Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cell Phone Driving Laws

Cell phone use and texting while driving are hot topics in the news and in state legislatures these days. The Governor's Highway Safety Association has compiled a useful summary and chart to keep everyone up-to-date on the state of legislation in all 50 states. The chart entries also link directly to pages summarizing other traffic safety laws (drunk driving, helmet requirements, etc.) for each state. Changes in New York's cell phone driving restrictions, effective this November, are reflected in the chart.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, August 28, 2009

1L / Legal Writing Lexis and Westlaw training

As a virtual being, of course I think doing research online is great. But, learn how to do it effectively and efficiently. For all of you taking Legal Writing, sign up for Lexis and Westlaw training at the Library Circulation desk. Get there early to get your preferred days and times. Your Legal Writing professors agree with me and have made this a mandatory part of your Legal Writing class.

Training takes place in the Lower Level Computer lab in the Library and will start on August 31 and run through September 18th. Click here for the schedule. And . . .


Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rhetoric For Beginners

Rhetoric is the ancient art of argumentation and discourse. Many of the techniques of argument used by modern lawyers have ancient roots, indeed. Explore these roots, and learn a thing or two about formal argumentation and expression, by visiting Professor L. Kip Wheeler's Rhetoric page.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Opinions in Westlaw and Lexis

According to this article, a settlement provision in an Amtrak case called for the judge to "vacate eight of his published opinions and to "direct" Lexis and Westlaw to remove them from their databases." Can a judge really "direct" Lexis and Westlaw to remove published opinions from their databases? Take a look at the article to find out more.
More commentary can be found here at the Volokh Conspiracy.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Courts: 21st Century Civics

Our Courts - inspired by retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - is a website designed to teach students civics and the role of the courts. It is designed for middle school students but is a fun way for law students to review the basics. Right now there are two interactive games: Do I have a right? and Supreme Decision that put the player in on the action in a law firm and the Supreme Court.

These are a fun way to review.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, August 24, 2009

If you are looking for a way to stay up to date with new web 2.0 services, try The site provides a directory of new web 2.0 tools and applications.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Advice For New Associates

In a recent article in the National Law Journal, Steven Bennett outlines how new law firm associates can avoid some common pitfalls. His answer to problem number one, wasting time?

"Ask lots of questions when receiving an assignment. Ask more later, if you are still not sure of the assignment."

This is advice librarians have been giving associates for years, as law firm librarians are often the victims of associates who have very vague or confused understandings of their assignments.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat