Archive for the 'Fun!' Category

Sep 18 2014

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Harvard Law School Exams

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What an interesting thing to do!  Harvard Law School has posted all of the law school exams given at Harvard from 1871 to 1998.

Here are the first 10 questions from an 1871 exam in Real Property.

Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy for the link.

Examination, 1871.

I. What is real as distinguished from personal property? and what are sometimes one and at times the other? What is meant by estate as applied to land? What are the different kinds of estate ? Give examples of each.

II. From what source is the law of Real Property derived? Can a freehold, except as a remainder, be created in futuro? If not for what reason ?

III. What is an estate in Fee Simple? What word is essential to create such an estate at common law ? What are the incidents of such estate?

IV. What is meant by leases? and to what estates are they usually applied? Were leasehold estates known to and in use under the Feudal law? What is the usual form of leases? by what name are the parties to them called? and what do they usually provide for and contain?

V. How are covenants distinguished from conditions in leases, and what are the purposes of each? What is a lessor’s remedy for breach of covenant if there be no condition in the lease ? What is the form of his remedy if there be a condition?

VI. What is an estate at will? How distinguished from estates from, year to year, and what are such estates? How may they be determined, and when determined what do they become?

VII. Define a tenancy in severalty, a joint tenancy, and a tenancy in common. What are the incidents of joint tenancies and tenancies in common? How may they be severed by act of the parties or by act of law?

VIII. What are the nature and incidents of an estate belonging to a husband and wife? What are the rights of a surviving copartner in the lands held by tbe partnership for partnership purposes? Ist, if there are no creditors ; 2d, if needed for payment of partnership creditors?

IX. To what estates may conditions be annexed, in creating them? and by what words may this be done? What is the effect of a condition subsequent upon the descendible or alienable qualities of the estate? How ere conditions enforced, and by whom? When will equity relieve against forfeiture for breach of condition at common law?

X. What is a mortgage of lands, and how may it be created? What are the rights of the mortgagor and mortgagee in respect to the land, at law, after a breach of the conditions? What, after such breach, are the rights, in equity, of the mortgagor? What is such right called? and in what court is his remedy under the same?

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Sep 04 2014

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What’s going on?

If you are new to campus and/or the Boston area, you may be overwhelmed with information or wondering where to look for the information you need. Here are a few tips …

For campus, law school and city information, consider BU Today; faculty and school news and featured events on the Law School main page; and the two main daily newspapers, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR, is an great source for news, and its Cognoscenti blog is excellent for thought-provoking opinion. And keep an eye out for the free publications distributed at businesses around town, from The Improper Bostonian to DigBoston to Bay Windows, all of which have calendar sections posting upcoming and ongoing events.

On Twitter, useful feeds include: the law school (@BU_Law), the campus police department (@BUPolice), the health office (@BUStudentHealth) and our feed, @BULawLib., as well as the Globe (@BostonGlobe), the Herald (@bostonherald) and those of other news sources.

Closer to home, each time you check the Law Library’s homepage, there are changing updates in the News & Announcements section and the Library Spotlight, as well as new posts in this blog, linked in the lower right corner.

 9-4-2014 home page

At the moment, information includes the schedule of orientation tours, survival guides for new students, a selection of new books in the collection and a link for research assistant registration. Check back regularly for updates.

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Apr 18 2014

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Cornell Legal Information Institute

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The law library enjoys providing its community of users with access to open source or free legal resources.  In that vein, the Legal Information Institute @ Cornell Law School ( is a terrific source of reliable and free primary legal materials.  The main areas of information provided include:

  • Constitutions and Codes
  • Court Opinions
  • Law by Source or Jurisdiction
  • Introduction to Basic Legal Citation
  • LII Topical Libraries

Take a look!

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Mar 07 2014

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Online Photos

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Getty is now making 35 million of its photos available for free online use.

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Feb 21 2014

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Filed under Federal Legal,Free!,Fun!

The great website GPO Access, the home of official U.S. Government documents, has changed its format as well as it’s name.  It’s now called FDsys, but it still has the same great content.  Take a look at the current FDsys “Featured Collections.”

Now that’s what I call official!

The new link is spelled out below.

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Dec 01 2013

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Best Books of the Year

Filed under Current Awareness,Fun!

It’s that time of year when opinionated lists of the year’s best books appear. If you are shopping for holiday gifts, looking for something good to read over the winter break, or just like books, here are a few online places (among others) to look:

Happy reading!

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Sep 26 2013

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Autumn Fun!

Filed under Free!,Fun!,Law Library

Keeping balance in Law School can be a daunting, almost impossible task.  One of the many advantages of being in Boston is the endless variety of cultural events and venues both indoors and outdoors waiting for you!

Check out for a regularly updated list of local happenings.

Get out and see the foliage and devour some cider doughnuts! Here’s an article highlighting some of the regions best foliage activities.

Frequent the City’s local classical  music scene to zen out.

Get out on a bike before the weather turns frigid, check out Boston City’s unique biking initiative at Boston Bikes!

Go pick apples, visit the winery and take a hayride at: The Russell Orchards

Head to the banks of the Charles River for the “Head of the Charles” Regatta

And for a truly New England experience, try a nighttime Corn Maze


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Sep 15 2013

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U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Day 2013

September 17th is officially designated “Constitution and Citizenship Day.”  The National Archives has compiled some interesting sites that allow us to explore this important document in interactive and engaging ways.
Have a look at some of these links and the mobile apps below:
“Inside the Vaults”
Constitution of the United States
Constitution of the United States: A Transcription
Constitution Q and A
Constitution of the United States: A History
And thanks to the American Bar Association for compiling the following list of civic-minded apps:
   Visible Vote 
Track how your legislators are voting,
give representatives feedback, and
participate in live events.
   White House App 
News from the White House blog and
press briefing room.
 WH Mobile
   Oyez Today
Latest information & media on the
current Supreme Court, including
searchable oral arguments and
   U.S. Constitution
Searchable U.S. Constitution and
Articles of Confederation and more.
   My Congress
Follow news, twitter feeds and
decisions of members of
   U.S. Citizenship 2013
Test your civic knowledge with flash
cards and quizzes.


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Sep 04 2013

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Legal Humor Online

For fans of legal humor, the Internet provides a deep reservoir of material. Familiar sources include Lawyer jokes, New Yorker cartoons and collections of oldies, such as those at

For fresher content with a personal style, explore blogs, such as Lowering the Bar, The Namby Pamby, Anticipate This!, Law and the Multiverse and McClurg’s Legal Humor. The latter is provided by Prof. Andrew McClurg, author of The World’s Greatest Law Review Article. The ABA Journal’s blawg directory lists some others you may want to check out.

Consider Obscure Footnotes, a blog from Keith Jaasma, the man behind the Supreme Court Haiku Reporter. Where else could you find a more sweetly concise summary of the SCOTUS decision last June on regulation of the raisin industry? The best way to get Supreme Court Haiku? Follow its Twitter feed.

Which Supreme Court Justices get the most laughs during oral arguments? Prof. Jay Wexler’s SCOTUSHUMOR Twitter feed is the source for that one. Jay’s tweets are consistently funnier than the Court, and he brings the same wry humor to his books. See Holy Hullabaloos, which is available via e-book.

Justice Kennedy and Justice Scalia are very different kinds of judges. Justice Kennedy is always hemming and hawing and wringing his hands and rubbing his temples and changing his mind and struggling mightily to come up with the right answer to whatever question he’s wondering about, while Justice Scalia seems to, well, not do these things. To judge from his written decisions, public speeches and questions at oral argument, Justice Scalia appears incredibly sure of himself and his views. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine their different styles must drive each other nuts. Perhaps it’s evidence for this that some of Justice Scalia’s most vitriolic dissents, including the one in the graduation prayer case, have come in cases where Justice Kennedy has written the majority opinion for a closely divided court.

A few other sites you might enjoy: Pinterest boards by Sydne French, Karin Stewart and Leiden Law School; Law School Ryan Gosling; or check the hashtag #LegalHumor on Twitter.

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Aug 02 2013

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Great Lawyer Stories & Characters

Filed under Free!,Fun!

Do you like to observe fictional characters practicing law in movies, television shows, novels and stage plays?

The ABA Journal has posted “the greatest” lists in all of these categories, as well as a list of “30 books every lawyer should read.” It is the nature of these lists to provoke discussion and disagreement–at the book that should, or the movie that shouldn’t, have been included. For those of us who like this sort of thing, it’s hard to resist going through the slide shows to see what titles the ABAJ’s committees have selected, to compare them to our own lists and to check out still unfamiliar gems.

Among the greatest law novels, you might expect to find here Bleak House and Billy Budd, but what about Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead? Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God?

You might have guessed that To Kill a Mockingbird was going to be on the greatest legal movies list, but where does Atticus Finch fall on the great lawyers in films and television? And would you include Jack McCoy? “Vinny” Gambini? Ally McBeal? Would your list of courtroom dramas on stage include The Merchant of Venice, Oedipus the King or A Man for All Seasons?

The ABAJ committee’s list of 30 books that every lawyer should read includes some predictable legal classics and judicial biographies. There are also titles recommended not for their law focus but for their insights about life, success or leadership–among them Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince; Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra; and Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being.

One book on this list is by a former BU Law professor. Can you guess which one?

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