Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — July 14, 2014

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 Starting Your Solo Practice as a 3L

If you are a law student considering going solo after graduation, there’s no time like the present to get your practice started. Of course, you can’t actually practice law until you’ve earned your license, but there are many things you can do now to decrease lag time and increase earnings as you transition into your next chapter.

‘Little Free Libraries’ Legal in Leawood Thanks to 9-Year-Old Spencer Collins

Nine-year-old Spencer Collins will be able put his “Little Free Library” back in his front yard first thing in the morning.  The Leawood City Council unanimously approved a temporary moratorium Monday night that exempts the little lending libraries from a city ordinance that prohibits structures in front yards. The moratorium, effective Tuesday, will last until Oct. 20.

21 Google Search Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Here are some fun things and some useful things that you maybe didn’t know you could do with Google search. Who knew Google had a “time travel” option?

North Carolina’s Voter Law Tested in Federal Court Monday

 North Carolina’s new voter law will be tested in court Monday, as a federal judge hears arguments in a lawsuit filed to block the legislation from going into effect for the midterm elections in November.

Crying while Reading through the Centuries

What does it mean to cry over a book? It’s a question that has been in the foreground lately, thanks to “The Great Y.A. Debate of 2014”—the conversation, sparked by Ruth Graham last month in Slate, about the merits of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and other young-adult fiction.

J.K. Rowling has a New Short Story Up about Dumbledore’s Army as Adults!

Pottermore members, grab your hats: J.K. Rowling has posted a new short story in the Daily Prophet about Harry & Co. as mid-thirties grownups. This is the first (and according to Rowling’s people, the last) time Rowling has written about her main characters as adults since the epilogue of the last book in the series.

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Want to Be a Family Lawyer?

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The practice of family law has drastically changed over the years.  According to Schepard (2004), family law used to be mostly an adversarial process whereas today family law is more collaborative.  Currently, there is a variety of dispute resolution processes including collaborative divorce, divorce education programs, mediation, custody evaluations, and parenting coordination (Hedeen & Salem, 2006). Due to these changes, the family lawyer has new roles outside of being an advocate and legal counselor.  Lawyers currently function as mediators, collaborative lawyers, parenting coordinators, cooperative lawyers, and arbitrators.  Therefore, today’s family lawyer needs a variety of skills when practicing family law.

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So, what are these skills?

The survey was given to over 600 participants who are lawyers, mediators, law professors, and law students with various levels of experience (Hedeen & Salem, 2006).  They were asked to rate a set of skills as it applies to effective family law practice.  The results found five of the most important skills to use when practicing family law.

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Top 5 Skills For Family Lawyers:

  1. Listening
  2. Setting Realistic Expectations for Clients
  3. Including Clients in the Decision-making Process
  4. Identifying Client’s Interest
  5. Problem Solving

 ~Brooke Rideout~

References

Hedeen, T., & Salem, P. (2006). What Should Family Lawyers Know? Results of a Survey Of Practitioners and Students. Family Court Review, 44(4), 601-611. doi:10.1111/j.1744-1617.2006.00113.x

Schepard, A. (2004). Children, courts and custody: Interdisciplinary models for divorcing families. Cambridge,UK: Cambridge University Press.

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ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Crimes – A Guidebook on the Elements of Crime

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Introduction

Attorneys use practice guides in different areas of law as a way to quickly identify the rule of law and its respective authorities from which to craft a legal argument. These guides also help practitioners with the procedural elements and motions requirements of a cause of action.

About North Carolina Crimes: A Guidebook on the Elements of Crime

North Carolina Crimes: A Guidebook to the Elements of Crime (7th ed. 2012), written by Jessica Smith of the North Carolina School of Government, is a single volume, soft cover treatise detailing the elements of the criminal laws in North Carolina.  This guidebook only covers the state’s substantive crimes, excluding obscure ones, minor infractions such as traffic offenses, and special offenses related to alcoholic beverage control law and fish and game law.  A student, patron or attorney member can locate the call number (KFN7966.8 .N67) of North Carolina Crimes by plugging the following search terms – north carolina crimes – into the Charlotte School of Law Library catalog.

Key Features of North Carolina Crimes

North Carolina Crimes analyzes each criminal offense within its own chapter and divides each into the following four categories: elements, punishment, notes (explanatory points regarding the offense, including case law) and related offenses. State of mind, defenses, and structured sentencing are additional topics discussed in the introductory chapter of each offense. Because the clear and concise layout of the guidebook makes locating and understanding the criminal elements easy, the supervising attorneys and judges, at my externships, consider it an excellent reference guide during trial or at a court hearing.  For this reason, North Carolina provides the latest version to all state prosecutors, and most state law enforcement officers and judges keep the guidebook handy at all times, as well.  Law enforcement officers refer to North Carolina Crimes when they need to make a quick charging decision about a perpetrator’s alleged criminal behavior; prosecutors use the guidebook when putting their cases together; and judges rely on it when deciding the rule of law or explaining it to a jury.  Essentially, North Carolina Crimes helps to keep all of the parties participating in the prosecution of a crime on the same page.

There are several useful ways to search for your topic in North Carolina Crimes.  To begin, there is a master table of contents at the front of the book, listing every topic and subtopic with its corresponding page numbers, and an individual table of contents at the beginning of each chapter. North Carolina Crimes also has the following useful indexes: 1) a case index that lists the cited cases alphabetically, 2) a table of statutes that organizes the enacted laws in ascending numerical order, and 3) a subject index that helps the reader navigate to a particular subject or crime.

Researching using North Carolina Crimes

North Carolina Crimes is an excellent place to begin legal research on a criminal issue. For example, suppose you need to understand the difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter in North Carolina.  Upon consulting the guidebook’s table of contents, you locate the subtopic “manslaughter” within the topic “homicide” and then navigate to the corresponding pages.  In North Carolina, manslaughter is a common law crime which means its rule of law stems from state court decisions and not the legislature.  The “manslaughter” section highlights the elements for voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and provides an extensive list of on-point cases interpreting the scope of each element.  To update the authority, you would then KeyCite with WestlawNext or Shepardize with Lexis Advance.

Conclusion

North Carolina Crimes: A Guidebook to the Elements of Crime uses a simple, easy-to-navigate style to detail and annotate the rule of law of the major North Carolina criminal offenses, making the guidebook an essential tool for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.

~ Maria Fisichello, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Secrets for Leading in the New Normal

During the 9th Annual Metrolina Library Association Conference held recently in Charlotte, North Carolina, David Singleton, Director of Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries and Julie Walker, the new State Librarian of Georgia conducted a breakout session entitled, “Secrets for Leading in the New Normal.”  While Singleton and Walker have extensive careers in public libraries, all libraries share the same challenges in justifying their existence and making their organizations valuable to whoever is making funding decisions.

Singleton and Walker began their presentation by highlighting the changes in society which have necessitated changes in libraries. To demonstrate that people still love their libraries, they used the results of a Pew study and data from a Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) study in the chart below:

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Using Gallup poll results, the library directors showed that people have confidence in their libraries and feel they are important to the community in comparison to other organizations.

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While data that demonstrates the public’s positive perception of library value is a good selling point, the directors pointed out the complications of using such information during the recent recession.  They cited the American Libraries issue on The State of American Libraries 2013. When staff and library hours are reduced, patrons have limited access and begin to see less value and relevance in the library. This cycle is a warning for academic libraries too.

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Another important selling point has been a Return on Investment (ROI) study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Institute which concluded that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library returns $4.57 in direct benefits for every $1.00 invested from all sources. Funders want to know that their money is being used to the greatest benefit.

Librarians have traditionally kept numbers like total checkouts, program attendance, reference transactions, and instruction sessions. However, funders are not interested in these measures. They are interested in outcomes, especially the impact on the community. Some examples of outcomes for public libraries are young children prepared for kindergarten, children and teens doing well in school, residents proficient with computer skills, and adults getting jobs. Academic librarians need to determine the outcomes important to their organizations and measure the library’s contribution.

While numbers and outcome measures are important in relaying the library’s value, Singleton pointed out that librarians also need to collect stories that tell of successes. Academic librarians need to articulate the library’s relevance in the 21st century, value to the community, value to funders, and competitive funding advantages. Singleton and Walker believe that libraries can thrive by identifying the needs in the library’s community, contributing uniquely, focusing on priorities and goals, collaborating with others, embracing change, staying grounded, and telling their story!

mla4~Betty Thomas~

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Complete the Library Space Survey by July 11th for a Chance to Win!

space survey

Please go to the library page on OrgSync to fill out the survey, or click here!

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — July 7, 2014

weeklyroundup

Using Social Media to Market Your Practice: Part 1

In my first article, we reviewed several ways to market your practice without spending money on things that clients may like initially, but that will have no long-lasting effect on whether you get their business. One of those great ways to market your practice includes the use of social media, and your ability to use it and embrace it may mean the difference between lags in your practice workload and staying busy.

Using Social Media to Market Your Practice: Part 2

Part 1 of this series focused on three tips for getting started incorporating social media into your marketing efforts: 1) identify someone at your firm who will handle social media updates, 2) review the various social media sites to determine what is the best fit for your practice, and 3) separate your professional social media accounts from your personal social media accounts. If you have decided to spend this upcoming long weekend setting up one or more new social media accounts or evaluating how you can improve the ones you currently have, I encourage you to also go back and read my first article on Impact Marketing. This article is going to pull both that first article and Part 1 of this series together and provide some easy ways to boost your social media presence, help your clients and generate more business.

Banned Books Week Announces Comics Focus

The 2014 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas this week set the stage for Banned Books Week, scheduled for September 21-27, 2014. This year, Banned Books Week will shine light on banned and challenged comic books and graphic novels.

7 Surprises about Libraries in Our Surveys

The Pew Research Center’s studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them.

A Year after Supreme Court Ruling, a Rundown of What’s Changed for Same-Sex Couples

When the Supreme Court ruled a year ago today to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, a lot of things got easier for gay couples.  Now that their marriages are recognized by the federal government, same-sex couples have acquired a simpler tax filing process, broader family protections and other federal spousal benefits.  But a year after the “United States vs. Windsor” decision, some of the basic rights granted to opposite-sex married couples are still pretty complicated for same-sex couples.

What Women Think of the Core Issue in the Hobby Lobby Case

The Supreme Court decision upholding Hobby Lobby’s ability to refuse to cover certain contraceptive services based on its owners’ religious beliefs has set off a wave of analysis of what the decision means. That will not be resolved anytime soon. But we do know what women think of the policy issue at the core of the case.

Wider Impact of Hobby Lobby Ruling?

The Affordable Care Act regulations issued by the federal government, however, required twenty different preventive methods or services, including sterilization and pregnancy counseling.  Depending upon how lower courts now interpret the Hobby Lobby decision, companies that fit within the Court’s “closely held company” bracket and offer religious objections could be spared from having to provide any of those services through their employee health plans.

Facebook Manipulates Our Moods for Science and Commerce: A Roundup

Scientists published a paper revealing that in 2012, Facebook researchers conducted a study into “emotional contagion.” The social media company altered the news feeds (the main page users land on for a stream of updates from friends) of nearly 700,000 users. Feeds were changed to reflect more “positive” or “negative” content, to determine if seeing more sad messages makes a person sadder.

Switching from PowerPoint to Prezi for Trial Presentation

I didn’t know what Prezi was at the beginning of the year. I first heard about it at LegalTech New York in February. Since then, I’ve seen it all over the place and heard of lawyers using it in trial. I have since used it a couple of times, so I am going to explain the benefits and the drawbacks and how to use it effectively.

Broken, Made or Tested by Adversity

Biographers and those interested in famous, infamous, or essentially high profile individuals often pick over the details of their lives trying to establish what made them the way they are or were. Everyone accepts that people inherit certain aptitudes and personality traits, and that a variety of very specific and personal experiences shape the person they become.

Check Out County’s New Little Free Library

Adults and children who visit Frank Liske Park and wish they had a book to enjoy while there are in luck. Last month, a Little Free Library made its debut at the park, and two more will be coming to Camp T.N. Spencer Park and North Cabarrus Park this month.

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New Faces in the Library – Meet Mili, Our New Core Operations Student Worker!

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My name is Mili Banerji and I am currently a 3L at Charlotte Law. I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a double minor in Psychology and Sociology. During my time there, I worked as a face painter [at Tweetsie Railroad] and a ski instructor [at Beech Mountain Resort]. After graduating, I decided to pursue my love for skiing and moved to Park City, Utah, where I worked as a ski instructor [at Deer Valley Resort]. When I am not working or doing schoolwork, I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, and playing with my miniature dachshund.

~Mili Banerji~

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