Early in November, LexisNexis released a paper summarizing their survey of summer associates conducted last July. Summer Associates Identify Writing and Legal Research Skills Required on the Job reported on the responses of 330 summer associates working in large U.S. law firms (with over 50 attorneys).
The findings that I found most interesting were the following:
- Close to half reported spending between 50 to 100% of their time conducting legal research.
- 86% of hiring partners believe legal research skills are highly important.
- Summer associates used state and federal case law (97.3%) and state and federal statutes (87%) the most. Treatises were the most used secondary source.
- When asked what additional research skills they would like to know, the summer associates chose regulatory research (33.9%), secondary sources (27.3%), and verdicts, briefs, and dockets (24.8%) as the top three topics.
- Between 20 and 30% of summer associates would like more drafting instruction on contracts (29.7%), memo writing (28.8%), pleadings and motions (22.7%), and briefs (21.5%).
While this is just one study conducted by LexisNexis, it does give some information about the importance of legal research in the work done by summer associates.
Have you read All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg? It is an autobiography about growing up dirt poor in northeastern Alabama. The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood is Kevin Powell’s autobiography about growing up dirt poor in the ghetto in Jersey City. Both men were raised by single mothers. Both men experienced violence in their childhoods. Both men went on to become successful writers: Bragg won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing for The New York Times; Powell’s writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Essence, Ebony, Rolling Stone, and Vibe.
Powell’s journey was not a straight path. While he excelled in school and was able to go to Rutgers University, his suppressed anger sabotaged his own success several times along the way. His book includes chapters from his life about appearing on MTV’s The Real World, writing for Vibe magazine, running unsuccessfully for Congress, and journeying to Africa. In an interview about his book, Powell said that his memoir has been inside him for years. He also said that while he did not target his book to young adults, he does hope that young people might avoid some of the mistakes that he made growing up. His memoir is an honest, transparent account of his life, the successes and the failures. He works as an activist, writer, and public speaker focusing on civil and human rights. He works through his organization, BK Nation, to organize peaceful protests. He ultimately works to move humanity towards freedom, justice, equality, and peace.
This book is his story.
Follow-up: Kevin Powell discusses black masculinity in popular culture with bell hooks of The New School at https://youtu.be/FoXNzyK70Bk. The conversation begins at 13:13.
The Education of Kevin Powell is available for checkout from the Charlotte Law Library. For a few weeks, it will be located with the New Books in the East Reading Room on the 5th floor and then located here.
You have the option of enrolling in a traditional or online (live) classroom.
For more information contact us at
704.808.8030 | firstname.lastname@example.org | charlottelaw.edu/paralegal