De-stress with GSU Law Library’s Leisure Section

naturally-de-stress

 

By Colleen Hampton

Whether you’re looking to de-stress over a weekend or binge watch something over a vacation, the Law Library’s Leisure Section has what you need. With exams looming in the not too distant future you may need a break from the constant studying and outlining.  You are studying and outlining already, right?

Either way, the Library has a fun leisure section stocked full of TV shows and movies for your viewing pleasure:

TV Shows:

Criminal Minds – Because all investigations should be solved in 40 minutes.

Matlock – Who doesn’t love this Southern do-gooder? Sure, it’s a little dated but think of it like a time capsule to the land of shoulder pads and wide-leg suit pants.

Perry Mason – For the lover of black-and-white-era television you can’t go wrong with this legal drama. Besides, Mr. Mason somehow manage to get only innocent clients making this show a statistical anomaly worth watching.

The Closer – A Southern chocoholic who breaks bad guys with her logic and reasoning? Why not!

West Wing – Because maybe a fictional President is what we need right now.

 

And for the more serious among us there are even Documentaries:

Hot Coffee – Which challenges what you think you know about tort reform.

How to Die in Oregon – An in-depth look into the controversies surrounding medical aid in dying.

 

Light-hearted Movies:

My Cousin Vinny – Regarded by some as the best legal movie of all time, My Cousin Vinny details one lawyer’s difficulty in navigating down-home justice.

Legally Blonde – When you want to believe law school can be as easy as Reese Witherspoon makes it look.

1776 – Before there was Hamilton the Musical there was 1776. Yes, it’s a musical and yes it’s cheesy but if you are in the mood for musical theater you can’t go wrong with this choice.

The Rain Maker – Because who doesn’t love to see a lawyer go after a big, bad insurance company?

These are just some of the many titles available at the Law Library.

Let’s face it, law in real-life involves some dull mechanics (I’m talking about you, Civil Procedure). If you need an escape, look no further than the Law Library’s Leisure Section.

Finding Your Fit in a Student Organization

Most everyone entering law school has heard of Moot Court, Law Review, and Student Trial Lawyers Association (Mock Trial), but there are other organizations that get far less attention. The plethora of student organizations chartered at GSU COL give students the opportunity to be actively involved in issues they plan to practice in later and/or that they care about on a personal level. Membership dues range from $0 – $65, with most being in the $10 range. The student organizations host a variety of events (usually with a free lunch included), where professionals ranging from doctors, social workers, attorneys, and judges speak to our students, giving them information that may impact their future legal careers. Generally, you never have to be a paid member to attend an event, but membership will usually come with voting rights, and possibly in a priority position to get information.

This time of year, many organizations are accepting names to be placed on the ballot for the following year’s executive board positions. Get involved. Use the summary of the organizations below to decide where you will enjoy being active and seek out opportunities! Good luck.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS BASED ON AREAS OF LEGAL PRACTICE
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY
ACS seeks to promote a progressive view of the Constitution that advances values like compassion and decency in American law.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/GSUACS/about/?ref=page_internal
BUSINESS AND LAW SOCIETY
To foster a broad understanding of business issues facing attorneys today. To focus on the interest of JD/MBA candidates, providing an introduction of business issues that affects the careers of business and law students.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/632410446936808/
CRIMINAL LAW SOCIETY
CLS seeks to promote interest and education in the field of criminal law by providing opportunities to learn through panel discussions and guest speakers
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GSUCriminalLawSociety
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SOCIETY
Seeks to provide a forum for law students to explore the field of environmental law, a network of students and professionals to support professional growth.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/632818390230354/
ESTATE PLANNING AND WEALTH MANAGEMENT LAW SOCIETY
EPWM exists to educate, inform, and connect students with the professional community practicing in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills, and related Tax Law.

The EPWM seeks to provide resources for students interested in achieving employment in these legal fields and non-legal professions related to such fields, as well as, working closely with the professional community in these areas to build a stronger bond between it and Georgia State University students.

FEDERALIST SOCIETY
To embrace the principle that the state exists to preserve freedom, the separation of governmental powers is central to the integrity of the Constitution, and that it is province and duty of judiciary to say what the law is and not what is should be. To promote an awareness of these principles through activities.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1533019816912668/
Website: https://orgsync.com/24772/chapter
FAMILY LAW SOCIETY (host of COL book swap page)
The organization is dedicated to creating awareness about legal issues relating to family law including but not limited to traditional families, mixed families, marriages, divorces, adoptions, domestic violence, family courts, and attorneys. Our primary focus is on the unique role of the legal profession within a societal context. The organization will create awareness through the creation and incorporation of educational materials, speakers, and affiliations with other organizations. Members will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge on the various family law topics and interact with legal professionals in dealing with family law.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSULawBookExchange/
IMMIGRATION LAW SOCIETY
Immigration Law Society (ILS) is committed to increasing awareness of immigration law within the GSU College of Law, providing support to law students interested in the practice of immigration law, and providing support to Atlanta’s immigrant community.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/319286581582802/
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW SOCIETY
Provide members with opportunities to network with practicing IP attorneys. To learn more about Intellectual Property art and technology issues, and also provide a forum for students to work together to build their legal careers.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gsuIPLS/
INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE LAW SOCIETY
To promote the study of international law and legal topics such as international human rights, state-to-state relations, and international business issues. To strengthen ties between its students members and the legal community
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/118183328632971/?ref=bookmarks
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW SOCIETY
The Labor & Employment Law Society’s (LELS) mission is to allow law students to network with one another, increase their exposure to labor and employment law practitioners, develop their knowledge of current labor and employment law issues, and share information among members regarding career opportunities.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LELSGSU/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
LAW STUDENTS FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Committed to educating, organizing, and supporting pro-choice law students to ensure that a new generation of lawyers will be prepared to successfully defend and expand reproductive rights.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/164795878048/?fref=nf
PUBLIC INTEREST LAW ASSOCIATION (host of Annual PILA Auction and Outline Bank)
To educate students and the public at large about public interest law issues and seeks to promote the goals of public interest law in protecting the public rights.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSUPILA/?fref=nf
Website: http://auctionchairpila.wixsite.com/pilaauction
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW SOCIETY
To promote law school and its students in the Sports and Entertainment network in Atlanta. To provide information to our members concerning different opportunities in the Sports and Entertainment law field.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/854225408012541/
STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF accomplishes this mission by filing high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm, providing free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes, supporting tough animal protection legislation and fighting harmful animal protection legislation, and providing resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/830946793604431/?hc_ref=SEARCH
Website (National Chapter): www.aldf.org
STUDENT HEALTH LAW ASSOCIATION
To provide an organization for students with a legal interest in the healthcare field. Any student who is interested in health law issues, opportunities, and programs is encouraged to join.
Website:  http://gsu.orgsync.com/org/studenthealthlawassociation23861/home
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS BASED ON DIVERSITY
ASIAN AMERICAN LAW STUDENTS
To foster and improve ties between Asian American Law students and Members of the Asian American Bar and Bench and the legal community as a whole. To foster an environment conductive to the continued advancement of Asian American law students and to ensure their success as future attorneys.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSU.AALSA/?hc_ref=SEARCH
ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN LAW STUDENTS
To show concern about the under representation and lack of parity of women in the legal profession.
BLACK LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (host of the annual mock contract exam)
To articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of black law students while seeking to influence the legal community to bring about meaningful change to meet the needs of the Black community.
Website: http://gsu.orgsync.com/org/nblsa
CHRISTIAN LEGAL SOCIETY
Mission is to maintain a vibrant Christian Fellowship on GSU’s College of Law campus which enables our members to love the Lord with our whole beings– hearts, souls, and minds– and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/gsucls/
JEWISH LAW STUDENT ASSOCIATION
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/JLSAGSU/?hc_ref=SEARCH
LATINX AND CARIBBEAN LAW STUDENT ASSOCIATION
To play an active role in the furthering of Hispanic awareness and interests within the GSU College of Law and the legal community.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/LCLSAGSULaw/?hc_ref=SEARCH
MUSLIM LAW STUDENT ASSOCIATION
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GSUMLSA/?fref=nf
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was founded in 1937 as an association of progressive lawyers and jurists who believed that they had a major role to play in the reconstruction of legal values to emphasize human rights over property rights. The Guild is the oldest and most extensive network of public interest and human rights activists working within the legal system.
EMAIL: nlgatgsu@gmail.com
OUTLaw (formerly Lesbian and Gay Law Students Assoc.)
To support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) law students and allies at Georgia State University by encouraging personal, social, professional, and academic development through a safe and supporting space and atmosphere, a sense of community, networking opportunities, advocacy and education.
Facebook Page:   https://www.facebook.com/OutlawGA/
PARENTS ATTENDING LAW SCHOOL
Connecting GSU law student and alumni parents and parents-to-be.
Facebook Page:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/407962166070001/
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS BASED ON NETWORKING
JAMES OGLETHORPE LEGAL SOCIETY
The Oglethorpe Legal Society is a group of Students and Alumni who seek to interact together and promote fellowship between Students of the Georgia State College of Law and The State Bar.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/OglethorpeLegalSociety/
PHI ALPHA DELTA – Russell Chapter
PAD is a professional fraternity and its mission is to form a strong bond uniting students and teachers of law with members of the Bench and Bar in fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of liberty and equal justice under law.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1725837767680045/
Website (national chapter): http://www.pad.org/home
STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION (host of Barrister’s Ball and other off-campus student events)  
SBA serves the student body by acting as an advocate of all academic concerns, a promoter of student life, and a coordinator of all those peripheral functions that are integral to the achievement of academic excellence.
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/GSUSBA/
Website: https://insidelaw.gsu.edu/sba/

Chronicling America: Not JUST an Online Newspaper Archive

The Library of Congress  is sponsoring the historic newspaper database.  It consists of scanned and OCRed newspapers from 1789 through 1924 and bibliographic data from 1690 to present.

Just reading newspapers from 100 years ago is interesting in itself.  But what else should be done with this digital archive? Beyond advanced search options: proximity terms, phrase searching, and Boolean logic the dataset features an API.

paper

An API (application programming interface) is a set of protocols that enables programs to easily talk to other programs. In this instance, a programmer can quickly pull a JSON (Java Script Object Notation) dataset from the archive for manipulation.

Why is this important?  Open archives and structured datasets invites new and creative research opportunities and insights.  For example, a researcher can track how newspaper word usage evolved over this time frame. Or a researcher could create tests for tracking the prevalence of “fake news” in the past.

What questions do you want to ask 125 years of newspapers?

Edit: As exciting as this dataset is, it is also a bit disappointing.  The archive stops in 1924 – no doubt because of copyrighted works not being in the public domain.  The wealth of research that could be done, and the data that could be created and linked is being stifled by copyright law. New laws could enable the information revolution to accomplish much more.

The Online Reading Room: Professor Insight

By John Evans

Have you ever sat down to write a take home exam and wondered what your professor actually thought about the subject? Or had a professor make a side comment about an issue they clearly care about but goes well beyond the scope or depth of the class? Well for you, the more curious law students (if you have some time on your hands), I have an answer.

The Reading Room.

The Reading Room is an institutional repository which seeks to be a comprehensive collection of the works written by GSU Law faculty. In the Reading Room, each professor has their own page listing their published works. The works are separated into categories based on type of publication.

reading-room

If you just want a quick glance at the professor’s opinion, look for the popular press section. This section contains newspaper articles and blog posts, which should give you an introduction to the topic.

If you are interested in a little more treatment of the topic, head to the “article” section. For most professors, the bulk of their publications are in the “article” section – publications in law reviews and law associate journals. Items in this section are meant for a more learned audience, so it will require a bit more time.

If your appetite can’t be satisfied by a few dozen pages or want more diversity in opinion, check out the “contribution to books” section. Here you will find works where the GSU professor wrote only a portion of a book.  If you want to really get into your professor’s head, look for the full books section – you can access these items in the library.

So you have found a piece of writing that fits your needs, so what’s next? Each work in the Reading Room, has its own bibliographic page with a treasure trove of information. If you are really short of time, simple reading these titles in aggregate can paint a picture in your head of the professor’s opinions. You will also find the citation for the work in order to help you find it.

As we all know, openfinding sources, even with the citation, can be difficult. The Reading Room again comes to our rescue. For most writings, especially those in the article and popular press sections, the reading room provides a link to the text of the writing. For an increasing number of  works, there is also a full text PDF. Currently the library is working on obtaining permission to post full text of as many of the works as possible.

So next time you are starting a research project and want to know what your professor has to say, come and check out the Reading Room.

Inauguration Facts!

by Veselin Simonov

Image by Flickr user The British Library. Originally appeared in “The Household History of the United States and its people”, Macmillan & Co, 1889.

Recently, the United States witnessed the inauguration of its 45th President – Donald J. Trump. Inaugurations are festive events and they never fail to make history. Here are some fun historical facts about past presidential inaugurations!

  • Constitutional guidelines about the presidential inauguration only include the date and the oath. Everything else has developed as a matter of tradition and technically isn’t legally required.
  • In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was the first to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C. after the city was designated as the fledgling nation’s permanent capital.
  • Jefferson is also the one that started the tradition of the inaugural parade after he rode to the Presidential House from the Capitol when mechanics from the Navy Yard started following him in celebration.
  • In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was the first President to invite African Americans to the inaugural parade.
  • Andrew Jackson’s 1829 public reception drew 20,000 people and the White House was so crowded, Jackson had to escape through a window.
  • While we’ve just inaugurated our 45th President, only 44 men have held the job – Grover Cleveland is counted twice due to his non-consecutive terms in office.
  • The shortest inaugural address: George Washington, 135 words. The longest inaugural address: William Henry Harrison, 8455 words (clocking in at almost 2 hours!).
  • In 1861, the only float in Lincoln’s inaugural parade was one symbolizing the Constitution and the Union. It was clad in red, white and blue with a small girl symbolizing each of the 34 states, even those that seceded.
  • In 1969, Richard Nixon’s inauguration limited the number of military units present to appear less hawkish.
  • Calvin Coolidge was sworn in by his father – a justice of the peace – rather than the Chief Justice, as tradition usually dictates. This is because he wasn’t elected – he took over the presidency after Warren G. Harding’s death.
  • If a presidential term begins on a Sunday, the President will take the oath privately that day and then repeat it at a public ceremony the next day.

Source: White House Historical Association

If These Walls Could Speak – a Brief History of the U.S. Supreme Court Building

by Veselin Simonov

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image by Flickr use Matt Wade

Lawyers and law students stand in awe of the Supreme Court of the United States. We reverently refer to it as “the Court”. We pick and choose the justices we like and agree with. We read the cases and treat the rulings as powerful and definitive. We argue over the Court’s role in our democracy but even during our debates we cannot overstate its importance to our society. The power of judicial review makes the Court the ultimate authority on saying what the law is. The Court is the nation’s heart of judicial power and such a powerful institution doesn’t come without its fair share of fascinating history.

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The courtroom. Featuring the pillars made of Sienna marble. Image by Flickr user Phil Roeder.

Take the building the Court meets in, for example. Surprisingly, it’s relatively new – the Court didn’t get its own building until 1935 after existing for 146 years. At the very beginning, the National Capital was located in New York and the Court met at the Merchants Exchange Building. The Capital then moved to Philadelphia in 1790. There, the Court convened first in the State House (Independence Hall) and then in City Hall. Ten years later, the Capital moved again, this time to its permanent home in Washington, D.C. and the Court had no building of its own in which to convene. Congress thus offered the Court space in the Capitol Building. This started a period during which the Court would move several times around the Capitol Building. This ended when the British set fire to the Capitol in the War of 1812 and the Court was forced to meet in a private home until 1819. Once the Capitol was restored, the Court moved back in and met in a chamber now known as the “Old Supreme Court Chamber” until 1860. Then, the Court relocated to what is now known as the “Old Senate Chamber” until it finally moved into its own building in 1935.

The new building’s chief proponent was Chief Justice William Howard Taft (yes, that William Howard Taft – President Harding appointed him to the bench eight years after Taft finished his term as the 27th U.S. President). Taft convinced Congress to stop housing the Court in the Capitol Building and give it its own place. To that end, Cass Gilbert was chosen as the lead architect. Tragically, neither Gilbert nor Taft would live to see the building completed and the construction of their vision was finished under the direction of their successors. On October 13, 1932, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes spoke as the cornerstone was laid. His words were “the Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.”

Construction was complete in 1935 and the Court held its first session there on October 7 of that very year. The building incorporates several different types of marble. The main facade is made of Vermont marble while the inner courtyards consist of Georgia marble. The marble for the main courtroom’s 24 columns comes from Sienna, Italy – as per Gilbert’s exact directions. The building currently houses the Great Hall, the courtroom, the reading rooms and chambers of the justices, an exhibition hall, a gym, a basketball court (aptly named the Highest Court in the Land) and much more.

Not everyone was thrilled with the opulence of the structure. Associate Justice Harlan Fiske Stone called it “almost bombastically pretentious…wholly inappropriate for a quiet group of old boys such as the Supreme Court.” Another justice supposedly said the justices would be “nine black beetles in the Temple of Karnak.” Yet another justice humorously suggested that they should ride into the building on elephants. Remarkably, the opulent building came in $94,000 under budget, costing around $9.6 million in 1935 terms ($169.5 million in modern terms).

Concerns over the building’s extravagance aside, the Court finally had a home of its own – a place not only for the justices to decide cases, but a building symbolic of the judicial authority of the U.S.

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The Great Hall. Image by Flickr user Phil Roeder.

Spring ALERT Program

Welcome back!

What you have been awaiting: the spring 2017 ALERT schedule.

  • Topic 1: Researching Ethics Decisions (1/18 @5:00 and 1/19 @1:00)
  • Topic 2: Tech Tools (2/8 @5:00 and 1/9 @3:00)
  • Topic 3: Fastcase! (3/1 @5:00 and 3/2 @3:00)
  • Topic 4: Tools/Databases for Transactional Practice (3/29 @5:00 and 3/30 @3:00)

Sign up here.

And

Read more about the ALERT program here (ok, yes both links are the same).