VALL Spring Meeting, May 19, 2017

Submitted by Lara Dresser
The VALL Spring Meeting is May 19th at William & Mary Law School.  Join us for a social event, An Art Museum Mystery, following the meeting (see details below). Attached are a few suggestions for lodging and restaurants in Williamsburg. Please visit the VALL Wiki for registration, schedule, and directions:

Program One: Legal Data Science from the Trenches  
The practices and products of data science are increasingly common components of modern legal practice. This growth presents law librarianship with a unique set of challenges, and opportunities, for serving the data and social scientific needs of a diverse constituency that includes lawyers, clients, academics, students, other legal practitioners, and public patrons. Jon Ashley and Alex Jakubow, empirical research librarians at the University of Virginia School of Law, explore the promises and pitfalls of providing data science support using real-life examples. 
Program Two: Insider Tips on FOIA in Virginia
The Freedom of Information Act is an important tool available to legal information professionals for furthering government transparency. Understanding how FOIA requests work and awareness of ongoing challenges and issues facilitate legal professionals’ ability to access, preserve, and distribute government information. Alan Gernhardt, Senior Attorney with the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council, will give an overview of how FOIA requests work followed by a Q & A session, covering issues such as the use and treatment of social media (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), specific exemptions or types of records, legislative updates, and remedies for FOIA violations. Natalie Womack, Freedom of Information Officer for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, will walk through both the citizen’s and DEQ’s journey in fulfilling a FOIA request, from how to submit a FOIA request, to options available for requesters to obtain the information, and steps the agency takes in fulfilling each request.
Program Three: Transformative Legal Tech Expanding Access to Justice
Transformative legal technology can have a positive impact in increasing citizen access to justice.  Legal expert systems, context-sensitive document production, and asynchronous legal advice delivery are examples where technology is expanding availability of legal solutions to people unable to hire a lawyer. Roger Skalbeck, Associate Dean at the University of Richmond Law Library, presents several projects where technology is enabling greater access to justice.  Here law librarians have great leadership opportunities, while law professionals can gain competitive skills, all while making a real difference in society.
   An Art Museum Mystery   
Friday, May 19, 2017
4:30-6:30 pm
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, VA
Post-VALL Spring Meeting Social Event
After the Friday, May 19 program and business meeting, join your colleagues at this informal social event – An Art Museum Mystery "Death of a Dreadful Docent" is a new case that will introduce you to Bart Belcher, the museum volunteer and donor that everyone hates and for which everyone has a motive! Join the team to solve fictitious crimes, including a murder. View a crime scene, interview experts and suspects, collaborate with special investigators ... and explore the museum to find clues. Can you solve the mystery? Not for children under 10 years old.  Tickets are $20/person.
We’d like to gauge interest in this event, so that we may order tickets as soon as possible (space is limited). 
Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

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