Avon Center for Women and Justice logoBased at Cornell Law School, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice provides an international forum for judiciary, governments, and civil society to work together to promote justice for women and girls who have been the target of gender-based violence.

The concept for the Center was born in 2008 at the Senior Roundtable for Women’s Justice hosted by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. There, over seventy participating judges from around the world expressed the need for a medium in which they could continue their dialogue and thereby facilitate ongoing change to the global and domestic status of women and girls. Funded by the Avon Foundation for Women and supported by the Cornell Faculty Innovation in Teaching Program, the Avon Global Center is the first center of its kind.

Four major initiatives serve to further the Center’s mission: undertaking clinical projects; providing legal research assistance for judges; developing online legal resources and a discussion forum; and organizing and hosting an annual conference and other substantive events. This year’s conference entitled “Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas” will be held on March 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

The Avon Center also sponsors the Women and Global Justice Speaker Series at Cornell Law School. Prominent speakers from all over the world speak on issues related to violence against women. These events are free, but you must RSVP in advance (lunch is served).

What do John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, John Jay, and Salmon Portland Chase have in common?  If you know that they all served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, then good for you.  But that’s not the answer.  What about Patrick Henry, Abe Lincoln, and Daniel Webster?  Yes, they were all prominent statesmen.  But that’s not it, either.  For the answer to both questions, which happens to be the same in each instance, see the display case in the center of the Reading Room.

Book Cover–Justice Older Than the LawIn February we celebrate National African American History Month, recognizing the contributions that African Americans have made to U.S. history.  President Obama issued a proclamation on National African American History Month, “call[ing] upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”  So from the library, we share with you some sources of legal information in the spirit of this special month.

The Law Library of Congress has an excellent guide to African American History Month with links to Congressional and Presidential documents.   The continuing legal struggles and achievements of African Americans are well documented by the NAACP.

And just a few of the books on this topic you will find at Cornell Law Library include:

Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court, by Rosalee A. Clawson and Eric N. Waltenburg. Call number KF8748 .C425x 2009

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree. Call number KF373.R686 M34x 2009

Critical Race Realism : Intersections of Psychology, Race, and Law, edited by Gregory S. Parks (Cornell Law ’08), Shayne Jones, and W. Jonathan Cardi. Call number KF4755 .C749x 2008

Professor lecturing at podiumThe Law Library developed Scholarship@Cornell Law (S@CL) to provide an online repository for faculty publications and working papers. S@CL has expanded and now includes many other interesting collections to explore. So here are three reasons to click on the link on the Law Library home page to visit S@CL:

  1. Did I mention faculty scholarship? You can browse through papers submitted by year or search by author and see just what your professors have been up to. The collection includes published articles and working papers.
  2. Check out the Centers and Programs link. Find out about ongoing programs like the Death Penalty Project and the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice (just click on International Comparative Programs to find the Avon Global Center).
  3. Conferences, Lectures and Workshops gives you a chance to “attend” some of the interesting programs that have been held in the law school in years past. This collection lets you see what was discussed in the comfort of your own room.

We have other collections worth visiting, but hopefully these three highlights will pique your interest in the scholarship happening at Cornell Law School.

student studying in Cornell Law Library Reading RoomAre you writing a paper for a class or a journal this semester? Whether you are in the advanced stages of your research or just getting started, the Law Library offers Research Consultations tailored to your personal needs. Don’t know where to start? Need ideas on choosing a topic? Want to know what databases to use or how to construct a search strategy? Looking for treatises, data sets, or articles? Research attorneys can answer those questions and more.

Fill out and submit the online form, and we will set up an appointment to meet with you one-on-one. You can request to meet with a specific research attorney if you like. Consultations can last up to an hour but may be shorter depending on your needs. Give us as much information as you can on where you are in your project. We’re here to help!

World Trade Organization LogoThe World Trade Organization (WTO) regulates trade between 153 member nations and provides a framework for the settlement of trade disputes between nations. The Cornell Law Library has recently acquired a subscription to TradeLawGuide, providing students and faculty with enhanced access to WTO law.

Use TradeLawGuide to search WTO agreements, instruments, jurisprudence, and Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) minutes. TradeLawGuide includes article and jurisprudence citators that allow you to update WTO law, and a Subject Navigator tool that indexes materials by subject. Training videos are available here.

Access TradeLawGuide from either the Trade Law or the International Law subject pages of our Online Legal Resources list, or search the library’s catalog for “TradeLawGuide.”

For more information on WTO law, check out this research guide or these articles by Cornell Law School Professor John Barceló.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics logoSometimes work and play are intertwined, and so it is for sports lawyers and law students who really enjoy sports—especially now as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games begin in Vancouver, Canada.  Each sport has its own rules, and the Olympics themselves have any number of regulations and arbitration decisions, in addition to a code of ethics.

Legal issues in the Olympics include drug testing; copyright and trademark issues on the use of the name, logo, mascots, and images from the games; dealing with protesters; and broadcasting rights.  The Olympic Charter provides the legal basis for the institution of the Olympics and must be consulted if you are reviewing any Olympics legal issue.  Like corporations donating to political campaigns in the U.S., the International Olympic Committee has the status of a person and is responsible for sanctions against athletes and their organizations.

Olympics & International Sports Law Research Guide provides an excellent explanation and links to the most important sources for Olympics and the law. Take time out from your busy studies over the next two weeks to enjoy seeing your favorite winter sport competition – on whatever type of screen you like to use!

Bloomberg Law logo

Bloomberg L.P.,, a provider of real-time business news and intelligence for more than twenty-five years, is launching a new legal research platform called Bloomberg Law (makes sense–the name I mean) to compete with Lexis and Westlaw. I have test driven Bloomberg Law, and it has some nice features, including the ability to take notes on a case and save them indefinitely and the ability to collaborate with other researchers within the system. Bloomberg Law provides access to Bloomberg Law Reports, Bloomberg Law Digest, keyword searching, a legal citator/updater, and points of law summaries. Company and market information are also available, just as you would expect from Bloomberg. The system is operational, but it is still a work in progress; you may encounter a bug or two.

If you plan on performing business or business law research in the near future, I recommend you try out Bloomberg Law. Even if you aren’t involved in business, you are welcome to use Bloomberg Law and see what this system offers you. Law school is the best time to become familiar with as many research tools as possible.

If you would like a Bloomberg password, please contact your legal research instructor, Research Attorney Jean Callihan, or visit the research desk in the Reading Room during reference hours.

We also have a Bloomberg terminal available to students in the Reading Room. Contact the research desk for help.

Welcome to The Competitive Edge, the blog of the Cornell Law Library! Here
you can find musings from the expert researchers of the Cornell Law Library
staff on topics like:

We also welcome contributions from members of the Cornell Law community,
including students, on topics such as:

  • Research experiences
  • Research advice and tips
  • Helpful resources

Please contact Iantha Haight if you are interested in contributing. All contributions are subject to Law Library approval.

Look for our first research contest, coming this month!

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