Thursday, May 28, 2015

Learn about the new Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct via MCLE OnePass

On March 26, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court adopted amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct.  These amendments are the most extensive changes to the rules since 1998 and will take effect on July 1, 2015.  The text of the amended rules, as well as the text of the rules in effect until June 30, 2015 are available here. There is no substitute for carefully reading and studying the rules.  I encourage all of our current students and new grads to read the new rules through at least once during the seven remaining weeks before they go into effect.
MCLE is offering a two hour program, Understanding the Revised Rules of Professional Conduct.  The program will cover the major changes to the rules as well as the developments in technology and in the practice of law which brought about the new rules and the policies upon which the amendments are based.  The live program is open to law students, new grads and pending admittees to the bar at a specially discounted rate.  The program will take place live at noon on June 19th at the MCLE Conference Center, 10 Winter Street, Boston.  It will also be available via simultaneous webcast and, for those who can't make it on July 19th, there will be a recorded webcast of the program at 9 a.m. on June 26th.  An added bonus is that the live and recorded webcast programs are free to Boston College Law School faculty, students and staff via our MCLE OnePass subscription. 

Register for the Live Program.  ($60 for students and new grads)

Register for Simultaneous Webcast (free to BCLS students, faculty & staff)

Register for Recorded Webcast (free to BCLS students, faculty & staff)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cast your vote for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law have announced the finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.  The prize is awarded annually for the book in the legal fiction genre published during the preceding year which best exemplifies the role that lawyers play in society to effect change.  The winner is chosen by a panel of four judges with an online public poll serving as the fifth judge.  This year's finalists are:

The Secret of Magic, by Deborah Johnson

My Sister's Grave, by Robert Dugoni

Terminal City, by Linda Fairstein

Deborah Johnson's The Secret of Magic is based, in part, on the actual beating and maiming of decorated war veteran Isaac Woodard on his bus ride home after being discharged from the military in February 1946.  Mr. Woodard's case inspired the Woodie Guthrie folk ballad, The Blinding of Isaac Woodard and led to the President's Committee for Civil Rights under the Truman administration.  The Secret of Magic is a highly fictionalized, artistic re-imagining of that important civil rights case which was handled by Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP. 

Robert Dugoni's inspiration for his legal thriller, My Sister's Grave, was learning about the removal of hydroelectric dams to restore salmon spawning grounds in the Pacific Northwest.  He mused what would happen if the body of a much-loved, long-missing person were found as the waters receded.

The inspiration for Linda Fairstein's Terminal City was the hidden places in New York's Grand Central Station.  Those hidden places, including the network of tunnels underneath the station became a plot device for the dark events that take place in the novel. Ms. Fairstein spent more than twenty years as the prosecutor heading the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.  The courtroom dialogue in her novel is realistic.

To cast your vote, go to this link.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New on HeinOnline: Religion and Law

In May, HeinOnline added a new library to its vast collection of legal materials: Religion and Law. According to its scope information, the collection "contains more than 1,200 titles and 600,000 pages including books, periodicals, and bibliographies" and "provides a research platform for the development, history, organization, and fundamental principles of various world religions."

The collection features works on canon law, history of church and state, religion and freedom, Jewish law, and other related topics. Notable titles include State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts: A Compilation of Enacted and Proposed LegislationCanon Law Studies (523 v., 1916-1966), and publications by Christian Legal Society.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lawyering Skills Valued by Hiring Partners

A new White Paper: Hiring Partners Reveal New Attorney Readiness for Real World Practice concludes that newly graduated law students and young associates often lack specific practical skills, including advanced legal research.  The White Paper is based on a 2015 survey of 300 hiring partner and senior associates who supervise new attorneys commissioned by LexisNexis and conducted by 5 Square Research, Inc.  While many law students know how to research case law, hiring partners also thought it is also important that new lawyers be able to research complex case law issues, statutes; court rules and transcripts; verdicts, briefs & dockets, and regulatory materials.  While law students study legal writing, new associates are also often found lacking in drafting both litigation and transactional documents.  Those attorneys with a transactional practice found practical transactional skills to be the greatest weakness in new hires.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Native American law resources available electronically

Drop by the Law Library to see the exhibit of Native American legal treatises donated to the Law Library by the Native American Law Students Association.  Native American legal resources are also available electronically in the four databases and portals described below:

National Indian Law Library (NILL) of the Native American Rights Fund:  This website publishes the Indian Law Bulletin, a current awareness service of new and emerging issues in Native American law in the three branches of the federal government, in state courts, and in legal scholarship.  In addition, it maintains the Tribal Law Gateway, an amazing portal to the constitutions, tribal codes and tribal court decisions of Native American tribes throughout the United States.  It also maintains helpful research guides to various topics in Native American law such as citizenship and border passage, sacred sites, water rights, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Lexis Advance: Felix Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, which is widely regarded as the definitive treatise or “bible” of Native American law, is available electronically on Lexis Advance.  In addition, there is the database of Native American People’s Treaties, Ratified and Unratified, Board of Indian Appeals decisions, historical Native American Solicitor’s Opinions, and tribal cases and tribal codes for selective tribes.

Westlaw’s Native American Law Practice Area: Westlaw maintains a practice area with Native American treaties, federal cases, statutes and regulations concerning Native American law, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Board of Indian Appeals decisions, an enormous selection of tribal codes and tribal cases, and several Native American law treatises.

HeinOnline’s American Indian Law Collection:  This HeinOnline library contains books and treatises, tribal constitutions, tribal acts and by-laws, legislative histories, Title 25 of the United States Code, Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, law journal and scholarly articles devoted to Native American law, as well as links to approximately 25 useful free websites.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prepare for Summer: MA and NY Legal Research Workshops

Summer is quickly approaching and the BC Law Library wants to help you be prepared.  Tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th, we will be offering two fantastic workshops designed to prepare you for summer work, as well as research after law school.  One workshop will cover Massachusetts specific resources and the other, New York.

The Massachusetts Legal Resources Workshop will take place tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th, in Stuart Hall Rm. 315 from 12 to 12:45.

The New York Legal Resources Workshop will take place tomorrow, Thursday, April 16th, in Stuart Hall Rm. 411 from 12 to 12:45.

Please see a Reference Librarian if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gift donation to BC Law Library from NALSA!

NALSA, the Native American Law Students Association here at BC Law, has made a wonderful donation to the BC Law Library.  Seeking to strengthen the Law Library's collection of Native American legal materials, NALSA members Julia Koch and Lauren Schaal identified  key research titles for future use by NALSA students.  Working with Law School administrators, NALSA purchased these core titles for addition to the Law Library's collection. Some sample titles include: Indigenous Peoples, Customary Law and Human Rights; Encyclopedia of United States Indian Policy and Law; Tribal Water Rights as well as related titles.  In addition, NALSA has mounted an exhibit to highlight these titles in the Library's entrance case; more gift titles are available for browsing on the display table opposite the Information Desk.  Please explore this exhibit and display and join us in thanking NALSA!