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By Amy Taylor
Want to protect your online privacy? Using a VPN (virtual private network) is a great way to encrypt your connection to the internet.
By Carol Watson
On behalf of the staff of the Law Library, I am happy to welcome you to the 2018-19 academic year. It’s great to see the law school building bustling with activity. We are excited to meet our new first year students as well as to hear about the summer experiences of our 2Ls and 3Ls.
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By Rachel Evans & Leslie Grove
On our upcoming episode of the library podcast On Reserve we interview new law librarians Amy and Stephen. Amy Taylor is the new Outreach and Research Services Librarian and comes to us with a background as a librarian in a law firm in Washington D.C., and an academic law librarian at Georgetown, Duke and American Universities. Stephen Wolfson is the new Research and Copyright Services Librarian and comes with experience as a Copyright Librarian at the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Austin's Tarlton Law Library. Read below for highlights from our interview, and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or YouTube for the full interview when it becomes available later this month.
Q & A with Amy Taylor
What was it like working around attorneys and helping with their research in a law firm setting?
Attorneys are very cognizant of their time, and they’re aware that time is money, so they want to be as efficient as possible but also as accurate as possible. It’s a challenge. They are relying more and more on digital tools, legal analytics, really anything to get an edge. In a recent survey, newer associates report spending an average of 15 hours a week on legal research, so developing strong skills in law school is not wasted time. Also, the research landscape is changing rapidly with artificial intelligence and the results that advanced databases are bringing back to you.
You were an intern for the U.S. Supreme Court Library. How was that experience?
This was the summer of 2006. It was a really great experience. Opinions were still being drafted for about half of my time there, and I was able to assist clerks with research. One day a week I would be in charge of answering the phones and sometimes a Justice would call. I got to speak with a few of them!
What resources would you recommend to law students who will be taking your legal research course this fall?
After working at the firm and seeing what attorneys struggle with in practice, two areas I recommend are knowledge management and current awareness. The importance of developing a system to stay organized, whether it is Evernote, OneNote, or some other system you develop for yourself is key to your ability to keep up with everything. And then you also need to stay current — either using the resources a big firm can provide, setting up Google alerts for yourself, and subscribing to newsletters and blogs. It can be daunting to get this set up and find a system that works for you, and you'll make tweaks along the way, but if you can have that up and running by the time you get into practice you can shine because you will have that mastered and others will not. Also, law firms author blogs and other content they push out for their websites and online publications, and a big part of being a new attorney is being able to draft content that is current.
What were your favorite classes as a law student?
I loved all of the procedure courses: criminal procedure, civil procedure, federal courts, conflict of laws. And remedies was fabulous! One of the best courses.
What hobbies do you have?
I'm a crossword puzzle fiend, and I love college football. I also recently adopted two kittens so I spend a large amount of time watching them play.
You just moved here from Washington D.C. What do you like most and least about Athens so far?
I love Athens so far. I love that I don't have to take public transportation unless I really, really want to. It's not an essential part of my day-to-day life. I think it is fun to explore, especially the restaurants, and get a feel for the city. And there’s no noise or light pollution here. The only thing I really miss is that I'm not able to get as many things delivered as I was in D.C.
What was the last book and movie you read and watched?
I recently read The Woman in the Window, the new thriller that’s being made into a movie starring Amy Adams. It was a notch above your standard thriller, both as to plot and the quality of writing. I recently watched the HBO show Barry. It goes in directions you don't see coming, with a fabulous finale, and I highly recommend it.
Describe your perfect chair:
I’d like a chair designed for a petite person!! I would also love a chair that has some sort of on/off switch so that it could be a glider when I wanted one, but a regular club chair when I didn’t. And my last wish is for the armrests to be wide and level so you don’t necessarily need a side table — my dad had a chair like that when I was growing up and it was fabulous.
Q & A with Stephen Wolfson
What was it like working as a copyright librarian and serving faculty and students? What types of issues came up most often?
The most common questions I got were mostly related to classroom use of copyrighted works or use of copyrighted works in your published materials. Normally people think about the fair use exception. There are a few other tools within the copyright statutes that allow educators to use materials in their classes. Primarily you are looking at the fair use statute but there are some other ways. I addressed authors rights questions as well. Every time somebody publishes something a journal asks you to sign a contract. In the past those contracts asked authors to sign over intellectual property rights... that paradigm has been changing over the past several years to one where authors retain those intellectual property rights but grant some rights to publishers the right use an article for publication, distribution...I would consult with people regarding whether these provisions make sense, whether there is room to negotiate and things like this.
What resources would you recommend to law students who will be taking your legal research course in the spring?
So when I was a law student I bought all the nutshells for every class...it is expensive to buy all those books. The libraries frequently have these collections or access to them through ebooks. My favorite tool that librarians like to hate on a little bit is Google… and it be fair, it really gives some people some bad research habits to dive right in with keywords and assume if it is not in the first five hits it doesn't exist and these things are true, but the truth is if you know how to use Google to your advantage it is a really awesome tool. And so I talk about a couple operators that I really like and I talk about these all the time. The site operator... which is great for conducting legislative history research... it can narrow the range of information Google will give back to you. I also like to use the filetype operator and narrow it to something like PDFs. Google is a really powerful tool if you know how to use it... if you're smart about it, it is awesome. All of these other tools available to us are extremely powerful and great, I just think Google is also one of those.
What were your favorite classes as a law student?
I loved my copyright class, all of my classes like that. Intellectual property, copyright and trademark in particular. The first case I ever read in IP was a case dealing with the Elvis Presley estate. There's also a famous copyright case dealing with the comic character Spawn and a conflict between Neil Gaiman and the Todd McFarlane who came up with the character. It was fun to read those sorts of things and I really got into that. It was also fun to take some classes just because the professors are really fun. Civil Procedure was a class that I think I wouldn't have liked as much if I hadn't had a wonderful faculty member. I also took a class on presidential power that was very difficult but taught also by a really great faculty member and I feel like I learned a lot in that class that I will never actually implement in my professional life, but when I complain about politics -- which I do a lot -- it really comes in handy!
What is the strangest or most memorable reference question you have ever received?
So Texas was its own country for like 8 years which they won't let you forget, so it was interesting with the laws of the republic of Texas. For instance people didn't want to pay their federal taxes and commonly they believed there was something within the founding of Texas that would allow them to avoid paying their taxes...it became a regular thing. It was always an interesting request.
What hobbies do you have? What was the last book and movie you read and watched?
I have a two year old and so a lot of my life is his life right now and a lot of them are his movies. I will mention though that I can actually get into some of them. I found that I enjoy some of them, like the Trolls movie. I kinda really like it, it is bizarre, I kinda get into the music. I feel like I'm not supposed to like it. That song by Justin Timberlake, I get into that! Other than that I am a cyclist, I look forward to biking in Athens. I am very excited about the Criterium. I'm a big film fan, and I love going to the theatre, whenever I have the time. There’s a film festival called Fantastic Fest that I've gone to every year for a number of years in Austin. . I usually call it my Christmas because it the most wonderful time of the year -- it’s just the best. Sadly I’ll be missing it this year, now that I’m living in Georgia. I am also a big Star Wars fan, so right now is a good time for me. I thought Solo was fun! And I'm reading a book right now called the Wise Man's Fear which is the second in a series called the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. The first one is called the Name of the Wind. I have very complex feelings about this series right now, but they are worth reading if you are into fantasy novels.
You just moved here from Texas. What do you like most and least about Athens so far?
I love Athens. I was most recently living in Dallas and it was very flat and there was a lot of concrete everywhere. My family didn't feel much sense of a community. It just didn't fit for us. It is of course really green here which is super pretty, it is hilly - I'm a bike commuter and that makes it makes more of a challenge but I'm ok with that and I like the hills cause it adds to the prettiness. People have been exceptionally nice and friendly to us. I feel like Athens has community and charm everywhere and that is what we were looking for when we moved here.
Describe your perfect chair:
I like this question because my wife is an interior designer and she really loves chairs in particular. So I pay more attention to chairs than the average person, probably. There’s an episode of a TV called The Tick that I love called Evil Sits Down for a Moment where the Tick gets caught in a trap that’s the most comfy chair in the world. It was a chair that was so comfy it induced a coma. So my perfect chair is a coma-chair, I guess.
By Rachel Evans
As if you didn’t have enough to do and think about already, you may still be interested in checking out some items from the library geared especially towards new law students. The following titles are located in our Career and Professional Resource collection on the main floor in the reading room:
By Anne Burnett
Welcome back to all of our Law Dawgs!
August’s Law Dawg is Poppy, who assisted May graduate Truman Crockett during his law school career. Poppy’s favorite pastimes include fetch (especially with tennis balls), swimming, and napping while Truman studied. She is 50% American Staffordshire Terrier and 50% a mix of Australian Cattledog and Australian Shepherd.
All members of the Law School Community (students, faculty and staff) are invited to submit a photo for possible selection as the Law Dawg. The featured entry for each issue will be selected at random from all entries received. Please note that honorary Law Dawgs (i.e. those of the feline, equine, porcine, avian, reptilian, etc. persuasion) are eligible as well. Please send your Law Dawg photo(s) w/ a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org.