Interviews with Pioneering Women in the Law

The Makers project highlights the contributions of prominent American women by providing interviews that explore the personal as well as the professional in these American lives. One the the featured pioneers is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The interview with Justice Ginsburg is here (after a sponsor’s ad), with extended segments that highlight her experiences: as a student at Harvard Law School, being rejected by law firms, her marriage, her work for the ACLU womens’ rights project and women and the law.

Other interviews in this series feature dozens of women from many different fields. The pioneers in law include: Sandra Day O’Connor, Maddy DeLone, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Catharine MacKinnon and Sarah Weddington.


Important information about Summer access to research databases and materials.

Guess what? Summer is literally just weeks away!  

Shortly your final exams and papers will be a distant memory as you begin your summer jobs and clerkships. Starting in May, however, several of our subscription-based  legal research resources restrict student access over the summer, to help avoid the use of nonprofit educational passwords at paid summer employment. However, each service treats summer access a bit differently, and there may be further variations for continuing vs. graduating students. Here’s your guide to summer database access:

  • Bloomberg Law accounts are valid between school terms and for 6 months after you graduate. Your BUSL Bloomberg account may be used for both academic and employment-related purposes, including full access to federal court filings . If you do not already have a Bloomberg Law account, you may Request A Law School Account with your BU email address.
  • LexisNexis this year will provide unlimited access this summer to Lexis Advance, its next-generation research interface.In June, Lexis will be moving entirely to Lexis Advance.   That means that all current law school  home page ( ID’s will no longer work.  If you currently have a working Lexis Advance ID and password ( then you are all set and need to nothing.  If you use your old ID only, you need to ensure that you are registered with your Advance ID.  Please contact,, to obtain that ID.  You will be able to access, and the law school home page with your Advance ID only.   The interface will be available for academic (non-commercial) use only until July. 2013 graduates will have full access to Lexis Advance through July 31; continuing students will have unlimited access until August 31.
  • Westlaw offers extensions of your Law School password for academic work, including: summer classes, journal work, projects for faculty, moot court, unpaid/non-profit public interest internships or externships, or a pro bono project that is required for graduation. Commercial use of your Law School password (such as at a law firm summer job) is strictly prohibited. May graduates can also extend their Westlaw passwords to obtain 10 free hours of research time for bar exam study. If you qualify for a summer extension of your Westlaw password, log in to the extension page and follow the instructions.
  • Other Law Library Databases: Access to Boston University databases for continuing students is available over the summer with your BU username and password. Recent graduates will find that their off-campus, password-based access to other subscription databases (such as HeinOnline and LegalTrac) expires very quickly after graduation. Alumni may access many University and Law School subscription databases on-site via the reading room computer terminals.
  • Click HERE for more information.

For more information about access to library resources for the graduating class of 2013, bookmark our guide to Law Alumni Services.

Summer hours for the Pappas Law Library following graduation begin May 20th and will be from 9-5 Monday through Friday.

Wishing you a restful and productive Summer!


Focusing on Soft Skills

Here you are, studying hard for exams, working hard to learn the law and earn good grades.  Good grades = good job, right?  If only it were that simple.  Just like your college and law school applications needed solid grades and a list of extracurricular activities to show you were “well-rounded,” employers are looking for candidates with not only legal knowledge, but also what Human Resources officers refer to as “soft skills,” or emotional intelligence.  To learn more about how employers identify emotional intelligence, check out The EQ Interview: Finding Employees with High Emotional Intelligence.

Peggy Klaus, author of The Hard Truth About Soft Skills — Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They’d Learned Sooner (2008), offers a quiz  where you can test your soft skills.  She identifies six major soft skill categories: managing yourself, communication, organizational savvy, self promotion, dealing with differences, and handling others.  You can, of course, read the recommended chapters of her book, but you may also be interested in some additional resources available here at BU that can help you become a more effective professional.

Managing Yourself

  • The Results-Driven Manager: Managing Yourself for the Career You Want: A Timesaving Guide (2004) (Pardee Management Library HD38 .R414 2004)
  • ABA Basic Guide to Punctuation, Grammar, Workplace Productivity, and Time Management (2012) (Law Reserve KF 250 .K73 2012)
  • Real-World Time Management: Second Edition (2008)
  • Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small (2003) (Pardee Management Library HD 30.29 .N35 2003)


  • The Art and Science of Communication: Tools for Effective Communication in the Workplace (2008) (Alumni Medical Library HF 5718 P451a 2008)
  • Why Didn’t You Say that in the First Place? How to be Understood at Work (1994) (Mugar Storage – Use Request Form)
  • Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings (1992) (Mugar P95 .T28 1992)

Organizational Savvy (AKA Office Politics)

Self Promotion

Dealing With Differences

  • Working with Cultural Differences: Dealing Effectively with Diversity in the Workplace (2008) (Pardee Management Library HF 5549.5 .M5 B74 2008)
  • Type Talk at Work: How 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job (2002) (Pardee Management Library BF 698.9 .O3 K68 2002)

Handling Others

You will encounter situations at your summer jobs that will allow you to reflect on your efficacy in each of these areas.  Remember that no one masters soft skills; we’re all continually trying to improve our abilities in each of these areas.  Please take advantage of the resources available here as you learn the “softer” side of the profession.


Court Rules Online

Do you know the best place to go to for free access to court rules online?

The U.S. Courts web site provides PDF documents for all the current sets, including rules of civil procedure, criminal procedure and evidence. Also provided is directory of links to local federal court rules (including Circuit, District and Bankruptcy courts). Like many other courts, the U.S. Supreme Court provides its rules on its web site.

For state courts, rules are usually provided by the state judiciary web sites–e.g., Massachusetts. For other states, this directory from the National Center for State Courts can take you to the court web site(s) from each jurisdiction.

Especially when the citation rule, Bluebook 12.9.3, requires only citation to the current rule (and not to any particular published source), the Internet source for court rules can meet a researcher’s need in most situations.


New electronic resource: Art Law and Cultural Property


Our newest addition, Art Law and Cultural Property offers the researcher two highly specialized databases:

“International Cultural Property Ownership and Export Legislation (ICPOEL) and Case Law and Statutes (CLS)—will help users navigate the increasingly complex and abundant body of legislation and case law regarding the acquisition and ownership of artworks.”

ICOPEL “contains legislation governing the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries.” Its “links connect foreign legislation to relevant U.S. case law. There are also links to relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements. Also included is “Country Contacts,” information on the government official(s) in each country to whom a query regarding the legality of acquiring a work can be addressed.”

CLS ” contains an extensive body of primarily U.S. case law, including both litigated cases and, notably, hard-to-find, out-of-court settlements. The material is organized under eight topics: World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss; Cultural Property (Antiquities) Disputes Over Non-United States Property; United States Cultural Property; Art Theft (other than World War II and cultural property looting); Other Ownership Title Disputes/Claims Including Conversion and Breach of Contract; Art Fraud, Attribution, Authenticity, Forgery, Libel, and Defamatory Statements; Valuation/Appraisal; and Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Issues”

Check it out!  (Extra-credit if you can name the repository of Modern Art shown above….)


Barney Frank on Justice O’Connor

A Justice’s retirement does not bring an end to dissenting opinions. Sandra Day O’Connor’s recently published book (Out of Order: Stories From the History of the Supreme Court) has received tough criticism from reviewers, especially from those who expected inside perspective about cases and issues where O’Connor played a key role during her years on the Supreme Court.

For example, Adam Liptak, who covers SCOTUS for The New York Times, was dismissive in his review:

She has a lot to say. But, the provocative title of her new book notwithstanding, she is not saying it here. Instead, she has delivered a disjointed collection of anodyne anecdotes and bar-association bromides about the history of the Supreme Court. “Out of Order” is a gift shop bauble, and its title might as well refer to how disorganized and meandering it is.

In a letter published in Sunday’s NYT Book Review, former Rep. Barney Frank, noting O’Connor’s comments referencing the Court’s shift to the right since her retirement, observes:

[T]hese reversals of her jurisprudence were entirely predictable results of her decision to time her resignation so that George W. Bush could replace her. After the 2000 election she said that because there was a Republican president, she could retire. Had O’Connor retired during the Clinton presidency, her successor would almost certainly have supported her decisions on campaign funding, abortion and affirmative action.

What she is expressing is an example of “resignation remorse,” and she should not be surprised by what she enabled.




Goodbye, Google Reader

I was totally bummed when I saw this pop up:


Google Reader retirement

not so much because I love Google Reader, but because I know I will have to move all of my RSS feeds elsewhere.  So what are our options?

1. NewsBlur

This is a free reader (if you’re following less than 64 feeds, otherwise you need to upgrade to the premium account @ $24/year).  It is compatible with iPad, iPhone, and Android.

2. Feedly

This is a truly free reader, compatible with iOS and Android, and it boasts a “seamless transition” from Google Reader.  It allows you to aggregate not only RSS feeds, but also content from Youtube channels, Tumblr blogs, and podcasts.  Individuals who have made the switch like this better than Google Reader, finding the interface cleaner and easier to use.  They also note that it will remember the items you starred in Google Reader post-migration.

Feedly is not perfect though.  Users complain that it’s difficult to navigate on the Android app, and it doesn’t have a basic text-only list view.  Users who like to scroll through content are also disappointed; Feedly requires more clicks to access information than Google Reader.  If you are into the visually appealing magazine formats, you’ll love Feedly, but if you want “just the facts,” you may be disappointed.

3. The Old Reader

If you want a very basic reader, this one is for you.  It was modeled after an older version of Google Reader.  Although it does not have a mobile app, it will allow you to import feeds directly from Google Reader.

4. Totally.Me

This aggregator will pull together not only the blogs you’re following, but also updates from your social media networks.

5. NetVibes

NetVibes is also more than just an RSS feed aggregator; the dashboard allows you to also monitor your social media, check your email, and create a to-do list.  The other popular feature of NetVibes is that you can personalize your dashboard with custom layout designs.  You can obtain a personal dashboard (compatible with both iOS and Android) for free, and there is a method to import your Google Reader.  However, reviewers have mentioned that some of their subscriptions did not import properly.

These are just a few Google Reader alternatives.  I’m going to try Feedly, but they all look like great applications.  I hope you find the Google Reader replacement that’s the best fit for you!


Like or Follow and Win

In celebration of National Library Week the library is encouraging you to engage with us on social media.  All new likes on Facebook and Twitter followers will be entered into a raffle to win an exam basket with a study aid of your choice, coffee, snacks and gift cards with a value of $150.  As a library we value the ability to communicate with you where every you are.  Be a part of our library community.