Professor Carl A. Yirka is the director of the Julien and Virginia Cornell Library at Vermont Law School, where he oversees more than 369,000 volumes. With a career spanning 36 years at six law libraries, he has witnessed the transformation of the law library from a book collection to a digital learning environment. He is interested in the future role of books in law schools, legal scholarship, and law libraries.
A career highlight for Professor Yirka was serving as the program director of the VLS-Petrozavodsk State University Law Faculty Legal Education Partnership. The Partnership combined the environmental expertise and resources of VLS with Petrozavodsk State University in Karelia, Russia. As program director, Yirka secured and administered two grants totaling $500,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development/State Department to develop the Petrozavodsk legal clinic, distance-learning courses, and the environmental comparative law curriculum. The program also funded faculty exchanges between the two institutions. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Rijeka in Croatia, where he taught U.S. Constitutional Law.
At VLS, Professor Yirka teaches Advanced Legal Research and Comparative Law.He is also a f aculty fellow for the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law at VLS and is a member of the board of the Vermont-Karelia Rule of Law Project. Among his other publications, his essay "The Yirka Question and Yirka's Answer" was published in Spectrum, the monthly magazine of American Association of Law Libraries. The article, which discusses priority setting in academic law libraries, won the 2008 Spectrum Article of the Year award. Professor Yirka graduated with a BA degree from Columbia University, a Masters in Library Science degree from Case Western Reserve University, and a JD degree from Indiana University.