NORMAN — Darla Jackson, research and electronic resources librarian at the OU College of Law, has been included in the 2019 Fastcase 50, an award that honors the nation’s top legal innovators.
Each year, the legal research service Fastcase honors the legal profession’s “smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders” with the Fastcase 50 awards. Lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives and others are included in the annual honors.
“Darla Jackson has an incredible passion and expertise for helping others explore how technology and office management principles can enhance the practice of law,” said OU Law Interim Dean Katheleen Guzman. “Throughout her career, she has introduced tools and techniques to thousands of attorneys and law students, helping them work more productively and efficiently. This, in turn, presents more opportunities for lawyers to deliver higher quality, more accessible legal services to the public. Her efforts make her truly deserving of this recognition.”
Jackson joined the OU College of Law in 2018. In her role in the OU Law Library, she provides legal research support and training for law students, faculty and other library patrons. Her instruction emphasizes the use of online research and emerging technologies. Jackson also tracks trends, investigates new developments and evaluates digital resources for the library environment to improve library services and access to information.
In addition to teaching legal research to first-year law students, she prepares and updates online library guides, including the Native American Law Research Guide. Jackson also leads training sessions for the OU Law Digital Initiative, focusing on trust accounting processes and products, as well as document automation and management.
For the College of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies and Master of Laws programs, Jackson served as the course manager for the Legal Research for the Energy Industry Course. Building on a background and education in international law, in the college’s newest master’s degree program – the M.L.S. in International Business Law – she is working as an adjunct professor to develop the Sources of International Law Course.
OU Law: A National Leader in Modern Legal Education
OU Law has earned the reputation as one of the top law schools for innovative learning and for producing practice-ready graduates. In 2014, OU Law became the first law school in the nation to launch a college-wide Digital Initiative, integrating technology into all areas of legal education. The initiative is now entering its sixth year and continues to evolve as new technologies emerge.
Jackson’s recognition marks the second consecutive year for an OU Law staff member to be included on the Fastcase 50 – Kenton Brice, director of technology innovation, was named to the list in 2018.
Other notable highlights of the Digital Initiative include:
- Apple Inc. named OU Law an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-2019 in honor of the college’s efforts in promoting collaboration and innovative teaching
- In 2017, the college launched the OU Law Center for Technology and Innovation in Practice, which formally houses the Digital Initiative, offers technology certifications and researches emerging legal technology
- Last year, OU Law joined the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium to develop standards for how blockchain is used in the legal field
- The Digital Initiative has gained national exposure, including features in the ABA Journal, AALL Spectrum, Above the Law’s Law2020 series, the Legal Talk Network podcast, in two case studies by ROSS Intelligence and others.
About the OU College of Law
Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 800 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu.
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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.