The Cornell Law Library invites 2Ls, 3Ls, and LLMs to submit scholarly research papers to be considered for the Cornell Law Library Prize for Exemplary Student Research. All papers must have been written in the time period spanning June, 2011 – May, 2012. Entries may include, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or journal notes. Work product generated through summer or other employment will not be accepted. Papers must be a minimum of 10 pages in length, must be written in proper Bluebook format, and must be properly footnoted. First prize is $500, second prize is $250, and both winners will be invited to publish their papers in Scholarship@Cornell Law, a digital repository of the Cornell Law Library. For submission procedure and selection criteria, please visit the Law Library website. Submissions will be accepted on an ongoing basis through May 2, 2012.

Did you know you can borrow more than books from the Law Library?  We have items to help further your work or take a break from it:

  • 2 Laptops with wireless Internet access and the full Microsoft Office Suite
  • 1 Flashdrive
  • 5 Digital Voice Recorders (written permission from professor required)
  • Several Earphones/Ear Buds
  • 1 Calculator
  • 10 Umbrellas
  • 1 Soccer Ball with Goal
  • 1 Frisbee
  • 1 Football
  • Scrabble
  • Chess/Checkers

Coming soon:

  • 2 iPads
  • 1 Kindle
  • 1 Digital Flip Camera
  • 1 Portable DVD Player
  • 2 Computer Mice

All items are available at the circulation desk in the Reading Room.


Have you heard the old adage that people look like their pets? Visit our Reading Room display case for a glimpse at the variety of pets kept by Cornell Law School faculty and see if you can match each pet to its rightful owner. From iguanas to horses to dogs, the critters vary from large to small, slippery to cuddly.

Perhaps at some point in your law school career, your professors made mention of their pets and you can draw on those memories. If not, no worries – the law library will be providing clues on Facebook and Twitter throughout the month of November. Make your matches, complete the contest entry form, and submit it at the Circulation Desk during regular library hours for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Amazon. Contest forms are available at the display case. Contest ends November 30, 2011.

If you dare, check out our new display case in the Reading Room featuring Case Law from the Crypt, a compilation of the best cases generated by Halloween. Haunted houses, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, sexy costumes, and tombstones abound. For more details, read the article that inspired the display case. Authored by Buffalo attorney Daniel Moar, the full article is available in the October, 2011, issue of the New York State Bar Association Journal, accessible through our catalog.

The Law library is hosting an open house for all students on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 11:00am-1:00pm, in the Gould Reading Room. Library resources and services will be featured at stations throughout the room, including:

• An introduction to “hidden” online databases;
• Information regarding personalized research consultations;
• An overview of upper level research classes;
• Our open access repository of Cornell student and faculty scholarship;
• Demonstrations of our library catalog and interlibrary loan services;
• A rare book display;
• And more.

Students who visit every station will receive a library pen and be entered in a grand prize drawing to win their choice of two round trip Campus-to-Campus bus tickets to New York City, or a limousine wine tour for 2-4 people. Other prize drawings will feature $25 gift certificates to local businesses including Gimme! Coffee, Cinemapolis, and Purity Ice Cream. Drawings will occur at 1pm; students need not be present to win.

A book sale will be held simultaneously with the open house. All books will be available for $1 at the East end of the Reading Room.

Join us for some quick, informative fun and snag a seasonal snack from Cornell Orchards!

On the go and needing simplicity? Connect to the new mobile version of the law library website using your smartphone or i-Pod. It puts core information at your fingertips, including hours, contact information, and library news. One may also access the library catalog, query our legal research engine, schedule a research consultation with a librarian, keep up with our blog, and more.

Many thanks to Webmaster Sasha Skenderija for developing the mobile interface, and Librarians Iantha Haight and Jean Callihan for organizing the content.

You may have noticed that QR Codes are popping up everywhere, and the law library is no exception. QR stands for Quick Response. Originally created by Denso-Wave, these two-dimensional codes can be scanned by a camera phone to link directly to online information. The phone must be equipped with a QR Code reader; various readers are available for different phones and may be downloaded for free (a few phones come with a reader pre-installed). Here is an example of what a QR Code looks like. This one links directly to our list of online resources:

Here in the law library, QR Codes are useful to students and faculty who want to make a quick transition from a print item located on the shelf to an electronic version of the same material. They are especially helpful in circumstances where the most current material is needed. Accordingly, you will start to see more of these codes posted throughout the library as we move into the fall semester.

Law in a Flash logoAs students begin preparing for exams, many reach for commercial study aids for assistance. A popular option is the Law in a Flash series.  These flashcards have been around for years and remain readily available for purchase from Amazon to Walmart, but did you know there’s an App for that?  For a little less than the cost of a traditional box of print cards, and without the cost of shipping, students can carry fewer items as they move between home, classroom, and your third place.  An overview of the various features of the App is available here.

Topics currently offered:

  • Civil Procedure Part One
  • Civil Procedure Part Two
  • Constitutional Law Part One (National and State Powers)
  • Constitutional Law Part Two (Individual Rights)
  • Contracts
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Future Interests
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Sales
  • Torts
  • Wills & Trusts

Woman Working In FactoryMarch is Women’s History Month.  An overview of the legal origin of this celebration is available from the Law Library of Congress.  Here, copies of the 19th Amendment, relevant Congressional Resolutions and Presidential Proclamations, and some recent public laws, are available for viewing.  The 2011 Presidential Proclamation is available from the White House here.  Other good sources of information include the National Women’s History Project and, where the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum “join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.”

Several databases are available through the Cornell University Library that focus on women’s issues (IP authentication required), including Genderwatch (“In-depth coverage of the subjects that are uniquely central to women’s lives, including family, childbirth, birth control, daycare, domestic abuse, work and the workplace, sexual harassment, aging, aging parents, body image, eating disorders and social and societal roles.”);  Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts (“Indexes books and journal articles on education, employment, women in the family, medicine and health, gender role socialization, social policy, the social psychology of women, female culture, media treatment of women, biography, literary criticism and historical studies.”); and Women’s Studies International (“Provides citations and some abstracts to the core areas of Women’s studies.”)

Image from the Library of Congress’ Flickr stream.

Have you ever been conducting Internet research, ventured into the reader comments that accompanied a perfectly ordinary article or blog, and been shocked at the level of incivility exhibited by some readers?  I’m not referring to pointless, silly, off-topic, dissenting comments (or the ever-present spam), but rather the kind of comments that make you cringe and suddenly regret wasting your time by spending it in the company of so much litter.  Such comments are especially jarring when embedded in an otherwise engaging and generally thoughtful discussion.  Some readers, apparently empowered by anonymity and with too much time on their hands, feel compelled to use online comments to vent their innermost hatred for, well, pretty much anything.  It’s not new, but it is a disappointing trend that detracts from what otherwise serves as a productive forum for sharing information and opinions; one that is often helpful to researchers.   As a result, many online publications have stopped allowing comments, appointed moderators, or now require readers to register before posting comments.  Despite all the noise, I still value the occasional comment that leads to a great resource or an elusive answer.  The rest just keeps boredom at bay.

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