Library Fest reminder and grand prizes

The countdown to this year’s Love Your Library Fest is just two days!

We hope to see you on Friday from 2-5pm in the Library for activities, games, an exhibit, chances to meet some legal information vendors, candy, and learning a bit more about what the Library can do for you!

We just packed up this year’s grand prize gift baskets. We are raffling one for a JD student and one for an LLM or SJD student. Each basket contains:

  • hlslgiftbasket-smA Boston tea party mug with tea
  • Cranberry bog frogs candy
  • maple syrup
  • Wild Maine blueberry jam
  • Taza stone ground chocolate
  • A lobster finger puppet
  • A complete set of HLS Library bookmarks
  • An HLS Library magnet

And finally

  • a $100 Grafton Restaurant Group giftcard, good at Grafton Street, Park, Russell House Tavern, and Temple Bar restaurants

Get a raffle entry for each Library Fest station you complete and a bonus entry if you complete all five. Every HLS student who completes three of the five Library Fest stations will receive an AMC gold movie ticket. Other giveaways for all include candy, HLSL stylus-pen combos, stickers, magnets, and items from our vendors.

We look forward to seeing you all Friday!

The Scottish Independence Referendum

Scottish Flag photo by flickrtickr2009. CC BY 2.0

Scottish Flag photo by flickrtickr2009. CC BY 2.0

As you may know, on Thursday Scotland will vote on whether or not to remain part of the United Kingdom. Some estimates put the number of voters registered to participate in the referendum at over 4 million, which is more than 95% of Scotland’s adult population. And, campaigning has remained active, and in some cases heated, in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum, with voices as disparate as the Pope and David Beckham supporting unity with Great Britain and everyone from Sir Sean Connery to Vivienne Westwood supporting independence. Even Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons (as seen below) and John Oliver (not entirely safe for work) have weighed in. Polls have differed in the exact vote predicted, but everyone seems to agree that the vote is likely to be quite close.

While this may seem largely like a political issue, there are some important laws and legal decisions underlying the vote. The first, and perhaps most important, is the Edinburgh agreement. This agreement, which was signed on October 15, 2012, set forth the agreement between the United Kingdom government and the Scottish government regarding the referendum and specified what would be included in the referendum legislation. The Memorandum of Agreement attached to the Edinburgh agreement further specified that “The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom,” a passage that has led to much speculation about what would occur if the people of Scotland ultimately vote to leave the United Kingdom.

After this agreement was signed, the Scottish Independence Referendum Act of 2013 was passed to set forth the exact procedure for the referendum. This Act includes provisions on who may vote in the referendum and restrictions on legal challenges to the outcome of the referendum among other provisions. You can see the full Act below:

UKSupremeCourtShieldCampaigning has been active on both sides of the vote and many are eager to cast their votes, including at least two prisoners who appealed the ban on inmates voting in the referendum all the way to the UK Supreme Court. The case, entitled Moohan and another (Appellant) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent), was fast-tracked to ensure that it was decided before the referendum and was heard by a panel of 7 Justices on July 24, 2014. On the same day, they issued their, in the words of The Guardian, “unusually quick summary decision less than an hour after hearing final oral submissions on the case,” in which they upheld the lower courts’ rulings that European court rulings which hold that banning prisoners from voting violates their human rights do not apply in the case of a referendum. This decision means that the referendum will go forward without the vote of prisoners, but other than this small group, voter registration has proved to be quite high. According to the BBC, 4,285,323 people registered to vote in the referendum by the September 2nd deadline, “making it the largest electorate ever in Scotland.”

While it is still unclear which side will win, if the majority of voters do cast their ballot in favor of independence, this will only be the start of a long road to complete independence. Some scholars have estimated that the timeframe for negotiated independence would take between 18 and 36 months in total. Moreover, Scotland’s status in the European Union would be uncertain if it became independent, with the two sides of the campaign disagreeing over the process the new country would have to follow to gain re-admittance into the EU and the European Commission declining to comment. No matter what the outcome of the vote, this referendum has presented a number of fascinating legal issues!

New Exhibit: Life Beyond the Law

Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce its new exhibit Life Beyond the Law: Exploring Student Life Outside the Harvard Law School Classroom is now on view in the Caspersen Room on the fourth floor of Langdell Hall.

Graduate Div. Picnic, September 1977 by Joan Lebold Cohen; Volleyball game between Austin Hall and Littauer Center, April 1979. From the Photographs of Harvard Law School Students collection.

Graduate Div. Picnic, September 1977 by Joan Lebold Cohen; Volleyball game between Austin Hall and Littauer Center, April 1979. From the Photographs of Harvard Law School Students collection.

This exhibit examines the experiences of Harvard Law School students from the mid-1840s to the present. It focuses on life outside the classroom along the themes of off-campus activities, leisure and the arts, and athletics. Largely told in their own words, this exhibit gives a glimpse into the lives of individual students whose experiences are captured in letters to friends and family, personal diaries, student publications, and photographs.

Curated by Jane Kelly and Lesley Schoenfeld, Life Beyond the Law will be on view in the Caspersen Room 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM through December 12, 2014. A companion website to this exhibit can be found here.

Learn about finding legislative intent

Proquest (home of Proquest Congressional) is hosting a webinar open to all, Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent. It will take place Thursday, September 25, 2014, 3:00pm – 4:30pm and is open to interested students, faculty and staff.

From Proquest:

This 90-minute session is designed for the associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant, law student, and law review notes & comments editor. 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.

To register, visit Proquest.

Love Your Library Fest 2014: September 19!

Library Fest Heart transHLS students, mark your calendars for Love Your Library Fest Friday, September 19, 2:00-5:00pm!

Library Fest is a fun orientation to the Library’s people, services, and resources. The Fest includes:

  • learning more about library services
  • a peek at an assortment of treasures from HLS and legal history
  • meeting some of our legal information vendors

Every law student who completes 3 stations will receive a movie ticket. For each station completed, HLS students will get an entry for the grand prize raffle, with a bonus raffle entry for completing all five stations. Prizes (one each for a lucky JD and LLM/SJD student) are New England gift baskets with a $100 Grafton Group restaurant gift card–good at Grafton Street, Park, Russell House Tavern, and Temple Bar!

Faculty, staff, and other members of the Harvard community are welcome as well. See you there!

LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg passwords and training for new students

Welcome, new students! Read on for important information about setting up your LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law accounts:

Passwords at the Reference Desk

If you did not pick up the registration codes at orientation, please visit us at the reference desk (just off the center of the Reading Room on the 4th floor) to get them and register them as soon as possible. Desk hours are 9am-7pm Mon-Thu, 9am-6pm on Fri, and 1-5pm on weekends. Registration should take just a few minutes.

You will use these databases throughout your law school career, starting in just a few weeks with LRW!

Database Training 

Vendor reps from all three systems are offering back-to-back-to-back introductory training sessions on their systems. Sessions are 60 minutes in total.Training is optional, but if you haven’t used these systems in the past or it’s been awhile, we recommend attending. Sign up at our research training calendar.

There are also tours and HOLLIS/e-resources trainings available on the same calendar–sign up for those as well if you wish! Note that some sessions are intended for specific student categories (JD or LLM) and others for specific sections.

Welcome!

Coming Soon! — Fall 2014 HLS Faculty Book Talk Series

RevisedPoster

Finding Records That Are No Longer in PACER

As some of you may have already heard, PACER, the online repository for records and filings from U.S. Federal Courts, recently removed documents from five courts in preparation for an update to the system. Though efforts are underway by some private organizations to find a way to make these documents publicly available again, this has left many PACER users concerned about how to find these documents (which included records from some high profile cases) in the meantime. If you find yourself looking for these documents, there are a couple of approaches you can take.

First, all Harvard Law School students have access to Bloomberg Law, which offers a helpful docket search feature. While it does not include records for all cases, its easy search interface and the fact that new records are added all the time makes it a good first source. To search for a docket, login into Bloomberg Law and click Litigation & Dockets in the top menu. Then select Search Dockets from the resulting drop down menu.

If you don’t find the record you need in Bloomberg Law, you can also visit the RECAP Archive. This free database collects federal court documents that are gathered by the RECAP browser extension. (You might also consider installing the extension yourself; it is available for both Chrome and Firefox). While the archive does not include all court records, it is growing all the time, so it is a good starting point for items not on PACER or Bloomberg Law.

If you find that the records aren’t available electronically, we have collected information about how to request materials from each of the courts that had items removed from PACER below:

If you are looking for further information on how to find court records and briefs, you can also refer to our research guide on the topic.

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 for August 2014

American Consumer Culture, 1935-1965

Atlas of the flora of New England

Historical Garden Design Online

Nineteenth Century Collection Online, PARTS 1-12

Oxford Bibliographies – American Literature

PLI Discover PLUS

ProQuest Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932

ProQuest U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection I: 1789-1969

Swiss Law Bibliography

Urban History Documentation Archive of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC)

The Virgil Encyclopedia

Welcome, LLMs!

A big welcome from the HLS Library!

We wanted to inform you of our library orientation schedule and instructions for signing up for the library tours and e-research training sessions.

The library tours will introduce you to the physical space and the collection onsite.  They will run from Monday, August 25th through Friday, August 29th.  The librarians leading the tours will meet you at the Circulation Desk in the library.

 The Hollis/E-research training sessions will introduce you to the vast array of resources available at Harvard.  These sessions will be held during the same time, Monday, August 25th through Friday, August 29th.  All of the sessions will be held in the library computer lab.

You may sign up for library tours and Hollis/E-research training sessions via our online calendar.  Please be sure to enter your name and your Harvard email address when you register for a session.  Please note that your Harvard email address should end with @llm15.law.harvard.edu, for example, for example@llm15.law.harvard.edu.

These are the first of several training sessions we will be offering throughout the year.  You are strongly encouraged to attend these sessions.  We hope you will avail yourselves of these resources as they fit your research needs.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year of working with you!