Recent Submissions

  • Making Your Wallflowers Blossom: How to implement the best social media strategy for your library

    Harrington, Ryan (2010-12-01)
    Considering the number of law libraries currently engaged in social media, many of us would agree that there is a benefit to be gained from our online presence. Yet when we polled the librarians here at Yale Law School for priorities on resource allocation, we discovered that our efforts in social media received the lowest priority.
  • The Civil Law Collection of the Texas Supreme Court

    Widener, Michael (2019-07-01)
    Mr. Widener inventories and analyzes an unusual collection of 319 volumes of Roman law, canon law, and European law formed by the Texas Supreme Court. He reviews the collection's contents, origins, history, use, and destiny. He argues that this seemingly exotic collection was probably the handiwork of Chief Justice John Hemphill (1803-1862) as an attempt to introduce civil law principles into a common law system, an attempt that was only partially successful. He concludes with reflections on institutional collections of rare law books. Earlier versions were presented at Lund University (June 2007), the University of Kansas (August 2000), and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (September 1997), and published as "El derecho hispano y neorromano en la antigua biblioteca de la Corte Suprema de Texas, 1854-1944: un estudio de procedencia," Anuario Mexicano de Historia del Derecho 10 (1998), 797-827.
  • Top 10 Law School Home Pages of 2010

    Eiseman, Jason; Skalbeck, Roger (2011-01-10)
    This ranking report attempts to identify the best law school home pages based exclusively on objective criteria. The goal is to assess elements that make websites easier to use for sighted as well as visually-impaired users. Most elements require no special design skills, sophisticated technology or significant expenses. Ranking results in this report represent reasonably relevant elements. In this report, 200 ABA-accredited law school home pages are analyzed and ranked for twenty elements in three broad categories: Design Patterns & Metadata; Accessibility & Validation; and Marketing & Communications. As was the case in 2009, there is still no objective way to account for good taste. For interpreting these results, we don't try to decide if any whole is greater or less than the sum of its parts.
  • The law librarian's tool for fair compensation in the best—and worst—of times

    Cadmus, Femi; Orndorff, Loretta (2009-11-01)
    None of us can deny that the last year has been one of economic uncertainty and of great concern as we face the challenges of operating with shrinking budgets. On the salary and compensation front, the AALL Biennal Salary Survey remains a vital tool in preserving fair and equitable compensation for law librarians.
  • Comparative Law: Academic Perspectives

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa (2011-01-01)
    Over the past 15 years, comparative law has undergone a dramatic and profound metamorphosis. The academic literature reveals a sense of hopelessness for the sustained endurance of the discipline in the mid- l 990s but shows signs of a rejuvenated and reinvented discipline in the first decade of the new millennium. One reason could be a changing-of-the-guard in comparative law faculty around the world with the 'heroes of the golden era' (Markesinis 2003, 2) being replaced by younger scholars leading a renewed charge with creative and thought-provoking comparative legal theories and methodologies. Another reason might be the smaller world in which we live due to globalisation and access to new information and communication technologies. There is also more effort towards unification and harmonisation of national and transnational laws, as seen in the creation of a European civil code (Smits 2007) and uniform social welfare obligations in India (Menski 2007), which can be achieved only by careful, analytical, comparative legal analysis.
  • Human Subjects Research Review: Scholarly Needs and Service Opportunities

    Ryan, Sarah (2016-01-01)
    Academic law libraries have evolved to support new forms of legal research and instruction. Attendant to the rise in empirical legal research, law libraries could provide human subjects research review services. These interesting and value-added offerings leverage librarians’ regulatory analysis skills and contribute valuably to the campus research community.
  • Mexico, SOURCES OF STATE PRACTICE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa (2014-01-01)
    Estados Unidos Mexicanos is the successor State of Spain in the Northern region of the former Spanish empire in the Americas. Pope Alexander VI issued a papal bull on May 4, 1493, fixing the line of demarcation of conquered territories between the Kings of Spain and Portugal thereby avoiding future conflict; this papal bull in effect granted the then-unexplored territory of what is now Mexico to the Spanish crown. Heman de Cortes conquered the Aztec empire in 1521 and Spain ruled the territory until Mexican independence in the early 19th century. The territory was called Nueva Espana (New Spain) and its political capital was in what is today Mexico City.
  • Argentina, SOURCES OF STATE PRACTICE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW.

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa (2014-01-01)
    La Republica de Argentina is the successor State of Spain in the Southeastern portion of the former Spanish empire in the Americas. At the time of independence, first declared in the Viceroyalty of Buenos Aires in 1810, the territory included present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The region became known as the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. The territory was administered by the government in Buenos Aires. The Congress of Tucuman issued a formal Declaration of Independence in 1816. Shortly thereafter, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia established independent nations and the remaining territory formed Argentina.
  • A Remedy for Congressional Exclusion from Contemporary International Agreement Making

    Harrington, Ryan (2016-01-01)
    When Harold Koh, as Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, recently gave an address on 21st-century international lawmaking, he spoke about using much more than treaties and executive agreements to achieve policy goals.1 He also gave several examples of "memorializing arrangements or understandings that we have on paper without creating binding legal agreements with all the consequences that entails."2 One example of a non-legally binding agreement, or "political commitment," is the Copenhagen Accord. The Accord secured commitments on emissions reductions from 141 countries around the world.3 Pursuant to the Accord, the United States voluntarily submitted its intention to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 17% in 2020.4 The executive branch, however, has not presented the Copenhagen Accord to the Senate because it believes that political commitments do not require advice and consent. Instead, the executive branch submitted a letter directly to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change indicating that the United States "associates itself ' with the agreement.5
  • The Civil Law Collection of the Texas Supreme Court

    Widener, Michael (2007-06-01)
    Mr. Widener inventories and analyzes an unusual collection of 319 volumes of Roman law, canon law, and European law formed by the Texas Supreme Court. He reviews the collection's contents, origins, history, use, and destiny. He argues that this seemingly exotic collection was probably the handiwork of Chief Justice John Hemphill (1803-1862) as an attempt to introduce civil law principles into a common law system, an attempt that was only partially successful. He concludes with reflections on institutional collections of rare law books. This paper was presented at the conference, "To Collect the Minds of the Law: A Conference on Rare Law Books, Rare Law Book Collections, and Libraries," June 19-21, 2007, in Malmö, Sweden, sponsored by the Einar Hansen Library Foundation and the Workshop in Legal Culture, Lund University.
  • Making the Leap to Management: Tips for the Aspiring and New Manager

    Cadmus, Femi (2009-01-01)
    As the result of innate ability, a fortunate few are able to effortlessly transition from line positions. However, most of us need to plot the path to management astutely and with deliberation. Library professionals might also become "accidental" managers, finding themselves thrust into an unplanned and perhaps unwanted managerial position for which they were not prepared. This is particularly true in the current climate of constrained budgets characterized by restructuring, job freezes, and layoffs.
  • Judicial Power in Latin America: a Short Survey

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa (2015-01-01)
    This article, written by Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, explores the vast differences in judicial authority not only between the common law and civil law traditions, but also among various countries steeped in the civil law tradition in Latin America. Judicial review, certiorari, precedent, and other functions and characteristics of the judiciaries of five distinctly different countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico) are compared and contrasted with each other and with the common law tradition. This evaluation demonstrates that despite their, arguably, similar distant histories and legal foundations, each country has evolved into a unique legal system with significant differences in the treatment of the judiciary and its jurisprudence.
  • The Digital Legal Landscape in South America: Government Transparency and Access to Information.

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa (2011-01-01)
    The governments of ten South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela) vary widely in the quantity and quality of free legal information each offers to its citizens. Each country has made a significant effort in providing basic legal texts, such as codes, laws and decrees, in a systematic, searchable, and reliable database. Jurisprudence of the courts, whose significance varies widely among these countries steeped in the civil law tradition, is often less accessible. Some countries have more means and better infrastructure than others which, naturally, is reflected in the quality of the databases, search engines, and archives.
  • The Empirical Research Law Librarian. Part 1: Making the Case and Filling the Role

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa; Ryan, Sarah (2014-01-01)
    Over the course of the last decade, the Reference Department of the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School has seen an increase in requests for assistance with data collection and empirical analysis. These requests have become progressively more sophisticated and technical while our patrons have become more knowledgeable and skilled. Until recently, when a student or faculty member expressed interest in gathering data and engaging in empirical research, the reference librarians would guide the researcher to appropriate places, such as the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics or TracFed or ICPSR data portal, and then send the researcher to the Yale University StatLab' for additional research assistance and support. Alternatively, members of our faculty who were trained and experienced empiricists often hired a team of research assistants capable of working with the data once they had found it.
  • The Empirical Research Law Librarian. Part 2: Developing the Role

    Miguel-Stearns, Teresa; Ryan, Sarah (2014-01-01)
    For several years, the Reference Department of the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School had witnessed a growing demand for empirical research support services. This increase mirrored broader trends in librarianship. Data and empirical specializations are on the rise, as reflected in the Library Journal's 2013 placements and salaries article, "The Emerging Databrarian." As the article explains, many libraries are creating stand-alone positions in these growth areas, and still more are folding "databrarian" skills into traditional job descriptions, such as reference librarian. That is, library directors are seeking individuals who can fill reference, technical service, or rare books roles while incorporating their knowledge of digital curation, e-learning, or social science statistics into their daily work. As described in Part I of this series, our law library followed this route when advertising for an empirical addition to the Reference & Instructional Services department. Data from that librarian's first year on the job illustrates this hybrid service model in action.

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