Friday, June 20, 2008

This Week's Featured Book

The Featured Book of the Week is In Pursuit of Knowledge: Scholars, Status, and Academic Culture by Deborah L. Rhode and published by the Stanford University Press.

“Although academics have never lacked for critics, publications on the profession tend to be either popularized polemics, which are engaging but misleading, or scholarly analyses, which are intellectually responsible but of little interest to anyone but specialists. In Pursuit of Knowledge offers an alternative: a unique portrait of academic life that should appeal to both experts and a general audience. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including higher education, history, law, sociology, economics, and literature, the book focuses on the ways in which the pursuit of status has undermined the pursuit of knowledge. Deborah Rhode argues that both individual scholars and institutions in higher education are caught in an arms race of reputation. The result has been to skew priorities in scholarship, erode commitments to teaching, compromise efforts of public intellectuals, and impede effectiveness in administration…” - Book Description

“Rhode approaches a familiar subject in unusual and creative ways, artfully synthesizing vast materials from different fields and sources. Her sober ethical argument is sure to stimulate debate among scholars and professional leaders in higher education.” – Ted Youn, Boston College

In Pursuit of Knowledge will be available to borrow after Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Featured Book of the Week

After a very long break, the Featured Book of the Week is back with Scientific Jury Selection by Joel D. Lieberman & Bruce D. Sales, published by the American Psychological Association.

“The authors provide a thorough review of the most common techniques used to select jurors, and a critical evaluation of the ultimate effectiveness of these methods. This critique is based upon an examination of the social science literature. Psychologists and other social scientists as well as practicing trial consultants who read the book should gain a better understanding of the current state of research relevant to scientific jury selection, and areas where new research needs to be conducted to advance the field. Attorneys who read the book should be better able to decide whether or not to hire consultants to assist in future litigation, and if so, what types of services these consultants should provide.” - Book Description

“Scientific jury selection is marked by wild claims and too little relevant data. This volume is a comprehensive and refreshingly balanced presentation of what we thing we know, what we actually know, and what we don’t know about scientific jury selection.” – Shari Seidman Diamond, PhD, JD, Northwestern University School of Law

Scientific Jury Selection will be available to borrow after Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday, December 07, 2007

This Week's Featured Book

The Featured Book of the Week is Stump Your Lawyer! A Quiz to Challenge the Legal Mind by Howard Zaharoff and published by Chronicle Books.

“For the lawyers who think they know it all or for those of you who worry that your legal counsel can't tell a tort from a tart Stump Your Lawyer! is a hilarious tour of the quirks and curiosities of our legal system. This tongue-in-cheek volume offers witty, practical, and thought-provoking challenges for the legally minded. Short case histories, definitions, multiple-choice quizzes, and other formats mock the bar exam approach and probe the reader's knowledge of obscure statutes, baffling decisions, bizarre legal concepts, and antiquated jargon. Whether you're studying, practicing, or running from the law, this book will keep you laughing and learning all the way to the courthouse.” - Book Description

Stump Your Lawyer! will be available to borrow after Friday, December 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Featured Book of the Week

This Week's Featured Book is An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln by Mark E. Steiner and published by Northern Illinois University Press.

“Abraham Lincoln practiced law for nearly 25 years, five times longer than he served as president. Nonetheless, this aspect of his life was known only in the broadest outlines until the Lincoln Legal Papers project set to work gathering the surviving documentation of more than 5,600 of his cases…This portrait not only depicts Lincoln’s work for the railroads and the infamous case in which he defended the claims of a slaveholder; it also illustrates his more typical cases involving debt and neighborly disputes…Most important, Steiner highlights Lincoln’s guiding principles as a lawyer. In contrast to the popular caricature of the lawyer as a scoundrel, Lincoln followed his personal resolve to be "honest at all events," thus earning the nickname "Honest Abe." For him, honesty meant representing clients to the best of his ability, regardless of his own beliefs about the justice of their cause. Lincoln also embraced a professional ideal that cast the lawyer as a guardian of order…Over the course of his legal career, however, Lincoln’s dedication to the community and his clients’ personal interests became outmoded. As a result of the rise of powerful, faceless corporate clients and the national debate over slavery, Lincoln the lawyer found himself in an increasingly impersonal, morally ambiguous world.” - Book Description

An Honest Calling will be available to borrow after Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Featured Book of the Week

This Week's Featured Book is To Have and to Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western Christendom, 400-1600, edited by Philip L. Reynolds and John Witte, Jr. and published by Cambridge University Press.

“This volume analyzes how, why, and when pre-modern Europeans documented their marriages - through property settlements, prenuptial contracts, court testimony, church weddings, and more. The authors consider both the function of documentation in the process of marrying and what the surviving documents say about pre-modern marriage. After analyzing the foundations of Western marriage set by Roman law and Patristic theology, the chapters provide vivid case studies of marital documents and practices in medieval France, England, Iceland, and Ireland, and in Renaissance Florence, Douai, and Geneva.”- Book Description

To Have and to Hold will be available to borrow after Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

This Week's Featured Book

The Featured Book of the Week is The Trial in American Life by Robert A. Ferguson and published by The University of Chicago Press.

“Since the earliest days of our nation, high-profile trials have captivated the American imagination. But such trials are more than mere spectacle: by providing a forum for discussion of contentious issues, they also serve as public ceremonies and barometers of thought. In The Trial in American Life, Robert Ferguson argues that we can only understand the importance of pivotal trials by examining their public impact as well as their legal significance…Ultimately, such questions lead Ferguson to the issue of modern press coverage of courtrooms. While acknowledging that media accounts can skew perceptions, Ferguson argues forcefully in favor of television coverage—and he takes the Supreme Court to task for its failure to grasp the importance of this issue. Trials must be seen to be understood, but Ferguson reminds us that we have a duty, currently ignored, to ensure that cameras serve the court rather than the media…”- Book Description

“A distinguished law professor, accomplished historian, and fine writer, Robert Ferguson is uniquely qualified to narrate and analyze high-profile trials in American History. This is a superb book and a tremendous achievement. The chapter on John Brown alone is worth the price of admission.” – Judge Richard A. Posner

The Trial in American Life will be available to borrow after Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Featured Book of the Week

This Week's Feature book is Dracula Was a Lawyer by Erin Barrett and Jack Mingo and published by Conari Press.

“It’s no laughing matter that many of us are fascinated by the legal system and the people within it. In Dracula Was a Lawyer, trivia experts Erin Barrett and Jack Mingo offer tidbits about the lawyers we love to hate (until we need one!), the pitfalls in our legal system, celebrity lawyers, and more. This curious compendium puts lawyers and legal history on trial and exposes more than 500 little-known facts and outrageous oddities from the wild world of law” - Book Description

Dracula Was a Lawyer will be available to borrow after Friday, November 2, 2007