April 28, 2012
Zimmerman's Research Guide Adds Library Management Resources
Andy Zimmerman has started a section on Library Management under the Law Librarianship entry in Zimmerman's Research Guide. [JH]
April 27, 2012
Google Ups Gmail Storage to 10 Gigabytes
If anyone hadn't noticed, and I certainly didn't at first, Google has upped its Gmail storage limit to 10 Gigabytes and counting. The change is noted in the storage counter at the bottom of the Inbox. It started at 5 GB back in the day and when to around 7.5 GB several years ago. I can now officially procrastinate cleaning out my 2,200 plus unread emails. A short announcement is on the Official Gmail Blog. This is not tied to anyone having to sign up for the newly announce Google Drive cloud storage option, though the Gmail team said the bump was to celebrate Google Drive coming online. [MG]
The Scary Side of Student Loan Debt
Three stories converge to tell us, yet again (and again and again and again, etc.) the problems of law school debt. The first, from the Minnesota Lawyer, collects facts from a variety of sources including this gem from the AP: more than $1 trillion student loan debt (not just that for law students) has surpassed the volumes of credit card and auto loan debt. The problem isn’t limited to lack of opportunity in the legal market. The economics would be ugly if that bubble burst. Would Congress bail out the banks again if there is a mass default on student loans?
The second story is from Bloomberg. It points out that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, law schools will graduate four times as many lawyers as there will be jobs for them. The average debt for graduates is $100,433. LSAT takers and law school applications are down (not exactly breaking news), but that doesn’t do anything about the mountain of debt now on the books.
The third article, from Forbes, argues against debt relief because it wouldn’t relieve the psychological burdens of not being successful as a student. The author, James Poulos, tells us that law school is hard, harder than college. Students with average grades may not be as competitive with their peers when it comes to landing those summer jobs or similar work that can help offset some of the debt. Alleviating the debt does not alleviate that feeling that something went wrong here. He didn’t blame his law school, which is a change from the current theme running through these kinds of stories. I understand where he is coming from, though I think others in similar circumstances wouldn’t turn down the relief. Soul-searching is valid whether one has a ton of school debt or not.
Hey, I know, let's open more law schools. I hear some local markets are under-served. [MG]
Findings from Law Library Benchmarks Survey
From Research and Markets' press release for its Law Library Benchmarks, 2012-13 Ed.:
The study looks closely at the budgets, spending, technology acquisition, web use and other practices by law libraries in the USA and Canada. Data is broken out by size and type of law library and for law libraries in the USA and Canada.
Just some of the study's many findings are that:
- 50% of libraries in the United States and 30.43% of those in Canada feel that the space allocated to their library will decrease in three years time.
- Libraries in the sample spent a mean of $3,462 on online databases per lawyer employed in 2011 and a maximum of $20,835. Libraries in the United States spent a mean of $3,883, while those in Canada spent about $2,647.
- University libraries spent a mean of $1,141,321 on salaries, more than twice the mean $487,504 spent by government and courthouse libraries and more than four times the $243,054 spent by law firm libraries.
- In 2011, 41.33% of libraries in the sample increased their overall library budget.
- Law firm librarians in the sample spend a mean of 9.03 staff hours per week in finding new clients for the firm.
- Materials budgets are expected to decline in real terms in 2012.
- Libraries in the sample spent a mean of $5,892 on salaries per lawyer in their organization.
- Print resources still accounted for 53.65% of the materials budget for the libraries in the sample though only 42.5% for law firm libraries.
- 3.8% of the libraries sampled used the cloud service DropBox for cloud computing services.
- Libraries with less than 100 lawyers in their organization spent a mean of $32,027 on scholarly journals.
- Print subscriptions to magazines and newspapers cost libraries in the sample a mean of $68,998 in 2011.
Friday Fun: Do's and Don'ts of Law School from the Class of 2012
From back when they were 1Ls. (This won the 2009 UCLA Law Revue Show's 1st place for best class video). [JH]
April 26, 2012
LCA Files Amicus Brief in Authors Guild Case Against the HathiTrust
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit between the Authors Guild and the HathiTrust. It comes at a time when there is a pending motion for judgment on the pleadings. The conduct of the parties is not in dispute. The real question is the interpretation of the Copyright Act as applied to that conduct. The Authors Guild lays out its argument on the basis of the language of §108 of the Act which defines some of the archival functions of a library. The Guild’s position is that the wholesale copying of works, even orphan works, falls outside the scope of the statute.
The LCA brief notes §108(f)(4) limits the application of the section in that it does not affect any fair use options for libraries. The brief also makes the point that another section of the Act, §504(c)(2) protects libraries from statutory or other damages in circumstances where they believe the infringing activity was fair use. The best the Guild may get is an order to stop copying and making available digital copies if this section applies.
Essentially, the Guild would not want any wholesale copying of orphan works to be considered fair use and is doing its best to argue that only the text of §108 applies to this case. The HathiTrust and LCA are still claiming fair use. I think the statutory language cited suggests fair use comes into play. Whether the copying is fair use is another question. I’m hoping that it is. We’ll see. Hints from the docket sheet suggest that a ruling will come sometime after May 20th. A copy of the LCA brief is here. [MG]
Duncan Law School and Its Students Receive a Stay of Execution
The Knoxville News is reporting that Duncan School of Law has been granted a five-year extension of its provisional accreditation by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. Provisional under the same terms when Duncan was original accredited in 2009 by the Board, namely, receiving ABA accreditation. To date that has not been forthcoming. Hopefully Duncan School of Law will be accredited by the ABA before the end of this five-year extension. If not, well some very good law librarians will be looking for new jobs.
The Board of Law Examiners extension means that Duncan Law grads can sit for the Tennessee state bar because the State does not require that exam takers must graduate from an ABA-approved school. Duncan Law's inaugural class will graduate in 2013. [JH]
Stepping Up to the Plate for AALL's Executive Board Elections
Assuming no additional candidates are added to the ballot under Section VI 2c of the AALL Bylaws (does anyone remember the last time that happened?), here's the slate of candidates selected by the Nominations Committee:
- Julie Pabarja, research services manager, DLA Piper, Chicago
- Holly M. Riccio, library/calendar manager of Northern California, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, San Francisco
- Joan M. Bellistri, law librarian, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Annapolis, Maryland
- Gail Warren, state law librarian, Virginia State Law Library, Richmond
Executive Board Members (two slots):
- Femi Cadmus, Edward Cornell law librarian and associate dean for library services, Cornell University Law Library, Ithaca, New York
- Kenneth J. Hirsh, director of the law library and information technology, University of Cincinnati College of Law, Robert S. Marx Law Library, Cincinnati
- Allen R. Moye, director of the law library and associate professor of law, DePaul University College of Law, Rinn Library, Chicago
- Roger Vicarius Skalbeck, associate law librarian, Georgetown University Law Library, Washington, D.C.
Congratulations to all. Hopefully the nominees have a fair amount of patience to wait for a pitch to hit out of the ballpark if they want to get our association "future ready" instead of accepting the traditional MO of solving today's problems tomorrow. I guess we will see where the candidates stand on the one issue that matters most -- the future of AALL -- if they address that with some specificity in their official statements for accepting their nominations when posted on AALLNET.
But, what the heck, at least this will be the first time since the turn of the century that a representative from the only market sector that matters to our major legal vendors will be elected Vice President/President-Elect.
Do note the informal structure of electing officers by market sector in this year's line-up of nominees by office. Institutionalizing this by way of a bylaws amendment that reforms the structure of the Executive Board would be far better. At least AALL by way of the Nominations Committee is trying to re-engage the many private sector law librarians who have just about given up on AALL.
The election will be held November 1 - November 29, 2012. The elected officers will begin their terms officially at the 2013 AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle. [JH]
Columbia Law's "Full Faith and Credit" Wins ATL's 2012 Law Revue Video Contest
"Sometimes, to win, you have to hurt some feelings. You have to step on some toes. You have to sell yourself to get what you want. The students of Columbia Law School know the truth of this. And that is why today, they stand as winners in our Fourth Annual Law Revue Video Contest. Their raunchy (and I mean raunchy, watch it again below) video bested George Washington’s Palsgraf effort," reported ATL's Elie Mystel earlier this week.
OK you have be warned. Go to 2012 Law Revue Video Contest Winner: It Was Close, and Nasty, and Full of Good Sex to view the video. [JH]
April 25, 2012
Supreme Court Action Today: Statutes of Limitations in Tax Cases, and Deference to Regulations
The Supreme Court issued one opinion this morning. It involves the interpretation of a tax statute, and to some extent, the amount of deference the Court is willing to give to an administrative interpretation. The case is United States v. Home Concrete & Supply LLC (11-139). The dispute in the case is straightforward. The statute covering deficiencies assessed against a taxpayer calls for a three year statute of limitations after the return is filed, and extends that to six years when the taxpayer omits from gross income an amount properly includable which is in excess of 25% of the gross income stated in the return. Home Concrete overstated the basis on sold property and consequently understated the gross income received from the sale in excess of 25%. The Commissioner of the IRS asserted the six year period. The Fourth Circuit held that the circumstances did not trigger the extended six year limitations period. The Supreme Court affirmed.
The decision would appear to be an easy one based on the case Colony, Inc. v. Commissioner, 357 U. S. 28 (1958) which interpreted the same statutory language in similar circumstances. The Colony case considered language from the 1939 Tax Code that was re-enacted verbatim in the 1954 Tax Code. The decision turned on the meaning of the word “omit,” which the Court distinguished from including a misstatement of the income. The result in Colony was that the extended statute of limitations did not come into play. Stare decisis compelled the Court to decide the immediate case with the same result.
That would have been the end of it, as Justice Scalia notes in his opinion concurring in the judgment and concurring in part, but for the section of the opinion delving on the effect of Chevron, U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). That decision said that a court should give deference to an agency’s interpretation of a regulation. A regulation exists in the CFR that favors the government in this case. Further, the Government argues that Court precedent in National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U. S. 967 (2005) states that the Chevron standard is trumped only when the statute in question is unambiguous. The Colony decision noted that the statute from the Tax Code is “not unambiguous.”
The Court turned that aside. The Court noted that its precedent in Chevron allowed for agencies to fill the statutory gaps through regulations. Even though the Court in Colony called the statute “not unambiguous,” that decision concluded that Congress had definitively spoken on the issue and there was no gap for the agency to fill.
Justice Breyer wrote for the majority, consisting of Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Thomas and Alito. Justice Scalia joined except for Part IV-C which is the section concerning deference to agency decisions. He filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Justice Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. [MG]
FDLP and Digital Gov Docs: Does "the emergence of a predominantly digital FDLP .. call the capacity of the statutory authorities GPO exercises into question"?
The Congressional Research Service reviews this matter in its recent Federal Depository Library Program: Issues for Congress report.
From the Introduction:
In the past half-century, information creation, distribution, retention, and preservation has expanded from a tangible, paper-based process to include digital processes managed largely through computerized information technologies. Today, government (and most other) information is typically “born digital,” or originated as a digital product such as a word processing document or spreadsheet. The material may then be produced in tangible, printed form, but is with greater frequency distributed by electronic means via website or other electronic dissemination technology, and retained for archival purposes in searchable electronic databases. In many cases, born digital material that previously appeared only in paper form is available only in digital form. In other cases, digital information, including websites, blogs, datasets, and audio or video content, is not intended for tangible distribution. Some materials are available in both tangible and digital forms.
The transition to digital information raises a number of issues that may be of interest to Congress. Some of the possible concerns focus on access to government information in an environment in which tangible and digital materials are available, and issues related to the security, and authentication of digital materials. Other areas of possible concern include the management and digitization of tangible materials, permanent retention and preservation of digital content, and costs associated with these activities. While issues related to the emergence of digital information have implications for a number of government programs and policies, this report discusses those implications as they affect FDLP. These concerns may be addressed in their own right, or in the context of user demand for FDLP information, for which there is no uniform metric over time, or comparatively among current FDLP institutions.
An Antitrust Primer with Commentary on the DOJ's eBook Price Fixing Lawsuit
"I am not in any way attempting to substitute for or contest anything in Jane’s piece, which explains the law and the issues in terms that really helped this layperson feel like a participant in the discussion. A number of things struck me as I read it, but there were three paragraphs Jane wrote that called for answers. I hope she and others will find this a useful addition to her mighty contribution to the discussion," writes Mike Shatzkin.
See Jane Litte's Antitrust Primer for the Publishing Price Fixing Lawsuit and Mike Shatzkin's Jane Litte explains the DoJ suit very well, and I have a couple of points to add. Both are highly recommended. [JH]
April 24, 2012
Supreme Court Action Today: Timeliness of a Habeas Petition
The Supreme Court issued one opinion today. The case is Wood v. Milyard (10-9995). The case concerns whether a court have the ability to consider timeliness of a habeas petition on its own initiative, and if so, whether certain representations made by the State affect this ability. The latter is affected by the facts of the case. Woods filed a habeas petition in 2008. The District Court initially dismissed the petition as untimely, but reconsidered and asked Colorado to respond to the issue of timeliness in the proceeding. The State filed an answer that read “Respondents will not challenge, but are not conceding, the timeliness of Wood’s [federal] habeas petition.” The District Court then dismissed certain claims on procedural grounds, and others on the merits. The Tenth Circuit on appeal held the petition time barred.
The Court considered its past precedent and concluded that district courts are permitted, but not obliged to consider, sua sponte, the timeliness of a state prisoner’s habeas petition. Past precedent analogized by the Court included waiver of exhaustion of remedies. It reversed the Tenth Circuit, affirming a court’s ability to spot issues not raised by the parties, because the issue of timeliness was in fact raised and, as a practical matter, waived by Colorado at the District Court. The case was remanded. Justice Ginsburg wrote the opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Scalia. Justice Thomas believes the precedent relied on by the Court was wrongly decided. [MG]
Belly Up to the Bar Legal Publishing Exec Because Greg Lambert is Buying IF...
Quoting an excerpt from a tweet by Greg Lambert. (OY, are we excerpting from tweets now!):
I'll buy a drink for the 1st person who applies this idea to legal pricing: http://is.gd/KiuszU
The link takes you to this Freakonomics post, A Bar With Changing Prices:
[The bar has] a drink price index ticker and they had them on TV’s all over the bar. It seemed that if a drink wasn’t ordered in a 15-minute time span the drink would go down a few cents.
Great idea. While I think Mr. Lambert is offering to pick up the tab out of his own pocket, I'm OK with this E-Board member seeking reimbursement from the AALL presidential discretionary fund. Oopsy daisy, my bad, possible AALL antitrustism implications. OK, LLB will pick up the evening's entire bar tab for the first large legal publisher's exec (sorry Jason Wilson, that would be way too easy!) to conclude a nationwide deal with Mr. Lambert, aka as representative of his employer, because he knows how and just as importantly where to conduct business in the real world successfully.
I wonder if this bar's pricing system was the inspiration behind WestMart's "Deal of the Day" sales promos. The Freakonomics post notes a fundamental incentive under this demand-driven pricing scheme that is applicable to the Shed West Era for print pricing. Heck it also would work for out-of-plan resource pricing for licensed online legal search services nationwide. Of course, there is an alternative demand-driven pricing mechanism legal publishers could implement, one law firms are familiar with for legal matters -- how about reverse auctions?
A view from Planet Htrae. Wouldn't a widge on AALL's homepage that links to either real time market data by way of tickers or reverse eBay-ing of vendor legal resources based on demand-driven pricing be just about the most, if not only, real world productive thing AALL's Executive Board vendor liaison could contribute to the vendor-institutional buyer "partnership"? No antitrustism issues!
In an entirely different market context, another 3 Geekster, Toby Brown, observes that there is "evidence of the growing hunger for a market pricing mechanism. I recall one client going to great efforts in its bidding process, with the stated goal of finding 'fair market value’ for any legal work it procured. [ ] But here’s the rub – this market information doesn’t exist."
Well now, AALL's hired help could lead the charge to reshape the Bizarro World's planet that the AALL-vendor "partnerhip" calls their home planet. How? By rounding off the shape edges of its cube shape to produce a circular one by way of a demand-driven feedback loop that reduces pricing instead of increasing prices for low demand products applying one or both of the above-mentioned "solution." That's how a competive market is supposed to operate, isn't it? Oh, my bad ... no such thing as "fair market value" on Htrae. Is that a shadowy grin?
In retrospect, perhaps I'm really only citing to Toby Brown's It’s Magic Button Time (Again) to remind myself just how open-ended LLB's offer to pick up the bar tab is.
After two or three beers with Greg, I will occasionally suggest I would give one of my children to have that kind of data on legal offerings. Although in my defense, I am somewhat vague as to which child.
Note well, there is no indication that those two 3 Geeksters closed their bar tab after just two or three beers!
Endnote. I've been waiting since Greg's April 13th tweet for a report that a legal publisher accepted his offer. Nope, none forthcoming (yet). Maybe the only issue remaining is the selection of the bar to conclude the deal. How about the D Street Bar & Grill in Encinitas, California? [JH]
April 23, 2012
BLaw Makes Its Push Into Law Schools
Bloomberg Law is making an aggressive push into the academic market. The offer to schools is interesting to say the least. Any school that subscribes to the BNA Premier Service will receive a significant discount on their subscription charge and free access to Bloomberg Law. That discount can be in tens of thousands of dollars for an acknowledged high quality legal database. What Bloomberg asks in return, is parity with the way other electronic legal research services are treated at law schools. This general statement is from the promotional literature provided by Bloomberg Law lays out what it wants from law schools:
- Provide Bloomberg Law with information necessary to register each eligible individual user.
- Incorporate Bloomberg Law into the first-year legal research and writing curriculum.
- Assist Bloomberg Law in providing ongoing training opportunities consistent with other full-service online legal research services.
- Market and advertise Bloomberg Law and training opportunities and resources to market Bloomberg Law consistent with other full-service online research providers.
- Permit Bloomberg Law to recruit student representatives.
Requirements listed above to be provided in a manner that is no less favorable to Bloomberg than the manner provided to other full-service online legal research services. The reduced pricing on your Bloomberg BNA contract is contingent upon maintaining this agreement with Bloomberg Law.
Some of these requirements as stated above are getting some buzz in the academic law library community. The first requirement has raised concerns about schools complying with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). I’ll just mention in passing that we sign up students to Lexis and Westlaw without any FERPA problems. Bloomberg has indicated that it would be flexible enough to deal with students and schools so that FERPA compliance is not an issue.
Incorporating Bloomberg Law into the first-year legal research and writing curriculum raises initial questions. This comes from the fact that schools vary greatly in how they position electronic legal research in the first year curriculum, or in law school generally. Bloomberg understands this. Company representatives came to my school last Thursday and clarified that the statement means a school should provide equal treatment to Bloomberg in the curriculum compared to Lexis and Westlaw. The qualifying statement immediately following the bullet points above sort of says that. I’d be more interested in seeing the actual contract for service as it will contain the real terms and obligations of the parties. In the meantime, anyone with doubts to the meaning of integration within the curriculum should ask a Bloomberg representative to fully explain this language.
A few other points came out at the meeting. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, Bloomberg is not providing free printing options for students and faculty, at least as of now. I’m not sure this is much of a problem. There are opportunities for students to save on the system and share with other Bloomberg Law users. My own personal feeling is that some students print excessively on Lexis and Westlaw simply because they can. There may be grumbling at a lack of this option, but I see the upside as less paper waste.
On the other hand, the students get something valuable that Lexis and Westlaw regularly deny them, and that is the ability to use their Bloomberg Law IDs for outside work without violating ethical rules. I had to stop the Bloomberg representative from continuing because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. To clarify, a student possessing a Bloomberg ID can use that ID for research if he or she is clerking for an outside firm or as a summer associate. I think this is a shrewd move on the part of Bloomberg. It promotes the use of the service for students in real life research situations and it gets the service some visibility in law offices that may be potential customers in the future. The ability to use the ID may make students more attractive as hires for outside work.
I’ve been using Bloomberg Law for almost two years. Personally, I like it a lot. It’s a different kind of research service. All the primary stuff is there, but the initial focus is on the news and current awareness. That probably comes from the experience on the business side. As a self-professed news junkie, it gives me a reason to log into Bloomberg Law regularly. I can’t say that the current Lexis and Westlaw interfaces encourage that. I like the fact that Bloomberg articles tend to include relevant documents as attachments when they are available. The business research materials are an added bonus in this age of information convergence.
The docket feature is a real alternative to PACER. We regularly retrieve documents from PACER for law review members and research assistants. Here’s an opportunity for self-help. The fact that Bloomberg is developing their own version of a state-based PACER system is attractive for some research situations. Other features include an electronic citator and a growing body of secondary sources. Bloomberg may not have the list of publications available on Lexis or Westlaw, but the purchase and integration of BNA shows the company is aggressive about competing in the electronic legal research market. I can only wonder what’s next.
Let me theorize for a moment. Everyone is going social. I’m surprised Lexis or Westlaw hasn’t developed the West Legal Directory or Martindale Hubbell into social sites where lawyers and students can hang out. Bloomberg could easily extend its current awareness emphasis to crowd-sourced interactive sharing. Either that or it could buy LinkedIn and integrate it into the service. As much as I decline to actively participate in social networking services online, I could easily see this evolving to give students and lawyers a reason to log into a research service beyond getting documents.
If any of this seems a bit too effusive, I’m drawn to the deal Bloomberg is offering compared to the benefits for students and the less expensive access to BNA. The substance is certainly there as a viable research service. Bloomberg is definitely is a change from Lexis and Westlaw. I hope the two competitors react to this. Neither company has leveraged their secondary publications side in deals as aggressively as Bloomberg has with BNA. There was a time when Lexis and Westlaw competed heavily with each other in the law school market. Now it’s just tee shirts and cups, if that, and I'm sure we all have plenty by now. I don’t know if Bloomberg is going to succeed in law schools. It sure will make the competition interesting. [MG]
BLaw's Acquisition of BNA as an Investment in Proven Human Capital
Few in the law library community would dispute the proposition that BNA has a very long track record for publishing some of the best damn legal resources in the industry and for having some of the best damn vendor account reps because they tend to focus on problem-solving with institutional buyers more than the quick sales (it helps to be salaried, not commission-based). One take-away from the Lou Andreozzi, Chairman of Bloomberg Law, interview during last Friday's LawLibCon podcast was BLaw's recognition that its acquisition of BNA was a strategic investment in proven human capital that was clearly needed for BLaw to become a major player. OK, "clearly needed to become..." may just be my opinion because my short-term memory is malfunctioning again. But I do recall that Lou indicated that BNA's proven human capital was one reason BLaw was willing to pay a premium for acquiring BNA. You can listen to the archived LawLibCon podcast here.
Lou tends to play his hand very close to his vest. For example, at a BLaw-hosted cocktail party in Philly last year, he said nothing but I could tell from the expression on his face that something was already up when I asked if I could get some sort of "finder's fee" should I be able to get the ball rolling for a successful deal. Hey, a little county law librarian whose most viable strategic objective for his retirement at the time was to be a Wall-Mart greeter at least has to try to to do something to save up some money to pay the cost of gas to get to Wall-Mart.
While we all tend to listen to some legal vendor executive types with a "ya whatever, dude" attitude, I don't believe this executive dude was expressing corporate pablum for the podcast's audience last Friday. More importantly, I have seen nothing so far to indicate that BLaw has been diluting the value of its investment in BNA's proven human capital. Let's hope that BLaw continues to recognize that not all editorial and sales workforces are equal in the very expensive professional legal services industry -- that the quality of legal resources produced ought not be reduced to a commodity and that the most productive relationship between a vendor and a buyer is one that offers constructive options in a problem-solving context.
Yes, I know, the acquisition of human capital sounds like some form of corporate slavery. At least it is not as fluffy an economic concept as the accounting concept that goodwill is. Remember when Thomson Reuters posted a fiscal year-end loss for 2011 because it took a $3 billion non-cash goodwill write-off to account for the decline in its financial services business? That's a case where human capital in TR's executive suites turned out to be a bad investment.
Endnote. In the podcast, one thing even my faulty short-term memory recalls is that Lou said BNA approached BLaw. Hey, was that before or after I starting expressing my 2-cents opinion on LLB that such a combination would be good for both BLaw and BNA? If after, I'm not claiming any credit whatsoever for this. Nor am I asking for something to supplement my now cancelled retirement plans to be a Wall-Mart greeter because apparently Wall-Mart has eliminated that position. But a round of drinks at a bar in Boston during AALL this summer would be nice. Just no Bud Light Lime, please! [JH]
Opening: Assistant Director for Research and Online Services/Assistant Professor of Law Library Services, Chase Law Library, Northern Kentucky University
The College of Law is looking for an individual with a strong background in teaching research and providing support to the students and faculty of the College of Law. A demonstrated enthusiasm and experience in promoting and embracing the use of technology to support scholarship and research are essential.
Responsibilities: Play a leading role in assisting the faculty and teaching the students of the College of Law to use cutting edge research tools. Promote faculty scholarship through the use of SSRN, Expresso and other online sources. Promote the library through various social media sources including Facebook and YouTube. Ideal candidates should be service-oriented and be able to provide research and instructional support to faculty and students in cooperation with the other librarians.
The Research & Online Services Librarian should be an effective teacher and be willing to teach in the first year legal research program as well as in the upper level Advanced Legal Research course. (Additional compensation is provided for teaching in these programs). This position is tenure track within the faculty of the law library.
- 3-5 years’ experience in a law library.
- M.L.S., M.L.I.S., or equivalent from ALA-accredited school
- J.D. degree from an accredited law school
- High quality communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
- Experience using computer-based research tools
- Understanding and familiarity with library related technology.
- Knowledge of web based and social networking applications, including HTML, relevant experience in Web 2.0 technologies, and some web design
- Some experience teaching legal research.
Salary: $60,000.00 - $64,000.00
Applying: Please send a cover letter, your resume, and the contact information of three references to: (Electronic submission is preferred).
Professor of Law Library Services
Assistant Director for Instruction and Outreach
NH207 – Law Library
Chase College of Law
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY 41099
Deadlines: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Preliminary screening of applicants will begin on May 1st, 2012.
It is the policy of Northern Kentucky University to be a complete affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and to provide equal employment opportunity on the basis of merit and without discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and status as a disabled veteran of the Vietnam Era. Upon a contingent offer of employment all applicants will be required to undergo a pre-employment criminal background check as mandated by state law.
April 22, 2012
Browsing On A Sunday: It's Earth Day, and Commentary on the Job Market for Lawyers
It’s Earth Day. What better way to observe it by observing the Earth from the International Space Station. NASA has prepared an approximately four minute view of the planet taken in time lapse by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the ISS. The music is annoying, but the player allows for turning off the sound. If anyone viewing the Earth from space wondered if life existed on the planet, the vast blotches of light coming from urban areas would answer that question. More videos are here.
An article in The Atlantic examines the effects of the recession on the practice and profits of Big Law, and it isn’t good. The article is called The Death Spiral of America’s Big Law Firms. The initial focus is on the instability of top firm Dewey & LeBouef. The article, however, goes on to document the decline of business for similar firms and how they have coped. It’s not pretty. Partners are moving; fees are dropping as firms start competing for clients; and clients are more cognizant of the costs for legal services. This means fewer jobs for law graduates. That conclusion is not exactly a secret at law schools.
One of the types of jobs post-recession, part-time document review attorney is an example of a service provided at a lower cost. It’s also a service that is fed by the glut of graduates willing to work part-time to pay off debts. Graduates who land full-time jobs at firms will now have to consider whether there is enough work for the firm to maintain its roster. This article from the Charlotte Observer suggests that the legal job market is better than it was several years ago, though nowhere near the days when a law graduate could expect general success. Those days are not coming back with the retrenchment in services and fees.
Georgetown University is becoming the second school to offer executive management classes as part of a post law school education opportunity. The program is designed to help lawyers and firms understand the changing business landscape for the practice of law. Harvard started to do something like this a while back. I’ve said this more than once: If schools have the expertise to offer this as post-graduation training, why can’t they offer it as part of the regular curriculum? Is something that may be fundamentally useful to graduates relegated to the premium package for law school? The Washington Post has more on Georgetown’s program.
In a side note, the new law school planned by Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne has received approval by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. Hope springs eternal. Will we see the day when late night television is graced with ads and infomercials for a law school degree similar to art and trade degrees?
The cost of applying to a law school is going up. The Law School Admission Council is hiking various fees, from taking the test ($160 up from $139), using the Credential Assembly fee ($155 up from $124), to sending scores to individual schools ($21 dollars up from $16). The price increases are a result of fewer students taking the exam. More on this in the Texas Lawyer. [MG]
Round-Up of Law Practitioner Blogs
San Francisco Business Lawyer Blog
Discusses business law topics such as business formation, corporations, intellectual property and other related topics in California. Published by Kabak Law Group.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyer Blog
Examines car accident cases, news, and related topics in Maryland. Published by John Cord Law.
Greenburgh Speeding Ticket Attorney Blog
Examines speeding ticket cases, news, and related topics in New York. Published by Tilem & Campbell.
Alabama Estate Planning Lawyer Blog
Discusses estate planning cases, news, and related topics such as elder law in Alabama. Published by Martinson & Beason
Defective Drug Lawyers Blog
Examines defective drug cases, news, and opinions nationwide. Published by Levin Simes.
Indianapolis Litigation Blog
Discusses litigation topics including injury cases, news, and opinions as well as diverse matters such as business law and family law in Indiana. Published by Cohen & Malad