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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

Request a Research Workshop

Do you or your classmates have a pressing legal research need? Did you encounter a database at your summer job that you needed help navigating? Are you part of a student organization that would benefit from a research training session? If so, the librarians at the Jerome Hall Law Library would like to invite you, as Maurer law students, to take advantage of our Request a Research Workshop program. Workshop topics can include: advanced searching in Lexis Advance or Westlaw Next, docket searching in Bloomberg Law, legislative history, and much more!

If you would like to request a workshop, please use this form. Please include the names and email addresses of at least two other students who would like to attend. These workshops are meant to accommodate small groups. As always, if you have an individual research need, feel free to stop by the reference office or set up an appointment. However, we encourage you to consider whether any of your classmates may also benefit from the topic in which you’re interested, and if so, to invite them to participate in this program.

For ease of scheduling, workshops will normally be held during the lunch hour, however, other schedules can absolutely be accommodated. When requesting dates, please take into account that the librarian will need some time to prepare the workshop. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you with your research needs!

Brevier Legislative Reports

The Brevier Legislative Reports are a verbatim transcription of the proceedings of the Indiana General Assembly from 1858 to 1887. The set was digitized in a joint project between the Jerome Hall Law Library and the Digital Library Program at the Wells Library, and it is available via the Law Library’s webpage.

When the Brevier Legislative Reports website was released in December, 2011, I was quoted in a press release that legislative bodies are a reflection of the society in which they operate. I was reminded of that recently when I was working on some additional markup of the some of the indexes in the Brevier. Under a list of the names of the members of the 52nd General Assembly, for the representatives from Marion County, it says “I. N. Cotton, J. W. Furnas, Vinson Carter, T. McSheehy and J. S. Hinton (colored).” Anytime you have a representative, senator, or anyone else (for example, a minister who offers the prayer before the daily session) who is not white, the Brevier is careful to tell you that the individual is “colored.” For example, on Friday, February 11, 1881, the Senate opened its session with these words: The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR commanded attention while Rev. Mr. Broyles (colored) offered prayers.”

The word “colored” appears 129 times in the Brevier Legislative Reports, usually in the context of debating the establishment of schools for black children, or identifying individuals who are black. Examples like this illustrate how language usage has changed in the last 150 years.

Register to Vote!

The election is coming up fast and the deadline to register to vote even faster! If you want to be able to vote in the next election you need to register in Indiana by October 5th. For information on registering to vote, your polling place, and to see your ballot try the Indiana Voters website. Once you are registered, you might want to take a look at the Elections 2015 section of the Bloomington Herald-Times website. It keeps track of all local political news, and also includes things like candidate profiles and opinion pieces. Come by the library if you would like to know how to get access to the Herald-Times online.

There are also several excellent resources for people who are registered or wish to register in other states. provides a host of information about the election process, how to find your local election office, and the process of registering to vote nationwide.

So get out there and make your voice heard!

Researching the Law of Foreign Jurisdictions

Are you interested in researching the law of a foreign jurisdiction? In our increasingly globalized world, law students, and students outside the law school, often find it necessary to locate and analyze the law of foreign countries. It has even become commonplace for courts in the U.S. to consult foreign law in determining the substance of U.S. law. It is likely that the interpenetration of municipal legal systems will only become greater in the future, increasing the need for access to foreign legal materials.

The Jerome Hall Law Library collects legal material from many foreign jurisdictions, especially from English-language jurisdictions, including, e.g., England and Wales, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, India, and South Africa. To assist patrons in using these materials, the Library has prepared a series of foreign law research guides: The Law of Australia, The Law of Canada, The Law of Great Britain, and The Law of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These research guides typically provide information about printed statutes and cases, electronic access to primary source material, and important secondary sources.

The Library has recently published two additional research guides: The Law of South Africa and Searching Manupatra. Manupatra is a comprehensive database of the law of India. In contains federal Supreme Court decisions, state high court decisions, court rules, decisions of various administrative tribunals and commissions, federal and state statutes, rules and regulations, pending federal bills and parliamentary committee reports, databases of materials related to business enterprises and corporate taxation, secondary materials comprising commentaries and e-books, as well as cases and statutes from a variety of other countries, including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Pakistan, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, among others.

In addition to Manupatra, the Library provides access to several other proprietary databases of foreign statutes, including Korean Statutes in English, published by the Korean Legislation Research Institute (KLRI), and two Chinese databases, Westlaw China, and (formerly ChinaLawInfo). Westlaw China contains 8,500 laws and regulations in English, as well as 5000 English-language case summaries and summaries of articles from law reviews. Case summaries are in the areas of intellectual property, competition, arbitration, and civil law and procedure. contains over 5,000 national and local laws and regulations translated into English, together with judicial interpretations issued by the Supreme People’s Court. It also includes over 500 judicial decisions translated into English, as well as news articles from 2000 onward.

Welcome Week By the Numbers: A Wrap Up

It’s been a while since Welcome Week, but we wanted to thank all of you for making it so successful!  While we couldn’t get an exact headcount of the event, we know that 260 of you participated in the water bottle drawing alone!  Let’s extend one final congratulations to the 48 winners:


A lot goes into an event like this, so without further ado, here is Welcome Week by the Numbers:


Supreme Court Justices Go Postal

On September 8 Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan returned to her alma mater, Harvard Law School, and spoke to Dean Martha Minow at length about her time on the Supreme Court. It’s an interview worth watching for a great number of reasons. According to the Washington Post this morning, one of the best reasons is the mental image of Kagan and fellow Justice Stephen Breyer destroying one another in an infamously violent video game—Postal 2. Full Story »

Happy Labor Day!

We hope that you are enjoying your day of rest and relaxation this Labor Day! Labor Day has been around since 1882. First celebrated in New York City, the popularity of Labor Day spread quickly around the country, and it was formally adopted as a nationwide holiday in 1894. Interestingly enough, there is a mystery surrounding Labor Day—who invented it? Full Story »

Welcome Week

Welcome Week - blog
This year, the Law Library decided to start a new tradition: Welcome Week!  Stop by any time between 9 and 5, September 1st through 3rd, and look for our table near the computer workstations.

What might you get?

  • Jerome Hall Law Library pens and bookmarks – they’re free!
  • Coffee (a.m.) – that’s free too!
  • Jerome Hall Law Library stress balls, er, books – answer a simple “trivia” question about the Law Library to win
  • Baked goods (cookies, donuts, and more) – follow us on social media (okay, we’ll probably let you have a cookie regardless, but we think you should definitely follow us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, or Pinterest)
  • And last but not least…
    • Jerome Hall Law Library water bottles – every hour we will have two drawings to win a water bottle.  To enter:
      • Drop your name and email in the fishbowl at the Welcome Week table, or
      • Take a library selfie and share it on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter (@IUMaurerLawLib) (selfie sticks available at the Welcome Week table)

While you’re at the table, feel free to get to know the librarians (Which one plays in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra?  Who has eaten in the diplomats’ dining room at the United Nations?  Come find out!) and learn more about what the library has to offer (How can you request a research workshop?  What’s Jump Start?  There’s more in store!).  So gear up, because Welcome Week is finally here!

Welcome Back!


It always astounds me how quiet the library gets over the summer.  We are glad to have the lobby bustling again!  We have a lot in store at the Jerome Hall Law Library this year – here are some highlights:

  • Welcome Week: We’ve decided to have a little kick-off to the beginning of the year by tabling in the library lobby to promote library services and answer your questions.  Make sure to stop by any time between 9 AM and 5 PM, September 1st-3rd for baked goods, coffee, and library swag!
  • Get Charged!  You may be wondering where our charging station went.  It’s been sent off to be refreshed with an updated design, and won’t return alone.  Due to the popularity of the charging station, we have ordered a second station to be placed in the Law Library’s computer lab.  Both should arrive later this week.
  • Research Workshops: We’ll be offering a series of workshops in the library throughout the year, covering a variety of research topics.  We’ll be starting with one on IUCAT and others geared toward the LRW curriculum, but if you have a workshop you’d like to request on a particular topic or database, let us know by filling out the Request a Research Workshop form.

Here’s to another great year!

Brace Yourselves…Bar Exam is Coming

You made it through three years of Socratic method, issue-spotting, and cite-checking, only to be plunged, post-graduation, right into the longest study hall you’ve ever attended.  But here we are, two months later, and the bar exam is almost here.  It’s exciting.  It’s nerve-wracking.  It’s almost done!  There are many articles out there to offer last-minute bar exam tips.  Here are some of the most commonly agreed upon:

  1. If you haven’t yet, try to simulate a full day of examination.  A big part of success on the bar is stamina, and it’s hard to know what you’ll experience if you’ve just been outlining essays rather than writing them out completely.
  2. Don’t focus entirely on one portion of the exam.  Your grade comes from a combination of the MBE, the MPT (where applicable), and the essays, so make sure you’re getting practice in all three.
  3. In the last days leading up to the exam, try to just go over your outlines.  You’ve been looking at them all summer, you know them front and back.  Don’t suddenly switch to some new resource you just found.
  4. Try to relax the day before.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but you need to give your brain a rest so it’s in top shape for the actual exam.  If you don’t want to sacrifice an entire day, try to at least take off the afternoon.
  5. Get some sleep.  In the days leading up to, and especially the nights of, the exam, make sure you’re resting.  You cannot perform your best when you’re worn out.
  6. Correspondingly, eat well and stay hydrated.
  7. Come prepared.  Some people even scope out the bar exam location beforehand to make sure they know how to get there and how long it’ll take.  Read and re-read the list of items you can bring and make sure you have everything you need.
  8. Do NOT talk to people about the exam before, during, or after.  This is my favorite piece of advice.  It will only psych you out, and that’s not going to help.
  9. Afterward, try to forget about it.  The cruelty about the bar exam is you get about three months to convince yourself you failed.  I had myself so convinced of failure that I almost didn’t even check the results when they came out!  (I passed.)  Chances are, you did way better than you think you did, and all you have to do is pass!
  10. Finally, trust yourself.  These are all fantastic tips, but you know yourself better than anyone else does, and you have to do what’s best for you.  Take care of yourself, stay focused, and soldier on.  It’ll be over soon!

And once you’ve passed, remember this: Every other summer, no matter how swamped you are with work, you’ll be able to think, at least I don’t have to study for the bar again!  Best of luck everyone!

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