Resource Review: The (New) Library Catalog

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Recently we, along with a very large chunk of the other colleges and universities in South Carolina, made a major switch in the software that we use to manage and search our library holdings. You may think of it as our “catalog program.” This software includes a lot of new features and quirks, so this issue will be dedicated to highlighting some of them.

screenshot of Advanced Search view of the catalog (image is linked to the page shown)

Things to note include:

  • Always sign-in using your university login credentials and the light blue link in the upper-right corner. Signing-in allows you to request items (including from partner libraries), save searches, and more easily access electronic resources.

 

  • Search filters appear in a column to the left of results. The filter under Availability called “Held by Library” filters to show you only items in our print collection.

 

  • Unless you know the Library of Congress subject heading for your topic, browsing by subject is best done through the “New Search” tab in the top ribbon using keywords. Author and title browsing can be done through the “Browse” tab.

 

  • “UofSC Databases” in the top row of tabs means the databases supplied by the main campus library. Law Library-supplied databases are under “Law Databases.”

 

  • Boolean search operators must be placed in all-caps.

If you have any trouble with the new catalog, please reach out to our reference librarians for assistance. You can reach us at lawref@law.sc.edu, M-F 9AM-5PM.

If you have ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Remotely Prepare for the Bar with UofSC Law Library

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Bar exam season is in full swing, but there’s no need to panic. We miss not hosting studiers in the library because it’s closed, but since South Carolina has not rescheduled its summer dates so far, we’re here online to help you find the perfect remote learning solutions for preparing.

Check out our Bar Prep library guide to start, and if you have any questions about bar prep, Alex Ruskell and the Academic Success office are set up to help you achieve!

  • Practice exams and questions: One way to study for a structured test such as the bar exam is to practice answering in its exact format. Fortunately, troves of old questions (and detailed answers) are available for free on the web. Academic publishers Quimbee, Barbri, Bar Prep Hero, and Kaplan all give you free access to practice questions (check out the Free Practice Questions for the Bar Exam tab in our Study Aids LibGuide). Both the Minnesota State Bar and the National Conference of Bar Examiners have free access to past questions and scored answers as well. Kaplan has a “start small” free access plan with a bar question of the day to ease into your studies.

 

  • Electronic study aids: Along with practice questions, UofSC law students can take advantage of several bigger-picture electronic bar exam study systems. Alex Ruskell of the Academic Success office is instrumental in helping with this. He’s given law students access to The Bar Prep TWEN bar prep web series to walk you through what to expect when taking the exam. And the 2020 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements is now online as a PDF in the same layout as its physical study guide. In addition to its daily bar question, Kaplan gives you free access to 1L and 2L topic study guides for subjects you’d like to review from those years. Our Remote Services guide has all the details on which study guides are available in electronic form.

 

  • Financial help with prep courses: If you’re going into or are already working in public service law, Barbri offers a scholarship for its full bar exam prep package. It’s worth $1,995, and the deadline is June 15 for the summer exam. Read the application’s fine print to see if you qualify.

 

  • Specifics about South Carolina: The Course of Study on SC Law is not a suggestion but a requirement as part of your SC bar exam process. Fortunately, these eleven videos are excellent study aids as well. They discuss the details of how South Carolina law differs from regional or federal law in certain areas. They’re free, available on any computer with internet access, and you can go through them in any order you wish, as long as you correctly answer the three questions at the end of each video. Plus, the South Carolina Courts website has a section dedicated to the state bar and bar exam, which you should keep an eye on in the event that any details change for the July 2020 session.

Resource Review: The Practice

by guest author Dan Brackmann

This month’s issue highlights The Practice. The Practice is a bi-monthly publication from Harvard providing research and commentary on the legal profession. Each issue explores a particular theme related to the practice of law and is produced in a format that aims to be accessible to busy students, faculty, and practitioners.

2020 issues: Lawyers on the Board; Approaching Lawyer Well-Being; Clinical Legal Education

The Practice is not just for practitioners; much of its content pertains to teaching and different areas of scholarly interest.

For example:

You can access the journal using the link in the first paragraph or through the law library’s electronic resources page at: http://guides.law.sc.edu/Databases. The Practice can be accessed from off-campus using your university login credentials.

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Faculty Publication Awards

Congratulations to Professors Elizabeth Chambliss and Emily Suski on their articles and to Professor Joseph A. Seiner on his book, all of which were selected by the law school faculty for this year’s Faculty Publication Awards.

Articles

Elizabeth Chambliss, Evidence-Based Lawyer Regulation, 97 Wash. U.L. Rev. (2019). scholarcommons.sc.edu/law_facpub/336/

Emily Suski, The School Civil Rights Vacuum, 66 UCLA L. Rev. 720 (2019). scholarcommons.sc.edu/law_facpub/344/

Book

Joseph A. Seiner, Employment Discrimination: Procedure, Principles, and Practice (2d ed. 2019). (Ebook version on publisher website. The law library has ordered a library copy in print, but it is not yet available, due to a change to a new catalog system coinciding with COVID-19 closure.)

Remote Resources for Anti-Racism

2016

Nishaun T. Battle, From Slavery to Jane Crow to Say Her Name: An Intersectional Examination of Black Women and Punishment, 15 Meridians 109 (2016). bit.ly/SayHerNamebyBattle

Juliet Hooker, Black Lives Matter and the Paradoxes of U.S. Black Politics,  44 Political Theory 448 (2016). bit.ly/BlackLivesMatterbyHooker

2017

Christopher J. Lebron, The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea (2017). bit.ly/MakingofBlackLivesMatterbyLebron

2018

Brittney Cooper & Treva B. Lindsey, M4BL and the Critical Matter of Black Lives,  41 Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 731 (2018). bit.ly/M4BLbyCooperandLindsey

Vanessa Williamson, Kris-Stella Trump & Katherine Levine Einstein, Black Lives Matter: Evidence that Police-Caused Deaths Predict Protest Activity, 16 Perspectives on Politics 400 (2018). bit.ly/PoliceCausedDeathsPredictProtestbyWilliamson

2019

Megan Ming Francis, The Price of Civil Rights: Black Lives, White Funding, and Movement Capture,  53 Law & Society Review 275 (2019). bit.ly/PriceofCivilRightsbyFrancis

Alcinda Manuel Honwana, Youth Struggles: From the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter & Beyond, 62 African Studies Review 8 (2019). bit.ly/YouthStrugglesbyHonwana

What to Do With Your Library Books

by guest author Andy Kretschmar

Several of you have come to us asking a very understandable question: With campus closed, what do I do with my library books?

First, please know that the health and safety of our patrons is first on our list of priorities during this time. Receiving our materials by their assigned due dates is far lower on the list right now.

Second, now that the university has begun outlining plans for the fall, we now feel comfortable addressing some of the questions you may have regarding library materials.


I have a book that was due during the closure—do I need to return it now?

No. So long as we are being asked to stay off campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be requiring that you return your books until it is safe to do so or until you return in the fall semester.

Will you be automatically renewing my library books during the closure?

Yes! Whether your books belong to the law library or another institution, we will be automatically renewing items.

While it’s very rare during this time that a renewal request will be denied, we will contact you directly if any complications arise.

Will I receive any fines, fees, or blocks on my registration or diploma for books that are due during this time?

Nope, nope, and nope.

I recently received an overdue notice. What do I do with it?

Overdue notices should not be sent during this time, as we are renewing all items, but if you do receive one, please forward it to me, and I will ensure that you do not receive them again.

I’m either currently undecided about returning to campus in-person in the fall, or am unable to do so, and/or I REALLY want to return my books now—can I mail them to you?

If you’d like to return library materials in the mail, please send them to:

Andy Kretschmar

University of South Carolina Law Library

1525 Senate St. #120D

Columbia, SC 29208

Our mail is still being delivered—Dean Alford is a seasoned courier at this point!—and we will discharge your materials from your library account shortly after we receive them.

If I mail my books to you, do I need to include any additional information?

Nope! So long as it’s a book that you borrowed from the law library (no matter which institution it belongs to) we’ll have all the information we need in order to discharge it from your account.

Please be sure to include a return address, and we’ll contact you if we have any questions.

My books are in my journal office. Do I need to go and get them?

If you are not able to safely do so, please do not worry about retrieving them.

When we return to campus, the law library will contact your journal’s EIC about receiving the books.

I’ve been given permission to enter the building, and am able to safely retrieve my library books. Is there a place I can return them?

Since the library is closed, the Student Services suite has graciously allowed for students to return their library materials there.

Please ensure that there are staff present before taking advantage of this option.

I just graduated, and will not be coming back to campus. What do I do with my books in that case?

If you graduated this semester and have library materials checked out to you, you should have received an email from me with info on returning books. If you fall within this category but did not hear from me, please let me know!

I live near campus—can I just place my books in one of the book drops?

No. All campus book drops are closed at this time.

I have other questions, or did not see my question addressed. Who do I contact?

Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions you have at kretschm@law.sc.edu.

I’m always happy to assist!


We hope that you all are staying safe during these uncertain times. Your law library staff continue to be impressed by your resilience and dedication, and no matter what form it takes, we very much look forward to seeing you again.

How to Bring the UofSC Law Library to You

by guest author Melanie Griffin

The UofSC Law Library extends its usefulness way beyond its physical walls, now more than ever. Here’s how to bring our resources to your home base, whether you’re still in the middle of distance learning or preparing to come back to campus in August.

 

  • Electronic study aids: We know how difficult it is to suddenly have no access to your usual method of studying. But finding an electronic copy of your favorite study aid is easier than you think. Several major law school materials publishers give you access to their study aids online with your law school login. West Academic, for example, also lets you download study aids for offline use and access online case studies for free until June 1. Wolters Kluwer, publisher of popular series such as Examples & Explanations, are giving law students free electronic access to their library of study aids through July 1. And CALI (the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) continues to offer free online tutorials in a number of legal subjects with no expiration date. Look through the Course Materials section of our Remote Resources guide to find your old favorites, plus new ways to keep your brain ready.

 

Use an image of the UofSC reading room for your Zoom study group background to feel like you never left!

  • Bring the library to your virtual study groups: If you’re feeling restless and lonely without your in-person study partners, set up virtual study times to bring everybody together again. The best part is that video chat services like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype are free and easy to access, plus distance learning has made everyone familiar with them over the last few months. We can’t give you your favorite carrel in the basement or lamp in the reading room, but these library Zoom backgrounds come close to the ambiance you’re used to.

 

  • Law Library Chat service: Our law librarians are as ready as ever to answer your reference questions and guide you to the right resources, bringing their extensive knowledge to wherever you’re current set up. Our Law Library Chat is an instant messenger service that’s monitored Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you have a question outside those hours, don’t fret – you can send an email to lawref@law.sc.edu at any point, and it will get answered during the next set of business hours.

 

  • Circuit Riders basic legal research guide: If you know anyone who is looking for help with their own legal issues, point them to our Circuit Riders research guide on basic legal research in South Carolina. We can’t give out legal advice, but we can give you and the public information on processes in this state so that you stay informed on your journey through the South Carolina legal system.

 

  • COVID-19 remote services: Above all else, we’re here to help you through these unusual circumstances with minimal interruption to your law education and information needs. Our research librarians have compiled a complete resource guide to the remote services we’re using through our COVID-19 schedule, updated as warranted. Even as our campus is scheduled to re-open for the Fall 2020 semester, UofSC is working with students who won’t be able to make the physical trip back for any reason. If you have needs for remote library services this summer or beyond, check this resources guide first to get the most updated information on how we’re handling materials and research assistance.

Resource Review: Digital Public Library of America

by guest author Dan Brackmann

This month’s issue highlights the Digital Public Library of America at https://dp.la/. DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, etc. are free and immediately available in digital format. 

screenshot of DPLA logo, search function, browse by topic > Civil Rights Movement > Legal Battles

DPLA allows scholars to search the digital collections of thousands of libraries, archives, and museums nationwide, all in one website. The site contains over 6,300 e-books as well as digitized primary material from various institutions on topics such as civil rights and immigration.

screenshot of Draft of W.E.B. Du Bois' speech re: 14th Amendment, 1947

Here is a link to their Scholarly Research Guide: https://dp.la/guides/the-scholarly-research-guide-to-dpla

In addition to the scholarly uses of the site, it also contains lessons and books for children.

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

 

Public Library Resources for the UofSC Law Student

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Public Library symbolWhether or not you’re still in Columbia while campus is on lockdown, you’re part of the community as a UofSC law student. And so is our local public library.

Richland Library offers a large variety of resources that complement your UofSC Law work, all of them free, and many especially relevant to these uncertain times.


Access to these online library materials and classes on third-party sites like Lynda requires a Richland Library card. Distribution of physical cards is on hold during the COVID-19 stay at home order, but register online for a card with a Richland County address, and you’ll get immediate access to Richland Library resources that can help make your law school (and pandemic) experience easier.

  • Learn skills that will enhance your law training. Your J.D. will take you far, and extra skills can help you stand out. Your Richland Library card unlocks online classes from websites like Lynda.com for free, so you can choose any course in their vast collection to add to your resume.  Check out their finance offerings to familiarize yourself with procedures, browse their extensive list of intellectual property videos for examples of how those laws apply to different types of creations, look through their spreadsheet and forms classes to find one that can help you (and your future employer) organize and make the most of your data, and more.

 

  • Digitally explore new study area options. Although the physical branches of Richland Library are currently closed for health and safety, you can still use this time to explore the spaces they’ll have on offer when they reopen. Richland Library’s online booking system lets you view photographs of its study, meeting, and conference rooms to get a sense of their sizes and layouts; this is great information to have in case of future need and to have an alternative to campus spaces if those get too crowded.

 

  • Take a mental break. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed while adjusting to the law school’s new norms, browse the digital materials offered by Richland Library. Rereading your favorite Harry Potter chapters via ebook, taking a self-help audio tome with you on a walk, paging through a digital comic between study chapters, listening to your favorite album to get through chores, watching a new movie or TV show before bed – all of these are free ways for you to distract or relax your brain until it’s ready to go again.

The following resources are great for your own information and any pro-bono clients you may be working with as well. These links are open to anyone who wants to view them and don’t require a Richland Library card.

  • Navigate unemployment. If this virus has left you suddenly without a way of supporting yourself through school, don’t panic. The law school’s Career Services department is here for you. There are also a number of different options for unemployment benefits, and Richland Library’s I Am An Employee information page sorts them by type of work so you can find what you need based on what you do. If you are advising businesses that are trying to help their laid-off employees, or if you’re doing pro bono work with unemployed people, the I Am An Employee public library resource may be helpful to them.

 

  • Keep track of COVID-19 information. As a UofSC law student, you can rely on sc.edu/safety/coronavirus for the latest information that applies to you. If you’re doing pro bono or volunteer work in Columbia, you can recommend Richland Library’s updated list of local data and sites to people who aren’t affiliated with the university.

Jurors Powered Through

To our law students getting through exams this week, take heart from a federal jury that kept going through an eight-week trial, and reached a verdict in April 2020.

The Case

When Robert Walter Carlson pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking charges, he testified that four additional people—his partner, two pilots, and a co-owner of a charter jet company—were part of the scheme to transport drugs.

These four defendants pleaded not guilty. They flew and/or arranged the flights, but they alleged Carlson and others deceived them as to the purpose of the travel and the nature of the cargo. The trial was ongoing in the Eastern District of Kentucky when covid-19 hit.

The Jurors Kept Going

handwritten: Will we receive copies of the testimony transcripts to review with evidence? Request for additional post-its, a dry erase board, and highlighters for our notes
36 pages of jury notes (Bloomberg Law password needed) and responses from Judge Caldwell appear in the federal docket

According to an April 26, 2020 article in the Louisville Courier Journal, federal trials in progress were permitted to go forward at the discretion of the trial judge. Judge Karen Caldwell asked each juror in private whether they were willing to continue. Judge Caldwell also required each juror to fill out a daily questionnaire about their health.

Masks and gloves were offered, and one juror chose to wear a facemask to protect others. The rest of the protective equipment was given to health care workers and first responders. The seating arrangement in the courtroom was altered, and a jury lounge rather than a deliberation room was used, so that all jurors could remain at least six feet from each other at all times.

After nine days of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict of guilty as to one defendant, and not-guilty as to the other three defendants.

How to Find the Case

Thescreenshot docket for this case is on Bloomberg Law at USA v. Matthews, No. 5:17-cr-00118 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 05, 2017).

On law.sc.edu/library, under Quick Links For UofSC Law Students, click Bloomberg Law. Use the password you received from your LRAW professor, or contact Bloomberg Law customer service if you’ve forgotten it.

On Bloomberg Law, under Popular Links, click Dockets Search. In the Dockets Search window, scroll down to Judge and type Caldwell, and paste in the docket number 5:17-cr-00118, then click Search. In the search results, click on the case name USA v. Matthews. To find the jury notes, scroll down to document 602 in the docket.

screenshot