Marx Law Library celebrates First-Year Student Common Reading Program

Marx Law Library is happy to support the First-Year Student Common Reading Program by collaborating with Langsam Library on their display, Human Rights and Human Wrongs. The display features the College of Law’s Human Rights Quarterly and the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights. Both are edited by Bert Lockwood, Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Director, Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. It’s located in the entryway to Langsam Library. The First-Year Student Common Reading Program chose Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? as this year’s book. The book will be read both in and out of class by students, faculty, librarians, residence hall staff, and others. The purpose of the Common Reading Program is to “provide an opportunity for an integrated experience for all members of the University of Cincinnati community and will demonstrate the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated disciplines to our students.” ( UC First-Year Student Common Reading Program)

The U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights occupies the center of the display because it was the first statement (1948) that defined and declared support for human rights by nearly all nations. The right side of the display describes the Urban Morgan Human Rights Institute, the Human Rights Quarterly, and the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights and includes samples of those publications. The right side includes photographs and captions from recent, egregious violations of human rights from all over the world.

Please take a few minutes to go to Langsam Library to witness a celebration of one of the great strengths of our College.

View the Exhibit Poster

Submitted for Your Consideration: Two Classes That Will Help Distinguish You in a Crowd

As spring semester registration opens, we’d like to tell you about two classes taught by librarian faculty. These classes, Advanced Legal Research and Technology in the Law Practice, offer skills training and substantive knowledge in areas that will benefit you, whether you practice in a firm or strike out on your own.

Advanced Legal Research delves deeply into learning how to find the information you need. We begin with the strategy of constructing your research: identifying issues and concepts, selecting appropriate resources, and constructing a good search syntax. We follow up with hands-on exercises in every class. You’ll work in teams, letting you appreciate your teammates’ particular talents. You’ll work hard for your three credit hours. At the end of the semester, you may echo what past participants have said: “This was an awesome course that will help me practice law. In that sense, I think it is one of the most valuable upper level courses.” “I think this course should be mandatory for upper-class students.” Take this class and you will NOT be one of the new associates about whom so many partners say, “I wish our new associates knew how to research a simple problem.” Susan Boland, Ron Jones, and Ken Hirsh invite you to be a crackerjack legal researcher.

Technology in the Law Practice introduces you to the professional side of technology. You may already be a social network maven, but did you know that your tweets and posts could create disciplinary problems? Can you keep your client communications confidential using email? How do you manage your cases with your computer? How has electronic record-keeping changed discovery? Shannon Kemen and Ken Hirsh will move technology from the background to front and center in your academic and professional thinking.


It’s Open Access Week

The Open Access movement celebrates its efforts each year with International Open Access Week. “Open Access” to information is, quoting from the Open Access Week’s About page, “the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.” There is strong representation in the Open Access movement within the legal information community. CALI is offering a webinar all about open access in the legal information community on Tuesday, October 22, at 12:00 noon Eastern Time, and again on Friday, October 25, at 3:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

The Marx Law Library is a strong proponent of Open Access to legal information. Our director has signed the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, which calls on all law schools to move their journals to electronic publication with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats. The Marx Law Library operates the college’s digital repository, which includes the online site for the University of Cincinnati Law Review and our faculty scholarly works.

The Open Access movement is all about making scholarship more widely available. You can make your own work more friendly to re-use by protecting it with one of the licenses available at Creative Commons. There you will find licenses that you can fine tune to provide the level of protection you wish while making easier for others to build on your work.

“You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone!”

The refrain from Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi may echo in your head when you realize that this is “Banned Books Week.” Sponsored by several organizations including the American Library Association and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the week serves to draw attention to intellectual freedom and efforts that challenge freedom of expression. The library display screen has some interesting statistics on the numbers of book bannings and challenges to those bannings in the U.S. over the past decade. While the mass burning of books as in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is not a reality in this country, in many communities strong efforts are made to restrict what children and even older individuals may find on bookshelves. Banned Books Week is a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our support of unfettered access to information.

Constitution Day

September 17 is designated Constitution Day, as well as Citizenship Day, by acts of Congress. Congress expressly states the purpose of the recognition is to “commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.” Congress also designated a full week to commemorate the Constitution, beginning on Constitution Day. Many law schools, such as the UC College of Law, commemorate the day with a lecture or other special event. In fact, in 2005 Congress made it a condition of federal funding to educational institutions that they “shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Pub. L. No. 108-447, § 111, 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45.

The Library of Congress today is launching its new website and a companion app for the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. The site includes legal analysis and interpretation based primarily on Supreme Court case law.

CALI Exercises: They’re Not Just for First-Year Students

Welcome back, returning law students. Those CALI exercises you learned to use in your first year offer many more topics than just those for 1L students. There is a wide variety of advanced topics among the more than 1,000 exercise sets. You can see the topic list at http://www.cali.org/lesson. If you’ve not yet created your CALI user account, you’ll need the College of Law’s student authorization code. This year the codes are included in sets of cards for the new game, “Time Trial.” Per Sarah Glassmeyer at the CALI Spotlight blog, “Time Trial is a card game that tests a player’s knowledge of legally relevant dates – court cases, U.S. Supreme Court justice tenures, U.S. Constitutional amendments and federal public laws.  The rules are simple: players take turns reading the cards to each other and putting them into chronological order.  We even made an online version for solo play.  The content of the cards was written by law librarian Tom Gaylord of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.” Our staff will soon be distributing sets with 10 game cards to your mailboxes. If you need a set right away, stop by the reference desk in the library. If you’d like to play the game with the full set of 200 cards, we have a set available for checkout from the reserve collection at the circulation desk.