Professor Laughlin is a native of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He has been Law Library Director of the Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library at the Cumberland School of Law since July 2008. Prior to his arrival at Cumberland School of Law, he served as Associate Dean for Information Resources, Director of the Law Library, and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Memphis School of Law from 2000 to 2008 and Director of the Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University from 1998 through 2000.
Professor Laughlin earned his B.A. degree, magna cum laud, in Public Administration from Missouri State University (1982), his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1986), and his Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995). While in law school, he served as managing editor of the Missouri Law Review and was selected to the Order of the Coif.
Prior to entering the legal academy, Professor Laughlin practiced law in St. Louis, Missouri from 1986 through 1994, where he practiced in the area of commercial litigation for the firm of Popkin & Stern and in general practice for the firm of Thurman, Howald, Weber, Bowles & Senkel. Prior to entering law school, Professor Laughlin was editor of a weekly newspaper in his hometown of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Professor Laughlin’s teaching and research interest is in the area of information access and control as it relates to information technology. His article, Sex, Lies, and Library Cards: The First Amendment Implications of the Use of Software Filters to Control Access to Internet Pornography in Public Libraries, 51 Drake L.Rev. 213, 279 (2003), was quoted at length by Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissent in U.S. v. American Library Ass'n, 539 U.S. 194 (2003). He has also been a frequent presenter in areas related to his research interests. In addition to his duties as Law Library Director, Professor Laughlin teaches a course on Information, Technology, and the Law which concentrates on the interaction of intellectual property and free speech law as they relate to information technology, focusing on issues of information access and control.