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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

Jumpstart Returns!

The extremely popular Jumpstart research program returns to the Law Library. Jumpstart sessions will be available Monday through Thursday, April 5th-April 15th. The program, designed by the Reference librarians, will again work towards preparing law students for summer clerkships and the first year of practice. In addition to group sessions on basic legal research skills, there will also be individual sessions dealing specifically with the Internet and Web applications. 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. During individual electronic research sessions, Peter Hook, the Computer Services Librarian, will discuss applications and uses of these extraordinary computer sources in the law office and on the job. The Internet/Web sessions will include hands-on exploration of the various Web sources.

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.

U.K. Treaties Online

The Treaty Section of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recently launched a database of information on more than 14,000 treaties relating to the U.K.  The database is called UK Treaties Online.  Coverage is from 1835 to the present, and information provided for each treaty includes treaty type, date of adoption, depositary, date of entry into force, publication reference, and participant status.  All of these data points are also searchable in the database, as are country-of-opposite party, date and place of signature, treaty type, and boolean combinations of title words.  The records allow one to answer questions such as the following: does the U.K. have an extradition treaty with India?; are bats protected by treaty, and if so, how many country parties are there?; what countries does the U.K. have a prisoner transfer agreements with?; what are the correct titles for the “Aarhus Protocols” on climate change?  The database is updated weekly, although the F.C.O. does not guarantee that new information is added within a definite timescale, and for multilateral treaties suggests that researchers contact depositaries concerned for up-to-date information on paraticipant status.  The F.C.O. also warns that information for early 19th century treaties may not be complete. Full Story »

Who Writes the Bills?

Who writes bills in the U.S. Congress?

GovTrack Insider provides this insight into the legislative process.

Health Care Documents Available

The Health Care Reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives is available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Direct links to the electronic versions of the legislation, debate, and vote are available from the GPO press release.