Thursday, September 13, 2007

Information Literacy of Incoming Law Students

The Social Science Research Network recently published an article by Syracuse University - College of Law professor Ian Gallacher entitled 'Who are Those Guys?' The Results of a Survey Studying the Information Literacy of Incoming Law Students :

"This article presents the results of a summer 2006 survey of students about to begin their first year of law school. In total, 740 students from seven different law schools responded to the survey. The survey gathered general information from the students, as well as self-evaluative data on student reading, writing, and research habits in an attempt to understand how the students perceive their skills in these crucial areas. The survey data suggest that while there is some positive news to report, incoming law students overestimate their writing and research skills and come to law school inadequately trained in information literacy. The article concludes with an analysis of some of the broad conclusions suggested by the data from this survey and from other studies of law student and new lawyers, and proposes some possible remedies for the skills deficits displayed by incoming law students".
I published a related post on April 3, 2007 entitled Debate Continues on New Lawyers'/Students' Lack of Research Skills.

People may also want to check Leah Christensen's research paper entitled Legal Reading and Success in Law School: An Empirical Study (August 2006, University of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-29) :

"Does the way in which law students read legal text impact their success? This article describes important new research on how law students read legal text. This study examined the way in which first year law students in the top and bottom 50% of their class read a judicial opinion and whether their use of particular reading strategies impacts their law school grades. The results were significant: even when students had gone through the same first-semester classes, the more successful law students read a judicial opinion differently than those students who were less successful. In addition, there is a correlation between the reading strategies of the top law students and their first-semester grades. This article describes the results of the study using both empirical data and actual student transcripts to show how the most successful law students read legal text. This article also offers practical suggestions for legal educators to help students learn to internalize the most useful and efficient reading strategies".


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:41 pm


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