Carrel signups will be next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3 and 4.  Carrels located on the first, fourth, new ground, and basement floors may be reserved for one semester at a time by 2Ls, 3Ls, LLMs, and exchange students. Carrels located on the second floor may not be reserved and are available daily on a first-come, first served basis. All carrels are numbered.  A carrel map will be made available with the signup form for easy identification. Each carrel must be shared by two students.  Students may select a carrel partner or choose to have the library assign one.

Students may reserve carrels in person at the Law Library on a first-come, first-served basis. The signup period will span two days:

  • Tuesday, September 3: Reserved for students who are serving on journals, moot courts, or working for a professor.
  • Wednesday, September 4: For the remainder of the students identified above.

Please see Janet Gillespie in room 352 between the hours of 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm on the appropriate day. Questions may be directed to Janet at jmg32@cornell.edu or 607-255-5854.

Since classes begin next week, the Law Library will have new hours starting tomorrow.  Fall semester hours are as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday, 8am-8pm
  • Friday, 8am-5pm
  • Saturday, 10:30am-5pm
  • Sunday, 10:30am-8pm

The United States is not the only country whose supreme court is the exclusive subject of a blog.  Here’s a rundown of a few blogs about other countries’ high courts:

George Washington Fields, former slave and 1890 Cornell Law School graduate

Cornell University has always been “an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”  Professor Kevin Clermont‘s new book, The Indomitable George Washington Fields, is about Cornell Law School’s first African-American graduate, who received his law degree in 1890, having entered with the school’s very first class in 1887.

Fields was, indeed, indomitable: He was born a slave but escaped from slavery with his mother and siblings during the Civil War.  He attended Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and then, after working both in the south and the north, Cornell Law School.  After returning to Hampton, Virginia, he practiced law for forty years until his death in 1932.  For most of his years in practice he was blind as the result of an 1896 accident.

The details of Fields’ life, while fleshed out by Clermont in the first part of the book, are primarily presented in Fields’ autobiography, a transcript of which is included in the second part of the book.  Clermont found the manuscript autobiography at the Hampton History Museum after his interest in Fields was piqued by Fields’ thesis advocating abolition of trial by jury.  The thesis is also included in Clermont’s book.

Clermont’s book may be purchased on Amazon.com either as a Kindle e-book or in print.  The book may also be read on ISSUU.

Myron Taylor Hall, home of Cornell Law School, under construction

In the past, many of you have told us how much you like the Legal Research Engine.  For those of you not familiar with the Research Engine, it searches a librarian-curated selection of online legal research guides from many different sources to help users easily find the guide covering their topic of interest.

We really appreciate everyone’s compliments on, and use of, the Research Engine.  We have had to take it down, however, to perform maintenance and update content.  It should be running again this fall with an improved search engine experience.  An announcement will appear here as soon as it’s up to snuff and ready to use.

The Law Library has acquired two major databases for the use of Cornell students, faculty, and staff.

HOLlogo_fullcolorHeinOnline Session Laws Library contains fully searchable images of the official bound session laws of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands from inception to date.  Session laws for all states are current within 60 days of the printed publication.  Finally, it includes Acts of the Parliaments of Australia (1901-2011) and of Canada (1792-2011) and the Official Gazette of the Bahamas (1968-1996).

MOML_PS_lgMaking of Modern Law: Foreign Primary Sources, 1600-1970, was just released this week.  It offers fully searchable images of over 1500 historical legal codes, statutes, regulations, and commentaries on codes from the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland.

Both databases may be used by all Cornell students, faculty, and staff both on and off campus with the links given above.

Questions? Contact Nina Scholtz, Digital Resources Librarian, or Law Library Reference.

The False Prophet!” shrieks one cover.  “Confession of Ann Walters, the Murderess!” proclaims another.  “Death in the Mail” is the lurid title of a third.

These are all pamphlets digitized in the Cornell University Law Library Trial Pamphlets Collection, which has just received the American Association of Law Libraries’ Law Library Publications Award, Nonprint Division.

We call them trial pamphlets because most are contemporary accounts of trials of prominent citizens or that dealt with especially controversial or lurid topics.  Some are confessions; some include “execution sermons” (in which readers were given a moral lecture).  As the titles quoted suggest, they were sold to a public eager to learn the juicy details of a recent murder or other crime.

For present day scholars, the pamphlets offer not only valuable evidence, such as trial transcripts, frequently not available elsewhere, but also indications of the political, economic, and social transformation of the United States, especially in the 19th century.

The trial pamphlets are freely available for full-text searching or browsing on the Trial Pamphlets Collection site.  Law Library staff responsible for the project are Thomas Mills, Associate Director for Collections and Administration and Rare Book Curator, and Janet Gillespie, Access Services Manager.  Barbara Berger Eden, Cornell University Library’s Director of Preservation, and the entire project staff made the digital collection possible.

HOL_BlackonWhiteBackgroundThe Law Library is pleased to announce that HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is now available to Cornell alumni. This database contains more than 1,700 law and law-related journals with a broad range of coverage.  Alumni can search the database by article title, author, subject, state or country published, or by using keywords. Articles can be downloaded in a searchable PDF format.

Cornell alumni can log in to Law Journal Library using their NetID.  A log-in link is also available on our website (on the home page, scroll down to the link for HeinOnline Alumni Access in Research Tools).  Don’t have a NetID?  Go to Cornell University NetIDs to set up alumni access to this and other electronic resources provided to alumni by Cornell University Library.

Currently, HeinOnline Alumni Access does not work with Internet Explorer 8 or earlier.  If you are having trouble logging in to HeinOnline, please try using Internet Explorer 9 or 10, Firefox, or Chrome.

For answers to questions about using Law Journal Library, please contact Nina Scholtz.

Dog_04_30As our readers know, at exam time each semester we offer a pet visitation event.  Our pet guests come to us courtesy of Cornell Companions, a pet visitation service sponsored by Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  The Cornell Companions program operates on a volunteer basis at no charge to the facilities and institutions its pets visit.

Why does Cornell Companions offer this program at no charge?  To quote its Mission Statement:

“The purpose of Cornell Companions is to provide the therapeutic effects of animals with the people whom we visit. We strive to educate our volunteers on the beneficial effects of the human-animal bond, and to foster positive relationships between people and animals, and also between different groups of people.”

You can read more about Cornell Companions, the human-animal bond, and the therapeutic effects of animals on the Cornell Companions website.  (The Vet School’s Facebook page is a lot of fun, too.)

We thought you all would enjoy seeing some photos from our pet visitation event on April 29.  We had three guests, two dogs and a llama.  Thanks, Cornell Companions!

Llama_04_30dog2_04_30

Cornell law students may be wondering whether they can use Westlaw, Lexis, or Bloomberg this summer.  Here’s some information to get you started:

Students may use Westlaw for academic-related work.  Otherwise, you may not use your Cornell Westlaw password over the summer.  Go to Westlaw’s Password Extension page for more information and to request extension.

Students may use their Cornell Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law accounts over the summer for any purpose, academic or commercial.

Questions? Contact Law Library Reference for more information.

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