Reference Librarian Helps Students in Every Chapter of Their Careers

Amber Madole
Amber Madole, professor of legal research and a reference librarian at Loyola’s William M. Rains Library

Amber Kennedy Madole estimates that new attorneys spend as much as 70 percent of their time performing legal research. Fittingly, she is a critical first stop on many Loyola Law School students’ academic journeys – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

As a professor of legal research and a reference librarian at Loyola’s William M. Rains Library, Madole works with students at nearly every stage of their careers – starting on their first day of school and continuing after graduation. Alumni, she notes, are welcome to continue using the law library as they embark on their careers – and her services are always available.

“I love teaching students legal research because I know it is providing them with a wonderful set of tools that will enhance their career for decades to come,” said Madole, adding that law firm partners have told her they test job candidates’ legal research skills as a measure of critical analysis abilities. “I often have students return to campus saying that the legal research skills they learned at Loyola made the difference in them receiving job offers.”

With first-year students, she runs through the basics of legal research skills, and with 2L and 3L students, she starts working on more advanced skills relevant to their respective impending careers. “It’s enormously rewarding to see students develop these essential skills that they need for law practice,” she said.

In addition to teaching first-year and advanced legal research, Madole is responsible for teaching students subject-specific legal research skills through the Law School’s Concentrations and Specializations. As a reference librarian, she also serves as a vital conduit to valuable research information for students, professors and alumni as they craft their legal arguments, build cases and write academic papers.

“Legal research is a skill that you continue to develop over decades,” said Madole, who is active on the executive board of the Southern California Association of Law Libraries. “There’s always something new to learn and improve.”