Yearly Archives: 2016

Law Library Construction Progress

The law library is planning to move in May 2017 to its new location at the corner of Gervais and Bull in Columbia.

Here are some glimpses of the progress so far on building the new library:


view of compact shelving being installed on the north side (Gervais Street)


view of compact shelving being installed on the east side (Pickens Street)


view from the law library’s reading room balcony, looking onto the courtyard


view from inside the student commons, to be open to law students 24/7, looking toward Bull Street


the law library’s two-story reading room under construction

All photos courtesy of Duncan Alford.

The ABA’s “Top 100 Blawgs”

The American Bar Association has posted its “Top 100 Blawgs” list for 2016.

Law students with a little more free time than usual over winter break may want to check out the following law-related blogs in particular, since the topics relate to law students, early-career lawyers, or legal career advice. Links to blog home pages and sample blog posts are below.

Associate’s Mind

Birmingham lawyer/blogger Keith Lee who has been in practice for roughly six years, writes about the transition from law school to lawyer, getting that first job, and improving from there.

Before the Bar

This is the official blog of the ABA’s Law Student Division.

Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports

A law professor at the University of Chicago blogs about law schools nationwide. Some posts are deep dives into the inner workings of legal academia, while some are directly of interest to current law students.

The Gen Why Lawyer

Nicole Abboud passed the bar five years ago. She practiced family law, then fashion law, then founded the Gen Why Lawyer podcast.

Law School Café

One law professor with multiple teaching awards (Deborah J. Merritt) and one 27-year-old law graduate who has been named by National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers (Kyle McEntee) moderate a discussion about how law school and the legal profession need to change.

The Lawyer Whisperer

A former lawyer who now works as both a consultant to law firms and a career strategist for lawyers, writes an advice column for lawyers.

Thanks to the ABA for highlighting so many interesting blogs. See all Top 100 Blawgs.

Mindful Coloring and Mindful Reading

Mindful Coloring

At least one study suggests that coloring can help relieve exam-related stress.

From November 21 through December 9, the law library is offering coloring pages (take one and it’s yours) and colored pencils (return them when you’re done) at the circulation desk.

Coloring pages are available in four categories: law, legal research, geometric, and mandalas.

Mindful Reading

E-books on mindfulness are available to law students through USC libraries.

Click on a book cover image below to go to an e-book’s entry in the online library catalog. From that page, look just below the words “Connect to” in the center for the appropriate link to click on. You will need to enter your USC Network ID and password (same as for your email). Then you can access the e-book.

mindful-way-through-stress-book-cover This guide to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) contains vivid stories and everyday examples. In as little as 10 minutes a day over 8 weeks, you’ll be taken step by step through a carefully structured sequence of guided meditations and easy yoga exercises.

Audio tracks for guided meditation are included as part of the e-book.

mindful-way-workbook-book-cover The 8-week program covered in this workbook is built on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which has been tested and proven effective in clinical trials to help overcome depression, anxiety, and stress The authors introduce specific mindfulness practices to try each week, plus reflection questions and tools for tracking progress.

Audio tracks for guided meditation are included as part of the e-book.

mindful-compassion-book-cover In order to fully thrive, we require motivation. Compassion, like anger or aggression, is an extremely powerful motivational force that can bring about real, lasting change. This book shows how mindfulness and compassion can work in harmony to offer a new, effective, and practical approach to overcoming everyday problems.

Book information above is excerpted and adapted from publishers’ descriptions.

See more mindfulness resources available via USC libraries.

Absentee In-Person: Yes, Really.

SC absentee voting rules

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but “absentee in-person” really is what South Carolina calls its version of early voting.

A voter who has any one of the 16 listed reasons for not voting on the scheduled voting day can go in person to their county voter registration and elections office to pick up an absentee ballot, fill it out, and submit their vote ahead of time.

The locations of these offices, as well as additional satellite absentee voting offices that will be open additional hours as November 8 approaches, are on the SC Election Commission’s website.

Sympathy for the Vampires

by guest author Rebekah Maxwell

Bela Lugosi as Dracula

As if being Undead isn’t complicated enough, vampires also seem to suffer from (or cause) a variety of legal problems. Did you know that you can jeopardize your visitation rights for letting vampires babysit your children? Ditto moving in with a vampire. Bass v. Weaver, 101 Ark. App. 367, 278 S.W.3d 127 (2008).

A Michigan carjacker explained his car theft spree as an attempt to “escape from flesh-eating bats and vampires.” People v. Morgan, No. 284986, 2009 WL 1397132 (Mich. App., May 19, 2009). An Arizona defendant testified to stealing an ambulance and running it into a building in order to break a vampire curse. State v. Ward, 2015 WL 1516506, (Ariz. App., April 2, 2015).

A Massachusetts defendant testified to believing that he had been a vampire for years. Com. v. Riva, 18 Mass. App. Ct. 713, 469 N.E.2d 1307 (1984). A judge’s noting on the record that a defendant had been a practicing vampire since the age of 13 does not denote bias that would warrant the judge’s recusal. U.S. v. Lawrence, 88 F. App’x 913 (6th Cir. 2004).

What does this mean for you? Well, for starters, if you come across a despondent vampire this Halloween, be kind. S/he may have had a bad day in court.

Electoral College Knowledge

Congressional Research Service

The Library of Congress offers the Congressional Research Service—hundreds of policy analysts, attorneys and information professionals who provide in-depth analysis on issues facing Congress. Immediately following the 2000 presidential election, there was uncertainty as to which candidate had won Florida’s 25 electoral votes because the popular vote in that state was close, and a recount process was underway. In response to questions about how this could affect the process for officially electing the President, the Congressional Research Service wrote a memo entitled Overview of Electoral College Procedure and the Role of Congress.

Faithless Electors

The popular vote in a presidential election does not directly elect the president. Voting results in the selection of electors who pledge to vote for a particular candidate for president. A faithless elector is one who does not cast the vote as pledged. South Carolina Code Section 7-19-80 provides that it is a crime for an elector from this state to be a faithless elector.

Winner Take All

There are two states—Nebraska and Maine—whose electoral votes are not apportioned according to the winner-take-all system. The Nebraska legislature defeated a bill in April that would have ended the practice of apportioning its electors based on the popular vote in each congressional district. Maine’s law provides for two at-large electors and one elector from each congressional district.

Further Resources

Click here to see resources in the Coleman Karesh Law Library relating to the Electoral College.

Book Cover: After the People VoteBook Cover




Let’s Talk: Justice – Bryan Stevenson and Richland Library

just-mercy-collageAt 6 pm on Thursday, November 17, Bryan Stevenson will speak at The Township Auditorium in Columbia.

Mr. Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer; founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; and a clinical professor at NYU School of Law.

Richland Library invites the public to a series of forums and book groups, and a film screening prior to Mr. Stevenson’s scheduled visit to Columbia.

Mindful Coloring in the Law Library

colored pencils

Students, faculty, and staff of the USC School of Law may access colored pencils and coloring pages at the circulation desk in the law library September 26 through September 30.

Sets of colored pencils may be checked out. Sharing is encouraged. Coloring pages may be selected one at a time and kept.

Studies show that coloring or other artistic activities may reduce anxiety and stress hormones. One study found that coloring for a short time was associated with lower anxiety in students before exams.

A few law classes have midterms, so the coloring pages and colored pencils are available in the law library now (Sept 26-30). And they’ll be back again just before finals.


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