Details About Moving to Our New Library

image by Flickr user hereistom

image by Flickr user hereistom

The GSU Law Library, along with the rest of the College of Law, is moving to a new building this month. Anticipation is reaching a fever pitch for our new space, which will include two floors, a formal reading room, more study rooms, a cafe, an outdoor terrace, and lots and lots of windows. (For progress updates, watch the GSU Law Construction page on Facebook.)

In addition to the anticipation, there are also a lot of logistical details involved in the process. All library users will be affected by these details, so we wanted to let you know what to expect.

  • We will be closed the weekend of June 19-21. The College of Law will be moved over the weekend, as well as all Law Library offices. Both the College of Law and the Law Library will close at noon on Friday, June 19 to be ready for this process. Except for classrooms, these spaces will no longer be accessible.
  • The College of Law will reopen at 8:30 a.m. and the Law Library will reopen at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 22 at our new location, 85 Park Place NE. Access to the new building will be temporarily limited to current GSU Law students, GSU Law faculty, and GSU Law staff through Sunday, June 28. For information about accessing the Law Library after that date, we recommend you check our website or call us.
  • The Law Library collections and other physical resources will be moved after the rest of the College of Law. We anticipate that students will be able to access course Reserves and Study Aids in the new library starting around midday on Monday, June 22. Our Reference collection will also be moved first; the rest of the collections will be moved as quickly as possible.
  • We will have a new physical address (85 Park Place NE) but our phone numbers, P.O. Box number, and email addresses will remain the same. We will update our website as soon as possible after the move to reflect the new information, but be careful to confirm these details in the early weeks following the move.

Summer Prep Before Your 1L Year

flickr photo by Aftab Uzzaman

flickr photo by Aftab Uzzaman

By Zach Dalton

It can be a nervous time the summer before your first year of law school.  Many students are having fears of what lies ahead, and some are already having pre-exam jitters.  There are, however, steps you can take to improve your law school experience in the fall.

First, relax and know you are not the only one feeling this way.  Law school is a new experience for everyone, and although some may feel slightly more prepared, it is going to be tough for pretty much all who enter.  Even if you come from an undergrad program in which you did not do large amounts of reading or writing, legal reading and writing is an entirely different animal which very much levels the playing field.

Second, try to resist the temptation to begin accumulating and reviewing study aids.  Without taking any classes, you are likely to frustrate yourself and increase your anxiety already believing you are behind the curve.  If you really must get a study aid prior to the start of fall classes, I would suggest the Emanuel’s Guide for Torts, as it is somewhat simplistic and easy to follow.

Third, consider reading one of the many books available about the law school experience and improving your ability to take law school exams.  The exams you will take in law school are different than any you have taken so far in your educational career, and require a different way of thinking.  I would suggest “Getting to Maybe” by Richard Michael Fischl and Jeremy R. Paul, which is incredibly helpful in conveying the idea that there is typically no one true answer on an exam.

Fourth, read other things that you actually enjoy and find interesting.  It doesn’t really matter what it is, although you can find a list of suggested fun reading from our law school faculty in a previous post on this blog, “Law Faculty Offers Summer Reading Suggestions.”  Getting in the habit of reading every day can be very beneficial to your 1L experience as you don’t have to go from zero to one hundred your first couple of weeks in the fall.

Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy yourself and do things which will add to your life.  The next three years in law school are going to be tough, and some activities you wanted to accomplish are going to have to be pushed aside.  Take this time to be happy, relaxed, and do something cool.  This will help you be prepared for the big push and hard times ahead.

2015 Summary of General Statutes

The Legislative Services Committee and the Office of Legislative Counsel for the Georgia General Assembly recently published a preliminary copy of the Summary of General Statutes Enacted at the 2015 Session of the General Assembly of Georgia (index so far not included).

The Summary of General Statutes includes concise summaries of Acts of state-wide application enacted during an assembly session. The Acts are organized by the title they amend in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.). Information provided includes the Act and bill numbers, a brief summary, the citation for the code section enacted or amended, and the effective date. The Summary of General Statutes also includes a table of O.C.G.A. sections enacted, amended, and repealed.

Attorneys and researchers can use the Summary of General Statutes to determine the following:

  1. Which O.C.G.A. titles (ex. Title 24, Evidence) do or do not contain any alterations
  2. Which O.C.G.A. sections were enacted, amended, or repealed by an Act
  3. Effective date of an Act

Determining the effective date of an Act is significant for two reasons. First, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-4 provides that, unless specified in an Act, Acts approved “by the Governor or which becomes law without his approval on or after the first day of January and prior to the first day of July of a calendar year shall become effective on the first day of July.” Therefore, an attorney would want to determine if the Act takes effect prior to July 1st. Second, if the Act does take effect prior to July 1st, an attorney will need to make sure any print or online code they are referring to contains the new language, and if not, they will need to locate a copy of the new language.

Quite often there is a significant gap between the enactment of Acts, their effective dates, and the publication of amendments in the O.C.G.A. When this occurs, researchers will need to use the Georgia General Assembly’s Signed by Governor webpage to locate the enacted version of the Acts that take effect prior to their publication in the O.C.G.A. An example of an Act that is currently in effect and not yet published in the O.C.G.A. is “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” which took effect on April 16, 2015.

From the Archives: Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa

JuergensmeyerAs many of you undoubtedly know, Professor Julian Juergensmeyer has had a long, distinguished career in the law. This past year, he celebrated 50 years teaching law. He’s a renowned scholar of land use and planning law not only in the United States, but around the world; during his career, he’s both conducted research and taught in Ethiopia, France, Poland, Brazil, and Denmark, for example.

In the early 1970s, Professor Juergensmeyer and his friend and colleague, the late Professor James Wadley, received a grant to research water law in eastern Africa, a subject which at that time had garnered little scholarly attention. That grant resulted in the writing of a book draft, Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa. However, this book went unpublished, and the record of the important work that Professors Juergensmeyer and Wadley did in tracing the development of water law in east Africa was lost.

Until now. This past academic year the College of Law launched a new online repository, the Reading Room, and we discovered that we had the opportunity to finally make the results of the research done by Professors Juergensmeyer and Wadley over 40 years ago available to the world. We recently posted the full text of Water Law and Water Resources in Eastern Africa in the Reading Room. It’s a fascinating work, weaving together African history, culture, geography, and law, illustrating how the regulation of water resources in eastern Africa was affected by both custom and the history of colonization in the region. We’re glad that Professor Juergensmeyer held onto it until now, and we’re excited to be able to make it available to all of you.

GA Supreme Court Current Awareness Tools

While keeping up with Supreme Court of Georgia decisions can be a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. Below are several resources researchers can use to stay abreast of recent decisions.

Summaries of Noteworthy Decisions

In addition to finding the slip opinions of recent decisions on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website, researchers can also find the “Summaries of Noteworthy Decisions.” This resource is produced by the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Public Information Officer, and includes concise summaries of opinions considered to be of great public interest. The summaries are available on the opinions page, located above the full-text of slip opinions for a given release date.

Daily Report Court Opinions

The Daily Report’s Court Opinions webpage is an excellent source for locating recent Supreme Court of Georgia and Georgia Court of Appeals opinions. While researchers need a subscription to the Daily Report to view the full text of the opinions, non-subscribers can view the case name, area of law(s) the opinion addresses, and a one sentence summary of the court’s holding.


Produced by attorneys at Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP, the SCOG Blog is an good source for finding information on civil cases heard before the Supreme Court of Georgia. The blog routinely posts information on forthcoming and recent opinions.


Memorial Day Weekend Events in Atlanta

Image by Flickr user smckagan

Image by Flickr user smckagan

As the long Memorial Day weekend approaches, you may be looking for ideas for things to do. The good news is that Atlanta always has a host of activities at this time of year. Whether you’re looking for music, outdoor activities, or geek brethren, here are just a few suggestions.


Law Faculty Offers Summer Reading Suggestions

Now that summer is almost here, you may be thinking of more than just reading class assignments. To help you, our law faculty has offered some summer reading suggestions. Whether you like non-fiction or thrillers or something in between, we hope you’ll find something to interest you here. (And for more suggestions, see our posts from previous years: 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014.)

Find something you like? Do you want to tell us about it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Megan Boyd

Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies detail the reign of Henry VIII from the perspective of Henry’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell, a lawyer, rose from common birth to become one of Henry’s most trusted advisors and facilitated Henry’s split from the Catholic church, his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, his marriage to Anne Boleyn, and, ultimately, her execution for treason and heresy.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Capote’s most famous work, In Cold Blood, tells the true story of the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb Kansas in 1959. Capote spent six years writing the book, which examines the relationship between the killers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, and the events in their lives that ultimately led them to commit the brutal crime.

The World According to Garp by John Irving
John Irving’s Garp, both tragic and comedic, is the story of the only child of feminist icon Jenny Fields and the people (or, more appropriately, characters) around him. Garp is difficult to summarize; you must read it for yourself. Few books have impacted me in the way that Garp and Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany have.

Pam Brannon

The Vatican Diaries by John Thavis
It’s a fascinating book in the way that “behind the scenes” books about institutions are fascinating, but on an grander level, because this is the Vatican. This is a place where a proposed parking lot uncovers priceless artifacts, and where the Pope sends a team of scientists in under cover of darkness to verify that St. Paul is really buried in St. Paul’s tomb. It’s incredibly interesting.

Jennifer Chiovaro

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn Saks
Professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Professor Saks delivered GSU College of Law’s Miller lecture in Fall 2014. Professor Saks’s memoir details her life with chronic schizophrenia, allowing the reader to feel her psychotic episodes, including those she experienced as a law student. Professor Saks book validates that people with significant mental illness can achieve personal and professional success.

Bill Edmundson

The short film, The Russian Ark, is enjoyable, though nostalgic in a way that I now doubt was possible for the aristocrats who endured the death rattle of the Romanovs. Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution is showing me why. The brilliance of Trotsky’s prose and humor equals Mark Twain’s, but he takes his responsibility as an historian with the gravest seriousness. Trotsky does not try to delude himself or anyone else by claiming to have adopted a disinterested viewpoint for the task. In fact, he indirectly shows how any such viewpoint conceals the heart of things. The book also stimulates the thought that our time, too, shows signs of becoming one in which “the antagonisms of society reach their highest tension.”

Yaniv Heled

I recently finished Tomorrow’s Lawyers by Richard Susskind and would strongly recommend reading it to anyone planning on being an attorney over the next 10-30 years. This very short book (only 165 pages) provides lots of food for thought about the future of legal practice and education.

Julian Juergensmeyer

The Lawyer Myth: A Defense of the American Legal Profession by Rennard Strickland and Frank T. Read
Interesting discussion and evaluation of some of the criticisms of our profession.

Lauren Sudeall Lucas

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson is not just a remarkable lawyer, but a talented writer and storyteller. His memoir will leave you with a sense of how deeply flawed our criminal justice system is, but also inspired by those working in the struggle against injustice. Stevenson’s work is a shining example of the legal profession at its hardest working and its best.

Deborah Schander

The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life by Charles A. Murray provides invaluable insight into the opinions and thought processes of many people you will encounter in your legal career (think senior partners and judges, for example). Murray covers a wide variety of topics, from writing a professional email to piercings and clothing choices, and from when to swear and when not to suck up to someone. In short, Murray wants you to know how and why people you encounter as a professional adult may be judging you and your behavior. You may not always agree with him — if fact, that’s rather the crux of the book — but it’s also an opportunity to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. This summary probably sounds a bit curmudgeonly itself, but this short, concise book is well worth the time.

And then for something completely different, I can also recommend Moonraker by Ian Fleming. The third James Bond novel sees our hero infiltrating a rocket program run by the mysterious Sir Hugo Drax. I’ve been slowly listening to the Bond novels, in part because of the excellent set of readers, and assumed this one would be as redonkulous as the movie version, but it was delightfully fun instead. High stakes card games! A man without a past! Racing against the clock! Enjoy.

Roy Sobelson

I’ve recently read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I enjoyed both very much, although All the Light We Cannot See is a much more serious and well-written book. I’ve also read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Stranger by Harlan Coben, both of which are good “beach reads.”

Leslie Wolf

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is one of the best books I have read in a while. It is a spy thriller, but far from the usual genre. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is a compelling read.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress, without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works describes ABS News correspondent Dan Harris’s journey after experiencing a panic attack on national television toward mindfulness meditation. He goes into full journalistic mode in his exploration, bringing along his skepticism and self-criticism, so it is unlike other self-help books (a genre that usually does not end up on my reading list).