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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

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We Have A Winner!

Last week I posted a blog entry offering a Starbucks gift card to the first student who could correctly answer several research questions using my new Foreign Law Basics research guide. And we have a winner! Charles Shaw, an associate on the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies,took the challenge and proved to himself how easy it is to do research when you use the correct sources. Congratulations, Charles!

If you haven’t noticed our new Research Guides web site, you should take a look. We already have eight new guides available, and many more are on the way. In fact, if you would like to see a research guide on a particular subject, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Starbucks, Facebook, and the Law Library

Allow me to extend another hearty welcome, new and returning students!  For those of you who were not involved in yesterday’s law school orientation, you may have noticed that the law library is now on Facebook and Twitter.  You may be asking yourself, ‘why would I want to follow or “like” the law library’?  Through these profiles, the law library will keep you up to date on changes in library hours throughout the year, announcements of library events, and other interesting or fun tidbits we come across.

As an incentive to “like” us on Facebook, when our page reaches 100 likes, we will randomly select one Maurer Law student who has liked us to receive a $25 Starbucks gift card!


99 Problems and the Fourth Amendment

If you have heard Jay-Z’s song 99 Problems, you know it is about a true incident that occurred in 1994 when he was pulled over for a seemingly arbitrary traffic speed enforcement. The suggestion is that the cop’s use of traffic laws was a mere pretext for searching his car, as he fit the profile for a drug smuggler.

The song is pregnant with Fourth Amendment issues, particularly the question, “When can you use a traffic stop to search for drugs?” A lot can be gleaned from the lyrics, both truths and inaccuracies. It is perhaps no surprise then, that Jay-Z’s lyrics can be used to gain a better understanding of Criminal Law.

In a line-by-line analysis, Southwestern Law School Law Professor Caleb Mason (in his Saint Louis University Law Journal article, “Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and Perps”) offers a fantastic and enjoyable explanation of this area of law using the lyrics as a touchstone. For those of you who are interested in pop culture representations of criminal justice, you will love the examination given by this writer.

By Jen Kulka (Library Intern & Guest Blogger)

New Law Library YouTube Channel

The Law Library just started its own YouTube channel!  We hope to bring you many educational and entertaining videos in the future.  For our first video, we present an infomercial for the Law Library.  Go check it out!  Thanks to the students and library staff who made this possible.

Fun with Gov Info: Popular Baby Names

Find out the most popular baby names of 2011 (courtesy of U.S. Social Security Administration).

You can search the popularity of names dating back to 1880. You can also look up popular names by birth year, decade, or state; popular names for twins; and popular names in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.


Happy Bill of Rights Day!

On December 15th, 1791 the Bill of Rights was ratified and came into effect. It’s tough to imagine our country without it. There are various ways to celebrate Bill of Rights Day, including by reading the Bill of Rights, and you can sign a pledge to that effect. Or you could read more about the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Or you could take one of the many Bill of Rights quizzes online like this one, or for a slightly harder one devoted entirely to the first amendment, try here.  In any case, it doesn’t hurt to take a break from studying for you finals to appreciate the significance of the laws you are studying.  Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Library Summer Diversions

So, you’re in Bloomington for the summer. Doing an externship for credit, maybe a B706, waiting to begin as a summer starter, or worst of all, about to begin a bar review course. Kind of makes you wonder why you wanted to be a lawyer, right? Full Story »

Law Firm Taglines

What makes a good tagline?  This question is considered on Ross’s Law Marketing Blog this week.  Ross says that you want something unique—that will let your customers know what they are getting at the same time as it lets employees know what is important to the firm.  He then lists a few less than stellar taglines followed by 20 of the best.  What do you like or dislike about these taglines?  If you could pick your own firm tagline what would it be?

A Town Hall on Facebook

President Obama will be holding a town hall today—on Facebook.  At 4:45 Eastern Time there will be a streaming town hall.  All you have to do is like the White House Facebook page and then RSVP for the event.  You can submit questions, either via Facebook, or from  President Obama has been active in using social media in the past, and for this event he will be broadcasting live form Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto.  More than 35,000 people have already RSVP’d.

The Value Of The White House

According to popular real estate website the White House is not immune from the recent housing crisis.  The famous house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has dropped in value from $331.5 million dollars in 2007 to a mere $251.5 million at the moment.  It seems to have dropped about $5 million in value just in the past month.  It is entertaining to look at the Zillow listing—it is not often that you see single family residences of 55,000 square feet built in 1792 with forced air heating.  For more information, take a look at articles from Yahoo and the L.A. Times.

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