Faculty Spotlight: Lena Rieke

01/31/2020
Lena Rieke

What is it about being a law librarian that inspires or motivates you?

What’s both inspirational and motivational about a career in academic law librarianship, for me, is the chance it gives me to support a broad group of folks engaged in truly diverse practical and academic activities. The law library faculty in the Wiener-Rogers Law Library assist public patrons, members of state bars from all over the country, law students, and law professors in all sorts of endeavors. The job is different every day, but it is always enriching and rewarding. 

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

The proliferation of legal information available online has complicated the task of teaching effective and efficient legal research methods to law students. One good way to address this issue is through ensuring our law students are information literate. Through teaching information literacy to our law students, we are seeking to ensure they employ the research strategies unique to legal issues that they are taught during their time at Boyd. We’re also striving to teach them how to think critically about the resources and authorities uncovered during the course of their research. Being able to accurately evaluate the validity and authority of sources is a core competency for any lawyer. 

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

I don’t know that any law student has asked me specifically what they should read outside of what’s required by their courses, but I’ll offer some advice anyhow. I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to get yourself out of the “productivity” mindset law school often demands of students is to sit down for any length of time and read for pleasure. Read anything—Harry Potter, experimental fiction, inaccessible poetry, a cookbook, Vegetables in Underwear (which I really can’t recommend enough), a book of essays—truly, anything! It may be hard to justify it in the moment, but allowing yourself to step away from coursework and extracurricular demands will help you develop healthy habits to cope with the rigors of life in legal practice. 
 

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