Brooklyn Law School students, faculty and staff can access the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals via Hein Online. The IFLR is a subject index to selected international and comparative law periodicals and collections of essays. It is produced at the Berkeley Law Library, University of California Berkeley for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and is multilingual. It provides information on articles and book reviews published in over 500 legal journals published worldwide. Coverage encompasses public and private international law, comparative and foreign law, and the law of all jurisdictions other than the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia. The IFLP also analyses the content of about eighty individually published collections of legal essays, Festschriften, Mélanges, and congress reports each year. There are nearly 300,000 index records with links to over 34,000 full-text articles and book reviews via journals available in Hein Online.
Brooklyn Law School Professor Bradley Borden has posted on SSRN an article entitled Using the Client-File Method to Teach Transactional Law. The full text of the 18 page article, published at 17 Chapman L. Rev. 101 (2013), is available here. The abstract reads:
This Article presents a teaching method (the client-file method) for transactional law courses that combines the business school case-study method with the law school case method. The client-file method of teaching requires students to become familiar with real-word legal issues and the types of documents and information that accompany matters that transactional clients bring to attorneys (i.e., the contents of a client file). The method also requires students to learn and apply substantive law to solve problems that arise in a transactional law practice. Because the client-file method places students in a practice setting, it helps them become more practice-ready law graduates. Although the client-file exists in various forms in many parts of the legal curriculum, this Article describes its specific application to transactional business law courses with accompanying diagrams and a description of the learning cycle it facilitates. The method provides the promises making experiential learning accessible to a greater number of law students.
During the reading and exam period, you must make a reservation to use a library study room. Mandatory study room reservations will begin Thursday, Dec. 5, at 8:00 am; at that time all study rooms will be locked and you must go to the first floor circulation desk when your reservation time begins to charge out the key to the room. The link to the study room reservations is on the library homepage, under “Related Links” on the right side of the page.
- Study rooms are for the use of groups of two or more students
- Study rooms may be reserved only for the current day and two days ahead
- Study rooms may be reserved for periods from 30 minutes up to four hours
- Students are permitted to reserve a room for no more than four hours per day
- Reservations violating these policies will be deleted
- Instructions for making reservations and a list of rooms available are on the study room reservations page
Library hours for the reading and exam period:
- Thursday, Dec. 5 – Thursday, Dec. 19: 8:00 am – 2:00 am
- Friday, Dec. 20: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
- From Dec. 5 – Dec. 19, the Circulation Desk will close at Midnight; no books can be checked out after Midnight
- Please limit all conversations in the library – remember that your colleagues are studying too
- no eating in the library; please go to the student lounge or dining hall for all snacks and meals
- Do not leave valuables unattended. If you step away from your study table or carrel, take anything of value to you with you
- And Finally,
Brooklyn Law School Library’s latest New Books List with its 55 items is now available thanks to the efforts of Cataloging Librarian Jeff Gabel. The titles on the list cover a wide range of subjects from abortion law and legislation to corporation law, from criminal justice to labor law, and from social media to rent control in New York.
One title of practical interest to law students is Law School Lowdown: Secrets of Success from the Application Process to Landing the First Job (Call # KF283 .S37 2013) by Ian E. Scott. The author, a New York attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School, successfully completed the New York and New Jersey bar examinations and worked at Cleary Gottlieb’s litigation and corporate groups. Since then, he opened his own law practice, Scott Legal Services, P.C., which specializes in new business setup and business immigration.
This practical guide for success has tips on pitfalls to avoid and serves as a blueprint for legal accomplishment on a number of topics including:
- The law school application process and tips on taking the important Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Selecting a law school, applying for scholarships, and deciding between top-ranked and lower-ranked schools
- Making the grade during that vital first year at law school
- The best courses to take in second and third years
- The advantages of publishing papers while in law school
- Seeking out summer positions at law firms
- Taking and passing state bar exams
- Finding employment at a law firm after graduation
- Other post-law school options, including judicial clerkships
The book’s useful appendices has yet more advice, and includes a completed model law school application form, effective résumés, and a model brief of a case for class. Based on his own law school experiences, Law School Lowdown addresses both the rigors and satisfactions that comprise the law school experience, offering the advice to will pave the way to a successful career in law. A companion blog called Law School Lowdown: The Site for Practical Law School Success Tips offers additional advice.
This week, University of Illinois College of Law Assistant Professor Law Stephen Rushin discussed his article The Legislative Response to Mass Police Surveillance scheduled for publication in volume 79 of the Brooklyn Law Review. The abstract for the article reads:
Police departments have rapidly adopted mass surveillance technologies in an effort to fight crime and improve efficiency. I have previously described this phenomenon as the growth of the digitally efficient investigative state. This new technological order transforms traditional law enforcement by improving the efficiency of everyday policing activities and retaining copious amounts of data on both suspicious and unsuspicious behavior. Empirical evidence shows that police surveillance technologies are common and rapidly expanding in urban America. In the absence of legislative action, police departments have adopted widely disparate internal policies. The Supreme Court had the opportunity to reign in the scope of police surveillance in Jones v. United States. But the Court could not agree on whether technological improvements in efficiency transform an otherwise legal policing tactic into an unconstitutional search. Nor could the Court agree on whether a person may have a reasonable expectation to privacy in public movement. Post-Jones, the jurisprudence of police surveillance emerged as incoherent as ever.
I have previously argued that the judiciary should regulate police surveillance technologies. While it remains possible that the judiciary will someday make such a doctrinal shift, the immediate responsibility for regulating police surveillance technology falls on state legislatures. In this Article, I offer a model statute to regulate mass police surveillance. The model statute limits indiscriminate data collection. It also caps data retention for personally identifiable information. It excludes from criminal court any locational evidence obtained in violation of the statute. And it gives the state attorney general authority to bring suit against police departments that fail to abide by the law. This legislation would give discretion to police departments to craft data policies fitting their city’s unique needs, while also encouraging consistency and fairness.
The 20 minute interview, available here, aired on Law and Disorder Radio, a weekly radio program, addresses law enforcement use of different technological replacements for traditional behavior. At first, these innovations seemed a good thing but recently local law enforcement began to utilize extreme data retention using Automatic License Plate Readers and security cameras with facial recognition. These tools allow law enforcement to monitor an entire community invasively without invading any legally protected areas of privacy. As a result, the public is just beginning to learn the dangers of big data collection by the state. His proposal deals with the length of time local law enforcement retain data.
Tracking and surveillance technology facilitates unprecedented levels of data collection about individuals, often without their knowledge or consent. Government use of that technology has generated controversy and questions about civil liberties and privacy rights, How, or if, government can use these technologies responsibly is a major issue. For more on the subject, see the BLS Library copy of Privacy and Surveillance With New Technologies by Peter P. Swire and Kenesa Ahmad (Call # KF5399 .P75 2012). It offers an overview of government surveillance using new technology and selects five issues (Video surveillance, Border searches of electronic devices, Communication surveillance, Location surveillance, and online tracking) that present complex challenges to civil liberty advocates and government officials alike.
On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War in July of that with more than 7000 killed. Gettysburg attorney David Wills and local officials planned an elaborate dedication ceremony for a national cemetery for the fallen soldiers, inviting state governors, members of Congress, and cabinet members, and prominent orator Edward Everett as the keynote speaker. At the last minute, Willis asked President Lincoln to make a few remarks probably thinking he would not attend or simply deliver a few platitudes. But President Lincoln delivered a two-minute speech that redefined the nation. In a mere ten sentences of about 270 words, Lincoln delivered one of the most important political speeches in American history, one often called the Second Declaration of Independence.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
The Gettysburg Address still matters today. Brooklyn Law School Library’s copy of Lincoln’s Counsel: Lessons from America’s Most Persuasive Speaker by Arthur Rizer (Call # KF368.L52 R59 2010), calls it the Greatest Closing Argument Ever Made: “Even today, brevity in closing arguments isn’t universally appreciated. If an attorney gave a three-minute closing argument, he may be sued for malpractice. Despite this, with the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln used his skills as a persuasive litigator to breathe life into a cause that was costing so much human life. The speech was more than simple dedicatory remarks for a memorial site. He set out a position that advocated why his position was correct, much as a lawyer does in making a closing argument, and he did it quickly and beautifully.” More importantly, President Lincoln rededicated the nation to the principle of human equality, and to a government that reflected that equality by advancing the economic interests of all Americans. Now, as then, most Americans back Lincoln’s vision and now, as then, some still oppose those principles for both racial and economic reasons.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, many of you are beginning to finalize your papers and study for your exams. This time of year can be quite overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources in the library to help you succeed. Listed below are some of the resources. If you have questions about them, please feel free to stop or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the reference desk.
- First Year Courses:
- Site provides links to popular study aids for first year courses.
- Upper Level Courses:
- There are a few ways to identify study aids for upper level courses. One way is to search the SARA catalog for the phrase study aid, and then use the filters on the left hand side of the screen to limit the list to items located on Reserve. Another way is to search for a particular series. For example, you could search SARA for West’s Nutshell Series, the Understanding Series, Sum and Substance, Concise Hornbook Series, or Examples and Explanations.
Legal Writing and Citation Tools:
- Legal Writing & Analysis:
- Site links you to resources to help with legal writing and analysis
- Legal Citation:
- Site links you to legal citation resources
Other Tools for Success:
- Exams on File:
- Link provides access to past exams
- Study Room Reservation:
- Except during the reading and exam periods, the policy for the use of study rooms is as follows: Rooms may be used by two or more students for up to four hours per day. Rooms that are not reserved may be used on a first-come, first-served basis, but students who have reserved a room have priority over students who are using an empty room without reserving it. Use the online Study Room Reservation System to reserve a room. During the reading and exam periods, students on must reserve study rooms. Groups of two or more students may reserve one library study room for up to four hours per day. No student may reserve a room for individual use.
An article in the NY Times titled They Loved Your GPA. Then They Saw Your Tweets recently pointed out the consequences of inappropriate postings on social media. The article reads:
As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects. In fact, new research from Kaplan Test Prep, the service owned by the Washington Post Company, suggests that online scrutiny of college hopefuls is growing.
Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire this year, 31% said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year. More crucially for those trying to get into college, 30% of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
High school students are not the only ones who need to exercise discretion when using social media. Touro Law School Assistant Professor of Law Jonathan Ezor’s PowerPoint presentation Law Students Tweeting Badly demonstrates that law students need to use caution as well. Beyond the world of academia, an item in Brooklyn Law School Library’s November New Books List shows that the problem goes much further. Social Media: Legal Risk & Corporate Policy by Fordham Law School Adjunct Law Professor Adam I. Cohen (Call #KF390.5.C6 C576 2013) shows that lawyers and jurists, corporate policymakers, and government regulatory agencies have only just begun to address the practical business and legal risk issues raised by the proliferation of social media channels and content.
The free legislative information website, Congress.gov, is transitioning into its permanent role as the official site for federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies. The site, which launched in beta form last fall and features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation, is replacing the nearly 20-year-old THOMAS.gov.
Beginning Nov. 19, typing Thomas.gov into a web browser will automatically redirect to Congress.gov. Thomas Twitter followers will be transferred to the Congress.gov Twitter account. THOMAS.gov will remain accessible from the Congress.gov homepage through late 2014 before it is retired.
To help ease the transition for users from THOMAS.gov to the new site, the Library of Congress is offering online training webinars over the next few months. Complete this form if you wish to register for a training webinar.
This month, Brooklyn Law School will be launching the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE). This new initiative will serve as a hub for exploring legal issues surrounding entrepreneurship, and for providing effective legal representation and support for new businesses. It will offer training for the next generation of business lawyers in technology, real estate, media, creative arts, energy, or any other area of enterprise with tools to support and help build the start-up successes of tomorrow.
BLS Associate Professor of Clinical Law Jonathan Askin is the CUBE Innovation Catalyst and also Founder & Director of the BLIP Clinic. The inspiration for the project is allow BLS law students to use their law degrees to explore new ways to represent innovative entrepreneurs, embark on ventures of their own, and trail blaze paths for the entrepreneurial lawyer and the legally-trained entrepreneur. BLS Dean and Professor Law Nicholas Allard is making a series of presentations seeking input from faculty and others about plans for the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE).
The BLS Library has in its collection Entrepreneurial Practice: Enterprise Skills for Lawyers Serving Emerging Client Populations by Nelson P. Miller, Michael J. Dunn, and John D. Crane (Call # KF300 .M554 2012). The book discusses the increasingly specialized role of law in our complex, technical, regulatory state affecting more people more frequently and more deeply than ever before. It argues that if communities are to prosper, lawyers must standardize law products and services to meet new needs, efficiently fit those services for individual clients, price those services transparently, and deliver them timely by accessible means. Lawyers who learn these new law practice conventions will have more meaningful and rewarding careers that promote the order, openness, health, welfare, and economy of their communities. These lawyers will use more mobile and powerful technology in more clear, precise, and technical means to convey better-suited law products and services to better-served clients.