law library revelation


So the first part of our final for 501 was to research a series of library and First Amendment-related legal cases and put together a reference sheet.  He didn’t really explain in class that the research items were going to be legal cases, so it was something of a surprise when I opened the document and started working on it, but soon I was enchanted.

I did mock trial in high school, so though I was only a witness in the trials, not a lawyer, I got a pretty decent basic understanding of legal procedure and jargon.  We read lots of case documents, many of them fake and simplified but structurally accurate, and I got very comfortable with doing this, to the point where I thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s also a pain for a lot of people who know me in real life, who have to put up with me ranting about what does and does not pass legal muster in fiction or about how darn it, I just want to put fictional villains on trial.  And yet I often forget, if it’s been a while since I had exposure to that world, how much I enjoy it.

Reading about these cases for 501 lit that fire for me once again, and our in-class part of the final project was to get in randomly assigned groups and compile solutions for a hypothetical case based on what we had read and could read about similar cases.  And sure, doing this in only 45 minutes was stressful, but I was so excited about it and about listening to everyone else present their cases.

This got me thinking.  I’m not exactly set on special libraries, but they do seem to suit me better; I like the smaller setting, the more specialized focus, the expertise, the indispensability.  After this class, though, it occurred to me that I should think very seriously about law libraries, more seriously than I had been doing.  I know I could never be a lawyer, the personality and presentation required are not things I have in me, period, and I know that.  But in the way that I might also be interested in medical libraries though I know I could never be a doctor, I’ve started considering law libraries as a viable career path, more than I had been doing.