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Got Tech? Check Out Microsoft Tech Tips 101

You cannot read the legal newspapers nowadays without coming across a headline like the one we saw last week in the ABA Journal Tech Monthly: “Catch up with tech or lose your career, judges warn lawyers.” The story went on to quote Judge John M. Facciola of the District of Columbia as saying -- why hire a lawyer who doesn’t even have the technological competence to complete simple, everyday tasks like converting a Microsoft Word document into a PDF?

Why, indeed? If you are feeling a little short on your everyday tech skills – the Law Library is to the rescue. Neal Smith, our fearless Research/Emerging Technologies Librarian, has just completed seven short tutorials on how to accomplish some of the basic tasks one may be expected to do in law practice, including, inter alia, using Microsoft Word to format a Table of Contents or a Table of Authorities in a brief, wiping meta data from your shared legal documents, AND converting a Microsoft Word document into a PDF.

The tutorials run from 5 to just under twelve minutes so they easily fit into little pockets of time. They are stored in a LibGuide -- to find them, go to the Law Library’s homepage, click into “Research Guides,” and scroll down to Microsoft Tech Tips 101.  And if there is something you would like to learn to do that is not included in the 7 tutorials, don’t hesitate to contact Neal at neal.smith@law.wne.edu.

Trade Secrets! Disloyal Employees! Clambakes!

The Law Library is pleased to offer its Bridge to Practice ("BTP") Workshop for 2014. BTP will feature short lectures and hands-on print and online research as the Librarians guide you through a hypothetical civil action involving employment agreements and preliminary injunctions. Get acquainted with practitioner resources like Massachusetts Practice and the Law Library’s large collection of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) material, and brush up on your online search skills before heading off to your summer jobs and internships. We will also have time to address specific concerns you may have about your research skills.

Bridge to Practice takes place on Sunday, April 6th from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in Computer Classroom 329. We will start off with bagels and coffee to be sure we get off to a good start.

Please sign up at the Reference Desk by March 29th or contact a Law Librarian at 413-782-1459. Although we are requesting registration, last-minute drop ins are always welcome. See you there!

Have an Idea, Suggestion, or Service to Improve Your Library?

Submit an idea or suggestion that is implemented, and the Law Library will reward you with forgiven fines! So why not take 5 short minutes and put your idea in our Suggestion Box. As a thank you, we will forgive all fines on your account up to the point your idea is implemented. Make sure to inlude your name and email address.

New Displays for your Perusing Pleasure

We have two new displays installed on the second floor – one on the emerging field of Space Law and the other on a wonderful book series that we have here at the Law Library.

Space Law is a developing area of law that refers to the body of international and national laws and customs that govern human activities (no jurisdiction so far over aliens) in space.  For example, have you ever wondered what law would govern if Russian and United States space vehicles collided? Check out the display to see the resources we have available on this topic (and Neal’s collection of Star War space ships).

In the case in the quiet area, we have a display of volumes from a series called Notable Trials. For those who love law and history, this series is unbeatable. The publisher selects famous trials, from Ancient Greece to Modern America, provides historical and social context for the trial, and then tells the story often using transcript excerpts. If you would like to see a complete list of trials covered, search in the online library catalog (WILDPAC) for “notable trials,” and all of the volumes we have here will be listed.

Enjoy!

Unlock the Full Potential of Your PDF Documents with Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro is now available on the four scanning computers in the Library lobby (closest to the Library terrace). Acrobat Pro allows you to edit PDF documents. Now you can OCR your scans to make the text searchable, add and delete pages in your PDF documents, merge multiple PDF documents into one, and more. Ask at the reference desk for more information on using Acrobat Pro.

Rx for Law Exams Display Unveiled

Just in time for upcoming exams, check out our second floor display case, in the quiet area. We've put together books that you can skim to pick up tips on how to take law exams including a personal favorite -- Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades by Alex Schimel (KF 283 .S335 2012). The tips contained in these books are easily absorbable and worth the 30 minutes it might take to review them. Good luck with your exam prep and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

New International Database Added To Collection

The Library is pleased to announce that we have acquired an online platform (Justis) for the International Law Reports (“ILR”).  ILR has been published since 1922 by the Lauterpacht Centre at Cambridge University. It is the only publication wholly devoted to the regular and systematic reporting in English of every international tribunal that produces decisions bearing on questions of public international law.  In the human rights arena, ILR provides coverage of cases from the International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights as well as the views of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights. It also picks up national courts applying human rights conventions to the extent the case deals with a major point of substantive human rights law.  Since ILR began, over 10,000 cases have been reported in full or digest form. You can find International Law Reports in our database list or click here.

Scanning Directly to the Computer Terminals is Back!

Some of us are pretty darn excited to learn that we can once again scan directly to the four computer terminals closest to the Library terrace. So we now have the option to either scan to a drive or scan to the computer terminal and print. Ask at Circulation if you have any questions.

Newly Added New York Times Database

This new database offers full-page images and article images from the New York Times dating back to 1851 (called New York Daily Times, 1851-1857). There are digital reproductions of every page from every issue, cover to cover, in downloadable PDF files. It provides researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and coverage of the politics, society and events of the time. User name, barcode number, and PIN required for off-campus access.