An article in the DePaulia Student paper, reports on the establishment of the Chicagoland Consortium for Safety on College Campuses which involves Cook County State's Attorney's Office, DePaul and other universities, including UIC and Northwestern.
The article states that "...studies estimate that 60 percent of rape and sexual assault cases are never reported to police or campus authorities. Even more alarming is the fact that of those sex crimes that are reported, RAINN has shown that there is only a 50.8 percent chance that an arrest will be made." The Consortium will make a collectice effort to change this situation.
"The goal of the State's Attorney's Office is to assist in the education of the entire campus body on the prevention of sex offenses," said Jennifer Gonzalez, chief of the State's Attorney's Sex Crimes Division. "And where that is not possible, to increase the reporting of such cases to allow us the opportunity to prosecute those individuals who have violated the law and hold them accountable for their actions."
See also June 2011 Chicago Tribune article :
A recent article in our own local CALL Bulletin ( Chicago Association of Law libraries) about new legal research instruction, mentioned a resource that was unfamiliar to me. Its rather prosaic name was "The Practical Law Company" (PLC). Apparently, this company has been doing business in the legal community of the United Kingdom for nearly 20 years. But only launched its operations in the U.S. this past December.
The "practical" in its name implies that it would be directed at the actual practice of law rather than theoretical or academic explorations of legal topics. Given the growing critique of much of US law school education as being too disconnected from the knowledge and skills needed to be a practicing attorney. One could assume that introducing access to this resource in law schools, might be one attempt to remedy this perceived imbalance.
The online resources produced by the PLC's own expert staff are designed specifically for transactional attorneys. One author describes the Practical Law Company this way, "PLC is the UK's pre-eminent provider of legal know-how, transactional analysis and market intelligence for business lawyers." The material is developed and kept current by by their own attorney editors who have practiced at top law firms and law departments. A majority of AmJur 200 law firms subscribe to PLC.
With an excellent reputation and large market share in the UK, PLC has decided to expand their particular services to the U.S. market. To meet the level and qualitiy of services expected by clients, PLC invested over a year and a half preparing content for its U.S. Launch. The main areas that PLC is concentrating on are Corporate & Securities , Finance, Labor and Employment and Intellectual Property.
They believe that there is a market here too, for their brand of 'outsourced knowledge management' for completing a variety of transactions and "getting the deal done". As their web site states, "We go beyond primary law and research. We take the expertise of our team and distill it in a way that actually helps you get your work done. Nobody in the US does what we do. Period. "
That is not to concede that the major US-based online legal services, LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law have not provided resources geared specifically to transactional attorneys' work :
"Lexis Transactional Advisor, designed for lawyers who work on transactional law. Transactional Advisor helps you analyze strategies, prepare for and perform due diligence, stay on top of compliance issues, draft documents and more—all from a single online location for various practice areas."
"With Westlaw, you can review authoritative documents drafted by top law firms, find and complete official forms electronically," via Westlaw Form Builder, Model Documents. Many treatises and practice guides are available. Financial and investment analyst reports and extensive Company Profiles are also provided.
Bloomberg's "DealMaker contains deal news, editorial commentary, practice notes, legal treatises, deal timelines, checklists and a fully searchable EDGAR database. It also contains browseable and searchable model agreements, forms and publicly available documents." With its recent acquisition, Bloomberg also provides "access to BNA's Corporate Practice Series Portfolios, which include in-depth analysis of areas of interest to corporate law practitioners, texts of relevant laws, worksheets that contain forms and checklists, and subject bibliographies."
However, the exclusive focus on transactional work and high level of expertise they devote to their products may over time, eclipse the transactional offerings from the traditional U.S. providers.
Most of what The Practical Law Company does, seems directed at actual practitioners and at new associates who need to quickly get up to speed in a practice area. However, as with the big three use providers, marketing begins in the law schools. Exposure there can "imprint" a particular service on students who then continue using the service in their jobs after school. PLC is approaching law schools to acquaint law students with their products and possibly also provide missing career information for students considering practicing transactional law.
The terms are very attractive, as in "Free". "The free account includes: Unlimited access to our online legal know-how services while matriculated and until graduation (law students) or while affiliated with a law school (faculty and staff), plus full training and support.
Potential benefits for law student are described this way : "The law school home page for PLC has a link to a “Survival Guide” which includes over “50 step-by-step corporate, securities and finance resources to give you the tool to ace summer assignments.” The home page also links to “Interview Survival Guide” designed to quickly bring students up to speed “in the basics of corporate, securities and finance practice” to “[g]et the edge in interviews with your knowledge of deal trends and market practice.”
From a quick Google search, it appears that these law schools are at least exploring access to PLC for their students : University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago School Of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Cornell Law School, Roger Williams University School of Law.
While these benefits may seem a bit thin compared to what practitioners get out of PLC's resources, exposure to and knowledge of such resources can probably help correct that practice imbalance identified in the opening of the post.
At the request of the House Administration Committee,U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has collaborated with the Library of Congress to created an iPad app. The new app provides access to the daily edition of the Congressional Record dating from January 4, 1995. The app uses CR files and associated metadata provided by GPO.
Data presented by the app has been provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Printing Office.
The app allows users to:
* Browse editions of the Congressional Record by date.
* Perform keyword searches within individual documents or sections within documents.
* Identify the latest bills and resolutions considered daily on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
* Identify the latest bills, resolutions, treaties, and nominations considered daily on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
* Save documents to your preferred iPad PDF reader.
* Share documents via email.
link for the new app or you can search in the iPad App Store for "The Congressional Record."
The Rinn law library is losing the services of the very able computer technical assistant and Depaul student, Neil Dahlke. But our loss will be a gain both for Neil and for the very recently launched internet startup called. MentorMob He will be joining a current staff of a dozen and will be working on the look and feel and accessibility of the startup's website.
Founded in 2010, MentorMob was launched as a startup two months ago. Using the wikipedia social sourcing model, MentorMob seeks to organize and curate the great wealth of learning and how-to content available on the open internet.Some of the curation will be directed at breaking down instruction into a step-by-step sequence that can be tailored to users with different learning styles. Shane Greenstein, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, finds that MentorMob recognizes “different roles for the same contributor, in some contexts as a mentor and in another as learner."
"MentorMob’s learning modules are called Learning Playlists that users can view at their own pace without registering for an account. Any registered user can create new playlists or add to, comment on, or re-order the steps in existing Playlists. Presently, content in each Playlist comes from the web in the form of articles, videos, slides and other media forms. "These Playlists are created by you !
MentorMob has been Beta tested by faculty at Columbia College in Chicago for a course and student organizations. Beyond users on the internet the MentorMob developers hope that their platform can provide "collaborative learning (for students) and creating lesson plans (for teachers)". They are also currently partnered with organizations, like Wilton Brands, a billion dollar arts & crafts company, who use MentorMob’s platform to organize their training content (videos, text, etc).
MentorMob has been working off of bootstrap funding and is is seeking additional funding. The plan is to support the site with targeted advertising and in the future to get customers to use MentorMob for corporate training programs and universities. Getting there is going to require a lot of marketing at this stage. Neil our former techie will have his work cut out for him.
However, as, Vince Leung, MentorMob co-founder, says "But if MentorMob can grab the attention of the curating masses and find loyal users like Wikipedia diehards, we think they have a very promising business model."
Best of luck to Neil and to MentorMob !
Project MUSE founded in 1993 is an online database of thousands of current and back issues of peer-reviewed humanities and social sciences journals. Hundreds of libraries subscribe to its service. On January 1, 2012, Project Muse went live with a new platform that will incorporate academic publisher eBooks in addition to the traditional journals, with the promise of even other types of content in the future.
The arena for this type of enhanced access had worthy contenders like Oxford University Press, JSTOR, and Cambridge. And The University Press eBook Consortium (UPeC) was looking for a partner to provide functionality and host a potentially large collection of 20,000 eBooks.
Project Muse had initially explored partnering with commercial eBook vendors like as eBrary, NetLibrary, and Electronic Book Library (EBL). But inspired by some of its membership decided to create their own multi-format model that would “Do for e-books what MUSE does for journals.”
It was decided that Project Muse would undertake this project with the help of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries and have something that was "By the Academic Community, For the Academic Community". Part of the motivation was to "...help save the scholarly monograph from extinction as the costs of print book publishing continue to increase in the face of diminishing sales."
Project Muse already had arrangement with 28 publishers for eBook content for the new platform. At this time, an organization known as the The University Press eBook Consortium (UPeC) was looking for a partner to provide functionality and host a potentially large collection of 20,000 eBooks.
Even though they were developing their own system, Project Muse joined the bidding for this solicitation. The competition was tough. But given Project Muse's expertise and creation of their own platform, along with adjustments to the pricing model and its willingness to hire additional staff, UPeC selected them as their partner. As the winner for the Request for Proposal, Project Muse now would have 66 publishers to contribute eBooks to their developing platform.
The new collection has been named University Press Content Consortia (UPCC) indicating that in the future, more that journals and EBooks will be hosted on the new platforms. Plans are to also "...to include reference works, datasets, multimedia, annotation, collaboration and commenting features."
So what began as an innovative individual effort by Project Muse, has become a major platform that can provide what more than 1000 librarians surveyed by UPeC said they wanted : "...the same unlimited downloading privileges that existed for journals. They wanted limited to no DRM. They wanted ownership."
Tutorials for New MUSE Platform Now Available
Unlike modern presidents, Theodore Roosevelt does not have a physical presidential library that houses his personal and presidential papers. Such materials are in various locations around the country. However, a staff of historians, librarians, educators and administrators at The Theodore Roosevelt Center, based at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, are creating a comprehensive digital archive of these materials. The Theodore Roosevelt Digital Collection was unveiled on December 8.
The digital library will include correspondence to and from Roosevelt, diary entries, notes, political cartoons, scrapbooks, newspaper columns and magazine articles by and about Roosevelt, speeches, and photographs. Users can also view film clips and listen to audio recordings.
The largest collections that the Center is drawing from, for scanning, are the Harvard College Library and the Library of Congress. But there will also be records of materials from multiple historic sites, a national park, and the Theodore Roosevelt Center's materials, from their own Theodore Roosevelt Centeniall Symposium that featured speakers from all over the country.
The Center also hosts an annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium as well as special Roosevelt-related events, promotes Roosevelt scholarship, and offers student internships. The goal of the new Theodore Roosevelt Digital Collection is to make his legacy more readily accessible to scholars and schoolchildren, enthusiasts and interested citizens.