Friday, April 05, 2013

What Do Lawyers Really Need to Know?

The answer might surprise you. Over lunch with a law librarian who has worked in a firm, I learned that many of the research requests she received from attorneys concerned nonlegal materials. Trial attorneys needed data and stats on sports, various commercial industries, and psychology in order to paint a picture for a jury. Trial attorneys often argue their clients abided by or deviated from particular standards---so where do they get those standards? Research in other disciplines.

Next time you're looking for nonlegal data, call a librarian. Any librarian. Consider the Health Sciences Library, 18th Avenue Library (for all your dance, music, and engineering needs), or even the Cartoon Library. Or get creative and reach out to the NPR music library, the CNN Media Library, the library for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or the Baseball Hall of Fame library. For a listing of some of the more interesting libraries out there, check our the Special Libraries Association.