Category Archives: Uncategorized

Researching & Writing on Animal Law?

Visit BLS Library’s new research guide

Sully, companion cat to a BLS Library staff member

Seeking sources about how to write a paper for a course like Animal Law?

Visit opening page: Academic Legal Writing

Links to the Fall 2022 BLS Seminar Paper Workshop Video conducted by Associate Librarian/Adjunct Professor Kathy Darvil and Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing Diana Hortsch. Highlights sources on scholarly legal writing and copies of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation available in BLS Library’s Reserve collection.

Looking for overviews of current issues to help you choose a paper topic?

Visit pages: Overviews & Starting Points + Current Awareness

Animal Legal & Historical Center, Michigan State University College of Law provides 90+ Topical Introductions ranging from companion animal issues to wildlife issues. Publication dates vary.

Brooks U (of Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, Inc.) offers Animal Law Fundamentals, a developing collection of current videos and related scholarly papers on:

  • Animals as Property, Quasi-Property or Quasi-Person 
  • Cutting Edge Issues in 21st Century Animal Food Product Labeling 
  • Laboratory Animal Law in the United States: Past, Present and Future 
  • Standing to Protect and Advocate for Animals
  • Wildlife: Related Acts and State Management Issues
  • The Critical Role of States in Farm Animal Confinement and Sales Laws

Brooks Institute and Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School also produce Brooks Animal Law Digest. The two available editions focus on the U.S. and Canada. Digest articles update researchers on key animal law/policy issues and link to the text of pending bills, proposed regulations, case complaints, new studies and many other sources. Review recent issues or click: “View Full Archive” to search an edition of this Digest.

Wishing you could “ask an expert” or could learn more about a hot topic in animal law?

Visit page: Events

Highlights upcoming programs like:

  • March 3, 2023: Wildlife health: what is at stake? (organizer: World Organisation for Animal Health) World Wildlife Day 2023 webinar, registration required. Focus: need for wildlife conservation, current threats to wild animal species.
  • March 9, 2023: Global Animal Law Research (organizer: International Legal Research Interest Group, American Society of International Law) Online, free advance registration required.
  • March 10, 2023: Animal Law Review Symposium (host: Animal Law Review, Lewis & Clark Law School) Primarily virtual. Focus: issues re. legal protection of horses.
  • March 16, 2023: Animal Rescue Law Update ($) (host: New York County Lawyers Association) Online. Focus includes: New York animal law issues. NYCLA allows employees in the public sector, attorneys who can establish financial hardship and unemployed attorneys to apply for tuition assistance to attend its programs. Apply at least one week prior to the program’s date.
  • March 24, 2023: Animals and the Anthropocene: A Legal Scholarship Symposium (co-hosts:  Animal Legal Education Initiative, GW Law, GW Law Environmental and Energy Law Program & GW Law chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund) Website states: “Open to everyone.” Primarily in person w/ limited option to attend remotely.

Tip for law students: Organizations often allow students to attend fee-based programs without charge. Ask!

Needing scholarly legal articles that provide in-depth analysis?

Visit page: Articles

HIghlights useful starting points such as Animal Law Commons and Animal Law eJournal.

Hoping to compare animal protection/welfare laws in different jurisdictions? Seeking model animal protection provisions?

Visit page: Laws

Links to U.S.-focused and globally-focused databases/collections of laws. Notes that ALDF recently published its 2022 U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report.

Desiring collections of animal law cases and case-finding tools?

Visit page: Cases

Searching for information about legal careers protecting animals?

Visit page: Careers

Provides information about this free hybrid program on March 8, 2023: Randall Abate, Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies at GW Law, Careers in Animal Law (host: DePaul Center for Animal Law). Links to a summary of the New York Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) bill written by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and a form for those who wish to encourage state representatives to champion this bill. Highlights attorney Stacey Evans’ recent article: Pursuing Pet Health Equity: A Lawyer’s Passion for Pets Prompts Career Switch, 108 A.B.A. J. 28 (2022). (Available through BLS subscription database HeinOnline. Off-campus use requires implementation of the BLS Proxy Server Instructions.) Directs researchers to videos on animal law careers provided by ALDF and Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program. Notes that BLS students also can search BLSConnect for material provided by the Career Development Center.

Wanting help to identify material to support your animal law research? 

Email: askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or text: (718) 734-2432

Preparing for Remote Work During the BLS Winter Recess  

If you need to conduct remote research during the BLS Winter Recess (Dec. 23–Jan. 3), these are our suggestions:

  • NOW is the time to email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or to text (718) 734-2432 and state: “My [professor/journal editor] encouraged me to find additional articles and treatises to support [assertion X].  Can you help me?”  A reference librarian can recommend searches in our SARA library catalog to find e/books and “advanced searches” in our OneSearch discovery platform to find articles.
  • NOW is the time to implement the BLS proxy server instructions for off-campus access to many ebooks, ejournals and databases.  Prior to Winter Recess, you can still troubleshoot implementation problems with our library tech staff, accessible through: library.lab@brooklaw.edu  Librarians recommend either the Firefox (Mac) Proxy Instructions or the Firefox (Windows) Proxy Instructions
  • Check out needed print sources in BLS Library by Dec. 22.
  • If you find cites to articles or books unavailable through BLS Library, as of Dec. 15, 2022, you still have time to place requests for scans of articles and book chapters through the BLS interlibrary loan process. 
    • To place an ILL request, access SARA library catalog and click tab: ILL, enter your BLS username [format: firstname.lastname] & password, then click: Create Request
      • Fill out the appropriate template: Article, Book or Other (choose Other to request a scan of a single book chapter).
    • Feel free to email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or to text (718) 734-2432 to learn more about making an ILL request. 
    • If you place an ILL request, please monitor both your BLS “In” box and “Clutter” folder for replies from lenders. 
    • Note: ILL requests will not be processed from Dec. 23-Jan. 3. 
  • For further information, BLS patrons can access the Canvas page: Librarians’ Research Presentations > under heading: Materials from Librarians’ “Alcove Academy” Presentations, click: PowerPoint: “Effective Remote Research.”

We hope our tips will improve your research during Winter Break.  Remember: Right now, we are here to help! 

Study Rooms – Now You Can Use a QR Code to Check in and Out!

Several BLS students requested that the library reconsider its policy of locked study rooms during the regular (non-exam) part of the semester.  We heard you!  In response to your requests, the library will not lock study rooms during the regular semester. 

It is important for the library to continue tracking study room usage, however, as the law school regularly reevaluates the library’s space requirements.  As a result, to ensure that the library continues to meet student demand for study room space, students will now use QR codes to check in and out of study rooms.

We’re glad you asked!  Here is how it works in four easy steps:

STEP ONE: Make your study room reservation HERE, just as you always have.

STEP TWO: After making your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email that looks like this:

STEP THREE: Before you enter your study room, you must check in:

1. Scan the QR code posted on your study room door or click this link.

2. You will be directed here:

3. Now click Check In and you will be directed here:

4. Enter the unique reservation code provided in your confirmation email.  You are now checked in!

STEP FOUR: At the end of your study room reservation, you must check out:

1. Once again, scan the QR code posted on your study room door, or click this link.

2. You will be directed here:

3. Now click Check Out and you will be directed here:

4. Once again, enter the reservation code provided in your confirmation email.  You are now checked out!

Please make sure you follow these 4 easy steps.  If students regularly use study rooms without making reservations, or if students fail to check in and out of study rooms, the library may reconsider locking study room doors during the regular semester.

Contact the Reference Desk at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu.

Need to find and research a paper or presentation topic? BLS librarians (and their guides) can help!

BLS librarians have created 40+ publicly-accessible legal research guides. Tips: A BLS student can email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu, text (718) 734-2432 or chat with us for help determining whether there is a guide to support research on a specific topic. Off-campus use of many subscription databases described in BLS research guides requires implementation of the BLS proxy server instructions.

Also, your librarians serve as liaisons to the BLS full-time faculty–we can tell you which librarian works most closely with a particular professor. A librarian liaison might have created research links in the Canvas page for a paper-writing course or other material to support students’ research. Note: BLS librarians can highlight resources to support any type of law student paper, article or presentation.

A useful starting point for many types of paper research is the guide: Selecting & Developing Your Seminar Paper Topic. This guide’s home page includes videos on: selecting/researching a topic; developing a thesis for a seminar paper topic; and avoiding plagiarism. Guide tab: Selecting a Topic links to: indexes of legal blogs; legal news sources; and selected legal journals and newsletters. All of these sources highlight new and developing legal topics. Guide tab: Developing an Argument through Commentary links to both full-text sources of articles and indexes of articles. Guide tab: Developing an Argument through Grey Literature includes sources to find material published by think tanks, NGOs and interested organizations.

Moreover, there are BLS guides to international law research. The broadest two guides are: Paper Topic Selection: International (highlights news/legal news sources) and Paper Topic Development: International (highlights sources of articles and primary law). If you need to find a topic for a “Rule of Law/Law of War” seminar, you could access the Paper Topic Selection guide > tab: Pull-down Menu of News: Specific Topics and choose sub-tab: Law of War. The English Legal Sources guide includes links to newly available resources in Westlaw Edge UK.

Additionally, there are many subject-focused BLS research guides. If you need to develop a topic in the “Art Law” seminar, the Art Law guide > tab: Other Resources links to websites of organizations and the searchable ArThemis database of news/case notes on art and cultural property disputes. If you need to conduct research for the “Topics in White Collar Crime” seminar, you could link to many resources through guide: White Collar Crime Research. If you are writing in the “Civil Practice Workshop,” the New York Civil Practice guide might be helpful. (This is a guide BLS librarians like to highlight to all BLS students who might wish to become litigators.) If you are writing on a tax topic, see: Federal Tax Research Guide and International Tax Research Guide. These guides include instructions to access BLS subscription databases to support tax research.

COMING IN EARLY OCTOBER: A presentation for students on selecting a paper topic and avoiding plagiarism. We will provide the date/time soon!

Library Reading and Exam Period Policies

The reading and exam period is from Thursday, April 21 through Friday, May 6, 2022

During the reading and exam period you must make a reservation to use a library study room. Mandatory study room reservations begin on Thursday, April 21 at 8:00am; at that time, all study rooms will be locked, and you must go to the first-floor circulation desk to charge out the key to the room at the time of your reservation. The link to the study room reservations is on the library webpage

Study Room Policies: 

  • 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. 
  • The default reservation time is 2 hours, although study rooms may be reserved in 30-minute time slots; your time slots must be contiguous. Use the grid to select your start time and use the drop-down box to select your end time. 
  • Study room use is limited to 4 hours per user per day to ensure availability for all users. 
  • You must use your brooklaw.edu email address to reserve a study room. 
  • Study rooms are subject to availability and reservations may be modified by library staff at any time. 

Library Hours for the Reading & Exam Period: 

  • Thursday, April 21-Thursday, May 5:  8:00am – 2:00am. The circulation/reserve desk closes at 12:00am
  • Friday, May 6: 9:00am – 10:00pm.

Reminders About Noise & Food in the Library: 

  • Please keep your voices down in reading rooms and study rooms.  Your colleagues are also studying. 
  • If you need a space for discussion, the collaboration areas are: the Bernsen reference & reading room (1st floor), the Nash reading room (3rd floor) and the study rooms.  
  • Drinks are allowed in the library. Please use the law school’s designated dining areas for eating. 
  • Brooklyn Law School is a smoke and tobacco free campus. Smoking or vaping is not permitted anywhere in the school, which includes the library.  If you have any questions, please read Brooklyn Law School’s Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy on BLSConnect. 
  • Good Luck on Your Exams! 

New York Family Law Research Guide

For those interested in practicing or researching in the field of family law, the library recently published a

research guide for family law resources. The guide focuses on the law of New York State. It includes links to practice aids, treatises, and blogs and news sources for researching New York family law. There are also quick links to the relevant titles in the New York state statutory code and to case law databases focusing on family law. This summer, if you are interning with a family law organization, it would be useful for you to become familiar with both the news sources and the secondary sources listed.

Research Guide on Climate Change and Environmental Law

A climate change demonstration in Erlangen, Germany.

Unsplash/Markus SpiskeA climate change demonstration in Erlangen, Germany.

Whenever you are researching an issue, whether for a paper or a note, one of the most efficient ways to get started is to find a research guide. The BLS librarians have created dozens of research guides, available on the library’s homepage (just click on the Research Guides tab), including guides on Career Resources, Paper Topic Selection and Development for International and Foreign Law, Federal Legislative History Research, New York Civil Practice, Researching Copyright Law, and Antitrust and Competition law.

Our latest guide summarizes resources for researching climate change and environmental law . This guide includes links to books, treatises, databases, major environmental treaties, blogs and news sources for researching U.S. and international climate change and environmental law. As noted in a recent report issued by the UN Environment Programme , there has been a rapid increase in climate change litigation with over 1,500 cases filed in 38 countries as of July 2020. Our research guide includes links to climate change litigation databases and other resources that will assist students researching this burgeoning field of law.

Find our Climate Change and Environmental Law Guide under the Research Guides tab at brooklaw.edu/library. Happy Researching!

Researching Reproductive Rights in International Law

Women's Rights | ACLU of Michigan
Photo credit: https://www.aclumich.org/en/issues/womens-rights

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing SB8, Texas’s restrictive abortion legislation which effectively bans all abortion after 6 weeks (and undermines nearly 50 years of constitutional precedent established by Roe v. Wade) to go into effect, some students may be interested in researching the laws addressing reproductive rights nationally and internationally. This post will focus on some international sources of law regarding reproductive rights and right to safe legal abortions.

UN Treaty Bodies

The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights published an information pamphlet on abortion summarizing the opinions and comments of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. The pamphlet contains several helpful endnotes to primary source documents issued by UNHR bodies addressing abortion.

OHCHR: Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council Working Group on discrimination against women and girls issued a 2016 report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice on its mission to the United States of America in which it expressed regret that American women have “seen their rights to sexual and reproductive health significantly eroded…” (para. 28) and noted that “ever-increasing barriers are being created to prevent their access to abortion procedures.” (para. 68)

CEDAW

The Convention on the Elimination of United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted 18 December 1979, entered into force 3 September 1981, 1249 UNTS 13 provides that there should be equal political, economic, social, cultural and civil rights for women regardless of their marital status and requires States to enact national legislation banning discrimination. As of the date of this post, 189 countries have ratified the Convention. Though the Carter administration signed CEDAW in 1980, the Bush and Reagan administrations opposed it and despite repeated hearings and recommendations from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for its ratification, the United States is still not a party to the Convention. On the issue of reproductive rights and abortion, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has stated that “it is discriminatory for a State party to refuse to legally provide for the performance of certain reproductive health services for women.” (para. 11)

ICESCR

Nor has the United States ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 3 January 1976, 993 UNTS 3 , despite signing in 1977. As noted in the OHCHR’s pamphlet on abortion. the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has explained that as part of the obligation to eliminate discrimination, States should address “criminalization of abortion or restrictive
abortion laws.”
(para. 34)

Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on a gender-sensitive approach to arbitrary killings

The Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on a gender-sensitive approach to arbitrary killings has also noted that the “death of a woman, where it can be medically linked to a deliberate denial of access to life-saving medical care because of an absolute legal ban on abortion, would not only constitute a violation of the right to life and an arbitrary deprivation of life, but would also amount to a gender-based arbitrary killing…” (para.94)

Council of Europe

European human rights law also mandates access to safe abortion and reproductive health services to protect the health of women and girls.  The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has stated that it “considers that a ban on abortions does not result in fewer abortions, but mainly leads to clandestine abortions, which are more traumatic and more dangerous.” Most recently, the Council issued an interim resolution calling on Poland to adopt clear and effective procedures on steps women need to take to access lawful abortion.

Remember, if you have any questions about legal research to stop by the reference desk or reach out to askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu. Happy researching!

Need To Track Recent Changes in Laws, Regulations & Guidance re. COVID-19?

See:

Bloomberg Law, Health: In Focus: Coronavirus (COVID-19)   

Bloomberg Law also allows subscribers to receive alerts from its legal newsletter: Coronavirus Outbreak

Health Affairs, click link: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION > Topic: COVID-19

Lexis+, Complimentary Coronavirus Resources

Westlaw, Covid-19 Legal Materials & News

The New York Times, The Covid-19 Pandemic

Also, members of the BLS community who choose to create FT.com accounts can receive FT Coronavirus Business Update.