The Supreme Court 2015 Term

United_states_supreme_court_buildingIt’s October, which means the Supreme Court of the United States is back in business. The Court began hearing oral arguments on  Monday, October 5th. The following are a few helpful resources for those interested in keeping up with the latest term of the Court.

For those interested in learning more about the Court, the Law Library has several books on the Court:

C-SPAN’s Historic Supreme Court Decisions

By: Zach Dalton


C-Span is starting a new series for the fall season entitled 12 Historic Supreme Court Decisions. This series will outline the decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States in each of these landmark cases and go into detail about the parties involved in each case. The series will also delve into the lawyers and justices who were central to these important cases. The show will attempt to put human faces to these decisions which often fade to just words on a page for law students. Episodes start with Marbury on 5 October, 2015 at 9 P.M. To get more information on the series please visit the 12 Historic Supreme Court Decisions website.

The decisions covered will be (click for more information on each case):

Marbury v. Madison

Scott v. Sandford

The Slaughter-house Cases

Lochner v. New York

Schenck v. United States

Korematsu v. United States

Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer

Brown v. Board of Education

Mapp v. Ohio

Baker v. Carr

Miranda v. Arizona

Roe v. Wade

The Joys of Public Transportation

by John Evans

image by flickr user sean_marshall

image by flickr user sean_marshall

By now we have all lived in Atlanta for at least a month and a half, and even those who are new have learned one thing: traffic in Atlanta is rough. Coming in for those 9 a.m. classes or leaving around 5 p.m. is guaranteed to cause frustration when we get behind the wheel. I have even heard rumors that it has taken some people over an hour to get out of T-deck before even dealing with the traffic on the road. Fortunately for me, I am always at home relaxing an hour after I leave the building. What is my secret? MARTA.

For those of you who don’t know, our new building is right beside the Peachtree Center MARTA station.  From the front doors of the building, all you have to do is turn right, cross over John Wesley Dobbs, walk across the Peachtree Center pavilion, and you’re there. After taking what might be the longest escalator in the world down to the platform, you are on the train and on your way. Even better, most stations that are not close to downtown have free daily parking if you want to finish your commute in your car, and all stations have bus routes that could take you home. For people living further out, there are connecting services with Gwinnett County and Cobb Community Transit.

MARTA is also easy on the budget, which as law students most of us could use. If you are on campus 5 days a week with an average 4 weeks in a month, parking with a budget card will cost you $70 a month. A monthly MARTA pass is only $61 a month if you buy the pass from GSU before the 15th of the previous month. Added to this savings less gas used and less wear on your car, and we are talking serious money.

Those commutes stuck in traffic can be stressful. When you hop on MARTA, you can watch movies or catch up on social media on your phone, read a book for fun, or if you’re really ambitious get some of those cases read.  I’ll admit that occasionally there are some interesting people on MARTA, but this really is more the exception then the rule, and most rides are completed in peace.

Now, MARTA is not for everyone. Some people don’t live near a bus or train station, some people have worked their schedules around so that they avoid rush hour traffic, and others may need a car downtown for another purpose but for many of us, use of Atlanta’s public transit system may be a good way to save time and money while reducing our daily stress.

Kwikboost Lockers

pl-GeorgiaStateLaw-Rend1.2By Zach Dalton

Georgia State Law School is introducing an exciting new service for students. Soon we will have 6 Kwikboost charging lockers installed throughout the law school. These charging lockers allow students to put their mobile device in one of the eight compartments per locker, set a combination, and leave their device plugged in and charging while they go about their busy lives.

The combination locks work similar to a valuables safe in a hotel. The user sets a one-time combination when they lock the door to the compartment and enter that combination when they come back to retrieve their item. The lock will reset between each user and are easy to program with a number combination.

The charging station is manufactured by the same company as the Westlaw charging station currently located on the 5th floor of the Law Library, so you know that it will work well. The lockers will charge students phones or tablets quickly and safely.

Strategies for managing your time in the library

student reading a book in a study carrel in the law library.

Student studying in the law library.

We are approaching the time of the semester where law students, especially first years, begin to feel the time crunch.  In addition to balancing or juggling demands on your time from outside of law school, law school places its own demands on your time—read for class, brief cases, outline, study for exams, meet with study groups, etc.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you make the best use of your time in the library.

  • Plan to study when you are freshest—some of us are morning people, others are night owls. Try to do the most mentally taxing work when you are freshest and your concentration levels are highest.
  • Set aside some time for individual study and some time for group study. Consider the way that you best learn material—flash cards, outlines, flow charts, working through hypotheticals out loud, etc. If you learn best making outlines or flow charts by yourself, spend your time accordingly.  On the other hand, if going through flash cards with a partner, reserve a study room and get to it!
  • Treat law school as if it were your full-time job. (Note:  This is harder if you are in the part-time program and already have a full-time job.)  Plan your ‘work week’ around your classes, so that you can maximize the amount of time you have on campus to focus on school.
  • Come to the library between classes. Make use of the opportunity to study between your 9:00 and 2:00 classes by coming to the library for some quiet.  Take advantage of the view from the 6th floor terrace when you need to refresh yourself, it’s only steps away from our designated quiet study area.
  • Book your study room ahead of time. Plan for your study group to meet regularly at the same time.  You can reserve your room in advance of picking up the key at the circulation desk and you will spend less time in line and more time with your group.
  • Chunk your studying. Our brains work best when we give them breaks—study for up to 50 minutes and then take a brief break before switching to a new topic or task.
  • Use the Exam Archive wisely. Many College of Law professors make sample past exams available for student use through the Exam Archive.  Visit InsideLaw to view these exams.  Some professors even include sample answers!

If you would like to consult library resources about time management, we have a few titles you might find interesting.  Singletasking:  Get More Done—One Thing at a Time and Time Management are two online resources you may find helpful.

Law Community Honors Nancy Johnson at Teal Trot

Photo Courtesy of Bill Johnson

Photo Courtesy of Bill Johnson

Members of the Georgia State Law community gathered at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 12 to honor former law library director Nancy Johnson at the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance‘s annual Teal Trot 5K. In addition to walking and running at the event, Team Nancy and its supporters raised over $5,000 to support GOCA’s mission to educate women and their families about ovarian cancer. The 18 members of Team Nancy joined over 1,000 other participants in the southeast’s largest ovarian cancer awareness event, which raised nearly $125,000 in total for educational and outreach programs.

Photo Courtesy of Kris Niedringhaus

Photo Courtesy of Kris Niedringhaus

Nancy Johnson (1949-2014) was associate dean for library and information services and professor of law emerita, working tirelessly for Georgia State from 1980 until her retirement in 2012. She passed away on Dec. 13, 2014 after a seven year battle with ovarian cancer.


Discovering New Food and Coffee Places Near the Law School

by Murtaza Khwaja

image by Flickr user angel_e

image by Flickr user angel_e

Starting off a new semester can be rough, stressful, and extremely time consuming. Despite all the pizza, sandwiches, and other free goodies all the clubs throw our way, it is hard to eat well and healthy. Thankfully, the new law school building is located in the heart of downtown right by some of Atlanta’s tastiest and best restaurants, so eating right should never be one of the things stressing you out.

Here’s just a short list of some of my favorite food joints by the new law building:

  • Aviva by Kameel
    • The top rated Atlanta restaurant and the #17 highest ranked in America Yelp! And for good reason. You will get some of the most delicious Mediterranean food you have ever eaten prepared by one of the most helpful, friendly, and polite serving staffs.
    • Kameel is always around with a big smile and extremely good-natured personality. Be prepared to enjoy nothing but the freshest ingredients and, of course, complimentary watermelon to finish your meal.
  • Brickstone Café
    • Quick, diverse, and delicious, Brickstone never fails to satisfy my hunger or palate. With extremely tasty hot or cold sandwiches, soups, pastas, and more at a very affordable price, Brickstone is definitely one of my top choices for places to eat.
  • Baraka Schwarma
    • Tucked away on Walton Street, your prototypical hole in the wall Mediterranean food but with a twist. Delicious schwarmas and wraps AND a 10% student discount to boot.
  • Dua Vietnamese
    • As soon as you step in you will understand immediately why Dua appears on my list. From the moment you open the door you are greeted with a to-die-for aroma. Lots of flavor and spice but definitely a go-to if you are in the mood for Asian food.
  • Benihana’s
    • Hibachi x25! Located on the bottom floor of Peachtree Center some of the best hibachi you can find in Atlanta!
  • Tin Lizzy’s
    • A tastier, healthier, and more trendy version of Chipotle. Located at the top of Peachtree Center, they have great food and also a very chill atmosphere.
  • Corner Bakery
    • All the way down Peachtree but well worth the walk.

And  don’t worry, I know all of us need our daily (at minimum) caffeine fix, so here’s just a short some of the best coffee spots close by:

  • Ebrik
    • Hands down some of the finest coffee in Atlanta. Not only are the drinks made just right using some of the best coffee grounds in the city, but it is also owned and managed by the friendliest of brothers who will ALWAYS remember a face and a name. Go there once and see why everyone keeps going back. A very chill and relaxed vibe inside make Ebrik a great place to study as well.
  • Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts
    • If you are in a hurry or “just want to sell out,” in the words of an anonymous Research Methods professor, these two classics are just across the street.
  • Caribou
    • A further walk than either of the others since it’s inside Peachtree Center but provides a happy medium of selling out and still getting some (not much) indie coffee cred.

Here our links to some suggestions made by your very own Georgia State College of Law faculty and their locations on Google Maps:

But if none of those suggestions catch your fancy, here’s a more complete list of all the potential food options close by:

Restaurants on Broad Street

  • Anatolia Cafe and Hookah Lounge
  • Dua Vietnamaese Noodle Soup
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • Ginseng Café
  • Best Cajun Asian Restaurant
  • Hot & Spicy Wings
  • Mama Mia Pizza
  • Smoothie King
  • Ali Baba’s
  • Brickstone Café
  • Reuben’s Deli
  • Naan Stop
  • Rosa’s Pizza

Restaurants in Peachtree Center

  • Aviva by Kameel
  • Benihana’s
  • Gigney’s Pub
  • Gus’ Famous Chicken
  • Hsu’s Gourmet Chinese Restaurant
  • Metro Café Diner
  • Tin Lizzy’s
  • Michon’s BBQ Bistro
  • Au Ban Pain
  • Bistro 7
  • Café Momo
  • Caribou Coffee
  • Checkers
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Dairy Queen
  • Farmer’s Basket
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Great American Cookies
  • Great Wraps
  • GW Cheesesteaks
  • Noodle Café
  • Roman Delight Pizza
  • Willy’s Mexicana Grill
  • Yami Yami Sushi
  • GLF Café
  • Malibu Wings
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • My Friend’s Place
  • Planet Smoothie
  • Subway
  • Tropical Cajun
  • Turmeric Indian Bistro

Other restaurants close by:

  • Subway
  • Rising Roll Gourmet
  • Quiznos (20% off!)
  • Alma Cocina
  • Hard Rock Café