After another successful Banned Books Week (September 27 to October 3, 2015) where we celebrated the freedom to read and raised awareness of the issue, the Charlotte School of Law Library has created a Libguide of information about Banned Books Week. Check it out at http://cslguides.charlottelaw.edu/bbw
The guide provides background information about Banned Books Week and why it is an annual event. For those who may not know, the section Banned/Challenged Books of the guide gives specifics about the who, what and why of challenged and banned books. An Infographics section provides a place to catch the great graphics on this subject. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom’s list of classic books and the reasons they have been challenged is included in the Classics section. Many of the challenged or banned books in the Charlotte School of Law Library’s Collection section are highlighted. These books are available for checkout.
This Year’s Activities section highlights the different ways that we celebrated the week this year including blog posts, book displays, a poll in OrgSync, this year’s poster that has been added to our collection on the 4th floor, announcement of the Read Out!, and addition of three favorite banned books to the CSL Library’s collection.
Probably the most important section of the guide is Advocacy. This section highlights the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; what action anyone can take in protecting our right to read; and the organizations and websites that monitor the threats and advocate for our rights.
While we celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week each year, we all should be aware of the challenges that continue to happen all too frequently at other times of the year and be prepared to act in support of the schools and libraries that face those challenges.
When we first introduced WeCite, we never expected that law students at over 100 law schools could make 125,000 contributions in a single semester, or that 40 student ambassadors would sign up to lead the charge. But what’s interesting to me about the success of WeCite isn’t just the tremendous effort from motivated students across the country. It’s that WeCite represents a model for doing something that many law students struggle with: leaving time and energy to make the impact that inspired you to come to law school to begin with.
What new skills will lawyers need in the coming decades? This is, rightly, a hot question of late, and for good reason. Law firms are questioning the preparedness of new hires; law schools are revamping stale curricula; clients are dismissing the usefulness of young lawyers. The profession is struggling to re-orient to an unknown future. But, it’s not the right question. It presumes we all share a common path and a common objective — that there is some set of new skills that all lawyers will need. Is that true? What if only some lawyers need to learn new and different skills? Who are those lawyers? What do they need to learn?
As the brutal attacks rocked Paris last night and left 150 dead, people around the world following the events from afar searched for a way to show their solidarity with the people of the beloved French capital. Many flooded social media channels with photos of iconic Parisian landmarks, but a simple, shaky sketch posted by London-based French graphic designer Jean Jullien has become the most notable avatar for the unspeakable tragedy.
Too busy to take care of yourself? These talks offer simple ways to stay healthy — both emotionally and physically.
The American Association of Law Libraries, founded in 1906 and my preferred professional association home since I joined it in 1989 as a library school student, may be ready to change its name. I say “may” because, of course, it is up to a majority vote of its membership whether to agree with the unanimous recommendation of its executive board to change the institution’s name to the Association for Legal Information.
Compiling a federal legislative history may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. We hope, through our last fewBeginner’sGuides, that we have made this process easier for researchers. Here is another, possibly less complicated, option for finding legislative history documents that we wanted to be sure to highlight — determining whether someone has already done the work for you and created a legislative history report! There are many sources of pre-compiled legislative histories available that you will want to check before compiling your own. These compilations range from finding aids that help you locate a compiled legislative history to monographs that contain the legislative history for one act.
The Vernon Area Public Library (VAPL) in the northwest suburbs of Chicago eliminated overdue fines this past August, and ELA Public Library, a neighbor of VAPL, followed suit in September. They are modeling their policy on Algonquin (IL) Public Library (another neighbor) and their decision to remove overdue fines in September 2014. VAPL noted that Algonquin, nearing its one-year anniversary of instilling the policy, has had no adverse effects. In fact, it’s only increased the goodwill of patrons towards the public library. Since introducing the no overdue fines policy, VAPL has also received only positive responses from their patrons and the community at large. Is this something that should become a trend for public libraries in general?
Did the publishing giant found the journal whose editors have resigned in protest?
School Libraries Work!, a new research report providing evidence of the positive impact of school librarians and libraries on student learning, was released today by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, at the American Association of School Librarians’ 17th National Conference & Exhibition in Columbus, OH. The national- and state-level findings from more than 30 separate research studies included in the report demonstrate the integral role school libraries play in teaching and supporting student learning, while confirming that when school librarian staffing is reduced, student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA) suffers.
If you haven’t been paying attention, there are some fairly serious amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that are going into effect on on December 1, 2015. The amendments, which apply to both new and existing civil actions pending in federal court, are an attempt to reduce costs and burdens of discovery.
Having spent six years in Silicon Valley earlier in my career, I am a Steve Jobs fan. A new biography, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader, contains important lessons for higher education.
As you prepare for the job market you are undoubtedly focusing on your research, polishing your job market paper, and honing your presentation skills. Those absolutely should be your highest priorities. However, when you have time, you should also be sure to brush up on your dining etiquette. It can save you stress and embarrassment later.
There’s an old saw, often mistakenly attributed to Winston Churchill, that goes something like this: “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 35, you have no brain.” A person should start left and drift right, and not the other way around, the adage suggests. But when it comes to Supreme Court justices, growing older appears to incite a trend in the opposite ideological direction.
Regardless of clear differences in economic and operational mechanics, it is the reinterpretation of the library’s mission — from the perspective of the user — that I find most instructive for those in the legal industry.
The Charlotte Law Trial Advocacy Board hosted the fourth annual Carolinas Competition the weekend of October 23rd to 25th. The competition drew teams from the University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina, Georgia State, South Texas, Atlanta’s John Marshall, and Charlotte School of Law. Local attorneys and Judges from around the Charlotte area came out to help judge the multiple rounds of competition.
The first two preliminary rounds of competition were held at the Mecklenburg County Court House. After those two rounds the twelve competing teams dropped down to the top eight teams which then competed in a knock-out round of competition to see who would make it to the semi-finals. The semi-finals were hosted Sunday morning at the Charlotte School of Law campus and consisted of two Charlotte School of Law teams, one UNC team, and one team from USC.
The two Charlotte School of Law teams had to face each other in the semi-final round competing against each other to see who would make it to the finals. The two teams were made up of both 2Ls and 3Ls who are all new to the Trial Advocacy Board at CSL. The first team was comprised of Megan White, Tiana Young Morris, Megan Powell, and Ahmed Toure; and the second team included Owen Harnett, Ronniesha Smith, Jhonathan Morales Najera, and Bethany Hixson.
The final round took place Sunday afternoon and the match-up consisted of a team from USC and the CSL team consisting of Megan White, Tiana Young Morris, Megan Powell, and Ahmed Toure. The final round was extremely close as both teams were evenly matched in the courtroom. In the end, the team from USC won the competition by a very narrow margin. Even though the teams from CSL were not able to take home the big win in the competition, they all had an amazing time being able to compete and had the following to say about their experience in the Carolinas Competition:
“I have no doubt that CSL had the best two teams in the competition. Both teams and foil members were hard-working and dedicated to making this team better. We had coaches who pushed us to be better. It was a great experience to compete for the first time on our home turf. It was an honor to represent the school. It was also great to have the entire CSL Trial Advocacy Board supporting us. It meant a lot.”
~ Megan White
“Not only was it a privilege to represent Charlotte School of Law in this competition, but it was a privilege to learn from such successful attorneys and judges. Every team that participated was extremely talented. Knowing that we made it so far in the competition proves that the hard work and dedication our coaches and team put into preparing for the last six weeks definitely paid off. This was one of the most beneficial experiences I have had in law school thus far.”
~ Megan Powell
“We started our preparation for the case as friends; six weeks later, we were practically family with all of the time we spent together preparing our cases. Our dedication was reflected by our performance in the Carolina’s competition against schools like UNC, Georgia State, and USC where we reached the semi-finals and one team reached the finals, finishing second overall. We were all first-time competitors and it was a great experience being in front of judges presenting our case in chief, and we are looking forward to our next competition.”
~ Owen Harnett
“Practicing, competing and tasting success with this fine group of advocates was an experience like none other. I’m forever grateful for that experience and I’m already looking forward to next time.”
~ Ahmed Toure
Even though our CSL team did not win, our very own Tiana Young Morris won the Best Advocate Award for the entire competition. Tiana’s partner for the defense in the final round, Megan White, had this to say about her partner winning Best Advocate: “Tiana’s award for best advocate was well deserved. She is extremely talented and great to work with. It was an honor to be her co-counsel.”
Overall, CSL team coach Alexa McCartney summed it up best: “From the first introductory meeting until our final round of the competition, my goal was to make my team members’ experiences as amazing as mine was when I competed as a student. While I had high expectations for our teams, each and every teammate exceeded those expectations and it was a privilege to watch them continuously improve over the six weeks of preparation. Through their hard work, dedication, and passion for litigation, these individuals developed into confident and professional advocates and I was honored to have been their coach.”
NASCAR and Charlotte School of Law partnered to present the inaugural NASCAR Negotiation Competition in North Carolina (NC3) November 13-15, 2015 at both the NASCAR offices and the CharlotteLaw Campus, both in uptown Charlotte, NC. The competition, a motorsports-themed negotiation simulation, was open to law schools from across the Carolinas.
Participating schools sent two students to negotiate a real-life motorsports legal problem. During this year’s competition, the issue centered on a mock driver services agreement between a new driver and a race team. The judges for the competition included an array of seasoned practitioners in the motorsports industry, including in-house legal counsel with NASCAR, and legal representatives of top drivers and teams. Students were able to tour NASCAR offices as well as the state-of-the-art Fan and Media Engagement Center.
The competition finalists were from the Wake Forest University and the College of William & Mary. The final winner was Wake Forest. The competition is being planned as an annual event.