One of the things I missed this summer by being out of law firms is the challenge of training summer associates.   Inevitably, law librarians will tell you this is the prime time to impact young attorneys in training.

I always concentrated my training sessions and individual research interviews with summer associates covering the basics.  In the wider library world, the reference interview would be the method of getting to the basics.

When legal research and law firms combine, getting to the basics has its own challenges.  In my opinion, the young associates are reluctant to share facts about their project.  They are even more reluctant to admit they don’t have a clue where to start their research.

Teaching these talented, smart but inexperienced attorneys-in-training that they don’t have to know everything is the first key to success.  Once they understand that you, the librarian, can offer your experience for their benefit, the walls come tumbling down.

What is your top Basic Skill to impart to young researchers?  What areas do you need to develop in order to strengthen your own legal research training programs?