OMGMetrics

tsll

When I first proposed beginning a column on metrics, it seemed like a common sense notion. In fact, the proposal practically wrote itself. Library metrics are the hottest of topics, as we’re simultaneously a service industry and an industry whose value to patrons and communities is difficult to quantify. This results in our necks traditionally being one of the first on the chopping blocks during cuts, and our staff and supporters constantly fighting for more allocated resources. Qualitative anecdotes don’t defend our worth effectively in this business-savvy, metrics-driven world, nor do they assure that we’re maximizing value for our patrons in our expenditure choices.

As a true librarian at heart, once the column was approved, I started my research. Often when beginning research, you cast your first net with extreme caution, prepared to be buried under a towering mound of inaccurate or inapplicable results. Surprisingly, despite the importance and value of library metrics, I discovered they aren’t touched on with near the frequency you’d expect. Why this phenomenon? I have some ideas.

Let’s face it. Librarians are rarely math-centric. I learned this as a MLIS student with an undergraduate degree in actuarial science. While like majors could bond over their commonalities, I always felt a little lost – who needs a math librarian? Further in to my library school career, I was swept up into Technical Services librarianship when I came in for a part-time reference desk job interview at my legal resources professor’s workplace and the Technical Services Director saw math featured prominently on my resume. She immediately usurped my reference interview and stole me away to the land of backlogs of Westlaw and Lexis bills, much to my delight. In retrospect, I don’t even remember interviewing formally. You say, “statistics,” and librarians’ ears perk up. You say, “I like numbers,” and their eyes light up. Then, they hand you a stack of papers covered with numbers and run before you can hand it back.

Yes, people who have bad memories from their math classes growing up are often squeamish around things number-related. While I understand that fear completely, library metrics are completely different. Hence, one of my goals at the outset of this column is to help our amazing group of technical services law librarian readers realize that hearing the word “metrics” is not synonymous with “panic.”

To begin, let’s go over some basic concepts and vocabulary regarding metrics and their uses in libraries. First, all metrics aren’t created equal – for example, they: (1) use different collection and evaluation methods; (2) speak to different audiences; and (3) serve different purposes. Understanding the breadth of this topic is the first real step in creating and tracking functional metrics, which can then effectively communicate value and aid in decision-making. There are many things you can measure in the library falling into the general categories of inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes and impacts.

“Inputs” is a fancy name for resources used to produce or deliver a program or service, like staff, supplies, equipment, and money. Through processes, these inputs become outputs – resources and services that you produce, including your available materials and the programs you organize and host. Input and output tracking gives you those first glance statistics, easy to count, measure, and report, as these are tangible things. Outputs are usually what are reported to stakeholders or decision makers, e.g., we check out this many books, we have this many research guides, or these many people use the library. However, these metrics don’t accurately demonstrate the value of our services and our products.

And here’s where outcomes and impacts come in. I tend to agree with the school of thought that outcomes and impacts are the same thing, seen from different perspectives. Outcomes are changes from the perspective of our customers and impacts are the same change from the perspective of a stakeholder, usually more of a high level change, with long-term effects on the larger community. These metrics are known by quite a few names, including impact metrics, performance metrics, and outcome metrics, and are primarily intangible, making them much more difficult to measure. Naturally, they also communicate the most value and provide the most guidance and support.

Let’s be clear. Metrics are different from statistics, and for that matter, so is data. Just because you did poorly in your statistics class or didn’t score highly on the quantitative section of the GRE doesn’t mean that you should run from data or cringe when metrics is bandied about in a meeting with stakeholders or decision makers. Formally, data is qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables which typically arises as a result of measurements. Statistics don’t even come into play until you study the collection, organization, and interpretation of this data. Even better, in the library world, statistics don’t necessarily require the use of Greek letters or even convoluted equations. Most statistics, measures, and metrics can be organized into operating metrics, customer and user satisfaction metrics, and value and impact metrics.

Operating measures and operational statistics (such as how many people came to the library, how many check-outs took place on a certain day, and how many hits we had on a database) lend themselves well to understanding resource allocation, improving efficiencies, and making budget determinations. Customer and user satisfaction metrics, on the other hand, tell us how well the choices we made are doing based on operating measures and indicate what improvements may be required.  Value and impact measures are incredibly meaningful in their own right, as they often incorporate satisfaction and the importance of separate outcomes. These are the most elusive of all measurements; so naturally, they’re the most valuable.

Martha Kyrillidou, senior director of the Association of Research Libraries statistics and service quality programs, once said “what is easy to measure is not necessarily what is desirable to measure.” This is such a true observation regarding metric gathering in libraries – easy measurements rarely result in meaningful statistics, meaning one of your first challenges is figuring out how to make the things you choose to measure meaningful. Simply put, a meaningful measure shows you how much value you’re getting out of your investment. This could mean the investment in the library itself and the value that the stakeholders or decision makers are getting out of that investment, or it could mean what sort of value your customers are getting out of how the library chooses to invest their resources, both in terms of financial outlay and in terms of staff time. To determine meaningful measures, you need to understand your stakeholders or decision makers, and you need to understand your customers.

For instance, quantitative resource usage information doesn’t show how or why users are using materials, or even indicate how satisfied they are with the products. Relying solely on quantitative data, such as a basic measure of number of hits, isn’t necessarily enough to justify value to stakeholders and customers. Our most popular blog post at the law school, according to easily generated WordPress statistics, is one featuring a cartoon sun. Looking at the numbers and reports, you’d assume this was an incredibly popular post and maybe even assume it contributes a lot of value. However, this particular post features a metadata tag for “cartoon sun,” and one of the most searched keywords that leads people to our blog is – you guessed it – “cartoon sun.” Here, it’s obvious that a simple number doesn’t communicate actual value to our customer base or to our stakeholders and decision makers.

Similarly, one database may feature twice as many hits as another database when comparing generated usage reports, but that could be because it has a convoluted interface (possibly even for the sole purpose of generated inflated hits). Again, just because it’s an easy measure doesn’t mean it’s meaningful. Qualitative data, such as patron survey feedback and user experience testing, provides the context within which to view these numbers. This often means using a hybrid approach of both quantitative and qualitative data.

So there you have it. The metrics world is wide and wild, and this column will do its best to shine light on as many parts of it as possible. In addition to detailed discussions of the general metric concepts already mentioned, additional topics will include collection methods, statistical concepts in a nutshell, resource usage statistics, COUNTER and SUSHI, collection and transactional statistics, consortia challenges, web metrics, altmetrics, faculty support, law firm and public law library metrics, performance indicators and benchmarks, as well as discussion of tools for presentation and manipulation of data.

I’m still figuring out how best to approach the column to meet the needs of our audience, and since the next issue is devoted to American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Meeting program reports, this column won’t reappear until fall. I’d love to hear any suggestions on format and approach, any questions you’d like for me to attack, or any topics you’d like for me to cover. Shoot me an email at amoye@charlottelaw.edu, and let me know what you think!

~Ashley Moye~

 Technical Services Law Librarian (TSLL)  is an official publication of the Technical Services Special Interest Section and the Online Bibliographic Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries.  This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue and is reprinted here with permission.

Leave a comment

Filed under CharlotteLaw Library Team Members, Technical Services

Alumni Spotlight: Legal Aid Client Thanks Her “Dream Team”

spotlight blog-03

“From the bottom of my heart I thank you all” : Legal Aid client thanks her “Dream Team”

Attorneys in our Charlotte office recently received some sincere thanks and high praise from a client for whom they went to extraordinary lengths to help escape from an unhealthy housing situation.

Our client and her daughters were desperate to get out of their apartment, which was infested with black mold, but they didn’t know how to leave without losing their much-needed security deposit.

“I was at a very bad place when I came to Legal Aid,” wrote our client in an email, “but not one time was I not greeted with compassion. I was teamed up with a very firm but compassionate attorney named Shannon Pearce. She was very supportive and always a phone call or email away.”

Shannon, a Charlotte School of Law Fellow, helped our client and her daughters get out of the mold-infested apartment with her security deposit in hand.

But there was still a problem. Our client didn’t have the money to rent a moving truck or hire movers, and didn’t know anyone who’d volunteer to lend a hand.

Going above and beyond the call of duty, Shannon convinced the U-Haul truck rental corporation to give our client a certificate for a free moving truck. Now what about movers?

“I tear up as I write this,” said our client. “All of a sudden during moving day, Shannon had a moving crew!”

Shannon, joined by fellow attorneys Shanae Auguste, who is also a Charlotte School of Law Fellow, and Isaac Sturgill, threw on some old clothes and showed up to serve as our client’s volunteer moving crew!

legalaid

Legal Aid attorneys Shanae Auguste (left), Shannon Pearce (second from left) and Isaac Sturgill stand in front of the donated U-Haul truck they used to help our client (holding sign) move out of her mold-infested apartment.

“I could not believe they had selflessly taken time out of their day to help me,” wrote our client. “And man are they strong, especially Isaac. I call them the Three Musketeers ‘cause they put any moving company to shame.”

“I’m forever grateful to the young attorneys,” she wrote. “So from the bottom of my heart I thank you all, especially the Dream Team: Shannon, Shanae and Isaac.”

This article is shared with permission from Legal Aid of North Carolina.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Spotlight, Careers

ALR Student’s Corner: Lee’s North Carolina Family Law

lee`

Introduction

Lee’s North Carolina Family Law (“Lee’s”) is a vital secondary resource for attorneys practicing family law in North Carolina.  The Fifth Edition of this treatise, authored by Suzanne Reynolds and published by The Michie Company of Charlottesville, Virginia, provides comprehensive coverage and analysis of family law in North Carolina, including but not limited to substantive case law and statutes, overview of relationships from marriage to divorce, and the parent child relationship.

Lee’s is located in the Charlotte School of Law Library on the fifth floor in the “Reference: Carolinas” section at Call Number: KFN7494.L43, or by searching “family law north carolina” in the Library Catalog.  Additionally, Lee’s can be accessed electronically with a valid Lexis Advance login and the following navigational steps: 1) click on “Browse Source” in the upper right corner, 2) choose sources beginning with the letter “L”, and 3) select Lee’s North Carolina Family Law.  However, this post focuses on the hardcopy print volumes of Lee’s.

lee2

 

Author Suzanne Reynolds is an Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law.  Suzanne is widely recognized for her scholarship and research in the family law field.  She was the principal drafter of the North Carolina statutes modernizing alimony and adoption.

The Fifth Edition of Lee’s is a three-volume hardback series originally published in 1993, but is routinely updated and kept current with additional pocket parts which can be found on the inside back cover of the relevant volume.  The most current pocket parts were updated in December 2012.

lee3

Content of Lee’s North Carolina Family Law

As aforementioned, Lee’s is divided into three volumes covering all aspects of family law in North Carolina.  Volume I covers Acts Prior to Marriage, Entering Marriage, Annulments, Nonmarital Living Arrangements, Spousal Rights and Obligations during Marriage, and Divorce from Bed and Board.  Volume II focuses on Absolute Divorce, Post-Separation Support, Alimony, Child Support, and Enforcement of Awards.  Additionally, Volume III addresses Division of Property Upon Divorce-Equitable Distribution, Child Custody, Separation Agreements, Parent and Child Relationship, Unmarried Parents and Their Children, Adoption and Assisted Conception, and Procreational Liberties- Abortion and Sterilization.

The volumes combine ease of use with practicality by outlining specific topics efficiently and thoroughly.  However, the researcher must be careful not to rely solely on the Summary Table of Contents because the corresponding Table of Contents contains topics that might not seem correlated at first glance.  The Summary Table of Contents at the beginning of each volume lays out the topics covered and the applicable page numbers with clarity and precision.  Furthermore, the actual Table of Contents is intricately detailed, which is initially overwhelming, but ultimately incredibly valuable to the user as a research tool.

The annotations are another incredible research tool.  In the footnotes section on nearly every page, Lee’s provides citations and references to secondary authority, such as articles and scholarly journals, and to primary authority, such as case law and statutes, that are on-point with the legal issue being discussed.  Moreover, all three volumes contain a “Table of Cases” and “Table of Statutes” that a cost-conscious researcher can then look up for free on FastCase or the www.nccourts.org website.

To demonstrate how easy and helpful this practice guide is, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose, on behalf of a client, I was researching the requisite elements of the marital tort, alienation of affection.  Upon consulting the Volume I Summary Table of Contents, I see that Chapter 5 deals with Spousal Rights and Obligations during Marriage.  Subsequently, a search of the Chapter 5 Table of Contents reveals that “Alienation of affections and criminal conversation; elements” are located in § 5:46(A) on page 393.  There, I learn the requisite elements of alienation of affection are as follows: 1) marriage with love and affection, 2) love and affection alienated and destroyed; and 3) defendant with malice, caused the loss of love and affection.  The text includes a relevant footnote to the premier North Carolina case explaining and analyzing the elements.  Furthermore, the text provides legal analysis discussing the satisfaction of each element and additional references to the relevant case law.

Conclusion

If an attorney is under a time crunch, Lee’s in print might not be the most time efficient resource, relative to the ease of navigating the electronic version on Lexis Advance. But, if that same attorney seeks comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the legal principles of family law in North Carolina, then Lee’s in print at the Charlotte School of Law library is the same invaluable tool, only more of bargain.

~ Michael Haigler, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advanced Legal Research, Books & Stuff, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Postings

Art of Downtown Charlotte — Part VI: A Regular Commentary of Art and the Art Scene in Charlotte

Greetings once again and I know it has been a bit of a hiatus. This time I am going to focus on three sculptures of the downtown area that are close to home, as in really close to home (as in the law school is located in the Charlotte Plaza building). I have wondered about these pieces for some time and due to the good folks at Hines who manage the Charlotte Plaza building, I was able to get some basic information, and from there I was able to launch my research.

The first and perhaps my favorite is called Untitled; however, it has been given the unofficial title of Four Seasons. The sculpture is located near the water fountain area where patrons can sit outside to enjoy their lunch. The sculpture is 78 inches tall and 28 inches wide. It is mixed media of chrome steel and what appear to be high fire ceramic panel motifs. An etched steel abstract weather vane tops the obelisk-like object.

cslart1

The name of the artist attributed to the sculpture is Alice Proctor. You can image what sort of time I had attempting to research such a ubiquitous name. While I did find a number of artists and sculptors of that name, none of them appeared to fit the style or areas of focus as the above piece. Unfortunately, the company that manages the Charlotte Plaza were not able to provide me with additional information. They stated that the sculpture was purchased by the previous building management and they do not know what consideration was used in the selection of the art. Therefore, if any of you that read this have further knowledge, please contact me.

Next is a sculpture that any of you who have dined or walked past the Carolina Ale House on the ground floor of the Charlotte Plaza have seen and perhaps you have wondered, “What the heck is that?”

cslart2

The above is titled Two Angled Forms. Yes, I know you would think creative people could come up with creative titles as well. Of course labeling art objects untitled is a trend in modern art, as the idea is that a specific title immediately conveys certain predispositions as to how the object was perceived. Therefore, Two Angled Forms, while descriptive, is also neutral enough to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

Two Angled forms was created by sculptor James Rosati, a noted artist in this particular style of large abstract sculpture. The sculpture is 16 feet by 20 by 10 made of chrome steel and was commissioned in 1983. Additional information about the work of James Rosati can be found here.

cslart3

Finally we have Mountain Tango. Now there is a title! This work is on display on the Mall level right beside the Charlotte School of Law Welcome Center. You cannot miss it, as it is right between the parking deck and mall proper. This is the work of Ali Baudoin and is similar in style and presentation to the Rosati work mentioned above. Again, this is made from chrome steel (I am sensing a trend here). The placement of this particular work is a bit unfortunate, as it is not in the best place for viewing. I had quite the time getting a decent enough photograph with the lighting and cramped space it was placed in.

You can learn more about Ali Baudoin by going here.

As you can see, all three of these works, in particular the Rosati and Baudoin pieces, fall into that nebulous area of modern or contemporary monumental art. Often, the terms modern and contemporary are used interchangeably. To be clear, contemporary art is simply art created in our time, which means it can be applied to a vast scope of art objects. I want to focus briefly on the monument part of the description. In fact, many of the works I have covered so far in this series have been monuments of some form or other, and I will branch out more as this series continues. It has been stated in artistic critical thinking that a culture builds monuments when it is robust and thriving. Yet the creation of such declines as a culture and civilization declines. That should offer some succor, regardless if you understand or appreciate these works, that for now western civilization and culture is still thriving. Perhaps that is all that matters where these works are concerned.

~Kim Allman~

Leave a comment

Filed under Art of Downtown Charlotte, Librarians Can Be Fun Too, Local Points of Interest and Events

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — October 20, 2014

weeklyroundup

The Future of the Book

In keeping with its topic, this essay, from The Economist, can either be read in a scrolling screen format or in a book-like format; it can also be listened to.  Tap the icons at the top of the screen to choose which mode you want, and to change mode at any time.

Is It Legal to Mine Asteroids?

How space law could cause conflicts — or cooperation — on Earth.

The End of Bluebook or a New Beginning?

There’s been whispering in courthouses across the nation that the legal profession is changing. It is not often, however, that a bedrock of the profession comes under such direct and fundamental attack as was the case today. I am referring to The Bluebook, that uniform system of citation already ingrained in every newly minted 1L. If the Bluebook isn’t safe from disruption, then what in the legal profession is?

FBI Director Says Apple and Google Are Putting Their Customers “Beyond The Law”

FBI director James Comey really likes car analogies. Last week, in the first of a two-part interview on 60 Minutes, he called the Internet the “most dangerous parking lot imaginable,” meaning, I think, that you should be prepared to Taser any menacing email attachment that sneaks up behind you. On Sunday night, in his second appearance, he addressed Apple and Google’s Android making phones that can only be unlocked by their customers’ pin codes. Comey compared the tech giants selling phones with encrypted data that can’t be unlocked with a court order to a car dealer selling “cars with trunks that couldn’t ever be opened by law enforcement.”

Court Allows North Carolina Voting Limits

The Supreme Court, with two Justices noting dissents, on Wednesday afternoon allowed North Carolina to bar voters from registering and casting their ballots on the same day, and to refuse to count votes that were cast in the wrong polling places.  Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.  The majority did not explain its action.

Gale Asks Users for “My Library Story”

Much of the mainstream media coverage concerning libraries these days is focused on the challenges they face, escalating budget cuts, and questions about their relevance in today’s world. Library resource vendor Gale, part of Cengage Learning, wants to help turn those perceptions around and show libraries in a more positive light.

The Empire Strikes Back: The Fan-Made Version

Have you seen The Empire Strikes Back Uncut? If you have, there’s a chance you’re one of the hundreds of fans who contributed their own scenes to recreate the Star Wars classic in full.

Lawsuit Testing Personhood of Chimps Gets Its Day at an Appeals Court

A novel legal case exploring the personhood of chimps got its day at an appellate level court today.

A Librarian’s Quest to End the Stigma Against Comics

The Carolina Manga Library is a library on wheels dedicated to promoting literacy through graphic novels, comic books, and manga. Traveling to various conventions and events in the U.S., the non-profit organization supplies all kinds of books while challenging others’ interests.

Tapping the Twitterverse for Meaning

Twitter and M.I.T. have teamed up to launch the Laboratory for Social Machines to analyze the impact of social media messages on society.

Reports of Free Money from Red Bull Settlement Lead to Website Crash

So many consumers sought to reap the benefits of a $13 million Red Bull settlement this week that the compensation website crashed.

How to Be the Most Productive Person in Your Office – And Still Get Home by 5:30pm

Rule number one: To-do lists are evil.  Schedule everything.

The “Future Library” Is Planting Trees – And Ideas – For Books that Won’t Be Read Until 2114

Who says print is dead? A hundred years from now, the trees and text–by authors like Margaret Atwood–will be bound into a book (instructions on how to print a book, included).

Leave a comment

Filed under Weekly Round Up

Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research

Kristina Niedringhaus of Georgia State University College of Law Library and Carolyn Broering-Jacobs of Cleveland State University, Cleveland Marshall College of Law gave a spirited and honest discussion about the emergence of grit as a best practice in education before a packed hall at the 107th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Their presentation, called Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research, synthesized the scientific research behind grit, and encouraged attendees to share their own experiences implementing grit in legal research instruction.

Grit is the display of perseverance and passion in the attainment of long-term goals.  The research of psychologist Angela Duckworth – among West Point cadets, Wharton School of Business graduates, National Spelling Bee champions, and other high-achieving-groups – indicates that, across demographics, grit is more important in determining success than intelligence or standardized test score. According to Ms. Duckworth, grit is measurable.  Presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs administered the Duckworth Grit Scale to the attendees, and, as you would expect in a hall of librarians, the Grit Scale confirmed we were quite the gritty bunch.

Aside from quantifiable data, a student’s grittiness reveals itself in other ways.  For instance, an optimistic explanatory style of negative events correlates to having grit.  Also, students whose words and actions espouse a growth mindset show more resolve and determination in the face of failure than those who demonstrate a fixed mindset.  The growth mindset student willingly risks failure and accepts it as part of the hard work necessary to grow her intelligence and talent.  Conversely, the fixed mindset student believes her intelligence and talent cannot be improved, so she sees no point in working hard, least of all if there is the chance of failure.  This dichotomy between the growth mindset and fixed mindset tracks closely along cultural lines: students of Western cultures believe that struggle indicates they are less capable, while those of Eastern cultures believe the opposite, embracing struggle as a positive event.

220px-Bow-tie-colour-isolated

There are no scientific studies that indicate grit can be taught.  But, because it is the key to embracing hard work and failure, and learning over the long-term, presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs, in the highlight of their discussion, turned it over to the attendees to share anecdotes of teaching grit.  These fell within such categories as staging an interrupting event or a complication in the research strategy, and allowing searches that lead nowhere or to an unclear answer.  But, a couple of anecdotes hit upon truly unique ways of teaching grit.  One professor brought bow ties to class and taught grit by showing students how to tie a bow tie.  Another professor recorded her efforts to answer a research problem devised by her students, capturing her frustration and failures, but also her determination and strategies for success as she worked through the problem.

Presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs gave an amazing presentation that left the attendees with practical ways of instilling grit in their classroom instruction.  This made Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research one of the most talked about presentations from the 107th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference.

~ Cory M. Lenz ~

Leave a comment

Filed under Careers, Of Interest to Law Students

ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Corporation Law and Practice Forms

Practice Forms provide law students and attorneys with practical advice on various procedural aspects of litigation. Form books supply attorneys with the boiler-plate language that is standard for a particular legal form. The attorney can then use this language when drafting a business form and can fill in the specific information related to his client’s company. Many times they give step-by-step instructions and other useful tools that both save the attorney time and aid him in drafting legal documents. The form book, North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms by James Snyder, Jr. (Thompson/West, 2003), does all of these same things for various business entities across the business cycle, from starting up to winding down.

nccorporationlaw

For the past year, I’ve been interning at a company’s legal department. I love working in the corporate realm and plan to continue to pursue a career in corporate law. Accordingly, I chose North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms because I thought it would be helpful to have a solid understanding of corporate practice forms – not only for my current internship, but also for my future legal career.  This form book is divided into the following three chapters: 1) Business Corporations, 2) Incorporation, and 3) Other Business Entities. The back of the book also contains the following three appendices – Comparison of Forms of Entity – Nontax and Tax Considerations Matrices, Incorporating Your Business in North Carolina, and Nonprofit Corporations. The book begins with a detailed table of contents, and the back pocket contains a cumulative supplement that was issued in December 2011. The supplement contains updates for the first and third chapters of the book.

Chapter One: Business Corporations is divided into 141 subtopics and their corresponding forms, listed and organized chronologically by the events in a corporation’s life, beginning with an Agreement to Incorporate.  Chapter 2: Incorporation is divided into the categories Business and Nonprofit Corporations and Nonprofit Corporations. Each category is further divided into different subtopics, beginning with incorporation and ending with merger and dissolution. This helps the attorney select the form pertinent to her client’s transaction. Chapter Three: Other Business Entities is divided into the following eight categories: 1) Limited Liability Companies, 2) Limited Partnerships, 3) Limited Liability Partnerships, 4) Registered Limited Liability Limited Partnerships, 5) Professional Corporations, 6) Professional Limited Liability Companies, 7) General Partnerships, and 8) Cooperative Associations. These categories are further divided into 73 different subtopics; an organization, seen throughout the resource, which helps the attorney locate the right form for his client’s business entity and tailor it toward the particular facts of the transaction.

North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms can be found on WestlawNext by drilling down in accordance with the following navigational path: “Browse: All Content” > “Secondary Sources” > “North Carolina” > “Forms” > “North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms.”  It can also be located in the Charlotte School of Law library in the “Reference: Carolinas” section by using the following call number: KFN7613.A65 S69 2003.

To demonstrate how easy it is to search and navigate this form book, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose I needed to look for a standard form for the Articles of Dissolution for a Limited Liability Company.  Having drilled down to North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms on WestlawNext, I am ready to search within the resource.  Relevant search strings might be “articles of dissolution limited liability company;” “articles of dissolution” & “limited liability company;” or “articles of dissolution.”  The result page from each search string returns the correct form for the Articles of Dissolution for a Limited Liability Company in North Carolina, specifically § 3:18 Articles of Dissolution.  But, it’s worth noting that the more specific search string – the second one that made use of the connector “&” – returned more top results that were the most relevant. § 3:18 Articles of Dissolution includes such information as the name of the company, date of the filing of the Articles of Organization, reason for dissolution, effective date, and signature of the person filing the form. Having located the right form, I can appropriate much of the boiler-plate language and fill-in only the information specific to my client’s business or transaction.

North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms is an extremely useful resource for corporate attorneys who need to quickly find the correct form to address their business clients’ various transactional needs.

~ Rebecca Reynolds, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advanced Legal Research, Books & Stuff, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Postings