Sent in an email to all current law faculty on December 13, 2019.
This holiday issue is about the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research or “FRASER.” FRASER is a free public database from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. FRASER holds a digital library of U.S. economic, financial, and banking history—particularly the history of the Federal Reserve System.
FRASER collects raw economic data from the Federal Reserve plus aggregated material from other outside sources. It includes job and salary data, economic reports, monetary policy documents, manufacturing statistics, historical sources, and personal papers. FRASER can be searched in a number of ways, such as for data, for federal reserve material, or for archival material.
Sent in an email to all current law students on November 26, 2019.
The Law School is taking the following steps to regulate undergraduate and public use of the Law School building during final exams (Sunday, December 1st to Friday, December 13th):
Restricting access to non-law visitors
As a part of the USC campus, the building is open to the public until 9pm, but we will be taking the following steps to restrict access:
The Student Commons will be accessible only to USC School of Law students. Remember to have your Carolina Card on you, as you’ll need it to enter the Commons. This will be in effect 24/7 during the exam period.
Classrooms will lock 30 minutes after the final exam of the day. After they lock, only law students will be able to enter using their Carolina Card.
The building doors lock at the following times:
Senate Street: 9:00 PM
Gervais Street: 6:00 PM
Remember! The doors to the building lock to ensure that you have a safe and reliably quiet place to study. Please do not prop open doors or allow anyone that you do not recognize to access a locked part of the building.
Signage will be posted on all group study rooms stating that they are for the sole use of law students during final exams.
If you’d like to book a room, please do so at libcal.law.sc.edu. Law library staff scrutinize each and every booking request submitted to ensure that policies are being followed and that only those requests submitted by law students are approved.
Signage will be displayed outside of the library outlining our Code of Conduct and expectations for all users.
This will also be displayed on the digital displays visible throughout the building. Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct, and do not hesitate to report any infractions or concerns to law school staff.
Please report any disruptive behavior as soon as possible. If you are in the library and would like to make a noise complaint, simply visit the library website where you’ll find the option to report a noise issue.
Please be aware that outside of M-F 8am-5pm, staffing is limited, and library staff will not be able to physically respond to issues outside of the library.
If you encounter an issue that requires immediate attention, please do not hesitate to call the USC Police non-emergency line at 803-777-4215. For emergencies, call 803-777-9111.
Remember, we can’t enforce these expectations and policies without your help!
Current events have spotlighted several individuals in the United States Foreign Service.
Law students may want more background on the Foreign Service, and they may be curious about whether a law degree could be one step on a path toward a foreign service career. As always, the law library has resources.
Background on the Foreign Service
American Diplomacy is a collection of essays by scholars and diplomats examining what diplomacy is and is not able to do, particularly focused on the Obama era.
The third edition of Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the US Foreign Service, dated 2017, is co-authored by Harry W. Kopp and John K. Naland. These former foreign service officers “describe the five career tracks—consular, political, economic, management, and public diplomacy—through their own experience and through interviews with more than one hundred current and former foreign service officials.” -Georgetown University Press
Careers in International Affairs has a broader focus than Career Diplomacy. Editors Cressey, Helmer, and Steffenson cover government employment with the foreign service as well as careers with multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, and more.
To access the full text of any of the above e-books, click the link that says “Connect to: USC All Libraries from EBSCOhost,” then enter your USC Network ID and password.
When your law librarians aren’t in the LRAW classroom, we aren’t idle. Here are just a few of the projects we have been working on.
Honoring Ida Salley Reamer
In 1922, Ida Salley Reamer graduated first in her class at UofSC School of Law. Around the time of her law school graduation, she was a founding member of a local chapter of the League of Women Voters and the legislative chair of the state League.
Professor Rebekah Maxwell organized a temporary public display in the Coleman Karesh Reading Room on October 17, 2019, unveiling Mrs. Reamer’s law school diploma and her license to practice law . These documents were donated by Mrs. Reamer’s granddaughter, Mrs. Cornelia Edgar, and Professor Maxwell has now secured their permanent place in the library’s Legal History Room.
Preparing for a Catalog Changeover
The law library is already part of a consortium called PASCAL, which allows our law students and law faculty to borrow physical books and digital resources from numerous other college and university libraries in South Carolina. Law library users can already find the titles available through PASCAL in the law library’s online catalog and can select physical books from other libraries to be delivered to them at the law library for free.
Our catalog is scheduled to shift to the Alma platform in June 2020, which will allow us to deepen our collaboration with PASCAL. Our librarians are busily learning as much as possible about the technical capabilities of the new platform in order to create a seamless transition for law library users and continue to make the most of the tremendous resource-sharing power of PASCAL.
One way to clean up your inbox is to reduce your bulk email, such as newsletters and other recurring emails. Commercial email senders are required by law to give you a way to unsubscribe. 15 U.S.C. §7704(3)(a)(i). Sometimes email recipients benefit from more granular tools as well.
In Gmail, you don’t have to look through a whole message to find the unsubscribe link buried in it. Gmail includes the “unsubscribe” link up top, next to the sender’s address. How to block or unsubscribe in Gmail.
In Outlook, you can create a rule that automatically deletes email from particular senders. Alternatively, you may want to read certain newsletters at your leisure, but you don’t want them cluttering your inbox in the meantime. In that case, you can create a rule that sends those newsletters directly to a particular folder, not to the inbox. How to manage email with rules in Outlook.
Other Services and Confidentiality
Alternatively, various services are available that will let you unsubscribe from each commercial sender that you don’t want to receive email from, or view all your newsletters that you want to review at your leisure, in one place.
Be aware that, according to the New York Times, these services may locate data in your email about your purchasing habits, package that data, and sell it back to the companies you’re unsubscribing from, or their competitors.
For email accounts that are used for client communications, analyze whether it’s possible to meet a lawyer’s obligation of confidentiality while allowing an outside service to access the contents of the email account.
We asked Dean Wilcox how law students should use study aids, and he jokingly said, “Stack them up. They give you confidence.”
He is lightheartedly making a serious point. Simply having study aids does not boost results. In order to benefit from a study aid, you have to put significant time and effort into using it effectively.
Law students know that Google is usually not the most robust method of finding legal answers.
When thorough, accurate research is crucial, law students rely on the specialized online databases provided through the law library.
Likewise, medical students aren’t relying on Google or WebMD. They use their own specialized databases through the medical library.
You Can Use Medical Databases
Did you know that many of the medical library’s high-quality online databases are accessible even if you’re not affiliated with the School of Medicine?
Anyone can use these medical databases from any hardwired computer on the University of South Carolina campus, including the computers in the law library.
If you are using your own computer or mobile device, you will need a UofSC Network ID and password.
When Legal Researchers Might Use Medical Databases
Here are a few example scenarios in which legal researchers might benefit from medical library resources.
Health Law and Policy
When doing legal research that analyzes healthcare-related laws or regulations from a policy perspective, medical resources may provide relevant statistics, as well as important insights from healthcare practitioners.
In medical malpractice cases where the standard of care is at issue, the medical library’s resources may provide context and grounding for expert testimony.
A medical treatise alone is not enough to establish what the standard of care is in specific circumstances; expert testimony is needed. Botehlo v. Bycura, 282 S.C. 578, 584, 320 S.E.2d 59, 63 (Ct. App. 1984).
However, an expert must do more than testify that the doctor deviated from the expert’s “personal standard of care;” the expert must testify that the doctor fell short of “the generally accepted standard of care.” Guinan v. Tenet Healthsystems of Hilton Head, Inc., 383 S.C. 48, 57, 677 S.E.2d 32, 38 (Ct. App. 2009).
The facts of some legal cases hinge on a physical injury.
Facts such as where on the body the injury occurred, how that body part is supposed to function, and how an injured person could be affected, may be crucial facts for a lawyer to understand in order to form a case strategy. They may also be critical facts for the judge and/or jury to understand in order to reach a certain result.
Medical library resources on anatomy may be helpful. After learning the correct medical terminology to refer to a body part or type of injury, it may be helpful to keyword-search medical databases such as AccessMedicine or ClinicalKey.
There Is No Substitute
To be clear, medical library resources are not a substitute for medical advice or medical care.
However, medical library resources are a significant step up from unvetted information found online.
The author of this blog post, Eve Ross, thanks Laura Kane of the medical library for her assistance in navigating medical library resources.
Q: What do malware, big fish, and law school gatherings have in common?
Malware: Wolters Kluwer / CCH Outage
Customers of Wolters Kluwer (WK) have been notified that malware was discovered on the WK network. The law library subscribes to more than 800 searchable databases through WK, primarily in the area of tax law, and has experienced an outage in this service.
According to an email sent by WK and received by the law library this morning, WK is “in the process of scanning, testing, and restoring each service and application. . . . In short, the service interruptions you have experienced are primarily the result of [WK’s] aggressive, precautionary efforts to ensure the safety of your data. This is why at this time [WK is] confident that [they] see no indication of data loss or other effects, nor any potential risk to [their] customers’ data.”
Big Fish: Aaron Glenn Publishes Phishing Update for SC Lawyers
Reference librarian Aaron Glenn has written a guest “Bar Bytes” column on page 14 in the May 2019 issue of South Carolina Lawyer magazine, entitled Phishing Update – “A Whale of a Tale.” The article’s goal is to enable lawyers and all employees of law offices to spot email messages that are designed to “trick recipients into revealing secrets and clicking on links or attached files that contain malware.”
The article is available free online. Also, the law library has several hard copies of the magazine near the circulation desk and at tables on the 3rd floor.
In the article, Professor Glenn encourages readers to explore the information and resources on the UofSC Law Library’s cybersecurity guide. This research guide provides curated links to recent books, articles, and more, to suit the needs of practicing lawyers or of academic legal researchers who recognize the need to learn more about cybersecurity.
Law School Gatherings: UofSCLaw Cybersecurity Institute
Highlights of South Carolina Law’s first Cybersecurity Institute appear in the newsletter Cyberinsecurity News. The first Institute was held April 4, 2019 at the School of Law in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The write-up concludes with an assurance that South Carolina Law has already begun planning for the 2020 Cybersecurity Institute, which will again provide helpful, updated insights from government and private security experts.
Tech Talks are 5-minutes-or-less quick demonstrations of tips and tricks that law students can use both now, and in practice.
The purpose of the Pop-Up Tech Talks is to provide the most relevant tech skills law students need, in as little time as possible.
Don’t Have Time?
There is no need to set aside a full hour or miss other great lunch-hour presentations in order to get the information from a Tech Talk. You can glean quick tips and tricks if you stop by a Tech Talk for just a minute or two.
If you don’t have even one minute, it takes no time at all to grab a handout and keep walking to your destination. You can wait to read the handout until a more convenient time. That’s why every Tech Talk takes place in a high-foot-traffic area, and includes a hard copy handout.
In 2018-19, the University of South Carolina Law Library took the lead in organizing a Pop-Up Tech Talks series at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
The format was adapted from AJ Blechner’s and Heather Joy’s “Lightning Lessons,” but the topics were expanded beyond legal research to include contributors from academic technology, career services, legal writing, and pro bono.
Gary Moore of Academic Technology gave the first Tech Talk in Fall 2018, entitled “Backing Up Your Computer.” In Spring 2019, 15 more tech talks were given by eight different contributors, some in the Student Commons and some in the Perrin Family Lobby.