Yearly Archives: 2017

Highlights: 2017 ABA Journal Web 100

Click the image to access the 2017 Web 100 at

As recently as last year, ABA Journal used to list the top 100 law-related blogs (also known as blawgs). Now they list 50 blogs, 25 podcasts, and 25 Twitter accounts in the ABA Journal Web 100.

We’ve selected a few of this year’s Web 100 that may be of particular interest to USC School of Law students. We include a brief note as to why students might be interested, and links to recent posts. Check out our picks from 2016, too.


Education Law Prof Blog

Professor Derek Black is an editor.

Evidence Prof Blog

Dean Colin Miller is an editor.

Financial Panther

A millennial lawyer shares his techniques, including side hustles, for paying off significant law school loans in less than 3 years.

The Last Gen-X American

A lawyer and data scientist (Matt Leichter) analyzes data on law student debt, in a blog formerly known as the Law School Tuition Bubble.


Digital Edge

Sharon Nelson (a recent speaker in the Legal IT Seminar series) and Jim Calloway talk about how lawyers can best use new technology.

Law School Toolbox

This podcast and its accompanying blog provide advice on law school, bar exams, and starting out in the legal profession. The team is Lee Burgess and Alison Monaghan.


Dean Colin Miller is one of three team members. First, Undisclosed looked into State v. Adnan Syed, going beyond what was covered in the Serial podcast. Later episodes delve into details of other cases.

Thanks to ABA Journal for spotlighting so much great material. Browse the complete Web 100 here.

Book Your Study Room

Our study room reservation calendars are starting to look festive.

small group study room reservations as of 1:30 pm, 11/30/17

If you’re going to need a study room, book now to avoid disappointment.

How do I reserve a study room?

Go to Alternatively, go to the law library’s website, click on Quick Links, then click Reserve a Room.

Click on Large Group Study Rooms or Small Group Study Rooms. To book small group study rooms, there must be a minimum of 2 law students. To book large group study rooms, there must be a minimum of 3 law students.

Click the calendar date for your reservation.

Select the room you want. Click the (i) next to a room number to see a photo of the room and details of its capacity.

Study rooms inside the library are marked “– Library,” require that drinks are in spillproof containers and that no food is brought in, and are not available after the library closes (typically 11 pm or midnight during exams). For any study room, click on consecutive green half-hour slots, up to 3 hours per group per day maximum.

From there, follow the prompts to read our policies, submit names and emails of those reserving the room, and receive confirmation of the booking via email.

Can I just take the first room available, without reserving?

You are welcome to use an unoccupied study room without a reservation. However, if someone else has reserved it, you will have to leave. The odds of someone else having reserved any particular study room are higher this time of year, due to exams.

Can I leave my stuff in a study room for just a minute?

We ask that you not leave items unattended in a study room, due to the risk that items may become lost or stolen. Remember the law library is open to the public daily until 9 pm during exams. At a minimum, unattended or forgotten items may create a distraction for the next group using the room.

Could you please post your official, complete study-room policies as a block of fine print I could read? (I’m studying to become a lawyer.)
  1. Our group study rooms may be reserved only by USC School of Law students, staff, and faculty. Exceptions may be made for educational purposes on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by library administration.
  2. Bookings must be approved by Law Library circulation staff to ensure that all listed users are eligible to reserve the room. If your booking is made during the library’s operating hours, please allow for up to one hour for a response. Any bookings made when the library is closed will receive a response when the library opens.
  3. If you are unable to use the study room at your scheduled time, please be sure to cancel it at least 30 minutes before your booking starts, if possible. If a room that has an approved booking goes unoccupied after 30 minutes, that booking will be canceled.
  4. You may reserve the room for three hours per day per group. Reservations must be for consecutive time slots or your reservation may be canceled i.e. you may not request every other 30 minute time slot over a six-hour span.
  5. If no one has reserved the room after your time allotment, you may stay past the end of your booked time slot. If you decide to extend your booked time while you’re in the room, please use this website to do so.
  6. If there is any damage to the room, report it to the Law Library circulation desk immediately.  Failure to do so may result in you being charged for the damage.
  7. If you have any questions about your booking, please speak to a staff member at the Law Library circulation desk, but please know that Law Library staff will not be responsible for mediating any conflicts between parties regarding bookings.
  8. All rooms should be equipped with dry erase materials. If you need replacements, please see the Law Library circulation desk.
  9. Please direct any questions or concerns about study room technology to IT at
  10. These rooms do not lock, so please do not leave possessions unattended. The USC School of Law is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Law Library Cornucopia

This is the law library’s first Thanksgiving in our 1525 Senate Street location. Here are a few things for which law library faculty and staff are thankful—some that are specific to our new space, and some that have remained constant.

“I am thankful for electronic compact shelving which allowed us to provide numerous group study rooms and the beautiful Coleman Karesh Reading Room by efficiently using library space.” Duncan Alford

“The resource I am most grateful for is the library staff itself and their supportive, helpful, can-do attitudes.” Dan Brackmann

“I’m thankful for the beautiful reading room on the second floor of the law library. I just love walking out of my office in the Librarian Suite on the third floor and looking down on the students studying in such a grand room.” Terrye Conroy

“I am thankful for the great relationships we have with other USC Libraries as well as libraries across the country—whether sharing ideas or sharing materials through interlibrary loan. It is wonderful to know that we can benefit from other collections even as we share our own—and that a patron is not left empty-handed!” Aaron Glenn

“The broken record in me has to express my thanks for the Coleman Karesh Reading Room. While it’s exciting to see the changes that are happening in libraries the world over that challenge your preconceived notions of what a library is, it’s comforting to have familiar features that make you say ‘phew—this is still that kind of library.’

I also have to express my gratitude for the contributions of our student employees. Whether they’re helping patrons find resources, answering phones, shelf-reading, shifting, shushing, or on the front lines of the fight for a food-free library, they certainly help to make this place tick!” Andy Kretschmar

“I’m thankful for Hein Online. Not only is it a beautiful archive (journals going all the way back to Vol. 1!), it offers PDFs of everything it contains, so original pagination is preserved. Thanks to Hein Online, I’ll never have to touch another moldy, rotting Congressional Record again! Happy day!” Rebekah Maxwell

“I am grateful for the new location in which our new building is situated and the resultant feeling of spaciousness both inside and outside.” Amy Persons

“I’m grateful for the South Carolina Code of Laws Annotated in print. It’s what we can offer our public patrons who don’t have the privilege of Westlaw or Lexis passwords. It does not require a comfort level with computers; the annotations lead the reader to cases that interpret the statutes; and it’s free. Sometimes we take that for granted, but it’s powerful stuff.” Eve Ross

Happy Thanksgiving to all! (Our hours over Thanksgiving weekend.)

Dear @UofSCLawLib

We posted a friendly reminder of our food policy on our Twitter account yesterday.

A faculty member had questions.

Lots of questions. So many questions.

We kept getting called on to answer more hypotheticals.

Good thing we are a library and had done our reading! We were ready!

Bring on the exam questions based on law library food policy. We’ve got this!

Thanks to Professor Stoughton for helping us get the word out about the law library rules:

  1. no food, and
  2. drinks in spillproof containers only.

Things that Go Bump

by guest author Rebekah Maxwell

The Old Hall, Fairies by Moonlight; Spectres & Shades, Brownies and Banshees – by John Anster Fitzgerald, via Wikimedia Commons

Haunted house law is trickier (or treatier?) than you might expect.

For instance, while a broker has no duty to disclose that a house is reputed to be haunted, once an owner has reported hauntings of the property in the public media, she is estopped from denying that the ghosts exist, and a buyer may be able to rescind the contract. Stambovsky v. Ackley, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 (1991).

And yet, a deed obtained through misrepresentation that a house is haunted might be allowed to stand. Souza v. Soares, 22 Haw. 17 (1914).

Also, the fact that you believe a house to be haunted doesn’t give you a pass for vandalizing it. Hayward v. Carraway, 180 So.2d 758 (1965). Ghosts have feelings, too.

Finding a Reported Kardashian Case

Trivia or Treat – Question

Who was the plaintiff in the most recent reported case in which one or more of the Kardashians was/were defendant(s)? (The question refers to the Kardashian family on the TV show, not just anyone with that name.)


Professor Glenn and the prize tote bag

This question was posted on our Facebook page Monday, October 16, and a winner was selected on Friday, October 20. Congratulations to Alicia Moss, winner of the lightweight navy blue canvas and faux-leather tote modeled by Professor Glenn.

Trivia or Treat – Answer

The answer is Kroma Makeup EU, LLC was the plaintiff in the most recent reported case (2017) in which one or more of the Kardashians were defendants. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe were all named as defendants.

Part of the Trivia or Treat challenge had to do with the meaning of a reported case. A reported case appears in a printed reporter series. For example, if a case appears in any of South Carolina Reports (S.C.), West’s South Eastern Reporter, Second Series (S.E.2d), or United States Reports (U.S.), just to name a few reporters, it is a reported case.

Not every case decided by a court is included in the relevant reporter; the court may dictate excluding certain cases, or it may be a decision by the editors at a publishing company such as West. If you’re looking through the hard copy of a reporter on the library’s bookshelves, every case you’ll find in it is, by definition, a reported case. However, online services do their best to provide access to as many cases as they can, whether those cases were reported or not. Therefore, when looking for reported cases only, there is a need to filter online search results by reported status.

Finding the “Trivia or Treat” Answer in Westlaw
  • From the homepage, click Cases, ensure that All State & Federal is selected as the jurisdiction (in the right portion of the search bar), then click Advanced (to the right of the search bar).
  • In the Party Name field, type Kardashian, then click the orange magnifying glass to Search.
  • Change the Sort by dropdown just above the search results from Relevance to Date so the most recent cases are listed first.
  • To the left of the search results, under Reported Status, click the checkbox for Reported cases only.
  • In both of the 2017 cases listed, Kroma Makeup EU, LLC is the plaintiff.
Finding the “Trivia or Treat” Answer in Lexis Advance
  • From the homepage, click Cases, then click Advanced Search (just above the search bar, on the right side).
  • In the Party Name field, type Kardashian, then click the red magnifying glass to Search.
  • Change the Sort by dropdown on the right from Relevance to Date (newest-oldest) so the most recent cases are listed first.
  • To the left of the search results, under Publication Status, click on Reported cases only.
  • In the only 2017 case listed, Kroma Makeup EU, LLC is the plaintiff.

Look for more Trivia or Treat opportunities in the future, to test your legal research skills and win prizes!

In Memoriam: M. Cherif Bassiouni

M. Cherif Bassiouni
Photo: Martial Trezzini/European Pressphoto Agency, via New York Times

M. Cherif Bassiouni, a renowned expert in international criminal law, died September 25.

The New York Times obituary describes him as “a mix of quintessential intellectual, diplomat and human rights activist, as comfortable in the academy as he was investigating and denouncing crimes in conflict zones. He taught at universities, worked for the United Nations and advised governments.” His work was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the creation of the International Criminal Court.

He was the author of 35 books. The law library holds several of them, with gratitude.

Chat and Text with the Law Library

The law library is proud to announce that the same reference services that have long been available by phone, by email, and in person at the reference desk are now also available via online chat on our website, as well as by text to 803-219-2529.

We hope law students will find chat and text to be convenient ways to interact with the law library.

How to Use our Chat

When you see the “Chat now with a reference librarian” indicator on our website, you may click on it to begin a chat.

This message appears on our website when a reference librarian is available for chat.

Then a widget will pop up. Type in the lower portion of the widget to chat, and press Enter to send your message to the librarian. The librarian’s response will appear as part of a conversation with you in the upper portion of the widget. The chat software also allows you to send a file to the librarian, or to email a transcript of the chat to yourself.

This chat widget pops up when you click “Chat now with a reference librarian” to begin a chat.

Hours of Chat Availability

Reference chat is only available during our standard reference hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, on days when the library is open. Because at times the reference librarian may be responding to multiple needs, chat may be temporarily unavailable during reference hours. During busy times and off-hours, online patrons will be advised that email may be the best way to contact us, so that we can reply as soon as we are able. Our email address is

This message appears on our website when no reference librarian is available for chat.

Reporting Noise Issues via Chat

The circulation desk also has an online chat component available through our website for reporting noise issues in the library. The same caveat applies as to the chat function occasionally being unavailable when circulation librarians attend to other duties, and at that point phone reporting is recommended.

When this message appears on our website, circulation staff is available for chat.

When no circulation staff is available for chat, this message appears on our website.

LibraryFest 2017

LibraryFest 2017 is now in the books. Enjoy the photos we’ve posted to Facebook and Instagram. A time-lapse video is below, along with the full text of our librarian superhero descriptions from our librarian superhero poster.

Time-Lapse Video

One hour of LibraryFest, condensed into one minute:

Superhero Aliases

Master of the Universe

Duncan Alford

Mission: to guard cosmic knowledge from the forces of evil


  • laser vision;
  • speed reading;
  • leaping across tall book stacks in a single bound;
  • quantum mechanics;
  • navigating rotating wormholes to travel to far-flung galaxies


Sidekick: Slam, bodyguard of the Master


Arch Nemesis: Lord Voldemort

Agent Scholarly Research, aka Facilities Fighter

Candle Wester

Mission: to provide the utmost in research services to our law faculty—and to defend the law library’s carpet against stains.


  • unearthing impossible-to-find scholarly resources;
  • instantly reporting law library facility issues with deadly accuracy

Sidekick: HeinOnline

Arch Nemesis: The Unsecured Containers

The Gatekeeper

Andrew Kretschmar

Mission: to know where your books are—all day, every day.


  • the power to “renew” life
  • able to scan 50 bpm (books per minute)
  • able to flawlessly parallel park a book truck
  • able to spot a book thief from 10 shelves away
  • able to re-ink a stamp without getting hands dirty

    The Gate

  • able to talk any library into loaning its most valued holdings to our law students

Sidekicks: The Boolean Operators

Arch Nemesis: The All-Seeing BookEye Scanner

Catalog Queen

Alias: Amanda Bullington

Mission: to make the library’s collection easily accessible to all users.


  • adds materials to the library catalog with the speed of a cheetah;
  • evaluates catalog records with the eyes of an eagle;
  • improves catalog records with the determination of a grizzly bear

    Catalog Cat

Sidekick: Catalog Cat

Arch Nemesis: The Disorganizer

Acquisitions Acrobat

Alias: Megan Brown

Mission: to acquire and organize the best resources for students who wish to execute justice.


  • super-organization;
  • scouring the globe for the most exquisite scholarship

    Ripley-Cat, Box Inspector Extraordinaire

Sidekick: Ripley-Cat, Box Inspector Extraordinaire

Arch Nemesis: Ignorance

Favorite Book: Demons, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Phantom Librarian

Dan Brackmann

Mission: to spread the word of USC School of Law faculty scholarship far and wide.


  • arrives in the nick of time;
  • can properly cite a Texas case

Sidekick: Abacus Laptop

Arch Nemeses: Hurricane Harvey and El Severe

Professor LRAW

Terrye Conroy

Mission: to preserve and impart knowledge of legal research to future generations.


  • planning an entire semester in a single bound;
  • calculating grades with laser accuracy

Sidekick: The Citator

The Careless Googler

Arch Nemesis: The Careless Googler

The Rescuer

Rebekah Maxwell

Mission: to locate resources before you even think to need them, and swoop to the aid of anyone lost in the stacks.


  • ninja stealth;
  • super-acute hearing

Sidekick: Lord Percival “Percy” de Leoncoeur

Lord Percival

Barking-Mad Boris

Arch Nemesis: Barking-Mad Boris


Ready Reference

Eve Ross

Mission: to rescue lost researchers from rabbit-holes and cut pristine citation trails for others to follow.


  • formulating rapidfire, targeted search queries;
  • rocketing through cyberspace from jurisdiction to jurisdiction;
  • singlehandedly Shepardizing;
  • bravely leading expeditions backward through time, without fear of microfiche

    The Blue Bookworm

Sidekick: The Blue Bookworm

Et Sequitur

Arch Nemesis: Et Sequitur


Aaron Glenn

Mission: to assist weary researchers and preserve multimedia content for library patrons.


  • super-editing;
  • streaming video at the speed of light;


  • demystifying research resources;
  • organizing digital files with strategic precision

Sidekick: Action-Cam

Arch Nemesis: Server Outages


Superheroes of the Law Library

LibraryFest is Friday, September 22, 12:30-1:30 in the law library.

In keeping with this year’s superhero theme, several of the law librarians took a Buzzfeed quiz to find out which superhero they most resemble.

Results are below, so that if you take the quiz, too, you can find out not only which superhero but also which law librarian you most resemble.

The Buzzfeed quiz told our director, Duncan Alford, he is most like Wolverine.

Megan Brown‘s result was Batman.

Amanda Bullington‘s result was Thor.

Aaron Glenn‘s result was Iron Man.

Our two newest librarians, Andy Kretschmar and Dan Brackmann, were both told by the quiz that they most resemble Black Widow.

Both Eve Ross and Candle Wester were informed by quiz results that they resemble Professor X.

Terrye Conroy‘s result was Superman.

Rebekah Maxwell‘s result was Wonder Woman.

Look up any law librarians you don’t know in the library directory. Let us know which superhero you are by commenting on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or by dropping by LibraryFest this Friday, 12:30-1:30 to tell us in person!