Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 12 Awesome Law Blogs of 2014

Law blogs (blawgs) are a great way to get real-world insights into a practice area and stay current. If you're still trying to figure out an area in which you'd like to practice, read through Above the Law's collection of The 12 Awesome Law Blogs of 2014. The cover energy law, privacy law, advertising, and---believe it or not---cruise ship law. See, there are a number of ways to succeed as an attorney. Find the valuable thing everyone prizes and be the absolute best at it or find your own specialty niche and be the best at it. And being "the best" is relative, so why not give yourself a better shot at excelling by being only one of a handful of supremely knowledgeable attorneys in a field? What's more, you'll have more success as an attorney if you're doing something you truly love.

Love horses? Become an equine law expert. Love football? Become an agent. Love the beach or skiing? Find your niche in tourism law. Your career options are only as limited as your imagination. Focus on networking and building a solid legal reputation and you won't necessarily have to limit yourself to any old job that's posted.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Paseo Returns!

Paseo is an extraordinary restaurant in Seattle; they have the best Cuban sandwiches, two locations, and a line around the block at all times. Honestly, I've waited in line for 30 minutes just to place an order and wait another 30 for my food. It's that good.

Tragedy struck when the place shut down overnight. Rumors swirled about bankruptcy, employee mistreatment, and the mysterious owner, Lorenzo Lorenzo. Yes---his first and last names are identical. No---he is not a bond villain. The place was cash-only and would shut down over the winter. The sudden permanent closure left Seattlites bereft. They actually lit candles at the restaurant in mourning.

But a holiday miracle has occurred! Lawyers are saving the day. Well, kind of. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the restaurant (including its recipes) were put up for auction, and one man purchased the business. Paseo returns. Hurray for bankruptcy judges.

Here's the more interesting twist: "Lorenzo filed an objection to the inclusion of the recipes in the sale of the Paseo name and assets — asserting in court documents that he was “the developer and owner of all the recipes for the marinades, salsas, mayos and beans that were used.”" In other words, he claimed copyright or trade secret rights to the very thing that makes Paseo great. But the judge ruled correctly finding copyright law does not apply to recipes and the bar for something being a trade secret is quite high. The recipes were part of the sale.

Your mouth may be watering at this point, and you are perhaps shaking your fist at me for telling you about the most extraordinary sandwich on earth that is thousands of miles from Ohio. You're in luck. When Paseo first shut down, The Seattle Times posted a recipe for the Paseo pork sandwich. If you like slow-roasted pork, garlic mayo, and caramelized onions, make this sandwich a part of your New Year's resolutions.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Right Stuff

Got what it takes to work for Big Law? The answer may surprise you as it's not grades alone that ensure "success."

Am Law 250 and NLJ 350 firms are becoming more cautious in hiring in part because their smaller budgets require their new hires stay. They want to hire for the long-term, not for a few years, so "fit" and firm culture are more significant than ever. Assessing Lawyer Traits & Finding a Fit for Success, a white paper from JD Match and The Right Profile, found
High law firm turnover (caused in large part by hiring decisions based upon little more than the law school attended, grades in school, a short unstructured interview process and, in the case of lateral attorneys, an uncorroborated book of business) coupled with high recruiting and replacement costs create a staggering annual cost of more than $25 million for a 400 attorney firm.
So being "the smartest" in law school might not be enough. Law firms are now asking themselves, "[W]hat if we could determine which attorney candidates-for-hire would fit in with the culture at the firm, service their clients well and grow in their roles?"

Want to learn what law firms are looking for? Want to know how to target jobs that are a good fit for you? Check out Assessing Lawyer Traits & Finding a Fit for Success and make an appointment with Career Services.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Human Rights 365

On this day in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon proclaims: "Let us respond to the cries of the exploited, and uphold the right to human dignity for all."

Human rights have been central to much response to yesterday's release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program.  Many have renewed calls for prosecution, including UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson.  Assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, Tom Malinowski, avers “the test for any nation committed to this Convention and to the rule of law is not whether it ever makes mistakes, but whether and how it corrects them.” 

If you'd like to think more deeply about this issue, consult recent titles like U.S. Human Rights Conduct and International Legitimacy and Criminal Law and Human Rights or search for human rights material in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
 

Monday, December 08, 2014

Study Break Ideas

Fall exam season begins here at Moritz tomorrow.  Last week, we shared tips on studying like a pro. Already feel like you need a study break?  Here are a few ideas to combat stress during the next week.

Pause for Paws:  the University Libraries will be hosting animal visits December 10-14.

Art Appreciation:  Visit the exclusive Transfigurations exhibit at the Wexner Center now through December 31 -- free for students.

Move Your Muscles:  This Wednesday, reading day for the main campus, enjoy activities like sunrise yoga and pilates (or a free movie, if you'd rather conserve energy).

Best of luck!

An Easy (and Fun) Way to Improve Writing Skills

An easy and fun way for you to improve your writing skills is to read good writing.  Below you'll find a list of  recommendations from Moritz professors and links to items included on the Green Bag annual lists of exemplary legal writing.  Stop by the display near the reference desk to select a book to check out or pick up a treat. 

Many of the books are also available from libraries around the state.  Use the OhioLink catalog to search for items.  With your Ohio State credentials, you can borrow books from any OhioLink member library and have them delivered to any OhioLink library in the state (including, of course, the law library). 

Books

  • Carol Berkin, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution (2002). Professor Anne Ralph calls this book "[a]n enjoyable, well-written account of the 1787 Constitutional Convention that gave birth to the U.S. Constitution and our American form of government." 
  • James B. Stewart, Den of Thieves (recommended by Professor Erin Archerd).
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (recommended by Professor Kim Jordan).
  • James McBride, The Good Lord Bird.  Professor Ellen Deason couldn't put this book down.  She describes the book as "a historical novel about John Brown told through the imaginary experiences of an escaped young male slave who poses as a girl to preserve his life."
  • Nell Berstein, Burning Down the House. This book is about the movement to close juvenile prisons and jails is recommended by Professor Kim Jordan. 
  • Rachel Lloyd, Girls Like Us.  This book about human trafficking is also recommended by Professor Kim Jordan.
  • Lawrence Friedman, Guarding Life's Dark Secrets: Legal and Social Control over Reputation, Propriety, and Privacy (recommended by Professor Stebenne).
  • Any book by Jeffrey Toobin (recommended by Professor Foley; Professor Anne Ralph recommends "The Nine.")

Legal Documents (including judicial opinions)

Articles

Shorter Pieces

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How Many Scholarly Papers are on the Web?

A professor at Penn State University posed the question “How Many Scholarly Papers are Available on the Web?” and the related question “How many are freely available?”

By "the Web," the Penn author means the "public Web" as assessed via
Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search. By scholarly documents, they refer to journal and conference papers, dissertations and master’s degree theses, books, technical reports and working papers. Google Scholar is a freely accessible Web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Microsoft Academic Search is a free public search engine for academic papers and literature, developed by Microsoft Research for the purpose of algorithms research in object-level vertical search, data mining, entity linking and data visualization.


So what's the answer?
at least 114 million English-language scholarly documents are accessible on the Web, of which Google Scholar has nearly 100 million. They estimate that at least 27 million (24 percent) are freely available since they do not require a subscription or payment of any kind.


That's a lot. But I have great news: through OSU, you can access even more free, full-text scholarly articles through one of our countless databases. And we have multiple access points, so you can target just what you need. Know the name of a journal? Start here. Know the general topic area but don't have a journal preference? Start here.

And if there's ever something you can't find, just ask.

h/t New York Law Institute

Monday, December 01, 2014

Study for Exams Like a Pro

We often bring you resources to improve your chances of exam success. Today's post is a little different because instead of recommending a book, online resource, or audio study aid, we're bringing you the best of the best: a blog post from noted faculty member Katherine Kelly on how to stay sane during exams. Staying sane isn't just about being happy---it's directly correlated to being successful during exam time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ohio Blog in ABA Journal Blawg 100 for Fifth Consecutive Year

The Ohio Employer's Law Blog, written by attorney Jon Hyman has made the ABA Journal Blawg 100 for the fifth consecutive year.

If you're looking for a way to stay current on legal trends without adding to your reading load in an unbearable way, law blogs are the way to go. And the ABA's Blawg Hall of Fame is a great place to start to find the most well-written, on-point, erudite posts. Our recommendation from the 100: Supreme Court Haiku Reporter, which brings us this gem:

The “first sale” doctrine
Allows student to resell
Books bought in Thailand

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Digital Fitness Trackers: Healthy Self-Assessment or Privacy Overshare?

I love my Fitbit. With the click of a button I can see how well I slept (95% efficiently last night!) or if I've been particularly active (my meager 14,209 steps pales in comparison to the  60,000+ steps records of David Sedaris). The beauty of the device is that I can upload my data and track it in the long term. When did I get that cold? Oh yeah---early May. I can tell by the sharp reduction in my steps for the week and my surge in hours slept.

So Fitbit knows a ton of information about me and thousands of other users. I'm not sure how I'd feel about that data being shared. Fitbit's Privacy Policy, the terms of which you accept presumably just by using the device, say your data is shared only with you and not sold...unless that data has been "de-identified." In other words, Fitbit could aggregate all data related to women aged 30-35 living in Ohio and sell it or do who knows what with it. I suppose I'm okay with that, but I'm not quite convinced I'm okay with this. Will it stop me from using my beloved Fitbit? I doubt it.

But sometimes sharing the Fitbit data can have an upside, and a court in Canada will be the proving ground:
Forbes recently reported that a law firm in Calgary is working on the first known personal injury case that will use Fitbit data to demonstrate the effects of an accident on their client.  
The plaintiff was injured in an accident four years ago, before Fitbits were on the market, but she was a personal trainer - obviously very active. Her lawyers at McLeod Law will start processing data from her Fitbit to show that her activity levels are now under a baseline for someone of her age and profession.
Want to learn more? Try Professor Margot Kaminski's Privacy Law class next semester.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Search & Seizure, A New Blog by Professor Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons has launched a new blog called Search and Seizure. Professor Simmons is an expert in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, and his numerous articles are regularly cited by colleagues in their scholarship.

For the latest analysis on search and seizure law as it unfolds in the courts, check back to Professor Simmons's blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Serial Crazy

Law-types and non-law-types alike are gushing over the This American Life spin-off, Serial, a podcast that "reopens the investigation into the 1999 strangling death of a Baltimore high-school student and her former 17-year-old boyfriend now serving a life sentence for the crime." Each week, a new episode is posted in which a journalist unravels the story in an attempt to get to the truth: did the convicted boyfriend commit the murder or was he wrongfully jailed?

The podcast gives a fascinating look into the criminal justice system, police interrogation techniques, the veracity of witnesses, and the beliefs and perceptions of jurors. For extra fun, Slate.com has a companion podcast, Slate's Spoiler Specials for Serial. And now you can learn the history behind Leakin Park, the Baltimore park where the Serial deceased was (and dozens of other Baltimore-region homicide victims have been) found.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Moritz Scholarship Spotlight: Junior Faculty Scholarship Roundup, 2013-14

Moritz Junior Faculty Scholarship Roundup, 2013-14
By Ryan Edmiston, Class of 2015

Over the last few years, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law has continued to build its distinguished faculty by attracting some of the nation’s most promising entry-level law professors.  These half-dozen pre-tenure professors have advanced Moritz’s long-standing tradition of excellence with their passion in the classroom, service to the community, and numerous contributions to the academic literature.  Over the past year, each of these professors has placed or published one or more articles in a top-20 journal.  Here is a snapshot of some of their published and forthcoming work:

Amna Akbar:  Professor Akbar’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the intersection of national security and criminal law.  In addition, she co-directs the Moritz Civil Law Clinic and serves on the Board of Editors of the Clinical Law Review.  Professor Akbar’s article, National Security’s Broken Windows, provides a taxonomy for national security community policing initiatives and situates national security policing as a form of community policing.  The article will be published in the UCLA Law Review.

Micah Berman:  Professor Berman holds a joint appointment at Moritz and the College of Public Health.  His research investigates the intersection of public health law and policy, with an emphasis on tobacco regulation.  Professor Berman’s article, Manipulative Marketing and the First Amendment, contends that manipulative marketing practices should be entitled to limited, if any, protection under the First Amendment, particularly when the products or activities being promoted are harmful to public health.  The article will be published in the Georgetown Law Journal.

Margot Kaminski:  Professor Kaminski is the newest member of the Moritz faculty.  Her diverse research interests in law and technology include media freedom, online civil liberties, international intellectual property law, legal issues raised by artificial intelligence and robotics, and surveillance.  Professor Kaminski’s article, The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law through the U.S. Trade Regime, 87 S. Cal. L. Rev. 977 (2014), highlights the problem of regulatory capture in U.S. trade negotiations and proposes a reinstatement of the Federal Advisory Committee Act to combat the trend.

Guy Rub:  Professor Rub writes at the intersection of intellectual property and economic theory.  His article, Stronger than Kryptonite? Inalienable Profit-Sharing Schemes in Copyright Law, 27 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 49 (2013), points out some of the shortcomings in copyright law’s system of terminating rights.  Professor Rub’s most recent article, Rebalancing Copyright Exhaustion, sets forth the economic case for a balanced approach to the first sale doctrine in copyright.  That article will be published in the Emory Law Journal.

Dakota Rudesill: Professor Rudesill, prior to joining the Moritz faculty, spent over a decade serving as an advisor to senior leaders in all three branches of the federal government.  Although he now resides in Columbus, Professor Rudesill remains a familiar face in the nation’s capital through his role as a co-director for the Moritz Washington D.C. Summer Program.  Professor Rudesill’s article, Regulating Tactical Nuclear Weapons, 101 Geo. L.J.  99 (2013), leverages his vast knowledge of national security law to propose a model regulatory framework for smaller, tactical nuclear arms that currently are subject to far fewer restrictions than their larger, long-range counterparts.


Chris Walker: Professor Walker’s research focuses on administrative law and regulation.  His article, The Ordinary Remand Rule and the Judicial Toolbox for Agency Dialogue, uncovers a novel set of tools that courts have developed to enhance their dialogue with federal agencies on remand.  The article will be published in the George Washington Law Review.  In The Death of Tax Court Exceptionalism, he collaborates with Professor Stephanie Hoffer to argue that the Administrative Procedure Act should apply to the U.S. Tax Court.  That article will be published in the Minnesota Law Review.  Professor Walker’s empirical study of agency statutory interpretation, entitled Inside Agency Interpretation, was recently accepted for publication in the Stanford Law Review.

Editor's Note: This is part of a new series in which the library will spotlight recent scholarship produced at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  If you have suggestions for books or articles to include, contact Sara Sampson

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Better Call Bob Odenkirk for Career Advice

Bob Odenkirk was recently on the Nerdist podcast to promote his new book and talk about Better Call Saul, a spin-off of Breaking Bad. Bob shared loads of career and life advice, probably unconsciously, but it seems worth repeating here.

If you are good at something, surround yourself with people doing something different. You'll shine more. Bob started doing improv with Chris Farley and David Cross at Second City. On stage with these comedy giants one day, he realized he was funny but would play funnier in drama. And as dark as Breaking Bad was (and it sounds like Better Call Saul is), Bob is the levity.

You don't have to be the best law student or lawyer. And "best" is relative, right? It depends on the others around you. If you're not the top of the class here, it doesn't mean you won't be an exceptional lawyer. And if you find yourself as a middle-quality attorney in a firm of 500 attorneys, consider a switch. Think about what you're truly good at, move to that field, and be the best attorney among that crowd. Your attorney skills can then complement the work others are doing, and you will be perceived as---and very well might be---exceptional.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Happy Election Day

Take time to vote today. The issues may not be the most scintillating to you, but boy should you care about and/or focus on the oodles of judicial candidates if you are a law student interested in a clerkship or working for the prosecutor or a defense firm. Now is the time to learn as much as possible about the candidates so you are prepared in an interview. If you need help researching potential employers, feel free to inquire about the books and databases in the law library.

And if you'd like to see democracy in action, stop by the Stained Glass Lounge at the Ohio Union, where several Moritz professors will field questions and evaluate results. The Watch Night Party begins at 7 p.m.