May 31, 2018 – For the first time, five Charleston School of Law students spent the academic year as Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library Research Fellows. The Charleston School of Law Foundation selected the first group of fellows who received a unique opportunity to assist students and other law library users during the 2017-18 academic year.
Three of these fellows, Diamada “Dia” Riofrio, Emily Klopf and Nikira “Nikki” Fults, graduated this May. They all agreed that being a research fellow helped them academically with such skills as researching and writing memos, time management and increased awareness of resources for law school assignments. Additionally, they agreed that being a fellow will help them in their future legal careers and that they will take advantage of the access to law library resources that alumni enjoy.
They were happy to share more of what they learned along with advice for law students.
What specific skills did you develop from being a research fellow?
Nikki Fults: “I learned to be just as efficient with print research materials as the electronic resources. If the law firm where I will be working plans to switch to print materials, I will be prepared. I also was surprised that the position allowed me to offer peers encouragement as well as research help.”
Emily Klopf: “In addition to developing my research skills, I enjoyed frequently speaking with local attorneys and it served as an encouraging reminder of why I chose this profession.”
Dia Riofrio: “I gained a lot of knowledge about research, especially through the initial fellowship training. Working at the reference desk really enhanced my communication skills by working with others.”
What advice would you give law students?
Nikki Fults: “I would advise law students that the people at the reference desk are here to help.”
Emily Klopf: “If you show a passion for a position and an eagerness to fill a void on your resume, employers may be more willing to hire you than you thought possible.”
Dia Riofrio: “If you don’t know the answer, always ask for help. You never know what other people have experienced and the knowledge they bring to the table. There’s always somebody that’s done it before or gone through that experience who can help you. You just have to ask. So don’t be afraid to get help, even if it seems stupid.”