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Law Library News for April 14, 2003

Sarah Hollingsworth, Editor

Law Library News Archive

 

Future Interests: Movers and Shakers

In case you've been too busy to notice, the Library is beginning to prepare for its BIG MOVE to Gates Hall this summer. A convenient link to regular updates on the status of the move is now available on the Law Library homepage.

In conjunction with the move, you may have noticed more than the usual number of "movers and shakers" in the upper floors of Gallagher these days. Seemingly, library staff load one shelf of books onto a cart and then a few minutes later, arrive back by your study carrel with another cart, only to reshelve a batch of altogether different books. You appropriately wonder if this is a blind study being run by the psych department to test law student patience. You can rest assured that this is not the case -- not at all.

These hard-working folks are, in fact, preparing the half million (plus!) volumes presently in the Library for the move. The good news is that thousands of books now locked away in the basement will be located in more accessible areas in Gates Hall. The bad new is that all those volumes presently located in the basement must be reclassified and, to maintain accessibility, must then be reshelved upstairs in the classified stacks. And as you may have noticed, space for additional books in the upper floors of Condon Hall is already at a premium.

The library staff is doing all it can to minimize the noise and inconvenience during this transition period. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Bibliographic Note: Book of the Week

by Mary Whisner

Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof: A Contrarian Guide to Legal Drafting, by Howard Darmstadter (Chicago, IL: American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, 2002). KF250.D37 2002 at Reserve

We all know that an important part of lawyers' work is putting words on paper. In law school, you gain experience in writing types of documents that you never saw as undergraduates: for example, legal memoranda, appellate briefs, and issue-spotting exams. Students who participate in the Contract Drafting Competition try their hand at drafting, but some others might lack exposure to the documents that business lawyers craft.

A new book published by the ABA's Section of Business Law offers practical tips from a business lawyer's perspective. (The author, Howard Darmstadter, is a lawyer for Citigroup Inc. in New York.)

Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof: A Contrarian Guide to Legal Drafting begins with short chapters on word choice and sentence structure. The advice here does not differ much from what you will find in other books on legal writing.

The following chapters, however, offer something different. A chapter called "The Look of the Document" talks about the nitty-gritty issues of font, margins, and layout. It might seem dry -- but it could make your documents look better (and be easier to read).

Later chapters cover Agreements, Boilerplate, and Securities Prospectuses.

If you came to law school because you thought you could avoid math, you might be baffled by documents that require you to understand interest rates, unit pricing, and so on. Mr. Darmstadter offers you "Fun (and Grief) with Algebra." It walks you through some formulas, such as a formula for "money market yield" -- to show how they work.

This book's advice is practical; the style is snappy. It's worth a look.

(Ed: And for more sources on this topic, see Drafting Contracts: Formbooks and Drafting Resources, a helpful online resource guide by Gallagher Law Librarian, Cheryl Nyberg.)

Trivialities: Sleepless in Seattle?

Questions

You don't have to take a fantastic voyage from here to eternity and visit some Wizard of Oz to get this one right; nor do you have to be Superman or Woman of the Year. Just a touch of the right stuff is really all you'll need. Network with some friends and ordinary people and see if you can find one published opinion that uses, in context, the titles of over 200 feature films. (Now, that's entertainment!) Give the desk set folks (your friendly reference librarians) the correct citation, together with your name and email address, before high noon on Wednesday, April 16, 2003, and win for yourself a place in the sun.

Answers

Congratulations to David Orange, winner of last week's Law Library News Trivia Contest. Answers were:

  • Nutrimentum spiritus [Food for the Soul] at the Royal Library of Berlin.
  • Sanitorium for the Mind at the Library at Alexandria.
  • Let No Profane Person Enter! at the "Old" Library at Berne.
  • Healing Place [or Medicine Chest] of the Soul at the Library at Thebes.
  • Litera Scripta Manet [The Written Word Endures] at the Librarians Room of the Library of Congress.

Closing Thought: On Books

I cannot live without books. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)