MEMORIAL DAY

In observance of Memorial Day, the law library will be closed Sunday, May 24  and Monday, May 25.

A brief Memorial Day History is available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Website. Also of interest may be two famous Memorial Day speeches delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, one in 1884 and the other addressed to the graduating class at Harvard Law School in 1895.  PDFs of these speeches are available using The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises Database (GMUSL users may link to this database here).

And where is Memorial Day officially designated a Federal holiday? Title 36 of the United States Code includes statutes relating to “Patriotic and National Observances.” 36 U.S.C. § 116 designates the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

 

LAW LIBRARY RESOURCES FOR NEW GRADUATES

Access to Legal Databases:

  • Bloomberg Law: Full access continues until December 31, 2015. No action needed.
  • Lexis Advance
    • Full access through July 1, 2015. No action needed.
    • Graduates who register here will receive access to a Graduate Home Page with tailored content, resume tips, virtual research training, and current legal news from Law360® through December 31, 2015.
    • If you are working for a nonprofit or public interest organization you may apply here for one year of free access through the ASPIRE Program.
  • Westlaw:  
    • Access to job-related resources for 18 months. No action needed.
    • Graduating students may extend their password here for unlimited Westlaw access through November 30th for Academic purposes, finding a job, for updating research/note/comments, etc.

Access to Library Services:

  • Student IDs are valid through October 12, 2015—so new graduates may reserve study rooms, check out books (until Sept. 30), and use the computer labs.
  • The library is open to the public for conducting legal research, so please feel free to use our print resources and publicly available databases— including in-library access to Keycite, Shepards, Bloomberg Law, and HeinOnline. There are also Westlaw and Lexis Patron Access Terminals with limited primary sources. More information about the library’s access policy is available here.
  • Reference librarians are also happy to assist you in person, by phone 703.993.8076, or email.


SUMMER ACCESS TO LEGAL DATABASES FOR CURRENT STUDENTS

During the summer, Current GMUSL Students have the following legal database access:

  • Bloomberg Law: Unlimited, unrestricted access. No registration required.
  • Lexis Advance: Unlimited, unrestricted access. No registration required.
  • Westlaw: Limited, restricted access. Registration required.
    • Students retain access to all TWEN courses and materials, and West Academic Online Study Aids.
    • Students may apply for a password extension here for the following acceptable uses:
      • Summer law school classes
      • Law journal work
      • Projects for faculty
      • Moot court
      • Unpaid, nonprofit public-interest internship/externship or pro bono work required for graduation
    • Summer passwords may not be used for research for “law firms, corporations or other entity (unrelated to law school) that is paying you to conduct said research or that is passing the costs of said research to a third party.”

Students continue to have full access to all other Law-Related Databases and databases available from the GMU Libraries Database Portal.

Reference Librarians will be available throughout the Summer to answer any research-related questions. Please feel free to call, email, or stop by the Reference Office. Full contact details are available from the library Staff Directory.

 

LAW DAY CELEBRATES MAGNA CARTA

In 1961, Congress officially designated May 1 as Law Day (36 U.S.C.§ 113):

§113. Law Day, U.S.A.
(a) Designation. May 1 is Law Day, U.S.A.
(b) Purpose.-Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States-
(1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and
(2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.

Each year, the American Bar Association selects a theme for the Law Day celebration. This year’s theme is: Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law, in recognition of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta:

 Perhaps more than any other document in human history, Magna Carta has come to embody a simple but enduring truth: No one, no matter how powerful, is above the law.

In the eight centuries that have elapsed since Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, it has taken root as an international symbol of the rule of law and as an inspiration for many basic rights Americans hold dear today, including due process, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the right to travel.

As we mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, join us on Law Day, May 1, 2015, to commemorate this “Great Charter of Liberties,” and rededicate ourselves to advancing the principle of rule of law here and abroad.

Learn more about this year’s Law Day:

LAW LIBRARY SURVEY: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

GMUSL Students: please complete our brief annual Student Survey of Library and Technology Services. The library staff values highly student feedback to our surveys. We read the results carefully each year and make adjustments as we can.

HAPPY NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK: FINE AMNESTY RETURNS!

In honor of National Library Week, the law library’s circulation department is once again forgiving fines. Patrons who return all overdue books during National Library week (April 12-18, 2014) will be forgiven for up to $10.00 in fines.  Please see Rob, Maya, or Mark if you would like to have your fines forgiven.

First sponsored by the American Library Association in 1958, National Library Week celebrates the important contributions of the nation’s libraries and librarians to our communities and educational institutions.

 

The Lincoln Assassination Trials

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.  Booth was shot and killed 12 days later. Eight alleged conspirators were tried before a military commission and convicted; four were sentenced to hanging.

A ninth alleged conspirator, John Surratt fled the country when he learned of Lincoln’s assassination, and was not captured and returned to the United States until November, 1866. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee issued a report criticizing the “the executive department of the government” for failing to use “due diligence” in arresting Surratt (39 H.R. 33). He was ultimately tried in a civilian court but acquitted of murder after a mistrial.

The Law Library of Congress has digitized documents related to the assassination trials available here.

The-ConspiratorsThe Conspirators: Mary E. Surratt, David E. Herold,  Lewis Payne, George A. Atzerodt, Edward Spangler, Samuel A. Mudd, Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlin
(Source: Law Library of Congress)