There’s a New Blog in Town

In the 1930s S.R. Ranganathan formulated his five laws of library science:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his / her book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

In 2004 librarian Alireza Noruzi applied these laws to the internet:

  1. Web resources are for use.
  2. Every reader his / her web resource.
  3. Every web resource its user.
  4. Save the time of the user.
  5. The web is a growing organism.

And now I will apply the laws of library science to weblogs or blogs.

  1. Blogs are for use.
  2. Every reader his / her Blog.
  3. Every Blog its user.
  4. Save the time of the Blogger.
  5. Blogs are a growing organism.

Save the time of the blogger? What does that mean? I realize that its not a perfect application of the laws of library science but it helps to illustrate a point: There is very likely a blog about almost anything you can think up. Try it. Just add the word “blog” to your google search. It is surprising how much knowledge, information, insight and advice people have to share.

Recently, Professor Bari Burke created a blog about the first women admitted to the Montana bar called “Montana’s Early Women Lawyers: Trail-blazing, Big Sky Sisters-in Law“.

Professor Burke focuses on women attorneys in Montana between 1899 and 1950 by providing biographical and anecdotal information on each woman admitted to the Montana Bar. Professor Burke also provides some historical statistics and lists significant events for women lawyers in Montana. Her blog is kept up to date with entries that consist of historical newspaper clippings that address some aspect of the status of women practicing law in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Visit Montana’s Early Women Lawyers for a fascinating study of how women participated in the legal profession in Montana’s early years.

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The Law Library and Beyond

The Jameson Law Library contains shelves and shelves of great books; some will help with your research, some will further your knowledge, some are just interesting reads. You will find a few of our new acquisitions on our New Books website. The library is small enough that you can wander up and down the aisles, scan the titles, pull the volumes that interest you off the shelf. But when you’re looking for something specific wandering around the library isn’t a particularly efficient way of conducting research. First, some subjects may be categorized in ways you don’t expect you may overlook them. Second, the library extends beyond our shelves. We have access to electronic books and books sitting on the shelves in other libraries. To access all the books the law library has to offer, use the library catalog.

The law library is part of a consortium that also includes Mansfield Library, all UM libraries, Salish Kootenai College Library, and St. Patrick Hospital Library.  The shared library catalog will tell you not only what books the law library has and where they are, but also what all these other libraries own. And with a few clicks you can place a hold on books in consortium libraries and have them sent to the law library.

The video below shows you how to use the catalog and its features.

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Know Before You Travel!

I admit I’m excited that I’m going on vacation next week and spending three weeks in the Philippines. Of course, I’ll be thinking about you guys while I’m sitting under a coconut tree and watching the waves roll in.


Having an impending vacation makes it very difficult to think of suitable legal blog topics, but since I’ve got traveling on the brain, let’s look at some legal things about travel.

Americans have a lot of rights guaranteed by the Constitution and enforced by the legal system. We’re very lucky in that respect in comparison with many parts of the world. While it is true that you have a variety of rights because you are an American, it’s also important to remember that your rights don’t travel with you.

Approximately 2,000 U.S. citizens wind up in foreign jails every year for periods ranging from a few days to decades. We’re not counting political prisoners here, but simply people who have broken the law of the country they are visiting. It’s wonderful to travel to other countries, see new places, and experience other cultures and I highly recommend it as a learning experience. However, too many Americans run afoul of the law in other countries because they assume they have the same rights when they travel as they do at home and that they are immune from arrest simply because they are Americans. The fact is (can’t stress it enough) when you are in another country you are subject to the laws of that country. Just as is true here, ignorance of the law is no excuse and being an American does not provide immunity from arrest. The last thing you want as part of your vacation experience is a visit to the local prison.


The two big things that get people into trouble are drugs and firearms, and common sense should tell you to avoid these at all costs. For example, I read a news story last week from Sindangan, Philippines (the town my wife and I are headed to on vacation) about an American guy who was there on vacation. Apparently, he felt he needed a gun for “protection” while he was there, so he found a local who was happy to sell him one. Later, he was in a bar and started bragging to his newfound drinking buddies about his gun and lifted up the back of his shirt to show it off. Another bar patron saw this and called the police to let them know there was a foreigner in the bar with a gun. He was arrested, his .45 caliber pistol with the serial number filed off was confiscated, and he will likely spend the next six years in Bilibid Prison in Manila (pictured above) for illegal possesion of a firearm.

It’s important to do some research on the laws of the country you are going to visit. It’s also important to remember that even if you see the local people getting away with doing things that are technically illegal, you as a foreigner are much more visible.

Besides the two big ones, there are also a lot of other things that could get you into trouble if you’re not aware of the law. Americans highly prize freedom of speech and take it for granted that “I can say anything I want.” In many places, you can be jailed for being critical of the government, public figures, the country itself, or rude behavior in public. You can even be jailed for what you say on social media. A Filipino working in Singapore was recently jailed for two years for making negative comments about Singaporeans on his Facebook page. An American contractor in Saudi Arabia was jailed for negative comments about his employer on his Facebook page he posted while back in the U.S. on vacation. When he returned to Saudi Arabia to go back to work, he was arrested at the airport. A British woman who is Buddhist traveled to Thailand on a pilgrimage to visit the holy sites there. She was detained at the airport on arrival and not allowed into the country because she had a large tattoo of Buddha on her arm, which is a violation of the religious defamation law of Thailand. So please do your research first and practice good behavior along the way.

If you do run into trouble overseas, it’s also important to know what the embassy or consulate can and can’t do for you. The following information is from the State Department web page:

Avoid getting arrested overseas by:

  • Following the laws and regulations of the country you are visiting or living in.
  • Learning about laws there which might be different from the laws in the United States. We provide some information for each country on our Country Specific pages.  For further information on laws within the foreign country before you go, contact that country’s nearest embassy or consulate within the United States.

If you are arrested overseas or know a U.S. citizen who is:

  • Ask the prison authorities to notify the U.S. embassy or consulate
  • You may also wish to reach out to the closest U.S. embassy or consulate to let us know of arrest.  Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas can be found here or by going to our individual Country Specific Information pages.

 We can help:

  • Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care for you
  • Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process
  • Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime that may be available to them
  • If they would like, ensuring that prison officials are permitting visits with  a member of the clergy of the religion of your choice
  • Establish an OCS Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when permissible under prison regulations

We cannot:

  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas
  • State to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas

So with that in mind, I’m packing up and getting ready to go. If you need me, I’ll be somewhere around here:


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Is the Book for This Course on Reserve?

As classes begin, we are reposting this reminder from last year about what we have on course reserves in the library and how you can determine whether the book you need is available.

What is on reserve?

Currently there are two principles guiding class reserve materials for law school courses. Keep in mind I am not addressing Moodle materials or facpacs – just the materials kept behind the circulation desk in the Law Library.

  1. Required texts for required classes.
    This category is straight forward. These are the same required books you will find at the bookstore.
  2. Materials that are placed on placed on reserve at the request of the course instructor.
    This category is less straight forward because it often includes the required texts for non-required classes. This sometimes leads people to believe that all required texts are on reserve in the library – not true.

Can I have it right now?

There is an easy way to ascertain exactly what is on reserve for any law school course and whether or not it is currently available.

  1. Go to the law library home page.

image of law library home page





2. Find the link to the library catalog (in the menu bar, marked by the red arrow above).

3. Select course reserves.

library reserves

4. Click on Courses.


If your class is listed in the pop up menu, then there are materials placed on reserve for that class. If your class is not listed in the pop up menu, there are no materials on reserve for that class.

5. Select your class. If you select and search a particular class you will learn which materials are on reserve for that class.

last pic

6. Select the book you need. And if you select one of the items listed, you will learn whether or not it is currently available.
the real last pic

If you have further question about Law School class reserves, ask a library staff member or email Phil at

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Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

The Jameson Law Library staff is happy to welcome new law students and welcome back all our returning students. As you are settling into (or back into) law school, here are a few things about the library we hope you will take advantage of:

photo of book, clock, and glasses24-Hour Access
All law students have 24-hour access to the law school building and the library using your Griz card. There are Griz card readers on the south and east doors into the building and on the main door to the library. Simply swipe in any time you want access. We do ask that you keep library materials, especially Reserve materials, in the library when the library is closed. Also, please do not prop open the building or library doors as that will 1) allow access to people who shouldn’t have access; and 2) alert campus police that they should come see why there is an alarm going off.

Remote Access
Perhaps instead of coming into the library in the middle of the night, you prefer to research from the comfort of your living room couch. All the law library’s databases are available from any computer with an internet connection– all you need is your NetID.

Course Reserves
We will place on Reserve one copy of each text book required for a required course. Reserve books check-out for 2 hours. See this blog next week for additional information about course Reserves.

Book Delivery
The Law Library is part of a the University of Montana library system. Through our shared catalog, you can request that books held by other libraries in the system be sent here for you to pick up. Use the library catalog to find the book you want. If it is held by another library, click on the Hold link on the right side of the screen and enter your institution id (a.k.a. your “790 number”). Indicate that you want to pick up the book at the Law Library. You will get an email when the book has been delivered here and you can come pick it up. Delivery may take a few days so if the book is at Mansfield Library, you may just want to go over and check it out. The other libraries that are part of this system include Mansfield Library, Montana Tech in Butte, UM-Western in Dillon, Salish Kootenai College and St. Patrick Hospital.

Standing Desks
photo of portable stand up deskTurn any table into a standing desk! The library has three portable, adjustable standing desks you can use while you study in the library or check-out to take elsewhere in the building. Standing desks circulate for 4 hours. See our previous blog post for more information.

Professional Clothing Closet
Do you have a job interview or a meeting with a clinic client but don’t have anything appropriate to wear? The Law Library maintains a professional clothing closet where you can “shop” for free. The Closet contains men’s & women’s professional clothing in all sizes. You can take what you need and don’t have to return it. The Closet is open periodically throughout the semester or anytime by appointment– just ask one of the librarians to unlock it for you.

The Law Library Website
The library website contains useful links to our catalog, legal research databases, Montana legal research tools, research guides, law review articles through the Scholarly Forum, and archives of this blog.

This Blog
Watch this blog throughout the year to learn more about the library, and legal research and information resources. The library staff updates the blog weekly. You can check new blog posts on our website or follow the blog to receive emails when new items are posted.


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Great Summer Reads 2015

“No more pencils, no more books…” No wait, not “no more books!” Summer is a wonderful time for books. Lazy days at the lake, long evenings when it’s light until 10:00pm, road trips and plane trips. Paperbacks, e-books, audio editions (paperbacks for the lake, e- books for the plane, audio for the car).

As it is snowing and raining and sunny in Montana and students are taking exams and looking forward to graduation, it’s time for the fourth installment of the annual Great Summer Reads. Once again, the list is a compilation of books that are fiction and nonfiction, law-related and not, new and old. In addition to recommendations gathered from law school faculty and staff, this year we have included titles suggested by students.

There is a little bit of everything on this list. I’m not sure where I’m going to start, but as I was receiving recommendations and adding them to the list, it became clear that I am going to have to take the summer off just to read the ones that have captured my attention.



And when you’ve made your way through this list, you can turn to the Jameson Law Library’s New and Recommended Books research guide which we update throughout the year as we receive new books.

Have a good summer!

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Civility in Politics

Legislators are supposed to argue points of law, but they are supposed to do it in a way that is organized and respectful. However, partisan contention in the federal and state legislatures does seem to have caused increasing rudeness and hostility in our lawmaking process. Minnesota, or at least the Senate in Minnesota, is trying to change that.                                                        200_s

Minnesota Senate Rule 36.8 says “All remarks during debate shall be addressed to the President.”  It’s a common rule found in most state legislatures and in Congress, but two years ago Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk specifically interpreted the rule to mean that senators may not look at each other when speaking. If they do, they are immediately reprimanded. It’s an attempt to bring more decorum back to the Minnesota Senate and force more listening instead of theatrics – no more grandstanding, no angry stare-downs, no shouting matches. You can’t even turn around and treat your colleagues as an audience. Your words have to live on their own merit without visual clues or help.

The basic rule is found in British law as far back as the 1500’s as well as rules discouraging bringing swords to the House of Commons.


“The Constitutional History of England in Its Origin and Development,” Vol. 3 by William Stubbs

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