Student Newsletter Winter 2008

Dear Students,

Greetings! We hope the semester is proceeding smoothly.

This issue's research article  focuses on information about  the presidency and the 2008 elections. Along with sites to help you stay informed about the election, there are links to The Video Venue and comedian Bob Newhart's YouTube video on campaign finance.
Remember that Legal Information Librarians are here to help you with your research. Stop by the Information Desk, use our new "Reference on the Run" service in the Snack Bar or round up two colleagues for "Just in Time Training" on a topic of your choice.

For a break, come browse the Library's new Popular Reading Collection for a legal thriller or Supreme Court biography; or check out our  film collection with selections ranging from the Spencer Tracy comedy "Adam's Rib" to the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car," about what happened to GM's fleet of EV-1 electric vehicles. 

The Law Library is an intellectual resource and a service organization. Please read this newsletter to learn more about what we offer, and let us know how we can help you have a happy and productive semester.

Peace, Filippa

Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services,
Law School

Legal Research Help When You Need It

Legal Information Librarians are available to assist BC Law students with legal research issues in a variety of ways:
  • Call the Information Desk at 617-552-4434, or drop by the Desk: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. - 5  p.m., and weekends 1-5 p.m.
  • Stop by the "Reference on the Run" station in the Snack Bar from 12:30 to 1:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
  • Send an email to
  • Use our new "Just in Time Training" for more in depth assistance and instruction. Just find two other students interested in a topic and fill out the request form. We'll get back to you within two business days.
Videotaping Classes

Did you know that you may request to have a make-up class or a particular class taped and mounted on your course website? Your first step is to approach your professor and ask that the class be recorded. Once the professor approves and notifies Media Services, a tape will be produced and delivered to the Law Library. Staff will digitize the tape, mount the file on your course website, and make it available through the Course Reserves module of the online catalog.

Sticky Messy Smelly Noisy Wet

If any of these words describe food you have brought into the Library, then we regret to inform you that your snack is in violation of the Library's food and drink policy. Please acquaint your snack with the policy and escort it outside the Library immediately. Remind your non-complying snack that it may be responsible for introducing other undesirable elements into the Library, namely insects and mice (attracted by your snack) and grumpy law students (displeased by your snack.) Thanks for your cooperation in our snack-compliance initiative.

The Presidency Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow


Presidential Signing Statements What is a presidential signing statement? Is a signing statement part of the legislative history of a federal statute? Just how important is the signing statement according to today's Supreme Court? Go here to learn more.

Presidential Primaries 101
What is the difference between a primary and a caucus? How are presidential primaries scheduled? How do delegates factor into the actual nomination? CQ Politics reporters explain the primary process, and provide an historical perspective of the modern campaign with its roots 95 years ago when North Dakota held the first presidential primary. CQ Politics also provides a "2008 Primary Guide" that includes links to election results and local primary coverage from local newspapers.

Paying for the Primaries
In 1975 Congress created the Federal Election Commission,  an independent regulatory agency. Its duties are to disclose campaign finance information, enforce provisions of the law such as limits and prohibitions on contributions, and oversee the public funding of Presidential elections. Campaign finance information is available on the site.

And Have You Seen This Video on the Presidential Campaigns on TVV (The Video Venue)?
TVV features video clips by, for, and about lawyers, law students, and legal professionals. Here's Bob Newhart's Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Ave routine.

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis BaconProfessor Dan Coquillette has completed a gift of rare books by and about Sir Francis Bacon to the Boston College Law Library. The collection of approximately 80 titles is one of the largest and finest collections of Bacon's works and Baconiana (works about Bacon) in private hands and encompasses the entire range of Bacon's writings, from legal writings to literary essays to histories to scientific and philosophical works to his letters and speeches. As such, it will be of interest to scholars in the fields of law, history, philosophy, English, natural science and political science. Read more here.

Remember When Reading Used To Be Fun? It Still Is!

When you need a break from casebooks, Bluebooks and outlines, stop by the Law Library's new Popular Reading Collection, located on the main floor near the New Books and DVD collections. We have law-related novels, biographies, true crime accounts and reports of notorious trials, legal humor, and lawyers' courtroom war stories. To view a list of all the titles in the collection, go to Quest, the library's catalog. Under "Search Type," select "Local Collection Names" from the dropdown menu. Type LAW POPULAR READING in the text box and click Search. Click the "Law Popular Reading" link to see a list of titles in reverse chronological order.

New Rare Book Room Exhibit

You are invited to visit the Law Library's Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room to view our latest exhibit: Recent Additions to the Collection. On view is a limited facsimile edition of the famous Domesday Book, originally compiled in 1086 A.D. as a comprehensive census of the lands and property of England. Also on display is a very early set of Massachusetts laws published in 1726, magnificent first American editions of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England and Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution, a selection of law books intended for students, a volume of Edward Coke's Reports summarized entirely in verse, a signed first edition of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and a document appointing the famous lawyer Daniel Webster as a Justice of the Peace of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, in 1830.

You may view the exhibit anytime the room is open: generally weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will remain on view through mid-June 2008. Click here to see highlights of the exhibit.

Law School: Now on DVD

The Trials of Law School: A Journey in Law School, a Journey in Life, has been added to the Law Library's film collection. This video documentary follows the lives of eight 1Ls through their first year in law school. The film includes commentary from a who's who of law prof talking heads including our own Judith McMorrow of Boston College. You can watch the trailer here.

Happy Birthday to Wikipedia!

Wikipedia turned 7 years old on the 15th of January. More from Wikipedia (you expected another source?). With thanks to a posting at LIS News, which is a collaborative blog devoted to current information-related events and news.

And a reminder from your ever vigilant Law Library: Wikipedia is a collaborative website; people of all ages and backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles. This can be a fine place to begin your research, but you should never end your research there. See Reliability of Wikipedia.

Help for your Computer

The Law School Student Computer Help Center 

During the 2008 Spring Semester, the Student Computing Help Center (on the main floor of the Law Library) will be open during the hours listed below:


8:30 am - 11:00 am
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
10:00 am - 11:00 am
9:00 am - 1:00 pm


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
1:00 - 4:00 pm

Student Computing Help Center After Hours and Emergency Help

ATR, the Law School's Technology Department, also supports the faculty and staff at BC Law. Consequently, outside of the hours set forth above, we can only respond to emergency situations (potential loss of data). ATR staff work Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students requiring assistance during evening or weekend hours should call 617-552-HELP or seek help at the Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC) located in the O'Neill Library building on the Chestnut Hill Campus.

More about your Law Library...




Regular Hours

Mon-Thurs: 7:45 am - 11:45 pm
Friday: 7:45 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 11:45 pm

Exceptions to regular hours:

Hours are extended during reading and exam periods. Consult a detailed listing of hours, including summer and holiday hours.

Telephone Numbers

Library Hours Recording
Information Desk: