Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Coping with Bar Exam Stress

As the bar exam nears, stress often increases.  We have posted about mindfulness as a way to cope with exam stress.  The Moritz Law Library is developing a collection in the reserve room with a variety of health and wellness titles, from Jiu Jitsu Jurisprudence to Becoming a Joyful Lawyer. Your title suggestions are welcome!

If you're working form home or your local coffee shop, OSU's Center for Integrative Health and Wellness offers a number of free recordings to help you relax.  The Quick Links box on the Center's website will lead you to recordings on guided imagery, heart-centered practices, mindfulness, and relaxation response.

Anonymity Online

Is there a difference between a web service that tracks Internet use to target ads and a service that tracks use and ties the use to a person's name or other personally-identifying information? Does the question actually come down to what constitutes one's "identity?"

The Pew Research Center recently reported "86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email, from avoiding using their name to using virtual networks that mask their internet protocol (IP) address."

But those phishing for information can simply rely on human nature to learn more about Internet users. The typical example one hears about is someone posting loads of vacation pictures with a time and date stamp indicating the person is not at home. In other words, any technological steps we might take to maintain our privacy may not be sufficient to protect us from ourselves.

The latest online tracking tool is "canvas fingerprinting," which "works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it."

How much of this is legal? Find the answers in our collection:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Welcome Sara Sampson!

The Moritz Law Library has had a few changes; our previous director, Bruce Johnson, retired in December after almost 20 years of leadership; our interim director, Mary Hamburger, ably helped us navigate the last six months; and we now welcome Sara Sampson!

Sara joined us from University of North Carolina School of Law where she was Deputy Director of the Law Library and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law. Prior to that, she was Head of Reference at the Georgetown University Law Center. Sara's directorship here is a homecoming: before working at Georgetown, she was a reference librarian here at Moritz.

Welcome Sara!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Death, Taxes, and Potato Salad

By now, the Columbus, Ohio, resident with the potato salad Kickstarter campaign is legendary. But where there's money, there are interested parties.

Per the New York Daily News, Mr. Brown will lose approximately 5% of all money raised as part of Kickstarter's fee. The IRS may also take a cut...perhaps as much as $10,000.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Everything You Never Knew About Miranda Warnings

The Miranda warnings feature prominently in the 2012 film 21 Jump Street. Channing Tatum's character kicks off the whole film due to his failure to remember the four declaratory statements and a question.

Slate.com briefs readers on how the warnings came to be...the actual warnings themselves. See, "Miranda established that suspects must be advised of their Fifth Amendment rights to counsel and against self-incrimination before police questioning.  but nowhere did the Court mandate specific language for implementation."

The guy responsible? An attorney with an affinity for fine art and letterpress printing.

For more on this fascinating story, check out Miranda : the story of America's right to remain silent and The Miranda ruling : its past, present, and future.

Law Librarians Take on Texas

The American Association of Law Libraries 107th Annual Meeting and Conference will take place July 12-15, 2014. Consequently, you may miss a few familiar faces around the law library over the next several days. The blog will also be on vacation during this time.

But we hope to bring back to you new ideas to deliver great service to the law school faculty and students. See you next week!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Discrimination Against Smokers?

The ABA Journal reports Toledo's may plans to ban the hiring of smokers. "Banning smokers has become common in the health-care industry and is spreading to governmental employment, Governing Magazine reported in an op-ed last year."

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Job Prospects: Beer and Wine Law

From beSpacific, U.S. Breweries are Booming According to Census Bureau. Columbus is helping the cause with dozens and dozens of craft breweries around the state. And it's not just craft breweries that are big business in Ohio, Anheuser-Busch has over one million square feet of space for its facility in Columbus.

And where there is business, there are attorneys! Some firms have whole practice areas dedicated to the beverage industry. Interested in learning more? Check out these books in our collection:

The Little Red Book of Wine Law
Wine in America: Law and Policy
Hospitality Law

Monday, June 30, 2014

Solo Practice

Looking for insights into solo practice? Try reading MyShingle.com. The site has tips on starting your own practice including information you may not have considered, like the difference between your firm trademark and corporate names and whether solo practitioners are eligible for loan forgiveness.

For more comprehensive guidance, check out these books in our collection:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Help for Law Students

Two stories provide an unfortunate reminder that lawyers (and law students) may have a higher-than-average instance of substance abuse. One story frames the fears of a new, drug-addicted attorney who doesn't know how to tell his firm he needs to go to rehab. The other is the incredibly moving story of an attorney's recovery and reinstatement to the practice of law following disbarment.

Paired together, the narrative for law students is that if you have a substance abuse problem (or frankly a mental health issue or other troubles), getting help doesn't have to mean the end of your career.

Ohio has an excellent Lawyers Assistance Program and Moritz provides links to a variety of resources that may help you get back on track.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Internet Archive - Not Just for Old Websites!

Attending the CALI Conference last week, I heard Jason Scott of Internet Archive talk about his work preserving everything you put online as a stopgap against start-ups that delete your digital identity without much thought to whether that digital content is the very only photo you have of your baby's first steps or your law school graduation, or an audio file of your great grandmother's last interview.

As an aside, Jason also mentioned the Internet Archive's television preservation project, which enables you to run keyword searches to find news clips from all US TV news for the last 3.5 years. Curious about whether a witness or a client made headlines you didn't see? Interested to know if that product you claim is defective has been mentioned for the same reasons in another state? Search the Internet Archive's television archive to find out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tracking Changes in Supreme Court Opinions

Recently, we posted about the Supreme Court's invisible red pen.  If the Court's opinions change to revise mistakes, how do you keep track of these edits? 

As the ABA Journal reported, one lawyer has developed a solution.  David Zvenyach, general counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia, crawls the opinions and posts changes to Twitter.  If you'd like to receive updates, here's the address to follow:  @Scotus_servo

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Belated Fathers Day Post: Daughters of the Judiciary

From the New York Times: "[J]udges with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women’s rights than ones with only sons. The effect, a new study found, is most pronounced among male judges appointed by Republican presidents, like Chief Justice Rehnquist."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Future of Law

You've likely seen predictions like this:  Computers could replace law clerks.  Maybe you've read more in depth forecasts about how the practice of law will change, like those of Richard Susskind.

What's in your crystal ball?  It could pay off! One law firm is offering a $10,000 essay prize for law students writing on this topic: "a pragmatic plan on how lawyers can re-engineer the way they interact with and serve their clients, so that our legal system can better serve the public."  See this announcement for more details.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Big Data, Vocabularies: Scalia v. Jay Z

Finally! Slate brings us a use for Big Data we can all endorse: "In his blog, Matt Daniels, a data scientist, compared the lyrics of 85 rap artists using a method called token analysis. A computer program counts the number of unique words that appear in a text of a given size." Using this program, one can determine which Supreme Court justices in history have the most complex vocabularies and how those justices compare to rappers.

For those of you wringing your hands, troubled you may have a less complex vocabulary, take heart.
"[N]ot all great justices are great writers. John Marshall, who scores even lower than DMX, was the greatest justice of all time."