Need a break?

By Trina Holloway, Head of Collection Services

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You have been in law school for almost two months now, and you may be thinking, “when is the next break?” Well, the next break is not until November, but, there are several ways the law library can assist in helping you to take law exams and papers off your mind for just a few minutes.

 

“Professor Fowke plays multiple games while RBG watches on…”

Did you know the Law Library has a wonderful “Leisure” collection? It’s a perfect opportunity to read about something other than Torts, Constitution Law, Criminal procedures, etc. – you get the point. If you’re not in the reading mood, we also have plenty of DVD’s you can enjoy as well. Both collections are located on the fifth floor across from the Technology Desk.

Maybe you’re into games? The Law Library has these as well! We have board games and cards that can be checked out at the Circulation desk, as well as the quick games on the big monitor. You can challenge a friend or the computer to a game of chess, or enjoy playing solitaire, doing a crossword or word search puzzle.

There is also what we like to call the “puzzle option.”  This break can be exactly as short or as long as you want, depending on how many pieces you find or how “sucked in” you get. The puzzle is located in the Reference Desk area. Not only will you be able to contribute to the puzzle, but you will meet the great staff that works at the Circulation Desk and a fantastic Librarian who could help you with your future research needs.

Meet Cassandra Patterson

This is the long-overdue continuation of an “in-depth” interview series with new librarians at Georgia State University College of Law Library, See earlier installments here, here, here, here, and here.

We introduce our new librarians in the same way we introduced their colleagues at Georgia State Law Library– with a questionnaire invented by Austin Williams which is borrowed in spirit, if not in part, from Marcel Proust.

Austin (if he were still here): What is your name and what do you do?

Cassandra: Cassandra Patterson, I provide reference services, teach one class of legal research (Research Methods), and oversee the library’s outreach services.


A: How long have you been at Georgia State University College of Law Library? 

C: It will be three months next Tuesday. Time flies when you’re having fun!


A: What books are currently on your nightstand (or Kindle)?

C: I am currently reading books that focus on leadership and vulnerability. (I love self-development books!) This month, I am finishing up Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.


A: What is an interesting fact about yourself that you would like to share with our readers?

C: I love college sports, especially basketball. My love for basketball started when I played basketball in my “younger” days. I also played on a team during law school (1Ls vs 2Ls)!


A: When you are not saving the world here at GSU Law Library, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

C: I enjoy watching sports and movies. I also love to travel and visit new sites.


A: Lastly, what is your favorite vacation spot? The place you go to leave it all behind for a few days.

C: My favorite vacation spots are the Isle of Palms in SC and Wrightsville Beach in NC.


There you have it, folks. The complete, unedited, behind the scenes interview with Cassandra Patterson.

Meet Gerard Fowke

This is the long-overdue continuation of an “in-depth” interview series with new librarians at Georgia State University College of Law Library, See earlier installments here, here, here, and here. 

We introduce our new librarians in the same way we introduced their colleagues at Georgia State Law Library– with a questionnaire invented by Austin Williams which is borrowed in spirit, if not in part, from Marcel Proust.

Austin (if he were still here): What is your name and what do you do?Gerard

Gerard: Gerard Fowke, I teach legal research, answer reference questions, and manage the library’s digital collections and services, all while drinking copious amounts of coffee and expresso.


A: How long have you been at Georgia State University College of Law Library? 

G: Approximately 2 months. I’m definitely a veteran of the institution 😉


A: What books are currently on your nightstand (or Kindle)?

G: The Dream Songs by John Berryman & The Library Book by Susan Orlean.


A: What is an interesting fact about yourself that you would like to share with our readers?

G: Way before I was a librarian, I was once a singer in a rock n’ roll band.


A: When you are not saving the world here at GSU Law Library, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

G: I’m a big fan of museums and arts festivals. I also love trying new restaurants.



A: Lastly, what is your favorite vacation spot? The place you go to leave it all behind for a few days.

G: Now that I no longer reside there, I think Boulder, Colorado would be a great spot. The beauty of the place definitely has a relaxing quality I miss in the hustle and bustle of the ATL. 


There you have it folks. The complete, unedited,  behind the scenes interview with Gerard Fowke.

Search & Browse the U.S. Constitution Online

In celebration of Constitution Day, I want to highlight an amazing resource available freely on the web: The Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution Annotated includes an explanation of the meaning of the Constitution, broken down Article by Article, Section by Section, and Clause by Clause. The explanation is direct and understandable, and it is heavily footnoted to the resources such as United States Supreme Court opinions that have historically interpreted the Constitution. 

Hosted by congress.gov and prepared by the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service, this is a HUGE resource. In print, it is over 3,000 pages! The online version has functionality that makes it even more useful. For example, you can search using simple keywords. You can filter and refine your results to focus on articles, amendments, topics, and resources.

Researchers who would prefer to browse are easily able to do so.

For those who wish to review Constitution adjacent information, that is also available. The site includes a number of Tables—every researcher’s favorite! There is a Table of Laws Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part, a Table of Supreme Court Justices, and a Table of Supreme Court Decisions Overruled by Subsequent Decisions.

In addition to being a helpful resource to consider in beginning research on a constitutional law research problem, this website has the potential for helping a researcher identify trends in constitutional law over time. The site includes links to additional U.S. Constitutional Resources that are available through the Library of Congress.

Come by the library and visit our print copy—for today it is at the reference desk, regularly it’s located in the Reference Collection—or check it out online!

Welcome (& Welcome Back) Students!

The library staff and librarians want to extend a warm welcome to incoming and returning students.  We’re glad you’re back!

We’re looking forward to working with you this year and throughout your legal career.

Below are some helpful links and information about library resources for the upcoming semester.

  • Search our Catalog to locate materials within the library at our homepage. You can find Fall 2019 textbooks that are available on Reserve that you can use for 3 hours at a time.
  • Reserve one of the 27 study rooms available for use by groups of two or more law students. To increase efficiency and shorten lines at the circulation desk, we now ask students to make their own reservations in advance of picking up keys, including the names of all group members when making the reservation. This can be done using the online booking system.
  • Supplement your studies with our online study aids from Wolters Kluwer and West Academic, available at https://insidelaw.gsu.edu/study-aids. Print study aids, such as flashcards, are available at the circulation desk as well.
  • Learn things and earn your digital badge with the ALERT Program, which starts on August 28th. 
  • Check out our Research Guides which provide resources for specific subjects, as well as Life as a Law Student.
  • Get help with your Research Methods in Law homework and other research needs during reference hours, both live and via chat. The Chat Reference box is in red, located on the left side of our homepage.
  • Check out CALI lessons, an interactive electronic tool that provides legal information about a subject and then quizzes the student on this information. 

You can find our hours at https://lawlibrary.gsu.edu/calendar/. We are looking forward to seeing everyone throughout the semester.  If there is anything that we can do to help you, please let us know!

We’re Hiring!

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The Law Library is currently accepting applications for graduate research assistants (commonly known as GRAs) for the summer semester. We currently need multiple Reference and Research GRAs.  Position descriptions are linked below:

http://libguides.law.gsu.edu/grahiring 

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 4 hours of Summer classes. Students may apply for both types of GRA position, but cannot be hired for both positions at the same time.

Submission
Applications are due at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Reference GRA applicants – Email one document which includes a 1) cover letter, 2) current resume, and 3) completed availability form (available in the link above) to Patrick Parsons (pparsons@gsu.edu). Include your last name in the file name.

Research GRA applicants – Please complete the application process through Symplicity.

COL Offers Support to Keep Bar Pass Rates High

by law gra Sara Landeryou

We work so hard at law school.  The last thing we want to do is come in on a day when we don’t have class, right?  For a mandatory Bar Prep?  Ugh…..

But what a presentation.  For those of you not in the know yet, the school had a mandatory MBE boot camp  for students graduating in May.  It was actually a great experience.  The speaker was high energy and gave us lots of clues that we may not get in whatever prep course we take.

Over the next few months, we’ll also have MPT and Essay practice.  And we won’t pay an extra penny for it.  It seems that GSU doesn’t have that amazing pass rate just because we are the most amazing law students ever.  The COL is investing in our future!  They are giving us extra tools to help us be successful.  Yes, we’ve paid tuition, but I haven’t heard about those big expensive schools going out of their way to try to ensure that students pass.  Have you?  Oh, and what do their pass rates tell you?

If the bar exam is still a few years away, you can rest easy knowing that the COL has a vested interest in you passing and will help you do it.  If you are graduating in May, things probably got very real for you at the bootcamp.  If you’re like most of us, you’ve stopped grumbling about mandatory boot camp, are a little more comfortable about getting started on studying soon, and have a healthy respect for the subtle difference in multiple choice answers that can be the difference between you passing and trying again.

If you haven’t purchased a prep program, talk to your friends, talk to reps around the school, talk to the Deans and your professors.  It seems like we work so hard in class that we’ve forgotten that it will eventually all come down to this:  THE BAR EXAM!

Thank you COL for helping to get us ready!