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