As a writer for the Blog I get a tremendous amount of press releases and other publicity information in my inbox. Sometimes the subjects are interesting enough to lead to a post. Other times the subject is interesting but not viable to publish. I obviously act as the filter here. Since it’s Friday, usually the day I can wander subjectively, I thought I would share some of these items with readers.
For example, Senator Barbara Boxer tells us that she testified before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee on the 10th of March on the LINE Act. She introduced the legislation with Senator Ben Nelson. It would require states to minimize waiting time at polls for voters by developing contingency plans when lines are long. It targets states where long lines frustrated voters. Her video testimony is here, and more details about legislation are here. I should mention that I am an avid reader of political stories though I tend to keep my opinions mostly to myself when it comes to the Blog. I reserve my snarky comments to the comment sections for these stories.
I get offers to review books or articles that go somewhat afield of the law but are interesting nonetheless. Here are several titles I could have received as review copies:
- World War I For Kids by R. Kent Rasmussan (Chicago Review Press, 2014). The release notes that this is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI. The book description: With vibrant illustration and original images, hands-on activities, and clear explanations on everything from how the war began to how United States’ entry into the war helped end it, World War I for Kids pinpoints the war’s impact on later historical events and encourages critical thinking. Instead of offering a laundry list of battles, names, and dates, Rasmussen notes that “it is more important to know what events were truly significant, why they happened as they did, and how they were connected with one another.” I love watching stuff about World War I on what used to be the History Channel. I watched one of the Channel’s documentaries on the Battle of Jutland on DVD recently. Great stuff. It’s a pity they don’t do more of it.
- As I write this piece, Oxford University Press sent this to my inbox: Oxford University Press recently published Dealing with Losers: The Political Economy of Policy Transitions, by Michael J. Trebilcock. This book explores the political economy of transition cost mitigation strategies in a wide variety of policy contexts including public pensions, U.S. home mortgage interest deductions, immigration, trade liberalization, agricultural supply management, and climate change, providing tested examples and realistic strategies for genuine policy reform.
- Routledge sends this: There is a threat to preserving the historical record of the Northern Ireland Troubles which may be as hazardous as any fire or flood. In a new article published in the journal Archives and Records James Allison King warns that the fallout from a recent intervention by the British Government risks silencing people’s accounts that would otherwise have been put on record. In his paper, “‘Say nothing’: silenced records and the Boston College subpoenas”, King examines the ‘Belfast Project’ at Boston College, a ground-breaking oral history endeavour in which interviews gave valuable and previously unheard accounts of the Irish conflict. Those contributing were promised that the recordings wouldn’t be released until after their death. However, investigations by the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Historic Enquiries Team into the 1972 murder of Jean McConville intervened. This resulted in the relevant interviews being subpoenaed by the US Federal Government at the request of the UK. An ongoing court battle has succeeded in limiting the number of oral histories to be released for now. Read the article online here. Readers know that I’ve covered the troubles at Boston College’s archive on this issue.
- West Academic Publishing sent this: Graduation time is just around the corner! Coming next month is an indispensable volume of wisdom and advice for law students of all ages written by Paula A. Franzese, a nationally-acclaimed educator and unprecedented ten-time recipient of the Professor of the Year Award. A Short & Happy Guide to Being a Law Student (West Academic Publishing March 2014) is a daily companion for school, work and life, Franzese shares essential wisdom on how to be one’s best and features five guideposts for success as well as priceless advice on how to succeed in class, on exams, on job interviews, at work and in relationships. March 3, 2014 | West Academic Publishing | ISBN-978-0-314-29107-3 | Paperback | 293 pages | $17.00.
There is a press release that announces that George Washington University created a highly informative infographic detailing a paralegal career titled, “Changing the Legal Landscape: The Evolution of the Paralegal” The over-saturation of the legal landscape is leaving eager law school graduates struggling to find suitable positions. With the decreasing employment rate for lawyers, one facet of this field is on the rise—paralegals. Due to their flexibility in working in a variety of areas of law and affordable starting salary compared to lawyers, paralegal careers are rising exponentially. Many attorneys thrive in the roles of managers, planners, and strategists, while paralegals tend to be very detail oriented and succeed as technicians and fact experts.
Readers may not know that I have lectured in commercial CLE programs aimed at paralegals. The ABA and others have discussed the idea that law schools should consider creating programs that educate students in aspects of the law without leading to a J.D. I believe law schools should be naturals at educating paralegals rather than leaving it to a separate program.
Finally, our friends at the American Library Association make this announcement:
On Friday, March 14, 2014, the American Library Association (ALA) will award President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies the 2014 James Madison Award during the 16th Annual Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Presidential Review Group will receive the award for calling for dozens of urgent and practical reforms to the National Security Agency’s unlawful surveillance programs.
“The Review Group’s recommendations are aligned with the American Library Association’s commitment to maintaining public access to government information,” said Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association. “Thanks to the steadfast commitment of this group, impractical reforms to the government’s unconstitutional surveillance practices may soon be on the horizon.”
The full press release is here.
Thanks for reading. And to all the press officers out there, keep sending the stuff. I may do more of these posts every now and then. – Mark