The Library is pleased to offer an additional WestlawNext training session next Monday, October 6, from 1:30 to 2:30. The session will be held in Room 2011. RSVP by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HeinOnline has added an enhancement to its Print/Download option. This new option allows you to download and print the number of pages you want by clicking on “Add another page range“; continue by clicking “Print/Download All”.
It works on all browsers, but if you’re using Chrome you have to click “Show All Downloads” to see all the files you downloaded.
Remember to disable the pop-up blocker in order to use this feature.
After a winter that would have caused even the Abominable Snowman to consider decamping to Hawaii, it is safe to say that we were all looking forward to three or four months of warm weather. Well, it’s the end of August and – apart from a few bracing blasts of heat – we’re still waiting. And guess what? It’s already time to return to school, as today’s start of O-Week attests to.
It’s hard to believe that eight years ago, I was in the exact same position – a freshly minted Section A Ozzie. As many of the current crop can doubtlessly attest, the feeling is a mixture of exhilaration and sheer terror. Everybody has heard the stories of the brutalizing effect that law school can have (or have, at the very least, seen the Paper Chase) and it would be a lie to say that the pressure – particularly at exam time – doesn’t weigh heavily. It does, and you’ll have to do it at least six times before you graduate. But it is also counterbalanced by meeting a wide number of interesting people – some of whom will undoubtedly become friends, and many of whom will be future colleagues (which you would be wise to remember) – and many good times. The adage of working hard and playing hard is seldom more true than the three years you will put in to get your J.D.
The temptation exists to be all-law all-the-time, but that’s a quick route to burning out. Maintain pre-law school interests, friends, and relationships. Work out. Join something (I was the editor of the Obiter Dicta for two years). Do whatever it takes to break the spell from periodically. You may think that perpetually dreaming of Hadley v. Baxendale, Foakes v. Beer, and the thin-skull principle is healthy. It’s not. Your brain will be overworked and overtired as it is, so give it a break from time to time. Otherwise, it will make you something something.
While the library may be a focal point for your studying and, by extension, associated with the stress of keeping up to date with your readings, drafting summaries, and generally working harder than you’ve ever had to in your academic careers, this isn’t our sole purpose. Or it shouldn’t be, at least. Believe it or not, we want to make the library as pleasant and helpful a place as possible for our users.
While we work hard on the day-to-day realities of keeping the collections current and maintaining Canada’s largest law library, we also have a vested interest in making the lives of students less stressful and (hopefully) improving your overall law school experience.
Don’t know something? Ask us. Can’t find something? Ask us. Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Tell us.
Our resources are not intended to be well-guarded secrets, knowable only to those who possess the requisite knowledge. That’s why we go out of our way to come to your classes and tell you about how to research, prepare LibGuides, maintain a reference e-mail account, and spend time at the reference desk – to ensure that our students can reap the fullest rewards of their years of law school. Much like your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer. If the Farmer’s Almanac is right, you’ll be grateful that you did. Winter (and exams) will feel like this:
British Columbia laws and legislative documents, once available only in the content-rich and highly functional but subscription-based service called QP LegalEze, is now available to everyone free on the web in a new service called BC Laws. We congratulate the BC Queen’s Printer on this exciting development, another landmark example of Canadian leadership in the open law and open data movements.
BC Laws has been upgraded to provide enhanced searching and more content including historical legislation and related publications. All content is delivered in an “open data format” and restrictions on commercial and non-commercial use of the data have been changed (read more). Contents, all full-text searchable, include:
- Statutes and Regullations – complete, consolidated and current, and including Tables of Legislative Changes
- Orders in Council – Complete, from January 1999 to current
- Hansard (Debates of the Legislative Assembly) and Indexes – from January 1970 (29th Parliament, 1st Session) to present
- Bills – First and Third Reading Bills, from 1992 (35 Parliament, 1st Session) to present; includes Progress of Bills Tables and hypertext-linked List of Bills with Hansard Debates
- Journals – from 1851 to present
- Regulation Bulletins — from January 1998 to present
Access to the BC Gazette, Parts 1 & 2, as well as Point-in-Time tables for all statutes, are coming soon.
If freer access to primary law were not good enough, the content on BC Laws – all of it – is delivered as open data, under a Queen’s Printer License. The license enables, among other activities, full and partial content reuse and publication for commercial and non-commercial purposes, subject to appropriate conditions. To this end, the Queen’s Printer has also released access to the API underlying BC Laws.
Thanks to our colleague Kim Nayyer at the University of Victoria, Diana M. Priestly Law Library, for bringing this to our attention.
Oxford Handbooks Online brings together the world’s leading scholars to write review essays that evaluate the current thinking on a field or topic, and make an original argument about the future direction of the debate. The Oxford Handbooks are one of the most successful and cited series within scholarly publishing, containing in-depth, high-level articles by scholars at the top of their field and for the first time. In addition to law, there are 13 other subject areas covered by the Handbooks: a complete list is available here. The Handbooks website also provides an online training demo illustrating the features and functions of the service.
Now that Osgoode has acquired the law-related Handbooks, the complete collection is available online here at York University Libraries.
An experienced researcher knows the value of a well prepared subject bibliography. An annotated subject bibliography is usually prepared by leading scholars or librarians to provide other researchers with a selected or comprehensive list of research materials related to that subject. Depending on the subject, bibliographies typically include books, peer review journal articles, and other publications such as websites and government documents. In other words, bibliographies are expert recommendations on the best works available in the discipline.
York University Libraries have recently subscribed to the Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO), a database of bibliographies covering a wide range of subjects, including some law topics. The OBO combines the benefits of both bibliographies and encyclopedias and offers extensive annotations to the works included in the bibliographies. It’s both searchable and browsable. Each work listed in OBO includes links to locate it through Worldcat and/or Google books, making it easy to access the item. In the current subject list, “International Law”, “international relations” and criminology are directly related to law. There are nearly one hundred articles (i.e. topical bibliographies) under the subject “international law”, for example, human rights, natural law, use of force, feminist approaches to international law, international environmental law, international financial law, and so on. You can browse the full list of topics by choosing the subject “international law” when browsing the subject list.
For your next research project, please don’t forget to check out the Oxford Bibliographies Online. If you happen to find a bibliography relevant to your research topic, it will save you lots of time!
While the issue of campus safety is one that has always been something of an elephant in the room at York – especially of late – there is another animal that lurks in the periphery of our consciousness and every year rears its head. Of course, I am referring to the Canada Geese that, as of this writing, have returned to campus, along with their incessant squawking, grazing, vaguely malevolent staring from rooftops, and, of course, their rather casual approach to bathroom habits (which, incidentally, in addition to being merely gross, is also toxic). They are rather like an unwanted house guest who make themselves comfortable and refuse to leave, all the while befouling your daily space.
Despite their inarguable nuisance factor, they are a protected species under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, wherein, in a worst-case scenario, the maximum punishment is a million dollar fine and a maximum jail term of three years. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not entirely illegal to kill them – it just needs to be done at the right time and place (i.e. with a license and during the appropriate season). It should also be noted that even if you try your best Katniss Everdeen impersonation on one, it might not necessarily kill it. As is often the case with such legislation, the minutiae are to be found in the act’s regulations. It is curious, though, that even thought it is a protected species under the MBCA, Environment Canada admits that their population growth is outstripping hunting, despite the fact that “the limits have been liberalized to the extent possible within the limits permitted for hunting seasons under the MBCA.”
Looking eastward, another invasive Canadian icon is in the news today, as a class action lawsuit began in Newfoundland over the government’s (in)action in managing the moose population, although personally a Canada Goose is a much less potentially intimidating prospect than a moose.
If you do decide to take matters into your own hands, apparently Canada Goose is lovely with teriyaki sauce.