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!
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].
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!
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.
Congratulations. We are excited to see you get out there and start lawyering. The library is always here should you be in Boston, and alumni are welcome to come in to use all the materials and most of the databases. Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law are databases that you can’t get through the library, but you will have access to them until December (with the exception of Westlaw). BU does have campus-wide access to Lexis Academic which includes a lot of the legal content found on Lexis Advance. You just need to get an alumni card to use the materials. Bar study space is available in Redstone and Mugar has reserved Room 424 for law students only. Pappas is also available most of the summer, but there may be some noise. So good luck on the bar and stop in to say good-bye before you go.
As we say farewell to our graduating 3L’s and LLM students we would like to take this opportunity to provide some crucial information about ongoing access to databases and library materials.(Spoiler alert: You MAY have to take some action to maintain access if you are graduating and your Summer access MAY likewise be limited for Westlaw depending on the type of work you are undertaking this Summer.) Click on the Newsletter below to get all the details and see past issues as well.
As you may know, Congress.gov is the official website for official U.S. legislative information and documents such as bills, committee hearing transcripts and committee reports. It took over that roll from THOMAS, the original Congressional website, in 2012.
For most of the period since the transition, however, THOMAS continued to be the better source for information about treaties: Senate consideration and action on treaties submitted by the President. For example, see the information provided by THOMAS on the Senate’s consideration of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities below.
This Spring, Congress.gov began providing detailed information about treaties back to 1975. See the display of information on the disabilities convention in Congress.gov below.
Unlike the display in THOMAS, Congress.gov provides links to several relevant documents, including the Treaty document itself, 112-7, and the accompanying Senate reports, in HTML text or PDF.
Using Congress.gov can be an adjustment. Fortunately, the site provide extensive Help screens, including Search tips.
For Continuing Students you have summer access to Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law with no interruption. You may use these two services for any purpose you want regardless of where you are working. WestlawNext allows you 40 hours/month for June and July. However, if you are working at a law firm you may not use these 40 hours there. Once you hit that limit you must register for more, but only for an approved educational purpose which includes journal work, research assistant work and other law school related purposes.
For Graduating Students you will have unlimited access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation. If you don’t have a password you can register for one here. You can register to extend your Lexis Advance password with their Law School Graduation Program which provides free access through the end of December 2015. If you are doing public interest work you can apply for access beyond December 2015 through the ASPIRE program. WestlawNext allows you to extend you password for bar preparation which gives you 60 hours/month through the end of November.
If you have any questions please contact our representatives: Lexis Advance Reeves Gillis, Bloomberg Law Eric Malinowski and WestlawNext representative Mark Frongillo.