Last week, the Law School’s Digital Repository reached an extremely significant milestone as we crossed the one million mark for full-text downloads of materials archived on the site. Over the last three years, we have been gradually building up the online collection of scholarly articles, historical archives, and federal court opinions available on http://digitalcommons.law.villanova.edu to house over 28,000 electronic documents. Our mission was to create a repository to preserve and disseminate scholarly and historical information about our law school, and these download counts show that we have accomplished that mission with great success! Continue reading
This week, the Villanova University Staff Council recognized one of our law librarians who has made a lasting and extraordinary contribution to the law library and the law school community. Many of you may not be aware that Karen Gause, our Senior Reference Librarian, will be retiring at the end of this academic year after working in the law library for over 25 years. In that time she has filled many roles as a librarian, and helped countless law students and faculty with crucial research during their time here.
In recognition of her dedicated and tireless service, the University Staff Council, which is comprised of representatives from departments throughout Villanova, awarded Karen with the “Villagnome” award, which is given to those “people and departments on campus who have been caught performing exceptional acts for the good of the community.” Those who have had the pleasure to work with Karen during her time here will not be surprised that she has been rewarded for performing “exceptional acts,” as that is certainly her hallmark. Especially in the time she has served as our Interlibrary Loan Librarian, many students have witnessed her resolve to find even the most obscure documents for cite checks and research papers. You can read more about Karen’s award at the University Staff Council Page (click on the “Villagnome” link).
Please join us in congratulating Karen on this well-deserved award. Expect a more detailed post soon celebrating Karen’s retirement.
by Matthew McGovern
2015 graduate Katherine Tohanczyn won the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pursuit of Justice Legal Writing Competition with the paper she wrote for Advanced Legal Research last spring. The Competition’s purpose is to recognize the importance of excellence in legal analysis and writing skills. More information about the Competition is available here.
Katherine’s submission grew out of her interest in public health and vaccine laws. She wanted to research and write about the problem of parents requesting exemptions from school vaccination requirements because they wrongly believed the vaccines caused serious adverse effects such as autism. The opening paragraphs of Katherine’s article are reprinted in the the Winter 2016 issue of The Philadelphia Lawyer. Or, read the full article here:
You Could Be a Winner Too. Check out the Library’s guide to Writing Competitions for Law Students: http://libguides.law.villanova.edu/content.php?pid=658047
This… might require some explanation:
El Deanerino Vicenc Feliu atop his steed in the library with librarians Matt McGovern, Robert Hegadorn, MaryJo Heacock, and Karen Gause
A motorcycle in the library? A coffee can? A heart attack? A white russian? What is going on in the law library these days?
This photo is a submission to the AALL 2016 “Day in the Life” Photo Contest (You can see the growing list of current entries here). Every year law libraries across the country stage and shoot funny, poignant, and beautiful images of librarians and libraries to the contest to be voted on by members of the American Association of Law Libraries. It should be clear that we’re going for the “funny” angle.
But, what’s going on in this photo? Many of you will notice the obvious references to The Big Lebowski, including Assistant Dean Feliu in the classic dude sweater holding a white russian, Professor McGovern’s spot-on Donny impression, Professor Hegadorn mourning his lost friend, dreamy viking Maude, nihilism, and of course the rug tying the reference desk together.
Roy Mersky showing off his cowboy side in the law library
You may also wonder why the director of the library is sitting on top of a motorcycle in this shot, as that is not a reference to the movie. Well, the motorcycle is his (he is an avid rider), and this is actually a subtle reference to a famous photo of the late Roy Mersky, a celebrated law librarian from the University of Texas, depicting him upon a horse at the circulation desk of Tarlton Law Library in Texas. We had a lot of fun staging this shot! Wish Dean Feliu luck when the voting begins in a couple of months!
by Matt McGovern
For anyone considering applying for a summer externship with a federal judge (which all 1Ls and 2Ls should consider!), it can really help to do some research before you write that cover letter. Knowing more about a judge’s career path, history, and even articles he or she has written can give you invaluable information to customize your cover letter and make your application stand out above the rest.
Here are some resources that will help you discover more information:
- Insider’s Guide to the Pennsylvania Judiciary and Courts. Pages 16-32 cover the judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The latest edition is available in the Library reference Collection (near the Reference Desk) at Call No.: KFP508 .A19 .P4 2016.
- Westlaw and Lexis both provide tools with contact information, career history, and in some instances, articles authored by the judges:
- Westlaw’s Profiler tool – Log in to WestlawNext and look for “Profiler” under the “Tools” tab, or just type “Profiler” in the main search box and click on the first drop-down result.
- Lexis’ Litigation Profile Suite – Log in to Lexis Advance and click the arrow in the top left next to “Lexis Advance Research”, then select “Litigation Profile Suite” from the drop-down menu.
- Leadership Directories is another database providing biographical and contact information. Most judges can be found here by entering their names in the main search box.