Monthly Archives: November 2011

Helpful Exam Time Study Tools and Services from the Law Library

Exam time is here so we would like to remind you about the following helpful study tools and services the Law Library staff has produced to assist you in preparing for exams.

Extended Hours
The Law Library will be open the following extended hours during exams.

Friday, December 2nd and December 9th           7:00 a.m. – Midnight
Saturday, December 3 and December 10             8:00 a.m. – Midnight

Study Rooms
The law library has group study rooms available for the exclusive use of Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students, faculty, and law alumni studying for the state bar exam. During exam periods 3 to 4 person groups may reserve a room for a maximum of six hours per day and 5 to 6 person groups can reserve a room for a maximum of eight hours per day. You may reserve rooms up to one week in advance. Reserved rooms will be held for 15 minutes. Please stop by the Law Library Circulation desk to reserve a room or use our online study room reservation system.

Studying Late?
Don’t forget about the All Night Study Room. Entrance to the room, located on the northwest corner of the building, is by a code that is issued to individual students at the circulation desk. Please apply in person for the code or use our online study room reservation system. The All Night Study Room is intended for individual study in a quiet atmosphere. It is not intended for group study and does not provide access to the rest of the building.

Law School Past Exams
Many faculty members make their past exams available to students as a teaching aid. In an effort to provide students with the broadest possible access to past exams, the Law Library has placed them online. You may access them from the Law Library’s home page.

Study Skills Collection
It is easy for you to find books that will help you study for exams. The Law Library staff has created a Study Skills Collection. Located in the Reserve Reading room on the first floor of the Law Library, the collection brings together an array of study aids, legal research and writing texts, exam and bar exam materials. You may check books out for two weeks.

Good luck on your exams from the Law Library staff.

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 11

This week we are featuring a guide to writing research papers.

The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers
By Bruce Ballenger
Law Study Skills Collection  LB2369 .B246 2012

The Curious Researcher is a guide to writing research papers that focuses on helping writers make the research and writing process a rewarding one.  The text encourages you to find ways to infuse your academic writing with your own voice and make it lively; the author believes that formal research papers do not have to be dry and boring.  Thus, although you may only have two weeks to finish up that seminar paper, this book can help make your work more enjoyable and fulfilling.  It offers guidance for every step of the research paper endeavor, from preliminary researching to editing a final draft.  A five week guide is provided to help focus your work and overcome procrastination.  There are also many useful writing illustrations throughout the text, from professionals as well as students, which provide examples of dynamic academic writing.

Good luck with those papers!

Law Library Annual Donation Drive for Pets

Since so many of us at the Law School enjoy the company of our furry friends we thought it might be nice to help animals less fortunate than our own pets with a donation drive for the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA.    

Founded in 1971, the Arizona Animal Welfare League     and SPCA is Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. Their facilities provide a temporary home for nearly 2,000 dogs and cats every year. Their mission is to provide excellent care, protection and loving compassion for the life of the animals and to take a   leadership role in promoting humane values for the benefit of all animals and people. They are supported entirely by private funding.

A box to collect donations is located at the Circulation desk in the Law Library and there is also box located in the Law School near the information desk. Below is a list of items you may wish to donate:

  • Canned dog food
  • Canned cat food
  • Peanut butter
  • Cat litter
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Cat trees/towers

To see a list of items the Arizona Animal Welfare League especially needs, please click below. 

Arizona Animal Welfare League Wishlist

You can also make an online donation at the following web site: Online Donations

The drive starts today and will end on December 31st.

Thank you for your generosity in supporting our furry friends & Happy Holidays from the Law Library staff.

Thanksgiving: One Day’s Journey to Becoming a Federal Holiday

We know that the tradition of Thanksgiving has been celebrated since colonial days. But do you know how it became a Federal Holiday?
The first post-nationhood  proclamation on record was made by George Washington on October 3, 1789. This marked the first time that Thanksgiving was officially recognized by the U.S. Government.
After that, Thanksgiving was proclaimed by presidents sporadically until Abraham Lincoln took office; since then it has been an annual affair. Lincoln proclaimed it in 1861, and after that the holiday was observed annually on the final Thursday in November.
In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt, proclaimed Thanksgiving a week earlier, in an effort to kick start the holiday shopping season and give the country, which was in the midst of the Great Depression, an economic a boost.

Some states disagreed with this decision and decided to stick with celebrating Thanksgiving on the final Thursday, Nov. 30; while others observed the Nov. 23 celebration, which became  known colloquially as “Franksgiving.” 

To end any confusion caused by Thanksgiving presidential proclaimations, Congress passed a joint resolution on October 6, 1941, that Thanksgiving would be observed on the fourth Thursday of November. Roosevelt signed the bill into law on December 25, 1941, thereby making Thanksgiving a matter of federal law.

You can learn more about Thanksgiving Day’s political journey from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Library of Congress Thanksgiving Timeline.






If You Like Cranberry Sauce, Thank a Lawyer

This post if from the Cleveland-Marshshall College of Law Library blog.  Hat tip to Tom Hurray for some interesting Thanksgiving trivia.  Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Did you know that cranberry sauce was invented by a lawyer? In 1912, Marcus Urann, a cranberry grower and lawyer, developed a recipe for jellied cranberry sauce that could be preserved in tin cans. He did so because he did not like to see all the extra cranberries go to waste after the holiday season was over. He later coined the phrase “ocean spray”, and co-founded the company of the same name. Since he was also such an expert promoter and producer, he was dubbed the “Cranberry King”. Click here to read a short history of Ocean Spray, from the Encyclopedia of Consumer brands.  As you enjoy your cranberry sauce out of a can this Thanksgiving, or as you drink a refreshing cranberry juice cocktail, be thankful to a lawyer for making such a lasting contribution to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 10

As many students have memos or research papers due in the coming weeks, this installment of the new book series focuses on a text meant to help you elevate the appearance of your writing.

Typography for Lawyers
By Matthew Butterick
Law Treatises Z246 .B98 2010

Typog­ra­phy is the visual com­po­nent of the writ­ten word. In Typography for Lawyers, Matthew Butterick explains that typog­ra­phy is important because it helps con­serve the most valu­able resource you have as a writer — reader atten­tion. An ugly document does not entice a reader to continue through it. Butterick clearly lays out in ensuing chapters how you can make your legal writing stronger by utilizing typography, with the tools you already have. He addresses type composition, text formatting, line length, point size, font choice, headings, and page layout. He also provides a number of sample documents for examples of good and bad typography.

Butterick’s book will help you make your writing stand out from that of your classmates. After following Butterick’s guidelines, your memo or research paper will be more professional looking and aesthetically pleasing. Be sure to also check out, the companion website to this book.

Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Redistricting Chair

The Arizona Supreme Court has reinstated Colleen Mathis, the chairwoman of the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), who Governor Jan Brewer had impeached earlier this month for “gross misconduct in office.”

Yesterday the Court heard arguments from the IRC’s attorneys challenging Mathis’ removal, and afterward determined that the Governor had failed to demonstrate the “substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or inability to discharge the duties of office” required by the Arizona Constitution to remove a public official from office.  Read the Court’s order for Mathis’ reinstatement here.

In a statement, Brewer said, “With its reinstatement of the IRC Chairwoman, the Supreme Court has averted its eyes from the Commission’s misdeeds. The Chairwoman’s actions to meet in secret, arrange critical votes in advance of meetings and twist the words and spirit of the Constitution have been forgiven – if not endorsed outright.”  She called the ruling “misguided.”

Staying Motivated Through Final Exams

There are 26 long days between today and the last day of exams.  To help you get through them, the Law School Academic Support Blog has compiled some steps you can take in the weeks leading up to exams to keep yourself motivated:

  • Do all of your reading for the last week of classes during Thanksgiving break, and then just review before each class for about 30 minutes to refresh your memory.  Not having to read for those last few classes will give you extra exam review time.
  • For each class, make a list of topics and subtopics you need to learn before the exam.   The list will seem long, but subtopics can be covered in short amounts of time, and crossing things off a list always feels good.
  • Read each outline cover to cover every week until exams.  This will help you keep info fresh no matter how long ago you made your outline or did any intense subject review, and something is guaranteed to stick with you even during the most stressful of tests.
  • Take strategic study breaks.  Sprinkle 5-minute breaks into your 3-4 hour study sessions.  After longer sessions, take a break to eat a meal, spend time with your kids and/or significant other, or exercise.  Use the breaks as a reward for sticking with your task until completion.
  • Surround yourself with encouragers.  Stay away from your overly stressed classmates, find a study group with an upbeat outlook, and regularly check-in with friends and family who will cheer you on.
  • Plan fun events for winter break.  Take a day trip (Sedona is lovely), have a picnic (and revel in the fact Arizona is really the only place can you enjoy a picnic in January), go to the movies, or finally hike Camelback (the view at the top is worth the trek).  Having things to look forward to makes the hard work more bearable, and provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

Penn State Abuse Scandal a Catalyst for Change

Pennsylvania’s nickname is the “Keystone State,” and it appears to be living up to that name with the legal hullabaloo that has followed the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Both federal and state laws are under scrutiny, and lawmakers are calling for reform to both.

Federal law provides a framework for abuse reporting, but state laws are all different.  One recent article called Pennsylvania sex laws “the worst” in the country. Pennsylvania lawmakers (and others) are calling for reform to state laws. 

A key issue likely to be debated in state legislatures is whether reports should go straight to police, and whether new laws are needed to shore up vague guidelines and polices about child safety on campus.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett …said that within the next few weeks, state lawmakers would introduce bills to explicitly outline educators’ responsibilities if they witness or suspect abuse.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see if a bill was passed … between now and the end of this year,” Corbett told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Another issue under examination is the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for sexual offenses (18 Pa.C.S.A. 3101 et seq ) in civil (42 Pa.C.S.A. 5533(b)(2) ) and criminal (42 Pa.C.S.A. 5552(b)(1) ) suits.

The Penn State case is pressing other states to tighten abuse laws as well. In New York, legislators are about to introduce the College Coaches and Professionals Reporting Act which will require coaches, administrators and all other education employees to report abuse. The scandal has spurred review of the state laws in Connecticut, Iowa, and others.   

On the federal side of things, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced a Bill to Strengthen Child Protection Laws yesterday:

The Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid (Speak Up) Act of 2011 [S. 1877] would require all states to pass and enforce a law requiring all adults to report instances of known or suspected child abuse in order for states to receive funding through the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the federal statute focused on child abuse and neglect prevention and response. 

If you’re interested in seeing what happens with this (or any other) bill, you can easily track legislation through or