Richard A. Leiter Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor of Law
Richard Leiter is the Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor of Law. Although he assumed his current position in 2000, he had worked on the UNL law library staff years ago (1986-1988) as Public Services Librarian. He earned his undergraduate degree (with honors) in 1976 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his J.D. in 1981 from Southwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the law review, and his MLIS in 1986 from the University of Texas at Austin.
Before coming to the College of Law, he was Associate Dean of Information Technology & Services and Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. and Library Director and Associate Professor at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Prior to that he held various positions in both law firm and academic libraries on both coasts.
Professor Leiter has written widely on law library, legal research, and legal information technology issues. His most recent book, National Survey of State Laws, now in its eighth edition, is widely held by library reference collections and was named An Outstanding Resource by the New York Public Library. The seventh edition, published by WM S Hein & Co., Inc was released in January 2016 along with a database that contains all editions. In 2003 it won the prestigious Andrews Bibliographical Award from the American Association of Law Libraries and has been cited three times by the United States Supreme Court. He also recently published Landmark Supreme Court Cases, 2d Editions, which he co-authored with his friend and mentor, Professor Roy Mersky of the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library. He also has published, with Roy Mersky, two editions of a reader on law librarianship called, Spirit of Law Librarianship.
He is an active scholar and has contributed to books, the Law Library Journal and numerous other law library publications. Professor Leiter is also the co-founder of the Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service, an award founded in 1991 that recognizes law librarians for their work serving their communities. The award was originally funded by royalties from the book, Spirit of Law Librarianship, a widely regarded reader in law librarianship, now in its second edition.
In 2014 Prof. Leiter was named to the Fastcase 50, in recognition of his pioneering work in citation analysis for use in online legal database search algorithms. In 2012 he was included as one of the Top 50 Law Professors Who Use Twitter. For many years he hosted an irregular podcast, Law Librarian Conversations.
Sandra B. Placzek Associate Director and Professor of Law Library
Professor Placzek joined the Schmid Law Library faculty in October 1998 as an Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1986, her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1993, and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas-Austin in 1995. Before coming to Nebraska, Professor Placzek worked as the Acquisitions/Reference Librarian at the Drake Law Library.
During the first half of 2000, Professor Placzek served as the Interim Director of the law library; in October 2000 she was promoted to the Head of Public Services. In December 2003, she was promoted to Associate Professor of Law Library. In 2007, she was promoted to Professor of Law Library. In July 2010 she was appointed Associate Director.
In addition to her reference duties, Professor Placzek co-teaches the legal research component of First Year Legal Research and Writing, supervises the reference librarians and public services staff, and is responsible for the law library acquisitions.
Professor Placzek is a member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Mid-American Association of Law Libraries (MAALL), the American Library Associate (ALA), the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). She has served as the co-editor and then editor of MAALL Markings (newsletter of the Mid-American Association of Law Libraries).
Matthew S. Novak Professor of Law Library & Reference Librarian
Matt Novak is an associate professor and reference librarian at the Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law Library of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law. Prior to joining the Schmid Law Library, he was an Assistant Public Defender with the Missouri Public Defender System. In addition to his reference duties, Professor Novak co-teaches the legal research component of the First Year Legal Research and Writing Course. He has lectured on legal research and legal information technology issues. Professor Novak received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, his J.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law, and his M.A. in Library Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries.
Stefanie Pearlman Professor of Law Library & Reference Librarian
Professor Pearlman is a professor of law library and reference librarian. She teaches legal research in the First Year Legal Research and Writing course and serves as the faculty advisor to the Nebraska OUTLaw and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund student groups. She also runs the Schmid Research Fellowship Program.
Professor Pearlman is active in the American Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries. She is also a Commissioner on the Nebraska Access to Justice Commission.