Law Library Newsletter

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The beginning of the fall 2009 semester marks another benchmark in the physical transformation of the Notre Dame Law School facility. This will be the only complete academic year without dedicated library study and research space and with just one-quarter of our print collection onsite. For first year students, this will mark some changes in the way that we teach legal research. We continue to strive to balance our teaching of various methods of online access to legal information with locating and using traditional print materials. We survey our students annually to monitor what law firms expect in research methods by summer law clerks, and we use this information to guide our efforts to best teach students in the research practices that they will need after graduation.

Recently, a number of writers have explored the changing nature of the marketplace. LexisNexis and Westlaw continue to post substantial profits, but clients are increasing less willing to allow firms to directly charge for the use of these two databases. An article in the August 24 edition of the Wall Street Journal also outlined significant shifts away from hourly billing by many corporate clients of major law firms. While the growth of freely available legal information and commercial alternatives to the big two is growing, LexisNexis and Westlaw still form the foundation of legal research for most attorneys and law firms.

The staff of the Kresge Law Library is committed to providing the best in legal information service, and we welcome our new and returning faculty and students to this vibrant and thriving Law School.

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