The New OrgSync Interface

OrgSync is releasing a powerful new update to improve your user experience.  This redesign features better organization, simplified navigation and added functionality.

The redesign release is planned for July 22, 2014.  We will notify you if this date changes.

 

And check out the new OrgSync iPhone app, which makes it easy to access what you need, when you need it!

While OrgSync is already mobile-friendly and can be accessed through all mobile web browsers, the new iPhone app can assist iPhone users in the following tasks:

  • Find and join organizations
  • Read the latest campus news
  • Discover and RSVP to events
  • Access campus information, bookmarks and forms
  • Connect with peers and organizational leaders
  • Contribute to discussions

For more information, and to download the app, visit http://www.orgsync.com/mobile.

~Ashley Moye~

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ALR Student’s Corner: Criminal Procedure in North Carolina

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For 20 seasons, on the television show Law & Order, we watched the police investigate the crime and arrest the criminal, and then, with bated breath, hung on Jack McCoy’s every question and objection as he prosecuted the crime for the win. We’ve seen this scenario play out countless times and believed it to be the criminal process, but is it really? In North Carolina, there is a clear beginning, middle, and end to the criminal justice system, and it revolves around the rules of criminal procedure. But, as new criminal lawyers starting out on our own, how do we know what to do?  After all, the beginning, middle, and end of the criminal justice system can seem a little overwhelming, especially so if we do not have a mentor to guide us through the process.

Luckily, there is hope! Criminal Procedure in North Carolina by Irving Joyner is the very practice guide that can help the new lawyer, and even some seasoned lawyers, navigate the rough waters of our state’s criminal justice system. To find this practice guide, locate the call number (KFN7975 .J69 2005) in the Charlotte School of Law library catalog, or look up the title using the “browse sources” feature in Lexis Advance.

After a defendant has hired you as her defense attorney, how do you know what to do? The great thing about Criminal Procedure in North Carolina is that, similar to the dramatic arc of Law & Order, the practice guide logically and sequentially moves the practitioner from arrest, to pre-trial, to trial, and then to sentencing.  At each stage in the prosecution of a crime, the practice guide explains the relevant processes and procedures, providing annotations to primary authority for greater context, and supplements with a plethora of other useful information for new attorneys, like sample forms.  The pre-trial section, for example, uses precedential case law to explain the importance of discovery and pre-trial motions practice to a client and the pre-trial issues that arise.

Furthermore, the pre-trial section includes sample forms that show the attorney how to draft and file a particular motion. I found the forms particularly helpful because, while I had learned how to file a motion in limine, others like a special venire were foreign to me.  So, how do you file a motion for a special venire? Well, the practice guide explains who can file this type of motion, when it should be filed, and the type of claim the defendant might bring, such as a motion based on array or racial composition. After the full discussions of the motions that a defense attorney can use, the practice guide then provides the forms so that the attorney can properly file the appropriate motion within the court, changing only what they need to change based on the court where the motion is to be filed.

What better way, when lost in the sea of the criminal justice system, than to go to Criminal Procedure in North Carolina to make sure that you are taking proper advantage of any and all pre-trial and trial motions on behalf of your client.  It doesn’t matter if you are a new attorney or have been admitted to the bar for 20 years, this practice guide is a great resource to make sure that you are following the proper criminal procedure guidelines in the North Carolina courts. Criminal Procedure in North Carolina makes better attorneys because it helps them provide their clients the representation that they deserve.

 ~ Adrianne Ribar, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Back to School: Lessons for the Second Time Around

To educate

“Are you just filling in for the regular librarian?”   I was stunned, and on that particular day, frustrated almost to tears.  Had the question come from a law student, it would have been understandable and more palatable. I was, after all, only 2 months into a new job. Instead, it had come from a “public patron” whose inability to articulate his needs paled next to my inadequacy to walk him through a reference interview.

Like many reference librarians, I’ve spun my share of straw into gold and was proud of it.  A previous director frequently bragged that books flung themselves off the shelves into my arms, opened to the correct page and that a halo would highlight the significant passage.  Those days were gone. I felt like a failure and wondered if I would ever be competent again.

This anecdote, now legend among the staff, serves as a reminder that every job holds its own challenges, even for veteran librarians.  After seventeen years as a research librarian in private law libraries, I had returned to academic law libraries.

I had learned much as a private law librarian, including the business side of practice.  It had been rewarding, but I missed the interaction with students, the chance to support scholarship and the stimulation I had found in teaching.  I wanted new challenges, but wasn’t quite ready to let go of the familiar.

And so, armed with my desire to return to academic law libraries, a yearning to be nearer to family and a leap of faith, I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line, changed time zones and moved to North Carolina. I began work as a reference librarian at the Charlotte School of Law.

While I had been away, law schools had been realigning their missions and a new model of legal education had emerged. Charlotte School of Law epitomizes that model.  Charlottelaw is a member of a consortium of independent, community-based law schools. It’s strategically located in North Carolina’s largest city, at the center of the banking industry.  The school’s mission advocates student-centered outcomes, serving the underserved and preparing practice-ready graduates.  The school set a pro bono requirement for students and incorporates experiential learning into many of its courses.

I had expected that my greatest challenge would be advances in technology and their incorporation into the classroom. Integration had moved beyond PowerPoint presentations. Fortunately for me, not only has Charlottelaw  encouraged faculty to incorporate emerging technologies into instruction, it has provided professional development opportunities regarding training on video conferencing software, course management systems and the creation of distance education modules.  Librarians continue to go into the classroom, but now we do it both live and virtually. I am in the process of creating an online legal research component for the first year research and writing course. Adapting to technologies is a continual process for me. I hope to stay at least one step ahead of the students.

I had departed law school libraries before the release of the 1992 MacCrate report on law schools and the legal profession. In the aftermath, there has been a concentrated attention to rubrics, mapping, outcomes, and applications of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.   Most recently, this interest has been propelled by the proposed revision to the American Bar Association Standards for Approval of Law Schools.

The A.B.A. Standards Review Committee, after assessing the condition of legal education in the wake of the MacCrate report and the subsequent findings compiled by William Sullivan and others in Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (also known as the “Carnegie Foundation Report”) and Roy Stuckey and others in Best Practices for Legal Education, proposed a revision to the standards that would address learning outcomes. The proposed revision shifts the focus from teaching to learning and from curriculum to outcomes.

Charlottelaw, as a young school has been an early advocate.  In May, Charlotte Law hosted the “Assessment and Student Outcomes Conference – Implications of the Proposed ABA Standard on Student Learning Outcomes.”  Conference speakers included consortium faculty, education professors and legal scholars, including President of the New York Law School, Richard Matasar, and Steven Bahls, principle draftsman of the proposed revision. I feel as if I’ve come in on the ground floor of something monumental.

I’m pleased with the transition I’ve made and am enjoying my new position.  I’m not only grateful for the opportunity to stretch my own skills and knowledge, but I am beginning to feel competent again.  I also better understand the adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  When spring arrived, I found that I missed the fragrance of lilacs.  They don’t do as well here as they did in the Midwest, because they need sustained periods of cold. I have, however, discovered Crepe Myrtles. Their blossoms are gorgeous and resemble those of lilacs.  They lack the fragrance of lilacs, but they last for months and remind me of both homes.

~Susan Catterall~

This article was originally published in the November-December 2010 issue of the online West publication, Law Librarians in the New Millennium.

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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

northcarolinacrimes

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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