Call for Input on Law Student Information Literacy Standards

Seasons Greetings Fellow Ripsters!

2009 has been a good year for us to voice our opinions on the value of research instruction and information resources to the American law student. Previously, we were able to provide a statement to the ABA committee in charge of revising law school standards, and we now have an opportunity to help define the basic whats, whens, wheres, and hows that law students and new lawyers should know about legal research.

The AALL Joint Committee on the Articulation of Law Student Information Literacy (LSIL) Standards, under the leadership of Dennis Kim-Prieto from the Rutgers School of Law, is comprised of members from several Special Interest Sections, including RIPS, PLL, ALL, and FCIL. This committee is working to establish a baseline of information literacy, with the belief that such an articulation would benefit both our association, and the legal profession. A defined set of standards could be used as a basis for assessment tools, curricula, and other needs in the area of legal research instruction and training.

The committee has begun drafting some standards, but the process is far from over, and your input is needed. I believe this is a worthwhile endeavor, but mine is only one opinion out over nearly 800 RIPS members. No matter what type of library you work for, or what type of work you do, your opinions and experience matter. Effective research and usage of information resources may start with instruction, but it affects practice, acquisitions, budgeting, access services, and all other facets of law librarianship. The current revision of the Standards will soon be forwarded to the RIPS listserv. I hope you’re able take the time to review them and offer your feedback to Dennis at We’ll all be better for it. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Robb Farmer


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