Monday, May 9, 2016

Summer Hours

Effective Monday, May 9, the Law Library is operating on its Summer Hours schedule. The Law Library is open to the public from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and circulation and reference services are available during these times. Circulation and reference services to law students are also available 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening and weekend hours for law students are not offered during the summer. However, law students continue to have 24/7 access to the Law Library using their University ID cards.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

Congratulations to all the USD School of Law students graduating this year!  We are tremendously proud of your hard work and accomplishments.  The Law Library will be open until 5 p.m. today and is still stocked with coffee and snacks.  We welcome all the friends and family of our graduates to visit!   

Thursday, May 5, 2016

National Poetry Month "Poetic Justices" Contest Winners!

Thank you to all the law students who participated in the Law Library's National Poetry Month contest.  Your literary interpretations of major court cases from your law courses were all very clever and creative!  Professor Pommersheim has completed his judging and selected the top five submissions, which are included below.  Congratulations to the winners!  Each received $10 in Amazon gift cards courtesy of Lexis and a signed copy of Professor Pommersheim's most recent poetry chapbook, Local Memory and Karma (The Buddha Correspondence, Vol. 2). Thanks everyone for your entries, it was a blast!

Summers v. Tice
by Ian Haubert

On a lovely fall day I went hunting with Tice
We were joined by a 3rd fella who seemed pretty nice
After checking our guns and devising a plan
We set out to hunt on the wide open land
As we approached a grass covered hill
We spotted a quail and were ready to kill
As I raised up my gun I let out a cry
One of those bastards had shot me in the eye

Pierson v. Post
by Alex Sieg

I seen Lodowick, giving chase,
Dogs and hounds, under his command,

A fox in front, its feet apace,
The field afore them, spanned,

I raised my Baker, beast in sight,
Shot once I did, my shot well known,

Down fell the fox, red snow once white,
The beast was mine, and mine alone.

New York Times v. Sullivan
by Jeff Holt

There once was a Times factual reporter-man
Who wrote some lies about Mr. Sullivan
But the Court said truth wasn't important
And could in fact write opinion accordant
As the press was somewhat actual malice-san

Johnson v. M'Intosh
by Jessica Four Bear

"I own the land, I will grant to you, 
For it is my authority to so do."

"Thank you kind sir, I bid you farewell,
I'm off to have this title recognized, with a story to tell."

"The Piankeshaw Nation has a bundle of rights! 
Title to lands, for that, they must fight!"

Justice Marshall peered down the bench 
"Mr. M'Intosh, who gave you that title, The Indians?! The Government or the French?!"

"My title is from the Government, Mr. Justice, Sir!
Rule in my favor, the Indian laws are nothing but a blur!"

"Were they conquered? No.
Were they discovered? Why, yes!
I think I have an answer that will fit best!"

"A custom of ownership shall be established this day,
Native culture does not recognize ownership quite the same way."

"Mr. M'Intosh, your title is hereby signed and sealed!
Sorry Johnsons, you see, maybe time will heal." 

Kelo v. City of New London
by Cody Raterman

Property taken for a public use
Without just compensation, one can deduce
A 5th amendment abomination
Unless economic development is your excuse.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Law Day

Justice Earl Warren via Wikipedia
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of our most famous court cases, Miranda v. Arizona. In recognition of this historic case, the ABA has announced that the theme for this years Law Day is "Miranda: More than Words."

The opinion of the Supreme Court was delivered by Chief Justice Earl Warren and ruled that police had violated Ernesto Miranda's 5th and 6th Amendment rights. Referencing the existing practices of the FBI and the Uniform Code of Military Justice which required notifying a suspect of their right to remain silent, and a right to counsel, the Court stated, "As with the warnings of the right to remain silent and of the general right to counsel, only by effective and express explanation to the indigent of this right can there be assurance that he was truly in a position to exercise it."

The Miranda Warning has become a fixture in law enforcement and popular culture since the court decision was made in June, 1966. The ABA is encouraging us to reflect on not just the words of the warning itself, but the meaning of the words and the rights we safeguard and preserve through them.

Also, you can listen to the original oral arguments here, courtesy of Oyez. It's pretty awesome.

Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Legal Research Databases

Summer is almost here law scholars!  Whether that means graduation and bar study, a summer internship/externship, a research project, etc., we know your legal research needs continue.

We often get questions on policies for use of the commercial research databases during the summer and post-graduation.  Below is a handy reference on the policies for Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law.  You should note, however, that it is important to ask your employer about any policy the firm or organization may have regarding the use of student accounts, in general, for firm/organizational business.  Depending on the employer you may receive access to an account that you are required to use for billing purposes.

Also, don’t forget that the Law Library staff is available to you during the summer months, whether you are a graduating student or a rising 2L or 3L.  We are just a phone call or email away - (605)677-3930 is the main library desk number and we check our main email account ( every day.  


During the summer, law students are allowed to use their accounts for academic purposes only, which include: summer law school classes and study abroad programs; law review and journal work, including write-on competitions, research assistantships, moot court, unpaid internships/externships, bar exam preparation, and job search. However, in order to extend your access over the summer, you will need to register here

Graduating students may also extend their academic access through November, for purposes of job search, bar study, etc., albeit on a limited basis of 60 hours per month. Graduates must complete the survey/registration at to extend access. After November, graduates will have 1 hour of limited research per month for 12 months, including snippets of content only.

Lexis Advance

During the academic year, students may use their Lexis law school educational IDs for academic purposes only, which include: class preparation and assignments, research associated with moot court or law review/law journal, research associated with pursuing a grant or scholarship, service as a research assistant to a professor (either paid or unpaid), an unpaid internship, externship or clinic for school credit or graduation requirement, and de minimis research for non-academic personal reasons (e.g. review of news materials for current awareness).

However, summer access is available to all law students once classes end for the semester/academic year, for the months of May, June, July and August of 2016. During this period, the permissible uses of your LexisNexis law school educational ID are expanded to include use at any law firm, government agency, court or other legal position, internship, externship or clerkship.

Graduating students automatically have Lexis Advance access for 6 months, using the same username and password you used in law school.

In addition, graduates who are engaged in verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work may apply for the ASPIRE program, which provides 12 months of free access to federal and state cases, codes, regulations, law reviews, Shepard's Citation Service and Matthew Bender treatises. For more information on grad access and to apply for the ASPIRE program, go to

Bloomberg Law 

All law students are permitted to use their Bloomberg Law accounts during the summer without restriction. Additionally all law students’ access to Bloomberg Law accounts will remain active for six months after graduation.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Casetext - Seeking Student Ambassadors

In our last post here on the Prairie Law Blog, we mentioned Casetext, a free online legal research tool, which focuses on crowdsourced features, including annotations and analysis.  Casetext is currently seeking law students for its Fall 2016 Student Ambassadors program.  For more information and to apply, visit  This is a great opportunity for 2Ls and 3Ls interested in legal research!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Building a Practice

One of the harder things about starting your own practice is acquiring expensive software and hardware. To help fill that gap for small/new practices, I give you three online tools that can help.

Search up-to-date State and Federal Law for free
Annotations and insights by attorneys
Publish case summaries, articles, and other legal commentary, linked to the law in Casetext's library

Makes eDiscovery easy
Upload all your documents, and Logikcull will OCR (Optical Character Recognition) them
Navigate by keyword
(I'm making this sound not so impressive and cool. This person explains it better)

Compare your contract with thousands of others and see how it holds up
Reviewed by real live lawyers
For a new practice or solo lawyer, having access to this many precedents can help free up your time, and let you stress about other things

Onward and Upward Law Scholars. Good luck with finals!