August 18, 2012
Rai's Access to Legal Information in the Digital Age
The 2012 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians receipent Priya Rai's powerpoint for her AALL Boston 2012 talk entitled Access to Legal Information in the Digital Age: A Comparative Study of Electronic Commercial Databases and Public Domain Resources in Law is available for download from the FCIL SIS website. Rai is the Deputy Librarian In-Charge at the Justice T.P.S. Chawla Library, National Law University Delhi, India. [JH]
August 17, 2012
Law Prof as Innovator of Online Legal Transactional Skills Training Platform
Drexel Law prof Karl Okamoto's LawMeet teaches lawyering skills by having students post videos advising "clients" on hypothetical transactional scenarios. The students then receive feedback on their performances through a voting system. The top-rated performances are reviewed by experienced transactional lawyers in a competitive setting.
It has been reported that several law firms are using the online training platform with junior associates and faculty at 48 law schools expressed interest in testing LawMeet exercises after Okamoto demonstrated LawMeets at AALS this year. Hopefully interest in this platform will expanding legal skills offerings for law school courses and in-house law firm training with additional topical competitions for transactional lawyering. Perhaps someday LawMeet execises will offer law school course credit and CLE credit hours as standalone transaction-based legal skills offerings.
LawMeets was launched by two-year old start-up ApprenNet. Okamoto's venture recently received a $500,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to expand LawMeet. For more see Drexel Law Prof to Use $500K Grant to Expand LawMeets, an Online Lawyering Skills Platform and Philadelphia Inquirer Features Professor Karl Okamoto's Online Experiential Learning Platform. [JH]
Friday Fun: Welcome to Law School, Class of 2015
Hat tip to Law is Cool. [JH]
ATL's Elie Mystal Can Now Perform Marriages
Just '[l]ike a mayor. Or a ship’s captain." For details, see Above the Law Can Now Legally Perform Weddings: Now Tell Me How Marriage Is A Sacred Institution. I'm wondering if ATL's business plan will add an online wedding chapel soon. [JH]
August 16, 2012
Apple, Publishers, Others File Objections to Settlement in e-Book Case
Apple, the Author’s Guild, Penguin, and Macmillan filed their comments with the Court on the proposed settlement between the Justice Department and settling publishers in the case over alleged collusion in e-book pricing. They are obviously against it.
Apple argues that the settlement is premature. Forcing a termination of its contracts with the settling publishers would harm its business if the company prevailed in the suit. Apple could not easily reinstate those contracts should that happen. The Court should delay the settlement until the main issue is settled. Otherwise Apple may be forced to appeal the settlement before the main issue is resolved. In any event, Apple does not have the market power claimed by the government, being third behind Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Penguin argues that there are no economic studies supplied by the government that support the government’s contention that the agreements caused e-book prices to rise. They cite comments to the effect that e-book prices have gone down. Moreover, it’s a complicated market out there with no uniform pricing. Amazon, for example, priced e-books higher than $9.99 for titles with hard cover pricing over $20.
Macmillan argues that the settlement fails to take into account its effects on other parts of the book market. The publisher complains that the settlement could hand Amazon a monopoly through the use of predatory pricing. It also dismisses the government’s claim that Amazon’s conduct does not rise to that level. The strategy here and in the other filings is to make this case about Amazon rather than the conduct between Apple and the publishers, especially since Amazon is not a party in the proceedings.
The brief by the Authors Guild in particular takes that tack. It states that giving unfettered pricing power to Amazon will destroy brick and mortar bookstores. These are the showrooms for literature where people naturally discover books they will buy. All the Guild wants is a vibrant marketplace. The settlement would not make that happen.
I can understand Apple’s point. What happens if the company wins? As to the others, it seems to me they are more interested in preserving the form of an existing market through artificial controls such as these contracts. The antitrust laws at their heart are to benefit consumers rather than producers. Other than claiming there are no studies to support the government’s position, that point is minimized in their filings.
(Well) I'm back in Blacks.
Aprroximately two weeks ago, I was instructing our incoming law students on how to read a judicial opinion. I implored them to keep a law dictionary within reach when reading case law, and to actually use it when they come upon a term of which they did not understand the meaning. I next went onto show them how to access some legal dictionaries online. Foolishly, I logged into WestlawNext (WLN), typed "Blacks" in the search box, and chose to enter the Blacks Law Dictionary database. At that moment, my foolishness was revealed to me. DENIED. I did not have access to Blacks Law Dictionary on WLN.
I tend to use either my personal hardcover version of Blacks that I keep in my office or my free Iphone law dicitonary app (sorry, Brian Garner, but I am not paying $54.99 for Blacks on my Iphone when I have sufficient free alternatives), so I don't usually try to access an online law dictionary through commercial sources, but I believe it to be improtant to provide ready access to ready reference material as useful and important as a law dictionary. If Ballentine's Law Dictionary has migrated to Lexis Advance, I cannot find it, and trying to locate it on LexisNexis is commonly a hassle for me (maybe I'm missing something).
I can recall a number of occassions that I tried to use Blacks Law Dictionary on WLN and was denied. So, yeah, the egg was on my face that afternoon. Luckily, I was able to somewhat save face by introducing th students to LII's Wex. Thanks, Cornell.
The good news is that I learned that Blacks Law Dictionary would soon be accessible via WLN. And when I checked it today, it was there. My first search in it: res judicata. (I've always just liked the way it sounds.) It is now on my favorites list and so next time the matter arises, I won't have to dodge the imaginary rotten tomato coming my way. So thanks for finally getting that worked out, West. Although I tend to quote my favorite philisophy professor, Arnold Rothstein, when he would say, "Better never than late," I will leave you with the more familair, "Better late than never." I'm just pleased that Blacks in back. (DCW)
Faking It Beyond Fake: Yeah, [AALL] really wants you, they really want you, they really do
Because an LLB reader thought "Doll Parts" was a better musical selection than "Make Me Over" for AALL's huge gaping hole of credibility playlist, here it is. No doubt the request was made because our association continues to demonstrate by its actions when contrasted with its rhetoric that it "fake[s] it so real, [it is] beyond fake." [JH]
Industry Trade Association Endorses EPUB 3
The Book Industry Study Group has endorsed EPUB 3 as the accepted and preferrred standard for eBooks. See BISG Policy Statement POL-1201: Endorsement of EPUB 3. Hat tip to No Shelf Required. [JH]
eBook Business Model Report Published by ALA's Digital Content & Libraries Working Group
Quoting from the introduction to "Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries" (Aug. 8, 2012):
In response to urgent member concerns, the Digital Content & Libraries Working Group of the American Library Association (ALA), in close collaboration with ALA’s president and executive director, has focused on influencing the largest (“Big 6”) trade publishers to sell ebooks to libraries on reasonable terms. During the past months, the Working Group has developed considerable knowledge about the ebook market, publishers, and the new challenges posed by library ebook lending to inform its discussions with publishers and distributors. However, the Working Group is well aware that information about this topic is highly sought in the library community generally, and so this report was prepared to share some of what we have learned.
From ALA's perspective as a library association advocating for libraries and their patrons, three basic attributes should be included in every publisher's business model for eBooks:
- Inclusion of all titles: All ebook titles available for sale to the public should also be available to libraries.
- Enduring rights: Libraries should have the option to effectively own the ebooks they purchase, including the right to transfer them to another delivery platform and to continue to lend them indefinitely.
- Integration: Libraries need access to metadata and management tools provided by publishers to enhance the discovery of ebooks.
For more, including a download link to the report, see ALA Releases "Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries" on ALA's E-content blog. [JH]
August 15, 2012
Second Circuit Allows Appeal of Class Certification in Google Book Scanning Case
The Second Circuit has added another element of complexity to the Google book scanning case. Google had objected to the class certification of the plaintiffs in the case, arguing that the Author’s Guild was not representative of the class. Judge Chin granted certification earlier in the year despite that argument. The Appeals Court granted Google’s motion for leave to appeal that decision yesterday. Bloomberg BNA has a write-up on the action with a link to the order.
The more interesting point of the analysis raised by BNA and the San Jose Mercury News is whether Google has a good case against certifcation. Both sources state that while the class of authors may have commonality between them, it’s possible their grievances with Google may not be so common enough as to sustain a class action. Law changed when the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v Dukes.
The Supreme Court overturned class action status to women who alleged discrimination in Wal-Mart’s employment and promotion decisions, ruling that the degree of discrimination was too variable to apply a remedy across the board to each class member. The only alternative was anyone who was aggrieved had to sue individually, and if successful, receive a remedy that was unique to that situation. The Court was not sympathetic to the argument that the ruling would lead to an explosion of litigation, or the alternative that viable plaintiffs may not sue at all. I have an image of Justice Scalia singing Que Sera, Sera as the response to that one.
It’s possible for Google to raise similar issues with the class members represented by the Guild. Are all authors affected in the same way by the scanning project to the point where a common remedy (in this case $750 per book) is applicable to the class? The Guild is using this case to get a ruling that supports its view that any copying for almost any purpose is a violation of the copyright law and to limit any fair use arguments to the contrary. Are all authors in the class similarly impacted by Google? In certifying the class, Judge Chin said that the fair use analysis issue does not require individual representation in order to be resolved. True, but what about the remedy? The briefs on appeal should be very interesting in addressing this issue. One additional point is that the Second Circuit did not stay the lower court proceeding pending the appeal. [MG]
The Future of the PLL Summit
Here is the one thing I can tell you: Nothing has been decided yet and nothing has been finalized. I have read a lot lately about how AALL is taking over the PLL Summit and that it is a "hostile" takeover. Yet everything I have read has been short on details as to just what this "hostile" takeover involves. I can tell you that PLL leadership and AALL leadership are in discussion. The discussion is continuing and nothing has been finally decided. I believe that we should let the PLL leaders we elected continue to talk with AALL to see if this can be resolved in a mutually beneficial way.
Seattle will be the perfect venue to try something new as few East Coast librarians would be willing to come just for a day long summit.
I also want to address Joe Hodnicki's statement that "Contributions to the Summit were not under the direct control of AALL" made in his blog post on Tuesday, August 14th. It is my understanding that all contributions to the Summit went through AALL. PLL is a Special Interest Section existing within AALL and as such has no ability to have vendors make direct contributions to it.
So until such time as I hear concrete plans for the summit or for the lack thereof I will wait before making any judgments.
Learning, Connecting, Growing by Rethinking Your Value From Here (Boston 2012) to Eternity (Seattle 2013)
The Legal Division of SLA has been running an occasional series entitled Profiles in Law Librarianship for over a year now. Just a heads-up in case you are thinking about abandoning the AALL mother ship for SLA. One profile features Marilyn Bromley. Bromley is employed by a vendor but as BNA's in-house Library Director. I doubt anyone is strongly opposed to vendor-employed law librarians practicing our profession being AALL members eligible for election to a national office. Bromley, for example, was elected to serve as an SLA Director, 2012-2014.
However, I think there is a serious issue of keeping a formal arms-length relationship with vendors in AALL if vendor reps like managers, account reps and the like become full members with all membership rights. Do note, even Bromley makes an obligatory reference to BNA products in her SLA profile. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the few remaining library relations staffers still employed by our vendors were the first vendor employees directed to get more intimately involved in official AALL business as full members. As Betsy McKenzie writes:
I can see very easily that if I worked for one of these outfits and then I were on a committee at AALL, and my boss came to me to lay some pressure on me about an outcome, I might feel a lot of concern about my job and my family! How much more would this affect our association if the position were on the executive board?
Of course, ITLA and the other ALA shouldn't be overlooked by private sector law librarians seeking educational and professional development opportunities specific to their interests. Since AALL has officially declared that our profession has changed and has decided it needs to try something "new" by way of top-down management of programming and controlling the all important sponsorship funding, it might be time to "learn, connect, grow" somewhere else by "rethink[ing] your value" in belonging to an association.
No one is going to be concerned if as in when non-law library practitioner vendor reps start exerting their influence by being appointed members to AMPC by the E-Board, right? No rank-and-file oversight to committee appointments, no problem. And then there is CRIV. Of course, if the E-Board appoints vendor reps to CRIV it won't need to retain a vendor liaison on AALL's payroll.
Membership losses, who cares? Perhaps the E-Board is thinking it can persuade vendors to sign up all their remaining field reps, inside account managers, marketing gurus and booth bunnys to join AALL. Vendor costs could be offset by one less customer appreciation event at annual meetings by each vendor.
Hat tip to 3 Geekster Greg Lambert's FYI tweet about the most recent profile featuring John DiGilio, National Manager of Research Services for Reed Smith, LLP. DiGilio is listed as an AALL member in the current directory. So is Bromley. [JH]
August 14, 2012
Google Changes Search To De-Emphasize Claimed Copyright Violations In Results
Google announced a change to its search algorithm a few days ago. A post on Google’s Inside Search Blog puts it this way:
Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.
The RIAA and the MPAA, among others, applauded the move. I have mixed feelings about it. Copyright holders have leaned on Google for years to remove links to pirated content from search results. I can only guess that the motivation for Google to finally do something like this is the fact that it needs content from these very same providers to fill out offerings in the Google Play store. It makes sense as a business move to promote legal content partners over pirated material. Google is, after all, a public company responsible to stockholders.
On the other hand, it leaves Google open to what I call the “think of the children” pitch. Groups with enough (or think they have enough) clout may pressure Google to edit its results further based on moral, political or social considerations. It’s obviously too soon for this kind of fallout, but the door is open for others to leverage their causes. Google isn’t eliminating the questionable links under its new search standard, though it is placing them far enough down in search results that they will likely not be seen. How many people go past the first few pages of search results? Dedicated pirates may not care. The net effect is that search is no longer neutral, if it ever was at all. [MG]
“You Better Watch Out … For What You Wish For”: Was the PLL Summit Just Too Damn Successful?
During Denver 20-whenever, I was enjoying a cup of coffee with two vendor folks when the proverbial question was asked. “How’s the annual meeting going for you?” I just shrugged my shoulders and replied back that I wished AALL would let the private, academic and government SIS groups program their own tracks. In a nutshell, the vendor rely was that would be a good idea because their marketing campaigns segmented AALL’s institutional buyers into those three market sectors.
We all know or should know that it is the purchasing power of the private sector law libraries that drives product development because the private sector generates by far the most revenue for our vendors. The “proof” is easy to see. Vendors have been very willing to help PLL sponsor its pre-conference summits because the audience has been primarily private sector law librarians. Summit attendance has grown every year. At Boston 2012, registration reached 300, with some 90% representing law firms and legal departments. Some law librarians only attended the pre-conference Saturday Summit. There is no doubt that the Summit's popularity with attendees and vendors has been because the agenda was relevant, particularly compared to the regular annual meeting programming.
The above summary provides several points for arguing that the three-year pre-conference PLL Summit track record was just too damn successful for AALL officialdom to take.
- Sponsorship dollars flowed into the PLL Summit by vendors who knew this was their most significant revenue base.
- Sponsorship revenue for the Summit bled off some sponsorship contributions to AALL’s annual meeting.
- Contributions to the Summit were not under the direct control of AALL for expending on activities other than the Summitt.
- Attendance proved PLL’s Summits have become very popular because they have offered an agenda that was relevant to attendees.
Let’s add one additional point. While session moderators were usually law librarians, in general Summit session speakers were not. Like OMG dude, an entire day of programming including multiple professional development opportunities scheduled at the same time, from non-law librarians that law librarians wanted to attend and were (1) willing to pay an separate registration fee for it while sticking around for the regular annual meeting or (2) willing to make a special trip to just attend the PLL Summit.
Is this the back-story of AMPC’s hostile takeover of the PLL Summit? You decide. Not one major vendor I talked to at Boston 2012 likes the unilaterally implemented changes. Some were quite frank in their opposition. Certainly most PLL members are opposed to this.
I’m thinking pissing off roughly 40% of AALL members and the vendors who are willing to pony up sponsorship funds for the Summit may someday knock some sense into the punch-drunk AALL decider-ers. Hopefully, AALL will toss in the towel by institutionalizing multi-day track scheduling with relevant agendas controlled by the market-segmented food groups (AKA as institutional SISs) of our vendors someday. This track-system cetainly could and should extend beyond institutional market sectors to include SIS groups that use vendor-supplied products and services, like OPACs if not topics covered in private, academic and government sector libraries.
If not or until then, I’m thinking the pre-conference PLL Summit probably won’t be “history” despite AALL officialdom’s collective embarrassment of its success. I don’t know about Seattle 2013 but my hunch is some sort of pre-conference non-workshop-like re-branded “PLL Workshops” will reappear no later than 2014.
Why Attend Seattle 2013? The best reason to attend Seattle 2013 might be the tourist attractions for Grunge Rock fans. Who knows, perhaps after Boston’s psychedelic love-in, TR Legal will book Courtney Love for next year’s “West Party.” The folks in the Land of 10,000 Invoices have plenty of tattered and torn flannel shirts, right?
AALL has a long history of ignoring membership interests. It also has a well-established tradition of kissing vendor ass. Luckily this is an instance where the latter can promote membership interests because this issue not merely specific to the private sector. (Loop back up the Denver 20-whenever portion of this post.)
Wouldn’t you think AALL decider-ers would want to build on the success of PLL’s Summit as a model for annual meeting programming? Watch for backpeddling from AALL without, of course, any explicit admission that this latest collective screw-up was produced by insulated group-think.
Is it time for Make Me Over? [JH]
August 13, 2012
GSU Wins Again In E-Reserve Case
Judge Orinda D. Evans issued an order on Friday addressing the plaintiff publishers’ requests for relief in the Georgia State University electronic reserve copyright case. The publishers filed the proposed order and memorandum of law 20 days after the Court had found the University infringed on 5 of the 126 works at issue. They had sought strict limits on the size of an excerpt that may be used:
4. constitute a decidedly small excerpt in accordance with the following criteria:
a. if from a book that is not divided into chapters or contains fewer than ten chapters and for which a license for digital academic use is available, do not exceed ten (10) percent of the pages in the Work; or
b. if from a book that contains ten or more chapters and for which a license for digital academic use is available, do not exceed one (1) chapter; or
c. if, after a reasonable investigation that shall at a minimum include consulting both the copyright owner and its authorized agent (such as Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.), GSU determines that the digital excerpt cannot be licensed or purchased for use on GSU Electronic Course Systems, and that the excerpt is sufficiently small so as not to cause actual or potential market harm to the Work;
Judge Evans rejected this as well as the request that the publishers have access to various GSU systems for the next three years to audit compliance. Her rationale is that the number of infringements was few in relation to the claims presented and that GSU had a good faith belief that the use of the infringing works was fair use. Rather, the Judge ordered declarative relief:
Access to excerpts shall be limited by a passcode or password to only the students enrolled in the course, and then only for the term of the course. Students must be prohibited by stated policy from distributing copies to others. They must be reminded of the limitations of the copyright laws each time they access excerpts on ERES. Each chapter or the excerpt must fill a demonstrated, legitimate purpose in the course curriculum and must be narrowly tailored to accomplish that purpose.
Judge Evans noted that the use of 18.52 percent of a musical score by Franz Liszt where electronic permissions were not available did pass a fair use analysis, though that amount was likely close to the upper limit. Her point was fair use analysis had to be made on a case by case method. If the publishers were seeking something akin to the CONTU guidelines, Judge Evans did not deliver. The publishers’ proposed order reserved the right to appeal any denial of its terms. I would expect the 11th Circuit will be docketing this case in the very near future. It looks good, so far, for GSU. The Court found that the University was entitled to attorneys’ fees as the prevailing party in the case. That should frost the plaintiffs and the Copyright Clearance Center which motivated the claims against GSU and funded the litigation.
More commentary is available from the Chronicle of Higher Education and Kevin Smith’s blog post at Duke University. Both have links to Judge Evans’ Order. The plaintiffs' rejected order and memorandum is available through the following links: Download GSU 426-1 (memo) and Download GSU 426-2 (order). [MG]
Snake Oil Pitches from the Land of 10,000 Invoices: Playing "Guess the Title" for TR Legal's format switcheroos
Remember when we received official word via a "Dear Colleagues" letter about the 450 unidentified titles that met TR Legal's format switheroo critera? "[P]rint products that exist in one- or two-volume sets, and are updated only once or twice annually, are good candidates for conversion to pamphlet." Lately, I've been playing "quess the title" with the few remaining TR Legal "loose-leaf" secondary legal works in our little county law library collection. The one-volume Consulting Agreements Deskbook loose-leaf was just switched to pamphlet. According to the "Dear Valued Subscriber" letter [Download the full text of the generic letter, if you want], annotated:
There are several benefits that you, as a customer, will see in moving to the pamphlet format, First, it is easier to locate materials in pamphlets, as opposed to loose-leaf binders. You will no longer need to flip back and forth between the main content and the supplement to verify whether the material you are reading is current. [Ed. note: That's because part of the supplementation was nothing more than a pocket part that was three-hole punched for insertation at the end of the volume.] Similarly, it is easier to keep pamphlets up-to-date. Simply replace your existing pamphlet with the latest version. You no longer need to worry about filing or inserting new chapters and supplements into a binder. [Ed. note: OMG yes. Oh wait, we aren't talking about filing loose-leaf pages CCH-style. Filing a chunck of "new" chapter pages and the three-hole punched pocket-parts isn't something to really, really worry about.] Lastly, pamphlets are more convenient to carry and take up less shelf space than most loose-leaf binders. [Ed. note: And when you kill your standing order to "buy new" in print in a couple of years, you won't have to check how out-of-date it is because the year will be displayed on the cover and/or spine. Of course, should someone try to license the ProView edition via OnePassYourAss and then you cancel the library e-lending unfriendly ProView edition because authorization of that purchase wasn't verified by the folks in the Land of 10,000 Invoices Licenses, then "valued customers" or "dear colleagues" will be screwed.]
So ... in the game of Guess the Title. I got the Consulting Agreements Deskbook right and now I will kill my standing order for it. But I guessed wrong about the two-volume loose-leaf set of O'Neal's Close Corporations and LLCs: Law and Practice this update merry-go-round. Not only did we receive the usual itty-bitty supplementation pages, we also received new binders as replacements for the existing binders! What does that say about the snake oil pitches from TR Legal's format switheroo-ers?
Oh well, my hunch is that after TR Legal's "valued subscribers" file all the existing content plus the wafer-thin current supplementation pages into the new binders, they will receive in TR Legal's format merry-go-round a generic pamphlet switheroo letter for O'Neal's Close Corporations and LLCs when it has been scheduled for ProView-ing. Hopefully the folks in the Land of 10,000 Invoices will speed up production because my hurry-up defense is to kill my standing order after receiving the title in its first year-stamped "new ed." pamphlet format.
One, two, one, two, three, four. "Heard trouble come to your town" so step right up for snake oil because "it's been around a long, long time." [JH]
August 12, 2012
In a Penn State of Mind
For the last few years on my travels between New Jersey and Tennessee, I had found myself passing by Penn State Law's Carlisle campus, always wanting to pop in for a visit. While I enjoy visiting places of historic signifigance, I delight in visiting law schools and law libraries. This summer, on our way home from visiting our families in New Jersey, my wife, son and I took the opportunity to visit the historic Dickinson School of Law in Carlise. PA where I was able to take in some history while visiting a law school. And I must say that second to experiencing my 99 year old grandmother meeting her new great-grandson, our visit was my highlight of the trip (traveling with infants is not easy).
It is not a large law school, but, for its size (and perhaps in part because of its size), I found the Carlisle campus to be delightful. Throughout much the building, the interior is illuminated by natural light, in part due to sunlight entering the building through the courtyard at the center of the building; the classrooms hold state-of-the-art technology (not unlike the Duncan School of Law's own classroom technology); and the rooftop is covered (purposefully, I believe - I hope) with vegetation. Moreover, traces of the original architecture provide a historic flair to the modern feel of the building's recent renovations.
I found the law library's collection development policy to make sense. Relying heavily on West's National Reporter System's content in DVD, only a few reporters can be found in print. (Oddly, they have a more extensive collection of case digests than reporters; but it will likely only be a matter of time before but a few remain.) The law journal print collection reflects a reliance on Hein and ILP. While a microform room exists, it is tucked away. The reference materials in print are of a manageable size. And a collection of rare books are promintantly displayed. I also was pleased to see that the State of Pennsylvania took sufficient sides to maintain a paper trail of its legislative record.
To be honest, it was one of my two favorite law library tours to date. This one included a couple of ghost stories too.
So when news came that the end of the Carlise campus might be near, it was almost saddening. Fortunately, the news was misreported. In the face of financial pressures created by declining applications, Penn State is confornted with a few options in regards to the Carlise. In an internal memo from Dean McConnaughay three options were proposed:
- Stay the course and maintain full programs at both campuses.
- Eliminate the first-year program in Carlisle and require all first-year students to study in State College, and promote the Carlisle campus to upper-level law students
- Require all law students to spend one or more semesters of the three-year program in State College
If the school decides not to stay the course, finding that a duplicative first year program is too cost prohibitive, I would suggest to eliminate the first year program in Carlise (though I doubt anyone of import cares what I think). One of the perks of having a campus in Carlise is the fact that it is so close to the state capital, and being so close to a state capital offers far more internship, externship and employment opportunities than the more distant and somewhat more remote Univerity Park campus. And few things provide better training in a profession like law than real life experience. In any event, the original Dickinson School of Law made a positive impression on me, and I see it as a glimmer in light in the darkness of the university's recent history. (DCW)
A Global Environmental Impact Assessment: The Happy Planet Index
From the New Economics Foundation's executive summary for The Happy Planet Index:
There is a growing global consensus that we need new measures of progress. It is critical that these measures clearly reflect what we value – something the current approach fails to do.
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) measures what matters. It tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future, i.e. sustainable well-being for all.
The third global HPI report reveals that this is largely still an unhappy planet – with both high and low-income countries facing many challenges on their way to meeting this same overall goal. But it also demonstrates that good lives do not have to cost the Earth – that the countries where well-being is highest are not always the ones that have the biggest environmental impact.
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]