National Pro Bono Celebration Week

Celebrate Pro Bono 2014 image badge large

This week (Oct 19 – 25), the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is sponsoring National Pro Bono Celebration to recruit more pro bono volunteers and provide more legal services to low-income individuals. Attorneys throughout the states are hosting pro bono events to organize community support for pro bono. There are a few events being hosted in Arizona, but none will take place in Tucson. However, that does not mean the Tucson bar pays no attention to pro bono service.

Even though Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.1 does not impose mandatory pro bono service requirement, the State Bar encourages attorneys to provide pro bono services. The State Bar website and include lists of organizations providing pro bono and community volunteer opportunities. also offers resources relating to fundraising, organization planning tips, publicity planning, and etc. to help individuals plan and organize pro bono events. The U of A law clinics are also great opportunities for law students to participate in pro bono services while they gain practical experience.

Bluebooking Going Out of Style?

Does the term “Bluebooking” send chills down your spine? Tired of worrying about all those commas and whether they are italicized or not? Do you despise long strings of in-text citations?

crying over typeface

Well, then here’s some potentially good news.

In case you missed it last week, a law professor at NYU sent a letter on behalf of challenging the copyright status of The Bluebook. Research conducted by Professor Sprigman and indicated that the copyright on the 10th edition of the “Stickler’s Bible” had never been renewed, meaning that the 10th edition is in the public domain.

Additionally, they are researching the status of the current edition and arguing that it is also in the public domain. This post on LawGives blog summarizes their two key assertions. First, since many courts require use of The Bluebook, its contents have thus been adopted as an “edict of government,” placing the contents in the public domain. Second, even though the 19th edition is much larger than the 10th, many portions of the 19th were basically unchanged from the 10th and therefore no longer protected by copyright. Based on these arguments, is developing a public domain version of The Bluebook.

The challenge to The Bluebook raises a larger issue of whether any legal citation standards should be copyrighted.

Of course, as Above the Law points out, since basically every lawyer needs a copy, The Bluebook is a “cash cow” and it’s doubtful that The Harvard Law Review Association will take this challenge lying down. On the other hand, as ATL asks, does it even really matter? Don’t most people rely on the citations provided by online research databases? Who really has time to worry about all the tiny details, as long as the reader can easily locate your sources?

Don’t forget, there are other free sources of legal citations already, such as Basic Legal Citation provided by the LII at Cornell.

What do you think, time to permanently shelve The Bluebook?


As a side note, this is my last post as an active Fellow. I’m starting a new job soon as a full time librarian in Phoenix. If you’re curious, you can follow my continuing (mis)adventures on Twitter @sticksandstacks.

Mentoring – It’s Good for You!

Mr. Miyagi

Mentoring is serious business. (Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in The Karate Kid (1984))

Law school is a great time to find a mentor. Your mentor may be an attorney at your internship site, or maybe your favorite professor. My mentors were law librarians, because I discovered as a 1L that I geeked out on research and librarianship, but definitely not litigation or contracts.

Whatever your area of interest, it’s important to develop mentoring relationships. Here are some great tips from Chris Hargreaves at on how to be mentored and get the most out of your mentoring relationship.

And, on a completely unrelated but ridiculously exciting note – Don’t forget that this weekend is Tucson Meet Yourself!


The Best Time of the Year

That’s right, Hockey Season has officially started!

Why not enjoy some classic hockey footage set to the best song, the Hockey Song?

Hockey isn’t just about fights and big hits. These players have serious skills.

Worried that you can’t watch the game because you have too much studying to do? That’s what intermission is for!

Take a break and cheer on your favorite team. Then you will be ready to Kronwall the rest of your outlining. (Can you guess which team is my favorite?)

Mental Illness Awareness Week Oct. 5-11


Let me start off by saying: I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or in any way qualified to counsel individuals on mental health issues or treatment options.  I’m just a Law Library Fellow who wants you to take care of yourself, and who has experience living with loved ones affected by mental illness.  If you or your loved ones are struggling with mental illness, please reach out for help–you are not alone.  Law school can be a very stressful endeavor, and those of us in the legal profession are particularly susceptible to depression, addiction, and related issues.*  Please take a moment this week to focus on your health and wellness, and if you need to take advantage of the resources available, do so.

This week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( is promoting mental illness awareness and encouraging a national dialogue about mental health issues.  What is mental illness?  According to NAMI, mental illness is a “medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.”  Mental illness can affect anyone (1 in 4 adults experiences mental illness in a given year), and it can manifest in different forms, from depression to schizophrenia and a whole host of other varieties.  Mental illnesses “are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing,” and sufferers should not be afraid or ashamed to seek help.

In order to recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week, I’ve pulled together some information for those living with mental illness or living with those affected.

Continue reading

Tucson Eat Yourself

Happy Tie Tuesday, Everyone!
If you are new to Tucson, you may have noticed something new in the air recently. It happens each year in mid to late October. There’s a tranquility that comes with cooler temperatures and being able to enter an automobile without experiencing third-degree-burns. You will notice that in celebration of this rediscovered return to livable temperatures (yes, I am referring to ninety degrees as livable), the Tucson community comes alive with fun things to do. Now that midterms are over, get out of the library, take a breath of fresh air (it doesn’t burn the lungs anymore, I promise), and try some of the local fun. For instance, this weekend, you could try out Tucson Eat Yourself.
I know what you’re thinking: sounds like a scary Halloween-inspired zombie event, but it’s actually a cultural melting pot of gastronomic delights. More formally referred to as “Tucson Meet Yourself,” this folklife festival is “an annual celebration of the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse ethnic and folk communities.” It started in 1974 and has grown to include over 550 Folk Artists, Musicians, Dancers, and Tradition Bearers, and 60 different cultural groups, ethnicities and nationalities are represented at the festival.
However, as you can probably deduce from the clever twist locals put on the name, the festival isn’t just about meeting; it’s also about eating. There are over 50 authentic cultural food vendors at the event which is located downtown in El Presidio Park, near the library. It all starts this Friday at 11 am and goes through Sunday, October 12. For more info, look here:

Archives Month

Did you know that October is American Archives Month?

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has been celebrating Archives Month since 2006. Their goal is to promote archives and to raise awareness of the important work done by archivists.

Why do archives matter? According to the SAA, archives are “the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value.” Archival records can be photographs or films, unpublished letters or diaries, or any other product of everyday life. Archivists collect these materials, and organize and preserve them to make them accessible.

The National Archive was created in 1934. Prior to its creation, each government agency was responsible for maintaining its own archive. The results were a haphazard mess of records tossed into agency basements, and even the White House garage.

The lack of organization and preservation techniques made the records completely inaccessible and unusable. This post from the National Archive’s blog illustrates the importance of maintaining an organized archive.

But archives are not all about government records. Archives can maintain collections of beautiful photography, like the archive here at UA for the Center for Creative Photography. Archives can be devoted to Rock and Roll!