March 17, 2012
Lowering the Bar Calls for Odd Law Contributions
Give me your odd, your strange,
Your muddled laws that inconvenience thee,
The wretched refuse of the legal set.
Send these, the pointless, nonsense rules to me
And I will mock them on the Internet.
For details, see The Odd Law Project Page. [JH]
March 16, 2012
Identities of Next 20 Law Schools to be Sued Over Placement Data Revealed
ATL's Staci Zaretsky reports David Anziska and Jesse Strauss intend to file class action lawsuits against
- American University Washington College of Law
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
- Chapman University School of Law
- Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America
- Loyola Marymount University Law School
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law
- New England School of Law
- Pace University School of Law
- Pepperdine University School of Law
- Roger Williams University School of Law
- Seattle University School of Law
- St. John’s University School of Law
- St. Louis University School of Law
- Stetson University College of Law
- Syracuse University College of Law
- University of Miami School of Law
- University of St. Thomas School of Law
- Valparaiso University School of Law
- Western New England University School of Law
- Whittier Law School
For more, see Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Motion to Dismiss DENIED — And Twenty More Law Schools to Be Sued. See also David Anziska's late February Bloomberg interview here. [JH]
Top Law Review's Circulation Drops Below 2,000 Paid Subscribers
Ross E. Davies, George Mason law prof and editor-in-chief of the Green Bag, reports in Law Review Circulation 2011: More Change, More Same [SRRN]:
In 2011, for the first time since the U.S. Postal Service began requiring law reviews to track and report their circulation numbers, no major law review had more than 2,000 paying subscribers. The Harvard Law Review remains the top journal, but its paid circulation has declined from more than 10,000 during much of the 1960s and ’70s to about 5,000 in the 1990s to 1,896 last year.
Isn't it about time to go electronic only for student-edited law journals? How about just distributing them via HeinOnline without a time embargo? Doesn't look to me like that would hurt print subscription sales. [JH]
Friday Fun: Is the National Constitution Center's Tower of Law the Granddaddy of All Shed West Book Art Exhibits?
"[A]t the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the "Tower of Law" has reportedly become one of the most popular exhibits. The Tower of Law is a series of tall, spiraling stacks of old West reporters that has captured the attention of many visitors," writes Bruce Carton at Old Law Books Are Not Garbage, They're Columns and Towers. Carton adds, "Here is what happened when Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert came upon the Tower of Law (at the 4:30 mark in the video)" back in 2008 according to Constitution Daily, the National Constitution Center’s blog. [JH]
A Call for Beta Testing Massachusetts Court Rules in eBook formats
The Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries has created Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Appellate Procedure and Domestic Relations Procedure in ePub and Kindle formats and is now looking for some beta testers. Details here.
Hat tip to Sarah Glassmeyer's tweet. [JH]
March 15, 2012
Ilene N. Hein, Nov. 25, 1919 - March 2, 2012, Co-Founder of William S. Hein & Co.
Ilene N. Hein embodied the Company's Primus Inter Pares mission. Kevin M. Marmion, President, recently released the below statement about her passing. I am sure everyone in the law library community offers their condolences to the extended Hein family and employees of the Company she co-founded with her husband, William S. Hein, Sr. [JH]
To Our Friends in the Legal Community,
We are saddened to announce the passing of Ilene N. Hein, co-founder of William S. Hein & Co., Inc. Mrs. Hein died Friday, March 2, 2012, at the age of 92. She was pre-deceased by her husband, William S. Hein, Sr., who passed away in 1976, and is survived by her three children, Sue, Bonnie and Bill, as well as by 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren to whom she was affectionately known as Grandma Boo Boo (Boo for short).
Born Ilene Lackemeyer in Buffalo, she was a 1938 graduate of Kenmore High School and a 1941 graduate of the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. Ilene and Bill were married in 1942, and after Mr. Hein had worked for a time with his uncle Fred O. Dennis, he and Ilene founded William S. Hein & Co., Inc., in the basement of their home in 1961. Within a short time, the successful entrepreneurs purchased a 3-story, 100,000 square foot facility at 1285 Main St. in Buffalo to provide space for the growing business operations. Throughout the years, the Hein Company has also acquired several other businesses that complemented the legal publishing operations, including the original Fred O. Dennis Company and the Fred B. Rothman Company.
Mrs. Hein was instrumental in the early development and growth of the company. While her husband traveled, she managed numerous internal operations, including the customer service and editorial departments. Mrs. Hein established the core values and high standards that remain the hallmark of the Hein Company’s customer service today.
Mrs. Hein also established the editorial department, and it remained her real passion. A meticulous editor, she was heavily involved in the development of such renowned publications as: Redden’s Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia, Kavass’s United States Treaty Index series, Kindt’s Marine Pollution and the Law of the Sea, the first editions of Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations and Dictionary of Legal Citations, which are still published today as Prince’s Dictionaries.
In addition, for many years one of her most successful editorial projects was Hein’s Legal Periodical Checklist, which was heralded by law librarians worldwide for its tremendous value to the profession. Even following her “retirement,” Mrs. Hein continued as editor of the Checklist into her late 80s. Her knowledge and expertise as chief editor helped guide these and other Hein publications to the point that many have become fundamental research tools in law libraries around the world.
Mrs. Hein was instrumental in making sure that the Hein Company became a major supporter of the American Association of Law Libraries and its local chapters, and for years attended their annual meetings. She along with other members of her family were also deeply involved in the Buffalo community, supporting local charitable endeavors which still provide the Hein Company with outlets for making a positive impact on the community. Mrs. Hein’s far-reaching influence helped establish the foundation of the success enjoyed today by William S. Hein & Co., Inc., which has customers in more than 150 countries and consistently ranks among Buffalo Business First’s Top 50 private companies in Western New York.
A memorial service was held on March 10th at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo to honor Ilene Hein’s life and legacy. She will be deeply missed by her loving family and friends, and by all those she worked with and mentored throughout the years.
Kevin M. Marmion
New Training Guides Page Available on HeinOnline
In New Training Guides Page on HeinOnline Homepage, Miranda Rosati reports that "[t]his page features all of HeinOnline's training guides [currently] available." From "Getting Started," "Searching 101," "Advanced Search Syntax" to Quick Reference Guides for specific libraries such as the UN Documents Collection, CFR, USC, US Congressional Documents, etc. you will now find the training guides here. You can access the training guides page from the News & Support pull-down menu on HeinOnline's homepage. See below.
I've inserted "currently" in the above quote because Miranda Rosati's post includes a call for training guide suggestions. Got one? Remember, this is a vendor that really listens to law librarians. Details here. [JH]
Opening: Research Librarian/Foreign and International Law Specialist, Notre Dame
Research Librarian/Foreign and International Law Specialist: The Kresge Law Library of the Notre Dame Law School is seeking a highly motivated and service-oriented individual to join its research team. The Kresge Law Library is an integral part of the Notre Dame Law School and offers exceptional opportunities for developing professional skills and contributing to the educational mission of the Law School.
Qualifications: Friendly, talented, self-motivated individual with M.L.S. and J.D. from accredited schools. (Significant law library experience or a foreign law degree may be considered in lieu of a J.D.) Knowledge of legal materials and research methodology using print and electronic resources. Experience providing reference service in foreign and international law. Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, students, and staff. Classroom teaching experience is desirable. Working knowledge or fluency in one or more foreign languages would be a plus.
Duties: Provide research service to the faculty and students of the law school and assume primary responsibility for research service in the areas of international and foreign law. Assist in collection development for international and foreign law materials. Participate as an instructor in the first-year legal research course and/or an FCIL course. Provide additional instruction in foreign and international law for upper-level students.
Environment: The recently renovated Kresge Law Library supports a national law school serving approximately 550 students and 50 full-time faculty. The experienced staff of 27 includes nine librarians — with four librarians and one library specialist in the Research Department. As members of the Law School faculty, librarians are welcome participants on many Law School and University committees.
Notre Dame Law School offers distinctive strengths in international legal studies through its Program of Study in Global Law, which includes the Program on Law and Human Development and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Study abroad programs are available through the Notre Dame London Law Center, Bocconi University in Milan, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
Compensation: The salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The University of Notre Dame offers a generous benefits package, including medical and dental insurance, 20 vacation days, approximately 13 paid holidays, retirement options, tuition benefits for dependents, and access to University events. The Kresge Law Library underwrites individual membership in the American Association of Law Libraries and provides liberal support for appropriate conferences and workshops.
Available: While the position will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified, applications received by April 15th will be assured consideration.
To Apply: Email applications are encouraged. Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to Ed Edmonds, Associate Dean for Library & Information Technology (edmonds.7(at)nd.edu).
Notre Dame is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
March 14, 2012
Some Thoughts on Britannica Ending Its Print Version
Britannica’s announcement yesterday that the venerable encyclopedia is ceasing its print publication may be a point worth memorializing with some wistfulness, but it is not surprising. The demand for the print version seemed limited to academic institutions and public libraries given the amount of free or nearly free information available via the Internet. Britannica’s content will be one of the nearly free as its continuously updated entries are available for an annual personal subscription at $70. The New York Times article on the move notes that half a million subscribers are out there. Simple math says that’s $35 million, which does not include the other educational products from Britannica. The encyclopedia is only 15% of revenue.
I would not think that Wikipedia led to the demise of Britannica in print, though its existence probably contributed to it. Then again, Google and other search engines have their own place to play in directing individuals to casual sources of information all over the web. Britannica is a known entity with a high reputation for quality. I’m not sure the study in Nature several years ago comparing Britannica to Wikipedia did anything to ultimately diminish that reputation as much as it raised that of Wikipedia.
There are still some problems with Wikipedia as this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests. Historian Timothy Messer-Kruse was rebuffed in his efforts to update Wikipedia on some of the facts concerning the Haymarket riots and trial in 1886. Though he researched his changes, his various attempts to edit the entry were rejected because they were considered a minority view. I’ve always held that Wikipedia is good for casual facts that do not necessarily need verification. I continue t hold that view.
Britannica’s problems with competing sources of information affected other similar entities. Bill Gates approached Britannica in the early 1990s and asked them to collaborate on an electronic encyclopedia. The executives at the time rejected Gates offer. He later collaborated with Funk and Wagnalls to create Encarta which was sold via optical discs and later via the web. Microsoft closed down that product in 2009. Though the print edition may be gone, Britannica lives online, beyond the lifespan of the Encarta product. Reputation is good for something. After 244 years, only the format is changing. [MG]
On the Hook for Student Loans: Joining the armed services is "one of the surest, if most dangerous, ways to discharge the financial burden of education"
Eric Pianin, Washington editor for The Fiscal Times, writes in Student loans seen as potential ‘next debt bomb’ for U.S. economy (Washington Post) that more than 80 percent of bankruptcy lawyers who responded to a recent National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys survey report a substantial increase in the number of clients seeking relief from student loans.
In most cases, those clients could not meet the federal hardship standards that are necessary to discharge a student loan through bankruptcy proceedings. Instead, many of these parents or guardians who co-signed the student loans face the prospect of losing their life savings, cars or homes to collection agencies for aggressive private lenders.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it expects complaints about billing, confusing advertising and collection by private student lenders. It will relay complaints about federal student loans, such as Stafford and PLUS loans, to the Department of Education.
From the CFPB's March 5th blog post, Our student loan complaint system is open for business:
If you file a complaint, we’ll work with your lender or servicer to get a response. While we certainly can’t make your debt disappear, we can help bring your concern to your financial institution’s attention. If you don’t have a specific complaint or question, but want to tell us what is – or is not – working in the student loan market, we invite you to tell your story.
And while the Consumer Bureau has only been open for a short time, we’ve been hard at work to gather the facts and provide tools to help you make good decisions about student loans. We launched an online tool, the Student Debt Repayment Assistant, to help you navigate the maze of student loan repayment options. We also launched Know Before You Owe: student loans and worked with the Department of Education to develop a draft “financial aid shopping sheet” for schools to improve the student loan information they give to students.
Then there is this gem. Daniel Pereira (NASDAQ News) offers the following advice from a 1%-er perspective:
For U.S. debtors, the best short-term moves are to find relatively secure work and focus on paying down variable-rate and private loans before fixed-rate and government debt. Some forms of public service offer full forgiveness of federal loans after a certain period, and the armed services remain one of the surest, if most dangerous, ways to discharge the financial burden of education.
I think Pereira's latter suggestion gives new meaning to "Uncle Sam wants you." I doubt JAG needs the number of un- or under-employed attorneys who might consider joining the US armed services. [JH]
GODORT's State Agency Databases Project: Shouldn't AALL contribute?
Started in July 2007, volunteers for GODORT's State Agency Databases have been working on identifying and annotating official state website databases. According to Free Government Information's latest activity report virtually all states are being covered now. Well worth the time to check it out. See also GODART's State Blue Books companion project.
Although focused on state agency databases, I think AALL's efforts to identify state web resources for primary law with annotations about their authentication would dovetail nicely into GODORT's well established wiki destination as a joint companion project to create a more comprehensive resource. [JH]
Cohen's Configuring the Networked Self
Georgetown Law Prof Julie E. Cohen's Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code, and the Play of Everyday Practice (Yale UP, 2012) has been receiving a great deal of recognition since its release. Recently, Concurring Opinions hosted a series of blog posts by invited bloggers to discuss topics in her new book. Very interesting. The blog series is called a symposium (and hopefully it is the start of a trend). Cohen also discussed one of the chapters of her work at the Beckman Center [YouTube video].
The legal and technical rules governing flows of information are out of balance, argues Julie E. Cohen in this original analysis of information law and policy. Flows of cultural and technical information are overly restricted, while flows of personal information often are not restricted at all. The author investigates the institutional forces shaping the emerging information society and the contradictions between those forces and the ways that people use information and information technologies in their everyday lives. She then proposes legal principles to ensure that people have ample room for cultural and material participation as well as greater control over the boundary conditions that govern flows of information to, from, and about them.
Openings: Reference Librarian and Head of Electronic Services, George Washington Univ. Law Library
The George Washington University Law School, Jacob Burns Law Library seeks a librarian to provide legal reference and research assistance to the GW Law community and other library patrons. Basic qualifications for this position are an ALA-accredited MLS (or equivalent) and an ABA-accredited JD (or equivalent), or completion of degree requirements by September 1, 2012.
Review of applications will begin April 15, 2012, and continue until the position is filled. Additional information about the position, including details on the application procedure is available on the Law Library’s Web site, http://www.law.gwu.edu/Library/Pages/EmploymentOpp.aspx. Only complete applications will be considered.
Head of Electronic Services
The George Washington University Law School, Jacob Burns Law Library seeks a qualified librarian to lead and manage its Electronic Services Department. Basic qualifications for this position are an ALA-accredited MLS (or equivalent), an ABA-accredited JD (or equivalent), and a minimum of one year of professional library experience.
Review of applications will begin April 15, 2012, and continue until the position is filled. Additional information about the position, including details on the application procedure is available on the Law Library’s Web site, http://www.law.gwu.edu/Library/Pages/EmploymentOpp.aspx. Only complete applications will be considered.
The George Washington University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
March 13, 2012
A Bit More "Grim News"
Salman Rushdie weighed in on the lawsuit against publishers by the Department of Justice. The Guardian is reporting:
"Seems that the US Justice Dept wants to destroy the world of books,"Rushdie wrote on Twitter. "Anyone who thinks that fair pricing that allows authors to make a living is a cabal or cartel system is deep in the grip of Napsterism – the belief (fostered by Napster in the music world) that it's OK to acquire people's work for almost nothing."
Maybe if competition were allowed to run free in legal distribution channels, the value of such works will be determined by the market. If that is less than an arbitrary higher price, well...? [MG]
European Commission Would Rather You Keep Your Opinions To Yourself
Techdirt has a story highlighting the minutes of the most recent meeting of the European Commission as it applies to the discussion of ACTA. Specifically the President and various members of the Commission were surprised by the “intensity and scale of the public debate and the organised campaign against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).” The President said the Commission should plan to deal with social media in future actions given how this played out. The minutes add:
Although the Commission had provided the necessary technical assistance and information throughout the negotiations and the conclusion of ACTA – thus ensuring that the process was completely transparent – it now found itself the focus of criticism for every possible negative aspect of the agreement.
I found that statement particularly ironic given the high security to the negotiating process. Leaks via members of the European Parliament, among others, managed to get the text into the public view. The process was anything but transparent until the final text was presented as a take it or leave it proposition. The Commission additionally stated it felt hung out to dry (not exactly those words) when no one from the IP industries spoke out in favor of the treaty. If any did, it was not loud enough to give the Commission political cover over adopting ACTA.
There were statements about the fate of SOPA and PIPA in the United States to the effect that votes had not taken place “following a hostile campaign by social networks and the loss of White House support.” Note those words “organised campaign” and “hostile campaign.” I don’t understand this attitude. Lobbyists working in favor of ACTA in most any part of the world are organized, self-interested, and unhesitatingly in favor of stronger IP protections. Anyone who organizes and makes contrary views known in a public and legal manner is hostile? To what? The Commission? The proposed treaty? Or maybe it’s a wake-up call that the established way of doing things can’t be controlled completely.
One of the best and worst things about the Internet is that there is no single editorial control over how information is presented. That includes opinions on legislation. French President Nicolas Sarkozy famously said that the Internet needs to be civilized. There is civility and there is diverse opinion. Both are good. The Commission should welcome organized public opinion, not be wary of it. The Minutes are here, with the ACTA discussion appearing on pages 17-22. [MG]
Why So Much Movement in This Year's US News Law School Rankings?
Yes, the US News Law School Rankings for this year are now online. I'm thinking online sales for the full report will be hotter than ever. Rankings are good for US News revenue. This year's edition might even be better than previous years.
Why? First because US News reporter Katy Hopkins spotlights In 2013 Best Law School Rankings, Top Schools Switch Spots:
For the first time in three years, there was some movement at the very top of the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings.
Yale Law School took the top spot in the 2013 edition of Best Law Schools, a place it's held since 1990. But contenders for the next two spots switched, with Stanford Law School outseating Harvard Law School for the first time since 2007.
Along with Yale, Stanford, and Harvard, 11 institutions that historically claim the top spots in the U.S. News rankings are known as the top 14 (T14), which isn't a designation by U.S. News but is widely known in the legal community. Some T14 schools shuffled: The University of California—Berkeley School of Law and the University of Virginia School of Law both moved up two spots to tie with the University of Pennsylvania Law School for 7th, while the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor Law School slid from 7th to 10th; Cornell Law School, now ranked 14th, and the Georgetown Law Center, at 13th, switched spots from last year's list.
Well, shuffling up or down a notch in the top 15, I mean, top tied-14, isn't all that important as long as a law school stays in that de facto top tier. It is below that elite tier where things get interesting.
Pull out those old rankings and spreadsheets. The second reason why this year's US News Law School Rankings may be a historic "best seller" is because of the amount of movement in the Top 50 rankings this year. Now that the legal and general media have caught on to the games that have been played, interest in all of the legal academy's shenanigans has increased.
There is no doubt in my mind that journalists will join the annual rite members in the legal academy have participated in for years, namely number crunching. Inside the legal academy, this year will be different because legal administrators and law profs will be crunching numbers every which way to figure out why there has been so much movement in the Top 50.
Since the US News ranking methodology hasn't changed, what's up? Are law deans worried about getting caught with their pants down now? Has more accurate data been provided to US News? If so, in what categories? If some data elements report substantially different stats compared to prior years, is that an admission against interest? Or will a chorus of law schools sing "the recession has finally hit us'? You can bet articles, blog posts and SSRN uploads will be filled with commentary and analysis.
[J]ust to save you some time and trouble, here are the top fifty of this year and last, along with how much each school moved. Commentary after the chart.
The biggest drop in the top 50, 12 spots, came from Illinois, which was scandalized this year by publishing fraudulent admissions data. ... But, another school further down dropped more. Villanova, which also published false employment statistics, plummeted from 84 to 101
Beyond Below the Top 50, does anyone really care? You bet! Many law schools look for marketing fodder to pitch "we are the top ranked" (or one of the top ranked) schools in the state or a conveniently defined region. Hell, marketing fodder based on US News rankings has even been crafted for selling a law school as one of the most highest ranked small public law schools in nation.
March Madness, ATL-Style. In addition to David Lat's The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Out! on Above the Law, see ATL March Madness (2012): The Most Honest Law School:
Every year, we here at Above the Law like to put together a little bracket of our own. In the past, we’ve asked you to vote for such things as the coolest law firm or the douchiest law school.
This year, we’ve come up with a question that you don’t hear a lot of people asking when they’re talking about pursing a career in law: Which law school is the most honest?
We expect law schools to shape our next generation of lawyers. We expect law schools to teach their students to think like lawyers. But do we expect law schools to teach people to be honest lawyers? Are some law schools better at emphasizing the moral and ethical standards of the law, while others teach a more, well, ethically aggressive style?
(Emphasis in the original.)
US News is in the business of making money. In a recent post, US News rankings guru Bob Morse wrote:
Well-known writers have made the case recently that the U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings are among the most powerful forces driving behavior at law schools.
Our take: It's important to remember that the U.S. News rankings are done to provide one tool to help prospective law school students choose the best law school for them. The Best Law Schools rankings are not done to provide law school academics a benchmark to measure their school's progress or to influence or be an instrument to direct educational policy decisions.
The bottom line: U.S. News is not running the law schools, does not play any role in making decisions at any law school, and does not believe there are any credible justifications for falsifying law school data.
Providing a "tool" that generates a helluva lot of revenue, Bob. [JH]
Grim News(?): Will DOJ's possible eBook price-fixing lawsuit awaken a slumbering antitrust enforcement giant to examine anti-competitive practices in legal publishing?
As a quick follow-up to Mark Giangrande's March 8, 2012 post, Apple And Publishers May See Antitrust Litigation Over e-Book Pricing, on March 9, 2012 The Authors Guild posted a Dear Members "Letter from Scott Turow: Grim News." A couple of snips:
[The] report that the Justice Department may be near filing an antitrust lawsuit against five large trade book publishers and Apple is grim news for everyone who cherishes a rich literary culture.
We have no way of knowing whether publishers colluded in adopting the agency model for e-book pricing. We do know that collusion wasn't necessary: given the chance, any rational publisher would have leapt at Apple's offer and clung to it like a life raft. Amazon was using e-book discounting to destroy bookselling, making it uneconomic for physical bookstores to keep their doors open.
True enough. However, general trade publishers don't have to sell their eBooks via any sort of wholesale pricing matrix offered by e-Retailers like Amazon or Apple. That has been their decision; they can rely on their own e-Commerce sites. The same is true for selling their pBook editions. These topics were discussed in LLB's two part series, Market and Distribution Cannibalization in the General Trade Publishing Industry for eBooks, Part One: Crafting a pricing matrix for eLending and Part Two: Outcome objectives of publishers and libraries as intermediaries between authors and readers of eBooks.
The Authors Guide president adds:
Let's hope the reports are wrong, or that the Justice Department reconsiders. The irony bites hard: our government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.
What I find most interesting about the DOJ's interest in this eBook situation, is an awakening of the slumbering antitrust enforcement giant and the consequences that may have for anti-competitive practices in other publishing market sectors, like for example, practices engaged by some major legal information vendors. Time for a dose of concerted consumer advocacy? [JH]
How would you use a linked data version of Class K?
That's the question Tina Gheen poses in a recent In Custodia Legis post. Since Gheen brought up the topic in the context of LC's Law.gov project, one may ask would a linked data version of LC K add value to law.gov for a semantic web objective? Ghenn writes
By incorporating a linked data version of the Law classification into Law.gov, we might also create queries to generate relationships between concepts automatically on any given page, perhaps demonstrating relationships between concepts across different jurisdictions, geographic areas, and languages, or showing broader and narrower concepts not easily discovered during a search.
For more, see A Law Classification Scheme as Linked Data? [JH]
Opening: Faculty Services/Reference Librarian, University at Buffalo Charles B. Sears Law Library
The University at Buffalo Libraries is seeking applicants for the position of Faculty Services and Reference Librarian in the Law Library. This is a faculty appointment with rank leading to tenure in an academic research-oriented environment. The Charles B. Sears Law Library has a collection of close to 600,000 volumes and volume equivalents and serves the research needs of the SUNY at Buffalo Law School, the University community, surrounding colleges, the local bar and bench, and the general public. The Law School, with approximately 700 JD and LLM students and 50 full-time faculty members, has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship. The position reports to the Director of the Law Library. The incumbent provides expert reference services in all areas of law and interdisciplinary subjects to the Law School community, the University at Buffalo community, attorneys, and other patrons. He or she plans and coordinates enhanced library services assisting Law School faculty with their research and teaching needs and participates in the faculty-librarian liaison program. The individual maintains the faculty publications database and the Law School and Law Library Archives. He or she trains Law School faculty research assistants in the efficient use of legal information resources. The incumbent teaches legal research in the first year research and writing program and provides support for teaching legal research in support of upper class courses. He or she participates in collection management, creates and updates legal bibliographies, and provides content for the Law Library's reference web pages. The incumbent develops and implements Web 2.0 applications for library use. The individual coordinates Law Library exhibits. Active participation in library and university committees, task forces, special projects, and initiatives is expected. The incumbent supports the Libraries’ mission which values open communication, respect for diverse perspectives, and good working relationships.
Minimum Qualifications: A J.D. from an accredited ABA Law School or equivalent and a Master's degree in library and information science from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent are required. Both degrees must be completed by the start of employment. Sound knowledge of legal systems and legal bibliography, strong legal research skills, and experience working in a law library are required. Group instruction experience is required. Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with diverse groups of patrons and staff at all levels is required. Creativity and adaptability in the face of multiple simultaneous demands is desirable. Evidence of professional scholarly interest and potential to meet the University Libraries' promotion and tenure requirements is essential. The incumbent must have excellent oral and written communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills and a strong service orientation. Must be able to work evenings and weekends on a rotating basis.
Preferred Qualifications: Interest in and skills to apply Web 2.0 technologies in a professional setting. Experience working in an academic law library is preferred.
Salary Range: $58,000 - $60,000
To apply: Visit https://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu and search for posting number 1200140. All applicants must apply via the UBJobs website listed above. Please include contact information for three professional references (names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses) at the end of your cover letter. Review of applicants is currently underway. The anticipated date to fill this position is July 1, 2012. Candidates invited to interview for the position will be expected to give a short presentation to an intended audience of first-year Law students.
The University at Buffalo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic University community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment.
March 12, 2012
Google Adjusts Citator in Google Scholar Legal Opinions
Google made a significant change last week to the way it displays citing cases in Google Scholar case displays:
Today [March 8], we are changing how we present citations to legal opinions. Now, instead of sorting the citing documents by their prominence, we sort them by the extent of discussion of the cited case. Opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. We indicate the extent of discussion visually and indicate opinions that discuss the cited case at length, that discuss it moderately and those that discuss it briefly. Opinions that don't discuss the cited case are left unmarked.
Sounds an awful lot like the citation philosophy in KeyCite. [MG]