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.

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!


  • 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.

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!

National Library Week!


Did you know that National Library Week is next week?  We’ll be celebrating by posting a trivia question on Facebook on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week!  The prize:  a promo code for a Q&A Study Guide of your choosing, to help you prep for exams!

Keep your eyes posted!

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