Category Archives: General

New way to reserve study rooms

Beginning on Monday, March 21, 2016, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Library will be using LibCal for study room reservations.

What is LibCal?

LibCal is an online program that will allow students to reserve study rooms by logging onto LibCal, entering in their student information, and reserving a study room of their choice. Convenient features include mobile bookings with built-in QR codes, auto-confirmation or mediate bookings, and remote booking through the website. To utilize the QR code feature, download any QR code scanner app and install the app onto your smart phone. The QR code scanners work on both android and Apple phones.

To Reserve a Library Study Room:

Go directly to or scan the QR code. Click “Book a Room”. Choose your time slot. Fill out the booking form completely. Confirm or cancel your reservation via the confirmation email sent to you. After confirming, you will receive an email with a calendar appointment you can add to your personal calendar.


LibCal QR code.jpg

  • Rooms may only be reserved and used by Thomas Jefferson School of Law students and alumni. Alumni may only reserve rooms for bar study.
  • You must use your email address to make a reservation and reservations must be confirmed by email.
  • Individuals can reserve a maximum of four hours (four 60-minute time slots) in any given day; the four 60-minute time slots do NOT need to be consecutive; BUT separate reservations must be made for each non-consecutive time period. Reservations can only be made on the same day as the room use.
  • A room reservation expires fifteen minutes after the beginning of the time requested. After this time, if the reserving party has not arrived, the room may be reserved by others.
  • Reservations are necessary to assure room availability. Rooms may be used without reservation if unoccupied, but users MUST yield the room to someone with a valid reservation.
  • You MUST leave the study room when your reservation ends if it has been reserved by someone else.
  • Upon leaving, students/alumni are required to remove all items brought into a study room and return any chairs brought in to their original location.
  • Do NOT leave personal belongings in study rooms. Belongings left unattended in an unreserved room or after the reservation period are subject to removal by staff. The library assumes no liability for lost or stolen items left in the study rooms or anywhere in the library.
  • Noise MUST be kept to a minimum. Study rooms are not soundproof.
  • Food is allowed as long as it is not messy, smelly, or noisy. Drinks are allowed in spill-proof containers. All trash must be placed in trash/recycling bins.
  • Courtesy and civility in the use and yielding of the rooms to others is required.
  • Reserving rooms under another student’s name is prohibited and is a violation of the honor code. Any student taking such action will be subject to discipline.
  • If the rules set forth above are not followed, your reservation will be deleted by staff and made available to others. Library staff reserves the right to reassign individuals/groups to another room.

Shifting Alliances Tally Up To More Unpredictable CA Supreme Court

Shifting Alliances Tally Up To More Unpredictable CA Supreme Court by John Roemer

After decades of domination by conservatives, the newly reconstituted state Supreme Court is now approaching political parity.

It’s not just the three fresh Democratic justices appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown who have altered the high court’s makeup. Goodwin H. Liu, appointed in 2011, was joined last year by Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Leondra R. Kruger.

That made for a 4-3 divide that still favors the Republican appointees: Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Ming W. Chin and Carol A. Corrigan. But it is Werdegar’s political odyssey leftward – not the new appointees – that is shifting the bench calculus.

In themselves, Brown’s appointments have uncanny echoes of the 1970s and ’80s, during his first term as governor. Brown placed seven justices on the court, three of whom were ousted from the bench in a politically charged 1986 retention election focused on Chief Justice Rose E. Bird’s rejection of the death penalty.

Now Brown has a second chance to remake the court in a state where aversion for capital punishment has steadily progressed. A 2014 poll found that 56 percent of voters said they still support the death penalty, but it was a sharp drop from 68 percent in 2011. The issue could come before voters this year. Two competing voter initiatives are vying to get on the ballot.

The surprise is that the most outspoken justice on the topic has been Werdegar, who wrote for a unanimous court last year that the Eight Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment could potentially be extended to include the lengthy, arbitrary delays in executions that have plagued California’s death penalty system.

Read the full article here.

Antonin Scalia, Justice of the Supreme Court, Dies at 79

Antonin Scalia, Justice of the Supreme Court, Dies at 79 by lawyer and Supreme Court correspondent of the New York Times, Adam Liptak

Justice Antonin Scalia, whose transformative legal theories, vivid writing and outsize personality made him a leader of a conservative intellectual renaissance in his three decades on the Supreme Court, was found dead on Saturday at a resort in West Texas. He was 79.

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in a statement confirming Justice Scalia’s death. “His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served.”

The cause of death was not immediately released. A spokeswoman for the United States Marshals Service, which sent personnel to the scene, said there was nothing to indicate the death was the result of anything other than natural causes.

Justice Scalia began his service on the court as an outsider known for caustic dissents that alienated even potential allies. But his theories, initially viewed as idiosyncratic, gradually took hold, and not only on the right and not only in the courts.

He was, Judge Richard A. Posner wrote in the New Republic in 2011, “the most influential justice of the last quarter-century.” Justice Scalia was a champion of originalism, the theory of constitutional interpretation that seeks to apply the understanding of those who drafted and ratified the Constitution. In Justice Scalia’s hands, originalism generally led to outcomes that pleased political conservatives, but not always. His approach was helpful to criminal defendants in cases involving sentencing and the cross-examination of witnesses.

Justice Scalia also disdained the use of legislative history – statements from members of Congress about the meaning and purposes of laws – in the judicial interpretation of statutes. He railed against vague laws that did not give potential defendants fair warning of what conduct was criminal. He preferred bright-line rules to legal balancing tests, and he was sharply critical of Supreme Court opinions that did not provide lower courts and litigants with clear guidance.

All of these views took shape in dissents. Over time, they came to influence and in many cases dominate the debate at the Supreme Court, in lower courts, among lawyers and in the legal academy.

Read the full article here.

Proposal to lift ban on academic credit for paid externships draws heavy opposition

Proposal to lift ban on academic credit for paid externships draws heavy opposition by Senior Writer of the ABA Journal, Mark Hansen

A proposed change in the law school accreditation standards that would lift the ban on students receiving academic credit for paid externships has drawn a lot of comment – and much of the comment is in opposition of lifting the ban.

Under the current standards, law students are barred from receiving both credit and pay for an externship. But the governing council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has approved for notice and comment a proposal that would eliminate the ban.

That proposal is just one of four proposed changes in the standards that the council has posted for notice and comment. But it is the one that has drawn the lion’s share of comments. And most of these comments have been negative.

Read the full article here.

Bluebook Trainings Offered This Semester

The training provides an overview of The Bluebook and citation rules.


  • Introduction/structure of The Bluebook;
  • Tabbing The Bluebook;
  • Elements of basic citation form, rules, and exercises;
  • Use of introductory signals and short form;
  • Citations of other sources and the internet; and
  • Reinforce lesson learned through multiple practice exercises.

For the training to be effective, any student participating must bring his or her copy of the Bluebook (19th ed. or 20th ed.) and different colored tabs or something similar. Here’s the link where you can view an example.

Please sign up through the “Bluebook Training” TWEN page.

BB training Spring 2016

New Year, New Laws

New Year, New Laws, by Sara Randazzo and Max Rust

From coast to coast in 2016, new laws are going into effect regulating everything from where guns can be carried to how children are immunized. More than a dozen states are boosting minimum wages, others are increasing access to the polls, and some are strengthening worker equality laws.

Read the full article here.

Yale Finds Error in Legal Stylebook: Harvard Did Not Create It

Having some trouble with The Bluebook? You are not alone! Our reference librarians are always available and happy to help you with navigating The Bluebook.

Yale Finds Error in Legal Stylebook: Harvard Did Not Create It by The New York Times Supreme Court Correspondent and Lawyer, Adam Liptak

Among the low points in an American legal education is the law student’s first encounter with The Bluebook, a 582-page style manual formally known as “A Uniform System of Citation.” It is a comically elaborate thicket of random and counter-intuitive rules about how to cite judicial decisions, law review articles and the like. It is both grotesque and indispensable.

The Harvard Law Review has long claimed credit for creating The Bluebook. But a new article from two librarians at Yale Law School says its rival’s account is “wildly erroneous.” The librarians, Fred R. Shapiro and Julie Graves Krishnaswami, have done impressive archival research and make a persuasive case that their own institution is the guilty party.

Read the full article here.