Happy Law Day! This year, the American Bar Association (ABA) is celebrating Law Day by recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and championing the theme of “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” The ABA encourages everyone to "explore the movement for civil and human rights in America and the impact it has had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law." The ABA also recommends "reflecting on the work that remains to be done in rectifying injustice, eliminating all forms of discrimination, and putting an end to human trafficking and other violations of our basic human rights." Our Law Library is celebrating Law Day this year by offering all of our members free WestlawNext training on Thursday, May 2nd from 12:00 - 1:00 and 1:30 - 2:30. Everyone who attends is eligible for one (1) hour of CLE credit. This program is open to all private and statutory members of the Law Library. If you are interested in attending, please register by calling or emailing the Law Library.
Nathan has enjoyed his work at the Law Library. His duties
have included, helping patrons locate library materials, suggesting changes to
the Library's collection of Internet Legal Websites, and assisting with reference
inquiries by telephone.
Yale Law School is starting a brand new degree called a Ph.D. in Law. This degree will be the first of its kind in the United States and will offer lawyers with JDs who want to enter academia the opportunity to focus on legal scholarship for another three (3) years. According to Yale's web site:
"This program will offer young scholars an opportunity to contribute to the development of law as an academic field, and it will provide an alternate path into law teaching alongside existing routes such as fellowships, advanced degrees in cognate fields, and transitioning directly from practice or clerkships."
Applications are already being accepted, and classes will begin in September of 2013.
The Library of Congress just recently launched Congress.gov as a new online repository for U.S. legislative information. Although the site is still in beta testing mode, you can currently search across the following content using a new search engine LOC boasts has a "user-friendly design":
"legislation from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972)."
According to a Library of Congress blog, Congress.gov will eventually replace Thomas.gov next year. As you may know, Thomas,gov has historically been the 'go-to' place for federal legislative history and information. Among other data and information you will still need to use Thomas.gov for include legislative searching back to the 101st Congress (1989), contains House and Senate roll call votes, the Congressional Record since the 101st Congress (1989), Committee information, Presidential Nominations back to the 100th Congress (1987), and Treaties since at least the 94th Congress.
Joining Colorado, the state of California has just passed a new law that addresses permanent, public access to official legal materials. Specifically, this new law, called the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), was passed as Senate Bill 1075 and provides for the "official designation, authentication, and preservation of certain legal material in electronic records by an official publisher." The phrase "legal material" is defined as the California Constitution, California statutes, and California Codes. Librarians consider these materials as "primary" legal resources. When these legal materials are preserved in electronic format, their integrity must be ensured, backup and disaster recovery is required, and their continuing usability must be guaranteed. The new law gives publishers a lot of time to implement it because it does not become effective until July 1, 2015.
According to a recent press release from Fastcase, the Company is now offering free advance sheets for Ebooks. Fastcase advance sheets "include published and unpublished opinions for iPad, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Android tablets, or Nook... [and provide a] [f]irst look at judicial opinions from around the country in eBook format, replacing printed law books." For a good summary of this new product from a leading law blog, click here to read 3 Geeks and a Law Blog's comments.
If you have not already heard the news, the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association have dissolved ALI-ABA. This entity was created in 1947 and jointly published many CLE programs and materials. Both entities will continue to provide CLE materials, only separately in the future. For more information on the split, please review the ALI-ABA press release. Our law library has purchased ALI-ABA CLE products for many years so we will be evaluating the new products both entities will be publishing to ensure that we continue to supply our members with valuable CLE materials.