What Color is Your C.F.R.?
Elizabeth Gotauco, Merrimack Public Library
Nicole Dyszlewski, Roger Williams University School of Law Library
Raquel M. Ortiz, Roger Williams University School of Law
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
Conditions of Use
I was intrigued by the concept of a coloring book for enticing student interest in legal research, and aiming to make it more enjoyable. I especially find that students are loathe to research the Federal Register (hence, the title was... read more
I was intrigued by the concept of a coloring book for enticing student interest in legal research, and aiming to make it more enjoyable. I especially find that students are loathe to research the Federal Register (hence, the title was intriguing). Nonetheless, this is not a comprehensive legal research guide and should not replace other legal research materials for a standard legal research course. Instead, this would be a fun supplement for an introductory legal research course.
This workbook seems accurate to the extent that it includes valid information and is unbiased. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing legal research book. Again, it should not replace more comprehensive legal research materials for a first-year legal research course in law school. Instead, it would be a fun supplement for such a course.
The workbook is up-to-date in that its initial aim is simply to attract student attention and bring a fun element to legal research. Furthermore it highlights the broader point that legal research goes beyond sifting through cases. Nonetheless, users of the workbook should update the material for their law school and law library contacts. Indeed, the final note in the book is an invitation to contact the law librarians if one is having trouble with a research problem.
The text is very clear, albeit simplistic in some respects. This will be refreshing for many law students, but others may find it off-putting. Again, it will be up to the instructor to supplement as necessary.
The text is consistent and uses the same terminology and framework throughout.
The license restricts use of derivatives with the cover art. One should be careful to read p. 3 and comply with the license. That said, it would be easy to divide the workbook into assignments to correspond with other readings. Again, this is a workbook that should not serve as the sole book used in a comprehensive legal research course.
The organization is not entirely clear. It would be helpful for the book to have clear headings and a table of contents. It is a simple and basic workbook, and thus it is not difficult to figure out the topics covered by each exercise. However, instructors would appreciate a clear table of contents for ease of reference. Students also appreciate a table of contents so that they are able to see the progression and track assignments covered.
The graphics and illustrations are the book's "special feature." Students will need to print out the pdf in order to enjoy the stress management benefits of coloring. This may be a distraction for some students who will find it "silly" or unnecessary for a legal research workbook. Other students will enjoy this feature. At the same time, the graphics may present accessibility issues. Instructors using the workbook should consult relevant offices at their institutions to ensure that use of the workbook is not problematic for these reason.
There were no errors.
The book uses whimsical characters, and does not include insensitive or offensive materials.
Again, this book would be an enjoyable supplement for an introductory legal research course. Studies indicate that coloring alleviates stress, and law students suffer significant stress. Indeed, law student stress can lead to substance abuse, depression and other negative results. Nonetheless, the book should not serve as the sole reference for a comprehensive legal research course.
This text is not a comprehensive source for legal research and does not mean to be one. The text has simple and basic content on a few topics in legal research with accompanying exercises. There are coloring book illustrations throughout the text... read more
This text is not a comprehensive source for legal research and does not mean to be one. The text has simple and basic content on a few topics in legal research with accompanying exercises. There are coloring book illustrations throughout the text to enhance the content. The text is meant to be an adult coloring book, which is a relaxing exercise, for law students to have fun with and learn a few legal research topics. There is no index or glossary to accompany the text. It would be great if the authors had included an answer key to accompany the text.
The text is accurate and does not seem to exhibit bias in its language or examples. The text does not contain errors in its form or content.
The topics cover the standard legal research class content and probably won’t be out of date anytime soon, as these topics are classic coverage for beginning legal research instruction. Updates to the text should be handled without difficulty, as there is minimal text and it is organized simply.
The text is written in a simple, straightforward manner. Any 1L law student should be able to understand the topics introduced in the text without a great deal of explanation. The exercises are fun and a good beginning introduction to the topics in the text.
The text introduces new ideas found in introductory legal research courses and defines them appropriately. The text is internally consistent in its treatment of those topics throughout the text.
The text is easily pulled apart to one or two pages per topic. The text does not refer back to itself, except as required and the coloring book format lends itself to modularity in that many of the pages could be printed as single handouts instead of the whole text without disrupting the reader’s understanding of the content.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. Each page has large coloring book illustrations, which are meant as an activity to accompany the text. The illustrations don’t distract from the content and in many cases they enhance the topic introduced in the section.
The text is in a PDF and organized like a child’s coloring book. There is no index or glossary. There are no other formats available.
The text is grammatically correct.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. The text uses examples and illustrations that are primarily of illustrated animals and simple, unbiased legal scenarios.
This is a very fun handout idea for an advanced legal research or 1L skills class. While the topics discussed are very basic, the idea of giving the students this text with a little pack of crayons is very appealing. Legal research classes are intimidating and boring for many law students, and their anxiety is very high from their other classes and the new legal research material. Adult coloring books are popular now and are a fun way to introduce mindfulness and lower stress activities into the students’ lives. This legal research coloring book is a very charming and worthwhile text. I do wish it had a different name, because I expected it to be about the C.F.R and I think it might cause some potential users to pass up the text without realizing its general legal research instruction content.
Table of Contents
This coloring book is going to take a non-traditional approach to legal research. We are going to feature short legal research exercises and coloring. We hope you can start to see that legal research, like coloring, can be fun!
- Ancillary materials are available by contacting the author or publisher.
About the Book
What Color is Your C.F.R.? is a problem-based law workbook with a colorful twist. Conceived and written by law librarians, it uses easy to understand plain language and is a light-hearted but helpful supplement to instruction on basic legal research. The book takes a non-traditional approach to legal research and uses short legal research exercises and coloring.
About the Contributors
Nicole Dyszlewski is the Research/Access Services Librarian at Roger Williams University School of Law Library. She is most passionate about meaningful public access to legal information, her new puppy (Boaty McBoatface), fresh brewed iced tea from Tim Hortons, providing excellent customer service to all library patrons, flip-flops, increasing the public profile of law librarianship, mass incarceration scholarship, and the inanity of pop culture.
Raquel M. Ortiz has been in library services for 27 years and is currently the law library dean and a faculty member at the Roger Williams University School of Law. Since arriving at RWU Law, Raquel has implemented services and programs to support and enhance student learning. In the process she has learned that a bit of “learntertainment” can go a long way. Always teetering at the intersection of librarianship, legal research, and technology, Raquel has discovered that coloring and other crafts help engage her creative side and create relaxing moments.
Liz Gotauco is the Head of Youth Services at the Merrimack Public Library in New Hampshire. Having grown up in a family of musicians, artists, and teachers, she decided to be an overachiever and do all of those things. This has left her with an eclectic resume that includes professional acting and costume design in Rhode Island’s theatre scene, an obsession with comics and cosplay, rocking lead vocals in a NH cover band, teaching theatre to young aspiring overachievers, librarianship for kids and teens, and illustrating a coloring book for CALI's eLangdell Press. She’s utterly fulfilled and uber-exhausted.