Kennard (Ken) R. Strutin, lawyer, law librarian, Director of Legal Information Services for the New York State Defenders Association, professor, author, teacher, colleague, friend and respected leader in the effort to illuminate the struggles of incarcerated persons and to champion justice for them, died on November 30, 2018 after a brief illness – he was …
This commentary by Michael Ravnitzky is based on a thought provoking premise – “The activities of attorneys and the activities of hackers are not as different as you might expect, if you define hackers as creative, unconventional problem solvers. Each explores vast spaces of complicated systems, looking to see how they work, both in ways intended and unintended, and to see what they can be made to do…”
Emily Donnellan is a solo librarian who shares her insights and expertise on how to increase both the patronage and the value for customers of the Boise Branch for the 9th Circuit.
Marcus Zillman’s guide provides multi-disciplinary researchers a wide range of internet sources to assist in identify, reviewing and engaging the talents of subject matter experts, in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, this guide links to numerous sites and forums that provide answers to a range of questions, from the simple to the complex, from topical matters to technical issues.
Ken Strutin’s latest guide on criminal law is an expansive, extensively documented, expert work that provides researchers, scholars, lawyers, judges, advocates for criminal justice, librarians, students, and Americans, a timely and essential guide to seminal issues that are currently the subject of widespread debate – in Congress, in states and local communities across the country – and litigation – in America’s courts, the court of public opinion, and on social media. Strutin takes up the immense challenge of these volatile subjects with his first statement: “There is no such thing as an “illegal” person. For the virtues of citizenship are not exclusive to law books, but found in the dignity of individuals. Ancient peoples who made the first journeys to new lands quickly discovered that humanity is a flower that can bloom anywhere. Since then, lines on maps have served to separate people from personhood. He continues – “Immigration laws and policies have the power to conflate race, ethnicity and national origin with lawbreaking, economic rivalry, and terrorism. A targeted noncitizen occupies an indissoluble bubble of isolation and obloquy that separates them from the moral force of state laws, the integrity of its officials, and the decency of its citizens. For them America is an inside out prison comprised of sensitive locations, sanctuary cities, and degrading confinement. If the immigration system bears a resemblance to criminal justice, it is because they share a forge upon which people are hammered out.” Through the outstanding scholarship Strutin offers here, it is my hope that readers will engage with these issues that are intrinsically connected to Democracy and respect for human rights.
Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health/medical, to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways our privacy and security is diminished, often without our situational awareness.
In the conclusion of his three part series, Paul Gatz joins the themes of the first two articles, the teaching of metacognition, legal bibliography, and legal analysis and argument to his conclusion that “to be the experts in legal research we must also be leaders in developing knowledge in our field, furthering the understanding of the legal domain and of our own place within it.” The accuracy of Gatz’s conclusions can enrich our work as we teach students on range of expert subject matter that aligns with and overlaps legal research.
In the first of a three part series, Paul Gatz articulates the importance of acknowledging the “learner’s paradox” that “legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving the law-related information necessary to support legal decision-making.” Expert legal researchers conduct their work within the territory of the known and the unknown, the facts, the suppositions, and the possibilities that skilled and strategic students seek to learn and thereafter apply within their course of studies, and subsequently bring forward to support their respective practice of law. [Link to Part 2 of this series]
In Part 2 of his series [see Part 1 here], Paul Gatz takes a deeper dive into the challenges of effectively teaching the “why” of a document’s relevance to assist students to understand the reasons a given document occupies the role it does within the subject literature. Gatz focuses on the concept of how knowledge in a particular discipline is created, disseminated, and organized (subject knowledge relevance). Gatz states that knowledge content of a discipline is helpful in determining the relevance of a particular document, but an effective relevance determination relies upon a theory of what counts as knowledge, or, in legal practice, what counts as legally valid.
Anna McGrane, COO of PacerPro, shares her insights on a 200 hour coding program structured to encourage participation in the training and the value of the learning environment. McGrane describes key takeaways from the training that we can borrow and apply in the legal sector.