Courtney Selby

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Publication Title

Northern Illinois University Law Review


Today’s law students exist in an information ecosystem where access to information is plentiful. Between the open web and the proliferation of databases offering countless research resources, retrieving potentially relevant search results is relatively easy. The struggle for our students is filtering through seemingly endless search results to find the best resources for the legal problem at hand. For many of us, the summer of 2020 was a watershed moment, not because of the pandemic, but because of the brutal murder of George Floyd. Make no mistake, there was a genuine need for CIL and CLR in our legal research instruction long before this event. Yet the galvanizing effect of this murder and the subsequent public outcry made this need abundantly clear.

Critical legal research seeks to bridge gaps such as these by identifying areas in which legal classification schemes are not reflective of lived experience, then using interdisciplinary resources and novel legal analysis to push for a more complex classification scheme, ultimately leading to better understanding of the research. The information literacy skills required to evaluate, select, and use information for advocacy are, for me, some of the most important skills I can give my students. Imagine a space in which everyone using the critical lens in legal education could share teaching tools. This is just one possible outgrowth of collaboration.

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College of Law

Suggested Citation

Courtney Selby, Integration & Transformation: Incorporating Critical Information and Literacy and Critical Legal Research into Advanced Legal Research Instruction, 43 N. Ill. Univ. L. Rev. 280 (2023).

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Law Commons



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