In Custodia Legis is a blog post that purports to cover current legal trends, international perspectives on the law, history, and developments in THOMAS, a site offering legislative information from the Library of Congress’. Coincidentally, if you hunger for more Latin phrases to toss around and impress your friends and colleagues, “in custody legis” translates to “in the custody of the law”. You’re welcome.
In Custodia Legis can be found at http://blogs.loc.gov/law/, or alternatively by going to THOMAS via the Law Library’s index of electronic resources. Once on THOMAS, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and there, in the middle panel, one may find the appropriate link.
Once you have found your way to the In Custodia Legis site, you’ll notice that it is easy to navigate. The screen is divided into two separate panels. On the left, you will find a navigation panel, with a “Search This Blog” option at the top. Directly below that is a link to the site’s Twitter Feed, and continuing further down is a Categories menu with options such as “Law Library”, “Ask a Librarian”, “Collections”, Congress”, and so on. There are also links there for THOMAS and “Pic of the Week”, which offers pictures relevant to the practice of law.
Below the Categories menu, the site gives you the option to search through the site’s archives. This is done by selecting the month and year you wish to browse, rather than the term search option at the top of the page. I find this option helpful when used in conjunction with the term search, in that once I found the topic I was researching, I could go to that month and see what other legal topics were trendy at that time.
Further down, there are additional links to the Law Library of Congress, THOMAS, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and iTunes. One may get the sense that In Custodia Legis is in effect the bridge between legal studies and social networking.
Being a legal resource, there is of course a Disclaimer, which can be found at the bottom of the left hand panel. We’re all familiar with the language (“This blog…does not represent legal advice…”) and I at least, scanned it quickly thanks to my first year Contracts class.
The panel to the right holds the “meat” of the site. It is significantly larger in size than that to the left, and is made up of the actual blog postings. In such, by choosing “Ask A Librarian” in the left panel, the right is immediately populated by blog postings that fall into that category.
In conclusion, In Custodia Legis is an easily navigable resource that holds a variety of subjects and opinions. It does not constitute legal advice, but can be entertaining should you find a few minutes to spare from your own legal studies. Thanks for reading!
~Lucas Paulick, L’13~