Summer reading…had me a blast…

This could be you.

This could be you.

Ready to read for fun?  Well, then your first stop should be our Law and Popular Culture collection.  We have all of the ABA’s top law novels, a bunch of John Grisham titles, and other titles.  We also have DVD’s, including the ABA’s top law movies.

If you don’t find what you’d like here, you can borrow from over 80 academic library systems all across Illinois.  Yes, that’s right. And when you make a request online, they deliver directly to our library!

Or you can stop by an I-Share library while you’re out and about with your school ID and check out materials in person  (many Chicago-area universities are part of the program).

What can you borrow?

The items available depend on the policies of each library, but there are a huge variety of libraries in this system. Many of these libraries offer a wide variety of materials from textbooks to popular fiction to cookbooks to movies.

How long can you keep them?

Each item loan period is 4 weeks. Students can renew items 3 times (unless it is recalled by the library for one of their patrons) and staff and faculty can renew items 6 times. Continue reading

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CALIcon 2016

CALICon 2016 Logo

You’ve taken their lessons, and maybe even won one of their awards.  But during the summer, CALI doesn’t rest.  It’s annual conference, CALIcon, is coming up this week, from Thursday, June 16, through Saturday, June 18.

The conference is hosted by a different school every year.  This year, we’ll be heading to Atlanta to see the new law school building at Georgia State University.

Continue reading

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Summer Construction in the Library

construction sign 2016If you haven’t visited our library since exams ended, you may be surprised to see the major changes that have occurred over the last few weeks. As our campus prepares to welcome the IIT Institute of Design to this building, two floors in the library have been cleared to allow them to create new flexible workspaces.

Reorganizing materials has been a complicated project, but with careful planning we have preserved access to the library’s research materials and are working to maximize study space for our students as well.

8th floor microfiche & study room

8th flr. microfiche study room

Special services like the Media Room and the New Mothers room are located on the 8th floor and will not be affected by the change.

The microfiche storage from the 6th floor has been incorporated into an 8th floor study space. The Rare Books area on the 6th floor was relocated last summer as part of the archives move to the 985 suite.

Before & After – Images of the Move

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Preparing the Collection

Librarians have been preparing for these changes since the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester. They started by identifying which volumes on the shelves were already duplicated in our online collections.

This was a simpler project for the sixth and seventh floors because of the types of collections they held. The 7th floor held primarily law reviews and journals, which were almost all already avail20160526CK Law Library 6th floor 43able through HeinOnline, Lexis, and Westlaw. The 6th floor held our state materials and other books.

Although most duplicated materials were identified quickly, librarians also reviewed the collection by hand to identify materials that we would need to move to other areas of the library, primarily the 8th floor.

2016 Library Materials move

During the move, materials kept in the building were carefully marked and separated from items to be donated.

The next step was to contact other legal research collections and companies to see how we could donate print materials for various preservation projects. Many of the volumes were accepted by PALMPrint, a “collaborative [..] project aimed at developing a shared, circulating collection of primary U.S. legal materials in print,” while others will be sent to HeinOnline to supplement their scanning of historical legal materials.

Moving Process

With spreadsheets and maps carefully laid out by the Chicago-Kent librarians, professional movers began reorganizing the collections in May shortly after the end of exams. Items to be moved within the building were marked out separately, while items to be donated were prepared for removal from the building.

Library staff have followed through after the movers to remove the labelling system and perform our own quality control to review placement of the books.

What’s Next

Over the summer, the 6th and 7th floor library spaces will be renovated for the IIT Institute of Design and the internal library elevator will only go between the 8th and 9th floors. A few more bookshelves will be moved on the 9th floor to make room for additional study tables.

We look forward to welcoming the Institute of Design and will cover their arrival (scheduled by August 1) and their interesting, varied work in later posts.

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Library Services for Alumni

Alumni Card Back

This past weekend, Chicago-Kent was proud to send yet another class of students into the world of legal practice, armed with the skills and tools that they will need to succeed.  The library would like to congratulate all newly-minted alumni on their achievement. We would also remind them that we are still here if you need us.

Has your new boss asked you to find a regulation, and you can’t quite remember where to look?  Contact the reference desk!  Did you forget where to find a form for a contract you need to draft?  There’s a guide for that!  Just want to chat about the good old days in library?  We’d love to hear from you!

If there is anything that the library can help you with, just know that we are still here for alumni just as we are for current students.  Check out the alumni services page of our website.

Congratulations, Graduates!

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New Tools in Legal Research: Ravel Law Judge Analytics

Ravel Law is a free tool for legal research (like Google Scholar and casetext).  Ravel Law has added a feature not found in most legal research resources –  analytics.  Ravel’s Judge Analytics data provides detailed information about how individual judges think and rule on particular matters.  This tool recently won an award for best new product of the year.

The tool is powerful, yet very easy to use.  Users select a judge to research. Ravel can analyze that judge’s opinions to discover:

  • Which opinions the judge cites most often (and the language cited from those opinions)
  • Which jurisdictions the judge cites most often
  • Which other judges the judge cites most often

Continue reading

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April Authors at Chicago-Kent

One week in April brought us three book talks with authors discussing their latest works. The topics discussed at these events ranged from the looming crisis in personal savings and financial literacy to the role activists play in affecting constitutional law to a historical review of our first female U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Did you miss attending these events? I’ve summarized the discussions and Q&A from two events here and a video of the third event, along with links to help you borrow the books via libraries or purchase them online. Continue reading

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Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Westlaw, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law

As summer approaches, many students and soon-to-be graduates wonder whether they will still have access to their favorite subscription databases over the summer.  Here is a summary of the access that will be offered during the summer of 2016:


Continuing students will be able to extend their passwords over the summer for academic purposes, including school work, moot court, unpaid internship/externships, law review, and research assistant positions.  As long as the work is related to school or for school credit, a student can use their Westlaw account.  Students can extend their passwords here.

While students can use their academic accounts for the purposes listed above, if a student will be working for a firm or other organization they should use the Westlaw account provided to them by their employer.

Graduates will also be able to extend their passwords through the end of November for academic purposes and bar examination preparation.  Graduating students can extend their passwords at this page.

Lexis Advance

  • Lexis Advance Summer Access – All students have Full Access with their law school ID all summer. This includes BOTH academic use and work use (no restrictions). No need to register – full access is automatically provided.
  • Lexis Advance IDs: Spring 2016 graduates have full access to Lexis Advance via their law school IDs through December 31, 2016. This ID also grants them access to the Graduate Home Page (detailed below).
  • Spring Graduate New Home Page: On July 1st, Spring graduates’ view of the Law School Home Page will switch from its current appearance to the “graduate view”. This new view will provide helpful information for your careers and job search.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law offers students unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law over the summer and for 6 months following graduation.  No special registration is required.


If you have any questions regarding access to any of these services, please feel free to contact our account representatives:

Westlaw – Dennis Elverman (
LexisNexis – Jonnell Simpson (
Bloomberg Law – Valerie Carullo (

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Teaching Technology in the Academy

Prof. Daniel Katz: “Let’s scale this stuff!”

In my last blog post about the ABA TECHSHOW, I mentioned that one of the conference’s workshops would be hosted at Chicago-Kent: Dean’s Roundtable: Teaching Technology in the Academy. This half-day program, held the morning of March 16, focused on the ways law schools are teaching technology concepts to law students, as well as which concepts are most important.

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I Have Met the Leader, and He is Us

Everyone can help or at least try

A leader helps and accepts help

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the American Association of Law Libraries’ Leadership Academy.  The most profound and interesting takeaway from the conference was the idea that we can all be leaders, even if we are not the boss.

The speakers, Gail Johnson and Pam Parr of Face to Face Communications and Training, Inc., stated boldly that it is a myth that leaders need followers.  Gail pointed out that when people just follow blindly, then they can’t help offer solutions or point out problems.  Then she asked us a powerful question: would you rather have someone following behind you or walking beside you?

So what does leadership look like when you’re not the committee chair or not the boss?  The Academy offered a fairly simple answer: you communicate clearly and motivate those around you to do their best.

Think of the worst group project you’ve ever been in.  First of all, it was probably the worst because someone misunderstood what the group of doing, someone went off-line and couldn’t be reached, and you couldn’t get anyone to understand your idea.  Clear communication could have helped.  Gail and Pam offered an old-fashioned solution: talk in person.  I know we’re all busy and Google docs are a great collaboration tool, but what if you mixed in some in-person meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page?  You could Skype or FaceTime.

Second, the worst group project ever was probably the worst because it seemed like no one else cared.  If you’re in law school, you were probably the person who rolled her eyes and picked up the slack.  Gail and Pam pointed to this as a problem of motivation.  This is arguably a much bigger challenge than clear communication.  From everything I heard at the conference, I think perhaps the easiest thing we can do to motivate others is to say thank you, to show appreciation, and to take the opportunity to tell others that their work matters.

I’m energized by this vision of leadership, especially because it means I can be a leader all my life.

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There’s no fooling Johnny Law

April Fools Day is all fun and games until someone gets arrested.  As we celebrate the wackiest day of the year, we urge everyone to have fun, be safe, and learn from the mistakes of these shortsighted pranksters:

Spokane, WA Spokesman-Review, July 26, 1907

Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 26, 1907


Charlie Graff, what WILL you say next?!”

“That Borden thing was only 15 years ago, you scoundrel. Too soon.”

As a loyal subscriber to the Chicago Onion-Register, I think you’ll find me quite difficult to fool, sir.”

Seriously though, where is your wife?”



File this under: not well-thought-out:

Bus prank


“My friend knows a guy whose cousin is a mechanic, and he said that if we just cut them a little, they’ll grow back by April 2.”

Bro, if I bomb this chem test my parents are gonna  freak.  We need to get out of class tomorrow.”


Not the right audience:

Bagley Farmers Independent, Nov. 24, 1993.

Bagley Farmers Independent, Nov. 24, 1993.




Uh, yeah, I took them…from a POLICE STATION…seriously, how are you not getting this?”



“You want to know the real joke? This VCR in 6 months when everything is on LaserDisc.”






Finally, lest you think that the police have no sense of humor whatsoever:

Wilmington Morning Star, April 7, 1996

Wilmington Morning Star, April 7, 1996



“Sure, ‘Officer,’ I’d be happy to get into your real, actual ‘police car.’ Here, I’ll even make the siren noises–weee-oooo, weee-oooo, weee-ooooo…”



“Seriously, you’re under arrest, but let me get a quick face swap before I cuff you. The fellas at the station will love it.”





For even more examples of what not to do this year, see articles here, here, here and here.

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