Friday, October 02, 2015


Today the Hofstra Law library blog moves to a new space with a new look and new voices.  With sincere appreciation and apologies to T.S. Eliot, I say my farewell . . .

You've read many posts from this Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand my character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
You've seen me both at work and games,
And learnt about my napping aims,
My habits and my habitat:
So now

Tis’ time to wish farewell to this Cat.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Constitutional Protections For Mobile Phone Pass Codes?

A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled last week that the Fifth Amendment protects the right of insider trading suspects to withhold the pass codes to their business cellular phones. Read more here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New CRS Report: Dark Web

You have probably heard of the Deep Web, but how much do you know about the Dark Web?  Discover more about the dark web in Kristin Finklea's CRS Report entitled - you've guessed it - Dark Web.

 "This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Guides for Legal Research & Technology

Looking for focused research guides and articles on leading edge topics in law and technology? Try, a site with contributions by lawyer and law librarian experts on subjects ranging from "Animal Rights on the Road to Personhood" to "Researching Australian Law" and features on the latest courtroom technology. LLRX is edited and published by Sabrina I. Pacifici, also the founder and editor of beSpacific, another wonderful resource with daily updates summarizing and linking to new government and international organization documents, reports, and data on legal, economic, scientific and cultural issues.  

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hofstra Law Library webcasts

Have you forgotten something that was said in a journal orientation, or missed a library workshop?  Not to worry, webcasts of the journals' orientations and other library presentations are available.  Such as:

1, Googlerific Workshop for all things Google including Google Scholar and Google chat. 
2, Handouts for LegalTech: Essential technology for classroom, office and courtroom.
3, 1L Introduction to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and WestlawNext.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, September 25, 2015

Print Not Dead

Yes, I am a Virtual Cat, but I still love curling up with (or on) a good print book.  No need to worry about the blue light keeping me awake.  Thankfully, according to the NY Times, print books are having a resurgence in popularity.  Check out:

The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead

(photo from A J Mast for the NY Times)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Copyright Clearance For The Lyrics To “Happy Birthday”???

Believe it or not, the lyrics of the childhood staple “Happy Birthday” song have been the source of copyright litigation. Read more about a recent judicial decision on this issue here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ProQuest Scholarly Content Now Discoverable in Google Scholar

"The full text of its scholarly content – including journals and working papers – is now indexed in Google Scholar, enabling Google Scholar users to seamlessly discover and access their library’s ProQuest collections.This allows Google Scholar users to view abstracts of ProQuest's materials for free in their Google Scholar results and then to access the full-text of ProQuest's materials for free, if their public library has a subscription to ProQuest."

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

10 Misconceptions About the Constitution--and a Test

One of the best items to be posted in honor of Constitution Day 2015 (September 17) was an ABA Journal news article, "10 Misconceptions About the Constitution."  If you think you know a lot about the drafting and significance of the U.S. Constitution, think again. This compendium of interesting and surprising Constitution facts was compiled by Robert J. McWhirter, author of the recently published book, Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated, and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights. (Yes, we have a copy in the Law Library.)  Even if you were aware of some of these lesser-known facts, you'll find the Constitution Quiz at the end of the article to be quite a challenge. Take a break from studying and give it a try.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 21, 2015

How well do you google?

You can get better results from Google is you use search operators. 

When you use a dash before a word or site, it excludes sites with that info from your results.

When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include pages with the same words in the same order as the ones inside the quotes.

site: Get results from certain sites or domains.

There are more.

The Infographic:  Get More Out of Google also has more tips and examples so you too may perform a "well-executed search" on Google.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Updated HeinOnline Comprehensive User’s Guide

HeinOnline recently updated their interface with a new organized page and look.  As such, Hein is offering an updated Comprehensive User's Guide. This guide provides the basics of how to navigate through the interface, how to search from the home page and within collections.  It also provides guidance on using the various tools available in HeinOnline.  To learn more about the changes and to access the guide, click here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, September 18, 2015

Privacy in the social media age

I may wander the virtual world, but I also like my privacy and do not want my wanderings tracked without my knowledge.  Enter Privacy Badger - a fellow virtual denizen with origins as a fur-based critter.

Privacy Badger, a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is not an ad blocker.  Rather, if you are using Firefox or Chrome it blocks online services which attempt to track your behavior.

Hat-tip, again, to ProfHacker

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How To File FOIA Requests

Have you ever wondered what steps are involved in actually making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request? This handy infographic takes you through the process.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

When 2¢ = $50

Congratulations to Jennifer Calamia. She is our winner of an Apple $50 gift card for participating in the summer research survey.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Organize Your Online Legal Resarch: Lexbox

Lexbox is a free Google Chrome extension that helps you organize and monitor your online legal research.  It enables you to assemble legal information from various online sources, and to create personal alerts

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Women, Business and the Law 2016

How do 173 countries across the globe, including the United States, compare in terms of legal barriers to women's employment and business activity?  The latest Women, Business and the Law report by the World Bank Group provides national comparisons over a wide range of related areas, from restrictions on women in establishing credit, making contracts, and holding certain jobs, to parental leave laws and the criminalization of domestic violence. Released this month, "Women, Business and the Law 2016: Getting to Equal" is an excellent source for comparative law research in business, economic development, and women and the law. Both the full report and a summary of key findings are available here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 14, 2015

New on Hein Online - State Reports: A Historical Archive

Attention source gatherers looking for old case law.  Hein Online now has the full text of historical state reporters.  Go to the state you want and you can drill down through the titles or search by citation.  Sometimes it is faster to drill down to find your document unless you are very sure of the abbreviation for the title of the reporter.  Historical (Nominative Reporters) are named after the person who collected and compiled the courts' opinions.  It can be tricky.  Have fun!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Heinonline: Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals Database Coverage Expansion

HeinOnline has recently expanded coverage of the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) database to include the year 1984. This additional indexing has added 9,700 records including journal articles, collection articles and book reviews. IFLP can be searched by subject, country subject, region, and more.  To learn more about the enhancement and a refresher on how to search IFLP, click here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, September 11, 2015

Stay awake without caffeine

Ever feel like the critter pictured here when trying to get your work done?  As the semester gets busy, you may find yourself needing help staying alert.  Although I heartily endorse naps, you may not always be able to indulge.  Check out your Virtual Cat-approved  Four Chemistry-Approved Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine .

Hat-top to ProfHacker
Photo “I’m Getting Sleepy” by Flickr user Takashi Hososhima / Creative Commons licensed BY-SA–2.0
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Drone Law, Redux

Further to our earlier post speculating about Drone law, here is a link to an interesting infographic recently published on the subject. It summarizes the laws currently on the books in entertaining visual form.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Fastcase No. 1 According to ABA Tech Survey

LawSites by Robert Ambrogi reports that the Fastcase legal research app is the most popular legal app among lawyers according to the 2015.  Click here to read more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

FDsys: Free Federal Resources

With legal employers looking for cost-efficiency in their new employees, an official government website with free documents in PDF is one you'll want to bookmark and remember.  FDsys, the U.S. Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System, provides easy access to Congressional bills, hearings, and reports, the U.S. Code, the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as Presidential documents and other materials.  Some of the materials on FDsys are not available on HeinOnline, and all of them are accessible to anyone with internet access. Be sure to note the date coverage for each of the resources, which varies.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Need a Refresher? Check out our Webcasts!

The new semester generally has several workshops and orientations that all students must attend.  Did you recently attend one and need a quick refresher on what you learned?  Then take a look at the Library's webcasts page here.  Any research workshop or session conducted by the Library is recorded and provided on the site for all students to access.  Check back periodically as the listings are updated regularly.  The handouts that were given out at the session along with any other presentation materials are linked as well.  In addition, we have a number of research tips and tutorial videos that can help you with your other research needs. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, September 04, 2015

Labor Day

Yes, we are open on Labor Day, and  will have staff here to help you at both the Circulation and Reference desks from 10am-6pm.  Our regular Saturday and Sunday staffing hours apply.

Enjoy the last "unofficial" weekend of summer.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 03, 2015

“Driverless Car Law”: Another New Legal Field?

As we noted last week in our post about “drone law”, advancing technology presents both new challenges and new opportunities for lawmakers and attorneys. Another such challenging field may be in the area of vehicular laws and driverless automobiles. Read a brief article on the latter topic here.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Finding Study Guides

In addition to CALI lessons online, you can find some great study guides and study aids--such as the Examples & Explanations series, flash cards, CD's, and more--at the Law Library.  Many of the Library's study aids are kept on reserve at the Circulation Desk and circulate for 3-hour periods; others are found in the main stacks.  Finding the right study aid for a 1L or advanced course is easy with "Study Guides," one of the research guides on the Library website.  The "Study Guides" research guide organizes these resources by both subject and series, including some online and media series.  Print copies of "Study Guides" are kept at the Reference Desk handout rack for students' convenience.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, August 31, 2015

Law360 - hot off the press legal news

Want to know what is happening "right now" in the legal world?  Then check-out Law360.  In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

You can access this resource through the Law Library's website.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, August 30, 2015

State and Local Government Code Resources:

Are you interested in a source that provides state and local codes for the fifty states?  Try, this free sources provides 3,100 online codes covering various cities, counties, towns, villages across the United States. You can browse by state and the results can be easily viewed on desktop, tablet, and mobile.
To access

  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "State and Local Government"
  • Scroll down to ""

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat