We’re Hiring!

Law_Library_Logo_colorDo you want to work for the Law Library? We hope so, because we’re hiring GRAs for this summer!

Positions Available
The following positions will be filled:

Eligibility
Law Library GRA positions are open to all GSU law students who have completed their first two semesters of classes. Part-time students are eligible. Students applying for Summer positions must be enrolled in at least 3 hours of Summer classes. Students may apply for both type of GRA position, but cannot be hired for both positions at the same time.

Submission
Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Reference GRA applicants: Email one document which includes a 1) cover letter, 2) current resume, and 3) completed availability form to Austin Martin Williams (austin@gsu.edu). Include your last name in the file name.

Research GRA applicants: Email one document which includes a 1) cover letter and 2) current resume to Pam Brannon (pbrannon@gsu.edu). Include your last name in the file name.

Fair Use Week

ARL-FairUseWeek-Logo-Blue-300x232This week, the Law Library and University Library are celebrating national Fair Use Week. This annual celebration highlights the doctrine of fair use, which is one of the exceptions of U.S. copyright law that allows teachers, students, and researchers to use copyright materials without permission from the copyright holder.

In celebration of Fair Use Week, the Law Library will be holding a program on fair use in the classroom.

  • Program Title: What kinds of content can I use in my course? Working within the law and BOR Policy.
  • Speaker: Gwen Spratt of Georgia State University’s Legal Affairs Office
  • Location & Time: Thursday, February 26, from 3 – 4 p.m. in Room 170 of the Urban Life Building.

For more information on fair use, see the following:

PILA Auction

DSC_0191The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) will hold its annual auction at the Georgia Freight Depot on Saturday, Feburary 28th. The auction raises money to provide scholarships to students who take public interest internships. Auctions items typically include tickets to events, free nights at a beach or mountain house, and dinner with a faculty member.

As has been a tradition for many years now, the Law Library will put one study room up for auction. A group of up to six students will have the chance to win the reservation rights to a study room for the rest of the semester.

Abraham Lincoln, Attorney at Law

flickr photo by roxweb

flickr photo by roxweb

Back on this day in 1908, the 16th President of the United States of America was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. He is also well known for the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. But did you know that he was a lawyer in Illinois prior to becoming President?

At 29, he was admitted to the Illinois Bar (Richards 16). At the time of his admittance, he was in his second term in the Illinois legislature (Richard 19). Lincoln would go on to try a variety of cases, many in front of the Supreme Court of Illinois (Richards 19, 22). He also tried many cases in federal trial courts latter in his practice (Frank 7). Lincoln would eventually argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States (Frank 79). The case was Lewis v. Lewis, 48 U.S. 776 (1849), which was cited in footnotes of a case as recently as 1999, Rogers v. U.S., 180 F.3d 349 (1999). You can  locate the transcript of Lewis v. Lewis using Making of Modern Law: US Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978, located on the Law Library’s Database List.

One of Lincoln’s most well known cases was People v. Williams “Duff” Armstrong (1958), also known as the “Almanac Trial” (Steiner 46). A witness in the Almanac Trial testified that he was able to see Armstrong strike the fatal blow “because the moon was high overhead” (Stiener 46). Mark Steiner states that Lincoln “helped secure an acquittal for his client by producing an almanac for the year that showed the moon was near the horizon at that time of night” (Steiner 46).

For further information about the life of Lincoln and his background as a lawyer, consult the following sources:

 

Keeping up with the 2015 Georgia General Assembly

401px-Georgia-state-capitol-domeWe are already six days into the 2015 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. Even if you don’t have time to venture over to the assembly during this session, you can still keep track of legislation and proceedings using a couple few free and commercial resources.

Legislation Tracking

  • Georgia General Assembly Legislation Advanced Search (FREE): The legislation advanced search will allow users to locate legislation from the current session and past sessions of the general assembly. Once you locate a bill or resolution of interest, click on the number, and you will find information on who sponsored the bill, which committees reviewed the legislation, the first reader summary, the status history, and current and previous versions of the bill.
  • Composite Status Sheets (FREE): The sheets provide a consolidated listing of the status of all bills and resolutions introduced during the session.
  • State Bar Legislative Program (FREE): The State Bar of Georgia’s Legislative Program provides a weekly update on the assembly, as well as information on legislative matters of interest to the Bar or affecting the practice of law.
  • WestlawNext Georgia Bill Tracking (Commercial): This database provides summaries and status information concerning current and recently-ended Georgia legislation. A WestlawNext username and password is required to access this database.
  • Lexis Advance GA Bill Tracking Reports (Commercial): This database contains a summary and legislative chronology of all pending Georgia legislation in the current legislative session. A Lexis Advance username and password is required to access this database.

Viewing Floor Proceedings

 

Legal Writing Resources

flickr photo by Garry Wilmore

flickr photo by Garry Wilmore

In addition to exams, the end of a law school semester also signals the time when research projects and papers are due. The best legal writers are clear, thorough, and concise. The following are a list of resources that will help you become a more effective legal writer.

Blogs & Articles

Exercises 

GSU Law Library Research Guides 

Executive Orders

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flickr photo by Scott Ableman

Interest in executive orders has risen over the past few weeks in light of President Obama’s move to use an executive order to grant around 5 million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation (CNN).

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an executive order as “An order issued by or on behalf of the President, intended to direct or instruct the actions of executive agencies or government officials, or to set policies for the executive branch to follow” (9th Edition). Vivian Chu and Todd Garvey note in their Congressional Research Service Report, Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation, that executive orders are one of various instruments, including presidential memoranda and presidential proclamations, that the President can use to implement policy (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1).

Chu and Garvey explain in their report that “executive orders are generally directed to, and govern actions by, Government officials and agencies” (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1). Furthermore, executive orders generally only have an indirect effect on private individuals (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1).

For more information on the authority of the President to issue executive orders, limitations, and revocation and modification of executive orders, read Chu and Gravey’s CRS Report.

You can locate executive orders for online using the following resources:

  • Whitehouse.gov: The current administration’s executive orders.
  • National Archives: Executive orders from 1937 (Franklin D. Roosevelt) – Present (Barack Obama).