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Law libraries should play a greater role in addressing the current crisis in legal education. Proponents for educational reform often view libraries as a vehicle for cost savings, while overlooking the ability of libraries to train students in the skills and competencies that are essential for the practice of law. Libraries’ research assistant programs can be particularly effective in imparting workplace values and lawyering skills beyond the traditional law school curriculum. This article encourages libraries to build on the strengths of their research assistant programs as a substantive way to equip law students with essential skills for today’s legal marketplace.


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 32, Iss. 4, 2013, available online at

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32 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 274 (2013).