Saturday, December 19, 2009

What better way for a Virtual Library Cat to spend a quiet, snowy Saturday but in a warm corner by the reference librarian? One of my favorite discoveries between catnaps was This website gem, a collaboration of university and other wilderness research institutes, includes a gallery of wonderful photos to search, browse, enlarge, and even download as high resolution images. But it is also home to the "Wilderness Law Library," a collection of U.S. legislation keyed to specific wilderness areas. This is the place to find regulations and other agency-specific and topical resources, Congressional research reports, articles, links to other wilderness sites, historical timelines, statistics, wilderness area descriptions, and maps, all in one well organized and integrated collection. Enjoy it just to browse or plan outdoor adventures--then bookmark it as a great source for legal research.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 18, 2009

Words, words, words

You made it through finals, now you can think about something fun (when you are ready to think again, that is.) So I am ready to think about words. Traveling the web I run across a lot of them and they are critical for searching the web.

The only problem is the English language. Too many words have multiple meanings or can have two totally different meanings depending upon context. These are know as heteronyms. So when I search for "china" am I looking for information about the country or dishes? A list of other heteronyms is at Fun With Words (see, I am not the only one).

Don't get heteronyms confused with homonyms (I did). Homonyms (also known as homophones) are words that sound the same but spelled differently (like cereal and serial). For online searching, we just need to make sure we spell these correctly. More examples of homonyms are here .

Why should you care? It has to do with search engine choice. Stay tuned for that explanation coming in the new year.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nokia Versus Apple In Patent Dispute

Even non-mobile phone users may be interested in reading more about the patent infringement suit recently filed by Nokia against Apple with regard to the latter’s popular iPhone. Additional details are available here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Best Books

Still looking for a holiday gift for the bibliophile in your life?

You might want to peruse a few "Best Books of 2009" lists. I like Library Journal's Best Books 2009 and "Best Books of 2009" list by Publishers Weekly. Also take a a look at 10 Best Books of 2009 from the New York Times and the Washington Post's 10 Best Book's of the Year.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ABA launches search engine for law reviews/ journals & other repositiories

The ABA recently launched a search engine for over 300 law reviews/journals, repositories such as SSRN and bepress, and related publications such as Congressional Research Service reports. This is a search engine so the actual full text of some of the documents may not be available through this site. If you locate a site but not a document, remember to look at Hein Online (subscription database) on our homepage.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Future of First Year Associates

This WSJ Law Blog post summarizes a panel that discussed the future of the law business, part of that being the current model for new associates. A lawyer's education does not end with law school, but clients aren't always happy to pay for newer attorneys who are still learning the ropes.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, December 12, 2009

John Jay Homestead Historic Site

Today is the birthday of our first U.S. Supreme Court Justice, John Jay. What most law students may not realize is that John Jay was as much a New York farmer as he was a lawyer, member of the Continental Congress, co-author of The Federalist, state and federal judge, diplomat, and Governor of New York.

In Katonah, Westchester County, New York (only about 40 miles by car and one hour by Metro-North train from Grand Central Station) is the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site. A visit to the homestead and farm would make a great law-related country excursion or family trip during semester break or later this year. Jay retired to this farm and lived there until his death in 1829. The farm then remained in the Jay family until the last family resident died in 1953. The Homestead web site provides historical and family accounts, with a virtual tour of the farmhouse Jay designed himself and many other sites on the extensive grounds, which include other historic buildings, formal gardens and woodland walks.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 11, 2009


It is not just your Legal Writing professors who insist that you write clearly. A judge in Minnesota has issued guidelines on reducing legalese in filings. Two of his rules - never use "and/or" and eliminate superfluous words such as "hereby" and "herein". Not bad advice for writing exams either, I should think.

Thanks to Legal Blog Watch for the tip.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The First Opinion of the New U.S. Supreme Court Term…

…was delivered by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's newest member. Read more here and here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Google Search Features

We all google. Most of us probably use google on a daily basis. But, have you ever taken the time to look at some of the tips that google provides? Just take a few moments to review Google Search Features to improve your search experience.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, December 07, 2009

Borrowing Period for Materials Held on Reserve

As you requested, to increase access to materials maintained on Reserve, ALL RESERVE ITEMS MAY BE BORROWED FOR THREE HOURS. Patrons may request one renewal.

Shortened loan periods for high demand materials:

  • Provide support to the needs of our students
  • Optimize access
  • Offer intensive library use of reserve material for students
Click here for additional information about the Library's borrowing/Circulation policies.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Study Break: Tweeting Gettysburg

As mentioned by The Chronicle of Higher Education, historical scholarship has taken on a whole new form. A group is now tweeting famous historical events as though they were occurring in real time today. They began with the Battle of Gettysburg.

So, is historical tweeting a valuable teaching tool, or is it just an unusual way of using Twitter?

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Best 100 Blawgs

I like to prowl the Web thinking that I'm your favorite library cat (at least of the virtual variety), and that this is one of your favorite blogs. But taking a few minutes to discover a new favorite among the hundreds of legal blogs by attorneys and law professors, especially in subject or practice specialties and in career development, can enrich a law student's academic life and professional future. It can also make a great study break during exams.

Earlier this week the American Bar Association announced its Third Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100, representing the 100 best legal blogs for 2009 as selected by the ABA Journal editors. All 100, arranged by categories such as News, Careers, Legal Theory, Practice Specific, and Legal Tech, with companion Twitter feeds, are here to explore. You can also vote for your favorite blog in each category after completing a brief registration. The winners will be announced in the February edition of the ABA Journal. And, if you have a suggestion for a good legal blog to add to our blogroll, or to feature in a future post, let us know.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, December 04, 2009

Study Guides

Tis the season for study guides. On the Library's Research Guides web page we have a topical list of study guides available in the Law Library. You can also find this list in print in the Library's handout rack.

Good luck with your studying and on exams!!!

UPDATE: The Office of Academic Support also has a number of study guides and outlines available in its lending library.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, December 03, 2009

U. S. Government Manual, 2009-10 Edition, Is Now Online

The official handbook of the federal government, the United States Government Manual “provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. It also includes information on quasi-official agencies, international organizations in which the United States participates, and boards, commissions, and committees. The Manual begins with reprints of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution”.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Government Domain: A Handful of Classics

The Government Domain: A Handful of Classics by Peggy Garvin gives a good concise overview of some classic U.S. government websites. These are sites that she calls "classic" and that everyone should know. She links to the sites, provides a brief description and tells you the value of the particular site.

The introduction is also a useful brief overview of the rate of change on sites and the fact that many U.S. sites are not google friendly.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 30, 2009

Helpful Policies During Exam Period

Extended Library exam hours began on Saturday, November 28. Our extended schedule is:

EXAM PERIOD SCHEDULE - Saturday, November 28 - Thursday, December 17
Monday - Friday 7:00 A.M. - 2:00 A.M.
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 A.M.

Thursday, December 17 -- 7 a.m. - Midnight

Exam Archive

Knowing the archived exam and study room policies may prove helpful also. To access the Exam Archive:

  • Go to Hofstra Law School Library Main Page
  • Scroll down. In the lower, left-hand margin click “Exam Archive”
  • In the Hofstra University Library Electronic Reserves (ERes) window logon with your Novell Username and Password (this is the same username and password used to logon to the portal)
  • You will be prompted to enter the password (contact the reference or circulation desk for the password)
  • Click on “Accept”
  • Click the professor’s folder to access the exams.
Library Study Rooms
Click here to access the Library’s study room policy

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Code Surfing

USCodeSurf is a website that supports natural language searching of the Legal Information Institute's version of the United States Code. While searching the U.S. Code with natural language technology does not rival browsing its index or Popular Name Table (if you do not know what the popular name table is, click on the link--seriously, you really should know what it is), USCodeSurf may be on to something with how it displays its search results. It displays search results in a grid with three columns, rather than a top-to-bottom list. Will this be a feature that more well-known search engines and databases will adopt in the future?

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ballot Measures Database

Law students tracking public policy issues across the states for research papers often rely on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and their superb web site. But they may not know that beyond 50-state surveys of state legislation on a wide range of topics, NCSL also has a Ballot Measures Database. This database makes it easy to locate and track past and upcoming state ballot initiatives by providing background and descriptions, along with passage or failure status or when these initiatives are scheduled for a vote. Users can search four types of of measures: the legislative referendum, popular referendum, and the initiative, as well as ballot measures from other sources, such as state commissions, back to 1902. A clear explanation of the distinction between an initiative, a referendum, and a recall can be found here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Pardoning of the Turkey

Today, President Obama pardoned two turkeys -- Courage and Carolina. Both turkeys will live out their days "in peace and tranquility" at Disneyland. You can read the Remarks by the President on the Pardoning of the National Turkey on the Whitehouse website.

For more information on presidential pardons (of the non-turkey variety), take look at the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

As a reminder: the library will be closed on Thursday 11/26 and Friday 11/27 for the Thanksgiving break.

Enjoy the break!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue Tips

Have trouble figuring out the Bluebook? This is not uncommon, but there is now some help in addition to the reference librarians. The Bluebook - Blue Tips is a compilation to Bluebook format in the following catagories:
Citation Structure

This is a place to look when there are no librarians around.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 23, 2009

Research Resources: BNA Securities Regulation and Law Report

If you are looking for a current awareness resource about securities regulations, try BNA Securities Regulation and Law Report. This publication is a weekly report covering regulatory,legal and legislative developments affecting the regulation of securities and commodities at the federal and state level. It reports the activities of Congress, the Administration the SEC, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, FASB, and the professional associations regulation accounting practices in the securities and commodities industries.

To access
BNA Securities Regulation and Law Report:

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Securities Regulation and Law Report (BNA)"

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Copyright Watch

While prowling the web this week, I was led to Copyright Watch, a newly launched website created by copyright experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Information for Libraries and other international groups. The focus of Copyright Watch is global, as it aims to be a comprehensive, up-to-date and user friendly online repository of national copyright laws and developments. Users can select a continent or browse for a country. The brief country descriptions include links to relevant international organizations of which the country is a member. In addition to providing quick access to foreign copyright laws and monitoring copyright developments around the world, the site and its blog will be updated to include proposed amendments and commentary from national copyright experts.

Copyright Watch is a great resource for foreign and comparative law research, and for anyone who wants to keep up with global copyright law and its impact on business and information access around the world.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 20, 2009

Talking Turkey (day)

Amazingly, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. In between menu planning and feasting on leftovers (yes, virtual cats love turkey dinner), if you want to come to the Library we will be open next week during the hours listed below. Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean RIGHT after Thanksgiving the Library will start our exam period schedule and will be open for extended hours.

As always, you can check the Library hours page for when the Library is open and the Reference Desk hours page for when you can get Reference Librarian assistance.

Week of 11/23
Mon 11/23 8am-midnight
Tues 11/24 8am-midnight
Wed 11/25 8am-8pm
Sat. 11/28 10am-2am
Sun 11/29 10am-2am

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finland Makes Broadband Internet Access A Legal Right

It is interesting to follow the creation of new legal rights as they appear around the world. One such new right is Finland’s government’s decision to make access to a one megabyte broadband Internet connection a legal right for its citizens. Read more about this story here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Search for Legal Opinions using Google Scholar

Google Scholar has added full text searching of caselaw and legal journals. Just go to and choose the "Legal Opinions and Journals" radio button. You can also use the advanced search feature to limit your search by jurisdiction.

In addition to the text of the case, Google Scholar offers a nice looking "How Cited" feature that shows how the case has been cited and provides a list of citing cases and related documents.

Many bloggers have already expressed excitement about this development and are naturally wondering how this will affect Westlaw/Lexis products. Read more about it here,
here and here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

You are comfortable with your computer, phone and other tech devices, but legal technology may be something you don't really think about. Technology is technology, right? Well, yes and no. There is software and applications that are developed specifically for law firm needs (e-discovery) and there are those pesky legal implications for what you may or may not be doing online.

The ABA is helping lawyers deal with what they should and need to know about legal technology. Check out the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center(LTRC). It provides an FYI, Overview of legal technology that is useful for giving you an idea of the specific types of software required: calendar & docket, conflict of interest, document assembly, etc.

There are articles and presentations on what is happening with legal technology and tips on how to maximize use of resources. This is a good site to discover what you need to know and help you keep on top of the latest trends and developments.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 16, 2009

Research Resources: Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA)

If you would like to get national and global perspectives on the digital economy with news of trends and developments, try Electronic Commerce & Law Report. Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA) features comprehensive coverage of the major legal issues surrounding digital communications content, transactions, and infrastructure, on federal, state, and international levels.

To access Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA):

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Electronic Commerce & Law Report (BNA)"
The Report is published weekly on Wednesdays, except the Wednesday following July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The archive provides access to Reports from April 12, 1996.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New York Criminal Law Research Can Be Easy

Sometimes trial attorneys do not like doing legal research. And all criminal lawyers are trial attorneys.

That is why some criminal lawyers should be glad to know that, often, no intensive research is required to find very good explanations of New York's criminal statutes. This is because the Practice Commentaries by Judge William Donnino which appear throughout the McKinney's copy of the New York Penal statutes (and on Westlaw) are excellent.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Google Digital Book Settlement

For Google-watchers and those interested in copyright, antitrust law, and the legal controversy over the use of millions of books that Google has scanned and digitized from library collections, the latest news is that the parties met yesterday's federal court deadline to file an amended settlement. The revised settlement is an attempt to address the concerns that authors, publishers, European governments, the U.S. Copyright Office, the Department of Justice, and other groups had with the original settlement filed earlier this year. The Author's Guild summarized the "big changes" here . The official documents are available at

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Friday the 13th

And if you are very fortunate, this Friday the 13th you will cross paths with a black cat.

But why is it some of you humans think that Friday the 13th is unlucky - a condition known at "paraskevidekatriaphobics"? (I'll have to save the derivation of that for another posting). Does it date back to Norse mythology and the banishment of the goddess Frigga (after whom Friday is named) and Frigga's revenge for that banishment? Or maybe Loki, not invited to Valhalla had his revenge?

Maybe there is a legal angle. Hammurabi’s Code, the first set of state initiated laws, omits the number 13.

I'm the one who should be worried. At one time a small town in Indiana forced all black cats to wear bells on Friday the 13th.

So what's a cat (or human) to do? Well, you should know my answer. Find a purring black cat and then take a long nap.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) offers rapid, integrated searches of EPA and state data for more than 800,000 regulated facilities.

ECHO integrates inspection, violation, and enforcement information for the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. The site also contains reports and other resources, and it offers the capability to search for particular facilities.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Jotwell is The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). It's mission is to create a space for academics to critique and discuss recent legal scholarship. With the huge amount of law reviews and journals being published, it hopes to help identify recent developments in in several scholarly fields. So far, there have been reviews and discussions about recent scholarly works in the fields of cyberlaw, criminal law, corporate law, tax law and legal profession.

Hat tip to The Faculty Lounge.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New biography of Justice Scalia

Whatever else one may think of Justice Scalia, he is memorable, but until now he has not been the subject of a biography. Released by bookstores today is "American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia" by Joan Biskupic. The author granted an interview of the book to Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog and the podcast may be found here.

Yes, the law library is sure to purchase a copy. Put your name on the request list as this is sure to be a book many will want to read.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 09, 2009

Research Resources: The Economists' Voice

If you are looking for serious economics analysis about public policy and current issues, try The Economists' Voice. Edited by Aaron Edlin and Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics, together with Jonathan Carmel, J. Bradford DeLong and Jeffrey Zwiebel, The Economists' Voice offers access to full text (PDF) articles on a broad range of policy issues.

To access The Economists' Voice:

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Commercial and Corporate Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Economists' Voice"

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, November 07, 2009

New York Anniversary

Last Tuesday was an election day for New Yorkers, but yesterday was the anniversary of a momentous day in New York election history--November 6, 1917, when New York state passed a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote.

Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party had been picketing the White House since January of that year, followed by arrests and continuing protests. Although the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting suffrage to all American women, was not ratified until August 1920, New York's amendment and a march of 25,000 women in late 1915 in New York City were major events in the last successful push for the vote. The Library of Congress American Memory collection features a fascinating photo and timeline glimpse into the all-important year of 1917 in the history of legal rights for women.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 06, 2009

Supreme Stats

For those interested in analyzing the decisions and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, there are two great web sites for you. SCOTUS BLOG has a companion site, SCOTUS WIKI which provides Supreme Court statistics, such as Justice agreement, opinion tally and a circuit scorecard by term going back to 1995.

Another site, the Supreme Court database, provides downloadable data sets for you to manipulate and analyze in your favorite statistics software. Currently the data on this site goes back to 1953. According to the National Law Journal, they have just received funding to expand their data back to the first Supreme Court recorded decision in 1792.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Judge Allows Constitutional Challenge to Human Gene Patents

Those who track the unusual intersections of Constitutional law and intellectual property law may find the following news story of interest. As reports, opponents of patenting human gene sequences received a rare court victory recently, when a federal judge refused to dismiss a suit that challenges patents for two genes linked to cancers in women.

The case involves seven patents relating to human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, mutations of which are implicated in breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The University of Utah owns the patents, which it licenses to the Salt Lake City-based company Myriad Genetics.

In his opinion, Manhattan federal district court Judge Robert Sweet wrote that "the challenges to the patents-in-suit raise questions of difficult legal dimensions concerning constitutional protections over the information that serves as our genetic identities and the need to adopt policies that promote scientific innovation and biomedical research”.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Many students come to the desk looking for information about newspapers--especially where to find copies of those newspapers. One good place to start looking is the Library of Congress's newspaper directory. Using the newspaper directory, you can find newspapers by geographic region, year, and type of newspaper. Once you find the newspaper that you are looking for, you can click on the link that says "Libraries that have it" to find out where you can get a copy of the paper.

I found the Cleveland Plain Dealer, clicked on "Libraries that have it" and was given a long list of libraries that own it, plus a description of the holdings. In addition to several Ohio and Pennsylvania libraries, I found that the New York Public Library has microfiche copies of the newspaper back to 1965.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Have you voted yet today?

Remember that today is an election day and if you are registered to vote you should do so. Most of the races today are for state and local offices but these are still very important. Who will represent you in the state legislature? Who will be the judges? Who will be the Nassau County executive? We usually pay more attention to federal elections, but many issues are decided on a state and/or local level, i.e. property taxes.

Polls are open until 9 PM this evening so you still have time. Vote!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, November 02, 2009

Research Resources: Current Index to Legal Periodicals

Current Index to Legal Periodicals is prepared on a weekly basis by law librarians and staff of the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington. This publication provides topical access to approximately 475 law school reviews and other selected legal journals under 100 subject headings. In addition, CILP provides full tables of contents of all journals indexed.

To access Current Index to Legal Periodicals:

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Then, click "Article Finding"
  • Scroll down and click the "Current Index to Legal Periodicals" link
Dates of coverage are from 1999 to present.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Blawg Reviews

Many law reviews are now offering their articles for free on their websites. This move to 'open access' publishing is changing the look of legal scholarship. Some law reviews are becoming more interactive--with responses to articles now sometimes coming in comments pages and short online responses, rather than only in lengthy printed articles. A New York Law Journal article reviews this phenomenon, saying that this more interactive format is making some law review websites look similar to law blogs.

A few places to get started looking for open access law review articles are: -- You can search open access law review articles here -- the Directory of Open Access Journals
Library of Congress list of law reviews online

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Changes, changes...

Clocks are set for a change this weekend, and so is the Internet as you know it.

The nonprofit group that controls domain codes for Internet addresses announced yesterday that as of November 16, it will begin a "Fast Track" process for approving web addresses ending in non-Latin characters for the first time since the Internet was created. Rod Beckstom, President and CEO of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), hailed this development as "an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet." We should see URLs with country codes in Cyrillic, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, and other scripts by the middle of next year.

Expansion beyond the Roman letters A-Z for characters after the "dot" is expected to dramatically increase the number of Internet users among people worldwide that never use Roman characters, help local businesses, and make the Internet a more valuable resource for millions, including children. For more about this development, see ICANN's video and press release, and today's New York Times article.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Black Cat day!!

Tomorrow is the world's annual celebration of Black Cats (a.k.a "Halloween" to less informed humans). As a virtual black cat (yes virtual cats get to choose their colors), I celebrate not by eating a lot of sticky sweet stuff, but by crawling the web for interesting black cat references. Did you know that some humans used to believe that black cats were originally people turned into cats? Personally, I think humans are just unfortunate transmogrified cats.

Black cats have our place in the law. I found both a serious, detailed discussion of "Cat law" as well as a more light-hearted one in my virtual prowling. There even is an in-depth research guide. And, in case you were wondering, we cats have our own rules for dealing with humans.

However you plan to celebrate Black Cat day, make sure to get some good purring in.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Art of Written Persuasion (V): Improve Your Vocabulary, Improve Your Success

Here is another good reason to read not just the law, but literature, history, etc. Reading is a time honored method of improving vocabulary. This article "The Art of Written Persuasion: Part V - Improve Your Vocabulary, Improve Your Success" is a discussion of what is meant by "good vocabulary" - it is more than big words - and describes how lawyers use vocabulary to persuade.

It is not a long article and is a fine explanation of why lawyers need a good vocabulary.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 26, 2009

GlobaLex: New and Updated Research Guides

Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law, GlobaLex is an electronic publication dedicated to international and foreign research. New and updated research guides published by GlobaLex include:

New research guides:

  • Law and Legal Research in Zambia by Alfred S. Magagula

Updated research guides:

  • A Guide to the Republic of Azerbaijan Law Research by Ramil Iskandarov Avaz
  • The Croatian Legal System and Legal Research by Dunja Kuecking, Milivoje Zugi, and Marija Gilbota
  • Essential Issues of the Peruvian Legal System by Sergio Endress Gomez and Milagros Bustillos Pinto
  • Doing Legal Research in Romania by Dana Neacsu - updated in 2009 by Anamaria Corbesc

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Split Circuits

To follow up from last Sunday's post on using blawgs for research, I've just discovered Split Circuits, a blawg dedicated to tracking . . . yes, circuit splits. This blog is good fodder for academics, paper-writers, and Supreme Court watchers.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Site for Digital Books

We all know about Google Books, but where else can a virtual cat go to curl up with a virtual book? A new site called BookServer helps people (and cats) find information on digital books that are available for free or for a fee.

This service is provided by the Internet Archive - one of the great resources on the Internet - and subject of past and no doubt future postings.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Legal Pitfalls of Outsourcing?

In the current economy, news regarding trends in employment is always relevant. In this regard, the article “Legal Pitfalls of Outsourcing May Outweigh Benefits” might be of interest to those who are wondering about the often-discussed subject of outsourcing legal jobs.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat