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Featured LLNE Library: The Moakley Law Library at Suffolk University Law School

Location, location, location

The Moakley Law Library is a gem in the heart of Boston. If you ever find yourself strolling down the Boston Common near the Park Street T stop, look up! You’ll see Sargent Hall – a curved building, right beside the Orpheum Theatre. The Moakley Law Library is right at the tippity-top, on the sixth and seventh floors. The views are breathtaking – especially at sunset. From most windows that face Tremont Street, you can marvel at the sparkling gold dome of the State House building, that’s just a 2-minute walk from the law school. In the distance, you can see the Charles River, the Prudential & John Hancock buildings, and the iconic Citgo sign. History buffs adore our location – the law school is directly across from the Granary Burying Ground, where Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, James Otis, five victims of the Boston Massacre, including Crispus Attucks, Mother Goose and Benjamin Franklin’s parents lay at rest. From the imposing white tower church bell to the changing of the seasons, Suffolk’s views are one of a kind, especially at sunset.

The People

Speaking of one of a kind, let’s talk about the Moakley Law Library’s staff. They are a collaborative team of experts in their respective areas who inspire, encourage and support each other daily to provide the highest level of support to the law school community. In addition to the director of the law library & associate professor of legal research, and the assistant director for public services, there are four legal research librarians and seven other law library admin and staff members. Some of the legal research librarians wrote an AALL Spectrum article together, highlighting the innovative trainings they offer to law students that are about to begin first year summer internships.

Student Outreach & Resources

Mindful of diverse studying habits, we devised a plan to arrange the law library space into a welcoming environment for all. Students can decide if they want quiet studying, collaborative interactions, or even low tone videoconferencing. There are also many large and small study rooms for students who want a more private environment for studying and collaborating. Both day and evening students are at the core of our services. The librarians launched a quarterly law student e-newsletter to promote library services, legal research instruction, new resources, a funtivity, and more. To foster community year-round, the law library designed outreach activities such as a kindness mural, where students write positive or encouraging messages to fellow classmates; a succulents garden, where the plants were named after past justices; and a find-the hidden-object game with a law theme.

Building Community

The law library is always looking for ways to support the law school community and bring people together. We recently transformed a seldom used elevator lobby on the 7th floor and are excited to launch our very first gallery exhibit to celebrate Suffolk Law history and pride. The exhibit includes two interactive elements and lots of really cool archival photos of Suffolk Law from its inception at the beginning of the 1900s – thru the 1980s.

Faculty Services

The Suffolk Law faculty are prolific scholars. The Moakley Law Library designed a faculty library liaison program to assign a legal research librarian to each full-time faculty member to help ensure that they get the customized support they need for all their scholarly and teaching endeavors. The law library also helps ensure faculty success by working with the Vice Dean of the law school to play a leading role in managing the paid Faculty Research Assistant program, which allows law students the opportunity to work alongside law faculty on significant research projects and writing.

Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a cornerstone of Suffolk Law, which advocates for acceptance and systemic change. This informs its curricular design, making Suffolk Law a national leader in key areas from legal writing to legal technology.

Librarians in the Classroom

Librarians play a significant role in the classroom – teaching two week-long legal research modules every fall, as part of the first-year legal research and writing curriculum, offering 2-credit advanced legal research classes every spring and fall, and visiting upper-level classes to provide trainings and support to students who are working on legal research papers. The law library also offers workshops and trainings – like the Bluebook refresher training that we offer every spring for first-year students who are about to participate in the law review write-on competition.

If you’d like to learn more about the innovative things we’re doing at Suffolk, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to chat, tell you more, and learn about all the great things your law library is doing too – and we’d be happy to schedule a tour of the law library with you.

BC Law Library and WNE School of Law Library Win the Excellence in Community Engagement Award from AALL

Good afternoon LLNE! We want to congratulate Boston College Law Library and Western New England School of Law Library for winning the Excellence in Community Engagement Award from AALL! See the information below:

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD 

Boston College Law Library

Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Social Media: A Method to Increase Engagement for Library Services

AND

Western New England University School of Law Library

Springfield, Massachusetts

Introduction to Law Collaboration with Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Way to represent LLNE!

Government Relations Committee Update

Members of the GRC are continuing to track state legislation of interest to law librarians.  

In Massachusetts, Representative Gentile filed H.1522, An Act relative to the Uniform Electronic Material Act, and it has been referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. UELMA requires that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and made permanently available to the public in unaltered form, and has been adopted in 22 states, plus Washington, DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Although past iterations of this bill have not been successful in Massachusetts, we will renew our advocacy efforts on this new bill’s behalf. 

Additionally, though not specific to the law, GRC members in New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island noted several obscene material bills introduced in those states this session and are tracking their potential impact on libraries. 

Best,

Catherine Biondo and Emilie Benoit, LLNE GRC Co-Chairs

One week left to register for the LLNE/ABLL Spring Meeting!

Hello All!

 There is one week left to register for the LLNE/ABLL Spring Meeting on April 14th! Registration is 70$ will close next Monday, on April 10th. To register visit the Meeting’s LibGuide available here. You can access meeting information, speaker bios, service project information, and session information on the LibGuide as well.

The LLNE Service Committee is raising funds for future bar takers as our latest service project. Please join the LLNE Service Committee to support our future bar takers by donating to one or more of the funds they’ve chosen. You can access information about the three funds by visiting the Service Project tab on the meeting LibGuide.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Reserve your hotel room for the LLNE/ABLL Spring Meeting by March 13th!

Our Spring Meeting (co-hosted with ABLL) will be happening on April 14, 2023 at MCLE’s Conference Center in Boston and the last day to reserve a room in the LLNE block is fast approaching!

LLNE has reserved a block of rooms at the Omni Parker House, 60 School Street Boston, for the evening of April 13th at a rate of $249. Visit the Lodging and Travel page to book your room by March 13th.

Detailed information about the program and registration can be found on the Conference page.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Scholarships Available!

Greetings LLNE Members!

With the Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) approaching we would like to encourage all LLNE members to apply for the Continuing Education Scholarship which will cover the registration cost. The application deadline for the LRIP scholarship is March 10, 2023.

We also encourage you to apply for any (or all) of the scholarships listed below. LLNE Scholarships are available to attend or access the annual AALL or biannual LLNE meetings; for participation in continuing education/training opportunities; and for those seeking a degree in librarianship. Descriptions of our scholarship opportunities are listed below and on the LLNE website.  

Basic Scholarship information:

  • Meeting Scholarship: Help with registration fees or travel expenses, for LLNE members who wish to attend the Spring LLNE Meeting being hosted by New England Law School on April 14 at MCLE, or the AALL meeting being held this July in Boston, MA.
  • Academic Scholarship: LLNE members who are enrolled in an accredited degree program in Library Science or in an ABA-accredited law school are eligible for one of our academic scholarships.
  • Continuing Education Scholarship: LLNE  members who wish to access continuing education and training opportunities beyond the programming offered at our biannual LLNE meetings and the annual AALL meetings may apply for one of our continuing education scholarships.

The application criteria and the application form can be found here, (LLNE scholarship guidelines and application process), and the application deadline for the LRIP’s program is March 10th, 2023. 

Please contact Dawn Smith at dawn.smith@yale.edu if you need more information.

Again, we encourage you to apply!

Posted on behalf of the Scholarship Committee

Registration for LLNE’s 2023 Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) is live!

LLNE is proud to announce that you can now register for the 2023 LRIP by visiting this link!

URL: https://form.jotform.com/223526990701154

The program is entirely online and is every Wednesday at 6PM from March 15 through April 19th.

LRIP will cover:

  • A general overview of the US Legal System
  • An introduction to legal research methods, including secondary sources
  • The role of case law, the courts, and case finding tools such as digests
  • The organization of statutes and conducting a legislative history
  • Finding regulations
  • Understanding administrative law
  • Finding transactional law documents
  • Finding information about businesses and people
  • Putting everything together with legal research strategy.

The course fee is $150, and registration closes on Friday, March 10th.

News from the Education Committee

The Education Committee is happy to announce that New England Law | Boston is hosting the spring LLNE meeting. ABLL will co-host the event.  Kristin McCarthy and the staff at the New England Law | Boston Library have been organizing the event for the past few months.

The meeting will take place on Friday, April 14, 2023 at the MCLE Conference Center in Boston. The topic will be “A NextGen Curriculum for a NextGen Bar.”  As many of you know, the first administration of the new bar exam will be July of 2026. Because the new bar examination will be testing foundational skills along with doctrinal subjects, many of us view the new bar exam as an opportunity for greater attention to fundamental skills, but have concerns about how the exam will test these skills. How can we best prepare students, and what curriculum changes should be made to ensure our students are ready? 

We are fortunate to have a number of highly knowledgeable speakers and presenters on the NextGen bar and skills curriculum at this conference.  Marilyn Wellington, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) will be the keynote speaker.  Marilyn is leading the NCBE’s development of the Next Generation Bar Exam.

Associate Dean Hemanth Gundavaram from Northeastern University School of Law will also be speaking.  Associate Dean Gundavaram presented at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego on the NextGen Bar and was on the NCBE Content Scope Committee.  Associate Professor Dennis Prieto from Rutgers Law School was a panelist at the conference.  Associate Professor Prieto is the one reference librarian on the NCBE Content Scope Committee, and we are interested in his thoughts on testing research skills.

Additionally, Dean Lisa Freudenheim of New England Law | Boston will address meeting attendees from the viewpoint of an administrator guiding the entire educational program for a law school. Dean Freudenheim has a background in academic support, which gives her a unique perspective on teaching and law school pedagogy.

As always, there will be an LLNE Business Meeting at lunch, opportunities to see new products from vendors and, most importantly, a chance to catch up with colleagues and friends.

The MCLE office is conveniently located within walking distance of South Station and the Red Line.

Many law libraries and many law librarians in New England have helped plan and host these semiannual events over the years. We all know the incredible amount of time and effort that goes into planning the meeting. Thank you to Kristin McCarthy and New England Law | Boston for hosting. Thank you to everyone who has hosted and planned a conference in the past. The tradition continues. Have a great spring semester.  

Spring 2023 Welcome Message

Welcome to a new year! As we begin this time of renewal, I’ve been thinking about the direction in which LLNE is headed. The executive board recently held a strategic planning retreat, and many of you participated in a survey about where LLNE currently is and where we should go over the next five years. You identified several strengths we have, like our people, that we’re innovative, and our programming. You also identified some areas of weakness, which the board hopes to address through the goals we set at the retreat. Look for more on those as the strategic plan takes shape.

Speaking of programming, I’m looking forward to the spring meeting on the NextGen bar exam, hosted by New England Law Boston at MCLE on April 14th! I hope to see you there. The NextGen bar exam, with its new focus on legal research, is a real opportunity for LLNE and its membership to work together on what students and new attorneys need to know.

The future of LLNE is bright, and that’s because of all of you, the LLNE membership. As we consider the direction in which we need to move, I am grateful that all of you are part of this strong, innovative organization.

Anna Lawless-Collins, LLNE President

Anna Lawless-Collins
Associate Director for Systems & Collection Services
Boston University
Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries