Researching the Past

image by flickr user hpnl

image by flickr user hpnl

Have you ever wanted to travel through time? To see big events in our history as they happened? Unfortunately, no one seems to have invented a time machine yet (still), but you can still get a glimpse of the past using our new America’s Historical Newspapers database.

The oldest available issue is from a newspaper called Publick Occurrences, a Boston publication. The issue was published nearly 324 years ago, on September 24, 1960. In the issue, a smallpox outbreak is reported, there is a house fire, Native Americans have a Day of Thanksgiving, and more.

The archive covers newspapers through December 31, 1922, so many of the major events our our nation’s history, from Independence through World War I and the start of the Roaring Twenties, can be found.

Advice From Law Students About Law School

image by flickr user rianap

image by flickr user rianap

Law students at Georgia State University are awesome. And one of the ways they show it is by helping their fellow law students. They’ve shared a lot of good advice about law school on our blog in the past few years, and we wanted to highlight just a bit of it for our incoming 1Ls.

Thank you once again to our law students for offering their advice, and good luck to all new 1Ls!

Get Ready for Class With Georgia’s Tax Free Weekend

image by flickr user rwp-roger

image by flickr user rwp-roger

Classes don’t start until August 18, but it’s not too soon to be thinking about books, clothes, and school supplies. Like many other states, Georgia offers a “sales tax holiday” before the start of school each Fall. This year’s sales holiday is this Friday and Saturday, August 1 & 2.

Per Title 48 of the OCGA, the following items are exempt from sales tax during the holiday:

  • “Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100.00 or less per item;
  • Computers, computer components, and prewritten computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000.00 or less per item; and
  • School supplies, school art supplies, school computer supplies, and school instructional materials purchased for noncommercial use with a sales price of $20.00 or less per item.”

What does that mean for you as a law student? Well, for starters, this is a great time to stock up on multiple colors of highlighters, get ready to suit up for OCI, and decide on your preferred tech for note-taking. And besides, every penny you save now is one you don’t have to pay back on your student loans later, right?

Library Hours for Remainder of Summer

The library’s hours will be affected by several law school events over the next few weeks. Below are the hours when we’ll be open until the start of Fall semester.

image by flickr user tanelteemusk

image by flickr user tanelteemusk

Exams (July 18-28)

Library Hours Reference Hours Public Hours
Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Closed
Friday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed
Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Closed
Sunday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Closed Closed

Intersession (July 29 – August 9)

Library Hours Reference Hours Public Hours
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed Closed

 Orientation (August 10-17)

Library Hours Reference Hours Public Hours
Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Closed
Friday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed
Saturday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Closed
Sunday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Closed Closed

Rowberry Co-Authors New Nutshell

rowberry_nutshellGSU Law professor Ryan Rowberry and Sara Bronin from the University of Connecticut have co-authored a new book in West’s popular Nutshell seriesHistoric Preservation Law in a Nutshell provides lawyers, preservation professionals, and others with a succinct introduction to this emerging area of law.

According to the publisher:

Historic Preservation in a Nutshell provides the first-ever in-depth summary of historic preservation law within its local, state, tribal, federal, and international contexts. Historic Preservation is a burgeoning area of law that includes aspects of property, land use, environmental, constitutional, cultural resources, international, and Native American law. This book covers the primary federal statutes, and many facets of state statutes, dealing with the protection and preservation of historic resources. It also includes key topics like the designation process, federal agency obligations, local regulation, takings and other constitutional concerns, and real estate development issues.

Professor Rowberry joined the GSU Law faculty in 2011. He teaches property and environmental law classes as well as courses on legal history. Congratulations, Ryan!

Fast and Easy Food for Exams

Image by Nillerdk

Image by Nillerdk

Probably one of the last things you want to be thinking about during exams is planning out your next meal. But if you’d like to try to live on something besides fast food and coffee during the next 10 days, here are some recipes for (relatively) quick and easy (and possibly even healthy!) meals to keep you from starving away.


One of the few nice things about taking exams at this time of year is that there is so much more fresh produce readily and cheaply available. Chop, toss, and go.


Can you go wrong with a quick pot of pasta? And you’re definitely not limited to just tomato sauce either.


Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t mean you want to be thinking about it first thing either.

Bon appétit and good luck on your exams!


Summer Reading Suggestions From Your Faculty

So, the end of the spring semester is fast approaching, and close on its heels is the summer. Whether you’re taking classes or completing an externship or just plan to spend your break as far away from the law school as possible, you may be looking for some ways to fill your free time. Here to help, as always, is your faculty to offer some summer reading suggestions.

Windsor Adams

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

McCreight, a former litigator, takes a lawyerly approach to this suspenseful novel, which follows a mother’s search to find out what really happened to her 15-year-old daughter.  The mother suspects her daughter’s death was not in fact the suicide it appeared to be.

Jennifer Chiovaro

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and former VP at Google, takes on entrenched norms about women in the workforce – both external and internal sources. She calls on both genders to stand up for change, but particularly encourages women to “sit at the table” and pursue their goals, both professional and personal, with “gusto.”

Clark Cunningham

I highly recommend Jonathan Mahler’s The Challenge: Hamdan v Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power

From the back jacket:
The Challenge is a rare achievement — a book as involving as it is important. The characters (real people, powerfully sketched) and the narrative (gripping as a movie) make Jonathan Mahler’s book impossible to put down …. The Challenge is the definitive insider’s account of how a law professor and a military lawyer won a historic Supreme Court case against military commissions established by the commander in chief.”

William Edmundson

I recommend three quick, compelling, inexpensive, and easy-to-find novels. Whether or not you are predisposed to sympathize with professors, you will be affected by Stoner, John Williams’s account of one academic’s life. “Gunner” is a term law students use to deride classmates who volunteer too readily in class. Whether or not you intend to “gun” your way through law school, you should enjoy James Salter’s The Hunters, which is about real gunners (fighter pilots). Sibling rivalry and the way we treat animals are two main themes of J.M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello. (Aging is another, but don’t let that turn you away.) “The Lives of Animals,” two early chapters written in lecture form, made me think again about how to live.

Anne Emanuel

For relaxation with a wonderful writer, I highly recommend Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. It’s a classic (albeit an easy read classic) and it’s available free on Kindle.

Wendy Hensel

I would recommend The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. It’s a funny, easy-to-read novel that explores a divorce case through the eyes of a young associate.

Neil Kinkopf

Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons. This is a classic illustration of the role of a good lawyer. It is also an illustration of the limits that a good lawyer and a good person should never transgress.

Timothy Kuhner

I recommend Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This promises to be one of the most important books ever on the relationship between capitalism and democracy. While it’s not exactly light reading, it does promise to stimulate your thoughts on the global systems within which law operates. And for anyone concerned by inequality and interested in the arguments for renewed democratic participation, this book will prove motivational.

Terrance Manion

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
As far as histories go, this one reads more like a conversation you would have at a bar with your buddy, Sarah, after she just got back from a trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately, like most bar conversations what it offers in spirit and humor, it lacks in depth of treatment. Still, having a chat with Sarah is an engaging and enjoyable experience.

Kris Niedringhaus

For a break from studying, I would recommend any of the Inspector Harry Hole crime novels by Jo Nesbø. They are a series but can be read out of order without much confusion. Be forewarned, Nesbø has a dark bent that I associate with Scandinavian crime writers. Perfect for summer would be The Snowman; you wouldn’t want to read that one when there is any chance of snow.

Deborah Schander

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Gaffigan is a stand-up comedian (best known for his Hot Pockets routine) who is also a father of five living in a tiny New York City apartment. His book is a series of short vingettes about everything from getting seven people to sleep at different times, commuting to parks across the city because they have no lawn of their own, and parenthood in general. His life and mine are vastly different, but I still found myself laughing out loud repeatedly. If you can, try to listen to the audio version, which Gaffigan reads himself.

Roy Sobelson

Try The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion or Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker. They are both weird and funny. The Mez is particularly innovative.

Anne Tucker

Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch. Because it hooks you in the first chapter and drives a very compelling story about the main character through a rich and tumultuous world of art, antiques, addiction, crime, and love. What more could you ask for in a single book? 2014 Pulitzer Prize Award.

For a fun book, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple should also be at the top of your list for a story about the disappearance of a woman who thumbs her nose at convention and people’s expectations of her. It is a mystery and a satire and a comedy in one.

The Lonesome Dove Chronicles by Larry McMurtry. A 4-part series that is the ultimate Western American classic. It is strangely captivating, and you get sucked into this hard-scrabble world with frontier-weary cowboys and their struggles. Also the cowboy lingo is pretty fantastic, and you will come away with hilariously old-timey sounding phrases for very ordinary things, and you will never look at a carrot in quite the same way. Start with Lonesome Dove, a Pulitzer Prize winner, which is chronologically the third book in the plot, but the first published book of the series. Consider the others either a prequel or sequel to the first.

Austin Williams

American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction by G. Edward White is a great summer read for any lover of law and history. White provides short historical overviews of the development of key areas of law, such as property rights, criminal law, domestic relations, as well as legal education and the legal profession. At only 130 pages, it’s the perfect book to accompany you on a flight, by the pool, or on the beach.

Leslie Wolf

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane. Private investigators are searching for a missing child. Not for the faint of heart, but a compelling story and well-writen. Several of Lehane’s novels have been made into movies, with good reason.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. This novel, set in Charleston, is told through the eyes of Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave, and the girl, Sarah Grimke, to whom she is given on Sarah’s 11th birthday, and it tells the story of their lives over the course of several decades. Although a novel, Sarah Grimke was a real person.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m sure this will be raised by a few, as it has been on everyone’s list this year. Although long, it is an absorbing book, and you’ll learn a little art history along the way.