Having just returned from the annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries in Philadelphia I am in a reflective mood about the importance and benefits of “connection.” While in today’s hyper-socially interactive world where we are incessantly bombarded by postings, tweets, and other digital messages, this may appear obvious, what perhaps is less-so is the value that professional organizations and associations may have for you as future legal practitioners and as professionals more generally.
Now, deciding which organizations to join and which to truly dedicate oneself to is an important distinction to draw. For future lawyers it seems obvious that the American Bar Association is a worthy choice. Do not stop there, however, as the multitudes of committees, divisions, forums and sections will surely be of interest and will in many ways help you feel more connected and integral to your newly chosen (noble) calling. (Author’s Note: Student memberships are free.)
Putting your legal education into practice doing pro-bono activities will likely become one of the more satisfying aspects of your new career. Find something that inspires you as this will make you feel part of something bigger than yourself and provide perspective when studying and the stresses of law school are giving you the blues.
If you need assistance finding organizations and worthy associations, please feel free to stop by the Reference Desk to chat.
Enjoy the rest of your Summer!
Curious about world news? Through PressDisplay, you have access to over 4,000 newspapers in 60 languages from 100 countries. When using this resource, you can either browse recent articles, or limit your search by topic or country of publication. Looking for more? Just ask a reference librarian!
We have just gotten our copies of the new edition of the Bluebook on our desks. Most of the changes look to be tinkering with the existing rules. Changes we hoped might be coming, like more flexibility in citing to online versions of statutes, did not materialize. Probably the most interesting addition is the format for citing to archived versions of websites at Perma.cc and the Internet Archive. Law librarian Janelle Beitz compiled a complete list of differences between the 19th and 20th editions on Google Drive [Hat tip GT].
Looking for data to incorporate into your class paper or research memo? You may want to check out American FactFinder, a free site created by the United States Census Bureau. American FactFinder allows you to search for a community by state, county, city, or zip code. Once you pinpoint the location that you are interested in, American FactFinder displays a profile of the area. This profile includes information on age, race, gender, education level, income, language, poverty level, and the number of veterans in a community. Below, for example, is the profile for Boston.
For more information on this and other helpful resources, check out our Statistics & Big Data Resources research guide.
Hello RAs – Remember that you can communicate with us all summer via LiveChat, M-F, 9-5.
Now that we are well into June, the “major” cases that the Supreme Court has taken up in the current Term are beginning to be decided. For dates when opinions will be released, see the Mondays marked in blue on the calendar on the Court’s home page.
One such case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, a/k/a the Jerusalem passport case, decided on Monday. The Court struck down §214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003, which directed the secretary of state, upon request, to record “Israel” as the place of birth of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem. In a 6-3 decision, the majority held that Congress had intruded on the power to recognize foreign nations and governments, designated to the President by Article II of the Constitution.
Numerous commentators have written about the decision.
Still to come this month are the highly anticipated King v. Burwell (which challenges IRS regulations extending tax credits to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government, involving the health insurance of millions of Americans) and Obergefell v. Hodges (the same sex marriage cases).
With Memorial Day past and the first day of summer fast approaching, summer reading lists and suggestions are beginning to appear. If nothing else, these can serve as reminders
to reclaim a pleasure that may have been consumed by the busyness of law school.
The New York Times has published its Summer Reading section, with lists of titles in Travel, Thrillers, Humor, Cooking, Science Fiction & Fantasy and other categories.
Below are some of the other interesting lists we have seen so far. We’ll add to list of lists as interesting new ones appear.
And there are the programs designed by schools and libraries for young people, such as these from the Boston Public Schools and the American Library Association.
Whatever your reading interests or genre: enjoy!
The library is offering webinars this week for RAs and other interested parties. Information is below, please register if you are interested.
June 3 at 12pm – Navigating the Library
Register for Navigating the Library
The library is more than just a physical space. BU licenses hundreds of databases. As a BU student you can request materials from any library in the country. As a law student you can chat with a reference librarian from 9-5 all summer. Learn about the various service the library offers and how to make the most of library resources.
June 3 at 3pm – International Legal Research
Register for International Legal Research
Finding international legal documents can be a challenge. Find out the best resources and get an overview of some of the major intergovernmental organizations like the UN. Need to find a treaty? This session will cover that as well.
June 4 at 12pm – Finding Articles & Interdisciplinary Research
Register for Finding Articles & Interdisciplinary Research
There are many options for finding articles on legal topics, and even more if you are looking for articles on non-legal topics. Learn about the various databases the library licenses and search strategies to make your searching more comprehensive.
June 5 at 12pm – Managing Your Research & Citations
Register for Managing Your Research & Citations
When you are gather sources from the web, the BU catalog, licensed databases you can store all your research on one platform and organize it. These platforms also allow you to generate Blue Book citations automatically. Learn about these platforms and how to use them.
If you are a research assistant, the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have a variety of helpful resources that you may want to check out. On our Research Assistant library guide, for example, you can find information on how to borrow books, contact your library liaison, and receive summer access to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg.
Next week, the Libraries will also be offering the following webinars:
To register for these webinars, simply click on the links above, or visit our Research Assistant guide.