Banned Books Week 2015: Share A Favorite!

banned books recruitmentWe want your book reviews! For Banned Books Week 2015 we want to show the value of intellectual freedom and celebrate the freedom to read within the Chicago-Kent community.

Send us your story of a banned book that has influenced you personally, perhaps one you loved growing up or one that challenged you with a new perspective. We’ll be posting collections of these reviews from faculty, staff, and students on this blog from September 27-October 3.

‘Not sure what you’d want to share? You can find examples of other staff and faculty contributions from previous years in our Banned Books Week archive. Continue reading

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Orientation Week 2015


Chicago-Kent College of Law’s 1L Orientation Week 2015 is officially upon us, and that means that a new batch of inquisitive minds have re-entered the building and the library.  A full slate of activities and programs have been hosted in the law school throughout the week, aimed at helping incoming students acclimate to the challenges of law school.  Here is a snapshot of what Orientation Week 2015 has consisted of so far, along with helpful services and resources that the library can provide to Chicago-Kent students.

Immediately following registration, Students were welcomed by IIT President Alan Cramb, Chicago-Kent’s Dean Krent, and Assistant Dean Sowle.

One program that contained a number of insights on the law school experience at Chicago-Kent was Law School 101: The New Alumni Perspective.  This program brought together recent Chicago-Kent graduates to give the advice and wisdom gained from three years at Chicago-Kent to the new incoming class.

New Alumni Panel

New Alumni Panel


When asked about balancing student activites, work, and classes Megan Morton said her leadership roles with student organizations gave her valuable relationships that helped keep her well-rounded, but also provided practical skills like event plannning. Iman Boundaoui said she focused on just one organization, Moot Court Honor Society, because it supplemented the excellent writing program at Chicago-Kent and her experience writing appellate briefs led to several opportunities professionally.

When asked about balancing student activites, work, and classes Megan Morton said her leadership roles with student organizations gave her valuable relationships that helped keep her well-rounded, but also provided practical skills like event plannning. Iman Boundaoui said she focused on just one organization, Moot Court Honor Society, because it supplemented the excellent writing program at Chicago-Kent and her experience writing appellate briefs led to several opportunities professionally.

Common refrains during the alumni panel included the need to practice efficient note-taking, develop good study habits, and use of past exams to help students prepare for what they might see on their finals.  In furtherance of these topics, the library has previously published blog posts on note-taking and apps to assist with studying.  Additionally, librarians at the Chicago-Kent Law Library have created a number of useful study guides to assist students with research on a variety of legal and non-legal topics.

Past exams can be found in the library’s electronic exam database, which each student can access with their myIIT username and password.  

For many incoming students, orientation week provides their first look at the Chicago-Kent Law Library.  Research librarians lead library tours for all incoming day and evening division J.D. students, as well as domestic and international LL.M. students.

For any students who may have missed their tour of the library, feel free to familiarize yourselves with the library’s facilities with our online virtual tour.

There are also helpful QR codes located on the ends of shelves throughout the library.  Scanning these codes with your mobile device will open an audio recording explaining the resources located near that code.

On behalf of Chicago-Kent and the Law Library, we want to welcome incoming 1Ls, as well as welcome back all returning 2Ls and 3Ls.  We look forward to making sure your 2015-2016 academic year is a success!

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Life’s a Beach: Chicago-Kent’s Author, Outdoorsman, Olympian

The day was hot, and Henry Walter Beach took a moment to stop his fall plowing and rest his knee, which seized and stiffened in the heat. He removed his soft brown hat and the piece of cotton he kept beneath it, and felt the sharp hand of the sun find the top of his head immediately. Balancing with one knee straight, compensating for the axe wound that had split his kneecap three winters before, he leaned to dip the cotton rag into his water pail. The wet rag offered some relief from the brutal heat which had so far refused to retreat at the advance of the fall season, and with the hat back in place, Henry could almost ignore the oppressive beams of sun overhead. He rallied his tired muscles and made ready to dig back into his plowing when he heard it: a call coming from somewhere near the shack. He stood silently listening for it again, as a much needed breeze excited the dry and crinkled leaves on the thirsty trees. There it was again, for certain this time, a sound traveling across the cracked brown expanse of Michigan farmland from the wood shed. He dropped the plow, tipped the water bucket, and ran to the ramshackle little house. Inside, he dug through his wife Eva’s sewing basket for scissors and thread, and brought these supplies to her in the wood shed, where she labored in the shadowy dark. By evening, two small boys returned from the cow field to find their father rubbing a mewling infant with a gunny sack. “Meet your new brother,” he said, before dunking the stunned baby into a tin wash tub. Of the experience, Rex Ellingwood Beach, born on that day, September 1, 1877, later remarked “I still yell at a cold bath.”

Beach’s childhood was spent on his father’s farm in Atwood, Michigan until the age of seven, when, under the Homestead Act, his family moved to Tampa, Florida. Here, the Beach sons spent their days diving, swimming, and running barefoot on beaches. Their father soon opened a broom shop in the hopes of raising money to send his three sons to school, which he did, and eventually the wild young Rex Beach was corralled and forced to put on shoes. Rex was sent to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Though the dormitories had no running water and the school had little financial support with which to better itself, Beach found happiness swimming in clear spring water, diving from rocks, and spending hot afternoons “refresh[ing] the girls by allowing them to watch us cavort in the cool, clear depths.” He spent his monthly allowance on soda pop. “I indulged myself to the full and lurched back to the campus belching luxuriously in assorted flavors,” he wrote. At Rollins, Beach also had several disagreements with the college administration. In 1892, he was severely reprimanded by the college president for the “heinous” crime of sailing on a Sunday. The next week, he was suspended for attending a late night party in Orlando.

Rex Beach

Rex Beach diving, date unknown. Department of College Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College.

Though he was eventually reinstated at Rollins, Beach was certain that his calling was to become a lawyer, and left the school a year early bound for Chicago, where his two older brothers practiced law. “I proposed to enter their office, rapidly make myself a partner in the firm, then become a Justice of the Supreme Court and live in Washington,” he wrote of his plans. “There being nine Justices and only one President it looked like a cinch. Furthermore I had always wanted to own a black lounging robe.” As he waited for classes at the Chicago College of Law at Lake Forest University to start, he made himself useful around the office, and “began to shadow box with my chosen profession.” Upon hearing that the Chicago Athletic Association fed its team members meat on a regular basis, Beach introduced himself to the captain of the football team, Mr. William Hale Thompson, future mayor of Chicago. Beach boasted of his football experience, when in actuality he had none. As he talked, Thompson dined on “a burial mound of spaghetti au gratin,” which made Beach’s mouth water and his tale taller. Somehow, he managed to get a spot on the C.A.A. football team, where he “missed not a single meal at the training table.” Through football season and into water polo season, Beach attended law school in Lake Forest and played on C.A.A. teams, alternating his time between reading law books and studying sports rules. That summer, however, the discovery of gold in the Klondike sent the country into a fervor and Beach decided that since it would quite possibly take a while to get into the Supreme Court, and since athletic injuries would soon render him useless, he may as well take some time off and try his hand at gold mining. For two years, he traveled the Yukon with nothing but a rifle, a fur-lined sleeping bag, and a mandolin, and returned with only the mandolin, sans strings. He re-enrolled in law school in 1899, this time the Kent College of Law, which was only months away from fully merging with the Chicago College of Law to become today’s Chicago-Kent.

Rex Beach, c. 1894. Department of College Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College.

Rex Beach, c. 1894. Department of College Archives and Special Collections, Olin Library, Rollins College.

Though he had begun his study of the law with no doubt that it was to be his profession, Beach felt differently about his calling through his second year of law school. “It was the salmon in me, no doubt; an upstream urge driving me back to the spawning grounds. Anyhow I no longer had the urge to wear a Supreme Court parka.” The years spent hiking from town to town, sleeping on fishing boats, and searching in vain for payloads of gold had inspired him to seek out more adventures. He spent the summer of 1900 in Alaska, where he struck a small amount of gold near Nome. Two years later, he found not only a mining claim for sale, but a purchaser for it, whom he talked into making him a partner, “using much the same technique I had employed on Big Bill Thompson.” He wandered Alaska, hiking through scalded valleys where the earth exhaled volcanic gases, and traversing frozen mountain passes cut by glaciers. He visited mountain towns, got into

Rex Beach, date unknown.

Rex Beach, date unknown.

“scraps” in variety theaters and at card games, and bet on boxing matches between road crew members and businessmen. He met Edith Greta Crater, then a young proprietor of a small mining hotel, whom he later wrote was “as independent, as self-confident, and as businesslike as a man.” As “an old man of twenty-four,” and a married man at that, he returned to Chicago and sold life insurance for a short time, and later building materials. A successful salesman, he soon had the means to join the C.A.A. as a full member, and captained the water polo team. In 1904, his company was hired to install boilers at the St. Louis World’s Fair (The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition). The 1904 Summer Olympics were being held concurrently in the city, as a part of the Exhibition, which gave Beach the chance to compete. In St. Louis, Beach competed as an individual and won the one-mile handicap swimming race. He then competed as a member of the C.A.A.’s water polo team, which placed second. However, handicap races are not counted as Olympic events, and due to a disagreement over the disqualification of a German team, the International Olympic Committee considered the water polo match an exhibition game, not an Olympic event, so Beach returned to Chicago without his gold and silver medals.

The Spoilers (1942)

The Spoilers (1942)

On a sales trip, Beach was pleased to run into an acquaintance from Alaska, and was inspired by the reminiscences they shared with one another. Yet another new interest began to bloom for Beach: fiction writing. He wrote as he traveled, in rail cars, in waiting rooms, and anywhere he could fit his suitcase onto his knees to use as a writing desk. His stories of Alaskan travels began to appear in magazines around the country, beginning with “The Mule Boy and the Garrulous Mute,” published in McClure’s Magazine in 1903. With encouragement from the editors of both McClure’s Magazine and Everybody’s, Beach began to work on his first novel, The Spoilers. In 1906, the book became a bestseller at 700,000 copies, and was later made into a movie five times, most famously in 1942, starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne. It earned Beach the reputation of “The Victor Hugo of the North.” Beach entered negotiations with the motion-picture industry carefully, calling it “eccentric, mildly mad…It runs a fever that infects most of the people in it.” He was one of the first writers to stress the importance of the inclusion of the author’s name in film adaptations, and insisted that he be credited on all film versions of his novels. Over the next 40 years, he wrote adventure stories set in fictional Alaskan towns and in the wild surrounding lands, recounting what he had witnessed, and embellishing here and there with that same talent that had earned him that spot on Thompson’s football team and a financial partner in gold mining. His novels The Barrier and The Silver Horde made the bestseller lists in 1908 and 1909, respectively, while the allure of the Alaskan wilderness and Gold Rush Fever still captivated the public. Of his 33 novels, 14 were made into movies, and on each he received the screen credit he demanded.

Excerpt from The Chicago-Kent Bulletin, Volume 1, Issue 5, 1916. AC025, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives.

Excerpt from The Chicago-Kent Bulletin, Volume 1, Issue 5, 1916. AC025, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives.

Though he never became a lawyer, Beach continued writing for the rest of his life. At the time of his death in 1949, he had written countless short stories and numerous books, and his screenplays spanned the era of silent movies into the days of full-color motion pictures. He received an honorary degree from Rollins College in 1927, and both he and Edith Greta were later buried on campus near the Alumni House. Beach made the most of every experience, every hardship, and every memorable moment in his life by translating them into captivating adventure stories, because, as he put it, “Life isn’t easy or painless. That’s what makes it a swell adventure.”


Beach, Rex Ellingwood. Personal Exposures. 1940.

Gayle Prince Rajtar, Steve Rajtar. Winter Park Chronicles. 2011.

“Rex Beach – From Forelock to Brisket”. From the Rollins Archives. 2012.

“Rex Ellingwood Beach (1877-1949): Famous Rollins Alumni and Prolific Outdoor Novelist”. Rollins Archives.

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Chicago-Kent Librarians at National Law Libraries Conference

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) holds an annual conference that features great presentations on the latest legal topics and technologies as well as fun events. This year’s AALL 2015 conference was held in Philadelphia in July. Your Chicago-Kent law librarians were well represented!

Tech Training

AALL Tech Skills Panel

“Technology Skills Law Librarians Need to Thrive” Panel

Debbie Ginsberg, our Education Technology Librarian, led several presentations at the AALL 2015 conference focusing on technology training for law librarians and law students.

Her first panel discussion  looked at the challenges of professional development with technology when the tools you use are constantly changing.

Working with a Sidley Austin tech trainer  and a law firm librarian, Debbie and Emily Barney, our Technology Development & Training Librarian at Chicago-Kent, presented on their experiences teaching law students and lawyers the technology skills they need to succeed at school and in Photo by Marie Kaddell, @libraryfocus, used with permission.the workplace.

Emily and Debbie also each demonstrated a favorite technology at the hands-on Cool Tools Cafe.  Emily showed off the versatility of her Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and Debbie demonstrated Asana, an online task management tool.

photo by Marie Kaddell

Scott with CALL awardsShowcasing Chicago

Research Librarian Scott Vanderlin helped our local law library organization, the Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL), set up a great display table showcasing some of their most recent achievements.  Scott’s creative design skills have led to CALL winning several national awards.

Also in Philadelphia…

Around the edges of this very busy conference, Chicago-Kent librarians also provided helpful tips on exploring Philadelphia through a special AALL Supplement issue of the CALL Bulletin:

If you’re curious about the local collaboration and professional development of law librarians in Chicago, there’s a wealth of resources in the CALL Bulletin (edited by Scott Vanderlin)!

National Leaders

Chicago-Kent librarians are very active in a wide range of professional associations from CALL: Chicago Association of Law Libraries, the local chapter of AALL, to LIPA, CALI, and many more.

AALL: American Association of Law Libraries

Chicago-Kent Library Director Keith Ann Stiverson is the new 2016 president of AALL. At the AALL 2015 conference she emphasized promoting advocacy, professional development, and a creative work on current challenges in the legal field.  She will also work to connect this national law libraries organization with other professional groups, including the ABA.

One advocacy initiative Keith Ann Stiverson has championed to improve access to legal information is UELMA:

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) is a uniform law that addresses many of the concerns posed by the publication of state primary legal material online. […] It furthers state policies of accountability and transparency in providing legal information to the public.


Keith Ann Stiverson at 2015 AALL conference

Keith Ann Stiverson announcing Make It New 2016 Annual AALL meeting

Next year’s AALL conference will be held in Chicago from July 16-20, 2016.  “Make it New, Create the Future” is the title: a rallying cry of  Chicago leaders following the great fire of 1871 and early modernist artists (represented by the Chicago Picasso sculpture logo).


In a time of rapid changes, Keith Ann Stiverson emphasized the importance of law librarians being actively engaged with the issues confronting the legal field. Creative librarians provide key services to answer the needs of their firms and faculty. Law faculty and students are welcome to attend this conference July 16 – 19 in Chicago next summer.

LIPA: Legal Information Preservation Alliance

LIPA logo

JoAnn Hounshell, our Associate Director, became Chair of the LIPA board of directors this year.  LIPA provides “the leadership, the organizational framework, and the professional commitment necessary to preserve vital legal information.”  You’ll appreciate the work LIPA does when you need an important research resource that you can’t find in the big online databases.

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A Million from Make-Believe: Chicago-Kent’s Costumologist

Wanted: Strong, healthy girl who can teach German to two boys, take care of a bedridden elderly woman, and sew for the household. Wages: $3 per week.

On December 19, 1886, a twenty-year-old Wilhelmine Friederike Moscherosch stepped off the passenger ship Werra at Ellis Island, New York. In the pocket of her handmade coat, she had a copy of the governess ad from the newspaper, as well as a page of instructions to help her reach her new job in Chicago, still hundreds of miles away after the long voyage from Bremen. She also held a gold piece worth $5, given to her by her grandparents. She was alone, spoke very little English, and had the entire world ahead of her.


The Werra in 1882.

Wilhelmine (“Minna”) was born in 1866 in the tiny town of Sindelfingen, Germany, near Stuttgart. She was the eldest of eleven children, and when she was not attending school, there was always work to do at home. She expressed an early interest in sewing when she heard, at the age of five, the story of Snow White. Her mother discouraged playing and daydreaming, so Minna asked her grandmother for scraps of fabric with which to make a Snow White doll, and her grandmother helped the girl piece together a tiny figurine from a potato, and a miniature costume from a bit of wool. Minna was hooked, and became known for her talent with a needle and thread. She made clothes for her brothers and sisters, then began to take in seamstress work, which she did in her spare time. The earnings from her sewing went into her savings, and when she was twenty, she finally had enough for the journey to America. She answered an advertisement for a German tutor and caretaker in Chicago and was on her way. The five dollar piece, her grandparents told her, was an investment in her future. “Your square hands are beautiful,” her grandmother said, “because they can make things, and you can accomplish whatever you wish if your head and heart are right and hands are willing.”

Chicago was bursting at the seams with growth, and for a young “steerage girl” who barely spoke English, there was a lot of catching up to do. When she wasn’t occupied with governess duties, Minna dove headlong into her studies of the English language, putting her gold piece toward English lessons. In 1887, Julius Schmidt, her sweetheart from Sindelfingen, arrived in Chicago, and the two married in October of that year, beginning a partnership that would last 63 years. Together, the two attended the Columbian Exposition of 1893, which gave Minna the idea to teach dance and drama. Julius and Minna opened a small dance school, The Locust Studio, where Minna gave private lessons. Her talents became sought after in the small circles of artistic and creative people in Chicago, and soon she was designing and manufacturing the necessary costumes for amateur plays and pageants. The demands of her creative work became a full-time occupation, and Minna left her governess job so that she and Julius could open the Schmidt Costume and Wig Shop at 920 N. Clark Street.

Ad from Patterson's American Educational Directory, 1945

Ad from Patterson’s American Educational Directory, 1945

The shop, which sat across the street from the Newberry Library, was the country’s first shop dedicated to costumes and wigs. In 1915, Minna and Julius purchased the building for their endeavor, which specialized in costume making and rentals, and expanded to include Minna’s dance and drama lessons in an upstairs room. By the 1920s, the business was a million-dollar enterprise, which employed twenty people, including Julius and Minna’s two sons, and saw as many as 6500 costume pieces rented in a single day. The Schmidt sons, Edwin and Helmut, eventually stepped in to manage the day-to-day activities at Schmidt Costume and Wig so that their mother could move on to explore other interests. She began by organizing the Costumer’s Association of Chicago in early 1921, and enrolled in law school that same year.

In 1924, at the age of 58, Minna Schmidt graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law, after taking evening and Sunday courses for four years. “I merely took the course in law to improve my mind and make me fit for the many things I plan to do in the future,” she explained to the Pontiac Chautauqua, “When I use my knowledge of law it will be in doing simple helpful things for the good of humanity.” Her thesis, “Ancient Laws and Customs and the Evolution of the Status of Women,” reflected her interest in the role of women in history, a role that saw triumphant expansion in the 20s. A stickler for detail in historical costumes, Minna decided that in order to become an able historian of fashion and clothing, she needed to put her research skills to work. Following her law degree in 1924, Minna traveled to Madrid, Cairo, Paris, and Jerusalem, searching for examples of authentic costumes from a variety of time periods. She studied history, art, and literature to learn about the minute details of fans and shoes, beards and bustles. She applied all of this knowledge to the creation of a series of wax figures, built by her son Helmut, each of which Minna costumed according to a specific time period. While she worked on the figurines, she also started the Chicago Schmidt College of Scientific Costuming in 1927, where she offered lectures in period costuming and opened her extensive costume library to her students. In 1929, she returned to Chicago-Kent for her Master’s degree. That same year, she became a lecturer in professional costuming at the University of Chicago.

32 of the 400 figurines displayed at the World's Fair 1933-34

15 of the 400 figurines displayed at the World’s Fair 1933-34

Minna’s first set of figurines were based on women who she believed were “representatives of true womanhood.” The figurines were women who had been mothers and wives, and who had served their communities in some way. The first series, titled 3000 Years of Fashion, included 120 historical and literary figures, from the Bible’s Eve to a flapper from the 1920s. The series was so successful that Minna continued with a second: together with the Chicago Historical Society, she selected and researched a group of women and created a series of seventy-two wax figurines. For her third and most expansive series, Minna chose women from all levels of society, and wrote letters to representatives of foreign countries asking them to list four or five outstanding women and provide biographical information and portraits. The resulting series included four hundred historical female figures, for which Minna authored a book, 400 Outstanding Women of the World and Costumology of Their Time. The large series was displayed at the 1933-34 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Excerpt from Alumni News, Chicago-Kent Law Review, 1932.

Excerpt from Alumni News, Chicago-Kent Law Review, January 1932.

Minna Schmidt used her success and wealth to help others, as she had always dreamed of doing. She financed the education of seventeen brothers, sisters, nephews, and cousins, bringing many over from Germany to live in Chicago. In her later years, she set aside money for the educations of great-grandchildren, noting that her grandparents had done the same for her with the five dollar gold piece. She financed a hospital for women and children in her native Sindelfingen, and donated her Evanston mansion to Northwestern University at the age of 90, when she went to spend her final years in St. Mary’s Hospital. Minna’s figurines, which were donated to historical societies, Catholic schools, and libraries, have not withstood the test of time. Portions of the collections have been split amongst private collectors as many institutions to which Minna willed them have closed over the years. The wax figures have fallen victim to time and its endless supply of dust and decay, but the story of Minna Schmidt, the girl from steerage, survives, and it is a story which cannot be told without the recognition of the hundreds of years of accomplishments of women who came before her, and that is, perhaps, her greatest “simple, helpful thing” for the good of humanity.


Kertz, Jane. “Figurines Are Relics of Woman’s Career.” Chicago Tribune, 15 March 1956: N8.

Lyon, Marge. “Centuries of History Live in Her Museum of Figurines.” Chicago Tribune, 1 February 1953: 6.

“Minna, Famed As Costumer, Is Dead At 95: Mrs. Schmidt Noted for Figurines.” Chicago Tribune, 10 December 1961: A19.

Minna Schmidt, LL.D.Pontiac Chautauqua, 1929: 33.

Minna Schmidt (Moscherosch).” Evanston Women’s History Project.

“Mrs. Minna Schmidt Honored; 50 Years in Costume Work.” Chicago Tribune, 30 December 1936: 16.

Osborne, Georgia L. Brief Biographies of the Figurines On Display in the Illinois State Historical Library. 1932.

Schultz, Rima Lunin and Hast, Adele. Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary. 2001.

“Woman, 58, Gets Her Law Degree Here This June.” Chicago Tribune, 28 April 1924: 2.

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Bowdler’s Day

Shakespeare Bowdlerized

On July 11 of each year, we recognize the birth of the man whose name has literally become synonymous with censorship.  In 1807, Thomas Bowdler, an English physician and philanthropist, published a volume titled The Family Shakespeare–essentially, a censored edition of Shakespeare’s works.  It was Bowdler’s intention to make Shakespeare “fit for the perusal of our virtuous females.”  Bowdler’s edition, for instance, changed Lady Macbeth’s “Out, damn’d spot!” to “Out, crimson spot!” These and other changes to Shakespeare’s original text lead to the coining of the verb “to bowdlerize,” to refer to the modification or omission of words of phrases in a text that are considered unsavory.  So, censorship.

For more information on the life of Thomas Bowdler, and the birth of the verb that bears his name, I highly recommend reading “How Not to Bowdlerize” by Ross E. Davies.

Here in the library, we cannot, in good conscience, celebrate a man who was made famous for censoring literature.  Still, Thomas Bowdler’s legacy can certainly serve as a benchmark in the history of free speech and censorship.

With that in mind, let’s all agree to celebrate an ironic Bowdler’s Day tomorrow by putting away our white out and permanent markers and reading some (unedited) Shakespeare.

Happy Bowdler’s Day, everyone!

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Better lawyering through creativity

Pelikan Fountain PenWho knew – creativity can help you be a better lawyer! A recent column from the Lawyerist blog describes several reasons lawyers should be creative. The article also features a few exercises for practicing creativity.

To be sure, strong legal writing can be heavily rule-bound. For the most part, you’ll need to adhere to established templates and forms. But when you need to make your work stand out — such as when writing a court brief or writing for marketing — consider using creative section headlines or even a few creative sentences for emphasis.

So break out your pens and let your inner artist run free — between deadlines, of course.

Pelikan Fountain Pen CC David Blackwell
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New Bluebook: a call for honest and accurate citation

The 20th edition of the Bluebook was just released about a month ago.  There are several excellent overviews on the differences between the 19th and 20th edition from the Pace Law Library Blog (which includes a link to a chart breaking down the changes), and the Brooklyn Law School Library Blog.  Please stay tuned for updates to the law library’s guide to the Bluebook, which will reflect all of the changes.

The exciting changes are, of course, in Rule 18: “The Internet, Electronic Media, and Other Nonprint Resources.”  The reality of legal research is that very nearly all legal research is done using a source cited using Rule 18.  Legal researchers and writers deserve a robust and comprehensive Rule 18 because citation is meant to support a scholarly conversation.  I believe scholars and students can only have that conversation if the citations tell the reader exactly what source the author relied on.  The new Bluebook tries to promote that scholarly conversation, but, ultimately, stops short. Continue reading

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Chicago-Kent at the 25th Annual CALI Conference – Updated with video!

caliorgCALI, the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction, may be best known to most law students for the CALI Awards given to the highest scoring student in each law school class or for their CALI lessons.

But they’ve also sponsored an annual Conference for Law School Computing Professionals since 1991, starting at Chicago-Kent and going on to become a national circulating annual conference that has been hosted by law schools across the U.S., sharing current trends in technology used in the classroom, legal research, and the legal profession.

This year the conference will be hosted by the University of Denver Sturm Law School in Colorado, but Chicago-Kent will still be well represented in the presentations we’re giving.


Our staff will be keeping legal tech professionals, faculty, and librarians up to date on the A2J digital legal aid courses, new developments with Oyez project’s Supreme Court content, as well as tools used for video management and setting up basic WordPress websites. The full schedule of content is

Want to follow along online?

On Twitter:

twitter-icon-danleecIf you follow the conference hashtag on Twitter, you’ll find attendees sharing their favorite quotes, link to resources, and keeping the conversation going throughout the weekend: #CaliCon15

Video Streaming (UPDATED!):

The conference sessions from Chicago-Kent staff have now been added to this post, if you’d like to review the content. You find the rest of the sessions on YouTube in the 2015 CALI Conference playlist or in the conference website link below. Continue reading

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Library Services for Alumni

Welcome Back

Did you know that Chicago-Kent Alumni still have access to many of the law library’s resources, even after graduation?  Whether you’ve been assigned your first big research assignment and don’t know where to start, or you need to locate an obscure journal or treatise, the law library and its knowledgeable staff will always be here to help.  As a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, you will always be a special member of our community, and we love to see familiar faces back in the library.

For more information on how the Chicago-Kent College of Law can assist you after graduation, please see the Alumni Services page of the law library’s website, and the home page for the Chicago-Kent Alumni Association.

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