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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!

bar meme

Legacies Captured in Art

When you think of art, one of the last places that probably comes to mind is the law library. Yet, it is replete with artistic touches – an old panoramic print of the graduating class of 1913 in Dunn’s Woods hangs over the copy machines, an oil painting beautifies the Rare Book room, and, a more modern addition, the digital sign, strikes a balance between utility and aesthetics at the library’s entryway. The artwork in the law library falls into three main categories: works that are historically or institutionally significant, those that are topically relevant, and others which are simply artistic. Furthermore, much of the art on display straddles more than one of these distinctions. Read on to learn a little bit more about the wonderful art which surrounds you…

Platonic Geometry: the Morton Bradley, Jr. sculptures

One of the most striking art features in the law library are Morton C. Bradley’s Jr.’s sculptures. Showcased and individually suspended from the ceiling of the reading room, they serenely float in the five-story atrium far above the patrons below. Morton Bradley’s connection to Indiana University spans several generations. He was a relative of the University’s first president, Andrew Wylie, and Bradley’s grandmother (Elizabeth Louisa Wylie) grew up in the historic Wylie House. In addition, Bradley’s father – Morton C. Bradley Sr. – was a proud graduate of Indiana University. Upon his passing in 2004, Bradley gifted his entire body of artwork to Indiana University, which included over 300 distinct pieces of art.

The law library houses nine of Bradley’s geometric sculptures. Rooted in the principles of Platonic geometry, Bradley was fascinated with the five Platonic solids: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. His sculptures vary these basic solid forms by manipulating their faces, edges, and angles to create entirely new structures. The nine sculptures hung in the law library are: Untitled, Constellation series (1971); Interlace (1975); Recessions (1976); Sixty Circles (1976); The Great Machiavellian Knot, from the Knot series (1983); Staccato (1986); Kahlil Gibran: A Portrait, from the Pattern series (1987); and from the Polylink series, both Festival (1988) and Chrysalis (1989).

Size varies from piece to piece, but most of the law library’s Bradley sculptures are several feet in diameter, with the largest having a diameter of over five feet. The materials used to create these pieces include aluminum, steel, brass, Lexan (a plastic composite used in impact-resistant objects) and wood. Each is finished with paint in an array of soft colors designed to highlight the shadows and angles of the multidimensional designs. Full Story »

Jumpstart Returns!

The extremely popular Jumpstart research program returns to the Law Library. Jumpstart sessions will be available April 7th-April 14th. The program, designed by the reference librarians, will again work towards preparing law students for summer internships, clerkships and the first year of practice. During last year’s sessions, a number of students learned the necessary research skills for dealing with materials such as legislative history, administrative law and the regulatory process, and computer-assisted legal research.

Following the formula established in previous years, each of the Jumpstart sessions will begin with a brief review of the basic legal resources so that every student has a complete grasp of the legal research process. The librarians will also provide information about more specialized types of reference books, including practice aids and form books. The Jumpstart sessions will then focus on individual student problems and questions about legal research, with an emphasis on the type of practice student participants will be seeing in the summer.

If you have any questions about the Jumpstart programs, be sure to drop by the Reference Office and speak to a reference librarian. We’d especially like to hear from those of you who already know in what jurisdiction you’ll be working this summer and any special areas of law with which you’ll be dealing. We tailor the Jumpstart sessions to your particular needs in order to make the program a continuing success.

Researching the History of U.S. practice in international law and international relations

If you are interested in researching the history of U.S. practice in international law, or the history of U.S. diplomacy more generally, there are several resources in HeinOnline and in ProQuest Congressional that can help you.

U.S. practice in international law is summarized in three editions of the Digest of International Law of the United States, each known more familiarly by the name of its editor. The first edition, edited by Moore, covers the years 1776-1904. The second edition, edited by Hackworth, covers the years 1905-1940. The third edition, edited by Whiteman, covers the years 1941-1972. These three editions have been updated by Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1973-1981, and 1989 to present, and by the Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, which covers the years 1981-1988.

All of these digests are available in HeinOnline’s Foreign & International Law Resources Library, and easy to search. Suppose you wanted to find a discussion of the Halibut Fisheries treaty of 1930. Using the Advanced Search interface, you would simply search for the phrase “halibut fishery” in Hackworth. This search would retrieve a discussion of the treaty, its predecessor and successor treaties, with links to the texts of the treaties themselves.

You can also search for diplomatic correspondence and other documents relating to U.S. international affairs in Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), which is also available in its own library in HeinOnline. Here you could find all diplomatic correspondence related to the 1930 treaty on the “preservation of the halibut fishery of the northern Pacific and Bering Sea.” The trick to using the FRUS database is to realize that dates of coverage are not the same as dates of publication. Thus, to search for documentation from 1930 you would actually date-restrict your search to 1945, the year in which volumes for the year 1930 were published.

FRUS covers the history of U.S. foreign policy from 1861 onward. From 1817-1861, diplomatic correspondence and other documents relating to foreign relations were published in the Serial Set, a massive series best known as the source of Senate and House reports. The Serial Set is fully digitized and readily available electronically through ProQuest Congressional. The Serial Set is not difficult to search in ProQuest Congressional, but there is also a three-volume Index to United States Documents Relating to Foreign Affairs, 1828-1861, which is available in HeinOnline, in Spinelli’s Law Library Reference Shelf. If you were interested in the history of U.S/French trade relations in the nineteenth century, you could search this source for “France trade”~25 (the term ‘France’ within 25 words of the term ‘trade’), which would retrieve 14 items, among them an 1860 message from the president transmitting to Congress a letter from the emperor of France on commerce and free trade. This entry is accompanied by a citation to the Serial Set, 36. 1. H. ex. doc. 30, which you could use to retrieve the full text of the document in ProQuest Congressional.

The digests of U.S. practice of International law, Foreign Relations of the United States, and the Serial Set are the most important sources of information relating to the historic practice of the United States in international law and foreign affairs generally. All three readily available to researchers in HeinOnline and ProQuest Congressional.

Opportunity for Students—32nd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition

Attention students! The Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association has announced the 32nd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition. The Division will be accepting papers that are on the topics of planning, planning law, land use law, local government law, or environmental law. Submissions are due by June 5, 2015, and winners will be announced by August 28, 2015.

The winning paper will be submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer, and the author will be awarded $2,000. The student who comes in second place will receive $400, and there will be an Honorable Mention prize of $100.

This is a great opportunity to gain some recognition for a seminar paper. Further information is available in the attachment. Good luck and happy writing!


Rules for the APA-PLD Student Writing Competition


Hello from your new Student Services Librarian!

My name is Kim Mattioli, and I just started the New Year off with a new position as the Student Services Librarian here in the law library. I’m likely familiar to many of you since I’ve been working part-time in the library for the past two and a half years in interlibrary loan and at both the circulation and reference desks. I’m thrilled to now be here on a full-time basis! You can find me in Room 105E in the Reference Office.

As you all know, every reference librarian is available to help students in any way possible, so I would like to tell you a little bit about what it means for me to be a librarian dedicated specifically to Student Services. As a starting point, I will be providing support to students who serve on the Indiana Law Journal, the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, IP Theory, and the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality. Any student working on journal assignments is encouraged to come to my office with any questions, general or specific. In addition, I will be providing support to students who serve as faculty research assistants. This will include coordinating a training session for new or experienced research assistants, as well as helping with specific assignments.

While these are some of my preliminary responsibilities, I sincerely hope that this will only be a starting point. It is my goal to make all of you familiar and comfortable with the library. I hope to develop programming that will make all of you effective researchers, but in addition to that I want to serve as your liaison in the library. I want to know what programs and services you think would be helpful or fun, and to that end I invite anyone to stop by my office or email me with suggestions or requests. Let us know what you like about the library and what could be done differently.

I will be working hard to make sure that you are all getting the most out of our library. In the meantime, you will see me at the reference desk, on our new chat reference service, and on this blog from time to time. I’m looking forward to working with you!

Found in the Stacks: Icons and Aliens

Icons and Aliens: Law, Aesthetics, and Environmental Change by John J. Costonis, University of Illinois, 1989. KF 5692 .C67 1989

Icons and Aliens explores the law of aesthetics. We might not normally think of aesthetics as having its own law, but this book is a reminder that we find legal questions in many places, some of them unexpected. The unusual title refers to the different ways that people can think of landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge was initially much reviled for being an alien presence in the harbor. Now many years later it has become a celebrated icon of the city.   Costonis examines the legal implications of landmarks, how people react when they are built and when they are torn down.  As aesthetics change, so do our landscapes, and the legal system must respond when these changes cause conflict.  For a look at an unusual way law touches us, check this book out!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately?  If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Medieval Poor Law

The Law Library is the place law students study, faculty members do research, and laypeople come to learn about the law. We have an excellent collection of the basic legal materials of course, but shelf reading can also lead to little research gems. As we find interesting and unexpected books, we will tell you about them on the BLAWg IN Bloom.

Today: Medieval Poor Law by Brian Tierney, University of California Press, 1959. KBG .54

While there are plenty of areas of law that are relatively new, poverty has always been an issue, and thus laws concerning it are relatively old. Tierney was writing in large part for social workers, but he explores the legal issues as well. At the time, the Church was the primary charitable institution, so Tierney explores the theology behind poor law and the actual mechanics of it. If you are looking for something interesting to take your mind off studying for a few minutes, check out Medieval Poor Law.

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

Scottish Independence Vote Today

Polls opened in Scotland this morning for a vote on the recent Scottish Independence Referendum. Scotland is considering leaving the United Kingdom. The referendum has been in the works since 2011. A key step in the process came with the Edinburgh Agreement of 2012, in which the Scottish Government and the UK Government jointly assented to a referendum on independence to be voted on in 2014. The referendum needs a simple majority to pass, and many news sources are predicting a close vote. If you wish to know more about the referendum, the website of the Scottish Government has a page devoted to the referendum and the potential consequences.

Welcome New Students

Welcome to the new 1L class, and congratulations on starting orientation today! We hope that you have a wonderful law school experience. All of us at the Law Library will do everything that we can to make your time here both rewarding and comfortable. The Library is a place to study, learn, reflect, and prepare. We hope that you will take advantage of our facilities and many services, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask anyone on the Library staff. We are excited about working with all our new students over the next three years. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! We look forward to seeing you on the Library tours this Friday morning.

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