Author Archives: Loreen Peritz

Election 2016 – Polls, Predictions, and Analysis . . . Oh My!

Interested in taking a deeper dive into the polling and analysis being done right now on the 2016 Presidential Election?  Check out these websites:






Now That The UK Has Voted In Favor Of The Brexit, What Happens Next?

brexitHave you been following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, colloquially known as “the Brexit?” In a referendum held on June 23rd, British citizens voted in favor of the Brexit, with 52% percent voting to leave the EU and 48% voting to remain.

What Happens Now?

That’s a good question as there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the legal consequences of the referendum.  As a matter of fact, the UK is the first member nation ever to elect to sever its ties with the EU.  For the immediate future, though, the status quo will be maintained.  First of all, it is important to note that the referendum has no legal consequences with respect to the UK’s status as a member state of the EU.  Instead, the UK will begin the process of leaving the EU only after the British government invokes Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, one of the EU’s governing documents.

According to Article 50: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”  Article 50 also specifically provides “A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.” This language is important because it makes clear that the Brexit cannot be initiated by the referendum vote, the trigger to request an exit from the EU can only be pulled by a formal request under Article 50 made by the British government. Whether and when the British government will actually invoke Article 50 is anybody’s guess given the spate of resignations and current state of turmoil in British politics.  As a matter of fact, British legal scholars are currently debating how Article 50 is to be invoked – can the Prime Minister trigger Article 50 or is a formal vote of Parliament required?

What Happens When/If the British Government Invokes Article 50?

If the British government provides the EU with a formal Article 50 notification of its election to leave the EU, the UK and the EU will then be required by the Lisbon Treaty to negotiate a deal setting forth the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and establishing a structure for the future legal relationship between the UK and the EU.  Once the Article 50 trigger is pulled, the European Council and the UK will have just two years to hammer out a new deal.  If the parties choose not to extend this period and cannot reach any agreement, the UK will exit the EU with no formal arrangement in place.  Once the Article 50 trigger is pulled, it is irreversible.

Following the Brexit vote, David Cameron announced his intention to resign as Prime Minister, leaving the decision on how and when to trigger Article 50 in the hands of his successor.  Given the current chaos in British markets and politics, the culmination of Brexit may take years.


Looking for Federal Government Information? Try the New Govinfo website.


The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched a beta version of its new GovInfo web site.  After it completes its beta phase, Govinfo will replace FDsys, the federal government website currently providing  free public access to over 50 different collections of federal government information, including the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional materials, and selected federal case law.   Users of GovInfo can browse by A-Z list, by category, by date, and by congressional committee content.  To see a list of collections available on Govinfo, visit here.


Are You a 1L and Anxious About Finals? Check Out the BLS Library Study Aid Collection

Are you feeling nervous about exam preparation?  Come to the library and take a look at our 1L study aid collection.  Along with your own class outlines, these study aids can be very helpful with exam preparation.  Our collection includes Examples & Explanations, Nutshells, Understandings Series, and more.  Most of our study aids are on reserve behind the circulation desk.  See any member of our circulation staff to check out a study aid.

Want more information about the BLS study aid collection?  Visit our 1L Resources, Tips, and Tools legal research guide here:

Also, even though classes are over, keep in mind that reference librarians are still available at the reference desk to answer any of your research questions.

From all of us at the BLS library, best of luck on your exams!


Welcome Back – Spring 2016 Semester!

Welcome back to your Spring 2016 Semester at BLS.

The first day of classes is Tuesday, January 19th.

Here are the library’s hours from January 19th  –

Monday – Thursday            8am-12pm
Friday                                    8am-10pm
Saturday                               9am-10pm
Sunday                                 10am-12pm

On Monday, January 18th, Martin Luther King Day, the library will be open from 9am-10pm.

On Monday, February 15th, Presidents Day, the library will be open from 9am-10pm.

For additional information on library hours, see library hours.

Looking for a Reliable Source of Global Legal News? Try the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor


The Law Library of Congress produces many excellent legal research tools – including the Guide to Law Online.  The Guide to Law Online provides links for web-based sources of federal law, state law, and for the laws of hundreds of foreign countries

Another great Law Library of Congress research tool is the Global Legal Monitor  The Global Legal Monitor offers coverage of legal news and developments worldwide.  Global Legal Monitor is produced by a team of Law Library of Congress editors, it is updated frequently, and its content is drawn from news stories found in official national legal publications and reliable press sources. Browse news stories from the Global Legal Monitor homepage or search for older news stories by text, topic, jurisdiction, author, or date.

Legal Blogs – a.k.a. Blawgs – What Can They Do For You?


Are you looking for your first legal job and want to look like an expert in a particular practice area?  Maybe you just want to learn more about a specific legal issue, an area of law, or a certain industry, law firm, or company?  If so, you should investigate legal blogs, or “blawgs.”

Here are some things to know about blawgs:

  • Blawgs usually follow “hot topics” or breaking legal news.  They can cover general legal topics or can focus on specific practice areas.
  • Blawgs may be written by attorneys, law librarians, law professors, or others.
  • Blawgs can help you to become informed and to stay current but use caution as the main purpose of some blawgs may be attorney self-promotion.

If you are looking for blawgs, try:

  • – search for blawgs by most popular, by category, or run a keyword search.
  • – search by subject, browse the headlines, or run a keyword search.
  • – an excellent source of material about the Supreme Court.

Finally, you can try:

  • – search by topic, author type, region, law school, and court.  Also, take a look at the ABA’s Annual Blawg 100.  According to ABA Journal, these are the blawgs that have “tipped us off to breaking news and the bloggers who have compelled us to write about their innovative ideas.”



American Bar Association Offers Free Membership to Law Students

aba-300x162All BLS students are eligible to take advantage of the American Bar Association’s offer of free membership to students enrolled at ABA approved law schools.   With your free membership, you can: access the ABA Job Board, subscribe to ABA publications, participate in ABA career webinars, and take advantage of ABA discounts on a wide variety of products and services.

For more information or to enroll online, visit or call  the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.


The Supreme Court Crafts a New Standard in Pregnancy Discrimination Cases – Young v. UPS

On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down Young v. United Parcel Service and set forth a new standard making it easier for a female employee to establish discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act [42 U.S.C. 200e(k)] (“PDA”).  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII in 1978, explicitly provides that discrimination “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” includes discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

The Young case arose when UPS offered light-duty accommodations to disabled and injured employees but not to pregnant employees.  Young alleged this policy violated the PDA.

In Young, the Court did not go as far as to say that employers must accommodate pregnant workers whenever they accommodate non-pregnant workers.  What the Court did say is, whenever different accommodations are provided to similarly situated pregnant and non-pregnant workers, the employer must determine whether there is any legitimate reason for the disparate treatment. If no legitimate reason exists, then the employer has discriminated on the basis of pregnancy in violation of the PDA.  Even when the employer is able to articulate a neutral business rational for the different accommodations, the Court ruled that the pregnant worker must still be given the opportunity to show that the different accommodations impose a “significant burden” on pregnant workers that cannot be justified by the employer’s neutral rationale.

Going forward, the Young decision means that a pregnant worker will not be required to establish explicit discriminatory intent to prove a PDA violation.  Instead, under Young, it is sufficient for the worker to show that different accommodations offered to similarly situated pregnant and non-pregnant workers impose a “significant burden” on pregnant employees.


Staying Current Using Legal Blogs and More – A Good Practice for Both Lawyers and Law Students

In order to adequately represent their clients, lawyers have an ethical obligation to “stay current.”  In short, this means lawyers should be aware of the current state of the law in both their specialty practice areas and also in the general practice of law.  Staying current also allows a lawyer to contact existing clients when the law changes – this type of contact often results in additional business.  Similarly, when competing for new business, a lawyer who is current in the potential client’s industry and regulatory environment is more likely to impress that client and to be awarded the new business.

Law students – it is never too early to begin the practice of staying current – ideally you should perfect this skill while still in law school.  Not only will you appear more knowledgeable on job interviews, you will also be better prepared to hit the ground running in your practice area when you land your first legal job.

There are a number of ways to stay current.  You can set up alerts in research databases such as Westlaw and Lexis.  You can also monitor legal news sources such as New York Law Journal and Law360 (both available on Lexis).  For the most recent “breaking news,” though, you should consider following at least a few legal blogs or “blawgs.”

Legal blogs are a great way to stay current and you can search for blogs in both your specialty area and on more general legal topics.  If you want to get started finding legal blogs in your area(s) of interest, try:, or

.  Each of these websites is a legal blog aggregator – you can search for blogs by practice area, by keyword, by subject area, or by most popular posts.

Finally, take a look at ABA Hall of Fame.  This is ABA Journal’s picks of the best legal blogs in 2014.  You are sure to find a legal blog of interest on this list – the blogs are generally of very high quality and the subjects are wide-ranging – from legal humor, to foreign law, to the use of technology in a law practice.