Religious Freedom and Bathroom Ordinances

North Carolina Republicans yesterday fired the latest salvo in the Nation’s cultural wars over civil rights, passing a state law overturning local LGBT Discrimination bans, joining Tennessee (2011) and Arkansas (2015) …

“Once released, it was clear that the legislative language was more sweeping than expected. Not only does it prevent local governments from writing ordinances that allow people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with with they identify, it also preempts cities from passing their own nondiscrimination standards, saying the state’s rules—which are more conservative—supersede localities. Local school district would be barred from allowing transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificate. The bill would also ban cities from passing their own minimum-wage laws.” (The Atlantic, see below)

Similar efforts have failed after facing withering attacks from business and civil-rights groups in states like South Dakota (governor vetoed bill passed by legislature), Utah (state legislature fashioned a remarkable compromise in consultation with multiple stakeholders), Indiana (effort failed after enormous public outcry), Georgia (bill passed awaiting governor’s signature faces uncertain future after business leaders and NFL suggest serious economic consequences for the state if law is enacted).

Here is some of the press on the issue:

The Atlantic:


The Washington Post:


Introducing…writing retreats

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos

Need a little distraction-free time to work on that note, seminar paper, or other writing project? Join the law librarians Fridays from 9-12 in the law library conference room (310) for some regular, quiet work time. Questions? email us at


GO WEST…. OR, the Global Skills EVERY J.D. LAW student needs to acquire ASAP.

SO, here’s a bit of news that will likely not surprise anyone:

Our world is rapidly becoming more and more interdependent and as the author of the herein linked blog post astutely points out, this has huge implications for the practice of law. New practitioners simply cannot afford to ignore the world around them. Theresa Kaiser-Jarvis
Assistant Dean for International Affairs at the University of Michigan Law School, identifies the following essential skills and techniques that ALL law students should be cultivating as part of their legal education:

  • Attend events
  • Build networks
  • Develop a foreign language
  • Gain global work experience
  • Go Abroad

For more on these last three, consider one of the nearly 20 different Study Abroad programs through BUSL described here:

Here’s the full blog:

I highly recommend giving it a read.



Help BU libraries improve; take a survey and enter a drawing for an iPad mini 4

960x540-2015 (1)_Page_2BU libraries are conducting a survey of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates to learn how we are doing and what we can do to improve. Check your BU email account for an email from Provost Morrison with a personalized link to the survey. Complete the survey by April 5 to help the library improve and to enter a drawing for a chance to win an iPad mini 4.

Results from previous library surveys can be found at the Library Assessment webpage; the results of the current survey will be reported there once the survey is completed and analyzed.



Student Athletes Seek Supreme Court Review of O’Bannon

The United States Supreme Court has been asked to review the O’Bannon antitrust case to determine how much student athletes should be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.  For more information on this case, there are a number of resources that you may want to explore.  For instance, for an analysis of the Ninth Circuit ruling check out articles from sports journals such as Marquette Sports Law Review and Tulane University’s Sports Lawyers Journal, or blog posts like this one from SCOTUSblog.  To see the briefs and opinion associated with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, conduct a docket search on Bloomberg.  For the latest news on the current appeal and a link to the petition, you may also want to read current awareness stories such as this one from Lexis’ Law360.


Voting in America

Do you want Bernie or are you for Rubio?  Massachusetts has already voted, but as the primaries progress in other states the press has been focusing on voter ID laws.  Many states have passed voter ID laws in the last few years, and a good way to keep up with these is to find a 50 state survey. The National Conference of State Legislatures keeps a close eye on developments across states.  Westlaw also has a good 50 state survey on voter registration.  50 state surveys are an invaluable tool to compare state practice in different areas of the law.



Earn a Certificate in Legal Research

There is still time to earn a Certificate in this year’s Legal Research Skills for Practice Program!  To qualify for a Certificate, simply attend six classes and complete the assignments.  Registration is now open at:

The following classes will be held in the upcoming weeks:

  • Advanced Case Law Research

March 30 – 1PM-2PM

March 30 – 2:15PM-3:15PM

Did you know you can do complex case-law research in print?  Besides being an invaluable skill if you lack Lexis or Westlaw access, proficiency in print caselaw research can help you understand and use headnotes and key numbers better whether researching in print or online.

  • Competitive Intelligence

March 15 – 11AM-12PM

March 15 – 1PM-2PM

This certification class will help prepare you to gather information on companies and market trends.  With this information, you will be better equipped to strategically plan for upcoming decisions, assess possible clients, prepare for future business, and stay current in the legal field.

  • Finding the Best Way

March 23 – 1PM-2PM

March 23 – 2:15PM-3:15PM

The partner just walked into your office; the pressure is on. When you get an assignment, whether it’s a citation, fifty-state survey, memo, or oral advice, what are the best tools to do the task you’ve been assigned quickly and efficiently? Learn how to approach different research tasks and choose the appropriate strategy.

  • Forms

March 16 – 1PM-2PM

March 17 – 1PM-2PM

You’re a lawyer, and busy. That’s why it’s important to avoid starting from scratch on assignments like contract drafting or complaint drafting. Forms help to do this. This class will discuss ways to find and adapt forms in various areas of law.

  • Free Legal Research

March 29 – 11AM-12PM

March 29 – 1PM-2PM

When conducting cost effective legal research is a priority, it is important to make use of web sites providing information that is both reliable and free. This session will include government sites, Google Scholar, blogs and news sources, and other ways to locate information and documents without using commercial databases.

  • State Law Research

March 22 – 11AM-12PM

March 22 – 1PM-2PM

State legal research presents some unique challenges.  Come learn how to find primary sources like state statutes, regulations, and judicial opinions, as well as relevant secondary sources and court documents, rules and forms. Massachusetts resources will be the primary focus of this class.


International Women’s Day

If you are interested in the topic of women and the law, the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries have a variety of resources that you may want to check out.  These include books such as Women and the Law Stories, which highlights cases addressing sex discrimination, working conditions, and reproductive rights, among others.  You may also want to explore articles on HeinOnline from journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender and the Women Lawyers Journal.  Lastly, in honor of International Women’s Day, many blogs are also posting interesting stories, such as the Library of Congress’ global history of women’s voting rights.