Karin Strohbeck

Instructional Associate Professor of Law; Librarian/Archivist, Dee J. Kelly Law Library

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“As a librarian, my favorite quote is from novelist Neil Gaiman: ‘Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.’”

Get to Know Karin Strohbeck

What drew you to the law?

Many years ago, one of my first jobs was working as a receptionist at a large law firm in Kentucky. Over time, my responsibilities expanded to assisting our attorneys with legal research. Eventually, my career as a law librarian was born. The cumulative experiences of that job were invaluable. I learned the law from several different viewpoints — the client’s expectations, an attorney’s expectations and the psychology it took to bring both parties together in a (hopefully) amicable way.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

My particular law librarian position involves a one-on-one teaching experience, usually not in a classroom environment. However, the end result is similar. The excitement of seeing the proverbial lightbulb go on when a student understands a new concept is always gratifying. Most importantly it is the exchange of ideas and theories that often teaches both of us something new.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I would like students to know I am always approachable and welcome any question. I was taught that there is no such thing as an idiotic question, although not everyone subscribes to that philosophy. If I don’t know the answer, I’d like the student to enjoy the fun of the search and exploring the paths it took to get to the answer as much as I did.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I had many “careers,” including working in the medical field for several years. I was also the “flower and vegetable lady” in a small-town grocery in Tennessee. The store went out of business, but I don’t think my lack of expertise sacking groceries had anything to do with it.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

Any kind of sports. I grew up in Kentucky, where college basketball is king. After I moved to Texas, baseball became my passion and football is a close second. Contrary to popular opinion, I lived in Arlington before the stadiums were built.

Publications

Link to my publications.

Presentations

  • Presenter, “Archives: What It Is and Why Bother?,” program for Dee J. Kelly Law Library librarians and staff (2012)
  • Moderator, “Flourishing Through Technology,”Annual Conference of Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, Waco, Texas (2010)
  • Presenter, “Recommendations for the Proposed Library Conference Room Also Intended to Display Archival Materials and Required to Conform to Archival Standards,” Texas Wesleyan University department representatives, architectural firm, builders and designers (2010)

Expertise

  • Archival administration

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor, Librarian and Archivist
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Librarian and Archivist
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2010-2013)
  • Assistant Professor, Librarian
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2003-2013)
  • Evening Access Services Librarian
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Library (2001-2003)
  • Archivist/Librarian Assistant
    Amon Carter Museum (1993-2003)
  • Law Librarian
    Cantey Hanger, L.L.P. (1987-1996)

Education

  • C.A.A., University of Texas at Arlington
  • M.L.S., Texas Woman’s University
  • B.A., University of Louisville
  • A.S., Volunteer State Community College, magna cum laude