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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope that you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving where ever you are. The U.S. Government hopes so as well—and has a page of interesting Thanksgiving information. It has facts and statistics (689 million pounds of cranberries!), alternative ways to cook your turkey (you can deep fat fry a whole turkey!), and recipes from famous Americans (Mrs. Truman’s mac and cheese sounds delicious). You can also look at the page on the chefs of the White House, complete with videos on working with presidents, and dessert for Barney. There is Thanksgiving in space, the history of Thanksgiving, and even a page to watch incoming airline flight statuses.

Have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you back on Monday.

Thanksgiving Then and Now

Combining both the season and the financial situation MSNBC has a page that examines the cost of Thanksgiving over the past 50 years. After adjusting for inflation it looks like we don’t have it so bad after all.

The WayBack Machine

Remember when you found that perfect article a year ago and now the link is gone? Or maybe you’ve got the address for a dead website that you really need to use. Or the website you need had a redesign and you cannot find the links you are looking for. Then you might try using the WayBack Machine at www.archive.org.

This nifty little device archives the internet up to six months ago. All you do is plug a URL into the box, and you can look at that page as it used to be—six months ago, a year ago, four years ago, you name it. It’s incredibly handy if you want to look at a website that has changed, or find a document after a link disappeared or broke. Go play around—it is a very useful tool.

Dawn Johnsen on President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team

Prof. Johnsen is well known for her expertise on constitutional law, and especially presidential powers. She served in the Office of Legal Counsel under President Clinton. The Office is the body that advises the President on his powers under the Constitution. It is no surprise that future President Barack Obama has asked her to again be part of the Office of Legal Counsel for his transition team. Congratulations, Prof. Johnsen! The future president made a wonderful choice. Check out some of the press coverage at USA Today, the Indianapolis Star, and our own Indiana Daily Student.

A Guide for OneLs—Mental Tips and Tricks

With finals right around the corner it is easier than every to get stressed out, and to not play at the top of your game. The Law Magazine blog has posted a few things that you can do to keep sharp, including exercising, varying your stimulation, and the importance of repetition. There is nothing too revolutionary in the article, but remembering little things like exercising is especially important in times when you are more inclined to be stressed and overworked.

The License Plate Debate Rages On

Indiana has numerous different specialty plates to choose from. Most of the plates support a particular cause, and a driver will pay an extra fee which is donated to that cause. One of the exceptions, though, is the popular “In God We Trust” plates. These pop up in the news every so often, appearing in legislation and lawsuits. Should people have to pay extra for these plates? There is no organization behind the plates to collect the money. Should Indiana be issuing these plates at all? “In God We Trust” is the national motto, but that doesn’t make it a secular message.

Most recently, vanity plates are at the heart of a lot of the same issues. Indiana, despite all the controversy over the “In God We Trust” plates is one of only a few states who ban vanity plates with a religious message (see 140 IAC 2-5-2). It’s a relatively new policy, so there are many cars with religious vanity plates that were issues prior to the restriction that are still permissible. (A plate that does not meet the new standards will be revoked only is there are a substantial number of complaints about it, according to 140 IAC 2-5-3.) The case currently in the news concerns a woman who has sported a religious plate for years. However, this year she missed the deadline to renew the plate, and took action when the BMV declined to reissue it to her. It looks like she is going to get her plate. If you would like to know more, Indianapolis Star reporter Jon Murray has been following the story closely. Look at his recent stories here, here, and here.

Ever Wonder About Your Future?

Well you’re not alone. Richard Susskind does too. Susskind is a ‘legal futurist’ who writes about the future of the legal profession, particularly in light of technological advances. Susskind lives in England, and many of his observations are grounded in the legal world of the UK, but he talks about the profession everywhere. His most recent book, The End of Lawyers? (which is a sequel to his much read The Future of Law) is set to hit the bookstands next month. In the meantime, if you would like a taste, the Am Law Daily has published an interview with him in two parts—here and here.

Thirty Years After Jonestown

Indiana University has educated many remarkable people in its time. There are, however, as with any big school one or two alumni we are less than proud of. One of those for IU is Jim Jones, the leader of the infamous Jonestown massacre, which occurred thirty years ago today. A dark period in our history, you might want to take a look at the remembrance of reporter and survivor Tim Reiterman, which ran in the Herald-Times yesterday ($).

Crime in the U.S.

The FBI fairly recently released the 2007 edition of statistics on Hate Crime (thanks to the Law Librarian Blog for reminding us). This is not only an interesting read in and of itself, but it’s also a reminder that the FBI website for crime reports is an excellent resource in general for anyone interested in criminal law. The site contains year by year statistics in US crime, and also many more specific studies, from reporting crime in schools and colleges to law enforcement officials killed and assaulted in the line of duty. Take a look!

Lawyers and the Financial Crisis

The financial crisis is affecting even lawyers. Usually when a large company goes bankrupt more work is generated for corporate lawyers, but in the current economic climate even that seems to have slowed to a crawl. According to a recent New York Times article on the subject people are cautious about discretionary litigation. And, as the article points out, one round of layoffs in a law firm can start a downward spiral—potential new hires will be wary of a firm with a reputation for laying off associates. With fewer jobs and internships available, law students are affected as well.

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