The new academic year brings with it a chance for students and faculty to hear from experts on the most pressing issues of the day, and fall 2009 is no exception.
As I type this, I’m sitting up on the third floor, in the Moot Court cubicle, taking a break from researching an 8th Amendment argument for the Nationals Competition. It is raining cats and dogs outside, which I don’t mind, since I’m relegated to spending this weekend tethered to 5 pounds of westlaw printouts. The wind is howling, the timer on the motion sensor lights keeps going off, and I’m trying to figure out where the evolving standards of decency in American punishment jurisprudence has left us.
From the ABA Journal’s website is a recent story about Florida U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Presnell who criticized attorney David Glasser’s motion for dismissal as “riddled with unprofessional grammatical and typographical errors that nearly render the entire motion incomprehensible.”
The hectic life of a law dean leaves little time for scholarly reflection. Nevertheless, when I was asked to participate in a First Amendment workshop sponsored by the Southeast Association of Law Schools this summer, I agreed because for some time I have been interested in how the law adapts to changes in how news is disseminated. (I wrote an essay on the “24-hour news cycle” that appeared in a symposium on the impact of technology on Media Law while I was still on the faculty at Wake Forest:
One of the most pressing social justice issues in the United States is the fate of the millions of people who are swept up by the immigration system. And while the issue of undocumented workers is typically associated with states that share a border with Mexico, the burgeoning immigrant population in Southeastern New England has raised similar concerns in our area.
During the academic year, all students receive a weekly email from the Associate Law Librarian Lucinda Harrison-Cox containing highlights from BNA’s U.S. Law Week database. Updated weekly, BNA’s U.S. Law Week is the premier database for news about recently decided federal and state cases and activities of the federal agencies. Also included within the database is legal news about the President and the U.S. Congress.
In partnership with the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program, the RWU Marine Affairs Institute hires law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows to conduct legal research and analysis for government agencies, industry and non-profit organizations like local governments. Fellows work on timely legal issues, honing their legal research and writing skills while acquiring hands-on application of classroom knowledge.
As you use LexisNexis and Westlaw for your legal research, the Law Library staff encourages you to reduce the amount of paper you print from the LexisNexis and the Westlaw printers located in the Law Library’s Print Center.
For starters, consider using the double-sided LexisNexis printer (label # 710305) or the double-sided Westlaw printer (label #S5443).
Both LexisNexis and Westlaw enable you to print a cite list of your research results or restrict the portions (also referred to as “fields”) of the document(s) to view which in turn will limit what you print.
I’m trying to plan a party at my house, just an informal gathering of some friends, some food, some wine, and delightful conversation. But when I got out my day planner, lo and behold, once again my weekends are chock full from here until November. I don’t really know how it happens. One week my date book is full of vast, open expanses of white paper, the next week, I have to double book things. In the next 6 weeks, I’m going to take a trip to Iceland and the UK, head to Washington, D.C.
As you may remember from a previous blog (“Experiential Learning,” June 23, 2009), twenty-eight RWU Law students were awarded Feinstein Institute Summer Stipends (ranging from $2500 to $3500) to enable them to work in the public sector, and eight more received grants from the Equal Justice Works Summer Corps. I am confident that they all had great experiences, i