If you’re an admitted law student—or a current law student or a recent graduate or a practicing attorney or—well, you may be interested in some law-related entertainment options this summer!
We all know that books and movies do not accurately portray lawyers and the practice of law. (Exception: some non-fiction books or documentary films.) That said, that can be what makes it entertaining to read about lawyers in a book or watch lawyers on a screen.
Following are some movies (the focus for today) that feature “lawyers” or “the law” that may be of interest to those who would like to take a vacation by way of the screen. There is little rhyme or reason to this list. I started with Chicago because I think the music is wonderful, and I got to see it performed in the West End with Lynda Carter as Matron “Mama” Morton. I am ending the list with Legally Blond, which I had the pleasure of seeing on Broadway. Don’t worry, there are no musicals in the middle.
*Chicago: This American musical is set in the jazz age, and it is definitely a satire. The lawyer to watch in this is Billy Flynn, whose Press Conference Rag is hilarious.
*I Am Not Your Negro: This documentary film made by Raoul Peck is based on James Baldwin’s notes for a book project about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The trailer for the movie raises questions of what freedom means, encouraging us to consider how the law has shaped and continues to shape our country.
*To Kill a Mockingbird: I first read this book in an 8th grade English class, and the number of attorneys I know who have named their dogs after Scout is surprisingly high. Whether you’ve read Harper Lee’s famous book or not, this is a compelling story. Atticus Finch’s closing argument is freely available.
Just Mercy: You may have read Bryan Stevenson’s book. This movie tells Bryan Stevenson’s story as well, focusing particularly on the case of Walter McMillian. Though much of the filming was done in Montgomery, Alabama, some was done in East Point and Conyers, Georgia.
The Trial of the Chicago 7: If you weren’t alive for it (I wasn’t), you may not know that there were big protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Well, seven anti-Vietnam war organizers were accused of trying to incite a riot, and this movie tells that story.
The Law Library includes in its resources some law-related entertainment that may be of interest. We have some of these movies available in our collection at the Law Library or at GSU Libraries—the * before a title indicates those titles!
The Georgia Code regulates many aspects of when and where fireworks can be used; however, those statutes also indicate that local noise ordinances can place further limits on when you can use fireworks that cause noise. Most Georgia local codes are available in Municode, which makes it easy to look to see if any local ordinances limit when you can use fireworks over the weekend!
Law Library study rooms are available for reservation by law students, we are happy to announce!
Study rooms range in size and location—we have rooms that accommodate groups as large as 10. On the Law Library’s fifth floor, we have study rooms with monitors that you can use to do group work on a big screen. Rooms have dry erase boards that groups can use to share notes, develop outlines, etc.
Reserving a study room is pretty simple, and if you’ve used the booking system before it will be very similar. Start from the library home page and checkout the booking explorer, so your group can find the right time and room that will work for your study plan.
You can book the rooms in 15 minute increments, with each law student in a group eligible for up to three hours of study room time per day.
In the picture below, Room 501 is unavailable, but 503 and the other rooms are each available for a reservation.
When you book your room, you will still need to have (and list) the two or more law students who will be using the room for studying. Remember, when you’re finished using a study room that you need to lock the door and tell the folks at the circulation desk if you are leaving before the end of your reservation, so we can make sure that the room shows up as available to other students who may want to reserve the room. Knowing who is in the group can really help us with this part of reservation management!
Here’s a sample of the booking form:
We look forward to checking the keys out to your groups as you work on your summer classes and prepare for exams!
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 19th, marks our most recently enacted federal holiday, Juneteenth. After the bill swiftly made its way through Congress, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act yesterday. The Act makes Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday and the first new federal holiday since 1983, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery, and much of the federal government was closed today to commemorate the new federal holiday. We wrote a blog post on Juneteenth a few years ago; for that post, see below.
On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of a house in Galveston, Texas, and read out the text of General Order No. 3, informing the people of Texas of the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. Annual celebration of Juneteenth (a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”) began the next year; although celebration of the day declined in the early 20th century and was primarily centered in Texas, in more recent years recognition of the day has increased and spread. Juneteenth was officially recognized as a state holiday in Texas in 1980. Today, 46 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth through legislation.
All the scholarship in the world doesn’t mean a thing if no one reads it or knows about it. Our institutional repository is designed to help get the word out about the exciting and innovative work of GSU Law’s faculty.
To do that, we’ve collected nearly 10,000 works, many of them made even more accessible by the inclusion of full text. And these works do reach people all over, with readers from over 200 countries downloading them 1.1 million+ times since the repository’s inception in 2010. Our most popular publication is Professor Emeritus Paul S. Milich’s definitive overview of the 2011 overhaul of Georgia’s Evidence Code.
As you can see, the repository is growing in importance as a vehicle for promoting our faculty’s impressive scholarship within the broader public conversation while also ensuring that it remains easy to find and accessible. Have you used this valuable resource or its counterparts at other universities and law schools? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Books, movies, podcasts, music, and game suggestions from your favorite law faculty.
Hello everyone. It has become a Georgia State University College of Law Library tradition to solicit summer leisure reading suggestions from our faculty and provide said suggestions via a well-written and entertaining blog post (typically by yours truly.) Last year, we decided to open the content suggestions up to more than just books due to our new, more remote existences. We liked the results from those submissions, so we decided to try asking for a variety of content mediums again.
So, without further delay, here are some suggestions for books, movies, games, shows, podcasts, and music from GSU College of Law faculty.
A (somewhat fictional) story about Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When she meets Caesar, also a slave, he urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad. In Colson Whitehead’s conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.
Breath by James Nestor
No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, they began to be killed off.
In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four, Osage, the newly created FBI took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations.
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground, marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction and between the visions of self each century embodied
They are a couple, Liz and Matt, and they are informative and sure-fire fun. Liz is a journalist now writing for The Atlantic. Matt is a labor lawyer turned policy wonk. They have two young girls and mix together parenting advice, cultural commentary, policy analysis, and irreverent humor —all in roughly equal measure. (Disclosure: Matt blurbed my forthcoming book.)
The Chapos take vulgarity, brilliance, and the mercurial to the bleeding edge. If you sometimes feel as if events are shoving you to the point of madness, this crew could serve as your guardrails. Topical, opinionated —even perhaps, biased. If you know of someone funnier than Felix Biederman, sassier than Amber D’Allee Frost, or more insightful than Matt Christman, please let me know.
The Founders Coup by Michael J. Klarman
…should be on every American’s bookshelf. No —on every American’s bedside table. Beginning law students should especially give this book their attention. Klarman teaches at Harvard Law, and he writes clearly while telling an unforgettably compelling story —the story of the rowdy formation of our basic norm, the U.S. Constitution of 1789.
Lincoln by David H. Donald
…is not to be missed. “Honest Abe” Lincoln —”with all flaws”— has to be at least the provisional model of every decent lawyer. Forget Atticus Finch, that “white savior” figment of the Southern literary imagination. Put aside the estimable Bryan Stevenson, who will never come close to holding political power. Lincoln’s was a life lived by a real, powerful, imperfect human being, who was also a lawyer to his bony marrow.
Breath of the Wild
Any and every other Zelda game
Mass Effect, especially since the Legendary Edition just came out
Haikyuu!! – A shōnen sports anime series based on the manga by Haruichi Furudate, and produced is by Production I.G and Toho in conjunction with Japanese television network MBS. The anime consists of four seasons, four movies, and five OVAs.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – A woman starts to hear people’s innermost desires through songs.
Pose – A drama spotlighting the legends, icons, and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the late 1980s.
Archive Atlanta – A weekly history podcast sharing stories about the people, places, and events that shaped the city of Atlanta.
Revolutions – A podcast exploring the great revolutions of history
…in which you have to get your teammate(s) to say the word by describing it to them using only single syllables. It’s pretty hilarious, can be enjoyed by all ages, and a game can be played quickly.
If you like word games, my husband and I have played a round of “Quiddler” every single night since the pandemic started. It’s a game that uses cards with letters on them, and players use a combination of luck and strategy to create words using their cards and try to outscore the other player(s). I also love the game “Code Names.”
How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle would last for decades and come at a steep price.
Told through the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold onto its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.
The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon, both heretics and books will burn….
Ink and Bone
Paper and Fire
Ash and Quill
Smoke and Iron
Sword and Pen
Buried Truths Podcast – We can’t change our history, but we can let it guide us to understanding. Buried Truths investigates still-relevant stories of injustice, resilience, and racism in the American South.
Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad
This is the never-before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties–when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations, and other subversives reenergized American rock with punk rock’s do-it-yourself credo and created music that was deeply personal, often brilliant, always challenging, and immensely influential.
Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture by Grace Elizabeth Hale
In Athens, in the eighties, if you were young and willing to live without much money, anything seemed possible. Cool Town reveals the passion, vitality, and enduring significance of a bohemian scene that became a model for others to follow. Grace Elizabeth Hale experienced the Athens scene as a student, small-business owner, and band member. Blending personal recollection with a historian’s eye, she reconstructs the networks of bands, artists, and friends that drew on the things at hand to make a new art of the possible, transforming American culture along the way.
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley
As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award-winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon.
Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night by Julian Sancton
The harrowing true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry–with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter–in the tradition of David Grann, Nathaniel Philbrick, and Hampton Sides
Music (all on vinyl)
Dinosaur Jr (including their brand new album, Sweep It Into Space, which is actually good)
The “Culture” series by Ian Banks
The Culture series or Culture cycle refers to a series of novels and short fiction written by Scottish author Iain Banks. The stories center around the Culture, a post-scarcity semi-anarchist utopia consisting of various humanoid races and managed by very advanced artificial intelligence.
Within the Culture series:
Consider Phlebas by Ian Banks
The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died; billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.
Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it and with it their own destruction.
The Algebraist by Ian Banks
It is 4034. Humanity has made it to the stars. Fassin Taak, a Slow Seer at the Court of the Nasqueron Dwellers, will be fortunate if he makes it to the end of the year. The Nasqueron Dwellers inhabit a gas giant on the outskirts of the galaxy, in a system awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of civilization. In the meantime, they are dismissed as decadents living in a state of highly developed barbarism, hoarding data without order, hunting their own young & fighting pointless formal wars.
East West Street by Philippe Sands
A renowned international law scholar discovers that this family history is wound up more intimately with international criminal law than he ever might’ve imagined. This history/memoir/biography recounts Sands’ genealogical journey in gripping detail.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.
But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.
Cocaine and Rhinestones – a podcast about the history of 20th Century Country Music and the lives of those who gave it to us.
Broken Record – a musical artist interview podcast by Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, and former New York Times editor Bruce Headlam. Most notably, Rick Rubin is the producer responsible for albums like Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication, Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around, and System of a Down’s Toxicity. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential music producers in American popular music. This link goes directly to Rick’s interview with Atlanta’s own Andre 3000.
Dragon Age Inquisition – I hadn’t owned video games since the Playstation 2. This is still the only game I own, and it took more time to finish it than I’ve spent on anything in the past few years. I might not buy another video game until the next Drago Age installment comes out.
The Last Narc – In 1985, DEA agent Enrique `Kiki” Camarena is kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug lords. Special agent Hector Berellez reveals the truth about the conspiracy behind Camarena’s murder that stretches from Mexico to Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021 (just in time for the start of the summer semester), the Law Library launched its new database list tool aptly titled “Law Library Databases A-Z.”
For the most part, students might not even notice or experience much of a change. The new service should look remarkably familiar for a couple of reasons. Namely, it shares the same platform with the Law Library’s existing Research Guides. Further, the University Library also uses the same tool to host its database list.
As such, we do not expect students to have too many issues accessing the databases they rely on for research. That said, the new platform presents a number of new features and potential integrations with other systems.
The new database list offers a powerful interface to browse, sort, search and share the law library’s licensed databases. Users can still browse databases alphabetically, by subject, access type, and vendor, as well as search the entire collection. We retired the obscure and confusing access codes (GSU, GSR, LL, COL, etc.) for more descriptive access types such as College of Law only, All GSU, and Law Library workstations. Did you really ever know the difference between a GSU and GSR database?
New features include “Popular Law Student Databases” and “New and Trial Databases” lists located on the website’s right rail. These features offer easy access to commonly used law school resources and new library acquisitions, respectively. The new database list also allows for the simple sharing of resources –by this, we mean sharing with yourself for later use or sharing with your fellow students. After each database, there is a share icon that will allow users to email the database name, description, and link to themselves or another user. The “Top Resource” feature allows librarians to tag a database as a preferred or suggested resource and spotlight it in the browsable subject list display. Finally and arguably most important, now that the Law Library’s database list shares a platform with Research Guides, databases can be better leveraged and integrated into the research guides.
This is all good news, but it is somewhat bittersweet sunsetting our old Database List. This was a clever in-house application built by a handful of intelligent people (other than myself). The administrative side of the database list also managed Law Library’s proxy server. Pretty cool, right? While I cannot identify the actual launch date, the Wayback Machine suggests the database list served the College of Law Library and its patrons for at least fifteen years. That is a long life for a web application. So it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.
The new database list can be found at https://libguides.law.gsu.edu/az.php. All links on the Law Library webpage will direct researchers to the new service. The look of our research guides and Law Library Databases A-Z may change in the coming months as the Law Library moves to a new website presence more in line with the College of Law’s website. That said, the functionality will remain the same.
Graduation is always an exciting time with much to reflect on: the three-plus years of hard work, the upcoming bar exam (and final part of your journey to becoming a practicing attorney), and many other reflective thoughts. So, as we celebrate in the law library, we want to congratulate all of the graduates on overcoming and achieving an important milestone in your life!
We thank each of you that supported the law library in various ways throughout the years. Whether it was filling out a survey, dropping by the reference desk to check-in, or giving your suggestions to improve student life, it was all appreciated. We also want to especially thank the members of the Law Library Student Advisory Council. The advisory council’s graduating members spent three to four years of their time serving the GSU student community.
The Student Advisory Council started in Spring 2011 to give law students a formal voice in library decisions. We met multiple times each semester and discussed ideas involving the library. These are just a few of the ideas implemented based on feedback from the Advisory Council: installing full-length mirrors in the library’s bathrooms, adding a hot water dispenser, and making the 6th floor of the library the “quiet floor” (and including elevator buttons to indicate as much.)
The following Student Advisory Council members are graduating this year:
Maria Tellez (Graduated in December 2020)
Arlissa Williams Jennings
For a list of all of our members, and more information about the council, see our web page.
Graduates, good luck with everything. We wish you much success in the future. Remember that we are always available to assist you, even as practicing members! We’re only a chat or phone call away.
Lexis and Westlaw have historically altered their access policy for students and recent graduates during the summer. The Law Library has recently received an update from both Sue Moore at Westlaw and Brittany Conklin at Lexis. They will provide summer access as described below.
Access and Restrictions for Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Law students will automatically have free unlimited use of their law school Lexis ID this summer. No registration is required.
You do not have to do anything to gain access to Westlaw over the summer. However, there are use restrictions.
You may only use Westlaw over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a specific client at a law firm. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following but are not limited to:
Summer coursework or any type of academic research
Research Assistant assignments
Law Review or Journal research
Moot Court or any trial competition research
Externship/Internship sponsored by the school
Practicing your research skills
Access for Graduating 3Ls
Graduates may access Lexis for free through December 31st, 2021. No registration is required.
You must register for Graduate access.
May 2021 Graduates will see grad access information when they sign on to lawschool.tr.com – their access is “normal” until May 31st. Starting June 1st – November 30th, they will have 60 hours of usage per month for six months. The direct link to extend for grad access is https://lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite.
If you have any questions about Westlaw grad access, please email Sue at email@example.com.
Another tough semester almost complete! We wanted to remind you of some of the resources available to help you prepare for exams, get research assistance from the librarians, or take a break from studying! As a reminder, we will be open to the GSU Law community for normal Spring 2021 hours through the end of the exam period, May 12th. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages for exam and graduation-related messages and videos.
The Study Aid Finder guide provides easy access to a compilation of digital, physical, and multimedia study aids grouped according to the traditional GSU College of Law curriculum (with recommended electives being subjects tested on the bar exam but are not required subjects of the J.D. curriculum). The current Spring ’21 classes are displayed towards the top of each respective page.
Stress Buster LibGuide:
The Stress Busters guide is available via the private link sent to you in the most recent personal librarian email. We hope that it serves as an outlet during final exams. When you take the time to de-stress, you’ll recharge and be able to focus when you return to your studies. The GSU Law Library has gathered a variety of stress relief activities for you to enjoy.
Pet Pics Display:
Pictures of students, faculty, staff, and their pets are displayed via the private link sent to you in the most recent personal librarian email. Please reach out to us if you need access to it. These images are also being displayed on the law library digital signage. You can still get your pet added to the display by emailing Gerard Fowke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog posts with helpful information from the library to help you with finals, including: