of the issues facing the profession, such as who owns the content of the law, public access to information, and collection development and reference service in the age of global legal transactions and global legal studies, should stimulate discussion among students.  In addition, in the class on treaties and international law,  students will study an aspect of legal research where knowledge of the cultural bases of the law is especially important.


RESEARCH IN LAW AND RELATED FIELDS

Required readings will be drawn from the wealth of excellent texts and periodical literature in law librarianship and related social science fields.

REQUIRED and RECOMMENDED TEXTS

REQUIRED: Berring, Robert C.  Finding the Law.  10th ed.  American Casebook Series.  St. Paul:  West, 1995.  (For sale at Barnes and Noble, Fifth Avenue at 18th Street, Manhattan.)

RECOMMENDED: Fine, Toni. American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide, Cincinnati: Anderson Pub. Co., 1997.
(This text is especially recommended for those with little or no background in law and/or law libraries).

 These and the other recommended readings listed in this syllabus are on Reserve at the NYU Law Library unless otherwise noted.  For a list of these, select Search Reserve Lists in JULIUS (the NYU Law Library online catalog).    Search either by course name, or by name of professor (Kathie Price or Jay Shuman).

RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS

Students will have access to the collections of the NYU Law Library.  Students must present a valid Palmer School ID at the entrance to the law library, where the staff will have a list of students enrolled in the course.

 In addition to the computer access that students have through the LIU program, students will have access to work stations in the NYU Law Library for connections to WESTLAW, LEXIS, the Internet, and the law library CDROM network, with the following guidelines:

(1)  STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO OBTAIN FULL LIUNET ACCOUNTS, WHICH GIVE THEM ACCESS TO E-MAIL AND INTERNET.

(2)  AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME, STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE PASSWORDS FOR WESTLAW AND LEXIS.

(3)  ACCESS TO WORKSTATIONS IN THE LAW LIBRARY IS ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

TECHNOLOGY

Students will be trained in and expected to achieve basic proficiency in using WESTLAW, LEXIS, the Internet, and CDROMs for legal research and will be expected to use them in certain assignments and projects.

ASSIGNMENTS, FINAL PROJECTS and
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE

1. Weekly Assignments: 50% of final grade
  --approximately 3-4 hours per week
  --most require on-site work at NYU Law Library
  --due at beginning of next class
  --one half-grade penalty for late assignments

2.  ?Take Home? Research Problem: 35% of final grade
 Students will each receive a focused research problem covering a specific legal issue(s).    Students must complete independent research and hand in a written outline of their research strategy and the sources used.     More specific instructions will be distributed with the research problem.

 Students must pick up their research problem between April 21 and April 24, inclusive.    Research must be completed and written responses and outline must be turned in no later than 48 hours after the problem was picked up.   Problems will be distributed in class on Tuesday, April 21 or may be picked up at the Law Library Reference Desk on April 22 - 24.    Exams should also be returned to the Reference Desk.    Pick up and return will be available during the following hours:
 
  Monday - Thursday : 9 A.M. - 8 P.M.
  Friday    9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
  Saturday   11 A.M.- 5 P.M.
  Sunday   12 P.M.- 6 P.M.

  ONE-HALF GRADE PENALTY IF LATE (e.g., B+ becomes B)
 
 For the classes on Legal Sources and Services  (Jan.20-April 21), assignments will consist of exercises and simulated research projects that will require students to work in the NYU Library using the tools they have studied.  Students may discuss their research strategy with each other, but the written product must be the independent work of each student. There will be a total of 10 homework assignments (assignment for Westlaw & Lexis will be combined as one exercise; no homework assignment for class on specialized online research).

 For the classes on Professional Issues in Legal Information Services (April 28 and May 5), there will be no weekly assignments; students will be working on their "think piece" paper described in #3 below.
 

3. Paper requirement:  15% of final grade

 Students will write a five-page "think piece" with an electronic bibliography of at least 10 entries on:

 ?The role of electronic publication in the (academic public,  law firm, court, or other) law library in 2002".

The goal of the paper is to stimulate creative thinking and it does not have to be footnoted.  The bibliography should demonstrate, however, that the student has read important research on the topic.  The paper and bibliography are due no later than the start of class on May 5.
ONE-HALF GRADE PENALTY IF LATE.

 The time required to complete the assignments and projects in 1-3 above will meet the New York State Education Department of 120 hours per student of work outside the classroom.

TOPICAL OUTLINE AND CALENDAR

**Please note:  Some topics cover two class dates.  The class is divided into two major sections, Legal Sources and Services, Jan. 20-April 21, and Professional Issues in Legal Information Services, April 28 & May 5.

PART I: LEGAL SOURCES AND SERVICES
  (January 20-April 21)
Coordinator:  Jay Shuman

January 20
INTRODUCTION TO REFERENCE & THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Readings: Read this syllabus.
 
Berring. Chap. 1, The Context of Legal Research.
       Chap. 11, Research Strategies.

Recommended:
Berring, "How To Be a Great Reference Librarian, 4 Legal Reference Services Quarterly    17-37 (Spring 1984).
 
Fine.  Chap. I, Basic Concepts of American     Jurisprudence.
Instructor:  Jay Shuman
 
January 27
CASE LAW (including Shepard?s)
Readings: Berring. Chap. 2, Court Reports.
Chap. 4, Case Finding.

Recommended:
View Bob Berring's Commando Legal  Research (videotapes).  Tape No. 1, Introduction to Cases, and Tape No. 2, Case  Finding (in Media Center at Law Library).

Fine. Pages 16-46.
Instructor:  Ron Brown

February 3
CASE LAW (including Shepard?s), cont?d
Readings: Berring.  Chap. 3, Case Verification and Updating.

Instructor:  Ron Brown

February 10
STATUTES (including Shepard?s)

Readings: Berring. Chap. 5, Statutes.

 Recommended:
 How Our Laws Are Made. H.R. Doc. No. 101-139, 101st Cong.,  2d Sess. (1990) (on Reserve at Law Library).

 Fine. Chap III: Statutes and Legislative History
Instructor:  Carol Alpert
 

February 17 NO CLASS -- LEGISLATIVE MONDAY

February 24
STATUTES (including Shepard?s), cont?d

Readings: Berring.  Chap. 6, Legislative History.

Instructor:  Carol Alpert

March 3
ELECTRONIC SOURCES: WESTLAW

Readings: Wren and Wren.  Using Computers in Legal Research:  A   Guide to LEXIS and WESTLAW.  Madison, Wis.:  Adams and   Ambrose, 1994.
   Chap. 3, Conducting Online Searches
   Chap. 4, More Tips for Effectively Using Computers    in Legal Research
(Readings are for March 3 & 10)

Instructors:  Liz Evans & WESTLAW representative
 
  NO HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT!!!
 

March 10
ELECTRONIC SOURCES: LEXIS

Instructors: Liz Evans & LEXIS representative

March 17
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW & SUBJECT-SPECIFIC RESEARCH (Including looseleaf services)
 Readings: Berring.  Chap. 8, Administrative and Executive   Publications.

Instructor:  Gretchen Feltes

March 24
SECONDARY SOURCES AND RESEARCH STRATEGY

Readings: Berring.  Chap. 10, Secondary Authority.
  Recommended:
  Olson.  Practical Approaches to Legal Research.  New   York:  Haworth, 1988.
   Chap. 6, Two in a Bush.
  LEXIS-NEXIS for Law Students, Using Secondary Legal    Authorities
  Discovering Westlaw, Searching law reviews, journals    and treatises.

Instructor: Jay Shuman

March 31
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW: BASIC SOURCES & RESEARCH
Readings: Guide to International Legal Research.  2d ed.  Salem,   N.H.:  Butterworth Legal Publishers, 1993.
    Pages 65-84, Primary Sources, Chap. I,       Codified Law, Section B, Treaties.

  Cohen, Berring & Olson.  How to Find the Law.        9th ed.  St. Paul:  West, 1989.
     Chap. 15, International Law, pp. 450-513.

  Recommended:
  Guide to International Legal Research.  2d ed.  Salem,   N.H.:  Butterworth Legal Publishers, 1993.
  Pages 241-265, Research Tools, Chap. V, Sections    A, B and C.

Instructor:  Radu Popa
 

April 7 SPRING RECESS/NO CLASS

April 14
INTERNET BASICS FOR THE LEGAL RESEARCHER
Readings: TO BE ANNOUNCED

Instructor: Leslie Rich

April 21
SPECIALIZED ONLINE RESEARCH (Including Dialog, Dow Jones, foreign & international sources)

Readings:
 LEXIS-NEXIS for Law Students, Specialized Legal Research
 Discovering WESTLAW, Searching News and Background and  Factual Information
 Blackman, How to use the Internet for legal research. New  York: Find/SVP, 1996.    Pages 71-83; 155-174
 Botluk, The legal list: research on the Internet.     Rochester, NY: Lawyers Co-operative, 1996.  Chapters 2 & 11.

Instructors: Gretchen Feltes, Jeanne Rehberg, Mirela Roznovschi

PART II: PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN LEGAL INFORMATION SERVICES
  (APRIL 28 MAY 5)
Coordinator:  Kathie Price
 
 These classes will examine the major current and future issues facing law librarianship as they affect all branches of the profession.  The first class will feature a panel of librarians who will give their perspective on the issues listed in #1 and #3 below; the second class will cover issues #2 and #3.  You will receive a packet of readings before these classes.
 
 1. The Legal Information Profession

  A. Education for librarians
  B. Opportunities for advancement; "up or out"
   from law librarianship to other areas of the    larger institution, e.g., from academic library    director to academic dean
  C.   The job market, tenure, publishing
  D.   Professional organizations
  E. Management
   1. Different models for management and     organizational structure:  inside the     library; relation of the library to the     larger institution
   2. Relations with parent institution, e.g.,
    library vs. computer services; records     management; scope of research     responsibilities
   3.   Relations with standard-setting organizations     (ABA, AALS)
 
 2. The Impact of the Electronic Environment
 
  A.  Who owns the law?
  B. Public access--at what cost?
  C. Intellectual property--Texaco
 
 3. Building the Global Legal Information Center

  A. Bibliographic control:  serials, space and other    issues unique to legal materials
  B. Information access over ownership
  C. Collections and services:  current and future    trends
   1. Defining the clientele and the librarian's      role vis-a-vis the clientele
     a.  primary/secondary
     b.  onsite/remote
     c.  public
   2. Distributed collection development
     a.  Cooperative resource sharing
     b.  Global partnerships
     c.  Role of technology
          1) digitization
        2) online
        3) Internet
   3. Outsourcing of processing and legal research
  D. Projects (Global, environment, Scarlet)
 

April 28
THE LEGAL INFORMATION PROFESSION

Instructor: Kathie Price & guest speakers
 

MAY 5 (PAPER DUE)
BUILDING THE GLOBAL LEGAL INFORMATION CENTER

Instructor: Kathie Price & guest speakers