"You’ve Been Down This Road Before": Framing Foreign LL.M. Students’ Navigation of the Acculturation Process as an Effective Model for Library Research Instruction






This Article presents a discussion of how academic law librarians can conceptualize, frame, and offer effective research instruction to foreign LL.M. students. It begins by presenting an overview of the American law school as an institutional and cultural paradigm into which foreign students insert themselves. Then, it provides an overview of student sojourners: their motivations and goals, their issues with culture shock, and their acculturation strategies and processes. This is followed by a discussion of the cultural aspects of academic law libraries in the United States, which present foreign LL.M. students with a unique set of acculturation challenges and opportunities. A foreign-student-focused analysis of selected aspects of research instruction follows, including information literacy; developing a research plan that accommodates researcher uncertainty; and contextual, intersubjective information processing. The Article concludes with practical advice that academic law librarians can offer, as guidance and encouragement, to foreign LL.M. students who are required to complete a major research project, such as an LL.M. thesis.


Pre-publication version.

In progress; do not cite without permission.