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Law Professor Warns Law Libraries are Thing of the Past

According to law professor James G. Milles, law libraries are in for some rough seas. A report from the Wall Street Journal detailed Milles’ thoughts on the budget-tightening at law schools and how this affects law libraries.

“Legal education in the United States is about to undergo a long-term contraction, and law libraries will be among the first to go,” wrote Milles.

Milles is a professor of legal ethics and information privacy for SUNY Buffalo Law School. He wrote about law library issues for a research paper.

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Even though the outlook provided by Milles is pretty dire, he does not think that the law library will become entirely extinct. However, he does believe that it will not be long before “a few schools will operate successfully without anything resembling a law library.” The issue that Milles is trying to push across is that the days of the law library are gone and they have been an important aspect of the lives of students and faculties at law schools.

“Law schools will not simply shut down or hand off their libraries—or few will. Rather, law libraries will be chipped away notch by notch, by attrition of personnel and services,” Milles wrote.

Milles also said that part of the problem, aside from money, is the fact that most law faculty members are conducting their research online.

“Going forward, it will not be law libraries,” Milles wrote. “Revenue-­‐generating departments such as development, alumni relations, and career services, and perhaps status-­‐enhancing programs such as law journals, interdisciplinary programs, and research centers, will be strengthened, while revenue-­‐draining departments will be cut.”

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