Having first-rate research skills is a necessity in today's legal job market. As you're registering for the spring semester consider developing those skills through some of the specialized research courses taught by the law librarians at the Cornell Law Library. Course descriptions and names of the instructors are listed below:

LAW 6085 Law Practice Technology
Spring, 1 credit. Instructors: Femi Cadmus, Dan Blackaby,  and Carissa Vogel
This course introduces and investigates the use of current technologies in law firm practice.

LAW 6514 International and Foreign Legal Research
Spring, 2 credits. Instructor: Thomas Mills
The practice of law continues to become ever more dependent upon a clear understanding of the global context in which it occurs. This course provides an overview of sources, methods, and strategies for researching international and foreign law. Topics to be covered include the various legal systems of the world, public and private international law, the European Union, and the United Nations. The course will be delivered through lectures and hands-on exercises. Selected readings will be available online and on reserve; there is no required textbook. There will be a series of assignments and a final research project in lieu of a final exam. Foreign language ability is not required.

LAW 6739 Online Legal Research and Resources
Spring, 1 credit. Instructor: Amy Emerson
Take your research skills beyond the basics of Lawyering. This course provides an overview of the resources, methods, and strategies necessary to conduct efficient and effective online legal research for upper level courses and employment. Students will learn when and how to use various databases while considering their relationship to each other and to traditional print sources. The course will be delivered through interactive lectures and hands- on exercises. Internet access will be provided in the classroom. Selected readings will be available through the course website and on reserve; there is no required textbook. There will be a series of assignments and a final research project tailored to students’ individual interests.

 

nosferatu

Enter our research competition to win a $25 gift card to the Cornell Store! The rules are easy: email the answer to the question below to mjw332@cornell.edu by midnight on October 31. We will draw a winner from the pool of correct answers next week and announce it on the blog.

The Problem:

Bill Compton, a Louisiana prisoner and vampire, is claiming the prison where he is serving his sentence is violating his civil rights. Compton asserts that as Vampire King of the State of Louisiana, he has been barred from practicing his religion related to his role as leader of the vampires, which includes access to necessary food items such as real human blood rather than the Tru Blood synthetic bottled version that the prison has provided him.

Compton’s civil rights suit was rejected in district court on summary judgment and he appealed that decision in a federal circuit court. That court subsequently dismissed his claim as frivolous and noted that the suit counted as a “strike” under 28. U.S.C. 1915.

Locate a factually similar case involving a self-proclaimed vampire that inspired the story above. Send in the name of the case and the citation to mjw332@cornell.edu by midnight, October 31 for a chance to win the $25 Cornell Store gift card.

The Law Library is pleased to announce that it now has four additional laptops (total of six) available for students, faculty and staff to borrow.

All laptops are equipped with wireless internet access and the full Microsoft Office Suite.  Laptops may be checked out for 24 hours.

Professor Robert C. Hockett has been exploring the idea of using eminent domain as a way to relieve underwater mortgages in several of his recent publications. The research is more than just theory, as the city of Richmond, California took steps this summer to put such a plan into action, while several other municipalities are exploring the idea as well.

The Scholarship@Cornell Law repository is featuring one of Professor Hockett's recent publications on this topic titled: "A Federalist Blessing in Disguise: From National Inaction to Local Action on Underwater Mortgages", originally appearing in the Harvard Law and Policy Review earlier this year and co-authored with John Vlahoplus of the advisory firm Mortgage Resolution Partners.

The abstract describes the paper as:

Taking "the measure of the national mortgage debt overhang problem as a cluster of local problems warranting local action. It then elaborates on one form of such action that the localized nature of the ongoing mortgage crisis justifies - use of municipal eminent domain authority to purchase underwater loans, then modify them in a manner that benefits debtors, creditors, and their communities alike."

For more on the latest scholarly articles from Professor Hockett and the rest of the law school faculty visit the repository at Scholarship@Cornell Law.

Despite the government shutdown the Supreme Court began its new term last week. To kickoff the start of the new session we've collected a few helpful resources and links for tracking the latest SCOTUS news and developments:

  • SCOTUSblog - considered one the premier destinations for up to date information and analysis.
  • LII Supreme Court Bulletin - Cornell's Legal Information Institute provides previews of the 2013-2014 term as a whole as well as previews and commentary of upcoming individual cases.
  • PBS does a great job of covering the Court, posting both articles and commentary from the Newshour.
  • For many years, Nina Totenberg has been recognized for her coverage of the Court. Follow her on Twitter at @NinaTotenberg.

The Law Library will have reduced hours during fall break from October 12 -18.

Monday - Friday:   8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Reference Hours:  9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Weekends:             Closed

Perhaps you've heard the federal government is currently shut down?

With budget negotiations at an impasse, and another debt ceiling battle looming, the Scholarship@Cornell Law repository is featuring two articles published by members of the law faculty that touch on these respective issues.

Professor Josh Chafetz's essay "The Phenomenology of Gridlock," turns the conventional dysfunction narrative on its head, arguing that the hunt for causes of gridlock are misguided. Originally appearing in Notre Dame Law Review's 2012 "The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock" Symposium, Chafetz argues that gridlock itself is not a phenomenon, but an absence of it, and that looking at why and how legislation occurs is the more fruitful course of action in determining institutional dysfunction.

Also, Professor Michael Dorf and George Washington University's Neil H. Buchanan tackled the debt ceiling fight last year in companion articles "How to Choose the Least Unconstitutional Option: Lessons for the President (and Others) from the Debt Ceiling Standoff" and "Nullifying the Debt Ceiling Threat Once and for All: Why the President Should Embrace the Least Unconstitutional Option" appearing the Columbia Law Review and Columbia Law Review Sidebar respectively. In the papers, Dorf and Buchanan examine the recent history of the debt ceiling brinksmanship between Congress and The White House and examine the options the President may have to prevent the ceiling from becoming a negotiation tactic every time it needs to be raised. Additionally, visit Professor Dorf's blog, Dorf on Law, where he's been posting on the current budget negotiations.

For more on the latest scholarly articles from these authors and the rest of the law school faculty visit the repository at Scholarship@Cornell Law. 

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