Every month the Cornell Law Library adds new titles to its collection. The most recent additions for 2014 are posted, here. A few highlights from this month’s additions are featured below.
Every month the Cornell Law Library adds new titles to its collection. The most recent additions for February 2014 are posted, here. A few highlights from this month’s additions are featured below.
September 22-28 is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Started in 1982, the week brings together the entire book community to celebrate the free and open exchange of ideas and information.
According to the American Library Association 464 separate titles were challenged in the United States last year alone. Challenges to ban books over the years have included everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to Harry Potter. The top ten most frequently challenged books for the previous year include:
- Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
- Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
- Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
- The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
- Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
For more information check out bannedbooksweek.org and for additional lists of recent and classic titles that have been challenged or banned in communities across the country check out The American Library Association’s Frequently Challenged Books page.
The Law Library’s latest display highlights the laws and perspectives driving the debate over the balance of privacy and security in the era of Big Data.
The controversy surrounding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs revealed this summer have sharpened the focus on issues regarding cybersecurity and its impact on civil liberties. The library’s display presents these topics in the context of scholarly articles and books with a variety of perspectives while also highlighting various laws and Congressional hearings.
For those interested in the topic, be sure to also check out content from Harvard Law Review’s 2012 symposium Privacy and Technology featuring papers and video presentations.Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s site has a trove of witness testimony plus a webcast recording from a July 2013 hearing on oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance program. For the most recent information regarding privacy and surveillance Cornell faculty and students can also access Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy Law Watch and Privacy Law & Security Report for daily and weekly updates on all things privacy law.
If you are on campus don’t miss the opportunity to attend The University Computer Policy and Law Program’s (UCPL) presentation Privacy and Cybersecurity taking place Wednesday, September 18, 1:30-3pm in the Statler Hall Amphitheatre. The featured speaker will be Lisa J. Sotto, managing partner of Hunton & Williams’ New York office and head of the firm’s top-ranked Privacy and Data Security practice.
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.
A couple of months ago, we featured here a guide for law clerks and externs. Now, we have another title that should help law clerks and externs greatly: the third edition of Judge Ruggero Aldisert’s Opinion Writing. Judge Aldisert is Chief Judge Emeritus and Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. His handbook includes discussions of, among other things, the process of reaching and justifying a decision, the different sections of an opinion, and writing style, and offers checklists for both appellate opinions and trial court opinions. He offers suggestions for using the book by experienced and new judges and law clerks. For the latter, he says: “This book is for you. Start reading this book your very first day on the job” (p. xxx).
Opinion Writing is available on two-hour reserve at the Law Library’s circulation desk.
For a slightly different audience is Cracking the Case Method: Legal Analysis for Law School Success, by Paul Bergman, Patrick Goodman, and Thomas Holm, all of UCLA. Professor Bergman and his colleagues explain the process of legal analysis — that is, the “process of distilling discrete legal issues from stories and developing arguments to support the resolution of those legal issues” (p. xi) — for beginning law students. They include a discussion of final exam strategies.
Cracking the Case Method is available for check-out at the Law Library.
We’ve just acquired a new book that should be of interest to many of our students. In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Clerks and Externs by Jennifer L. Sheppard, Associate Professor of Law, Mercer University, is now available on reserve in the Law Library Reading Room (ask at the circulation desk during normal library hours).
Professor Sheppard offers guidance on everything from attire to court organization and process to drafting an opinion. A sample bench memorandum is included, as are chapters on standards of review and drafting jury instructions.
Students looking ahead to obtaining a clerkship will also find the book useful, as it includes a chapter explaining the application process as well as sample resumes and cover letters.
While this book may be used only in the Reading Room, other books on this topic are available for checkout. Search our library catalog for the subject heading “law clerks United States”. We also have Law Clerk Handbook: A Handbook for Law Clerks to Federal Judges, edited by Sylvan A. Sobel, available online through HeinOnline.
Cornell law students interested in speaking with a reference librarian about legal research for an upcoming externship or clerkship may request a research consultation at the circulation desk.
Don’t forget: our book sale is happening now through Friday in the Law Library Reading Room. Books are available for purchase 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All books are $1, cash only please. Additional books will be added throughout the week.