An early taste of legal research launches careers
D’Angelo Law librarians give College and graduate students their first exposure to legal research
For almost 15 years, librarians from the D’Angelo Law Library have been teaching a seminar on legal research for undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in using legal resources or considering law school or other legal careers. D’Angelo Law Library runs the seminar in coordination with the UChicago Careers in Law (UCIL) program and has expanded the course in recent years to include a legal writing component. This past Spring Quarter, 29 students signed up for the six-week seminar, which included units on case law research, statutory and administrative law research, and using secondary sources, in addition to legal writing and oral communication. The research segments were taught by librarians Thomas Drueke and Todd Ito, and legal writing was taught by Bill Chamberlain, Program Director of UCIL.
Students who have participated in the seminar have reported that the classes provided a good preview of what legal research is like in law school and in practice. Kyle Panton, AB’14, JD’17, took part in the seminar in 2013 and said it helped him decide whether to go to law school: “As an undergrad, quality opportunities to learn about what lawyers experience on a day to day basis can be hard to come by.” Panton went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School earlier this year and will be starting work at a law firm in New York City this fall. “I would highly recommend the seminar to any students who think that they may be interested in practicing law, or who think they may want to pursue a career where knowledge of how to conduct legal research may be a boon,” Panton added.
Seferina Berch, AB’14, said that, in addition to helping her decide whether to attend law school, “the seminar helped guide research for my BA thesis, which had a historical legal focus, and helped me get a 1L internship on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.” Berch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School this May and starts work as an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin, LLP in New York City this fall.
UChicago students interested in taking this course in Spring 2018 can sign up through the Career Advancement Office.