Context: curriculum review, practice-readiness
This article by Libby Davies in Inside Higher Ed lays out the context for the conference.
The opening talk from the AALS president-elect seems to have reflected widely-circulated 2011 articles on whether legal education properly prepares US lawyers for practice. In effect it also anticipated later commentary about whether legal education reform is needed.
Another writeup from Libby Nelson covers these opening remarks:
Legal research Instruction
Some sessions specifically addressed legal research instruction in law schools; these sessions generated further commentary by attendees and observers. Criticism of an integrated approach to legal research and preference of legal research as a standalone course is interesting.
The presenter noted struggles first-year students have with the problem analysis approach to legal research instruction or exercises, and to assessment of their performance in legal research coursework. The reasoning is that first-year students have difficulty identifying issues early in law school. Interestingly, that comment was extended to second and third-year students as well. This might suggest a benefit to extending legal research and analysis instruction later in the curriculum.
The law school and the law library
A Saturday Jan 7 session related to the library's place in the law school and its relationship with deans/administration, in the context of times of change for both the law school and the law library. The speaker was Dean Hannah Arterian of Syracuse. Most of the coverage is in tweets from law professor and former law librarian Jim Milles of SUNY Buffalo.
For libraries, much of the "change" is technological.
The discussion and commentary reflects a sense of a disconnect between the law school administration and the law library.