Sunday, November 30, 2008

How to Succeed in Law School

The fourth edition of Professor Munneke's How to Succeed in Law School (KF283 .M86 2008) was published this year, and it is valuable reading for law students and for people thinking about attending law school. This book looks at the whole law school experience, including sections on study skills, time management and stress management. Of particular interest to students at this time of year will be Chapter 5 : Taking Exams. Here, Professor Munneke provides insights about what your professors are looking for when they correct your exams. He closes this chapter with the following thought:

Most schools provide for exam review, and if you did poorly, you need to know what you did wrong. Conversely, if you did well, you will want to know how to replicate the feat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pace Law Library Podcasts

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Pace Law Library Podcast Series. It is available here. Enjoy listening to our first episode titled "Food For Thought: Exam Prep". The reference librarians share some ideas with the students about how to get ready for the upcoming exams. Leave your comments and share your ideas about what topics you would like us to cover.
Stay tuned for more episodes!

Rule of Law Handbook 2008

It is a practitioner's guide for Judge Advocates.

[t]he handbook is not intended to serve as US policy or military doctrine for rule of law operations. It is not intended to offer guidance or advice to other military professionals involved in the rule of law mission.

It was written primarily by Judge Advocates for Judge Advocates and its scope and purpose is limited to providing the military attorney assistance in accomplishing the rule of law mission.

The goal of the Handbook is to go beyond a mere recitation of recent lessons learned about rule of law operations from Judge Advocates who had participated in such missions. The Handbook is intended not to serve as a complete solution, but rather as a starting place and a supplement for other materials.

[n]o course, handbook, or manual can provide a Judge Advocate a "cookbook solution" for how to support the development of the rule of law in a deployed environment. This Handbook intends to provide both some food for thought and points to some resources, but it is no substitute for flexibility, intelligence, and resourcefulness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

JDSupra & Facebook

Why waste precious time (that we all seem not to have enough of) to re-invent the wheel? JDSupra is a legal document sharing site where one can search or browse for the materials needed. Thousands of legal documents (court filings, decisions, forms, articles, alerts, newsletters, ...) are submitted and shared by the professionals who created them (lawyers, law firms, public interest groups, academics, members of the legal community, ...). The keyword search can be refined by jurisdiction (court, circuit, region), by type of filing and/or by subject matter.

JDSupra has also launched an application for Facebook. JD Supra Docs application connects the JD Supra and Facebook accounts and automatically streams the documents and professional information that is posted on JD Supra into a Facebook profile.

Any Facebook friend able to view your profile will be able to see your documents. Additionally, each time a newly posted document streams from JD Supra to Facebook, it appears in your activity “news feed.” JDSupra enables lawyers, law firms, and legal professionals to publish documents online. In order to use this application, you must first be publishing documents on JD Supra. You can join now and sign up here.

More on the Presidential Transition

The New York Times has a searchable guide to the Obama transition and appointment teams. Profiles of advisors and appointees are included, and it can be searched or browsed by position or individual.

Reproductive Justice Writing Contest For Law Students

Featured on blog, to all law students - there is an opportunity to practice your research and writing skills, and to make a little cash while you are at it! How about a fantastic reproductive justice writing contest? This contest is hosted by the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (see original post here). The cash prizes are not bad at all: $1,000 for first prize, $500 and $250 for the runners up. The deadline for submission is May 31, 2009.

Contest I asks for a critical analysis of the absence of birthing rights issues from gender discrimination and feminist jurisprudence textbooks and curricula (in fact, none of the top three casebooks used in law school courses dedicated to gender and the law address the issue of childbirth or midwifery).

Contest II asks students to develop legal theories that can be used to challenge policies banning pregnant women from having a vaginal birth after a prior Cesarean section (VBAC). This topic will encourage students to address a growing problem that has received very little attention from the feminist legal community both in academia and within the leading women's rights legal advocacy organizations.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Want To Lose Your Argument?

Law is Cool, once again, scores with its featured post titled 7 Ways To Lose An Argument Before It's Started. Jonathan Fields, provides 7 things you don’t want to do if you want to win an argument. In most cases, that's usually an important thing:
  1. Don’t Attack
  2. Don’t fail to acknowledge and validate another person’s right to believe what they believe
  3. Don’t fail to anticipate and address objections
  4. Don’t skip building rapport, trust, credibility
  5. Don’t forget to to adequate research
  6. Don’t shut yourself down to being persuaded yourself
  7. Don’t say don’t
See the original post with details by Jonathan Fields here.

How About To Speed Read Through Law School?

"Can Speed Reading Get You Through Law School?" - what an idea! Check out the November 23, 2008 post (including a short video lecture) on a Canadian blog titled Law is Cool that shares ideas and techniques to increase the average reading speed from 125-250 words a minute to 500-1000 words a minute. As the author precisely points out, there's a lot of reading in law school, so the following is recommended:
  1. Have your eyes checked
  2. Time your current reading speed
  3. Get rid of distractions
  4. Adjust reading speed depending on the material
  5. Train yourself not to reread
  6. Stop reading to yourself
  7. Read with your hand
  8. Practice reading blocks of words
  9. Practice and push yourself
  10. Time yourself regularly

Better Searching in Google

As reported by BBC, Google has unveiled a tool that allows users to customize and refine their search queries. Besides already existing and useful advanced search options that Google offers, users now will be able to re-order, remove or add specific web search results.
This means the next time they perform the same search, the personalised version will pop up.

"The idea is for Google to adapt to a new movement of the web to become more participatory," said Google's product manager, Cedric Dupont, and adds "[t]he SearchWiki is about giving users more control over their search results and increasing user happiness."

Check it out yourself and share with us your feedback and experience.

Two New Guides to the Transition is a great source of legal research guides on a variety of topics. New guides are added on a regular basis, and authors often update their older research guides. Two new guides were posted this weekend. The Government Domain: Tracking the Transition, by Peggy Garvin, brings together a collection of official and unofficial sources of news on the transition. (You didn't expect the President-elect to be leaking the names of possible appointments on his official transition page, did you??) CongressLine: Presidential Patronage, by Paul Jenks, provides some perspective on the recent history of patronage positions, and how they are filled.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Midnight Rulemaking

The Congressional Research Service has issued a report entitled Midnight Rulemaking: Considerations for Congress and a New Administration. Here is an excerpt from the summary:

At the end of every recent presidential administration involving a change in the party controlling the White House, the level of rulemaking activity by federal agencies tends to increase. On May 9, 2008, White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies stating that "regulations to be finalized in this Administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than November 1, 2008." Despite this directive, federal agencies appear to be issuing an increasing number of "midnight rules" at the end of the Bush Administration, including a number of rules attracting controversy."

LIFE Photo Archive Hosted By Google

Google hosts the LIFE photo archive; organized by year and going back to 1750. The millions of photographs can also be searched by various subjects: people, places, events, sports, and culture.

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Federal Register Electronic Public Inspection Desk

The Office of the Federal Register has created an Electronic Public Inspection Desk to provide free worldwide electronic access to public documents. For the first time in the 72-year existence of the daily Federal Register, the documents on file are available for viewing anytime, anywhere. Every Federal business day, anyone with access to a computer now can read critical documents governing Federal regulations relating to business, health, and safety as soon as the documents are placed on file. To view these documents, go to See "View Documents on Public Inspection" on the left hand side. This new desk grants the public access to documents that will be published in the next day's Federal Register as early at 8:45 a.m. EST. Previously, such documents could only be seen by viewing the documents physically located at the Office of the Federal Register in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CORI: Contracting and Organizations Research Institute

CORI: Contracting and Organizations Research Institute, at the University of Missouri at Columbia, provides a library of over 600,000 executed contracts and contract forms for a wide array of transaction types and industries. First-time users must complete a free registration.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Court Orders Halt to Sale of Spyware

As reported in the November 17, 2008 news release by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. District Court Judge, following the EPIC complaint, has issued a temporary restraining order halting the sale of keylogger spyware. According to the FTC's complaint,

...the Florida-based CyberSpy software, LLC marketed and sold RemoteSpy keylogger spyware to clients who would then secretly monitor unsuspecting consumer's computers.

... the defendants violated the FTC Act by engaging in the unfair advertising and selling of software that could be: (1) deployed remotely by someone other than the owner or authorized user of a computer; (2) installed without the knowledge and consent of the owner or authorized user; and (3) used to surreptitiously collect and disclose personal information.

The FTC seeks to permanently bar the unfair and deceptive practices and require the defendants to give up their ill-gotten gains. The complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief is available here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How to Draft a Judgment

Drafting a solid judgment is a skill that many lawyers have no or very little training at. Also featured on the (new) legal writer blog, Gail S. Stephenson, the Director of Legal Writing and Assistant Professor of Law at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, published an article titled Drafting Lucid, Unmistakable (and Valid) Judgments that fills that void and provides the guidance and insight into judgment drafting. Even though this article is written mainly for Louisiana lawyers, others might find helpful tips as well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chamber Rankings Included in Martindale Listings

As posted on Robert Ambrogi's LawSites, the lawyer directory published by Lexis will now include chamber rankings. Starting in February, 2009, the addition is part of a broader effort to enhance through the introduction of new tools and new sources of data, rankings and commentary, the announcement said. The Chambers Guides list the top lawyers in 175 countries, providing independent rankings and editorial commentary.

A Chambers icon will appear next to profiles of those lawyers and law firms on that have been ranked by Chambers. Clicking on the icon will open a window linked to the Chambers Web site showing rankings and editorial commentary. These rankings will be in addition to Martindale's traditional Peer Review Ratings and its more recently launched Client Review feature. Earlier this year, Martindale announced an agreement with LinkedIn to link lawyers' Martindale listings with their LinkedIn profiles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Plum Book

United States Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform publish the "United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions" (also knows as the Plum Book). This book is published after each presidential election every four years.

This publication contains data on over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment (e.g., positions such as agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials). the duties of many such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency head or other key officials.

According to Wikipedia, the Plum Book is used to identify positions appointed by the president within the Federal Government. The list originated in 1952. When President Eisenhower took office, the Republican Party requested a list of government positions that President Eisenhower could fill. The next edition of the Plum Book appeared in 1960 and has since been published every four years. Older editions of the Plum Book are held in the Federal Depository.

Court Ruling in Favor to Recover White House Emails

The U.S. District Judge ruled that the National Security Archive can move to force the White House to recover millions of Bush administration e-mails lost or destroyed between 2003 and 2005. The effort is to recover the lost electronic correspondence before the January presidential transition.

... the Court ruled that the Federal Records Act permits a private plaintiff to bring suit to require the head of the EOP or the Archivist of the United States to notify Congress or ask the Attorney General to initiate action to recover destroyed or missing e-mail records...

A chronology of the litigation is available here.

Availability of Old Final Exams

Old final exams released by professors since 2000 are available on the Law Library on TWEN site. All students should have the Law Library on TWEN site in their list of TWEN courses. If you don't, just go to the Add a course link on TWEN and add it.

There is a binder with a list of old exams arranged by professor's name at the Circulation Desk. If the professor has exams on our TWEN site, the location will say online. If the old exam is in the collection of old exams in print located in the Library, it will tell you which volume holds the exam. The old exams in print are located on the shelves in front of the elevator on the main level of the Library.

Final Call for Westlaw Training

Monday, November 17th at 12:00, 1:00 and 3:00 in G300, the Computer Classroom, Third Floor of the Library
Contact Brian Gozycki with any questions.

Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts

Quick class - set up in a Top Ten format that highlights some of tricks and shortcuts available on Westlaw.
A quick 20 minute session could save you hours of online research in the future.
Please Join us in G300 at 12:00PM on Monday, Nov. 17.

Tools, Databases and Time Saving Techniques on Westlaw

We will look at some of the lesser known databases on Westlaw to include: Consumer Reports, SI, Public Records and many others.
We will also review the fastest way to find databases and find what it is your are searching for.
A quick 20 minute session could save you hours of online research in the future.
Please Join us in G300 at 1:00PM on Monday, Nov. 17.

Career/Job Search Resources on Westlaw

Class will focus on searching for current job openings as well as gathering as much information as possible on your prospective employer.
We will look to OSCAR, NALP, AJO, LSJO, WLD and Profiler.
Please join us in G300 at 3:00PM on Monday Nov. 17.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

White House Transition Project

Since 1997, the White House Transition Project has combined the efforts of scholars, universities, and policy institutions to smooth out the American presidential transition. WHTP bridges the gaps between the partisan forces engaged in settling elections and the decision processes essential to governing by providing non-partisan information about the challenges of the American presidential transition and the strategies for overcoming those challenges. It provides these and other resources to presidential campaigns, to the president-elect, and to the new administration. These resources include three separate report series providing a White House institutional memory, perspectives on past transitions, and advanced research covering special aspects of transitions and governing. The WHTP also provides unique analysis of the appointments process and a clearinghouse on other transition resources.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Job opportunities in the Obama administration is the official website of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Individuals interested in applying for non-career positions can take the first step here by filling out an expression of interest form.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Drafting Contracts? - Take a Note of the Following ...

Also posted on the (new) legal writer blog by Raymond Ward, the JALWD (Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors) features a publication by M.H. Sam Jacobson titled A checklist for drafting good contracts that is recommended to all those who are involved in drafting contracts.

For all drafters, a checklist can ensure that the contract will contain the necessary substantive provisions and that the decisions about those provisions will have been made by design, not by accident. For the time-challenged drafter, a checklist eliminates the need to rethink from scratch what to include in a contract and how best to draft it. For the detail-challenged drafter, a checklist ensures that all tasks associated with the drafting are completed. For the occasional drafter, a checklist is an invaluable reminder of content and form that might otherwise be forgotten. For the experienced drafter, a checklist effectively reminds the drafter when boilerplate or often-used language is inappropriate, that special circumstances require special language.

The author recommends six basic steps:
  1. Determine the substance of the contract
  2. Analyze the audience
  3. Organize material
  4. Draft the contract
  5. Design the document
  6. Evaluate the document
Leave your comments sharing if you had a chance working with this publication and what was your experience. We look forward to reading them.

Legal Podcasts to Listen to!

Robert J. Ambrogi shares his opinion about legal profession and legal podcasts on Legal Technology Blog. He points out the inconsistency in publishing and short half-life of legal podcasting. Lawyers are too busy to do their own broadcasting. However, he says:

... for every podcast that turned off its mikes, others came along to fill the silence. As I surveyed the current crop of podcasts, I concluded that, within the legal field, podcasting remains alive and well.

And he recommends the following ten legal Podcasts to keep you informed:
  1. Legal Talk Network
  2. Conversations at Law - Hamlin University School of Law
  3. ABA Podcasts is a series of podcasts including ABA Litigation Podcasts, ABA CLE Podcasts, and ABA Book Briefs Podcasts
  4. University of Chicago Law School Podcasts posted on the Faculty Blog
  5. Law and Disorder Radio
  6. Out-Law Radio
  7. This Week In Law with Leo Laporte & Friends
  8. Hearsay Culture
  9. International Dispute Negotiations created by International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
  10. New Jersey Law Blog by Stark&Stark Attorneys at Law
Enjoy listening and let us know what podcasts you like to or would like to listen to.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

LTN talks about the Federal Rule of Evidence 502

The cost of discovery process can quickly escalate. On September 19, 2008, Senate Bill 2450 was signed into law, which establishes Federal Rule of Evidence 502 and is effective immediately. This law creates a new rule of evidence limiting certain attorney-client privilege and work product waivers. Bloggers and co-hosts, J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi, carry on a discussion with attorney Robert D. Owen, a partner in Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, about how this rule will affect litigation costs as well as clients. Download the episode to your iPod or iPhone for the road and enjoy listening.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Google is to digitize Congressional Hearings

The Library of Congress (LC) and Google will collaborate on digitizing Congressional Hearings. The LC contains about 75,000 volumes of printed Congressional Hearings. Committees hold hearings for a variety of purposes. Testimony is received from members of congress, officials of the executive branch, policy experts, interest groups and sometimes the general public on legislative proposals, the functioning of government progress, subjects of controversy and matters under investigation. The Law Library’s hearing collection is a rich resource for anyone interested in the history of issues that still face our country today.

As part of the Law Library’s transition to the digital future, a collaborative pilot project was undertaken with Google, Inc. to digitize the entire collection and make it freely available to Congress and the world. Three collections have been selectively compiled to provide users with a test experience: Census: U.S., Freedom of Information and Privacy, Immigration.

This project aims to provide text-readable PDF versions of the Congressional Hearings and to make them available as quickly as possible.

JURIST has a Facebook presence

JURIST has launched an official page on Facebook, the rapidly-growing social networking portal. JURIST writes:

The page is designed to give our US and worldwide audience a space in which to share their JURIST experiences and their common interest in the legal news and commentary that we offer every day. After more than a decade of delivering content to hundreds of thousands of largely anonymous readers around the world, our staff is looking forward to seeing the faces and hearing the voices of the ever-growing number of JURIST readers.

You can join JURIST here. Get their newest updates, posts, and announcements immediately and have the opportunity to leave a note on their Wall, take the Poll, or participate on the Discussion Board.

Social Networking and Law Firms

Legal Talk Network posted yet another great episode, this time about social media and law firms. Bloggers and co-hosts, J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi welcome Brian Carter, keynote speaker and Director of Search Engine Marketing (PPC), SEO, and Social Media at Fuel Interactive and Heather M. Milligan, Director of Marketing at Barger & Wolen LLP to talk about social networking tools Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook as they hit the mainstream, how they are utilized in the legal community if at all, and how some firms look at social networking as a great PR tool for business. The guests further discuss why some lawyers are skeptical of Web 2.0. Download the episode to your iPod or iPhone and enjoy listening to this interesting discussion.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pace Law Library New Acquisitions August 2008

Here is the latest list of new book received by Pace Law Library. Many new titles have links to GoogleBooks so that you may preview the book before coming to the library.