Tag Archives: Charlotte School of Law
The Charlotte School of Law Moot Court Honor Board is pleased to announce that Executive Board Member Beaujeaux Delapouyade has been selected to serve as a summer intern for the Honorable Albert Diaz, circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Diaz is a long-time supporter of the CSL Moot Court program, and has previously served as a judge for the final rounds of the program’s Susie Marshall Sharpe Intra-School Competition held each fall at CSL.
Ms. Delapouyade will review appellate briefs and hopes to draft an opinion before the end of her internship. She says her Moot Court experience has been an invaluable part of this achievement.
Where we have come from
A story of moving:
Less than 10 years ago when the Charlotte School of Law Library staff welcomed its first library users they were still in the process of building the library collection to meet the needs of a student body with an FTE in the 80s. This collection process was supported when the opportunity arose to absorb a legal collection previously owned by the closing Mecklenburg Law Library. In those early formative years the library’s home was a three story law office in the Dillworth neighborhood of Charlotte but after a few years the school and library outgrew the space and moved across town to a new home. The new space was significantly larger and in an area on the west side of Charlotte that, at the time, was seeing strong redevelopment. The increased size of the library helped to accommodate a growing library user population and a recent bulk purchase from the National Judicial College. In 2013 the Law school began preparing for yet another move to a large office building in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. The move for most of the law school was completed in August but the library space was still under construction and the team spent a semester in a temporary space on the 12th floor of the building. In January of 2014 at the same time the welcomed the new Associate Dean for Library Services, the staff moved into the two story permanent library space on the 4th and 5th floor of Charlotte Plaza.
Where we are now
Changing our language and sharing our passions
After staff and resources were settled into the new space the team started to review and evaluate our functionality, roles, process and language. We soon found the traditional library jargon and titles did not best represent what the staff at our school do or properly express their value add to the rest of the institution. In fact we found the language often limiting how other saw the library and what the staff could and were accomplishing.
With a nod toward the San Diego Public Law Library’s departments rename project, we decided to rename the Tech Services department at Charlotte School of Law to Core Operations and the Circulations and Reference departments were combined to form one department renamed as library Users Experience.
We also had some celebrations that impacted what we looked like as a library when A few of our staff members completed their MLIS degrees or moved on to new opportunities. The reduction in our library work force necessitated a library reorganization, change in job duties and new leadership opportunity. The library structure change also allowed for the creation of “hybrid librarian” positions. The hybrid librarians allow the librarians at our school to work in the library and also spend time working on passion projects in law school departments outside of the library. Currently we have Hybrid librarians sharing their passions with the Legal Discourse Zone (writing center), Career Placement Department, Marketing and Technology.
The exploration of passion in the library continued was as we launched a unique faculty lecture series housed in the Library. The series called, Coffee and Sidebar in the Library, provides the law school faculty the opportunity to share their passion topics with the law students in a more informal setting outside of the classroom. Faculty speak to the attendees for 30 to 45 min about their passion and then answer some questions. Coffee and candy are also always available to the attendees. Some topics shared with students this past year included modern day pirates, animal law opportunities in charlotte, interesting Journey to sports law and women and the law. We received positive views from those in attendance and are looking forward to continuing the series.
Where we are going
The next year will bring the furtherance of initiatives like Coffee and Sidebar in the Library, as well as teaching the mandatory 1L research course, and providing combined circulation and reference services at our new Library User Experience (LUX) desk. But the new fiscal and school year will also bring some new projects and staff to the Charlotte School of Law Library. To highlight just a few, in August, we will welcome a new hybrid librarian, the Library User Experience and Technology Librarian. This individual will manage our Library User experience desk, Law Students workers, and be responsible for technology training throughout the law school.
Instruction will be expanded in the next years as the dual degreed LUX librarians will begin teaching a new mandatory 1L course. This class, called LAB, will focus instruction on citation, legal authority, research strategy, sentence structure and grammar. Additionally, the schools two part time librarians will also begin a series of short 15 to 20 minute research refresher trainings to be offered to the students in our research zones.
Two new large scale projects the library will take on in the 2015 -2016 year will be weeding the journal collection and starting a full inventorying the entire collection including our satellite collection in our South Boulevard collection. As a young institution this will be the first time an inventory will be conducted of the entire collection.
I hope you enjoyed your glimpse at the Charlotte School of Law Library and we hope to share more details about projects and people with all of you in future newsletters.
This article was featured in the Spring 2015 issue of the Southeastern Law Librarian, the official newsletter of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries. It is reprinted here with permission.
Recently, we had one of our student workers scan through previous blog content and choose a few of the ones she found most helpful as a current Charlotte Law student. We’ll be re-posting this content throughout the summer so it’s readily available to all of our incoming and returning students for Fall of 2015. This post originally ran in March of 2015.
The Charlotte School of Law has an overriding purpose: to unlock human potential. Our immediate task is to educate students, in particular so that they can succeed in law school, on the bar examination, and in their chosen careers. But we carry out our educational activities with an eye toward the larger purpose. We identify students who have the potential to learn and succeed more broadly and we tailor comprehensive programs to build on that potential. Thus, we have a growing Honors Program; a large Student Success department; wellness counselors; programs to engender grit, self-awareness, and professionalism; and so much more.
I came to Charlotte as Dean two years ago, in large part because of the commitment to unlocking human potential. (This is a very fundamental commitment; we are also committed to unlocking the potential of our faculty and staff.) I also came for our commitment to the unceasing improvement of our programs, services, and outcomes. No person is or ever will be perfect, but every person can become better and better in personal and professional ways. In the same way, no organization is or ever will be perfect. But the more the organization understands the need for constant improvement, the better it can be in providing value, satisfaction, and success for the persons it serves.
Continuous improvement in law schools is more important today than it was even ten years ago. It is also more difficult. Legal education has long been premised on assumptions about what colleges teach and assess in the areas of writing, critical reading, and personal management; on what students teach themselves; on the nature of jobs in the legal services field; on what employers look for in graduates; and on what bar examiners test. Many of these assumptions are no longer wholly valid. Other changes in the environment are equally dramatic. Nationally, the number of applicants to law school has been declining for five years. Nationally, first-time bar passage rates have been declining (for reasons that are not clear). And both law and legal education are becoming increasingly internationalized, with respect to students, programs, and services. For law schools, adaptation and improvement is essential.
The Charlotte School of Law is continually addressing these challenges and is ever alert to opportunities. For example, we systematically concern ourselves with writing skills. We are currently developing methods for rigorously assessing writing competency and potential for improvement in applicants; expanding our introductory writing program; increasing the ongoing assessment of writing in doctrinal courses; and proving added support for student who need enrichment. Similarly, we are in the midst of a comprehensive project to strengthen the development of competencies required for success on the bar examination. This project reaches from the beginning of the first year through the day of the bar examination itself. We are expanding our opportunities for pro bono service, both in Charlotte and around the world. For example, this month we are launching a new project of pro bono service for our students in Haiti. We are also alert to changes in the legal services field. For example, this summer we are starting a new program in corporate compliance that will provide both knowledge and competitive advantage in this rapidly growing field. And there is much, much more.
I have been Dean of three law schools. One of my greatest sources of satisfaction is improving the school and its services, and enabling faculty and staff to make contributions that are both valuable to students and meaningful to the faculty and staff members themselves. The Charlotte School of Law is an extraordinary place for students to learn and grow, and to position themselves to navigate change. What makes it such an extraordinary place is not only the deep and pervasive commitment to unlocking potential, but also the deep and pervasive commitment to doing a continually better job of providing programs, services, and resources that enable that potential to be unlocked.
~Jay Conison (Dean), Charlotte School of Law~