Webinar for Students: Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent

Proquest Congressional is a fantastic resource for finding legislative history documents. It has a wealth of bills, hearings, reports and other documents going back to the earliest days of Congress, usually in PDF.

How can you use it to learn more about what legislators intended? Proquest is hosting a webinar, Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent, that will be repeated a number of times and is aimed at students, recent graduates, clerks, associates, and interns/externs. Proquest notes that most federal courts and government agencies as well as a number of non-profit law libraries that private law firms belong to have access to these resources. The webinar is open to anyone. See below for more info on what will be covered.

Sign up by clicking one of the dates below:

About the webinars (from Proquest)

 This 90-minute session is designed for the summer associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional Digital Suite & Legislative Insight, the premier legal research tools for federal legislative and government materials to:

1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both:

a. Procedurally – How did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended;
b. As an adversarial process – who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal;

2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue;
3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;
4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.

And of course if you need assistance with Proquest Congressional on the fly, you can also ask your HLS librarians.

New eResources at Harvard

The Harvard Library has an astounding amount of resources, with new titles coming in every day!  For help efficiently navigating it all, make a time to meet with a librarian or contact the Reference Desk.

New resources at Harvard

Data is derived from its comprehensive statistical activities, comprises of periodic information on structure and growth of economy, social change, and development. T
Since its inception in 1974, the Bureau provides statistical information to guide decision making and the development process to the government and other stakeholders.
Sanctioned by the Government of India as part of its programme for the celebration of Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. It has been fully funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and includes digital images of virtually all his manuscripts and authoritative print versions (books and journals).
Exclusive research and analysis by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and authors from similar institutions, and present objective analysis versus official government messaging on strategic issues.
Watch Indian movies old and new from this archive!
Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa – full text publications.  Example:  Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe : Beyond White-Settler Capitalism (2013).
The full text of the Colombian census (in Spanish) from 2005.
Over 70 books covering history, cultural studies, political science, and philosophy; helpful for learning about Jane Austin, Dylan Thomas – and even Utopian and Dystopian Literature to 1800.

Allows for a methodical search into WTO jurisprudence, including for investment treaty (investor-state) arbitration issues.

Part 1:  News Features & Internal Communications, 1848-2000
Part 3: U.S. Cities Bureaus Collection

852 RARE: Old Books, New Technologies, and “The Human Skin Book” at HLS

Practicarum Cover and SpineBaaaaaad news for fans of anthropodermic bibliopegy: Recent analyses of a book owned by the HLS Library, long believed but never proven to have been bound in human skin, have conclusively established that the book was bound in sheepskin.

The final page of the book includes an inscription which states,

“The bynding of this booke is all that remains of my dear friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Mbesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.”

Intrigued by this inscription, curators, conservators, and dermatologists have studied the book for years, but results were inconclusive. Thanks to a technique for identifying proteins that was developed in the last twenty years, we recently have been able to answer the question once and for all.

At the request of HLS Library curators and Weissman Preservation Center staff, Daniel Kirby, a conservation scientist at the Harvard University Art Museums’ Straus Center, analyzed the parchment binding of Juan Gutiérrez’ Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias Hispaniae (Madrid, 1605-1606; HOLLIS no. 4317553). Kirby used a method called peptide mass fingerprinting to analyze nine samples of the front and back covers, binding, and glue. With peptide mass fingerprinting, the samples could readily be differentiated from other parchment sources including cattle, deer, and goat, as well as human skin. The glue was identified as a mixture of cattle and pig collagen.

If Jonas Wright was indeed a sheep, why would someone have written such an inscription? We’ll probably never know. Perhaps before it arrived at HLS in 1946, the book was bound in a different binding at some point in its history. Or perhaps the inscription was simply the product of someone’s macabre imagination.

In any event, we are indebted to Daniel Kirby’s analysis and are glad the question is finally settled. Score one for modern science! The volume (including the sheepskin binding) is being digitized and will be available online via HOLLIS in late 2014.

Women & Law – Research Made More Awesome!

Harvard has an amazing amount of resources for conducting research on many disciplines!

Adding to an already immense collection, Harvard now has Women and the Law.

This collection from Hein brings together books, biographies and periodicals dedicated to women’s roles in society and the law. This unique collection provides a platform to research the progression of women’s roles and rights in society over the past 200 years.

Notable titles include:

And featuring:

Libraries within this Collection include:

  • Biographies of Famous Women
  • Women & Education
  • Women & Employment
  • Women & Society
  • Title IX [Forthcoming]

Harvard also provides online access to over 1500 books on women’s studies, gender & sexuality.

For help efficiently navigating it all, make a time to meet with a librarian or contact the Reference Desk.

The Meat We Eat: Forum on Industrial Farming (this week!)

Worried about what might be in the food you eat? Wonder how the government regulates how animals are treated on the farms? Wondering how the food system could be made transparent?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then you will want to attend a forum taking place this Friday, April 4th, at Harvard Law School, from 1-7:30 p.m.  The forum will conclude with a reception from 6:30-7:30.  The event will be held in Austin Hall North, at 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

The name of the event is The Meat We Eat: Forum on Industrial Farming, and is being organized by the Harvard Food Law Society and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at Harvard Law School.  For more details, including information on the schedule, and how to register, please see this link. For students, the price of admission can’t be beat – FREE. For members of the general public, there is a small fee of $10.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein, Why Nudge?: The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism, Monday, April 14 at noon


The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of Professor Cass R. Sunstein’s recently published book, Why Nudge?:  The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism.

Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University, and is the author of several books, including, Simpler: The Future of Government (2013) and, with coauthor Richard H. Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008).

sunstein draft

“Based on a series of pathbreaking lectures given at Yale University in 2012, this powerful, thought-provoking work by national best-selling author Cass R. Sunstein combines legal theory with behavioral economics to make a fresh argument about the legitimate scope of government, bearing on obesity, smoking, distracted driving, health care, food safety, and other highly volatile, high-profile public issues. Behavioral economists have established that people often make decisions that run counter to their best interests—producing what Sunstein describes as “behavioral market failures.” Sometimes we disregard the long term; sometimes we are unrealistically optimistic; sometimes we do not see what is in front of us. With this evidence in mind, Sunstein argues for a new form of paternalism, one that protects people against serious errors but also recognizes the risk of government overreaching and usually preserves freedom of choice.

Against those who reject paternalism of any kind, Sunstein shows that “choice architecture”—government-imposed structures that affect our choices—is inevitable, and hence that a form of paternalism cannot be avoided. He urges that there are profoundly moral reasons to ensure that choice architecture is helpful rather than harmful—and that it makes people’s lives better and longer.”  –Yale University Press

Book talk panelists include:

Professor Iris Bohnet, Academic Dean and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Women and Public Policy Program and Associate Director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory;

HLS Professor Richard Fallon, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law;

Harvard Professor of Economics, Sendhil Mullainathan;

HLS Professor Frank I. Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Emeritus.

Monday, April 14, 2014, 12:00 noon.

Harvard Law School, Langdell Caspersen Room.  (Directions).

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library.

Free and open to the public.  Lunch will be served.

“An engaging and insightful tour through the evidence that most human beings don’t make decisions in the way often characterized in elementary economics textbooks, along with a rich array of suggestions for enabling many of us to make better choices, both for ourselves and for society. . . . Common sense at its best.”—Benjamin M. Friedman, New York Times Book Review on Nudge

“While we tend to think that offering information merely allows us to choose our means more carefully, without affecting what ends we actually want to pursue, Sunstein argues quite convincingly that for that government to highlight certain information may actually affect our goals.” – Sarah Conly, author of Against Autonomy:  Justifying Coercive Paternalism

“A provocative challenge to the fixed mindsets of left and right alike.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

 

 

Book Talk: Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools, Thurs., April 10 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of the recently published  Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Volume 2:  Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools, published by the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative, a partnership between the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and Harvard Law School.

The book talk panel will include a discussion by co-authors Susan Cole, Michael Gregory, Anne Eisner, and Joel M. Ristuccia.

“Volume 2 of Helping Traumatized Children Learn: Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools, safe, supportive learning environments that benefit all children offers a Guide to a process for creating trauma-sensitive schools and a policy agenda to provide the support schools need to achieve this goal. Grounded in theory and practice in schools and with families, the Guide is intended to be a living document that will grow and change as more schools become trauma sensitive and add their ideas. The policy agenda calls for changes in laws, policies, and funding streams to support schools in this work. Together, the online learning community and the book are designed to complement each other, helping to build a growing and increasingly visible trauma-sensitive learning community.” — TLPI

Book Talk Poster - Chalkboard

Susan Cole is Founder and Director, Trauma Learning Policy Initiative and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.

Michael Gregory is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School.

At Harvard Law School, Professor Gregory co-teaches the Education Law Clinic with Law Clinic Director Susan Cole, in which law students represent individual families of traumatized children in the special education system and engage in systemic advocacy in education reform at the state level.  In conjunction with the clinic, Professor Gregory co-teaches with Ms. Cole the seminars “Education Advocacy and Systemic Change: Children at Risk” and “Legislative Lawyering in Education Law.”

Anne Eisner is Deputy Director of the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative, Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

Joel M. Ristuccia is Consultant for the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative and Adjunct Faculty, Lesley University.

The authors will be joined by panelists including:

Mary E. Curtis, Ph.D., Director, Center for Special Education, Lesley University;

M. Geron Gadd, J.D., (’04), M.T.S. (’01), Senior Staff Attorney, Children at Risk Practice Group, Southern Poverty Law Center ;

Betsy McAlister Groves, LICSW, Founder, Child Witness to Violence Project, Boston Medical Center
Director, Child Advocacy Strand, Human Development and Psychology Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education;

Salvatore Terrasi, Ph.D., Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Brockton Public Schools,
National Adjunct Faculty, Lesley University.

Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:00 noon.

Harvard Law School, Lewis International Law Center, Room 214A.  (Directions).

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library.

Free and open to the public.  Lunch will be served.

Helping Traumatized Children Learn marks a major milestone in child advocacy. Based on evidence from brain research, child development, and actual classrooms, here is a road map for parents, schools, administrators, and policy makers that shows concrete and feasible steps for making schools the life raft for children who otherwise may be misunderstood and abandoned by the community.”

MARTHA L. MINOW
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor
Harvard Law School

“[Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools] is a timely and very much needed book. It provides clear, practical and research- and practice-informed guidance. It addresses three things that should be aligned, but often are not: addressing trauma school-wide, not just individually; monitoring the implementation of trauma-sensitive schools; and creating public policy to ensure that all students, including the many who have experienced traumatic events, succeed.”

DAVID OSHER, Ph.D.
Vice President and AIR Institute Fellow
American Institutes for Research

“[Helping Traumatized Children Learn, Volume 2] shows us that trauma sensitivity is central to the process of creating the safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that can improve education outcomes for all students. It provides much-needed guidance to policymakers about how to support schools in this effort. The authors articulate a way forward for educators and policymakers to work together to provide safe and supportive schools where all children can learn.  Let’s get to work!”

MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE RUTH BALSER

 

Book Talk: Adrian Vermeule, The Constitution of Risk, Tuesday, April 8 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invites you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of Professor Adrian Vermeule’s recently published book, The Constitution of Risk.

Professor Vermeule is the John H. Watson Professor of Law.  Before coming to the Law School, he was the Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago.  Professor Vermeule is the author or co-author of eight books, most recently The Constitution of Risk (2014) and The System of the Constitution (2012).  He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.  His research focuses on administrative law, the administrative state, the design of institutions, and constitutional theory.

vermeule draft[1]

“The Constitution of Risk is the first book to combine constitutional theory with the theory of risk regulation. The book argues that constitutional rulemaking is best understood as a means of managing political risks. Constitutional law structures and regulates the risks that arise in and from political life, such as an executive coup or military putsch, political abuse of ideological or ethnic minorities, or corrupt self-dealing by officials. The book claims that the best way to manage political risks is an approach it calls “optimizing constitutionalism” – in contrast to the worst-case thinking that underpins “precautionary constitutionalism,” a mainstay of liberal constitutional theory. Drawing on a broad range of disciplines such as decision theory, game theory, welfare economics, political science, and psychology, this book advocates constitutional rulemaking undertaken in a spirit of welfare maximization, and offers a corrective to the pervasive and frequently irrational attitude of distrust of official power that is so prominent in American constitutional history and discourse.” — Cambridge University Press

Book talk panelists include:

HLS Professor Richard Fallon, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law;

HLS Professor Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor;

HLS Professor Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 12:00 noon.

Harvard Law School, Lewis International Law Center, Room 214A.  (Directions).

Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library.

Free and open to the public.  Lunch will be served.

“With characteristic lucidity and vigor, and by compelling examples, Adrian Vermeule launches a devastating attack on abstract possibilistic reasoning in the law and in politics. He shows how risk-management itself may create risks by focusing on worst-case scenarios or by relying on stereotypical preconceptions, and offers a robust alternative that enjoins us to weigh the risks of inaction as well as those of action.”—Jon Elster, Columbia University

“Another tour de force from Adrian Vermuele. The Constitution of Risk is a major addition to an already rich body of work. The thesis is characteristically bold. Constitutions should be judged according to how successfully they manage political risks. The best strategy is not the risk-averse approach of classic Madisonian constitutional theory but a more fluid theory of ‘optimizing constitutionalism’ infused with Hamiltonian spirit. Written with clarity and economy of style, this book cements Professor Vermeule’s reputation as one of the most distinctive and important voices in contemporary constitutional theory.” –Thomas Poole, Department of Law, The London School of Economics

 

New eResources at Harvard

The Harvard Library has an astounding amount of resources, with new titles coming in every day!  For help efficiently navigating it all, make a time to meet with a librarian or contact the Reference Desk.

New resources at Harvard

Eurekahedge

Provides information on hedge funds and other private investments from around the world.  Great for finding potential employers!

China GeoExplorer

China demographic and economic data, maps, charts and reports in a web-based delivery system.  Data sources include demographic and business information for all PRC geographies, including 31 Provinces, 345 Prefecture Cities, 2,873 Counties, and over 50,000 Townships. The GeoExplorer is part of a larger set of resources, called China Data Online.

852 RARE: Open for Research: The Jeffrey Toobin research collection, 1984-2002

Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of a new Modern Manuscript Collection, The Jeffrey Toobin research collection, 1984-2002.

The majority of this collection consists of research material collected by Toobin for his books, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson and Too Close To Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election. Within the collection are research notes, correspondence, clippings of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as notes and transcripts of interviews. Of particular interest to researchers, because they provide insight into his writing process, are dozens of notepads in which Toobin recorded everything from interview notes to descriptions of scenery.

 

Transcribed notes taking during  a meeting with Ben Ginsberg on January 26, 2001. Box 27, folder 2

Transcribed notes taking during a meeting with Ben Ginsberg on January 26, 2001. Box 27, folder 2

Jeffrey Toobin has had a distinguished career since graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1986.  He served as an Associate Council to Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh during the Iran-Contra affair, then as Assistant District Attorney in New York’s Eastern District before becoming an author and legal analyst for various news outlets.

The Jeffrey Toobin research collection is open to all researchers. The HOLLIS number is 013316177.  A finding aid is also available. Anyone interested in using the collection should contact Historical & Special Collections and schedule an appointment.