An Advice Column
As a law librarian with four years of experience, I have four words of advice for even newer law librarians: Do a CALI Lesson.
Are you a tenured librarian who needs a peer reviewed publication for their dossier? Do a CALI lesson.
Want to create a legal research tutorial that will reach thousands of law students? Do a CALI lesson.
I think you are starting to get the idea. I am a full supporter of the work that CALI is doing- namely creating hundreds of easy to use interactive legal topic lessons. As of November 2011, CALI hosts 134 legal research lessons, 36 of which are state specific. CALI is looking to have primary and secondary legal resources for all 50 states, so there are still 64 uncompleted state lessons out there for enterprising law librarians to claim. I’ve been itching to start a lesson for my home state, but I refuse to take the opportunity away from a librarian there. But, consider yourself on notice Mississippi.
Noticing a gap in coverage I believe I could fill, I created a lesson on Louisiana Secondary Legal Resources. Creating the lesson was quite enjoyable and much less painful than any article I’ve written as a professional. I was able to flex a little creative muscle in coming up with a hypothetical story in which a new law school graduate, Anne Brandis, had to consult secondary resources on Louisiana to defend her client because she was unfamiliar with Louisiana law. See how Anne fared in her quest here: http://www.cali.org/lesson/8618
The lesson software authors use to create CALI lessons, CALI Author, is downloadable from the CALI site, and there is a very small learning curve on using the software. I was able to plug and play information from my lesson markup on Microsoft Word easily into the software from home and my office desktop. Learning the author software should not be a deterrent to undertaking the creation of a lesson.
Did I mention how you can earn a nice little honorarium to add to your salary? You guessed it- do a CALI lesson.
My most recent experiences with CALI lessons are as a student. I mentioned in my last post that I’m a part-time student balancing full-time work and a course load. Lately, since trying to understand contract and torts terms has nearly driven me to a drinking problem, I’ve turned to lessons in those subjects to help me prepare for finals. They have been an invaluable resource and confidence booster as I enter the home stretch before finals.
So, to sum up this advice column: Do a CALI lesson.