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Willamette Law welcomes new law librarian

by Sarah Bello,

Professor Stephanie Davidson

Willamette Law is pleased to announce Professor Stephanie Davidson as its new director of the law library and associate professor of law. Davidson joined the full-time staff this month after the retirement of longtime law library director, Professor Ann Kitchel, who had been with the school since 2013.

Davidson says she has wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest for years after spending most of her life in the Midwest, and Willamette Law had the right opportunity available.

“I saw opportunities at Willamette to make a lasting impact on young lawyers,” she explains. “I was drawn to the small size of the program and the enthusiasm for supporting students in innovative, meaningful ways.”

Davidson previously was the associate director of the Law Library and an associate professor of library administration at the University of Illinois College of Law. There for 17 years, she taught first-year legal research for JD students and legal research and writing for LLM and JSD students. She also taught law librarianship and legal research in the iSchool, formerly known as the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Illinois.

Ann Kitchel
Professor Ann Kitchel

“Students at Willamette Law have been fortunate to enjoy Professor Kitchel’s assistance in the law library for nearly a decade,” says Dean Brian Gallini. “Although we will miss her smiling face and friendly presence, we wish her the best in retirement and wholeheartedly welcome Professor Davidson to the faculty.

“Professor Davidson’s experience and research knowledge is exceptional, and we’re grateful to have her join us. The importance of a knowledgeable and patient law librarian can’t be understated. Although she just started, she is already teaching in our summer curriculum and is serving as a great resource for students in their summer courses.”

Davidson worked at Yale Law School from 2000-2005, where she was co-principal investigator for two National Science Foundation grants to digitize and make U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs available.

Davidson’s scholarship focuses on user needs in the hybrid print/electronic environment, research paths to interdisciplinary scholarship in law and library support for faculty scholarship. She earned her JD from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s in library science from Indiana University.

About Willamette University College of Law

Willamette University College of Law was the first law school to open in the Pacific Northwest. Building on deep historic roots, we focus with pride on educating the next generation of problem-solving lawyers and leaders. Our location in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and Supreme Court, cannot be matched in the region. Our thought-leading scholars advance and promote our shared responsibility to make a difference in society, placing justice, fairness, and equality at the heart of everything we do.

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