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Everybody Researches….But Not Everybody Researches Well

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

It may only be March, but summer jobs are just around the corner.  Are you ready?  While you may have the job, the three new suits and your smart phone at hand, that is not all you need.  How confident are you about your legal research skills?

In a white paper titled “Research Skills for Lawyers and Law Students”  Thomson-West (now Thomson-Reuters, “parents” of Westlaw) shared the results of numerous roundtables with law firm and academic librarians, and the resulting forum in response to the conclusions regarding legal research and writing.  In response to the question “What are the most important research tasks (online or in print that entry level attorneys must know?” the overwhelming top response was “cost effective research.”   When asked “[w]hat research tasks should usually be conducted in books vs. online?” “secondary source research” was the clear first recommendation.

In addition to the research skills that you will need to know, there are electronic resources other than Westlaw and Lexis that many law offices are using.  Some offices subscribe to Loislaw while others, particularly small firms, may rely extensively on services provided by state bars such as Casemaker or Fastcase.  If all this seems a bit overwhelming, you might want to hone your research abilities by attending “Boot Camp for Your Legal Research Skills.”  This program, offered March 29, from 4:00 -7:00 p.m.,  is intended to make you a lean, mean, researching machine.  It covers how to start your research project, tips for keeping billable hours, how to research cost effectively, and will provide you with a chance to hear from and question two students who have been employed in various jobs requiring legal research.  The program will conclude with the opportunity to visit a number of different “stations” where you will be able to view practice materials, databases, and apps that can help you conquer the most rebellious research assignment.  To keep your strength up, food and drink will be served.

Least you think that we are trying to blackmail you into attending our program (alas, I was outvoted), there are ways that you can firm-up flabby research skills even if you cannot attend the “boot camp for your brain.”  First, take advantage of the “prepare to practice” type classes offered by database vendors.  Their classes will focus heavily on practice materials, and on how to do cost effective research.  You should aim at taking these classes soon, before exams absorb your mind and the reps go back to headquarters for the summer.   Second, even after exam you can take a little time to familiarize yourself with the research materials in the areas of law that your firm focuses upon.  Even if it is too late to take a class in corporations, it is not to late to skim the Nutshell.  Also, make an appointment with one of our librarians.  Whether you are seeking to learn more about a topic area, or about the resources in a particular state, we will be able to help you filter the vast quantity of materials out there and select the best.  And third,  do not forget that the best research can be rendered ineffective by poor writing.  Make sure that you always keep the words “clear and concise” in mind when submitting your research results.  Good luck and good research.

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Sail on!

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it.  But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”  This is a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes.  When I read this recently, it suddenly hit me that this sentiment not only applies to our individual lives, but also to the Professional Center Library.

Here in the PCL, we have recently been ‘soul searching’ as to what we are, and what we need to become for the future.  Often to drift or lie at anchor is much easier and more comfortable.  However, seeing the future as a ‘digital’ world, we have decided to point our ship in that direction.  But to reach our destination, we must first put up our sails and begin our journey.  As such, we are making strides to create for our patrons a library to meet future needs.  Sometimes determining what the future needs are for a digital library can be a bit tumultuous, as we are battered to and fro by the winds of change, opinion and budget.    Change is difficult in any organization, but can often be even more difficult in a staid subject such as law, which is rooted in books, hard copy and papers. But still we sail on toward our goal.  Opinion can vary from person to person, which puts a different spin on every idea, but the biggest battle to fight is usually budget.   We have all been hit by the slow economy, but a library’s budget is always a challenge, even in a stable economy.  But still we sail on toward acquiring more digital resources for our patrons, creating opportunities and spaces for digital research, and teaching our patrons how best to use these new resources.

So, sail on we must, lest we drift and become lost in a future digital world!

New Books

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

This semester the Professional Center Library has acquired many books on a wide array of legal topics and beyond, ranging from works on copyright law to a review of American colonial legislation. The Library’s newest books are regularly put on display in the rotunda, so check there often to find out what’s new and notable.

Following is a list of  just some of our new titles so far this semester.  All these books are located in the stacks on the library’s first and ground floors. Search the library catalog for more information on these titles or to look for other books or topics.

TITLE CALL#
Innocent spouse : a memoir / Carol Ross Joynt. CT275.J926 A3 2011
Rights displaced : forced returns of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians from Western Europe to Kosovo / [Wanda Troszczynska-van Genderen] DR2087.6.R43 T76 2010
Whites of their eyes : the Tea Party’s revolution and the battle over American history / Jill Lepore. E175.9 .L46 2010
Abraham Lincoln, Esq. : the legal career of America’s greatest president / edited by Roger Billings and Frank J. Williams. E457.2 .A1447 2010
End of straight supremacy : realizing gay liberation / Shannon Gilreath. HQ76.3.U6 G55 2012
Justice perverted : sex offender law, psychology, and public policy / Charles Patrick Ewing. HV6556 .E95 2011
Moving toward the future of policing / Gregory F. Treverton … [et al.]. HV7936.E7 M68 2011
Review of American colonial legislation by the King in council, by Elmer Beecher Russell. JK57.P7 R8 1915a
Why the law is so perverse / Leo Katz. K290 .K38 2011
Virtual justice : the new laws of online worlds / Greg Lastowka. K564.C6 L374 2010
Life before birth : the moral and legal status of embryos and fetuses / Bonnie Steinbock. K642 .S74 2011
Intellectual property and competition law : new frontiers / edited by Steven Anderman, Ariel Ezrachi. K1401 .I55273 2011
Justifying intellectual property / Robert P. Merges. K1401 .M475 2011
Moral rights : principles, practice and new technology / Mira T. Sundara Rajan. K1430 .S864 2011
Access to medicine in the global economy : international agreements on patents and related rights / Cynthia M. Ho. K1519.D78 H6 2011
Right to life and the value of life : orientations in law, politics and ethics / edited by Jon Yorke. K3252 .R54 2010
Climate change law and policy : EU and US approaches / Cinnamon Pin¿¿on Carlarne. K3585.5 .C37 2010
Religion, race, rights : landmarks in the history of modern Anglo-American law / Eve Darian-Smith. KD671 .D37 2010
Canadian tort law / Allen M. Linden and Bruce Feldthusen. KE1232.A7 L56 2011
Breaking the devil’s pact : the battle to free the Teamsters from the mob / James B. Jacobs and Kerry T. Cooperman. KF228.U5 J327 2011
Effective legal writing : for law students and lawyers / by Gertrude Block. KF250 .B56 1999
Legal writing and other lawyering skills / by Nancy L. Schultz, Louis J. Sirico, Jr. KF250 .S38 2004
Best practices report on the use of adjunct faculty / American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. KF272 .A44 2011
Careers in animal law : welfare, protection, and advocacy / Yolanda Eisenstein. KF299.A55 E37 2011
Moving diversity forward : how to go from well-meaning to well-doing / [Verna A. Myers]. KF300 .M94 2011
Mastering professional responsibility / Grace M. Giesel. KF306 .G547 2009
Lawyer’s guide to increasing revenue / Arthur G. Greene. KF316.5 .G74 2011
Associate as rainmaker : building your business brain / David King Keller. KF316.5 .K45 2011
Woman lawyer : the trials of Clara Foltz / Barbara Babcock. KF368.F585 B33 2011
Autobiography of an execution / David R. Dow. KF373.D635 A3 2010
Mastering elder law / Ralph C. Brashier. KF390.A4 B73 2010
Law is a white dog : how legal rituals make and unmake persons / Colin Dayan. KF465 .D39 2011
Children’s rights under the law / Samuel M. Davis. KF479 .D385 2011
Inside the castle : law and the family in 20th century America / Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman. KF505 .G765 2011
Premarital agreements : drafting and negotiation / Linda J. Ravdin. KF529 .R38 2011
Military divorce handbook : a practical guide to representing military personnel and their families / Mark E. Sullivan. KF535 .S85 2011
Adoption law handbook : practice, resources, and forms for family law professionals / Jennifer Fairfax. KF545 .F35 2011
Insider trading / William K.S. Wang, Marc I. Steinberg. KF1073.I5 W362 2010
Ducktown smoke : the fight over one of the South’s greatest environmental disasters / Duncan Maysilles. KF1298 .M39 2011
For whom the whistle blows : advancing corporate compliance and integrity efforts in the era of Dodd-Frank / Michael D. Greenberg [rapporteur]. KF1422.A75 F67 2011
Fundamentals of securities regulation / Louis Loss, Joel Seligman, Troy Paredes. KF1439 .L68 2011
Small business start-up kit / by Peri H. Pakroo ; edited by Marcia Stewart. KF1659 .P35 2010
Intellectual property law answer book, 2011-12 / Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP ; [Keith R. Hummel … et al., authors]. KF2979 .I59 2011
Clean tech intellectual property : eco-marks, green patents and green innovation / Eric L. Lane. KF2979 .L359 2011
Infringement nation : copyright 2.0 and you / John Tehranian. KF2994 .T44 2011
American Bar Association’s legal guide to video game development / edited by Ross Dannenberg. KF3024.C6 A94 2011
Creative license : the law and culture of digital sampling / Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola ; with Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson. KF3035 .M38 2011
Impact of Health Care Reform on employers : an immediate look at how health care legislation will affect employers nationwide. KF3605.A328201 A2 2011
Congress shall make no law : the First Amendment, unprotected expression, and the Supreme Court / David M. O’Brien ; [foreword by Ronald K.L. Collins]. KF4772 .O27 2010
Immigration law sourcebook : a compendium immigration-related laws and policy documents. KF4819.85 .I4674 2011
Money, politics, and the Constitution : beyond Citizens United / Monica Youn, editor. KF4920 .M67 2011
Terror in the balance : security, liberty, and the courts / Eric A. Posner, Adrian Vermeule. KF5060 .P67 2007
Scorpions : the battles and triumphs of FDR’s great Supreme Court justices / Noah Feldman. KF8744 .F45 2010
Mastering the craft of trial advocacy : empowering the jury / Michael E. Tigar & Jane B. Tigar. KF8915 .T54 2006b
Forensic accounting deskbook : a practical guide to financial investigation and analysis for family lawyers / Miles Mason. KF8968.15 .M37 2011
States of passion : law, identity, and the social construction of desire / Yvonne Zylan. KF9325 .Z85 2011
United States and torture : interrogation, incarceration, and abuse / edited by Marjorie Cohn. KF9430 .U55 2011
Law of counterrorism / Lynne Zusman, editor. KF9430 .Z87 2011
Case weights for federal defender organizations / Nicholas M. Pace … [et al.]. KF9646 .C37 2011
Federal criminal discovery / Robert M. Cary, Craig D. Singer, Simon A. Latcovich. KF9650 .C37 2011
Medical liability in Europe A comparison of selected jurisdictions. KJC1674 .M43 2011
Judicial creativity at the international criminal tribunals / edited by Shane Darcy and Joseph Powderly. KZ7230 .J83 2010
Aggression and International Criminal Law / [edited by] Donja de Ruiter. KZ7284 .A34 2011
What are stem cells? : definitions at the intersection of science and politics / John Lynch. QH588.S83 L96 2011
Bioethics, public moral argument, and social responsibility / edited by Nancy M.P. King and Michael J. Hyde. R725.5 .B523 2012

Beyond the Law: Pro Bono Is More Than Legal Services

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

One might  think that with all the studying and work that there is to do at the Wake Forest School of Law, that people would not have time for anything else.  This is certainly not the case.  Not only do people at WFU Law make the time to do other things, they use this time to help others.  With the Thanksgiving season coming up fast, there are many examples of this  pro bono spirit.

Three of our student organizations, SBABLSA, and VALOR have joined together to spearhead the law school’s annual food drive.  Not only do participants get to enjoy “immunity” from being called on in class, they aid their class in competing for free coffee and donuts and, win or lose, all participants assist in providing food for the Winston-Salem  Samaritan Inn Soup Kitchen.  If you have forgotten to bring your canned goods to school, and you have to face a tough class, check the Professional Center Library’s Twitter account.   It MIGHT be a day that the Library is providing cans of food to students who know the secret password.

VALOR  also conducted a veteran’s awareness week that culminated on Saturday the 12th,  in the First Annual Veteran’s Day 5K run. Those who would like to know more take a look at http://valor.law.wfu.edu/category/event/.   It was a brisk but beautiful day, in addition to an enthusiastic group of students, faculty and staff, and even members of the public, turned out to support the event.

Prof. Irwin-Smiler is congratulated after completing the 5K.

Organizers

Not only do we have wonderful students, our staff has been doing a lot for those in need.  Our own Officer “D” and his wife are co-founders of Kids for Cancer, a foundation that raises money to support families whose children are battling cancer.  Motivated by their son Vinnie,who is fighting his own battle against cancer, they understand the many needs families might have.  The foundation tries to provide what is most needed, be it gas cards or help with medical bills to smaller shows of support in the form of  meals or toys.  The foundation also provides emotional support and helps parent to keep working and hoping for a cure.  Right now the Foundation is competing in the Pepsi Refresh Project, to win $50,000 for a down payment on a “Safe Haven Beach Home” for the use of the cancer patients and their families.  In order to win, the Foundation’s project must remain in the top 10 of the list of $50,000 projects, everyday during the month of November.  They were fluctuating between #9 and #11, and have recently risen to around #4.  You can help keep the votes high, particularly during that busy Thanksgiving weekend, simply by texting or with a couple of mouse clicks.

Those who frequent the 3rd floor lounge may have noticed a box for book donations.  One of our recent graduates, Shane Werley,  is now owner of  a used-book store, and has offered to sell  the books that we provide and donate 100% of the profits to the Kids of Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Ed Raliski is coordinating this effort, and has said to expect to see more of these boxes appear after Thanksgiving.  As you clean out your offices, desks, lockers, and book-bags, consider making a donation to a good cause while giving yourself the gift of having that much less to pack up at the end of the year.

What do you do with old books?

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

What do you do with old books? Leave them in a stack beside your bed? Prop up a table leg? Do you send them to Goodwill, or sell them to Edward McKay?

As great as actual books are (as opposed to e-books), there is often an issue of what to do with them when you are finished with them. The absolute worst books to dispose of are probably old text books, and especially old LAW books! We here in the Professional Center Library have been faced with this problem more and more, as many more titles become available on-line. As we choose to access titles electronically, we are having to withdraw titles from the shelves, but then we must decide what to do with them….send them to the dump? For the excessive amount of books we do have to withdraw, we have recently partnered with the Z. Smith Reynolds Library to have our withdrawn books shipped to the Wilmington Paper Company where they are recycled. We are very proud to have found something environmentally responsible to do with materials no longer needed. Additionally we recycle our all of our ‘technotrash’ (CDs, printer cartridges, microfiche, microfilm, etc) by filling bins supplied to us by the Office of Sustainability.

On the Wake Forest campus, we have an Office of Sustainability whose mission is to “encourage and facilitate the collaborative efforts of faculty, students, and staff to generate knowledge, acquire skills, develop values, and initiate practices that contribute to a sustainable, high quality of life on campus, in the Triad, and across the globe.” We are excited to be able to participate in this sustainability effort here in the Professional Center Library. In an effort to be environmentally conscious, we have come up with some creative ideas on what to do with our used books. This week, we have created a display of ideas surrounding what one can do with various discarded library materials, ie. books, microfilm, compact discs, etc. Did you ever think of creating a planner from an old book? How about making a package bow from microfilm, or perhaps a gift bag from an old book jacket? These are just a few of the items that will be on display for the next several weeks in the Professional Center Library rotunda. The entire library staff has been participating in an effort to develop ways to use our withdrawn library material. Additionally, toward the end of the month, we will be creating a Christmas tree from our withdrawn books that we hope you find fun, beautiful, and festive!

So stop by the rotunda in the Professional Center Library. We hope you will be inspired to come up with creative ways to use your old books to help save our planet!

Follow Us @WFUPCL

July 8, 2011 2 comments

Twitter At-A-Glance

PCL Library on the ‘Eve of Construction’*

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

There will be some significant changes to the PCL library this summer.  New offices are being constructed in the library that will help to tide the library and law school over until we can commence complete renovations when the Business School relocates to its new building.  Current construction will begin on June 6th and will continue through the end of July. During construction Professor Eggert and Ms. Hobbs will be relocating to the third floor library classroom.  All the reference librarians will have moved to the new offices by the time classes begin and Ms. Hobbs will remain behind the reference desk, in one of the former reference librarian offices.

*For those of you under 40 click here for a video of the actual “Eve of Destruction.”  (warning, includes images of violence & hate crimes).

Alternative lyrics have been included below for the entertainment or scorn of all ages.

The eastern world it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

The upper floors, they are a’changing
Walls movin’, furniture rearranging
Files in boxes but not for foldin’
You don’t want to move, but what’s that lamp you’re holdin’
And look, there goes the brand new mouldling,
But you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
An, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of construction.
Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?

Can’t you feel the fears that I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
Some of the study carrels, they are going away.
The one that you had last year, you cannot have today,
There’s no way in retreating, from unassigned seating,
Take a look around you students, there’s seating for you all.
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of construction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah a buzz saw goes, sounds like it is rotatin’
Then I think to try some contemplatin’
I notice it is for soundproofing that they’re insulatin’
And drop cloths alone can’t keep the air clean
or keep things quiet over the sounds of the machine
I hear a banging hammer, it could be a balpean
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of construction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next-door-neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction. mmm, no, no.
you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

Think of all the construction there is on the campus
Then take a look around in the PCL
Ah, you may leave here for a three months space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The outlines and the exams, the pride and disgrace
You attend class and take notes but on your brain it leaves no trace,
You skipped your 9 o’clock class and now you can’t show your face,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
you don’t believe we’re on the eve of construction. mmm, no, no.
you don’t believe we’re on the eve of construction.

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