Target Audience: Academic law librarians, firm librarians, and public law librarians
1. Participants will learn the theory, terminology, and importance of assessment.
2. Participants will become familiar with current examples of assessment in law schools and law firms.
The topic of assessment in legal education continues to gather steam and is now at the forefront with the implications of Proposed ABA Standards on Student Learning Outcomes and talk of a legal research component on the bar exam. Additionally, as law firms implement new associate training models, law librarians must be able to assess the learning that occurs, as well as evaluate the training program itself. This program will feature law librarians actively involved in assessment in law schools and in law firms. David Armond, Senior Law Librarian at the BYU Law Library, will address the use of pre-teaching feedback, such as using the results of TWEN quizzes before lectures to shape in-class instruction, and using practicums as effective assessment tools in a first-year legal research course. Molly Brownfield, until recently Head of Reference Services at Duke Law Library, will address assessment in the context of a specialized upper-level research course, including concrete examples of research assignments and corresponding grading sheets. Linda-Jean Schneider, Director of Libraries & Research at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, will discuss assessment activities she has undertaken in connection with her firm’s associate training program, including the assessment of associates’ legal research skills and the evaluation of the training program itself. Don MacLeod, Manager of Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, heads his firm’s mandatory three-hour research orientation for first-year and summer associates, and will discuss assessing attorneys’ legal research skills in connection with that orientation. He will also discuss his use of Research Monitor to evaluate the use of electronic subscriptions within his firm.