Faculty Spotlight: Justin Iverson

Friday, April 8, 2022
Justin Iverson

What is the most significant issue facing your field and how should it be addressed?

There is a persistent devaluing of academic libraries. We, as librarians, are always innovating, expanding services, and conducting outreach to market ourselves, but the trend continues. Recently, the US News rankings decreased the library's contribution to the school's overall rank from 1.75% to 1%. 

Meanwhile budgets are declining and library faculty salaries remain mostly stagnant. Universities equate law librarian salaries with those of other librarians on campus, giving no value to the J.D. requirement. As a result, academic law libraries across the country are understaffed and struggling to attract candidates from an ever-shrinking pool.

To address these issues, law school faculty and administrators should use their influence to advocate for protecting library funds/interests and model that advocacy for other schools. We are fortunate that Boyd leads in allowing librarians to be tenure-track faculty and supports our desires to teach, research, publish, serve on committees, and otherwise voice our thoughts on issues facing the entire school.

What are you working on right now?

I'm working with several students to revive the law school's LEAP (Legal Education and Assistance to Prisoners) program. I'm also contributing a chapter on prison libraries to Introduction to Law Libraries--the first textbook specifically geared to law libraries. Next month I'll be submitting the first draft of a symposium article on artificial intelligence usage in detention spaces. 

In the library, I'm connecting with vendors to make sure we're offering the best combination of resources to our students. I'm developing a plan to weed some unused material from a few overgrown collections. And luckily I get to do what I love (legal research) in supporting faculty scholarship most of the week.

When students ask you what they should read outside the required textbooks and other law-related books, what do you suggest?

I suggest students read whatever gives them a sense of joy and relaxation. After law school, I struggled to read anything for pleasure. So, to any students who might feel the same way, consider audiobooks. They're great when you're cleaning, driving, or sitting in the bath. 

Recent Issues

April 8, 2022 - Justin Iverson, Travis Studdard, Christian Ogata '20
March 11, 2022 - Francine J. Lipman, Joseph Waldman, Erica Adler JD '20 LL.M. '21
February 25, 2022 - Frank Rudy Cooper, Jean-Lionel Mesidor, Pedro Cortes '21
January 28, 2022 - Lori Johnson, Daniel Weiss, Joshua Pettigrew '19
December 3, 2021 - Dawn Nielsen, Madeleine Coles, Daniel Maloney LL.M. '20