Becoming a librarian was on the mind of Margaret “Meg” Butler from an early age. While Butler thought about attending library school, she wasn’t too excited about the curriculum and she chose to pursue a law degree instead. It took several career moves and additional education before Butler decided to go after her childhood dream job.
“I think it’s funny that my 8th grade career report was about how I wanted to be a librarian,” Butler said. “It took me working at a legal publisher, being an elementary school teacher, and practicing law to find being a law librarian, which is the perfect union of all of those jobs.”
Butler joined the Georgia State Law faculty in 2010. She is the associate director of public services for the Law Library and teaches legal research. For the last five years she’s enjoyed teaching foreign-trained attorneys in the LL.M. program, but this semester she is taking on a new challenge. Butler designed a health law research course in support of the Center for Law, Health & Society.
“I’m very excited about that opportunity because we are one of very few, if any schools in the country to teach health law research,” Butler said. “Because the class is asynchronous, students can engage with the course materials on their own schedules, which makes it more accessible to them whether they’re in our full-time program or our part-time program.”
In her scholarship, Butler has been recognized for her writing about the pedagogy of legal research, which is the study of how research is taught. She has also published in the substantive law area of torts, and diversity and inclusion.
Recently, Butler co-authored “Georgia Legal Research” with T.J. Striepe, the newly appointed director at the UGA Law Library and contributed two chapters to the forthcoming book “Doctrine and Diversity: Inclusion and Equity in the Law School Classroom”. She was also involved in supporting the Center for Access to Justice with its Racial Justice Resources guide.
“I love when my scholarship interests dovetail so nicely with those of our faculty,” she said.
Beyond collaborating on scholarship with colleagues, Butler really appreciates how much the faculty has a focus on providing an excellent educational experience for students. She feels as though the faculty is committed to making sure that students can succeed. She is equally as impressed with Georgia State Law students’ determination.
“Teaching our students is fun, because they bring their drive and their passion to succeed,” Butler said. “Our students want to know how to do their jobs well and they want to be equipped. We are able to equip them to be attorneys who will do a great job when they graduate because they care.”
Written by Mara Thompson