Law Library announcements, legal research updates from around the world, new and interesting research resources and web sites of interest to the faculty at the Syracuse University College of Law. Note: For easy navigation, right click on hyperlinks to open links in a new window.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

New Resources in International, Comparative & Foreign Law Research from Globalex

The following new resources have been added to
Globalex, NYU School of Law's electronic library
of resources in international, comparative and
foreign law research:

Comparative Law

A Description of the Structure of the Hellenic Republic,
the Greek Legal System, and Legal Research

Introduction to the Moroccan Legal System

Essential Issues of the Peruvian Legal System

UPDATE:--Doing Legal Research

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Protecting Privacy in Integrated Justice Systems

The beSpacific blog (4/21/2006) points us to
Protecting Privacy in Integrated Justice
Systems (PDF), an issue brief by the National Governors
Association Center for Best Practices that addresses
the impact of improved information sharing in justice
systems on privacy protection.

ABA 50 State Survey of Family Law

The Law Librarian Blog (4/25/2006) points us
to a fifty state survey by the ABA's Family
Law Section summarizing family law issues.
Survey tables first appeared Family Law
Quarterly (Volume 38 No. 4, Winter 2005).

On Law School Clinics

Dan Filler at Concurring Opinions (4/25/2006)
has posted an interesting entry about the value of
law school clinical programs. His remarks are, in
part, a response to an earlier post on the same blog
by Dave Hoffman on ABA law school accreditation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Google Scholar Launches New Citation Feature

According to the Official Google Blog (4/20/2006),
Google Scholar has launched a new citation feature.
"It's not just a plain sort by date, but rather we try
to rank recent papers the way researchers do, by
looking at the prominence of the author's and journal's
previous papers, how many citations it already has,
when it was written, and so on. Look for the new link
on the upper right for "Recent articles" -- or switch
to "All articles" for the full list."

How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard
Law School is hosting a symposium next Friday, April 28th,
entitled Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship.

Conference papers are available on a special SSRN site.
The papers cover an intriguing array of topics:

Blogging While Untenured and Other Extreme Sports
Co-Blogging Law
Libel in the Blogosphere: Some Preliminary Thoughts
The Public Face of Scholarship
Blogs and the Legal Academy

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Microsoft Launches "Academic Search"

Microsoft has launched a competitor to Google Scholar
called Academic Search. Like GS, this new resource
(currently in beta) enables you to search for peer
reviewed journal articles contained in journal publisher
portals and on the web. Academic Search offers several
attractive features currently not available in Google
Scholar. There is a journal list of titles indexed
(unfortunately, there is no indication of what issues
or volumes are in the index) and a preview pane that
allows you to view journal article abstracts on results page.

But don't delete your bookmark to Scholar quite yet.
Academic Search currently allows users to search for
content only in the fields of Computer Science, Electrical
Engineering, and Physics. According to their web site,
they will be adding more subject areas in the near future
based on user feedback and demand. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Attorneys to Cite "Unpublished Opinions" in Federal Courts

The United States Supreme Court has adopted a rule
change that will allow attorneys to cite "unpublished
opinions" in federal courts. Under the new rule, circuits
will still be able to give varying precedential weight to
unpublished opinions, but they can no longer prevent
attorneys from citing them. The new rule will go into
effect next year unless Congress countermands it before
December 1, 2006.

The text of the new rule and links to related
articles may be found on the Law Librarian Blog

Foreign Policy Blog : Passport

Thanks to the Law Librarian Blog (4/16/2006)
for pointing us to Passport, a blog by the
editors of Foreign Policy magazine.

Statistical Sources : NationMaster & StateMaster

NationMaster is a web-based compilation of world statistics
from sources such as the CIA World Factbook, the UN, and
the OECD. Statistics, which can be searched or viewed
by subject or country, cover a wide-range of categories, from
general demographical information to statistics in such areas
as education, economics, government, labor, immigration and
health. You can also generate comparative charts and graphs
using a simple pull-down menu of options.

StateMaster, a source for U.S. statistics, was released on
April 11th. The new resource provides statistical data from
a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau and
other governmental entities.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

CRS Legal Analysis of USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005

Thanks to the Law Librarian Blog (4/12/2006) for
directing us to the CRS Report - USA PATRIOT
Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005;
A Legal Analysis, now available in PDF from the
Federation of American Scientists web site.

Evaluation of RSS Readers/Aggregators

The LibrarianInBlack blog (4/11/2006) points us to
The State of Online Feed Readers (TechCrunch,
3/3/0/2006), an excellent review of web-based
RSS readers and aggregators. Even the technologically
challenged will love the comparison chart of popular
feed readers.

Unfamiliar with RSS? RSS readers provide updates
from a website in a simple form. You read these updates
in a program called an aggregator. Click here for a good
introduction to the topic.

CredibilityCommons - Finding Reliable Information on the Web

The Syracuse University "Information Institute of
Syracuse (IIS)" has teamed with the University of Washington
Information School to launch CredibilityCommons, a
collaborative web environment where researchers and members
of the public can explore various approaches to "improving
access to credible information on the Internet." In addition
to serving as a repository for scholarship on the topic, the site
provides access to tools, tutorials, research reports, consumer
guides, and other means of gathering practical feedback from
the public.

Try Reference Extract (in beta) in the Commons to see how
the experience and judgment of librarians have been
incorporated into a unique kind of search engine.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Library Acquisitions

This a reminder that the Barclay Law Library's
monthly New Library Acquisitions lists are
available on the library's web site in PDF format.

The April list is now available.

LexisNexis Directory of Online Services

The LexisNexis Directory of Online Services is a
searchable ‘Source Locator’ for retrieving information
about LexisNexis materials. You can locate information
several ways. The search function allows you to search
by popular fields such as title, topic, publisher, description,
geography, language, etc. You can also browse sources
by subject category by clicking on "Source Lists By
Topic." Finally, you can click on "Interactive Map
View," a visual tool that presents information about
sources in a stunning graphical display.

This source is worth checking out, especially if you have
had difficulties locating source information through the
LexisNexis research system interface.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Columbia Law School Creates Country's First Sexuality, Gender Law Clinic

From the Columbia News, 4/7/2006:

"Columbia Law School is creating the nation's first clinical
program in sexuality and gender law to provide students
with cutting-edge training in impact litigation, legislative
work and community advocacy...The clinic will be directed
by Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg, formerly of Rutgers
Law School's Women's Rights Litigation Clinic and Lambda
Legal Defense. Goldberg was co-counsel in the Lawrence v.
Texas and Romer v. Evans cases and co-authored Strangers
to the Law: Gay People on Trial, which recounts the legal
challenge to Colorado's anti-gay constitutional amendment
in the Romer case."

Global Review of Child Pornography Laws

The Law Librarian Blog (4/10/2006) brings our
attention to The International Centre for Missing
and Exploited Children' s recently announced global
review of child pornography laws.

"The study found that more than half of the 184 Interpol
member countries (95) studied have no laws addressing
child pornography and in many other countries, the existing
laws are inadequate."

The full report, Child Pornography: Model Legislation and
Global Reform, is available in PDF format on the ICMEC
web site.

Podcast: "Language of the Gun: A Semiotic for Law & Social Science."

Using interviews conducted at the Catalina Mountain
School, a juvenile prison for boys aged 12 to 17, Professor
Bernhard Harcourt (Chicago) explored the "symbolic
dimensions of guns and gun carrying among male youths"
in "Language of the Gun: A Semiotic for Law &
Social Science," this year's Chicago's Best Ideas Talk,
held on April 5, 2006. In his lecture (based on his recent
book, Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public
Policy), Harcourt "analyzes the particular language the
teens use to talk about guns and the associations their words
have, and what the implications are for public policy."

The lecture is available as a podcast from the University of
Chicago Law School Faculty Blog (4/1/2006).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Inbox Zero : Help with Managing Your Email Inbox

The Inter Alia blog (4/6/2006) points us to a practical
guide to keeping your email inbox lean and mean. The
Inbox Zero series by Merlin Mann is a series of posts
on the 43 Folders blog that "looks at the skills, tools,
and attitude needed to empty your email inbox and
then keep it that way."

Here's just one an example of Mann's tips for ending
email overload:

"Delete the obvious spam, chain letters, and kitty photos.
Archive the mailing lists and blog comments (sorting by
subject is great for this), all the while identifying, flagging,
and relocating all the actual important stuff to a “pending”
folder — that’s the stuff that will take your real brain power
and valuable time. Just get that sucker down to zero now.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

TRAC Immigration Resource

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse
(TRAC) has launched TRAC Immigration, a resource
for reports, government studies (including CRS reports)
and statistics/data on a variety of immigration issues.

"Currently available on TRAC's Immigration site are reports
focusing on Border Patrol apprehensions along the border,
Border Patrol staffing, criminal enforcement in the federal
district courts and government inspections activities at the
designated ports of entry. Additional reports and studies are
under development on a range of subjects such as the granting
of immigration benefits — green cards, naturalization,
affirmative asylum, etc — and the workings of the immigration
courts. These reports and the latest data obtained from the
government will be posted to [the] site as the information is
obtained from the various agencies, checked for accuracy and
completeness and analyzed. "(TRAC Immigration, About This Project,

TRAC is a data gathering, data research and data distribution
organization associated with Syracuse University.

Hein Online Instructional Videos for Fed Register & Legal Classics Library

Hein Online has released free mini-videos to demo their
Federal Register and Legal Classics collections. Although
brief, the videos do show viewers how to run searches
in both products.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Making Films in Law School

Jessica Silbey on the Law Culture blog (4/4/2006)
discusses a conference presentation by Robert
Percival (Maryland) in which students in his
environmental law seminar make short films
elucidating an environmental issue addressed
in class. After she viewed several of the films, she
concluded that they " demonstrated a commitment
and engagement by the students in the legal, political
and social issues that the class has raised... and got [her]
thinking how so many other law school classes might
greatly benefit from this kind of project in relation to
such a small an expenditure of money. "

Click here for more information about Professor Percival's
film project.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Study for the Center of the Public Domain

Cornell Law Library's Insite newsletter (4/3/2006)
highlights the Study for the Center of the Public Domain
at Duke University. The mission of the Center is to
"promote research and scholarship on the contribu-
tions of the public domain to speech, culture, science and
innovation, to promote debate about the balance needed
in our intellectual property system and to translate academic
research into public policy solutions."

The site, which can be browsed by topic or searched, features
collections of faculty projects and publications, student projects,
and descriptions of lectures, conferences and other events.

Splits Circuit Blog

Thanks to InterAlia (4/2/2006) for pointing us to the
Splits Circuit blog, a "blog dedicated to tracking develop-
ments concerning splits among the federal circuit courts."
The blog is authored by University of Richmond
School of Law Professor Benjamin A. Spencer.

Spencer links sources cited in his blog to Westlaw - just
enter your password and ID for direct access to the

Coast-to-Coast Legal Podcast: Plight of Public Defenders

This week's Coast-to-Coast podcast addresses
the low salaries, heavy workloads and tough
cases facing public defenders. Joining co-hosts
Robert Ambrogi and Craig Williams are Greg Apt,
a public defender in Los Angeles County, Josh
Hanye, a second-year public defender in the Boston
Trial Unit of the Massachusettts Committee for
Public Counsel Servicesm, and Robert Spangenberg,
president of the Spangenberg Group, a nationally
recognized research and consulting firm specializing
in improving justice programs.