Is it February 3rd Yet?

This post from the Research, Instructional & Patron Services Law Librarian blog really struck a chord with this blog’s editor. Perhaps it will resonate with you as well. If you’d like to see more content from other sources, let us know in the comments!

RIPS Law Librarian Blog

It’s a new year. A new semester. A new COVID.

But everything feels the same. Actually, not the same, worse? Omicron has made the past few weeks feel like a traumatic retelling of Groundhog Day, minus the quirky smalltown and love story. This timeline is all Ned Ryerson.

2022 has been a real downer so far. COVID cases are surging, highly anticipated events are being cancelled, and we are again being pushed into forced isolation. We’ve been through this before, so why does it feel so much worse this time?

There are a confluence of factors contributing to our collective ennui. The pandemic has dragged on for years. We are at peak time for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And generally, spring semester is just harder on our psyches than fall semester. It’s even harder on our students: graduation chaos; stress over summer positions; and the honeymoon period of the…

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Welcome Back!

That winter break of celebration and relaxation? Hope you were able to take full advantage, because it’s now but a memory, and we find ourselves back for another semester.

But that’s not a bad thing. From personal experience, I can tell you that law school tends to get less stressful as you go along. That initial 1L shock wears off as you get more familiar with its overall format.

That’s good news if you’re hoping to make a triumphant return and improve your grades! This very blog has some materials that will help you achieve that goal, such as this excellent post on effectively managing that most precious commodity, your time. Similarly, it’ll improve your temporal efficiency if you’ve got your course outlines in order from the very start, so you may want to take a look at this post on powering up those outlining skills.

Or maybe you’d rather just sit back and take advantage of the ‘calm before the storm’ by catching up with your friends? That’s cool, but don’t forget to also catch up on some enlightening and entertaining GSU Law Library content that’s not so focused on super-charging your studies? If you’re a history buff or an Atlanta aficionado, you’ll love this highly informative post on the rich history of Georgia’s African-American legal community. Another Blackacre Times ‘greatest hit’ comes in the form of this intriguing rundown of Abe Lincoln’s legal career. And don’t miss this highly amusing post on courts citing talk show hosts, folk singers, Jedi knights, and other unconventional authorities in their opinions.  This recent post on the law of the SEC will even get you ready for the big game!

Of course, as your classes gear up again, you know the library’s got your back. We’re offering the same great services to make your life easier and improve your legal research skills, such as course reserves, online study aids, and the ALERT program (starting up on Tuesday, Jan. 18th and Wednesday, Jan. 19th w/ a can’t-miss session on rocking PowerPoint). If you see one of your favorite librarians, don’t forget to say hello! We’re here to help. Welcome back!

Legal Consequences of Oklahoma and Texas Joining the SEC

As we gear up for an SEC-dominated national championship, Law Library Sports Law Correspondent Ross Crowell’s got you covered with this post on the possible legal consequences of new additions to the conference.

On July 29, the Southeastern Conference (“SEC”) unanimously voted to add the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, effective July 1, 2025. Oklahoma and Texas, who have been members of the Big 12 Conference (“Big 12”) since the conference’s inception in 1994, potentially could join the SEC even sooner than 2025, as they could be playing in the SEC as early as 2022, as reported by Matt Hayes. 


While this move has some Longhorn and Sooner fans thrilled about the new competition, there are a few legal hurdles the universities face. 


First, the Big 12 said that it expected Texas and Oklahoma to adhere to its bylaws and television contracts that the schools signed, and if the schools failed to do so, each school would owe the Big 12 over $76 million.  Additionally, the Big 12 bylaws provide that a departing member must give the Big 12 at least 18 months’ notice that they are leaving the conference, and also must pay the Big 12 a “commitment buyout fee”, equal to the amount of distributions the schools would have received during the last two years of its membership. The bylaws additionally provide that Texas and Oklahoma would have to give up all distributions the school would have received during the interim period between the schools’ notice and departure. The consequences of the Big 12 bylaws result in Texas and Oklahoma missing out on tens of millions of dollars. 


Further, following the schools’ announcement of departure, the Big 12 sent ESPN a cease and desist letter, demanding that the sports network stop communicating with Big 12 members and other conferences over matters regarding Big 12 schools. Big 12 commissioner claimed that ESPN “actively engaged in discussions with at least one other conference regarding that conference inducing additional members of the Big 12 Conference to leave the Big 12 conference.”
These are just a few of potential legal issues the schools (and ESPN) are facing due to the move. While both Texas and Oklahoma’s football teams alone bring in over a combined $200 million a year in revenue, with that number likely increasing when they join the SEC, the programs will likely have to pay tens of millions of dollars back to the Big 12 due to this move.

As you can see, SEC football is not so different from a Contracts exam. Leave a comment if you spot any additional issues with the teams switching conferences!

The Pets of GSU Law, Pt. 2

Because GSU Law has too many adorable pets for just one post

1L Kylie Berube’s kitty Cleopatra is a huge diva. She loves to play fetch and is always energetic and happy to see everyone she meets!
The adorably named “Mr. Goose” belongs to 3L Sally Nicholas.
The majestic Lenore keeps Sally Nicholas and Mr. Goose company.
1L Caitlin Lowther wants us to know that Beau and Elle are 15 weeks old and they love to play outside and chew on everything.

Of course, there are more where those came from! Hang out with us at the library to study for exams and you can soak them all in. Thanks for sharing and good luck on finals!

The Pets of GSU Law, Pt. 1

As you may have noticed, during finals, the library displays feature the pets of GSU Law. That way, although students cannot study in the library with Fido or Whiskers by their sides, they can at least derive some comfort and amusement from these visual representations of their pets. But these pictures are too adorable to keep within the library’s confines! There was no way for us to resist sharing a few of them with the world.

This is 2L Beth Goldstein’s Australian Cattle Dog, Hooch. He loves walks, walking, and going on walks.
This is 1L Jada Clayton Woods’ chocolate lab mix, Monroe. She’s a rescue, she’s very spoiled, and she enjoys dressing up in sweaters, jackets, and Halloween costumes.
From 1L Pricila Barravecchia: Catalina is a 1 L pup who loves walks before Foundations and long naps during Contracts. She hopes to find an internship with colleagues who will give her many pets and treats. Her area of interest is arbitration because she wants to help other pups negotiate for more play time and food.
This is 3L William Lyle’s American Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer mix, Archie. He was adopted from Lifeline Animal Services in Decatur 3 years ago. He is a huge cuddler, loves to run and can chomp down a chicken wing in two bites.

So, please extend your heartfelt gratitude to your furry friends (and your friends’ furry friends) for their absolutely clutch exam assistance. Be on the look out for a sequel to this post featuring more of their adorable brethren. Until then, if you want to see more pets, you’ll have to make it in to the library. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out some of our amazing exam-related resources, like our study aid collections and the exam archive. Good luck!

Study Aid Spotlight- Select Upper-level Selections

This super-deluxe mega Spotlight is a sequel to our earlier post with guidance on the premier study aids for this semester’s 1L courses. This time, we’re movin’ on up, hitting up some of those current upper-level courses and telling you which study aids are undoubtedly the very best.

As a 2L or 3L, you’ve already endured law school finals, so you basically know what to expect. This increased familiarity may have also given you a better sense of how to prepare. Perhaps you’ve decided to sharpen your outlines into a more exam-ready ‘attack’ format? Maybe you’ve pledged to work more practice exams into your study routine? If you reflect upon your previous exam experiences, you can probably find some ways to ‘level up’ your approach to finals this time around.

But do you know which study aids work well for your upper-level courses? Perhaps you’ve noticed that truly helpful study aids are a bit harder to find for these courses, especially the electives. Fewer students take them, so it’s natural that fewer study aids are published to supplement them. Moreover, quite a few of the upper-level courses are rooted in constitutional jurisprudence, which is less suited to the example-based format of many study aids than the common law courses of your 1L year.

So, if you’ve thoroughly perused the study aid shelves in the back of the library, failed to find Glannon’s trusted name on any of the pertinent spines, and skulked back to your study station empty-handed, this is the post for you. I’m going to help you choose the best study aids for your courses. That is, I’m giving you the inside scoop on which titles are the tip-top, best-in-class study aids to illuminate your courses and position you to triumph over another round of exams. Of course, in the interest of keeping this post of a manageable length, there aren’t selections for every upper-level offering, but most of the required courses (and two important electives) are here.  

Constitutional Law I- Constitutional Law: Principles & Policies (Chemerinsky)

This study aid has a well-deserved reputation for being a game-changer for this challenging course. It’s an absolute classic, and we’ve sung its praises before. It offers tight, lucid descriptions of the key cases that nonetheless manage to capture many of their nuances, while also placing them in the context of SCOTUS’s evolving doctrines. I remember finding it to be a huge help when reworking my outline, but it can also work very well as a general refresher when you have trouble recalling the specifics of those early-semester cases. However, its format is designed to serve as a quick reference, not to help you learn to apply these doctrines. ConLaw exams tend to vary quite a bit from professor to professor, so that may be for the best, but that does mean it’s more important than ever be attentive to your professor’s hypotheticals. You should also see if they have any past exams available, in our archive or elsewhere. Note that this one isn’t available in the library’s online collections, so you’ll need to use it in print.

Evidence- Examples & Explanations for Evidence

In contrast to ConLaw, the rule-based structure of this course is particularly well-suited to the E&E format. The short examples allow you to gain some insight into how the FRE actually work, both in the real world and on your exam. This one also has the virtue of a writing style that makes intimidating topics quite approachable. In particular, I could appreciate how it discusses “hearsay’s appearance of difficulty to ‘outsiders’ and its relative simplicity to initiates” before proceeding to swiftly induct you into the ranks of the latter via two succinct chapters demystifying this topic.

Criminal Procedure: Investigations- Examples & Explanations for Criminal Procedure: The Constitution and the Police

It’s tricky to choose the best approach for this course, which combines ConLaw’s policy orientation with the labyrinthine analytical constructs more often associated with courses like Evidence or CivPro. Fortunately, this E&E does a solid job of addressing both of these aspects. This study aid tries to ‘simulate the Socratic classroom at its best’ and it shows. The examples are shorter than what I’ve seen in other E&Es, but they build upon one another in a way that does a good job of illuminating not just the boundaries of the applicable doctrines, but the justifications behind those boundaries.

Criminal Procedure: AdjudicationPrinciples of Criminal Procedure: Post-Investigation

The Concise Hornbook series is my go-to study aid for if you’re chiefly after a summary of the law. In particular, this one does a great job of tying together the many disparate topics covered in this course. A great example is the early discussion of the CrimPro’s “cornerstone objectives,” which supplies just the type of valuable context that can help make the whole course ‘click.’

Do you like these choices? Do you disagree with them? Which study aids are your top choices? Let us know in the comments!

Study Aid Spotlight- Acing Contracts

By Ross Crowell

In today’s Study Aid Spotlight, Law Library GRA Ross Crowell looks at a concise, popular study aid for your Contracts course. To make sure you’ve got all of your 1L bases covered, check out our recent post with librarian-curated study aid selections for all of them.

To me, the first semester of Contracts was a complete blur. From the big picture, everything seemed so simple. Offer, acceptance, consideration. Easy enough. However, once we got into the details of cases, things got quite confusing. As a 1L, Acing Contracts helped clear up a lot of these issues as I was cramming for the final exam. 

You can access Acing Contracts very easily: in addition to the library’s print copy, a digital version of the text is available through West Academic’s online study aid collection. Before getting into the nitty gritty details of your Contracts course, check out the Table of Contents for a solid foundation of topics (Offer and Acceptance, Consideration, Statute of Frauds, Defenses, Parol Evidence, etc.), that will help you organize your outline headings. 

Getting into the details, Acing Contracts does a good job of putting the course’s rules and explanations into plain English. As a 1L, so many times I would read some case from the early 1900s and, due to the language and writing style used at the time, it would be tough for me to follow along. Acing Contracts breaks down all of that legal jargon, explaining what you need to know in more modern terms.

It also does a good job of giving relevant examples. There are tons of practice problems that are useful for exam practice, and each comes with an in-depth answer. (Side note – I highly recommend writing out several practice problems for each class. That is probably the biggest thing I realized that I needed to change about my exam preparation after my first semester of law school.) 

Moreover, Acing Contracts provides rule statements from the almighty Restatement Second of Contracts and the UCC. Additionally, it provides checklists for some concepts you might come across (a great example I took advantage of is the in-depth Statute of Frauds checklist).

This study aid will definitely help you write your Contracts outline and study for your final. Most of all, I appreciated the way it put complicated concepts into easy-to-read language. While it is probably best to focus your outlining and studying around your class’s lectures and textbook, Acing Contracts is a great study tool for filling in the gaps and clearing up some of the more complicated concepts.

Study Aid Spotlight- Aman & Mayton’s Administrative Law (Hornbook Series)

In Admin Law, Organization is Everything

By Luke Smith

In this edition of Study Aid Spotlight, Ref GRA Luke Smith takes a closer look at a study aid that’s been a huge help to him in this challenging upper-level course. This one is an excellent example of the most O.G. study aid of them all, a hornbook.

Remember all those things you learned in Con Law about the nondelegation doctrine? Me neither. You’ll have about a week to relearn it all before you move on to the next equally complicated aspect of administrative law. Admin Law is not a required class, so its study aids might not get as much love as someother classes (I’m looking at you Civ Pro study aids), but having a good study aid is absolutely critical for this behemoth of integrated legal concepts. One that I’ve come to love is Aman & Mayton’s Administrative Law hornbook. To me, it stands out for two key reasons.

Reason #1: This aid is well-written and well-organized. It succinctly defines topics to give you an edge when preparing for exams. It’s organized into 5 sections: agency legislative power, agency adjudication, consistency in agency action, control of agency discretion, and access to government information. Within each part, it is broken down further into chapters that each explain an aspect of that overall topic. This might not sound like much if you haven’t taken Admin Law yet, but this easy-to-follow organization is absolutely perfect for the course, making it easy to fill in the gaps you have when it comes time for exams.

Reason #2: One of the worst parts of studying for exams is the limited 3-hour check out time for study aids, which can leave you fighting to make sure you get your preferred study aid. But this hornbook is available online through the library as well as in print. Waiting your turn for a study aid during exam time is a thing of the past. Now you can study all night long from the comfort of your home with a great study aid!!! Additionally, online it features the same great topical organization, with the added benefit of hyperlinks to each section, so you can easily access the exact section you need without having to navigate a table of contents like with those outdated print study aids.

Whether you’re using it to prepare for class or study for exams, this classic hornbook is a must for anyone in Administrative Law.

Study Aid Spotlight- selections for the current 1L courses

Call it Study Aid Spotlight, tripartite edition. We’re going to take a look at not just one, but three study aids, specially chosen for the Fall 2021 1L courses.

As a 1L staring down your first finals, it pays to study up on studying. And while it’s great to have an entire publishing subcategory dedicated to aiding you in this process of studying for law school exams, it can result in a rather paralyzing proliferation of study aid options.

Fortunately, the library’s got your back. We’ve been toiling away to formulate this list of what are unquestionably the very best study aids for your fall courses, as determined by facts & logic.

Civil Procedure- Examples & Explanations

Choices don’t come easier than this. Not only does Professor Glannon (don’t worry: he’ll come up again) communicate the niceties of CivPro with clarity and wit, the example-based format keeps the focus squarely on the all-important skill of applying the law. We have an entire post extolling the virtues of this legendary study aid, so I’m not going to belabor this E&E’s exemplary qualities. Suffice it to say, this one’s a must-have.

Sum and Substance- Contracts (Audio)

More than the other 1L subjects, Contracts is starved for truly great study aids. There are plenty of solid hornbooks, but my usual application-focused standbys—E&Es and Glannon Guides—are a bit underwhelming when it comes to Contracts.

That helps Sum & Substance- Contracts stand out. Audio study aids like this one can improve your studying efficiency, since the format encourages multitasking. Here, Professor Brain does a good job of unpacking the major doctrines in a conversational style.

However, what really sets this apart from other audio study aids is the focus on applying the law. After discussing and summarizing each topic, Professor Brain includes a brief section on answering related questions on a law school exam, going over typical fact pattern and explaining how to analyze them.  

Torts- Examples & Explanations

Another Glannon classic! This one features the same mix of right-to-the-point explication and irreverent humor that made its CivPro counterpart so useful. Standout chapters include “That Odious Character: The Reasonable Person,” whose examples employ Falstaff, Dogberry, and other Shakespearean characters to memorably illustrate concepts like reasonable care and the Hand formula. I can’t recommend this one strongly enough.

Do you like these choices? Do you disagree with them? Which study aids are your top choices? Let us know in the comments!

Dear My 1L Self- this is going to change your life.

This week, we’ve got a very special “Dear My 1L Self.” You know, the classic series where Law Librarians, Upper-class Law Students, and other former 1Ls write actual, time-traveling letters to their 1L selves, giving them that priceless quality of advice that can only result from hindsight. Of course, our one true hope is that some of this advice will also helpful in the here and now, for current 1Ls. In today’s installment, we also get some fond nostalgic insights into everyone’s favorite law school from Leila Lawlor, Director of the Academic Success and LL.M. programs (and GSU J.D. holder)…

Dear 1L Leila, 


I have so much to tell you, but I will try to make this somewhat quick because I know you have a lot going on—fulltime job, family, and LAW SCHOOL AT NIGHT! I know you love it at the College of Law. It may seem kind of uncool to love law school, but it’s okay by me. Here’s a secret for you, 1L Leila. You are going to end up working at the COL someday!! It really is your happy place, isn’t it? 


So, 1L Leila, continue to work as hard as you feasibly can, but remember to keep life balanced! The hard work really will pay off. The COL is going to change your life. After law school graduation, you can quit your current job (the one that is not a great fit for you). You are going to be challenged intellectually in ways you can’t imagine. Here’s something that will blow you away: some of your professors will become LIFELONG friends! You didn’t see that one coming, did you? And here’s another piece of wonderful news: someday, when you work at the COL, some of your students will also become enduring friends, long past their graduation. 

So, 1L self, enjoy the 1L experience. Enjoy the classmates around you. See the picture below? Several of your classmates in that picture from 1993 will still be your best friends in the whole world 28 years later! That photo was taken in the old law school building (the COL will get a new building in 2015). You are in the middle of the photo, standing up, and yep, you are pregnant. I know you think you have a lot going on in your 1L year, but you have no idea how much you will have going on when that baby arrives in your 2L year. Trust me, 1L Leila, you will get through it. You will thrive because of support you have at the College of Law. You have my word. 

Note: There are NO laptop computers in the room! That’ll change soon. And the soft drink in the pink can (Tab) will soon be replaced with something called Diet Coke!


And here you are at your hooding in a couple of years, 1L Leila! See, you are going to make it through this!

Best wishes,

Leila