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, March 27, 2008

Free Web Version of Photoshop

The producer of Photoshop, the popular photo-editing
software, has launched a free version called
Photoshop Express. The new product is completely
web-based, and can be used with any type of computer,
operating system or browser.

HeinOnline Law Journals Being Indexed by Google Scholar

From the HeinOnlin Weblog (3/27/2008):

"Google Scholar* is indexing the Law Journals in
HeinOnline to make the more than 1,100 titles
searchable in the Google Scholar interface. The
indexing is still ongoing, as Google Scholar has not
fully indexed all of the titles in the Law Journal
Collection as of yet. Over the next 30 days or so
they should near completion of the indexing at which
point the entire HeinOnline Law Journal collection will
be searchable in Google Scholar."

*Google Scholar is a free web search engine that indexes
scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources,
including law.

ABA Journal Article on U.S. News Rankings

Prepare for the release at the end of March of the
U.S. News & World Report rankings by checking
out The Rankings Czar: Law Deans Hate Bob Morse's
Rankings. He'd Like Their Help to Make Them Better
(April 2008 ABA Journal).

For a summary of the article and lots of links to related
articles and blog posts, see Joe Hodnicki's excellent
entry on the Law Librarian Blog (3/26/2008).

Tips for Firefox Web Browser Users

If you use the Firefox web browser, you'll
appreciate 20 Amazing Firefox Shortcuts
to Save You Time and Money by Terry Heath
on SEO Tools. Heath's tips include assigning
keywords to bookmarks for easier access;
using short-cuts to access web sites
without searching for or typing full URL's;
and, opening images in a new window or a new

Monday, March 24, 2008

On Washington & Lee's Radical Changes to the 3rd Year Curriculum

Brian Leiter summarizes Washington & Lee's
reforms to their third-year law school
curriculum. From his excerpt: "The new third year
curriculum will be entirely experiential, comprised
of law practice simulations, real-client experiences,
the development of professionalism, and development
of law practice skills."

You can find additional details on the Washington
& Lee School of Law web site, here.

Advanced Searching Guide from HeinOnline

Want to improve your search results in HeinOnline
databases? Check out the advanced searching!

From the HeinOnline Weblog tutorial of March 20, 2008:

"An Advanced Search Syntax Help Guide is available in
HeinOnline under the Search tab in any library. This help
guides provides detailed instructions and examples for
building searches using field names and Boolean operators,
as well as details about range, proximity, wildcard and fuzzy
searches. The help guide is available in PDF format."

Public Comments Invited on Proposed Revisions to Code of Conduct for US Judges

Press release from the U.S. Courts web site:

"The Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference
of the United States seeks public comments on proposed
revisions to the Code of Conduct for United States Judges.
The proposed revisions are based in large part on revisions
adopted by the American Bar Association in February 2007,
amending the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. Comments
may be submitted to the Committee on Codes of Conduct by
e-mail at the following address: "

You can compare the current code to the proposed revised
code here [pdf].

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

Worth Noting: Slate's New Legal Blog - Convictions

Slate web-zine has started its own legal blog
called Convictions. Recent bloggers on the site
include Jack Balkin, Eric Posner, Deborah N.
Pearlstein and Diane Marie Amann.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Law Firm Segregation Reminiscent of Jim Crow"

Georgetown law grad Yolanda Young has written a
provocative essay in the Huffington Post in which
she argues that Jim Crow policies are thriving at
Covington & Burling, where she worked as a staff

According to Young, "[t]he vast majority of Covington's
black attorneys do no substantive work, have no control
over their case assignments and no opportunity for
advancement. This seems to be just the sort of structure
the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
warned against in its 2003 "Diversity In Law Firms" report."

Oral Arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller (Gun-Control Case)

For those of you following this important gun-control case:

A transcript of the argument in District of Columbia v. Heller
(07-290) is available from the Supreme Court. C-Span is also
rebroadcasting the oral arguments.

Hat tip to the Law Librarian Blog.

"Online Legal Research Revolution" Explores Public Access to the Law

In a recent article on, Robert Ambrogi writes
about increasing public access to case law on the Internet.
Sites discussed in Ambrogi's article include:

AltLaw - a joint effort of Columbia and Colorado law schools
that makes federal case law easily accessible to the public.

Public.Resource.Org - a non-profit initiative that
"includes virtually all of the Federal Reporter second and
third series, said to be the equivalent of 1,858 volumes of case

PreCYdent - a new experimental database with a powerful search
engine to rival the heavy hitters, Westlaw and Lexis.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007

The U.S. Department of State has released the
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007.

National Rules Adopted for Judicial Conduct and Disability Proceedings

A news release (3/11/20008) on the U.S.Courts web site
announces that the the Judicial Conference of the United
States "today approved the first-ever binding, nationwide
set of rules for handling conduct and disability complaints against
federal judges, bringing consistency and rigor to the process."

The new rules, which take effect in 30 days, are authorized under
the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980. The Act allows
any person to file a complaint alleging that a federal judge has
engaged in conduct "prejudicial to the effective and expeditious
administration of the business of the courts." The statute also
permits the filing of a complaint relating to a judge's inability to
perform his or her duties because of "mental or physical disability."

NYU to Offer Online L.L.M.Program in Tax

According to the National Law Journal (3/11/2008),
NYU will offer an online L.L.M. degree program in tax
beginning this fall.

The article reports that "the law school is touting the Online
Executive LL.M. program as virtually identical to its current
part-time graduate tax program. The main difference is that
students will view lectures through course Web sites.
The law school expects to enroll about 25 students from around
the world in the online program for its LL.M. degree, considered
a premier tax credential for lawyers and scholars."

MAR: Minorities at Risk Project

Cornell Law Library's InSite current awareness service
(3/10/2008) brings our attention to the Minorities at Risk project.

From the InSite review:

"Minorities at Risk (MAR), a project initiated in 1986, is
based at University of Maryland’s Center for International
Development and Conflict Management. MAR monitors
more than 280 politically significant ethnic groups, "identifying
where they are, what they do, and what happens to them."
Information on the site currently covers the years 1945-2003.
MAR makes available to the site an extensive dataset that users
may access with a free registration. Once registered, users may
manipulate the data, including accessing specific variables and
creating subsets. A separate discrimination dataset is posted
to the site and files are organized by minority group and country."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Supreme Court Justice Recusals Attract Accusals"

Legal Blog Watch (2/28/2008) summarizes the discussion
on the blawgosphere about Justice Alito's recusal in the
Exxon Valdez damages case - should the Court handle
recusals differently to avoid the possibility of a tie vote (in
which case, the appellate court's ruling stands)?

Comprehensive Analysis of Int'l & National Children’s Rights Laws

From the Law Library of Congress press release:

"The major global and regional legal instruments of the twentieth
and twenty-first century are included in The Law Library of
Congress’ Children’s Rights: International and National Laws and
Practices, a superior and comprehensive analysis of the significant
children’s rights laws. Each domestic and international is summarized;
relevant clauses and language are defined and highlighted; and the
effects of each are described."

The following components of the study are now available on the
Law Library of Congress web site (html and pdf):

International Laws and Practices

If You Want Google to Stop Correcting Your Spelling...

Have you ever been frustrated by Google's automatic
correction of your spelling? If so, check out this
tip from Research Buzz:

"If you want Google to quit correcting your spelling, put a + in
front of the word you want left alone." For example, if you wanted
to purchase an assistive technology device called a ScannR, but
didn't want to retrieve thousands of irrelevant hits using the search
"scanner for sale,"search "+scannr for sale."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: How to Find a Treaty

HeinOnline's Weblog has developed another terrific
tutorial - this one on how to use the Treaty Metadata
Search function in the Treaties & Agreements Library
to locate a treaty and a summary of the key
treaty information.

The treaty summary information is very useful for quickly
identifying citation and background information, such as the State
Department number, former KAV number, country
involved, Treaties in Force subject, description, treaty it
was amended by, a list of treaties that extended the treaty,
and more.

Tarlton Law Library Launches Patent and Trademark Current Awareness Services

From the Law Librarian Blog (3/4/2008):

"The Tarlton Law Library has launched two new
current awareness services, Current Patent Literature
and Current Trademark Literature. The new services
complement Tarlton’s Current Copyright Literature
[RSS feed] service. The goal is to create a suite of current
awareness services covering the major areas of IP law.
[T]he new patent and trademark services provide basic
bibliographic data for recent articles appearing in U.S. legal
journals and non-U.S. legal journals published in English.

Current Patent Literature: web page RSS feed
Current Trademark Literature: web page RSS feed

Abraham Lincoln Letters Online at U. of Rochester

The Lincoln and His Circle web project "seeks to digitize
and make available the letters to, from, and about Abraham
Lincoln that are held in the collections of the Department of
Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of
Rochester...[t]hese materials are found, for the most part,
in the papers of William Henry Seward; the Seward Papers
were donated to the University by William Henry Seward III
(1945-1951) and Lincoln materials were the gift of the Fred L.
Emerson Foundation of Auburn, NY (1987)."

You may browse the collection or search by keyword, writer,
recipient and date range. Letters are digital images of the
original documents.