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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lawyer2Lawyer Podcast: Diversity in the Legal Profession

Co-hosts Robert Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams
discuss diversity in the legal profession in their
Lawyer2Lawyer podcast available on the Legal
Talk Network.

Guests include Fred Alvarez, chair of the ABA Commission
on Opportunities for Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the
Profession, Richard A. Soden, of counsel to the
Boston office of the national law firm of Goodwin Procter LLP,
and Justice Dan Sosa Jr., retired Justice of the
New Mexico Supreme Court.

The guests discuss "progress over the years, how they have
overcome barriers and made opportunities available to others
and how they encourage young people to pursue law as a career."

The Weirdest Legal Cases of 2008

Need a laugh or a good story to share with your
students? Gary Slapper (Director of the Centre for
Law at The Open University) offers his list
of the year's weirdest legal cases in the Times
Online (12/050/2008).

Among the weirdest are:

An English bodybuilder fined for grunting
noisily while weightlifting.

An American women who sued L'Oreal
because the results of one of their hair coloring
products made her depressed.

Check out the article for eight more weird legal cases,
and read Slapper's weekly column on weird cases
every Friday in the Times Online.

New GlobaLex Research Articles in Foreign, Comparative & Int'l Law

The following new and updated research articles are
now available on GlobaLex (NYU Hauser Global
Law School Program):

European Union Travaux Preparatoires:
A Guide to Tracing Working Documents
(Patrick Overy)

Introduction to the Legal System and Legal Research
of the Kingdom of Thailand (Joe Leeds)

The Lebanese Legal System and Research
(Firas El Samad)

UPDATE: Finnish Law on the Internet
Sarvilinna (Update by Erika Bergström)

UPDATE: Laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
A Guide to Web Based Resources
(Oleg Stalbovskiy & Maria Stalbovskaya)

UPDATE: Guide to Legal Research in Norway
(Pål A. Bertnes)

UPDATE: A Research Guide to the Turkmenistan
Legal System (Oleg Stalbovskiy & Maria Stalbovskaya)

UPDATE: An Overview of the Egyptian Legal System
and Legal Research (Dr. Mohamed S. E. Abdel Wahab)

Scottish Legal History: A Research Guide
(Yasmin Morais)

Update: A Guide to Online Research Resources for
the Australian Federal Legal System with some
Reference to the State Level (Petal Kinder)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"BigLaw Faces Grade-less JDs"

Michael Estrin (Bitter Lawyer, 12/11/2008)
ponders the consequences of law school pass/fail
grading systems on the hiring practices of big law firms,
asking: "Does the elimination of competition from a
highly-competitive profession make any sense what-

Estrin suggests that, as more top law schools (like
Harvard and Stanford) strive to make the law school
experience more collegial by implementing
pass/fail grading systems, law firms will be faced with
accepting "more young lawyers whose last significant
competitive experience was the LSAT." The author
also points out that stellar graduates with high GPAs
from other law schools may no longer have
the edge over job candidates from elite schools who
would have graduated at the bottom of their class in
a graded system.

Estrin concludes that the lack of competition inherent
in the pass/fail grading system may be detrimental to the
legal profession - "a lawyer who tells a client that they
'passed' the case likely won’t last very long."

Search and Find Magazines on Google Book Search

On 12/9/2008, The Official Google Blog announced
that Google has partnered with publishers to begin
digitizing millions of articles from magazines as
diverse as the New York Magazine, Popular
Mechanics and Ebony.

Magazine articles located through Google Book
Search appear in full color and in their original
context (i.e., you can scroll forwards and
backwards to other articles in the same issue).

Google also plans to begin blending magazine results into
traditional search results. For now you can
restrict your Google Book Search to magazines by using the
advanced search function and selecting "Magazines"
under the Content options.

Monday, December 08, 2008

State Responses to Immigration Database

The Migration Policy Institute has launched State Responses
to Immigration:A Database of All State Legislation.

The database contains all bills and resolutions related to immigrants
or immigration that were considered by state legislators across the
nation. At present, the database contains all immigration-related
legislation for 2007. Data for 2008 and historic 2001-2006 data
will be added in the coming months.

The site offers a useful discussion of the database methodology which
will assist researchers to understand how MPI identified, excluded,
and classified immigration measures within the database.

Search All Law Schools from the CALI Web Site

The CALI web site features a Google Custom Search
that allows you to search all law school web pages
through a single search.

Hat tip to Marianne Alcorn and Beth Difelice of the
Ross-Blakley Law Library at Arizona State.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How to Reach a Human When You Call Your Credit Card Company

The GetHuman Database, compiled by Paul English,
is a nifty list of phone numbers for credit card companies,
car companies, airlines, etc. with instructions on how to
by-pass electronic customer service options and reach
an actual human being.

You might also wish to try GetHuman2, a companion
site by Walt Tetschner that is more actively maintained
then the original.

NYU's New Grading Curve

Brian Leiter has posted NYU School of Law's new mandatory
grading curve for first-year law students and its advisory
upper level curve for classes with 28 or more law students.

ABA Launches Its Own Social Networking Site

The ABA has launched its own social networking
site called Legally Minded. The goal of the site is
to "create an unparalleled resource that gathers
law school students, academics, firm administrators,
legal support staff, judges, paralegals, attorneys, law
librarians and other professionals to contribute, network,
and collaborate online."

LegallyMinded enables you to connect with other members;
exchange ideas, files and schedules within virtual groups;
engage with other members via blogs, wikis, chats, and
discussion groups; explore resources in such areas as careers,
education, practice management, and diversity; schedule
meetings using an integrated calendar; and, rate and comment
on community content.

Hat tip to Robert Ambrogi on LawSites.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Worth Noting: Empirical Legal Studies Blog

The Empirical Legal Studies blog is a collaborative project
produced by Professor Jason Czarnezki of the Vermont Law
School, Professors Michael Heise and Theodore Eisenberg of
the Cornell Law School, and William Ford of the John Marshall
Law School.

The ELS blog serves as an online forum to discuss and provide
links for emerging empirical legal scholarship, provide conference
updates, discuss empirical claims that have emerged in public and
political discourse, facilitate discussion for guest empirical scholars
and assess current empirical findings and methodologies.

Recent posts include:

Judging National Security Post-9/11: An Empirical Investigation
Data Update: New ICPSR Data on Hate Crimes
Judicial Decisionmaking "By The Numbers"

Audiovisual Library of International Law

Cornell Law Library's InSite Current Awareness Service
of 11/17/2008 points us to the United Nations' Audiovisual
Library of International Law. The Audiovisual Library is a
unique, multimedia resource which provides the United Nations
with the unprecedented capacity to provide high quality
international law training and research materials to an
unlimited number of recipients on a global level.

The Audiovisual Library consists of three pillars: (1) the
Historic Archives containing documents and audiovisual
materials relating to the negotiation and adoption of
significant legal instruments under the auspices of the
United Nations and related agencies since 1945;
(2) theLecture Series featuring a permanent collection of
lectures on virtually every subject of international law
given by leading international law scholars and practitioners
from different countries and legal systems; and
(3) theResearch Library providing an on-line international
law library with links to treaties, jurisprudence, publications
and documents, scholarly writings and research guides.

The Audiovisual Library is available to all individuals and
institutions around the world for free via the Internet.