Law Library News for the Week of Feb. 25, 2008

Cheryl Nyberg, editor


The New Online Bluebook

It is finally available: an online version of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

For $25, a single user can access the web-based Bluebook. Sure, the contents of the print version are duplicated online. But the new version also provides search features, editors’ answers to user questions, updated information, and the facility to add individual and group annotations! A series of six video tours describe the online product’s features.

The three-year single-user price is $55 and organizations may purchase “keys” for their members.

The online Bluebook is brand new—no reviews or evaluations are available yet. Maybe yours will be the first! Buy it, try it, then criticize it. Are the additional features worth the modest price?

Government Secrecy Program

What you don’t know CAN hurt you. Learn more about Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Right to Know on March 19, from 10am-12:30pm at the Odegaard Undergrad Library, Room 220.

Sponsored by the Law Librarians of Puget Sound and the Washington State Library, this program includes a video broadcast on The Secret Executive, featuring:

  • Mickey Edwards, Director, Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership (Republican Congressman from Oklahoma)
  • Ann Beeson, Director, U.S. Programs, Open Society Institute & former Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • John Podesta, President, Center for American Progress & former Chief of Staff to President Clinton

Commenting on the local scene will be Michele Earl-Hubbard, of the Allied Law Group, and Knute Berger, a political columnist for Washington Law & Politics.

Registration is free.

Website of the Week: National Conference of State Legislatures

The professional organizations for legislators and legislative staff, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has been around for more than thirty years. Its website is a wonderful resource.

You might expect the NCSL website to link to state legislatures’ websites. But it also provides links to bills, constitutions, and kids’ pages.

For legal researchers, the most useful content may be the dozens of 50-state surveys and subject-oriented legislation databases scattered throughout the site. Most of these gems are collected on a page called NCSL 50-State Legislative Tracking Web Resources. Items are organized by subjects such as:

  • Agriculture & Rural Development
  • Banking, Insurance & Financial Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Elections, Campaigns & Redistricting
  • Ethics
  • Health
  • Telecommunications & Information Policy

Free sources tracking state legislation on education, growth management, transportation coordination, and tribal relations are among the offerings. Tables and charts describing state laws on biotechnology, health insurance coverage of contraceptives, identity theft, lobbyists, phishing, predatory mortgage lending, and term limits are only a beginning.

If state legislators are talking about it, the NCSL website has information about it.

©2011, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington