The American Law Institute describes itself as “the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.” From the bedrock Restatements on contracts, property and torts to the influential Uniform Commercial Code to the current project on Children and the Law, ALI’s legal experts have crafted (and continue to develop) key documents to aid courts, legislatures, agencies and law teachers/students. As ALI celebrates one hundred years of codifying and developing law, BLS librarians are proud to note that ALI’s history is Brooklyn Law School’s history. Many BLS current and emeritus faculty are ALI members: William D. Araiza, Miriam H. Baer (Vice-Dean), Anita Bernstein, Dana Brakman Reiser, Neil B. Cohen, James A. Fanto, Marsha Garrison, Andrew Gold, William E. Hellerstein, Alexis J. Hoag-Fordjour, Edward J. Janger, Beryl R. Jones-Woodin, Roberta S. Karmel, Brian A. Lee, David D. Meyer (President and Dean), Samuel K. Murumba, Norman S. Poser, David Reiss, Alice Ristroph, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Winnie F. Taylor, Aaron D. Twerski and Joan G. Wexler (Dean and President Emerita). We invite you to view a display highlighting ALI and BLS faculty’s work on noted ALI texts and projects in the third-floor Nash reading room.
BLS patrons also can review the texts featured in this display through HeinOnline’s American Law Institute Library (a subscription database accessible on campus through the BLS network or off campus through a web browser that communicates with the BLS proxy server).
On Monday at 6 pm, BLS Professor Andrew Gold and his co-editor Robert W. Gordon (Professor of Law Emeritus, Stanford Law School) will lead a book talk and discussion in the BLS Subotnick Center on their new work: The American Law Institute: A Centennial History. As noted in its introduction, this book is a collection of essays on certain ALI undertakings. Essay authors include a number of current and former Reporters involved in Restatement projects. The chapters raise questions like: What does it really mean to “restate” the law? How does a Restatement change the direction of law? Chapter 5 has the intriguing title: “Canon and Fireworks: Reliance in the Restatements of Contracts and Reliance on Them.” BLS patrons can access a digital version of this book on campus or off campus through the BLS proxy server.
Check out their new books on the first floor of Brooklyn Law School Library.
Brooklyn Law School Library is featuring our faculty’s new books in a rotating display at the first-floor circulation desk. All of these books are available for BLS patrons to check out. Many of these sources also are accessible digitally.
The first display showcases (in alphabetical order by author):
Miriam Baer, Vice Dean and Centennial Professor of Law, author of:
Myths and Misunderstandings in White-Collar Crime (Cambridge University Press, 2023)
Upcoming event: Book discussion featuring Vice Dean Baer – more details coming soon.
Date/location: Oct. 17, 2023, Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY
Cambridge University Press book description:
“Myths and Misunderstandings in White Collar Crime uses real world examples to explore the pathologies that hamper our ability to understand and redress white-collar crime. The book argues that several misinterpretations about white-collar crime continue to impede its enforcement, including: its failure to be classified according to degrees of severity in many jurisdictions; its failure to statutorily parse groups of defendants into major and minor players; and the failure of statutes to effectively define crimes, leading to the prosecution of ‘unwritten’ crimes. Miriam Baer offers a step-by-step framework, informed by theories of institutional design and behavioral psychology, for redressing these misunderstandings through ‘code design,’ or paying greater attention to how we write, frame, and lay out our federal criminal code, as a roadmap to more coherent and useful laws. A clearer, subdivided criminal code paves the way for a discussion of white-collar crime unmarred by myths and misunderstandings.”
Andrew Gold, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation, co-editor (with Robert Gordon) of:
The American Law Institute: A Centennial History (Oxford University Press, 2023)
“This book collects together a series of original essays in honor of the American Law Institute’s (ALI’s) Centennial. The essays are authored by leading experts in their fields, often including current and former Restatement Reporters. The essays also provide a wide range of perspectives on both methodology and the law. The volume coverage focuses on specific ALI undertakings, including some of the more important Restatements and Codes; several leading Principles projects; statutory projects such as the Model Penal Code and the Uniform Commercial Code; themes that cut across substantive fields of law (such as Restatements and codification or Restatements and the common law); and the ALI’s institutional history over the past century. The resulting book is a unique and compelling contribution to its fields of study.”
Coming in October 2023: A BLS Library display commemorating American Law Institute’s 100th year anniversary and highlighting BLS faculty’s key contributions to ALI’s Projects.
Susan Herman, Centennial Professor of Law and former President of the American Civil Liberties Union, author of:
Advanced Introduction to US Civil Liberties (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023)
Date/time/location: Oct. 13, 2023, 5:00 pm ET, Brooklyn Law School, Subotnick Center, 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY
Edward Elgar Publishing book description:
“This insightful Advanced Introduction provides a kaleidoscopic overview of key US civil liberties, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion, limitations on search and seizure, due process in criminal proceedings, autonomy rights, rights of equality, and democratic participation.”
Jocelyn Simonson, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, author of:
Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People are Dismantling Incarceration (The New Press, 2023)
For digital access, click: here > in the library’s catalog record, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION – EBSCO. Remote access requires implementation of the BLS proxy server instructions. Call number and location of the circulating print book: KF9632 .S56 2023 in cellar-level Main collection. Also, there is a copy on first-floor Reserve.
Date/time/location: Oct. 23, 2023, 6:30 pm ET, Center for Brooklyn History, 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn NY
The New Press book description:
“From reading books on mass incarceration, one might conclude that the way out of our overly punitive, racially disparate criminal system is to put things in the hands of experts, technocrats able to think their way out of the problem. But, as Jocelyn Simonson points out in her groundbreaking new book, the problems posed by the American carceral state are not just technical puzzles; they present profound moral questions for our time.
Radical Acts of Justice tells the stories of ordinary people joining together in collective acts of resistance: paying bail for a stranger, using social media to let the public know what everyday courtroom proceedings are like, making a video about someone’s life for a criminal court judge, presenting a budget proposal to the city council. When people join together to contest received ideas of justice and safety, they challenge the ideas that prosecutions and prisons make us safer; that public officials charged with maintaining “law and order” are carrying out the will of the people; and that justice requires putting people in cages. Through collective action, these groups live out new and more radical ideas of what justice can look like.
In a book that will be essential reading for those who believe our current systems of policing, criminal law, and prisons are untenable, Jocelyn Simonson shows how to shift power away from the elite actors at the front of the courtroom and toward the swelling collective in the back.”
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, text (718) 734-2432, or visit the circulation desk for help accessing these new books.
If you are writing a note, seminar paper, or you are interested in a particular area of law, you will want to be apprised of the latest publications on that topic. An easy way to stay up-to-date on new journal articles is to set up an alert that will inform you of any new publications in the topic areas of your choice.
HeinOnline recently introduced SmartCILP, a weekly publication that alerts you to the latest articles indexed in the Current Index of Legal Periodicals, also known as CILP. CILP indexes by subject heading, the most recent issues of primarily American law journals and includes more than 650 legal publications organized within 104 relevant subject headings. The University of Washington Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library has maintained CILP and sent out weekly updates to subscribers for nearly 90 years. Now users can subscribe directly to these updates through HeinOnline.
Then, enter a BLS email address, and choose the topics, subjects and/or specific legal journals of interest. Remember that if you are off-campus, you will need to have the proxy installed (https://www.brooklaw.edu/Library/Proxy-Server).
Note that you likely would receive your first SmartCILP email on a Monday. This email could be caught in Mimecast, so please check Mimecast and click “Permit” to allow future SmartCILP notifications to appear in your “Inbox.”If you have any problems or questions, email email@example.com.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 requires all employers, with the exception of “essential services or functions,” to reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% as of 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020. As a result, Brooklyn Law School Library is closed until further notice.
BLS librarians and staff are continuing to provide library services remotely. We are continually updating a web guide about how to remotely access online resources: https://guides.brooklaw.edu/remoteaccess. Many major casebook publishers are making ebook versions of casebooks available for free to students through the end of the semester; access information is found in the guide under the tab “Online Access to Case Books.” Information about how to request 60-day online access to the legal Bluebook can also be found in the guide.
Our reference librarian team is also ready and willing to help with reference questions. We are providing reference services online, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
If you have any questions or requests relating to library or reference services, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at (718) 734-2432.
Students at Brooklyn Law School spend a lot of time in the library. It was perhaps fitting that even as their law school journey drew to a close at graduation on May 18, the BLS Class of 2018 couldn’t quite escape the library.
At the commencement ceremony, class speaker Maria Ortiz reminded graduates of the quote from “A League of Their Own” that every BLS student has passed countless times given its prominent display in the library stairwell: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it… The hard is what makes it great.” When the happy graduates returned to BLS after the ceremony, many headed to the library’s third floor Nash Reading Room with family and friends to celebrate over food and drink. The Nash Reading Room only opened last fall (official dedication to come soon!), and it was wonderful to see it transformed into a place of joyous celebration. Build it and they will come.
We look forward to continue seeing familiar faces over the summer as many newly-minted alums will be using the library for their bar exam studies. Here are some photos from the graduation festivities in the library and beyond. (Thanks to Jean Davis for taking most of these photos!)
Congratulations and all the best to the Brooklyn Law School Class of 2018!!
Class speaker Maria Ortiz at Commencement 2018
“It’s supposed to be hard” plaque in library stairwell
Nash Reading Room abuzz with activity
Jean Davis and her former IFLR seminar student Charlene
Always carry your Black’s Law Dictionary with you
Jessica and her family
Ready to plunder (the buffet)
Rewarded after all the hard work
Enjoying the food and drink
Azizah and Prof. Maryellen Fullerton
Elizabeth (left) and sister
BLSA members at the library
Timmy loved visiting the library!
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 from the library staff!
Brooklyn Law School’s Professor Alex Stein gained appointment to the Israeli Supreme Court. Stein, a foremost expert on torts, medical malpractice, evidence, and general legal theory, was appointed along with Israeli District Court Judge Ofer Grosskopf to fill two open Supreme Court positions that were vacated by retiring justices. Stein’s nomination was unanimously approved by the Judicial Appointments Committee. There are 15 justices on the Israeli Supreme Court.
“Professor Stein is one of the world’s brilliant legal minds,” said Nick Allard, President and Dean of Brooklyn Law School. “In the short time he has been with us, he has made an enormous positive impact on the Brooklyn Law School community—as a teacher, a scholar, and a wonderfully energetic and engaged colleague and friend. We could not be prouder of his well-deserved appointment to the Israeli Supreme Court, where we know he will make important and lasting contributions as a jurist—as he has as a law professor and practicing lawyer.”
Born and raised in the former Soviet Union, Stein immigrated with his parents to Israel, where he finished high school, served in the military, and studied law. Following his marriage, he has lived in the United States for the last 14 years and joined the Law School faculty in 2016. While in the United States, he continued his involvement in the Israeli legal academy and practice. Stein has been recognized as one of the most highly cited scholars in the field of Evidence. His books include An Analytical Approach to Evidence: Text, Cases and Problems, (Call Number KF8935 .A83 2016). The book is a problem-based Evidence casebook that presents the Federal Rules of Evidence in context, illuminates the rules, and provides a fully updated and systematic account of the law. Lively discussion and interesting problems (rather than numerous appellate case excerpts) engage students in understanding the principles, policies, and debates that surround evidence law. He received his law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D. from the University of London.
Want to keep up-to-date with legal news even though you’re short on time? Twitter is a great tool to share and receive timely information about the legal industry, legal technology, and law school news. Many lawyers also use Twitter to refer clients, to build relationships, and to market themselves and their firms.
To get you started, check out the ABA Law Journal’s “Web 100: Best Law Twitter.” Here you will find the ABA’s suggestions on who to follow on legal Twitter. Recommended accounts include legal organizations, law schools and law faculty, lawyers practicing in various specialty areas, and even a few accounts devoted exclusively to legal humor.
Also, make sure to follow BLS Library’s Twitter Account. We’ll keep you up-to-date on legal news and informed on BLS Library’s resources and events.
As students prepare to resume their legal studies and begin their scholarship for another semester under the tutelage of their BLS professors, I want to recommend a new book that discusses the contributions to the legal profession of a group of selected scholars and professors over three centuries.
The author says that he hopes this volume will serve as an “introduction to the law for prospective lawyers and beginning students in J.D. and LL.M. programs.”
The book is composed of short biographical essays covering a representative number of legal scholars who have also been law professors. The work explores the nature of the American legal system, and how American law professors have had a profound effect on American law and life.
While the author covers law professors from William Blackstone to Barack Obama, here are a few of the giants of those that are included:
William Blackstone – It has been written that the groundwork for U.S. jurisprudence can be found in the multi-volume work of Sir William Blackstone, a noted English judge, scholar and politician of the 18th century. The work, entitled Commentaries on the Laws of England...in four books, provided a systematic analysis of English common law. These commentaries were based on Blackstone’s lectures at Oxford University.
Christopher Columbus Langdell was Dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895 and is often called the “father of American legal education” because it was he who established the case method of instruction where students read and studied appellate court decisions while teaching at Harvard, incorporating it with the Socratic method where students were asked questions about the cases and they were to draw conclusions in order to engage in a dialogue between faculty and students.
Karl Llewellyn was a distinguished legal scholar, who was called one of the most important legal thinkers of the early twentieth century and whose works have been cited many times. He was a proponent of legal realism who felt that legal opinions should be examined to see how judges were influenced by outside factors. He wrote a book which served as an introduction to the study of law for first year students entitled: The Bramble Bush; Some Lectures on Law and Its Study .
Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in today as the Supreme Court’s 113th justice. If you are interested in learning more about the Supreme Court appointment process, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has several good reports. A recent report, Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee, includes information on the criteria for selecting a nominee, the advice and consent role of the Senate, the political aspects of the process, and the use of recess appointments to temporarily bypass Senate confirmation. For a more detailed account of the Senate’s role, the following CRS reports may also be of interest: