Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Library Survey

To All Law Students:

Please help us. We are conducting this follow-up library survey to further measure our service quality and to assist in the strategic planning process.

Your participation in this survey will allow us to improve library services by better understanding your expectations and needs.

Please answer all the items. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you would complete the
online survey right now, or within the next few days.

If you prefer, you can pick up a paper version of the survey at the circulation desk in the library, complete it, and return it directly to Stacey Bowers (Room 330N in the library).

Thank you for your participation.

This survey was approved by the University of Denver's Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research on 02/22/2010. You are invited to participate in a study that will provide greater detailed information regarding student’s perceptions of the Westminster Law Library and its staff and services. The study is conducted by Stacey Bowers, the Outreach & Instructional Services Coordinator. Results will be used to improve, modify and/or expand library services for the Westminster Law Library’s patrons.

Participation in this study should take about 10 minutes of your time. Participation will involve responding to 21 questions about (i) how students use the library including how frequently, during what days and times, and for what purposes; (ii) whether the library is providing quality service levels; (iii) what materials, both print and online, students most frequently use; and (iv) what additional services the library and its librarians should consider offering. Participation in this project is strictly voluntary. The risks associated with this project are minimal. If, however, you experience discomfort you may discontinue your participation at any time. We respect your right to choose not to answer any questions that may make you feel uncomfortable. Refusal to participate or withdrawal from participation will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

Your responses will be anonymous. That means that no one will be able to connect your identity with the information you give. Please do not write your name anywhere on the questionnaire. Your return of the questionnaire will signify your consent to participate in this project.

If you have any concerns or complaints about how you were treated during the survey, please contact Susan Sadler, Chair, Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, at 303-871-3454, or Sylk Sotto-Santiago, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at 303-871-4052 or write to either at the University of Denver, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208-2121.

New Website for U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has a new website! Take a look out the improved design and interactive features, including new search and navigation capabilities.

And don't forget to check out the Supreme Court Fellows program where you could learn about policy issues in the administration of justice and while working at the Supreme Court, The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Federal Judicial Center or at the United States Sentencing Commission.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Need a Paper Topic?

The semester is coming to an end and it's time to finalize those paper topics! But how do you pick a topic? First, I would suggest glancing through your class and reading notes. If you have a topic that you are interested, then the paper will seem to practically write itself. So glance through your notes to remind yourself of those times when you were sitting in class and your lecturer or classmate mentioned something which made you go, "I'd like to know more abut that topic" or "I wonder..."

If nothing is coming to mind, then it's time to develop a topic. The University of Washington School of Law's library has a wonderful page on techniques for finding interesting topics or see the University of San Francisco School of Law's site.

I found two articles particularly helpful when I was looking for potential topics during law school: Heather Meeker, Stalking the Golden Topic: A Guide to Locating and Selecting Topics for Legal Research Papers, 1996 Utah L.Rev. 917 and Eugene Volokh, Writing a Student Article, 48 J. Legal Ed. 246 (1998).

The major legal databases also have pamphlets or tutorials on how to find a topic such as Westlaw's Guide to Law Review Research or LexisNexis' Starting Your Law Review Note tutorial.

As always, the librarians in the Law Library are here to help. Good luck with the rest of your semester!

Written by Andrew J. Tig Wartluft, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Temporary Relocation of the Colorado Supreme Court Library

On April 19, 2010, the Colorado Supreme Court Library will move temporarily to the first floor of the Denver News Agency building, located at 101 West Colfax Avenue. We expect to occupy that space for approximately three years while a new judicial complex is being built on the block between 13th and 14th Avenues, bound by Lincoln & Broadway Streets. The Ralph L. Carr Justice Complex, authorized by SB08-206, is scheduled to open in 2013.

In the interim, while scaled down in size, the law library will remain open to the public with print access to Colorado legal materials, basic reference texts and treatises of general applicability. Electronic databases with national coverage will continue to be offered as will copiers and document delivery service.

By necessity, many of our materials will be housed elsewhere; however, items unique to our collection and those most used will be identified and maintained nearby. Upon advance request, we will retrieve them for you. If we cannot satisfy a request, we will locate the closest available copy and make an appropriate referral.

We will share additional information as it becomes available. Between now and then, look for an on-line survey asking your opinion about the move. We will make every accommodation possible. As always, you may reach us by email ( or by phone (303-837-3720). Thank you for your patience with us during this time.

Written by Dan Cordova, Colorado Supreme Court Librarian in Denver, CO

Reprinted, with permission, from the CoALL Scuttle, the newsletter for the Colorado Association of Law Libraries.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Interested in Law Librarianship?

If you're pondering a career in law librarianship, the 103rd American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting & Conference will be held in Denver from Saturday, July 10, 2010 through Tuesday, July 13, 2010. The theme for the 103rd Annual Meeting is Summit 2010: Mapping Our Future. An excellent learning and networking event, attendees will have ample opportunity to participate in all aspects of the 2010 Annual Meeting and meet future colleagues. The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is the primary professional organization for U.S. law librarians and related professionals. Established in 1906, AALL currently has over 5,000 members. Browse the AALL website or watch the Guided Tour membership webinar for more information. Another great resource to learn more about law librarianship right here in Denver is the Colorado Association of Law Libraries (CoALL). See their website for free upcoming brownbag presentations, job announcements, and current or past editions of the organization's newsletter, Scuttle. Great resources for a great profession are right at your fingertips.

Written by Diane Forge Bauersfeld, Law Librarian Fellow

Saturday, March 20, 2010

DU Law Career Resources

DU Law Careers Online, Internships & Databases Websites

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Snapshot of President Obama's Career as an Attorney

It is well known that prior to becoming the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama was a practicing attorney, but what may come as a surprise is that this man, noted for his excellent oratorical skills, did not often use those abilities in the courtroom. Instead he opted to speak very little in most of his court appearances as an attorney with the exception of one notable case.

Barack Obama entered Harvard Law School at the age of 27 and by the end of his first year he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After earning a J.D. in 1991, Obama accepted a position as an associate lawyer at a law firm known for handling civil rights litigation. Later he worked for the same firm "of counsel". During this first period in his career, Obama stayed mostly behind the scenes and away from the courtroom. Instead he focused his efforts on researching points of law and writing drafts. "I was one of the better writers. I ended up doing the more cerebral writing, less trial work," Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times. "That's actually something I regret -- not doing more trial work."

According to the Los Angeles Times, as an associate attorney, Obama spent a majority of his time assisting with cases that concerned voting rights, wrongful firings and civil rights matters and in addition, devoted his efforts to real estate matters and minor tort cases. Though Obama is said to have assisted with 30 cases while working for the Chicago firm, he is only known to have helped in the courtroom litigation of 10 cases, all federal cases. Though he worked as an associate attorney on some of the cases and the lead in others, Obama is not on record as saying more than a few words to the court in many cases. If Obama's laconic tendencies were employed strategically, this proved successful, as a majority of the 10 cases he was involved in were ultimately favorable for him and his firm.

One case where Obama did utilize his exemplary language talents in oral arguments was in his defense of a securities broker before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals who had been defamed by his former bosses after he reported them for fraud. Mr. Obama argued that an arbitrator's ruling granting his client $120,000 in punitive damages should stand because arbitrator's are allowed to award punitive damages. Obama was successful in his appeal and his client ended up retaining his punitive damages despite the fact that a week prior the same court had ruled that arbitrators could not award punitive damages. An audio clip of Obama's argument from the 1994 case before the Seventh Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner is available.


Written by Kimberley Dickey, Law Librarian Fellow

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Federal Depository Library Program

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress in 1813 to ensure that the American public has access to government information. The Program consists of the acquisition, format conversion and distribution of depository materials to libraries throughout the United States without a fee. The mission of the Program is to disseminate information from all three branches of government for public consumption at no cost and currently includes 1250 libraries. The following links provide further information on the Federal Depository Library Program.

Federal Depository Library Blog
General Resources on FDLP Libraries
Federal Depository Library Handbook
Find a Federal Depository Library Near You
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications

Written by Brittany Cronin, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Law Librarian Program at DU

Are you interested in law librarianship? What do librarians do? Law librarians are professionally trained people who work in various legal settings, including law schools, private law firms, and government libraries. The University of Denver offers the courses needed for a career in law librarianship.

The M.L.I.S. Law Specialization is a 58 quarter hour program designed to provide students with the theoretical and practical skills required of successful law librarians. In addition to the required core classes, M.L.I.S. Law Specialization students may take Legal Research I & II, Legal Reference & Resources, Legal Databases Research and Legal Issues in Information Organizations.

Students will plan their elective choices and practicum experience with the aid of their faculty advisor. If you are interested in learning about the professions, the American Association of Law Libraries has a listing of articles, books & websites on both the history of law librarianship and practical aspects of the profession. By reading these materials you will learn more about the profession and the daily professional activities of law librarians. Information is also available through the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education.

Written by Diane Forge Bauersfeld, Law Librarian Fellow

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grant Awarded to Library Staff

Stacey Bowers, Outreach & Instructional Services Coordinator at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Westminster Law Library, and Claire Williamson, Law Librarian Fellowship Program, were awarded $2775 from the Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Grant Program for their project, "Reintroducing the Value of Law Librarians to Public Librarians through the Identification and Use of Emerging Technologies and Resources". This grant complements the work that is being done through the IMLS law librarianship grant.


New Faculty for 2009-2010

The Sturm College of Law welcomes new faculty for the 2009-2010 academic year: Assistant Professor Rebecca Aviel and Assistant Professor Raja Raghunath.

Rebecca received her BA at Yale College, followed by her JD at Harvard Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas of family law and legal ethics. Her most recent scholarship argues that social workers should be immune from suit for their decisions to initiate child protection proceedings.

Raja got his BA at Duke University followed by his JD at the University of Michigan Law School. From 2007-2009, he acted ad the Civil Rights Clinical Fellow of the Student Law Office. Before his work at the University of Denver, Raja practiced as both a commercial litigator and a labor and employment lawyer representing unions and individual workers. His scholarship focuses on the areas of labor law and constitutional law.

The Sturm College of Law also welcomed six visiting faculty for this school year, including:

Kristina Campbell, Michael Chang, Jamila Jefferson-Jones, Christine Klein, Veronica Rossman, and Ryan Vacca. Additionally, Dan Abraham, Rosemary Dillon, and Jeremy Weintraub joined the College of Law as visiting Lawyering Process Faculty. Finally, the College of Law welcomes two Clinical Fellows: Brittany Glidden and Kevin Lynch.

Welcome to the University of Denver!

Written by Kathryn Croco Michaels, Law Librarian Fellow

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Titles

The Westminster Law Library added some new titles to our collection in February. You can see a list of all items or search by subject. Fill out our online form to be emailed a list of new titles on a regular basis.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bradford Legal Forms

As of March 1, 2010, the Bradford Legal Forms Database featuring Colorado legal forms has been discontinued by the vendor. If you need a form, please check the library's Web Research Links > Colorado > Legal Forms or contact the Reference Desk for assistance in locating a print copy of a particular legal form.