Thursday, April 17, 2014

6th Annual "Peeps in Law" Contest is Underway

The ABA Journal is once again sponsoring the annual "Peeps in Law" contest, which challenges contestants to create legal-themed dioramas out of the seasonally ubiquitous marshmallow-bunny Peeps candies. 

You can view the gallery of the eight finalists' dioramas here and submit your vote for the winner here.  Votes are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 21.  The dioramas focus on a variety of different legal issues, from health care reform to constitutional law.

After all, what goes together better this time of year than the study of law and candy?

Library Hours April 18 - April 20

The McKusick Law Library will be closing to the public at noon on Friday, April 18, due to the holiday break.  We will resume normal hours to the public on Monday, April 21 from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  During the break, law students will continue to have 24/7 access to the Law Library using their ID cards.

Monday, April 14, 2014

National Library Week - Contests, Prizes, Display!

This week, April 13 to 19, is National Library Week, a time to celebrate and recognize the important roles that libraries play in our communities and institutions.  This year's theme is "Lives change @ your library."

The McKusick Law Library is sponsoring two contests for law students for National Library Week.  The first contest is a Legal Research Trivia Contest.  A 5-question legal research trivia quiz will be available at the Circulation/Reference Desk.  Entries to the trivia contest are due by Thursday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m.  All law students who correctly answer all questions will be entered in a drawing for a study night (for the winner and three friends) in the State Bar Room during the week before finals.  The Law Library will provide a basket of treats and snacks for the Study Night.  The winner will be notified by email and announced in the Prairie Law Blog on Monday, April 21.

The second contest is an M&M Contest.  A jar of M&Ms will be at the Circulation/Reference desk this week.  The law student who has the closest estimate of the number of individual M&Ms in the jar (either over or under) will win the jar of candies.  Guesses are due in the blue bag at the Circulation/Reference Desk by Thursday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m.  Students may submit one guess per day.  The winner will be notified by email and announced in the Prairie Law Blog on Monday, April 21.

Note:  To avoid the same student winning both contests, the trivia contest winner will be drawn first.  If the person who guesses closest to the number of M&Ms is also the winner of the trivia contest, then the second closest entry will win the M&M contest.

The Law Library is also featuring a display for National Library Week and National Library Workers Day, which is April 15.  The display features information about members of the Law Library staff and Law Library student workers, titles in the library's collection about the library profession, information from the American Association of Law Libraries about law librarianship as a career, as well as ways to connect with others celebrating National Library Week through Twitter and other sites sponsored by the American Library Association.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Law Library Displays for April

The month of April is the first full month of spring, and keeping with the spirit of the season, we have several new displays "springing up" around the Law Library!

Our featured displays include a National Poetry Month display, featuring works of poetry available in the Law Library's collection, including several works by USD Law Professor Frank Pommersheim. National Poetry Month is a celebration established by the Academy of American Poets.  The purpose of National Poetry Month is to widen attention to the art of poetry and its place in American culture.  For more information, see the Academy's FAQ page here.

Also featured is a display focusing on April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Sadly, these crimes occur with alarming frequency in the United States.  Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are available here and here, with regard to sexual assault and child abuse, respectively.  The display highlights titles in the Law Library's collection that discuss these crimes in our society, in light of the purpose of these monthly observances to further awareness and prevention.  To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's webpage and the webpage of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Children's Bureau

Two other displays call attention to two important days in the month of April -- Tax Day (April 15) and Earth Day (April 22).  These displays offer some of the Law Library's resources on tax law and environmental law.  With tax day approaching, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) will hold its final session this Saturday, April 12 at the Vermillion Public Library.  For more information, see USD's main events calendar here.  Also scheduled on the main events calendar are several activities for Earth Day and Earth Week, sponsored by the USD Sustainability Program and the City of 
Vermillion.  More information is available at

Monday, April 7, 2014

Honorable Judge Romonda D. Belcher to Speak at Thurgood Marshall Lecture on April 11 - LibGuide and Display

The Honorable Judge Romonda D. Belcher will speak at the annual Thurgood Marshall lecture at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 11 in the Law School Courtroom.  Judge Belcher was appointed as an Iowa District Associate Judge on August 20, 2010, becoming the first African American female judge in the State of Iowa. As a District Associate Judge, she presides over various substantive civil and criminal matters, as well as small claims matters.  She also currently presides over Juvenile Court dependency and delinquency cases.  (Jurisdiction of District Associate Judges is governed by Iowa Code Section 602.6306.) 

The title of Judge Belcher's lecture is "The Making of Thurgood Marshall: A Road Paved Perservering Discrimination."

The Law Library has prepared a LibGuide and a display to accompany the lecture.  Both offer additional information about this year's speaker, Judge Romonda D. Belcher, as well as additional background reading on Thurgood Marshall.  Click here to link directly to the LibGuide.

PIN Auction This Thursday, April 10 - Law Library Resources on Public Interest Law

The Public Interest Network (PIN) Auction will be held on Thursday, April 10 at the Eagles Club in downtown Vermillion, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the Auction is to raise money for grants for law students interested in pursuing summer pro bono internships in public interest organizations.

For those seeking more information about public interest law, consider the following resources available in the McKusick Law Library:

Bringing Justice to the People: The Story of the Freedom-based Public Interest Law Movement / edited by Lee Edwards

Fifty Unique Legal Paths: How to Find the Right Job / Ursula Furi-Perry
(With a chapter on nonprofit and public interest careers)

Cause Lawyers and Social Movements / edited by Austin Sarat and Stuart A. Scheingold

Building Your Practice With Pro Bono For Lawyers / Nelson P. Miller

Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid / American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lavender Lecture To Be Held at Law School on Monday, April 7 - Law Library Display

This year's Lavender Lecture, presented by OUTlaws, will feature Professor Dale Carpenter, who is the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law at the University of Minnesota. Professor Carpenter writes in the areas of constitutional law, First Amendment law, and sexual orientation and the law. Professor Carpenter's lecture will focus on marriage equality, DOMA, and LGBT advocacy.

The lecture will be held Monday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Law School Courtroom.  The official USD press release is available here

The McKusick Law Library is currently featuring a display with offers several articles authored by Professor Carpenter, as well as print resources related to the topic of Professor Carpenter's lecture.