I just attended a lunch session with a Court of Appeal Justice on the topic of legal research. You might think, why would an experienced legal researcher and law librarian spend a lunch hour listening to a topic that she knows? I have two very good reasons, the basis of today’s tip, for attending presentations and seminars on areas within your realm of experience.
- When you hear from others that your own process is very similar to theirs, it validates your process. It also may question your assumptions about your process if someone else’s best method differs from your own. Questions are good – they make us think.
- There is always something to learn. Even if it is simply a different perspective on a tool or resource, every one of us carries a bias about resources – our favourites and our last choices – great legal researchers don’t let those biases lead to habits.
In the case of today’s event, it was inside my firm. As a law librarian, it is particularly important to attend sessions where the type of information being shared is training that your department ‘owns’. It also provided an opportunity for a follow-up note to attendees with links and pointers to our easiest location of sources that were mentioned. There is value in validation.