Author Archives: Alyson Drake

Featured Scholarship: “The Social Medium” by Prof. Colin Miller & 3L Charles White

In a new feature, we are highlighting scholarship coming out of the University of South Carolina School of Law.  “Social Medium: Why the Authentication Bar Should Be Raised for Social Media Evidence” is the inaugural article published in the Temple Law Review Online, a new publishing platform meant to highlight shorter articles, articles on timely issues, or responses to the articles published in the print edition of the Temple Law Review.  Written by Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Colin Miller, and 2015 graduate Charles White, the article looks at the recent trend of using social media evidence and why a more strict authentication standard is needed for social media evidence to be used.

Check out the article here.

10 Things to Do in Columbia in May

Exams are over, graduation is imminent, and now is the time to get out there and explore the best of what spring in the Midlands has to offer.  Here are ten awesome things happening this month in (and near) Columbia.

1.  Love good food?  Attend the 5th Annual Taste of Black Columbia: An Evening with Kenny Latimore.  The event celebrates local caterers and chefs, while supporting local historically black colleges and universities.   May 8th, $65/$55.

2.  Go in search of the Holy Grail!  Spamalot is playing at the Town Theatre from May 8th-May 29th.  Tickets range from $15-$25.

3.  Have some spooky fun on a Moonlight Cemetery Tour!  On May 14th, grab your flashlight and tour Elmwood Cemetery.   Starts at 7:30pm, $12/adults and $6/youth.

4.  Attend the SC Book Festival from May 15th through 17th at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  Over 100 authors will be there doing readings, having panel discussions, and signing books.  Saturday and Sunday are free to everyone!

5.  Check out the first ever Saluda Shoals MusicFest on May 16th, 2015 from 1pm-8pm.  $10/person.

6.  Do you have disco fever?  Sign up for the Disco Dash 5k & Boogie Youth Run in Hopkins, SC.  May 16th, starting time 9:30.  Race admissions are $35 w/ shirt, and $25 w/o shirt.

7.  Looking for some family fun?  Check out the Forest Acres Festival from 10am-4pm at AC Flora Athletic field on May 16th.  Admission and rides are all free!  And there’s a petting zoo AND pony rides!!! 

8.  Learn more about family fitness at Gimme Five Family Fitness Day.  Families can participate in obstacle courses, relay races and cooking demonstrations.  Located at Charles Drew Wellness Center from 11am-3pm.

9.  Love local music?  Check out Edventure After Dark Presents: Vibes, a showcase of local singers and songwriters.  May 21st, from 6:30-8:30pm.

10.  Wanna prove how fit you are and raise money for a good cause?  Participate in the Fight for Air Climb 2015, a challenge to climb the 25 flights of stairs of the Capitol Center in downtown Columbia.  May 30th at 9:00am, $25 to participate; all proceeds benefit the American Lung Association.

Are You Working as an Research Assistant This Summer?

If so, we have a great training opportunity for you on May 13th and May 14th.  As you know, in the 1L curriculum, we focus primarily on primary sources at both the state and federal level.  There are a ton of other resources out there that can aid hugely in your efforts to be a kick-butt research assistant.

Why do you wanna be a kick-butt research assistant?  So the professor you’re working for loves you and becomes an enthusiastic reference for you in your job search!

We are covering a bunch of different topics and you can pick the ones you believe will be relevant to your summer research.  If you have questions about this, talk to the professor you’re working for and get the specifics of your project.  Then, come talk to us and we can recommend sessions that would be helpful!

To sign up:  Sign in to WestlawNext, and select the TWEN tab to see your courses.  Then select the orange Add Course button.  Check the box next to RA Training 2015 and hit submit at the bottom of the page.  Once you do this, you will see the course listed under My Courses.  Choose which sessions you want to attend by signing up for those sessions using the Sign-Up Sheets link.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, May 13th, Room 135
9:00-9:30: Introductions, Library Policies & Procedures
9:30-10:15:  Specialized & Non-Legal Resources 10:15-10:30:  Break
10:30-11:30:  International Resources
11:30-12:00:  Online Catalog
12:00-12:45:  LexisAdvance Presentation & Lunch
12:45-1:45:  Administrative Law

Thursday, May 14th, Room 135
9:00-9:45:  WestlawNext
9:45-10:30:  Legislative History
10:30-11:15:  Citation
11:15-11:30:  Break
11:30-12:00:  Current Awareness
12:00-12:45:  Bloomberg Law Presentation & Lunch

We hope to see all you Research Assistants there!  If you can’t make a session, but want an overview of that area of legal research, please contact the presenter for each session, as listed on the TWEN course.

Getting to Know Your Law Library: Alyson Drake

pumpkinsProfessor Alyson Drake is in her third year of teaching the Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing course and working at the Coleman Karesh Law Library.  In addition to teaching LRAW, she helped develop and teach the Legal Research for Practice Workshop, and will be teaching a new course this Maymester on Foreign & International Legal Research.  You can also spot her at the Ref Desk a few mornings a week.  She answered a few questions to get to know her a little better.

1.  We’re librarians, so the obvious first question: What’s your favorite book?  I tend to prefer the classics (and by that I mean Ancient Greek epic poetry and philosophy–nerd alert!), but my favorite modern novel is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.  I think it’s a really beautiful thought piece on humanity and the bonds we make across background, age, and ethnicity.

2.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  I’d want to be a photographer.  While I like shooting black and white landscapes the most, I think it’d be a blast shooting weddings and engagements and baby pictures–you’re there for all of life’s happiest moments.

3.  What profession would you not like to do?  Naval officer whose job involves living on a submarine for months at a time…I’d miss the fresh air too much.  I don’t know what the Beatles were thinking wanting to live in a yellow submarine.

4.  What’s your form of exercise/outdoor activity?  Definitely swimming–it’s even more relaxing than yoga to me.

5.  If you could visit any place in the world for a two-week vacation for free, where would you go?  Ireland.  I’ve wanted to go for a long time.  The rest of my family went during my first year of law school, but it was the first week of classes and I didn’t feel I could miss them.  What would y’all have done?  :p

ireland

 

6.  When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?  Usually I spend time playing with my pup, Maxie.  She’s a snuggly little bug who loves to play fetch, so I’d probably spend the whole time throwing her tennis ball, penguin, or rope.maxie

7.  When was the last time you had an amazing meal and where did you have it?  In Greenville.  We were going to see Wicked at the Peace Center, and we went out to a French bistro-type place beforehand: Passerelle Bistro.  The parsley-lemon stuffed mountain trout was seriously yummy, and so was the pork roulade my significant other got–especially the side of sweet potato–Roquefort cheese gratin that came with it.  Mmmmmmm, delicious!

Disclosure: When Prof. Drake answered this question in February, this was the last amazing meal she’d had.  But two weeks ago, her significant other made the most delicious leg of lamb on the grill and it surpassed even the cheese gratin!

Prof. Drake totally has this much swagger.

Prof. Drake totally has this much swagger.

8.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?  I think I’d pick Merry from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  He was able better able to handle serious matters than Pip, but still largely seemed to enjoy life.  Plus, he got to travel all over Middle Earth and meet Treebeard.  Who doesn’t want to meet an Ent? Answer: no one.

9.  What’s your best (legal) research tip?  Read the resources you find as you find them–it’s the only way to make sure you’re on the right track.  Gathering up a pile of cases can be tempting, but reading the first one you find that’s on point can lead you to the most important authorities on that legal issue! (And tip 2: remember that secondary sources are your friends!)

Will I Have Access This Summer?

Students often wonder if they will have unfettered access to WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg over the summer or after graduation.  Here’s the scoop!

WestlawNext:

  • Returning students can opt to extend their access over the summer for academic purposes (including for summer classes; work as a research assistant; moot court; unpaid internships or externships; law review & journal work–including the write-on competition).  Go here to extend your password.
  • All other returning students who do not extend access for academic purposes for a limited number of hours in June & July.
  • Graduating students can extend their access through November 30, 2015 by clicking here as part of Westlaw’s Grad Elite Password Extension Program.

Lexis Advance:

  • Returning students have unrestricted access over the summer.
  • Graduating students will have unrestricted access through July 31, 2015, but can extend that access through December 31st by clicking here.  Graduating students may qualify to extend it even further through the Lexis ASPIRE program.

Bloomberg Law:

  • Returning students enjoy unrestricted access over the summer regardless of where they are working.
  • Graduating students keep their access for six months after graduation.

Legal Podcasts

Image courtesy of serialpodcast.org.

With the eruption of the “Serial” podcast on the national scene, I think many of us are excited for the next exciting, legally-related podcast.  I know I am.

First, there’s “Undisclosed,” the spin-off to “Serial”, that Prof. Colin Miller helped develop.  It focuses on legal aspects of the State v. Syed murder case and will look closely at the evidence in the case.  The first episode was released last week.

Another podcast worth checking out is “I Am the Law“.  It aims to help listeners understand what it’s really like to be a legal professional through interviews with both new attorneys and seasoned veterans.   “I Am the Law” has 12 episodes you can check out.

Check ’em out if you need a mental break from exams!

Getting to Know Your Law Library: Patrick Parsons

Prof. Parsons with his awesome beagle, Lola

Professor Patrick Parsons is the newest Reference Librarian at the Coleman Karesh Law Library, starting with us in December.  He jumped right in to start teaching his first semester of LRAW the following month.  You might also have spotted him manning the Reference Desk.  We asked Professor Parsons a few questions to get to know him a little better.

 

1.  We’re librarians, so the obvious first question:  What’s your favorite book?  Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

2.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  Musician or hiker.  Hiker isn’t really a profession, but I’ve always wanted to hike the Appalachian or Pacific Coast Trail.

3.  What profession would you not like to do?  Besides the obvious ones where I would have to deal with things that smell or bodily fluids or pests, I would say telemarketer.  I really hate trying to sell people things they don’t need.

4.  What’s your favorite form of exercise/outdoor activity?  Backpacking

View from the Pacific Coast Highway

5.  If you could go on a road trip with any person (living or dead), whom would you choose?  Probably Levon Helm, the drummer for The Band.  I want to say Hunter S. Thompson, but just reading Fear and Loathing is exhausting.

6.  If you could visit any place in the world for a two-week vacation for free, where would you go?  Brazil, maybe?  There or somewhere in the Alps.

7.  When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?  Pittsburgh Sports News

pittsburghsports

 

8.  When was the last time you had an amazing meal and where did you have it?  Truly amazing?  I’d have to say tacos at Tacqueria de Pico de Gallo before I left Tucson, Az.  There’s nothing like eating tacos in a divvy taco stand 60 miles from the Mexican border.  Plus, the closer you get to Mexico, the better the Mexican beer.

9.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?  Definitely a muppet.  Preferably Dr. Teeth, or any of the Electric Mayhem but Animal.

10.  What’s your best (legal) research tip?  Finding a place to start is half the battle.  If I’m looking for something that I’m uncertain about, I’ll often do a bunch of quick Google searches for background information.  Sometimes weird places, like lawyer web pages or newspaper articles, will provide you with a case or a statute that you can use as a starting point for the rest of your legal research.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information thrown at you in Westlaw or Lexis so I usually try to get preliminary information elsewhere.

Carrel Keys Due by May 8th

SONY DSCStudents, please remember to turn in carrel keys by May 8, 2015.  Deposits will be forfeited if keys are not turned in on time.  Please make sure that you clean out your carrels by May 8th as well; any items left in carrels after May 8th will be discarded.

If you are going to be around this summer and want to retain your carrel over the summer, stop by the Circ Desk and fill out a summer extension form!

Getting to Know Your Law Library: Megan Brown

Megan and her awesome feline friend, Ziggy

Megan and her awesome feline friend, Ziggy

 

One of the most public faces in the law library is Megan Brown’s.  Not only does she help fulfill all of your ILL requests, but she (wo)mans the Circulation Desk to help you with anything you need from!  We asked Megan a few questions to get to know her a little better.

 

1.  We’re librarians, so the obvious first question:  demonsWhat’s your mobydickfavorite book?
Just one?  How about two because they’re so different and I’m indecisive.  Demons, by Dostoevsky & Moby-Dick, by Melville.

2.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?  Astronomer

3.  What profession would you not like to do?  Eh, corporate banking?

Gazelle_Omafahrrad_series_-1

4.  What’s your favorite form of exercise/outdoor activity?  Commuting by bicycle and running.

5.  If you could go on a road trip with any person (living or dead), whom would you choose?  Josh Smith

6.  If you could visit any place in the world for a two-week vacation for free, where would you go?  Algiers… Or maybe a secluded oceanfront spot on Nantucket.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7.  When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?  Detach from technology.

Charleston_Peninsular_Charleston_Edmunds_Oast_Andy_Henderson_Jayce_McConnell_The_Red_Wedding_American_Brewery_Inline_Overlay8.  When was the last time you had an amazing meal and where did you have it?  Last month in Charleston–Edmund’s Oast.

9.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?  Cthulhu.  Ph’nglui mglw’nafh. R’lyeh wgah’nagi fhtagn….

10.  What’s your best (legal) research tip?  Google…Just kidding!  Ask one of our lovely law reference librarians for help!