LinkedIn Tips for Law Students

by Catherine Schutz

image by flickr user The_Seafarer

image by flickr user The_Seafarer

LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most powerful online tools for job searches and professional networking. Using LinkedIn, there are plenty of opportunities for showing off your experience and skills, and connecting with colleagues. But how can you make your profile competitive, and is there any specific advice for law students? Here are some of the best tips and tricks from around the web:

 

How to write your profile:

  1. Make your profile public! Since one of the main reasons for joining LinkedIn is to connect with others, now is not the time to hide your profile.
  2. Include a photo of yourself – but make sure it is professional looking. The same picture you use on Facebook or Instagram may not be suitable for LinkedIn. If necessary, get together with a fellow law student and take pictures in suits in front of a plain background.
  3. Create a personalized URL – your default URL in LinkedIn will be a string of numbers. But you can change your URL under Public Profile in LinkedIn. Most suggest changing it to linkedin.com/in/FirstnameLastname.
  4. Using the short introductory summary can be a powerful way of introducing yourself and explaining your career goals.
  5. Your LinkedIn profile should not be exactly like your resume. It’s OK to use more colloquial and friendly language on LinkedIn than you would in your resume.

How to connect with others:

  1. Send personalized contact requests. Don’t use LinkedIn’s generic language of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Instead change it to specifics of how you know this person.
  2. Connecting with people on LinkedIn is important, and it’s good to extend your connections to 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Using the “People You May Know” can be helpful with this. But quality is always more important than quantity, and beware of accepting (or sending) connection requests from people you don’t know.
  3. You can also use LinkedIn to search for GSU College of Law alumni. Use the “Advanced People Search” and type in “Georgia State University College of Law” into the “School” box.
  4. As a law student, beware of conflicts of interest. By connecting with judges, experts or opposing counsel, you may be creating a conflict of interest for a firm that wants to hire you.
  5. Consider asking for recommendations from people you’ve worked with through LinkedIn.

How to make the most of groups:

  1. Using groups on LinkedIn can be a good way of connecting with contacts and learning about legal news.
  2. Some particularly good groups to check out as a law student:
    1. ABA Young Lawyers Division
    2. E-Legal
    3. Law Student Career Network
    4. LAW Jobs

For more tips and tricks, see these articles:

Goodbye and Thank You From Austin and Deborah

After 5 wonderful years at Georgia State Law Library, Austin Williams and Deborah Schander are moving on to new positions.

Austin will soon be the new Assistant Law Library Director at North Carolina Central University. His last day is today, Nov. 6. Deborah will be starting as Research Services Librarian / Lecturer in Law at Vanderbilt University’s law library. Her last day is next Friday, Nov. 13.

Austin and Deborah started work at Georgia State Law Library on Aug. 9, 2010, sharing responsibilities as Student Services Librarians. For both of them, one of the highlights of their time at Georgia State has been working with students, both formally in class and informally at trainings, giving away free coffee, and chatting in the hallways. They are both thankful for all the wonderful memories.

And now, enjoy a quick photo timeline of their tenure here at Georgia State.

DSC_0168

Posing for a fake reference interview shortly after their arrival in 2010

Celebrating Thanksgiving in 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving in 2011

Austin learning how to wrap presents for the first time in 2012

Austin learning how to wrap presents for the first time in 2012

Standing behind Dean Kaminshine at the 2013 class reunion (fun fact: it didn't matter where in the room they were standing, Deborah and Austin always wound up behind the Dean when he was giving his speech at the reunion)

Standing behind Dean Kaminshine at the 2013 class reunion (fun fact: it didn’t matter where in the room they were standing, Deborah and Austin always wound up behind the Dean when he was giving his speech at the reunion)

Kicking off the 2013 Mario Kart Tournament

Kicking off the 2013 Mario Kart Tournament

Groundbreaking

Hanging out at the new law building groundbreaking in 2013

At their farewell party in 2015

At their farewell party in 2015

We will miss you, Georgia State.

Remember, Remember … the Leisure Collection

by John Evans

image by Flickr user gato-gato-gato

image by Flickr user gato-gato-gato

“Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot. I can think of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Guy Fawkes, anarchist hero or misunderstood historic figure? I don’t know. Either way, it makes for a pretty good movie. Speaking of movies, have you checked out the library leisure collection of movies? From the classic court room drama Perry Mason to the modern political drama House Of Cards; from a British comedy like Monty Python and the Holy Grail to dystopian sci-fi thriller The Hunger Games, this collection has something for everyone.  The movies can be checked out for one week and are located on the fifth floor of the library. As you exit the elevators continue straight ahead until you pass the IT help desk and are standing by the printers. Turn left, and the leisure collection is on the far wall.

“But Mr. Evans,” you might say, “I have no time for leisure. Do you not know that I am a Law Student? I must study all day.” Well, I say to you, leisure is an important part of life. Without leisure you might, like V, the eponymous hero of V for Vendetta, become too fixed on just one goal. So “Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and plot, take a break for a show, so your focus won’t go, and all your law dreams are forgot.”

Legal Grounds & Miss Demeanor’s Cafe now open

LegalGroundsNov2015On Friday, October 30th, the smell of fresh coffee wafted through the atrium for the first time when Legal Grounds made its debut. The coffee bar, located on the ground level of the College of Law, will be open Monday – Friday, 8am – 2pm. Legal Grounds sells coffee, soft drinks, baked goods and snacks. On the same day, Miss Demeanor’s Cafe opened on the 5th level. The Cafe will be open Monday – Friday, 11am – 6:15pm. They have a selection of salads, sandwiches, baked goods, snacks, coffee and other beverages, and a soup of the day. The cafe is located adjacent to the 5th floor terrace so you can enjoy your meal with a little Vitamin D…after it stops raining.

Visit Georgia’s historic constitutions

Did you know that the State of Georgia is currently operating under its 10th constitution?  That is a lot of serious writing and revision for our state to keep up with the times.  Remember, a constitution is a foundational document that establishes the government and defines its powers and the rights of the people who are governed. We are currently governed under the 1983 constitution.

The Georgia Archives, located in Morrow, Georgia, recently announced an exhibition containing six of the ten constitutions!  These constitutions are not normally available for viewing all together, so this is a special opportunity.  The exhibit closes on November 13.

The display includes the the constitution of 1789, which gave the Georgia government a structure more parallel to the then recently created federal government.  When Georgia returned to the United States following the Civil War, the state was required to promulgate a new constitution–the constitution of 1868, which is also on view.  In addition to the constitutions, there are some supporting documents included in the exhibition.

When a new constitution is considered, there is often a constitutional convention which is followed by a referendum.  This means that elected officials have a meeting to draft a proposed constitution, agree on the proposed language, and then ask the people to vote on the proposal to approve (or disapprove) the constitution.  The transcripts of the Select Committee on Constitutional Revision, 1977-1981 (culminating in the 1983 constitution) are available through the Georgia Government Publications database.

Tomorrow’s Scholarship Today

facultypubs-300x200Want to read the latest legal scholarship before it is actually published? If you answered yes, then the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is your ticket to paradise. Scholars from around the world submit abstracts and upload working papers on SSRN prior to publication in books, journals, and magazines.

In addition to staying abreast of current developments, you can also use SSRN to follow the scholarship of faculty at your own institution. You can access the working papers of the Georgia State University College of Law faculty by going to our SSRN Research Paper Series webpage, Georgia State University College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series.

Can Bikram Yoga by Copyrighted?

By Catherine Schutz

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that a series of yoga poses is a “sequence” and therefore inappropriate for copyright protection.[1] The ruling was widely praised within the yoga community, with many relieved to finally have clarity on the question of whether yoga can be “owned.”[2] But how does this ruling fit into wider intellectual property law? And what is the rationale for protecting some industries with intellectual property law and not others?

In the 1970s, Bikram Choudhury developed a series of 26-yoga poses and breathing exercises, which he named “the Sequence,” to be practiced in a studio with a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1979, he published a book called Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class which outlined the poses, which he registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. In 2002 he also registered the compilation of poses outlined in the book. Choudhury’s style of yoga gained in popularity, and he began teaching other yoga teachers his particular style. In 2009, two of his former students opened Evolation Yoga, which offered many different styles of yoga, including “hot yoga” based on the teachings of Choudhury. In 2011, Choudhury brought suit against Evolation Yoga claiming copyright infringement.[3]

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower courts finding that “at bottom, the Sequence is an idea, process, or system designed to improve health. Copyright protects only the expression of this idea—the words and pictures used to describe the Sequence—and not the idea of the Sequence itself.” In their ruling, they cited 17 U.S.C. § 102, part (a) of which outlines what can be copyrighted (literary works, musical works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, etc.) and part (b) of which outlines what cannot be copyrighted: “any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery…”[4] The Court said that Choudhury’s “Sequence” falls on the “idea” side of the “idea/expression” dichotomy.[5]

This isn’t the first time that people have attempted to copyright ideas only to have the courts rule them unsuitable for copyright. The fashion industry is unique in the creative arts for having very little copyright protection. Within fashion, copyright protection is limited to “pictorial designs printed on fabric.”[6] However, outside of logos, courts routinely hold that fashion is too utilitarian to be protected by copyright. They will allow fashion houses to copyright their logo printed on a bag, but not the use of pleats or peter pan collars in a garment.

The lack of intellectual property protection within fashion has been the subject of much debate. The Council of Fashion Designers of America advocates for increased protection “without stifling creativity, spurring frivolous lawsuits, and hindering the industry’s ability to do business.”[7] Senator Charles E. Schumer in 2012 introduced the Innovative Design Protection Act which would extend intellectual property protections to “never-before-seen” fashion designs. However, academic Johanna Blakley argued in her Ted Talk that not providing the fashion industry with intellectual property protection actually improves creativity and helps business.[8] This was also the question that Mark Lemley grappled with during his 56th Miller Lecture in September at the College of Law, where he addressed the topic of “Intellectual Property in a World Without Scarcity.”[9]

On the other hand, copyright protections are widespread within the music industry. However, courts have struggled to determine the line between copyright infringement and creative influence. This struggle reached the Federal District Court of the Central District of California when the descendants of Marvin Gaye brought suit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, arguing that their hit 2013 song “Blurred Lines” infringed upon the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.”[10] The District Court found in favor of Gaye’s descendants, finding Thicke and Williams liable for over $7 million of damages. Some lawyers have criticized the ruling saying that Thicke and Williams were only influence by Gaye, and that “no one owns a genre or a style or a groove.”[11]

This lively debate on what should and should not be protected by intellectual property laws is unlikely to reach a resolution any time soon. As Mark Lemley discussed during the Miller Lecture, the advent of internet has changed the industry in a way that is only now being research, debated and understood. But all Bikram Yoga lovers should rest assured that their practice will not be interrupted by a court case any time soon.

Sources

[1] Bikram’s Yoga Coll. of India, L.P. v. Evolation Yoga, LLC, No. 13-55763 (9th Cir. 2015).

[2] Federal Court Rules that Bikram Doesn’t Own Yoga: Copyright Claim Can’t Stand the Heat, Evolation Yoga, https://www.evolationyoga.com/copyright-ruling-story/ (last visited Oct. 19, 2015).

[3] See note 1.

[4] Copyright Act of 1979, 17 U.S.C. § 102 (2012).

[5] See note 1.

[6] Dan Hunter, The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Intellectual Property 220 (2012).

[7] Protecting Design, Council of Fashion Designers of America, http://cfda.com/programs/protecting-intellectual-property (last visited Oct. 19, 2015).

[8] Johanna Blakley, Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture, (Apr. 10, 2010), https://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture?nolanguage=en+-+t-623373.

[9] 56th Miller Lecture: Internet Revolutionized Creativity, Changing IP Law, Georgia State University (Sep. 17, 2015), http://law.gsu.edu/2015/09/17/56th-miller-lecture/.

[10] Williams v. Bridgeport Music, Inc., No. 13-06004 (C.D. Cal. July 14, 2015).

[11] Justin Maya, Music’s “Blurred Lines” Verdict Broadens Copyright Protection, FIU Law Review Blog (Apr. 15, 2015), https://law.fiu.edu/blurred-lines-verdict/#_edn23.