Answering Legal Reference Questions on a Shoestring
Reference questions seeking legal information are fairly common, but most rural and small libraries do not have the materials, or the expertise, to answer such questions. This presentation will explain the ins and outs of answering such questions, including potential legal issues in providing help. We will also look briefly at the array of legal materials and resources available for free on the Internet.
Paul Healey serves as Senior Instructional Services Librarian at the Jenner Law library of the University of Illinois College of Law. He teaches Legal Research and Advanced Legal Research courses in the law school, and also teaches courses on legal materials, information ethics, and library administration at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He holds a JD in law and MA in library and information science from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois.
Paul is considered a national expert on librarian professional liability and on legal issues pertaining to pro se library users. He is author of the books Professional Liability Issues for Librarians and Information Professionals (Neal-Schuman Press, 2008), and the forthcoming Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers (ALA Editions, 2013). His articles have been published in Law Library Journal, the National Law Journal, and AALL Spectrum, among others, and he is a two-time winner of the American Association of Law Libraries Call for Papers competition.
Paul is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, where he chairs the governance committee. He is also active in the American Association of Law Libraries and spent six years as Editorial Director of AALL Spectrum, the official magazine of the organization. Paul has been a featured speaker across the U.S. and Canada on legal and library related topics.
Prior to becoming a law librarian, Paul practiced law for seven years in Dubuque, Iowa as a partner in the firm Healey & Peters, Attorneys, and was a seminar presenter on legal and business topics for Inherent, Ltd.