As the holiday season approaches, law librarians (including this writer), faculty, students and staff at Brooklyn Law School and elsewhere look forward to the end of final exams so they can travel and join family and friends in celebration of the December holidays. From Christmas to New Year’s Day, from Hannukah to Eid Milad-un-Nabi or the Winter Solstice, many of us will celebrate according to our own tradition. Not all of us will be so fortunate as many people will be working during the holidays to keep the world running while we celebrate the holidays: cab drivers, garage assistants, healthcare workers, carers, police men and women, airline staff, members of the armed forces. All of these people deserve a massive thank you for keeping things going while we sit at home enjoying holiday cooking. So take a minute away from your family and friends and reach out to someone who is working on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. All of us can use a random act of kindness not only during the holidays but every day.
Library hours for the reading and exam period, Thursday, December 8th – Thursday, December 22th, are 8:00am – 2:00am.
The circulation desk will close at 12:00am every night during this period.
On Friday, December 23rd we will be open from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
During the reading and exam period study room reservations are mandatory. All study rooms will be locked beginning at 8:00am on Thursday, December 8th and students must go to the circulation desk at the time of their reservation to obtain the key to the room. Please remember the following about the use of the study rooms during the reading/exam period:
Study rooms are for the use of groups of two or more students.
Study rooms may be reserved for the current day and three days ahead.
Study room reservations may be made in time slots of 60 minutes.
Students may book up to 4 time slots per day.
The link to the study room reservations is on the library web page under “Related Links.”
The show will take place on the East River this year. Fireworks will be set off from the Brooklyn Bridge and from barges in the water below. You can view the fireworks from any area in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn with an unobstructed view of the sky above the East River.
BrooklynWorks is the online repository of Brooklyn Law School, providing open access to scholarship produced by the law school and to other collections of law school materials. The repository is a service of the Brooklyn Law School Library. Current collections focus on faculty scholarship, the law school’s journals and library special collections.
Within the law Journals collection, you can browse or search issues of the Brooklyn Law Review, the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, the Journal of Law & Policy, and the Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial, & Commercial Law. Within the faculty scholarship collection, you can browse or search Brooklyn Law School’s faculty publications going back to 2010.
This week, Brooklyn Law School Library Associate Librarian Linda Holmes created a display of library material marking World Refugee Day. In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution, A/RES/55/76, designating June 20 as World Refugee Day to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Among the titles in the display case located on the first floor of the BLS Library opposite the elevator is The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law edited by James C. Simeon (Call No. K3230.R45 U54 2013). The 384 page book is an in-depth analysis of the UNHCR’s supervisory role in the international refugee protection regime. It examines the part played by key institutions, organizations and actors in the supervision of international refugee law and provides suggestions and recommendations on how the UNHCR’s supervisory role can be strengthened to ensure greater State Parties’ compliance to their obligations under these international refugee rights treaties. Another title in the display is Green Card Stories by Saundra Amrhein and Ariana Lindquist (Call No. JV6455 .A826 2011), a coffee table style book that depicts 50 recent U.S. immigrants—each with permanent residence or citizenship—in powerfully written short narratives and compelling portraits.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2016, 65.3 million people are considered refugees, the largest count since WWII. Due to rising conflict in the Middle East and ISIS’ intent to destroy Christians and non-Muslims, the world now has a record number of people who have been displaced from their homes and have nowhere to go. Unfortunately, many countries have no desire to help them, especially displaced Christians from the Middle East. One reason is because many fear that ISIS members are disguising themselves. The UNHCR estimates that 24 persons are displaced from their home every minute due to conflict and persecution with 16 million qualifying as refugees due to persecution. It released its latest analysis of global displacement trends in a 68-page report. To help understand its key findings, see this 90-second video:
An intriguing new title in the Brooklyn Law School Library collection is Robot Law by Law Professors Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin, and Ian Kerr (K564.C6 R63 2016). The 402 page book brings together research on robotics law and policy written by scholars from law, engineering, computer science and philosophy on topics such as liability, warfare, domestic law enforcement, personhood, and other cutting-edge issues in robotics and artificial intelligence. The book is an in-depth look at an area of law that is growing in importance. Like the Internet before it, robotics is a technology that will transform the social and economic landscape of legal research and practice. Robot Law looks at the increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread use in hospitals, public spaces, and battlefields requiring rethinking philosophical and public policy issues, including how AI interacts with existing legal regimes and changes in policy and in law.
Whether artificial intelligence will one day displace human lawyers has become so important that, this past April, Vanderbilt Law School hosted the first legal conference on the topic, “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine”. Speakers included Richard Susskind, author of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” and “The Future of the Professions,” and Andrew Arruda, whose firm ROSS Intelligence helped build ROSS (which does not stand for anything), the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney, on top of IBM Watson. Designed by students at the University of Toronto, ROSS is meant for use by lawyers. Asking it a legal question will yeild an “instant answer with citations and suggested readings from a variety of content sources.” ROSS reads and understands language, postulates hypotheses when asked questions, researches, and then generates responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. It learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more users interact with it.
A recent Washington Post news piece reports that the law firm Baker & Hostetler announced that it is employing ROSS to handle its bankruptcy practice of nearly 50 lawyers. CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, says that other firms have also signed licenses with ROSS and expects more announcements soon. Although still in the prototype stage, ROSS shows great promise as an innovative legal research tool. Tasks that ROSS can do include:
Giving relevant answers – not a list of results – to natural language questions;
Learning from user’s questions – it learns and improves the more it is used;
Providing a consistent, easy-to-use experience on any devices used to access it.
At this week’s CALIcon 16 being held at the Georgia State University College of Law, BLS Reference Librarian Harold O’Grady and Technology Educator Lloyd Carew-Reid will present a session, The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Legal Education, Research and Practice. Also participating will be:
In this podcast, Brooklyn Law School Professor Heidi Brown talks about her article, The Emotionally Intelligent Law Professor: A Lesson from the Breakfast Club, 36 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review 273 (2014). The article examines the importance of teaching Emotional Intelligence (EI) as part of the law school curriculum and as a component of “professionalism.” In April 2016, Professor Brown joined the faculty at Brooklyn Law School as Director of the Legal Writing Program after serving as Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School, where she helped launch that school’s Legal Practice program. Before that, she was an Associate Professor of Legal Research and Writing at the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law in Orange, California. A prolific scholar and author on the importance of legal writing, she has published four books on predictive and persuasive legal writing and federal litigation, and other scholarly articles for law journals. Prof. Brown is working on a forthcoming book The Introverted Lawyer.
Joseph A. Jordan, was born in Norfolk Virginia and was a Brooklyn Law School graduate. He was a veteran, paralyzed from the waist down during World War II and confined to a wheelchair.
As an attorney, Jordan and his firm, Jordan, Dawley & Holt, fought civil rights cases across the South during the 1960’s. One such case made constitutional history,
In November 1963 Jordan filed suit on behalf of Mrs. Evelyn Thomas Butts to have the state’s poll tax declared unconstitutional. The poll tax was a tax levied on individuals as a prerequisite for voting. Although levied on all voters regardless of race, the tax effectively disenfranchised the poor, including many African-Americans. The tax was outlawed nationally in January 1964 by ratification of the 24th amendment, but it only addressed federal elections and remained silent on state and local applicability.
Joseph A. Jordan went on to become the first black elected to the Norfolk City Council since 1889. He served three terms on the council, including two years as vice mayor. In 1977, he was appointed to Norfolk’s General District Court and retired in 1986.
The Library will be open on Monday, February 15, 2016 from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm.
Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.