Professor Alyson Drake is in her third year of teaching the Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing course and working at the Coleman Karesh Law Library. In addition to teaching LRAW, she helped develop and teach the Legal Research for Practice Workshop, and will be teaching a new course this Maymester on Foreign & International Legal Research. You can also spot her at the Ref Desk a few mornings a week. She answered a few questions to get to know her a little better.
1. We’re librarians, so the obvious first question: What’s your favorite book? I tend to prefer the classics (and by that I mean Ancient Greek epic poetry and philosophy–nerd alert!), but my favorite modern novel is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I think it’s a really beautiful thought piece on humanity and the bonds we make across background, age, and ethnicity.
2. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d want to be a photographer. While I like shooting black and white landscapes the most, I think it’d be a blast shooting weddings and engagements and baby pictures–you’re there for all of life’s happiest moments.
3. What profession would you not like to do? Naval officer whose job involves living on a submarine for months at a time…I’d miss the fresh air too much. I don’t know what the Beatles were thinking wanting to live in a yellow submarine.
4. What’s your form of exercise/outdoor activity? Definitely swimming–it’s even more relaxing than yoga to me.
5. If you could visit any place in the world for a two-week vacation for free, where would you go? Ireland. I’ve wanted to go for a long time. The rest of my family went during my first year of law school, but it was the first week of classes and I didn’t feel I could miss them. What would y’all have done? :p
6. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time? Usually I spend time playing with my pup, Maxie. She’s a snuggly little bug who loves to play fetch, so I’d probably spend the whole time throwing her tennis ball, penguin, or rope.
7. When was the last time you had an amazing meal and where did you have it? In Greenville. We were going to see Wicked at the Peace Center, and we went out to a French bistro-type place beforehand: Passerelle Bistro. The parsley-lemon stuffed mountain trout was seriously yummy, and so was the pork roulade my significant other got–especially the side of sweet potato–Roquefort cheese gratin that came with it. Mmmmmmm, delicious!
Disclosure: When Prof. Drake answered this question in February, this was the last amazing meal she’d had. But two weeks ago, her significant other made the most delicious leg of lamb on the grill and it surpassed even the cheese gratin!
Prof. Drake totally has this much swagger.
8. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? I think I’d pick Merry from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was able better able to handle serious matters than Pip, but still largely seemed to enjoy life. Plus, he got to travel all over Middle Earth and meet Treebeard. Who doesn’t want to meet an Ent? Answer: no one.
9. What’s your best (legal) research tip? Read the resources you find as you find them–it’s the only way to make sure you’re on the right track. Gathering up a pile of cases can be tempting, but reading the first one you find that’s on point can lead you to the most important authorities on that legal issue! (And tip 2: remember that secondary sources are your friends!)