Jason R. Sowards

Associate Director for Public Services
Lecturer in Law

Jason Sowards oversees all public services operations in the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt, including circulation, interlibrary loan, document delivery, and stacks maintenance. Professor Sowards also coordinates the research component of the first-year legal research program and teaches courses in specialized legal research. In addition to his teaching and public services responsibilities, he evaluates and promotes the law library‘s electronic resources and manages the library‘s online presence.  Professor Sowards is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), both at the committee and Special Interest Section levels, and the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries (SEAALL), having served on several committees as well as its executive board.  He has spoken at the AALL and SEAALL annual meetings on legal research instruction and assessment. Before coming to Vanderbilt in 2011, he served as a research services librarian and adjunct professor of law at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Research Interests

Administrative Law, Legislation, Legal Research Instruction, Legal Information and Literacy, Instructional Design, e-Learning and Distance Education

Representative Publications

  • Jason R. Sowards, "Measuring Student and Instructor Performance," at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2013 annual meeting, Seattle, Washington, on July 16, 2013. Co-presenter with Kate Irwin-Smiler (Wake Forest University).
  • Jason R. Sowards, "Bespoke Librarian: How to Craft Made-to-Order Faculty Services," at the South Eastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries (SEAALL) Annual Meeting, Decatur, Georgia, on April 19, 2013. Co-presenter with Pam Brannon (Georgia State University), Maureen Eggert (Wake Forest University), and Caroline Osborne (Washington & Lee University)
  • Jason R. Sowards, "Effective Research in a Rapidly-Changing World of Resources," as part of Legal Writing Never Gets Erased: Best Practices for Complaints, Answers, Motions, Responses, and Appellate Briefs. Tennessee Bar Center, March 22, 2013.
  • "The Kentucky Family Court System & Domestic Relations Commissioners," KENTUCKY DOMESTIC RELATIONS PRACTICE, University of Kentucky Office of Continuing Legal Education (1st ed. 2006, 2d ed. 2012).
  • Sowards, Jason R., "Specialized Legal Research Courses: Administrative Law," 29 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 101 (2010).
  • Guide to North Carolina Legal and Law-Related Materials, 2010 Revised Edition (with Nichelle Perry and Donna Nixon), American Association of Law Libraries, Government Documents Special Interest Section, State Documents Bibliography Series.
  • Jason R. Sowards & Barbara Lentz, "Incorporating Real World Research into Legal Writing Courses," at the Legal Writing Institute Workshop held at Wake Forest Law School on December 3, 2010.
  • Sowards, Jason R. & Sally A. Irvin, "ALR 2.0: When Advanced Legal Research Met Wiki," AALL Spectrum, Vol. 12, No. 8, pp. 8-9, 19 (June 2008).

Download HighRes Photo

Contact Information

(615) 322-1438 (voice)
210 (office)

Curriculum Vitae


J.D., University of Louisville

M.Ed., Western Governors University

M.S.L.I.S., M.S., B.A., University of Kentucky