Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free Summer Lexis for Public Interest Work

A message from LexisNexis:

Lexis is offering free access to recent law graduates or students who are doing public interest work through their ASPIRE program. Find out if you qualify and
register today.

Students face a heightened challenge securing internships and launching their legal careers in a tough economy. For this reason, LexisNexis has expanded the ASPIRE program to include non-profit summer positions for current students, as well as graduates who pursue public interest legal work as a career. You may learn details of the program on the ASPIRE information page.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legal Research Bootcamp

Make Your Summer Experience a Success - Attend Boot Camp!
Learn what you need to know to have a successful summer job or clerkship. Presentations will be offered by the Westminster Law Library, the Legal Externship Program and the Career Development Center. Topics include:
  • Getting it Right: Communicating With Your Supervisor
  • Colorado Practice Materials
  • Legal Forms & Documents
  • Backpack to Briefcase - Career Advice
  • Legal Research in Secondary Sources
  • Alternatives to Westlaw & Lexis
Boot Camp will be offered on May 24th, 2010 from 4pm - 7:10pm in Room 125 of the SCOL building. Sandwiches / dessert provided - so please rsvp by May 17th to Stacey Bowers. Download a flyer for more details.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Law Librarian Fellows

The Library and Information Science Program in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver and its partners, the Westminster Law Library and the Sturm College of Law, have recruited and are educating ten new law librarians, known as the Law Librarian Fellows (LLF), thanks to a grant of $999,360 from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The generous grant was one of 31 awards given to institutions nationwide as part of a $20.3 million initiative of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The grant will enable the Law Librarian Fellows to partner with the Westminster Law Library to work on outreach programs in Colorado with the Colorado Supreme Court.

Partnering with law librarians on outreach initiatives from the State of Colorado Supreme Court Library, the law librarianship students will participate actively as members of the Support Center at DU starting in the summer of 2010. They will be assigned a list of clients and provide legal reference, document retrieval, and other services under the guidance of WLL law librarians. Clients will include rural attorneys, academic and public libraries with legal collections, rural government agencies, and non-governmental legal organizations serving low-income individuals and families. The University of Denver Law Librarian Fellows will be introduced in upcoming blogs. For more information about the Fellowship Program please contact Chris Hudson.

Written by Diane Forge Bauersfeld, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trusts & Estates Research Guide

The Law Library is pleased to release a new, interactive research guide on Trusts & Estates. The guide provides a variety of free and fee-based, print and online resources on the topic. Areas covered include Colorado specific information, wills, trusts, tax implications, planning for non-traditional relationships and secondary sources.

Trusts & Estates is the fourth new LibGuideto be released and others are currently in development. Other available topics are Federal Statutes, Disability Law and Colorado Practice Materials.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Federal Statutes Research Guide

A new online research guide on Federal Statutes is now available to meet your research needs. It offers federal statutory resources including a publications timeline from bill to public law to USC cite; as well as finding aids to locate statutes by citation, popular name, public law number or topic as well as strategies to update your research. Print and free or fee-based databases, tutorials, rss feeds, etc. are all covered in the guide.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

U.N. Resources

Have an interest in the United Nations and Treaties? Looking for print resources found in the Westminster Law Library? Look no further! A sampling of print resources on treaties is listed here:

Bowman, Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status, Level 1 Reference KZ118.B69 1984 and Current Supplement (1995) A List of major multilateral treaties with citations.

Rohn, World Treaty Index Level 1 K
Z173.R64 1974, 1984 Chronological and subject access to treaties world wide. Helpful up to 1984.

Wiktor, Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995. Level 1 Reference KZ118.W55 1998 Chronological listing with information on treaty text location.

Osmanczyk, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Relations, 3rd ed. 4 v. Level 1 Reference KZ4968.O76 2003

Consolidated Treaty Series (C.T.S.) Level 1 KZ120.P35 Historically significant agreements, 1648-1919
League of Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.) 1920-1946 Level 2 Microfiche KZ170.5.T74

Additionally, Westminster Law Library subscribes to many online sources of information pertaining to the United Nations. Be sure to log in to the following databases for further information:

-A UN documentation research guide to assist searching their website

-Access UN: The online index for DU's United Nations microfiche covering 1944-present

-Treaties and Agreements Library: United States treaties, 1776 - present

-United Nations Law Collection:
Search the United Nations Treaty Series collection and Treaty Handbook, the International Court of Justice reports, UN Commission on International Trade Law, UN Yearbooks, all UN publications, and more.

-Hein Online - Journals: Access to over 1,500 law journals

- World Trials:
This collection contains such famous and important works as John Lawson's American State Trials, Howell's State Trials, Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals, Reports of State Trials and Sixty Famous Cases. Also included is the full trial collection from Cornell University Law Library, one of the most complete collections in the United States. Future releases will include the Lawson collection from the University of Missouri.

- Legal Trac:
Provides bibliographic access to all major law reviews, law journals, specialty law and bar association journals, legal newspapers, articles on Federal and State Cases, Laws and Regulations, Legal Practice, and Taxation, British Commonwealth, European Union and International Law.

Written by Jennifer Hayden, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Worklaw Program

The new Worklaw Program is designed to give students at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law the critical knowledge and skills required to practice as an employment and labor lawyer in a variety of settings. The Worklaw Program offers core courses in wrongful termination law, employment discrimination law and the law of union/management relations. Advanced course offerings include employee benefits law, sports law, public sector law, wage and hour law and clinical practice.

The Worklaw Program allows students to gain a
certificate in Employment and Labor Law by completing a minimum of 12 non-clinical semester credits in Workplace Law curriculum. These credits must include a survey of employment law, at least one of either employment discrimination law or labor law and a class that satisfies the upper level skills requirement. Further, students must participate in a capstone experience in the Worklaw program that includes a labor or employment related clinical experience or writing a research paper that satisfies the upper level writing requirement- to name a few options. Finally, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all Work place law courses.

DU's Worklaw Program is lucky to have more full-time faculty members writing, practicing and teaching in the field than any other employment and labor law program in the country. The following professors and assistant professors make DU's Worklaw program exceptional: Rachel Arnow-Richman, Christine Cimini, Roberto Corrada, Martin J. Katz, Raja Raghunath, Laura Rovner, Nantiya Ruan, and Catherine Smith. Please visit the Worklaw section of DU Law's website for in depth biographies of the professors and more information about the program.

Written by Brittany Cronin, Law Librarian Fellow

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Privacy Foundation

Are you a Facebook friend of the Federal Government? You could be. The Feds are on Facebook! Do you have an interest in privacy issues? The Privacy Foundation, based at the University of Denver’s Strum College of Law, attracts a worldwide audience of professionals to the research findings published on its Internet web site, as well as public seminars on topical privacy issues. The Privacy Foundation focuses on privacy as it pertains to financial concerns, identity theft, international privacy, as well as student and workplace privacy and Homeland Security, to name a few.

The Privacy Foundation was formed to research the privacy and security implications of this highly networked world. In researching new technologies – and in describing their business, legal and societal implications – the Foundation serves to identify possible threats to individual privacy. The Foundation also assists media outlets in their efforts to accurately inform and educate the public concerning the ever-present tension between privacy and security. For the latest news on the Google Italy case or just want to browse information on identity theft, check out the Privacy Foundation.

Written by Jennifer Hayden, Law Librarian Fellow

Disability Law Research Guide

The Westminster Law Library is pleased to announce the release of a new online research guide on Disability Law. The guide includes links to general and Colorado specific resources, databases, free internet sites, rss feeds & blogs, forms and CALI tutorials related to disability law issues.

The guide was created using a software called LibGuide. We are in the process of transitioning all of our print handouts to an interactive format. Take a look at the new Disability Law Guide as well as one on Colorado Practice Materials posted on our Research Guides site. More online research guides will be posted shortly.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sam Cary: A Pioneering Attorney

Nearly a century ago in Colorado, there was a remarkable attorney by the name of Samuel Cary. Cary was a remarkable attorney, in part, because he practiced law as an African-American at a time when there was very little minority representation in the American West, including Colorado. In 1910, Cary became the first African-American graduate of the Washburn University School of Law, in Topeka, Kansas (V. 42, No. 4 Washburn Law Journal 803, 822, (2004).

More importantly, however, Cary was a remarkable attorney because he dedicated his professional life and considerable skill to securing justice for all those who sought it, not merely those who could afford to pay. During a time when practicing law as an African-American was a monumental challenge in and of itself, Cary willingly took on the additional challenge of representing those individuals who might otherwise have been denied representation entirely.

As an attorney with a specialty in criminal law, Cary’s clientele was made up of the people mainstream lawyers often shunned as clients: Blacks, Asians, Indians and the poor, many of whom could ill afford to pay him. It was commonly known among his family and friends that “nearly half of Denver owed him money.” (The Colorado Lawyer, Six of the Greatest: A Tribute to Outstanding Lawyers in Colorado History, June 1994, Vol. 23, No. 7, p. 1487).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the timing and character of his practice, Cary’s legal career was not without controversy. In the fall of 1926, the all-white Colorado Bar Association, acting on complaints it had received, petitioned to have him disbarred. A referee was appointed to take testimony and report, and he did so, recommending disbarment on October 15, 1926. Upon review, the Supreme Court of Colorado elected not to disturb the referee’s findings and on December 20, 1926, “the name [Samuel Cary was] stricken from the roll of attorneys of [Colorado], and he [was] forbidden to appear as such in any of its courts.” (People ex rel. Colorado Bar Association v. Cary, 251 P. 597; 80 Colo. 443, 445 (1927)). Questions remain whether the punishment was harsh and unjust, and whether racial prejudice played a part in Cary’s disbarment. Years later, in 1935, Cary was reinstated to the Colorado Bar and was once again permitted to practice law.

For more information on the history of African-Americans in the Colorado legal community, including Samuel Cary, check out the following resources:

Erickson, D., Early Justice and the Formation of the Colorado Bar (2008), specifically Chapter 12: Early African-American Lawyers, available in the University of Denver Westminster Law Library (Level 3 Reference, KF332.C6 E753 2008)

Grant, Billie Arlene, Ernestine Smith and Gladys Smith, "Growing Up Black in Denver," n.d., self-published, pp. 20-22. Has a chapter on Sam Cary.

Smith, J. Clay, Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, (1993) available as an electronic book via Penrose Library

Written by Marty Witt, Law Librarian Fellow

Friday, April 9, 2010

Civil Rights Act of 1866 - Anniversary Celebration

On April 9, 1866, some three years after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, congress passed the first Civil Rights Act. The act sought to overrule the so-called Black Codes of southern states. The black codes were a collection of state and local laws in effect in the southern U.S. states in the late 19th century that imposed limits on the rights of freed slaves such as the right to vote and the right to work in certain occupations. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 sought to abrogate the limitations the Black Codes imposed and to bring civil rights in the United States under the umbrella of federal law.

The Civil Rights Act was framed to incorporate three main items into the constitution. First, the bill proffered that anyone born in the United States was to be considered a citizen. Second, it ensured that all citizens "shall have the same full and equal benefit of all laws". Third, the bill framed that it is unlawful for anyone to deprive someone of the benefits of citizenship on the basis of or color or "any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude". But what the act proposed in federal equality, freedoms, and civil rights was in many ways limited by the lack of clear solutions, enforcements, and realistic protections. The act ensured the civil rights of individuals, but the phrase civil rights in 1866 was distinct in definition from the phrase political rights. This semantic distinction meant that certain activities such as political participation were still not protected and it wasn't until the passage of future civil rights legislation that these rights were ensured.

Though stalled by a shocking and ugly attempted veto from President Andrew Johnson, congress passed the bill with majority support thus making it the first piece of major legislation in U.S. history passed despite a presidential veto. And even with the bill's shortcomings, the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was a momentous feat the spirit of which has been carried on throughout every subsequent civil rights act passage.

Bracey. Christopher A. Civil Rights Act of 1866. Accessed on January 18, 2010"

Richardson, James D., ed. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897. Washington: Bureau of National Literature, 1896-1899.

Wilson, Theodore Brantner. The Black Codes of the South. University: University of Alabama Press, 1965.

Written by Kimberley Dickey, Law Librarian Fellow

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Librarians Awarded Public Good Grant

The DU Public Good Fund awarded a grant for the Colorado Law Project to Stacey Bowers, Outreach & Instructional Services Coordinator at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Westminster Law Library; Claire Williamson, Law Librarian Fellowship Program; and DU Professor Sylvia Hall-Ellis.

This project will create a public, legal information gateway website designed initially for use by Colorado’s public librarians and the general public. The project website will provide a single access point for publicly available legal information specific to Colorado. The website will focus on information most needed by the general public and will serve as a community outreach tool for public librarians.

The Public Good Fund is provided by the Provost and managed by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning to support faculty and staff conducting innovative community-based research. Since its inception in 2004, the Fund has provided $100,000 annually to support small grants of up to $10,000 each for faculty and staff engaged in public good work and research.

New Titles for March

The Westminster Law Library added some new titles to our collection in March. 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.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tax Refunds

Expecting a tax refund, but not sure when it is coming? The IRS provides an easy way to check on the status of your refund at the Where's My Refund site. In order to request an update you need to input your social security number, filing status and expected refund amount.

If you are waiting until the last minute to file your taxes, check out the main IRS website for forms and instructions or find out how to file an extension.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Summer Legal Research Classes

If you are interested in improving your legal research skills, consider taking a special class this summer! Librarians are offering Colorado Legal Research and Foreign & International Legal Research courses. Each class is worth 2 credits and limited to 10 students.

Colorado Legal Research
This course will introduce students to legal materials generated by executive/administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of Colorado government. Students will develop research strategies for answering legal questions using primary and secondary resources and learn to relate the various sources of authority to the structure of Colorado government. Students are required to bring laptop computers to classes.

This course will be taught by Sheila Green, Reference Librarian.
(Enrollment in this class is now full; there is a waitlist)

Foreign & International Legal Research
This summer, Sturm College of Law will offer an inaugural class to meet the need for foreign and international law legal research skills.

In today’s legal environment, the need for knowledge of foreign and international law can come up unexpectedly, even in domestic practices. Some common areas in which questions arise are family law (adoption, custody), immigration/asylum law, commercial law, trade & arbitration, and transnational litigation (international litigation, enforcing foreign judgments).

This course will introduce students to concepts and skills used in international and foreign law research. Students will learn to construct successful research strategies involving questions of foreign law, public international law and private international law using print and online resources. Both primary and secondary authority will be covered in various formats. Students will understand how different legal systems and cultures influence the use and assessment of legal resources. The course will also equip students to critically evaluate current and future research tools.

No foreign language skills are required and while a previous course in comparative or international law may be helpful, it is not required. This course will be taught by Joan Policastri, Foreign, Comparative & International Law Librarian.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cost-Saving Strategies for LexisNexis & Westlaw

In today's economic climate, firms are more apt to tighten their fiscal spending. When a simple click of the mouse potentially incurs thousands of dollars, prospective employees who demonstrate an ability to research on the cheap stand out.

Tips for Using LexisNexis

Using the FOCUS feature in LexisNexis can be a helpful and cost-effective method of refining or changing search results without executing a new search.

First, use the FOCUS feature when retrieving a case at the GET A DOCUMENT tab. After entering a citation, simply enter FOCUS feature terms that provide better focus to your specific needs within that case. Additionally, if search results inspire a new research direction, enter FOCUS terms to change the suggestions in the Issue Analysis box. Simply enter your idea in the FOCUS terms box and check out the Issue Analysis suggestions on the left sidebar. Exit the FOCUS search at any time to go back to the original search and analysis suggestions by clicking Exit FOCUS at the top of the screen.

Information obtained from Issue 11 of the LexisNexis Information Professional Update.

Tips for Using Westlaw

First, because each new search may charge a new fee, try to break the habit of performing a new search each time you need to adjust your search. Instead, carefully plan a search string before sending it off.

Additionally, online trainings are available from the sign-in page of Westlaw to help users better navigate the database. Simply click Westlaw Training at the top of the screen to access this content, and then click on the Westlaw User and Research Guides to get into the modules. There are many different categories for users to choose from, depending on specific interests.

Written by Kathryn Croco Michaels, Law Librarian Fellow