ALR Student’s Corner: The Central Intelligence Agency’s Website

cia1

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for providing national security intelligence to US policymakers. The CIA’s website states that its mission is to “preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.” The CIA’s website can easily be accessed by logging onto https://www.cia.gov.   Once on the website, users have the ability to learn more about the role of the CIA, explore available careers and internships, and search intelligence reports in the CIA library.

The content on the website suggests that its target audience are members of the general public. The different categories on the website help users find the information they are looking for by grouping the information by topic. Some of the information on the website includes details about the history of the CIA and how it is currently structured. There is also a library section that provides current and archived reports about CIA operations and world events, as well as a news and information section that provides press releases and featured stories.

The website’s user-friendly set-up allows users to navigate it with ease. For example, located across the top of the homepage are six tabs: Home, About CIA, Careers and Internships, Offices of CIA, News and Information, Library, and Kids’ Zone. So, if a user is trying to find out about the different leadership positions within the CIA, the first step would be to click on the tab labeled “About CIA.” Second, the user would click on the link titled “Leadership” that is displayed in the drop-down menu. This will display a part of the website that gives a detailed description of all the leadership positions within the CIA.

cia2

The website is also extremely interactive. Along the left column of the website, there is a link to the CIA’s YouTube channel. Once on the YouTube channel, users can watch videos to learn more about the organization’s structure and operation. There is also a virtual tour available to provide users with the opportunity to see inside the CIA Headquarters. At the bottom of the right column, there is a section labeled “Kids’ Zone.” This section is divided by age group. There is a section for K-5th grade, 6th-12th grade, and parents and teachers. Additionally, there is a link to games that allow kids to learn about the CIA by completing such games as word find and break the code.

The CIA’s website is a great user-friendly resource. It not only provides an abundance of information about the history and current structure of the organization, but also includes informative videos and an interactive game section for kids.  Regardless of whether the user is needing information for a research project or just wants to learn more about the CIA, the website has something for everyone.

~ Jeremy Babb, L’15 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advanced Legal Research

Charlotte School of Law: Unlocking Human Potential

The Charlotte School of Law has an overriding purpose: to unlock human potential. Our immediate task is to educate students, in particular so that they can succeed in law school, on the bar examination, and in their chosen careers. But we carry out our educational activities with an eye toward the larger purpose. We identify students who have the potential to learn and succeed more broadly and we tailor comprehensive programs to build on that potential. Thus, we have a growing Honors Program; a large Student Success department; wellness counselors; programs to engender grit, self-awareness, and professionalism; and so much more.

I came to Charlotte as Dean two years ago, in large part because of the commitment to unlocking human potential. (This is a very fundamental commitment; we are also committed to unlocking the potential of our faculty and staff.) I also came for our commitment to the unceasing improvement of our programs, services, and outcomes. No person is or ever will be perfect, but every person can become better and better in personal and professional ways. In the same way, no organization is or ever will be perfect. But the more the organization understands the need for constant improvement, the better it can be in providing value, satisfaction, and success for the persons it serves.

Continuous improvement in law schools is more important today than it was even ten years ago. It is also more difficult. Legal education has long been premised on assumptions about what colleges teach and assess in the areas of writing, critical reading, and personal management; on what students teach themselves; on the nature of jobs in the legal services field; on what employers look for in graduates; and on what bar examiners test. Many of these assumptions are no longer wholly valid. Other changes in the environment are equally dramatic. Nationally, the number of applicants to law school has been declining for five years. Nationally, first-time bar passage rates have been declining (for reasons that are not clear). And both law and legal education are becoming increasingly internationalized, with respect to students, programs, and services. For law schools, adaptation and improvement is essential.

The Charlotte School of Law is continually addressing these challenges and is ever alert to opportunities. For example, we systematically concern ourselves with writing skills. We are currently developing methods for rigorously assessing writing competency and potential for improvement in applicants; expanding our introductory writing program; increasing the ongoing assessment of writing in doctrinal courses; and proving added support for student who need enrichment. Similarly, we are in the midst of a comprehensive project to strengthen the development of competencies required for success on the bar examination. This project reaches from the beginning of the first year through the day of the bar examination itself. We are expanding our opportunities for pro bono service, both in Charlotte and around the world. For example, this month we are launching a new project of pro bono service for our students in Haiti. We are also alert to changes in the legal services field. For example, this summer we are starting a new program in corporate compliance that will provide both knowledge and competitive advantage in this rapidly growing field. And there is much, much more.

I have been Dean of three law schools. One of my greatest sources of satisfaction is improving the school and its services, and enabling faculty and staff to make contributions that are both valuable to students and meaningful to the faculty and staff members themselves. The Charlotte School of Law is an extraordinary place for students to learn and grow, and to position themselves to navigate change. What makes it such an extraordinary place is not only the deep and pervasive commitment to unlocking potential, but also the deep and pervasive commitment to doing a continually better job of providing programs, services, and resources that enable that potential to be unlocked.

~Jay Conison (Dean), Charlotte School of Law~

Leave a comment

Filed under General Charlotte School of Law Information, Of Interest to Law Students

Free Online Resources: Tax Season — Freedom of Information Act “FOIA” Electronic Reading Rooms Part 2: Internal Revenue Service IRS

free

Charlotte Law Library continues a series of blogs about FOIA Electronic Reading Rooms available for free on the web.

Before you make that FOIA request, check if the information is available in the FOIA Reading Rooms on the internet.  According to the FOIA Guide, “The Electronic FOIA amendments embodied a strong statutory preference that electronic availability be provided by agencies in the form of online, Internet access — which is most efficient for both agencies and the public alike — and this expectation has been met by the development of agency FOIA sites on the World Wide Web.  Under the Electronic FOIA amendments, all federal agencies have FOIA sites on the World Wide Web to serve this “electronic reading room” function, as well as for other FOIA-related purposes.  This is a matter of great and growing importance to the processes of FOIA administration.  Agencies of such size that they contain sub-agencies or major agency components that administer the FOIA on a decentralized basis and have their own Web sites may maintain multiple “electronic reading rooms,” so long as they are linked together clearly and efficiently for Web site users.”

Today we will look at the FOIA Electronic Reading Room for the Internal Revenue Service IRS, just in time for tax season!

foiareadingroom


Published Tax Guidance

Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRB)
Weekly compilations of Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Announcements, and Notices.
PDF format (1996 to present)
HTML format (July 7, 2003 to present)

Non-precedential Rulings & Advice

Frequently Requested Documents

There is much more available in the IRS FOIA Electronic Reading Room.  Check it out today!

Enjoy exploring this FOIA Electronic Reading Room and look for this symbol for future blogs on free online resources:

free

Come see us in the library for more resources in print and online.

~Mary Susan Lucas~

Leave a comment

Filed under electronic resources, Free Online Resources, Of Interest to Law Students

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — March 2, 2015

weeklyroundup

Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right.

Frank Schembari loves books — printed books. He loves how they smell. He loves scribbling in the margins, underlining interesting sentences, folding a page corner to mark his place.  Schembari is not a retiree who sips tea at Politics and Prose or some other bookstore. He is 20, a junior at American University, and paging through a thick history of Israel between classes, he is evidence of a peculiar irony of the Internet age: Digital natives prefer reading in print.

The Ultimate Guide to #Hashtags

Did you know that tweets with hashtags generate twice as much engagement – which includes clicks, retweets, favorites and replies – as tweets without?  But don’t go crazy – use no more than one to two hashtags in your missives, as anything more than that actually has a negative impact on engagement.

Complete Guide to Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts on social media can save you a ton of time, quickly advancing your status from newbie to power user.  Check the visual below for more keyboard shortcuts for Twitter, plus Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+.

The State of Social Media 2015

When you were a youngster and wanted to meet new people and make friends, you had to travel to an event such as an ice cream social. Today, connecting with friends can be accomplished instantly via a few clicks a la social media.  If you need further evidence of social media’s omnipresent influence nowadays, take a gander at We Are Social’s “Digital Statshot 002″ report, which reveals that there are currently about 2 billion active social media accounts worldwide-equating to a whopping penetration of 28% of the planet’s population, with about roughly 1.6 billion of these accounts active via mobile. What’s more, 72% of all internet users are currently active on social media, and 93% of marketers use social media for business.

Is There a Library-Sized Hole in the Internet?

David Weinberger is senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and has been instrumental in the development of ideas about the impact of the web. Shortly before his recent keynote presentation at OCLC’s EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Florence, he spoke with Sarah Bartlett about the library-sized hole in the Internet and how a ‘library graph’ might help librarians to fill it.

No, Mornings Don’t Make You Moral

We are different people at different hours of the day, but an early bird isn’t superior to a night owl.

Leave a comment

Filed under Weekly Round Up

A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage and the Quest for the Color of Desire

happy hands and heart

Valentine’s Day has passed, but many of us are still contending with piles of ribbons, tissue paper, envelopes and confetti in various hues of rose, crimson and scarlet.  We equate these shades with Valentine’s Day, but the symbolism and analogies associated with these colors go beyond that single holiday.  Red epitomizes passion, desire, romance, danger and energy.  Frequently adjectives such as “blood”, “ruby” or “wine” further enhance the description of this color.  We probably don’t give it a second thought, but there was a time when the elusive, brilliant red was worth a king’s fortune.

Amy Butler Greenfield relates the history of the dyer’s quest for this color in A Perfect Red.  The majority of the book recounts Spain’s attempt to monopolize the production of the this vibrant red from the time Cortes invaded Mexico and his men discovered the source – the tiny cochineal insect living on the prickly pear cactus. The female insect produced an acid which not only irritated predators but was also a brilliant dye.  Soon Spain dominated the production of the red dye and guarded the secret of the cochineal. As other countries began to covet the hue, a complex web of espionage developed, including both colonial exploration and exploitation.

Greenfield intersperses her narrative with fascinating anecdotes and facts related to the color red. For example, there were rules regarding wearing the color red.  In some cultures, only royalty had the right (and could afford) to wear red.  Montezuma not only seized this right, but also demanded that his subjects pay a tax in pounds of cochineal.  Mary, Queen of Scots, was clothed in black on the day of her execution. Yet, she used the color to make her statement, removing her dress to reveal a red petticoat.  This was the symbol of Catholic martyrdom!

Eventually, synthetic dyes were perfected and the labor-intensive cultivation of plant and animal dyes subsided.  Historians and chemists may be the target audience for this volume, but this fascinating account has something to interest everyone.

~Susan Catterall~

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews - The Stranger the Better