July 7, 2008
AALL Children's Book Drive in Portland
For the past nine years, AALL members have shared the joy of reading with children in AALL host cities. In our tenth year, we are helping children and teenagers in the greater Portland area through our "Book for Every Child" campaign.
The books we collect will be donated to the Willamette Writers Books for Kids program which distributes books to children through agencies serving them (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Native American Youth Association, and the Oregon Foster Parents Program).
How can you donate?
- Order a book online from the "AALL Book Drive 2008 Wish List" on Powells.com. Shortcut to Wishlist, http://tinyurl.com/2hvv2c/. Also find it by searching the Wish List page at Powell's Books with the email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please insert the mailing address for sending books to our Book Drive team member in Portland (Jorge Juarez). See below.
- Buy children's books at the Annie Bloom's Books booth in the AALL Meeting Exhibit Hall in Portland and drop them off in the SR-SIS Book Drive box.
- Drop off books or gift cards or checks in Portland during the AALL Meeting
at the SR-SIS table in the Exhibit Hall. (checks payable to AALL)
Please send all donations to the AALL SR-SIS Book Drive team in Portland:
Mr. Jorge Juarez
Northwestern School of Law
Lewis & Clark College
Paul L. Boley Law Library
10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219-7799
Thanks for continuing this valuable AALL tradition!
The SR-SIS Book Drive Team (Jorge Juarez, Courtney Selby, Ann Hemmens)(http://www.aallnet.org/sis/srsis/projects.html)
Google Ordered to Disclose YouTube User Data
A federal judge in New York has ordered Google to turn over to Viacom a database that links users to every video they've watched on YouTube by login name and IP address. According to Andy Greenberg, writing in Forbes, Viacom hopes to use the data to show that copyright-infringing videos uploaded by users to the Google-owned site are viewed more often than the site's non-infringing videos. See Greenberg's YouTube's Legal Fig Leaf. In this NPR podcast, Jennifer Urban, director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic, discusses the implications this ruling has for online privacy. See also Google ordered to hand over YouTube records. [JH]
CALI Legal Research Lessons Popular During the Summer
I was pleasantly surprised to see that 5 of the top 10 and 10 of the top 20 CALI lessons viewed during the month of June (listed below) were legal research lessons but I'm scratching my head wondering about who is viewing them and who is recommending them at this time of the year -- law firm and court librarians to their new clerks and associates? [JH]
|3||120||Finding Statutes||Kit Kreilick, Sullivan & Cromwell|
|4-tied||118||The Legal Research Game: Fee or Free Edition||Yolanda Jones, Villanova|
|6||113||Internet Legal Resources - Free Resources||Resa Kerns and Cindy Shearrer, Missouri-Columbia|
|9||109||Researching Federal Legislative History||Nancy Johnson, Georgia State|
|10||107||Researching Federal Administrative Regulations||Sheri Lewis, Chicago|
|11||101||Non-Legal Resource: Online News Sources||Joe Custer, Kansas|
|14||90||Cost of Legal Research||Lauren Collins, Duke|
|15||89||Introduction to Secondary Resources||Brian Huddleston, Loyola-New Orleans|
|19||78||Federal Legislative History Research - Compiled Legislative History||Lee Peoples, Oklahoma City|
|20||73||Mastering Looseleaf Services||Kristina Niedringhaus, Phoenix School of Law and Elizabeth Adelman, Buffalo|
Fiddling with the US News Law School Ranking Formula
|Gaming US News Rankings by Accepting 1L Transfers|
Are some law schools gaming US News rankings by accepting a large number of 1L transfers? Check out what Bill Henderson (Indiana), Brian Leiter (Texas) and Larry Ribstein (Illinois) have to say on the issue:
Recently Bob Morse reported that US News was reviewing two changes to its law school ranking methodology: (1) including part-time JD students in its calculation of median GPA and LSAT; and (2) using only the bar passage rate for ABA-approved law schools in calculating the relative success of a school's graduates on the bar. Brian Leiter (Texas) reviews the proposed changes on Brian Leiter's Law School Reports. See also Daniel J. Solove's (George Washington) recent post, Should the US News Ranking Include Part-Time and Evening Law Students?, the National Law Journal article, Change Ahead for Law School Rankings? (reporting that some deans oppose the idea of including part-time students' scores), and Bob Morse's response to Leiter on part-time students.
Characterizing the two proposals as "barely scratch[ing] the surface of the litany of fatal problems now afflicting the U.S. News rankings," Leiter, author of Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings, links to his earlier Open Letter to to Bob Morse of U.S. News post which suggested more substantial reforms to the US News law school ranking methodology, namely (1) changing the way data is collected for the reputational surveys; (2) aggressively auditing law school supplied data used in the rankings; and (3) eliminating the use of expenditures and law school supplied employment data.
All excellent suggestions, particularly those that relate to US News' current use of unaudited law school supplied data which is, as Leiter states in his Open Letter, "the source of most of the egregious trickery and deceit that renders the results dubious." Compare the methodology used for MacLean's Canadian law school rankings, which Leiter helped develop: The methodology behind the law school rankings; A Q&A with Professor Brian Leiter.
BTW, why isn't the legal academy's accreditation cartel auditing the so-called "objective data" law schools supply in their annual reports? Too much work? Then require that the submitted data be audited by an outside firm.
Endnote: Mark Osler (Baylor) has proposed a "BCS-style" law school ranking methodology that uses the US News results, weighted at 50% of the total score, plus results from five additional rankings, each weighted at 10%: (1) Internet Legal Research Group; (2) Law School100.com; (3) Cooley Rankings; (4) Leiter Rankings; and (5) Hylton Rankings. Check out the top 20 law schools from the "alpha test version" of this ranking system. Osler asks for suggestions. Here's mine: weigh all rankings equally and for god's sake don't include the Cooley Rankings! [JH]
Impact and Policy Implications of Spyware on Consumers and Businesses
"The hearing will examine the impact of spyware on computer performance and privacy and security risks associated with this software. The Committee will review current action by the Federal Trade Commission to combat spyware and its effects on consumers. In addition, the hearing will consider S. 1625, the Counter Spy Act, which was introduced on June 14, 2007, by Senator Pryor and was cosponsored by Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Barbara Boxer. Senator Pryor will preside."
- Ms. Eileen Harrington
Deputy Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
- Dr. Benjamin G. Edelman
Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
- Mr. Marc Rotenberg
President and Executive Director
Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Mr. Arthur Butler
Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions
- Mr. Vincent Weafer
Vice President, Security Response, Symantec Corporation
Testify on behalf of Symantec and the Business Software Alliance
- Mr. Jerry Cerasale
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Direct Marketing Association
View Archive Webcast [RJ]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Diamond Law Library at Columbia University
The Diamond Law Library at Columbia University has an opening for a Reference Librarian. Reference Librarians provide general and in-depth reference service in Anglo-American, international and foreign law to faculty, students and others at the Law School Library; and share departmental administrative responsibilities with other reference librarians on a rotating basis. Responsibilities also include searching legal, bibliographic and other databases via the Internet and other sources; training law students and others in the use of legal materials and databases through extensive classroom teaching, the leading of tours, and one-on-one instruction; preparing bibliographies and instructional materials; assisting with the coordination of interlibrary loan transactions; and other related duties. Reference Librarians share regular evening and weekend hours.
Requirements: JD and MLS from accredited institutions or the equivalent combination of training and experience; reading knowledge of at least one foreign language; extensive experience with use of legal and non-legal electronic information resources; good communications skills; strong service orientation and organizational skills; high level understanding of digital information systems and software; and experience with web site creation. Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.
One of the world's leading research universities, Columbia provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a unique intellectual community. Set in the Morningside Heights academic village, Columbia also presents the unmatched dynamism, diversity and cultural richness of New York City. The University Libraries, grounded in collections of remarkable depth and breadth, are also building extensive electronic resources and services. The Libraries at Columbia are committed to collegiality, professionalism, innovation and leadership.
We offer excellent benefits including 100% Columbia tuition exemption for self and family and assistance with University housing. Columbia will also pay 50% tuition for your dependent child who is a candidate for an undergraduate degree at another accredited college or university.
For immediate consideration please e-mail your resume and the name/contact information for 3 references to: email@example.com using a single attachment. Please reference Search # UL70108010 in the subject line of your email and include your e-mail address. Applications will be accepted immediately and until the position is filled; however, applications submitted before August 1, 2008 will receive priority consideration.
Columbia University is An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
Minorities and women are encouraged to apply
July 6, 2008
Privatizing War in Iraq
Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Nation Books, 2007 464 pp $26.95
Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry
Cornell University Press, 2007
(first edition, 2003) 360 pp $19.95
A Bloody Business: America’s War Zone Contractors and the Occupation of Iraq
Zenith Press, 2006 304 pp $24.95
The Market For Force:The Consequences of Privatizing Security
Deborah D. Avant
Cambridge University Press, 2005
322 pp $31.99
Top Interrogators Declare Torture Ineffective in Intelligence Gathering
"A WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 19 nations finds that in 14 of them most people favor an unequivocal rule against torture, even in the case of terrorists who have information that could save innocent lives. Four nations lean toward favoring an exception in the case of terrorists.
However, large majorities in all 19 nations favor a general prohibition against torture. In all nations polled, the number saying that the government should generally be able to use torture is less than one in five. On average across all nations polled, 57 percent opt for unequivocal rules against torture. Thirty-five percent favor an exception when innocent lives are at risk. Just 9 percent favor the government being able to use torture in general."
See also: Top Interrogators Declare Torture Ineffective in Intelligence Gathering, Human Rights First.