December 5, 2009
The Eight Percent Solution: Terms of the Alleged New Prenup between Tiger Woods and Elin NordegrenGerry Beyer is covering the developing story about the terms of the alleged new maritial agreement on Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog: "From Tiger's perspective, this is probably a good deal. After all, $80 million is a mere 8% of his $1 billion in career earnings as calculated by Forbes." Quoting from More on Tiger Woods' new marital agreement. See also his Price for Cheating -- $5,000,000 post. [JH]
What Do Rankings Mean to Universities?
Try this from a Suffolk University Board of Trustee member quoted in the Boston Globe:
“I get angry when I’m standing in line at the grocery store and I see the rankings and we’re like a third-tier university,’’ said Dennis Fernandez, a Silicon Valley patent lawyer and a Suffolk trustee. “It’s the shell they have built out, but have they generated any leading content? I see no Nobel prizes over there.’’
For the record, the University may be ranked in the third tier, but the Law School is ranked in the fourth tier. The whole story is here. [MG]
Round-Up of State Practitioner Blogs
Central New York Injury Lawyer Blog
Examines injury law cases, news and reports in New York. Published by Michael & Smolak, PC.
Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog
Reports on injury law matters, opinions and legislation in Indiana. Published by Theodore F. Smith, Jr.
Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog
Analyzes motorcycle accident cases, reports and news in Maryland. Published by Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC.
California Estate Planning Attorney Blog
Covers estate planning opinions, reports and matters in California. Published by Rinne Legal.
Orange County Divorce Lawyer Blog
Discusses divorce law news, cases and opinions in California. Published by Law Office of David P. Schwarz.
December 4, 2009
Vote for the Best Book Covers of 2009 by Dec. 7Amazon has "nominated 60 especially eye-catching and evocative covers from 2009 and opened up the voting to you in 10 categories. (The first round of voting goes through December 7, and then you'll be able to vote for one of the 10 finalists as the Best Book Cover of 2009.)" [JH]
Harvard Law School Suspends Popular Tuition Waiver for Public Service ProgramPublic service and the economy have collided at Harvard. The Harvard Law School has suspended a popular program where it would waive tuition for third year students who agreed to work in nonprofit organizations for five years after graduation. The program became too popular with twice as many students signing up than expected. Combine that popularity with a sour economy taking a toll on the endowment, the ultimate source of all this largess, and, well, something had to give. More details are in the New York Times. [MG]
Mass. Governor Says Yes to Public Law SchoolThe Boston Globe is reporting that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is formally endorsing the merger of Southern New England School of Law with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The story is here. [MG]
Google Dictionary Has Legal Definitions
Google has invaded the legal world in yet one more way. It now offers a dictionary which includes legal terms. It's not exactly going to challenge Black's for authority or definitions, but it seems to have some value. Search for res ipsa loquitur and there will be a set of results that define and link to further information. Random comparisons with Black's entries show nothing for fettering of property, and feorme, but definitions for terms such as feoffment, food safety and inspection service, and Hatch Act certainly appear.
As for the Anglo-Saxon term feorme, which is a portion of the land's produce owed by the grantee to the terms according to the terms of the charter (Do I owe West any money for reproducing that?), a general Google search will bring up some results in context. The site also features and English to 28 language term translator, and language to English service. The page is not linked from any of the Google Menus, but can be found here or by searching Google dictionary in the main search page. Hat tip to an alert reader who brought this to my attention. I never asked if I can identify the person by name. Thanks, you know who you are. [MG]
Addendum to Mark's Comments: A hat tip to Josh Blackman for calling Google Dictionary to our attention. See his post, Google Adds a Dictionary, Black’s Law Dictionary Should Look Out, for the common legal terms he located. Of course, I pulled out Black's to look up a few terms myself: but-for test, executory interest, removal action found (do note the sources), handful of others not found. Not a Black's Law Dictionary killer yet. Getting slow at the reference desk this Friday afternoon? Go pull REF KF157 .B53 from the shelf. [JH]
Library Etiquette NotedAs exam periods start in most law schools, a timely note of how students should conduct themselves in the law library appears in the Virginia Law Weekly, with the UVA Law Library Code of Etiquette. Food, noise, and the "hey, get a room" issues are covered. Different libraries have different policies, but the problems they address ultimately remain the same. [MG]
AALL Election Results In
Congratultions to all!
Vice President/President-Elect (July 2010 - July 2011):
Associate Dean for Library and Technology and Professor of Law
University of Connecticut School of Law
Treasurer (July 2010 - July 2013):
Associate Director for Public Services
Pence Law Library, Washington College of Law
Executive Board (July 2010 - July 2013):
Director of Library Services
Kenyon & Kenyon LLP
Ronald E. Wheeler, Jr.
Georgia State University
College of Law Library
Source: AALL [JH]
Friday Fun: The Daily Show on Eminent Domain
Hat tip to Matt Festa on Land Use Prof Blog who writes about this 2006 Daily Show episode that came out about a year after Kelo, "Apparently the town [in Long Island] proposed taking the [Deepdale] country club golf course through eminent domain under the rationale that the public would benefit from access to the private course." On a more serious note, see the following two recent Kelo-related LLB posts: Five Years Later, Kelo a Hollow Victory for New London and The Kelo Back-Story. [JH]
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
AALL Releases New Edition of How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-LawyersAALL's Legal Information Services to the Public SIS has published a new edition of How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers. Hat tip to Bonnie Shucha, WisBlawg. [JH]
Retirement Planning Guide for Boomer Lawyers (and Law Librarians)
A quarter-million Boomer lawyers are expected to start retiring by 2011. Lawyers at Midlife: Laying the Grouwndwork for the Road Ahead by Michael Long, John Clyde and Pat Funk offers them a detailed guide for retirement that includes a set of resources, information, and planning tools. Lawyers at Midlife considers such issues as
- Your vision of retirement and whether you and your spouse or partner share the same vision
- Your strategy for building and preserving financial resources for retirement
- Your current retirement assets and whether they are invested in the most beneficial ways to achieve your retirement goals
- How to navigate the Medicare maze
- How to develop an estate plan, an "encore career," and how to close one's law practice.
Lawyers at Midlife is not one of those feel-good self-help retirement books. The authors are well-versed in the field. Michael Long, JD/MSW, is responsible for developing retirement-planning assistance and programming for the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program. John Clyde, a certified financial planner, has conducted retirement workshops for thousands of state employees in the Pacific Northwest, and Pat Funk is a financial planning professional who conducts seminars for legal professionals preparing for their financial transition into retirement. While targeting lawyers as their audience, Boomer law librarians may also benefit from a close reading of the work. [JH]
Reminder: BlogTalkRadio's The Law Librarian Program to Discuss Google SLOJ This Afternoon
On this afternoon's The Law Librarian program, Richard Leiter, co-host Marcia Dority Baker, Greg Lambert and Roger Skallbeck will be discussing Google Scholar's Legal Opinions and Journals with Google Scholar Chief Engineer, Anurag Acharya. Talk about a hot topic!
The program airs live at 2:00 PM Central Time. As always you can call in with questions and comments or join the chat room. If you miss the show, you can download it as a podcast on iTunes. [JH]
Opening: Educational Services Law Librarian, PhoenixLaw
Primary duties of the Educational Services Law Librarian will include:
- Creating, preparing, and teaching legal research modules;
- Providing reference service (includes weekend and evening rotation);
- Creating research guides and promotional materials for resources and workshops;
- Participating in the Lawyering Process faculty liaison program;
- Creating and implementing IRC policies and procedures;
- Performing other duties as assigned.
- M.L.S. (or equivalent) from an ALA-accredited school
- JD from an ABA-accredited institution strongly preferred
- One to three years of professional experience in a law or academic library
- Experience teaching and/or training (legal research a plus)
- Highly skilled in using online databases
- Excellent communication, interpersonal, organizational, and technological skills
To Apply: In addition to a competitive base salary, PhoenixLaw offers an exceptional benefits program. Send cover letter and resume via email to email@example.com.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
December 3, 2009
Social Media Use at Various Types of Law Libraries Noted
Here is a brief follow-up to James B. Levy's post from October 27th, Social Media Use At Work - What Employers Do and Don't Allow. That post covered a survey of corporate access to various social media by employees. LLRX has published the results of a Survey of Law Librarians in Selected Firms, County/State Law Libraries and Law Schools concerning access top social websites in the legal environment. The response came from 4 law school libraries, 45 law firm libraries and 6 county/state libraries. That may not sound like such a large sample, but the survey report reproduces comments made by various respondents. These are among the most interesting part of the report.
In general, law schools have the greatest freedom when it comes to accessing web sites, streaming media, and personal email. My own experience in the various schools in which I've worked echoes this experience. Most problems tend to come under acceptable use policies rather than physical blocking of sites. Law school libraries tend to place limits on computer access for non-affiliates to the extent that non-affiliates are allowed access to these resources at all.
County/State and Firm libraries are a different story entirely. Some blocking of personal and/or fun sites exists. No one wants to be accused of spending tax dollars for accessing Facebook or YouTube. Even in this environment, however, there seems to be some leeway. Firm libraries seem to have the highest rates of restrictions on computer use with access to many outside resources blocked unless there was a business purpose for the access. Some of this includes investigating clients or case related materials via social media, or using streaming media for a business purpose. Porn and gambling sites were most likely to have a block on a firm system. Blocking some times gets a little too restrictive as this one comment illustrates:
The problem from a research standpoint is that if a source comes up blocked when you do research you aren’t exactly sure if it is worth the effort of having it unblocked…or the time to have it unblocked. So I never do. One of the problematic facets of the controlled environment is that we are no longer allowed to have Firefox. The number of law related (and other) plug-ins that would make us more effective, that we can’t use is truly sad. IE just doesn’t have the bang (from a research standpoint) that Firefox does. From my perspective (and many others here) the IT department has ignored what is best for users and gone with what is easiest for them. The best thing would to have been to have talked to folks and WORK with everyone. I also think that the library MUST be consulted. Recently someone said to me that the IT department has the T; but the library has the I…and it’s true. The library really deals with the information, and for things to work smoothly the two have to work together. Also, they do not allow toolbars…not that I ever used the Google or Yahoo! Toolbars; but I wanted to work w/Diigo or Delicious thinking that it might be a good resource to introduce to the attorneys and can’t use the tool bar. Difficult to use them without a toolbar; just found a bookmarklet that could work as well yesterday. It is really frustrating to see new technology or resources that could potentially save you (or your patrons) time and effort and you can’t even try them out to evaluate them. Just annoying.
The complete survey and results with all comments is available here. [MG]
On Nudging AALL to Support GPO's Digitization of Legacy Documents
Betsy McKenzie is calling on law librarians to nudge AALL to get involved by supporting efforts to digitize 2.2 million legacy GPO documents, something already supported by ALA and ARL. "We are professionals and have joined as members in a professional organization," writes McKenzie. "In fact, we support a Washington office with the very important goal of making statements on behalf of our organization. Where are they? Why have they not said anything on this matter?" Good questions.
If successful, the project would preserve and provide free access to these legacy documents via FDSys. McKenzie makes the case for high quality digitization that would benefit all gov doc users. See her Where is AALL's Leadership? GPO's Digitization of Legacy Documents Out of the Jungle blog post for background information. The post includes e-mail addresses for AALL President Catherine Lemann, Kate Hagan, AALL Executive Director, and Mary Alice Baish, AALL Government Relations Office Director.
Perhaps we need to launch an online petition drive to get AALL to move forward on this important matter. [JH]
The Future of Law e-Books: Jason Wilson Responds to Eugene VolokhIn his series of very interesting blog posts, Jason Wilson responds to Eugene Volokh’s series of posts on the future of e-Books and the law. Definitely a must-read. [JH]
Neem: Academic Libraries Should Stick to Their Core Mission
Faced with declining funding, Johann Neem believes academic libraries are changing their mission rather than fighting to save an important academic institution. "Rather than make clear why we need academic libraries, the library’s leaders are seeking instead to become vague learning environments which, when boiled down to their essence, are nothing more than computer labs with sofas and coffee," writes Neem in Reviving the Academic Library in Inside Higher Ed. What academic libraries need to do is revive their traditional core mission. From the article
The library is a means to an end: enabling students and faculty to access archives. This does not denigrate the library's importance. In fact, it reminds us how important libraries are to the academy and, more generally, to a democratic society.
No matter how much rhetoric librarians offer, if they abandon their core mission, they not only insult the dignity of the history of libraries but offer no reason for the library's continued existence.
AAUP Calls for Placing Adjunct Faculty on Tenure Track
In Conversion of Appointments to the Tenure Track (2009), the AAUP calls for placing adjunct faculty on tenure track. From the Report:
With respect to faculty tenure, the Association holds to the following tenets:
- With the exception of brief special appointments, all full-time faculty appointments should be either probationary or tenured.
- The probationary period should not exceed seven years.
- Tenure can be granted at any professional rank (or without rank). The AAUP does not equate tenure with a particular faculty rank or status.
- Tenure-line positions can be either part or full time.
- Faculty appointments, including part-time appointments in most cases, should incorporate all aspects of university life and the full range of faculty responsibilities.
- Termination or nonrenewal of an appointment requires affordance of requisite academic due process.
- Faculty should enjoy economic security and, in the case of part-time faculty, equitable compensation.
What's the odds of this happening? See Jim Levy's post on Adjunct Law Prof Blog for details. [JH]
Opening: Librarian, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, New Orleans
The Fifth Circuit Library System headquarters library in New Orleans is seeking an experienced law librarian to provide reference services to the federal judiciary throughout Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The library system serves over 200 federal judges and related court staff. The ideal applicant will have over 5 years of post M.L.S. experience in a law library environment. Candidates with experience in government documents and court archives will receive highest consideration.
U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit Library, New Orleans
Salary: $45,125 to $87,903 depending on experience
Deadline for applications: Friday, January 8th, 2010
How to apply: See the full announcement and application procedures at: www.lb5.uscourts.gov.