Wednesday, July 9, 2008

They like us! They really like us!!

At the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries Conference (CARALL) in Kingston, Jamaica on July 7th, Jamaica's Minister of Justice, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, praised law librarians for the quality work that they do, and encouraged them to continue their education and professional learning. She also lamented the fact that young people are not turning to law librarianship, and that, in Jamaica, that is a problem, as only the law school library, the courts, and wealthy firms have access to trained law librarians. Many law firms and lawyers must make do with library assistants who, in some cases, are not fully trained in the areas of law.

I definitely agree with her remarks. Indeed, we do quality work. I would even argue that as law librarians, we are a vital part to the legal profession. For example, in law firms, we help lawyers find the information without which, they cannot build their arguments around. In law schools, I would argue we truly shape young lawyers. Without the law librarians, law students would not truly learn the research skills they will need to use when they enter the legal profession. Perhaps I'm patting us on the back a bit much, but as someone who articled and had to use research skills quite a bit during that time, I can safely say that I would not have done as good a job researching if I hadn't had the help of the law librarians during my time in law school.

Now... if only more lawyers and professors would fully appreciate us...

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