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.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Harvard To Adopt Pass-Fail Grading System

An article in the Harvard Crimson (9/26/2008)
reports that Harvard Law School Dean Elena
Kagen has announced that the law school will be
moving to a pass-fail grading system in the fall of

Brian Leiter has also posted on the topic, and
comments following his post contemplate the
possible motivations, merits and dangers of the
pass-fail model.

Library of Congress Releases Newly Redesigned Global Legal Monitor

From the announcement:

"The Law Library of Congress is pleased to announce the
launch of the redesigned Global Legal Monitor. The
Global Legal Monitor has transformed from a monthly published
PDF to a dynamic continuously updated website. The new Global
Legal Monitor has the ability to view legal developments by topic
(more than one hundred so far) and by jurisdiction (over one hundred
and fifty). The content of the Global Legal Monitor can also be
searched through its advanced search interface.

Each legal development has its own permanent link for easy access,
sharing, and bookmarking. To keep up to date on new legal
developments in the Global Legal Monitor subscribe to its
RSS feed."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

CALI Lesson Link: Link to CALI Lessons in Your Course Web Site

Law faculty - did you know that you can link
to CALI lessons from inside of your course web site?

"LessonLink is a feature of the CALI website that lets
faculty create a unique hyperlink to an already existing
CALI lesson. Faculty can use this hyperlink on their courses
web pages (i.e. TWEN, BlackBoard, class blog, or other course
website) or send it via email to their students."

The CALI LessonLink web page covers:

What is LessonLink?

What lessons can I create LessonLinks to?

How long will LessonLinks last?

Why would I use LessonLink?

I want to create some links, how do I get started?

New Articles on LLRX

Highlights of new features and columns on the
web journal, LLRX:

Researching Medical Literature on the Internet - 2008
Gloria Miccioli

Criminal Law Resources: DNA Post-Conviction Resources
Ken Strutin

The Art of Written Persuasion: The Problem with the
Case Method and the Case for the Problem Method
Troy Simpson

A complete list of new articles may be found here.

Lawyer2Lawyer Legal Podcast: The Lehman Bros.Collapse

Co-hosts Robert Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams
are discussing the Lehman Brothers collapse
on this week's Lawyer2Lawyer podcast on the
Legal Talk Network. Joining the co-hosts are
Attorney John D. Penn, Partner at the firm,
Haynes and Boone, LLP and Attorney Victor Bass,
Partner at the firm, Burns & Levinson LLP.
"Hear their take on the legal options and strategies
being used in this unprecedented case."

Download or play here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive

The Chesapeake Project is a two-year pilot digital preserva-
tion program established to preserve and ensure permanent
access to vital legal information currently available in digital
formats on the World Wide Web. The project is a collaborative
venture implemented under the auspices of the Legal Information
Preservation Alliance (LIPA) by three LIPA-member libraries: the
Georgetown University Law Library, the Maryland State Law
Library, and the Virginia State Law Library.

* The Maryland State Law Library digital-archive collection contains
items that describe, analyze, document, propose, clarify, or define
public-policy and legal issues that affect the citizens of the state of

* The Virginia State Law Library digital-archive collection represents
the online publications of the state’s judicial branch of government,
including those of the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Judicial
Council of Virginia.

* The Georgetown Law Library digital-archive collection includes
secondary legal materials based on scholarly areas of interest and
the established legal research institutes at the Georgetown Law
Center, as well as jurisdictional materials by and about the
District of Columbia.

Report - Closing Guantánamo: From Bumper Sticker to Blueprint

Sarah Mendelson of the The Center for Strategic and
International Studies is the author of the newly released
Closing Guantánamo: From Bumper Sticker to
Blueprint: A Report of the CSIS Human Rights and Security
Initiative and the Working Group on Guantánamo and
Detention Policy (PDF).

"Sarah Mendelson and the CSIS Working Group on Guantánamo
and Detention Policy have concluded that the costs of keeping
Guantánamo open far outweigh the costs of closing it. They
recommend that the process of closing Guantánamo should
be achieved through a policy called R2T2: Review Release/
Transfer and Try."

Hat tip to the beSpecific blog.

RJ&L Religious Liberty Archive

(September 21, 2008):

"The Colorado firm of Rothberger Johnson & Lyons provides
this archive, an extensive repository for anyone researching
state and federal laws regarding religious freedom in the United
States. The site features links to state and federal constitutions
and statutes, and provides just those provisions that deal with
religion. You can also browse a collection of religious liberty cases,
historical materials, articles and treatises, as well as a great page
of other links on the subject."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gadget Alert: 3M's New Pocket Projector

Future Lawyer (9/15/2008) brings our attention
to a new mini pocket projector from 3M, scheduled
to become available at the end of this month for
$395. You can plug this palm-sized projector into a laptop,
and the composite video jack will take output from a
digital camera and most handheld devices. No screen
necessary - just project onto any surface.

An article in Popular Science provides all of the technical

Worth Noting: International Law Reporter

The International Law Reporter, a blog edited by Jacob
Katz Cogan (Assistant Professor of Law at Cincinnati College
of Law), features book reviews, journal tables of contents,
articles, and news about upcoming conferences and events
in the area of international law. The site also posts updates
on recent and pending decisions in international courts and

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tips for (Better) Blog Searching on Google Blog Search

Here are a few tips for searching blog contents
and refining search results on Google Blog Search.

1. The easiest way to access Google Blog Search is from
the Google search screen. Click on 'more' at the
top of the Google drop down menu.

2. From the menu, select 'Blogs.'

3. From the search screen, select 'Advanced Blog Search.'
(Trust me, you'll be glad you took this extra step)

4. Complete the search template, which allows you
to search for specific terms, phrases, authors, titles, dates
and languages.

5. Depending on your research goals, you might chose
to narrow your search results to blogs authored by
persons or groups at educational institutions.

To do this, enter .edu in the form labelled 'In this URL.'
(This will limit search results to blogs with URL's containing .edu
as part of the domain name).

Example: When I ran a search under the terms
'Palin library wasilla,' and limited results to '.edu' URL's,
I retrieved blog posts from The Leonard E. Greenberg Center
for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College,
from the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education
at Case Western Reserve, and from the Santa Clara Law Library Blog.

The same search without the '.edu' domain restriction resulted
in numerous hits from personal, commercial and organizational
blogs of varying degrees of credibility. Of course, you may want to
look at some of these other sources, depending on your needs and
preferences for a given search.

"ABA OK's Bar Exam Courses for Graduation"

An article in the August 11 ABA Journal reports
on the ABA House of Delegates action allowing
law schools to require a bar exam course for
graduation - Resolution 112B (PDF).

Hat tip to the Adjunct Law Prof Blog &
Law Librarian Blog.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Thinking Like a Professional" - Thoughts for New Law Students

Dan Ernst at Georgetown has posted timely thoughts
on why first-year law students should strive to
think like professionals, not just learn to think like
lawyers. Noteworthy excerpts from his address to Georgetown
Law School's incoming students include:

"...[C]lassrooms have been fairly passive places for you,
where you’re job has been to write down what you’ve been
told so that you can reproduce it accurately later. If we
conducted the law school classroom that way, we’d fail
at our most important job as first-year teachers, which
is to instill in you a professional mindset, an understanding
that you’re responsible not just for what you think and
believe, but for the consequences that follow for others as
a result of your advice."

"If the law school classroom was simply a matter of readings from
the book of spells, then perhaps it would be possible to take notes
and surf the web at the same time. But if it’s about acquiring a
habit of thought, it requires your undivided attention."

CRISE: Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity

One of the web sites featured on this month's InSite
current awareness service at Cornell is CRISE:
Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and
Ethnicity. The Center strives to "investigate relationships
between ethnicity, inequality and conflict, with the aim of
identifying economic, political, social and cultural policies
which promote stable and inclusive multiethnic societies."

The site encompasses a searchable database of free working
papers, policy briefings, and policy context papers. There is
also a newsletter, Research News.

CRISE is a development research center within Oxford University,
supported by the UK Department for International Development.

New Online Research Articles from GlobaLex

The following new or updated research articles in
foreign, comparative and international law
are available from GlobaLex:

Forced Evictions and Disability Rights in Africa
(Buhle Angelo Dube)

"One Country, Two Systems" of Legal Research:
A Brief Guide to Finding the Law of China’s Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region
(Sergio Stone & Roy L. Sturgeon)

A Guide to the Liberian Legal System and Legal
Research (Hanatu Kabbah)

UPDATE: Sierra Leone Legal System and Legal
Research (Hanatu Kabbah)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Worth Noting: LexisNexis Transactional Advisor

LexisNexis now offers a new way to search for database
content that matches the workflow of transactional attorneys.

The Transactional Advisor tab on the LexisNexis Research
System organizes information and resources by each stage of
the transactional workflow, including:

* Track emerging issues
* Draft documents
* Find facts and evaluate risks
* Check compliance and disclosure requirements
* Conduct research and access expert analysis

Students in clinical, trial practice and moot court
programs will certainly benefit from this reorganization of
LexisNexis resources.

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations - A Web Based Index for Foreign & Int'l Abbreviations

The Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations (from the
University of Cardiff, Wales) is "a web-based service
that allows you to search for the meaning of abbreviations
for English language legal publications from the British Isles,
the Commonwealth and the United States, including those
covering international and comparative law. A wide selection
of major foreign language law publications is also included.
Publications from over 295 jurisdictions are featured in the
Index. The database mainly covers law reports and law
periodicals, but some legislative publications and major
textbooks are also included. The Index is still under

State and City Administrative Codes on now offers Code City which contains
state and city administrative codes. Documents are organized
by state and are in PDF format. Most are safety, building and
energy codes.

Hat tip to Joe Hodnicki on the Law Librarian Blog.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gender Disparity and Privilege in the 'Top Ten' Law Reviews

Minna J. Kotkin of Brooklyn Law School has posted
a new article to SSRN entitled Of Authorship and Audacity:
An Empirical Study of Gender Disparity and Privilege in
the 'Top Ten' Law Reviews.

From the SSRN Abstract:

This article analyzes authorship by gender and home school
"privilege" in 15 law reviews (the "top ten") over a three year
period... The article considers a number of possible explanations
for [the] gender disparity, including: years and subject matter of
teaching; affirmative action; institutional and family commitments;
and social science theories. At least as to the quantifiable hypotheses,
none fully explains the disparity. The article concludes with the
suggestion that editorial boards examine their selection processes
for unconscious bias with regard to gender and conscious bias
with regard to privilege and that they consider adopting true
anonymous submissions. It also argues that some number of
women academics have not perfected the "audacity" factor
that may contribute to article placement in elite journals. Although
the gender gap in hiring and promotion has largely been resolved,
the top of the legal academic ladder will elude women until the gender
disparity in publications is overcome."

Google to Launch A New Browser: Chrome

The Official Google Blog (9/01/2008) announces
the launch of the new Google web browser, Chrome.
The browser, which is due out in Beta sometime
today, is being touted as simple, fast, secure and
able to tackle complex web applications.

Want to know more? Check out the Google Chrome
comic book for details.

Emotions and the Shape and Operation of Legal Institutions

"Emotion in Context: Exploring the Interaction between Emotions
and Legal Institutions" was the theme of a conference held last May
at the University of Chicago Law School. The conference brought
together scholars working in philosophy, neuroscience, neuro-
economics, sociology, psychology, and political science to consider the
intersection of legal institutions and human emotion. Examples of
presentation topics include: Cultivating an Incest Taboo
in the Workplace, Two Neural Systems for Trust, and
Social Influences on Emotional Learning and Decision-Making.

Presentation abstracts and a selection of audio files are now available on
the conference web site.