Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills

I.  Purpose of Award:

The purpose of the Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills program is to provide law students with additional training in legal research skills and to supplement the current research instruction provided as part of the Legal Research and Writing courses. Award classes are primarily offered as refreshers on basic research skills, but also include some specialized areas of law. After working as summer associates, many students recognize the need for additional instruction in a number of areas covered in the Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills classes, including using print resources, specific practice area resources, and low cost alternatives to the subscription databases.

II. Eligibility for participation:

All currently enrolled Oklahoma City University law students are eligible to participate in this program.

III. Requirements for award:

Students must accumulate a minimum of 20 points to receive the Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills, which may be earned at any time before graduation. Students must attend and complete the assignment for the Legal Research Basics (formerly Legal Information Literacy) class, but may select any other combination of classes offered by the program instructors (see section V, below) to accumulate the points required to earn the award. Points will not be awarded for attendance of vendor (Westlaw/Lexis/Bloomberg) training classes or enrollment in Advanced Legal Research courses. For some classes, students will be required to complete an assignment (e.g., quiz or written exercise) to receive credit. Points may be earned as follows:

DescriptionPoints AwardedCourse requirements
Legal Research Basics, formerly Legal Information Literacy (1.5 hours – this is the only mandatory course)

4

Attendance (in person or online) and completion of the assignment with a score of at least eighty percent (80%).
Award Classes – see section VI for this semester’s offerings (1.5 hours)

4

Attendance and completion of the assignment with a score of at least eighty percent (80%).
Brown Bag classes (1 hour)

1

Attendance only
Research classes requested by student organizations, teams, or centers

1

Attendance only
Research classes in substantive and experiential law classes requested by course instructors

1

Attendance only
Research classes in Legal Research and Writing classes requested by course instructors, when an assignment is offered

1

Attendance and completion of the assignment.

IV. Issuance of the Award:

Students who successfully complete the requirements will receive an award of completion signed by Law Library personnel, and may indicate this on their résumés. A letter outlining the Award Classes and Brown Bags completed and skills developed as part of the program will accompany the award. (Please note that students who complete the program will not receive any academic credit and completion will not be documented on the student’s official or unofficial transcript.)

V.  Instructors for the Award program:

Lee Peoples - Education: B.A, M.L.I.S, and J.D. University of Oklahoma (semesters at Åarhus University, Denmark and Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands).

Professor Peoples was appointed as Law Library Director in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as Associate Director, Associate Director for Faculty and Research Services, and Head of Reference Services. Before joining the faculty, Professor Peoples practiced law in Oklahoma City. He is admitted to practice in the State of Oklahoma, Western District of Oklahoma, and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jennifer PrillimanEducation: B.A. University of Central Oklahoma; J.D. University of Oklahoma; M.L.I.S. University of Oklahoma.

Jennifer Prilliman is the Associate Director. Prior to entering the M.L.I.S. program, she taught advanced placement and college preparatory courses at a college preparatory charter school in Oklahoma City. While in law school she was a member of the Jessup moot court team, topic editor for the Oklahoma Journal of Law and Technology, member of the Board of Advocates, and received the Dean’s Award for Advocacy. She is an active member in the Oklahoma Bar Association, serving on the Law Day committee and the Bar Technology committee.

Timothy Gatton – Education: B.A. Cornell College; J.D. Oklahoma City University; M.L.I.S. University of Pittsburgh

Tim is the Head of Reference Services and is a 2010 graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law. While a student at Oklahoma City University, Tim was actively involved in many student organizations, wrote a cooking column for the student newspaper, and worked as a reference assistant at the law library during his last three semesters of law school. Tim worked as a reference intern at the University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Library while completing his studies at Pitt.

Sabrina Davis – Education: B.A. University of Texas; J.D. University of Arizona; M.A. in Information Resources and Library Science, University of Arizona.

Sabrina was a law library fellow at The University of Arizona while she was earning her library science degree. In that capacity, she provided research and reference services, assisted with collection development and cataloging, and conducted trainings for law students, faculty, and staff. Sabrina has served on the Board of Editors for Legal Research Services Quarterly since January 2013. Prior to obtaining her master’s degree, Sabrina practiced family law in Tucson, Arizona for 3.5 years, and conducted research on court reforms in child abuse and neglect proceedings as part of The National Evaluation of the Court Improvement Program.

VI. Award Classes, Spring 2014:

Legal Research Basics, formerly Legal Information Literacy – This class will focus on familiarizing students with the tools and skills necessary to efficiently, effectively, and ethically accomplish legal research. Basic information on the use of print resources as well as the evaluation of print and online sources will be discussed. Please note: this course will be offered online this semester. (Completion of this class is required to receive the award.)

Developing a Legal Research Strategy – One of the single most important aspects of successful legal research is developing a research strategy or plan. This class will discuss common components of successful research strategies, including consideration of level of knowledge of the legal subject, development of background information, identification of available resources, and verification of current authority.

Legislative History Research – Legislative history is important for many reasons; it allows you find an earlier version of a law and can clarify the legislature’s intent or ambiguous language, among other things. This class will address Federal and Oklahoma legislative history, and will cover concepts such as congressional bills, hearings, and committee reports.

Administrative Law Research – Administrative law is one of the more challenging areas of legal research, and many practice areas require at least a working knowledge of it. Finding a regulation, updating CFR research, and learning about proposed regulations are all necessary tasks in regulatory research that will be covered in this class.

Family Law Research – The practice of family law incorporates aspects of contracts, property, torts, constitutional law, conflict of laws, ADR, and civil procedure, among other areas of law. This class will serve as an introduction to the specialized materials commonly used in family law research and practice.

Summer Associate Training – This class is designed to help prepare students who will be working as summer associates. It will focus on identifying and accessing primary and secondary authority in print and online for federal, Oklahoma, and Texas jurisdictions. The class will also address resources for specific practice areas.

VII. Award Class and Brown Bag Scheduling, Spring 2014:

The 1.5 hour Award Classes will be typically be held at 12:00 p.m-1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and on Sundays at 1:00p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m-7:30 p.m. The days and times for the 1 hour Brown Bags will vary. The schedule of all classes will be posted to The Gavel, the blog of the Oklahoma City University Law Library, on the Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills course calendar on The West Educational Network (TWEN), and on the law school’s master calendar.

Students may register for Award Classes and Brown Bags through TWEN on a first come, first served basis. Classes will be held in the Homsey Lab in the Law Library, and attendance is limited to 16 participants per session. However, students may contact Sabrina Davis at sadavis@okcu.edu to request special arrangements if all classes are full.