10 Things to do in Columbia in March

We know that law students often live in a bubble, but it’s important to get outside, clear your head, and think about things besides the rule of perpetuity and the commerce clause!  Whether you like art, music, or sports, there’s always plenty happening in Columbia.

Here are 10 awesome things happening right here in Columbia this month:

1)  Check out the Columbia Now: Four Photographers Show Us Our City exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art, an photography exhibit highlighting the city we live in (All month long).

2)  Experience Columbia’s foodie scene and learn a little about Columbia’s history by booking a tour with Two Gals and a Fork.  (March’s tour is on March 7th, so book now!)

3)  Love Broadway?  Go out to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Harbison Theater (March 8th).

4)  Run 10k, 5k, or 1-mile Family Fun Run as part of St. Pat’s Get to the Green event (March 14th).

5)  Then, enjoy being Irish for the day and attend St. Patty’s Day Festivities in Five Points on March 14th.

6)  Journey to Africa at the “From Here to  Timbuktu” exhibit at Edventure (Opening March 14).

7)   Enjoy a fairytale by getting tickets for the Columbia City Ballet’s production of Cinderella (March 20-21).

8)  Celebrate Columbia’s craft beer scene with any of the many events during Soda City Suds Week (March 21-28).

9)  Feel like a fancy night out?  Buy tickets for the Columbia Museum’s annual gala, A Fair to Remember (the theme is the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair) (March 27).

10)  Get colorful while getting some exercise by signing up for the 2015 Columbia Color Run 5k (March 28).


Need something free to do?  Here are some FREE things you can do.

1)  Get some fresh air hiking at Harbison State Forest!

2)  Go to Spring Trombone Night at the School of Music to listen to USC’s elite trombone ensemble perform.

3)  Hit up First Thursdays on Main on March 5, or the first Thursday of any month!

4)  See the United States Navy Band perform at the Koger Center on March 10th.  (Get your free tickets at the Koger Box Office.)

5)  Hear the Jazz Faculty perform at their recital at Johnson Performance Hall on March 26th.

6)  Take a walk at Riverfront Park.

Happening Now: Water “Law-gged”

SCLRToday and tomorrow in the Strom Thurmond Law Auditorium at USC, the South Carolina Law Review is hosting their annual symposium.  This year’s event is titled:  Water “Law-gged”: The Muddy Relationship Between Water Law, the Environment, and Economic Development.

Beginning at 6:00pm tonight with a keynote address by Stanford University Professor Buzz Thompson, a leading expert in environmental law and policy, the event will feature three panel discussions on Saturday.  Friday will also include an address from Duke University professor Jim Salzman.

The event is FREE to students! This is a great opportunity to learn about the effects of water law on the environment and economic development, engage with legal scholars, and support the Law Review.  See the full schedule here.

Getting to Know Your Law Library: Patrick Parsons

Patrick R. ParsonsMeet….Me!  Hello All.  My name is Patrick Parsons and I am the newest, youngest, and best looking of all the law librarians.  I have been working at the Coleman Karesh Law Library since December of 2014, so basically forever and believe me, I traveled a long way to get here.  I grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called Connellsville.  The town is located in Fayette County, which lies directly across Pennsylvania state lines from West Virginia.  We were once known as the coke (coal product not drug) capitol of the world.  Then, with the collapse of the American steel industry things got pretty bleak, as they did in a lot of “rust belt” areas.  In 1996, the county was dropped from the list of “distressed” Appalachian Counties, which was a big step forward for us.

Appalachia_WilliamsAfter high school I attended the Penn State University, majoring in history and political science.   I spent a summer working on Capitol Hill as an intern and worked in kitchens and painting houses the rest of my time.  In case you were wondering, Beaver Stadium at Penn State currently holds 107,282 people.  William Bryce at USC holds a paltry 80,000.  Just in case you were wondering.

PSUAfter college, I attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I lived for the next six years.  During law school and after, I worked predominantly on criminal Justice issues, including everything from system reform to prisoner reentry to criminal defense.   I was part of the team that wrote the county plan for jail re-entry and recidivism reduction.  I also worked with county policy makers to help streamline criminal justice practices.

But, after working as a lawyer and consultant for three years I wanted a change, and decided to go back to school to be a law librarian.  I applied and was accepted into a law library fellowship at the University of Arizona.  So, in December of 2012, I move 3,000 miles from snowy Pittsburgh to the desert of Tucson Arizona.

While at the University of Arizona I pursued my Masters in Library and Information Sciences while working at the University of Arizona Law Library.  At the library, I focused on student outreach initiatives while providing reference help to patrons.

After receiving my degree, I began looking and interviewing for law librarian positions.  I then applied, interviewed, and received my current position here at the Coleman Karesh Law Library at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Now I spend my days teaching legal research in the LRAW program, helping patrons at the reference desk, and writing enthralling blog posts to our ever expanding readership. In my free time, I collect records, play the organ, and exercise enough to make sure I stay the best looking librarian here at Coleman Karesh.

Write and Win Some Cash Money!

Stacks_of_moneyThere are several writing contests currently going on that you may want to participate in.  Not only could you get a boon for your resume, you could get a boon for your wallet!  In many instances, you can base the paper off one you wrote for a law seminar course!

1)  32nd Annual Smith-Babcock-Williams Student Writing Competition:  Hosted by the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association, the competition accepts papers on the topics of planning, planning law, land use law, local government law, or environmental law.  Submissions are due by June 5, 2015.  The winner will be submitted for publication in The Urban Lawyer and will receive $2,000.  Second place will receive $400 and an Honorable Mention will receive $100.  Here are the rules!

2)  2015 Morris Cohen Essay Competition:  Hosted by the Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the competition accepts essays on any topic related to legal history, rare books, or legal archives.  The deadline for submission is March 16, 2015.  The winner will receive $500 and up to $1,000 for costs to attend the 2015 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia (where they will have the opportunity to present the paper; the winning essay will also be submitted to Law Library Journal.  See the rules for more information.

3)  2015 Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Competition:  Hosted by the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, the competition accepts submissions discussing any topic relating to administrative law.  Submissions are due by May 1, 2015.  The winner will receive a $5,000 prize and round-trip airfare to and accomodations at the Section’s Fall Conference in Washington, D.C.; the winning entry may also be selected for publication.  See the rules for more information.

4)  James B. Boskey Law Student Essay Contest on Dispute Resolution:  Hosted by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, the submissions may address any aspect of dispute resolution practice, theory, or research.  Submissions are due by June 12, 2015.  The winner will receive a $1000 prize and the posting of the essay online.  See the rules for more information.

5)  2015 William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition:  Open to students who are members of the ABA, students must answer the writing prompt found here.  Entries are due by April 7, 2015.  The winner will receive $2,000 and a plaque; the entry may also be selected for publication in Criminal Justice magazine.  See the rules to learn more!

6)  Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest (for second and third year students only):  hosted by the ABA Section of Family Law, entries can address any aspect of family law.  Entries are due by April 17, 2015.  Monetary and potential publication prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place!  See the rules for more information!

7)  K. William Kolbe Law Student Writing Competition:  hosted by the ABA Section of Public Utility, Communications, and Transportation Law, entries must address a topic of related to industries that provide certain important services to the general public.  Entries are due by June 1, 2015.  The winning entry will receive $2,500 and airfare to and accommodations at the Section’s Fall Council Gropu Meeting; the winning essay will also be posted on the Section Website and be considered for publication in the Section’s Annual Report.  See the rules for more information.

8)  The Theodore Tannenwald Jr. Foundatino for Excellence in Tax Scholarship:  open to all law students, it accepts papers on any federal or state tax-related topic.  Entries are due by July 1, 2015.   Cash prizes for the top three papers, ranging from $5,000 to $1,500.  See the competition rules for more information.

Good luck!  There are even more


MLK, Jr. Weekend Library Hours

The Coleman Karesh Law Library will be open the following hours over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend:

Friday, January 16th:  7:00am-8:00pm
Saturday, January 17th:  9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, January 18th:  3:00pm-11:00pm
Monday, January 19th:  1:00pm-11:00pm

Regular library hours will resume on Tuesday, January 20th.

Reference assistance will be available on Friday, January 16th from 8:30am-5:00pm, but the Reference Desk will not be staffed on Monday, January 19th.

Hang In There–Fall Training Schedules Are Here!

Need a little extra help? Fall Training Schedules from Academic Success, Lexis & Westlaw are here. Sign up for a workshop (or go to all 22!)

Academic Success Workshops–Fall 2012

Each Workshop is given twice a week!

WEEK ONE – How to Succeed in Law School – Room 236

Tuesday, August 28 or Thursday, August 30 – 12:40-1:40

Photo courtesy http://meanderingmatriarch.com/2010/12/22/fun-facts-and-fotos-for-frog-fanciers/

An overview of the skills and habits you need to do your best in law school, including tips on time management, class participation, and planning for exams.  Pizza will be served!

WEEK TWO – Exam-Focused Reading, Notes, and Participation – Room 236

Tuesday, September 4 or Thursday, September 6 – 12:40-1:40

In college, reading, note-taking, and class attendance is usually passive – students read the textbook, go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, and then regurgitate the information for the exam (and whoever remembers the most stuff gets the “A”).  Since law school exams reward legal analysis, not rote memorization, you need to learn how to read “like a lawyer” and “activate” your notes for your exams.

WEEK THREE – Outlines: Succeeding on Exams – Room 236

Tuesday, September 11 or Thursday, September 13 – 12:40-1:40

You’ll hear a lot about class outlines, and every year students say that they wished they had started them earlier.  This Workshop will teach you how to make an effective one.


How to Write an Exam I (Basics), How to Write an Exam II (Walkthrough), and Simulated Exams – Work on law school questions under Simulated Exam conditions.

Tuesdays with Lexis

Sept. 4th “Lexpo” — Quick expo style intro to a variety of Lexis features demoed by fellow students

Sept. 11th  There’s An App For That: Researching Lexis on Mobile Apps

Sept. 18th State Statutes: TOC Search, Annotations, Shepards

Sept. 25th Legal Research Certification: Getting docs, running searches, secondary sources, cases, statutes, Shepards (all on Lexis Advance)

Oct. 2nd “Sheptober”: All about Shepards

Oct. 9th State Case Law: T&C search, Filters, Legal Issues Trail, Shepards

Oct. 16th Memo-Aid: Secondary sources, Topic Summaries, search strategies, filters, expanding research

Oct. 23rd Bar App Help: Lexis public records search

Oct. 30th Staying Organized: Folders, TOA, LMO, BriefCheck

Nov. 6th Exam Prep:  Case Summaries, Treatises, Outlines

Our Lexis rep, Carmela Orsini, is also available on Mondays for individual appointments, Lexis table days, and make-up sessions.


Tuesday, September 4th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Tools that help 1Ls Succeed in Law School

Tuesday, September 18th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Statutes on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 2nd ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Cases on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 9th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Updating Cases with Westlaw’s KeyCite

Tuesday, October 16th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Using Secondary Sources on Westlaw

Register for the sessions at:  http://lawschool.westlaw.com/calendar/trainingcalendar.aspx?view=list

As always, come visit us at the reference desk if you’ve got questions or need help with other library resources!

What’s the nearest coffee shop to the law library?

Thanks for using covered beverage containers in the library

…and other important questions, like how to print to network printers or register your Westlaw and Lexis passwords, now answered in our latest LibGuide, Cocky’s Guide to the Law Library. Check it out and get answers to your questions on library resources and getting up and running at the law school at guides.law.sc.edu/lawlibraryorientation. Or stop by the reference desk between 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Welcome back!

Bluebook Now Available as an App

We all love and hate our Bluebook. Now, the Bluebook is following the electronic herd and making the rules available as an app for all Apple IOS devices. On August 10th, 2012, the Bluebook editors announced that the rulebook app published by Ready Reference Apps would be the official and excusive app for Bluebook. The mobile version of the Bluebook is now available for sale at the App store for all Apple IOS devices for $40.00 from the App Store via the rulebook app. You have to download and install the free rulebook app and then select, download, and install The Bluebook

BUT Wait… the good news is that the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence rules may be downloaded at no charge onto the rulebook app on August 22, 2012.  The free 2012 versions of the federal laws “will be kept current through the end of the year,” states Gregory Hoole, president of Ready Reference Apps. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plan for an android version of the app. Too bad all of you android users.  However, for the apple user law students this app is something to look into when making your book purchases. [David]

Looking for a Good IP Blawg?

I am particularly interested in Intellectual Property topics and IPWatchdog [http://ipwatchdog com/] is a great blog for those who share a similar interest.  This blog contains articles and blog posts on the entire range of IP issues. It has been selected as one of the ABA’s top 100 blogs. If this is your area of interest this blog is for you. [DEL]