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Law Library News for February 22, 2000

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Email Discussion Lists

Email discussion groups (also known as "listservs") allow many users who share an interest to correspond with one another. When I send a message to a list, it automatically goes to all the people who subscribe to that list. They may read my message, print it out, respond to it � or delete it sight unseen. Discussion lists can help you keep up with hot issues in a field, share information you have, and ask for help. When you post a query, you may get responses from people down the street or around the world.

Law-related lists are diverse as the law. For instance, if you are interested in issues related to licenses under the Uniform Commercial Code, you could subscribe to If you are interested in plaintiffs-side employment law, you could subscribe to, a list moderated by an attorney in Minnesota. Students interested in the Internet law might want to subscribe to

How can you find lists in your subject area? I recommend "Law Lists," a searchable list maintained by a librarian at the University of Chicago. It�s at The guide describes the lists, tells you how to subscribe, and often links to list archives. Two other guides are:

  1. Liszt (covers many subject areas),
  2. Hieros Gamos Guide to Law-Related Discussion Groups, 

Maybe, like me, you find that you already have more email than you can deal with and you worry that subscribing to an email discussion list would flood your inbox. You can choose to have your mail from a listserv come to you in "digest" format � that is, all the messages from each day in one long message (with a table of contents) rather than a bunch of separate messages. For information about how to use listservs, see Jim Milles, "Discussion Lists: Mailing List Manager Commands" (Version 1.5.7, October 26, 1997),

When you subscribe to a discussion list, it is often a good idea to "lurk" for a while � that is, to read what other list members send for a while before you post messages of your own. You will get a feel for how formal the group is, what sorts of topics are discussed, and so on.

Reviews of Websites

There are so many cool websites out there, it�s hard to keep up with the new ones and find out about the really good ones. The Internet Scout Project,, addresses those needs.

One tool is The Scout Report, an email newsletter that reviews websites. You can subscribe to the newsletter and get weekly reports of websites the editors select.

You can also search the thousands of reviews The Scout Report has already done. For instance, I searched for "human rights AND china" and found descriptions and links to a State Department report, a Human Rights Watch report, Amnesty International publications, and the Chinese embassy page.

Presidents' Day Trivia Contest

by Jonathan Franklin

To enter the contest, turn in your answers to the Reference Office by Thursday at 5:00. Include your email address so we can let you know when you win a prize.

  1. President ________ was once arrested for driving his horse too fast and was fined $20.
  2. President ________ was the only president to serve on the Supreme Court.
  3. President ________ argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of slaves who mutinied during their journey from Africa aboard the Amistad.
  4. President ________ was so famous for saying so little that a White House dinner guest made a bet that she could get the president to say more than two words. She told the president of her wager. His reply: "You lose."
  5. President ________ had a sign on his desk that said, "It can be done."
  6. President ________ admitted having lust in his heart in an interview with Playboy magazine.
  1. John Quincy Adams
  2. Ulysses S. Grant
  3. William H. Taft
  4. Ronald Reagan
  5. Calvin Coolidge
  6. Jimmy Carter

Do You Read This Column?

As the editor, I often wonder whether anyone reads the "Law Library News" column. I imagine that most students are too busy much of the time even to skim short research tips, but I always hope that there are a few who sometimes find this column useful. If we aren�t reaching anyone, then maybe the column should be changed.

If you have a minute, please send me an email message with a comment or two. You don�t have to say much � I�d be grateful even for a few messages that said "Yes, I look at it sometimes." (Of course, longer comments would be welcome, too.) Please note whether you are a 1L, 2L, 3L, LL.M. student, law faculty, or law staff.

Thanks! � Mary Whisner.

P.S. I am so eager to hear from you that I will offer a prize (for example, a WESTLAW mug or a LEXIS-NEXIS candy dish) to the first ten people who send me messages.