Note to Summers: Tips from Law Librarians

May 17, 2012

Tips for Summer Associates from law schools are commonplace.  Earlier, we referenced NYU’s memo.  Citing the New York Law Journal, the University of Connecticut reminds summers to be social, but not too social.  Last year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison noted that “legal research in a business setting may seem very different compared to your academic experience.” True enough.  So, we asked a few large law librarians for their input.  Here’s what they had to say:


Use the firm’s Library Take advantage of your firm librarians’ knowledge. Put the librarian on your ‘resource-to-check list.’ Visit your library often and learn how to use its resources . . . both ‘E’ and hard copy.  Work with the Librarians and Reference Attorneys to setup search parameters.

Bill Carefully Make sure you assign the correct client ID for any research you perform.  It cannot be changed. Also, your law firm password is not the same as your law school access. Any research you perform will be billed to a client.   Plan your research accordingly and, always bill your time.

Research Carefully  Attend training sessions offered by the firm.  Take WL/WLN e-learning classes to refresh and/or perfect your research skills. Ask questions when you receive a research assignment, so that you are as clear as possible as to what the attorney would like you to find. Deliver your work in a timely manner. It is your professional and ethical responsibility to learn the tools of you chosen profession.  Most of all, ask questions before starting a project!

Work Hard: Capitalize on all opportunities given to you during the summer. Ask questions. Demonstrate a willingness to learn. Work for as many attorneys as possible. Earn the respect of others by being respectful to those around you.

 Special thanks to Susan Harlow,  Peggy Martin, and Account Managers  for their contributions to this post.