2019 AALL Program Proposals due Oct. 1


There is only one week left to submit your program proposals for the 2019 AALL Conference in Washington, D.C. (see here for the call for proposals, which includes resources for creating a proposal and the AMPC’s timeline).   If you are interested in proposing a FCIL-related program for the conference or in joining someone else’s program as a consultant or speaker, please contact Dennis Sears and Loren Turner. They will help you develop your ideas, recruit speakers, and edit your proposals before submission.  There is no time to waste!

Call for Bloggers: Law via the Internet Conference 2018

DipLawMatic Dialogues
is now soliciting bloggers for the upcoming Law Via the Internet Conference in Florence, Italy on October 11th and 12th.  This year’s theme is “Knowledge of the Law in the Big Data Age.”  If you are attending the conference and would be willing to blog on one or more programs you’re attending, we’d love to have your recaps to share with those who aren’t able to attend.  If you’re interested in blogging for us, please email Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu.

See the full conference program here: http://lvi2018.ittig.cnr.it/conference-program.



Embracing My Unofficial FCIL Role

worldBy Yasmin Morais

I am the Reference and Cataloging Librarian at the David A. Clarke School of Law, a small, public law school in Washington, D.C. My previous position was Resident Librarian at the Georgetown Law Library for two years. While there, I responded to a heavier volume of international law queries. There is no Foreign and Comparative Law Librarian (FCIL) position at my current institution, and reference queries and faculty research on international and comparative law issues are relatively few. However, when requests for help with international law research are received, increasingly, I am asked to assist with these requests. I enjoy getting these requests and am embracing my role as the unofficial FCIL librarian.

Long before I became a law librarian, I think that my background, education and work experience were molding me to assume this role. I grew up on the island of Jamaica, and I think that island people instinctively want to reach out and discover the big, wide world that lies beyond their shores. I started learning Spanish in elementary school and chose it as my undergraduate major. I later decided to pursue a master’s in Government, with a focus on International Relations, and while living in Jamaica, I worked as a Program Officer for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which involved extensive travel throughout the Caribbean and parts of South America. My own personal travels have taken me to Cuba, Scotland, and England, and I lived about eight years in Canada, where I completed my master’s in information studies.

For my LLB degree, which I pursued through the University of London, European Union law was a required course, which enhanced my understanding of the legal systems of this vast area. My interest in FCIL work has also led me to create research guides on topics such as Scottish Legal History, Cuban Legal Research, and the Caribbean Court of Justice. For many years, I have also chosen to be a part of the FCIL-SIS, in order to stay current in this area, and within the last year, I assumed the position of Chair of the Latin American Law Interest Group. My duties from being both a Cataloging and Reference librarian allow me a unique perspective of being aware of FCIL resources and their organization, as well as being able to provide reference help in international law for those who need it.

For this blog post, I decided to review our library’s reference analysis program, Gimlet, to get a sampling of the FCIL reference questions that I have responded to over the past two years. Below is a summary of ten queries from faculty, students and alumni:

  • Gender equality in Cuba and economic opportunities and entrepreneurship for women.
  • Sources of Australian law, and particularly the laws of South Australia relating to children in foster care
  • Customary international law for procedure and trial practice
  • International resources for a comparative labor project
  • Out-migration and the debt crisis in Puerto Rico
  • Request for help in compiling a bibliography for a Human Rights Seminar
  • Resources on international law for a dissertation topic for Oxford University
  • Cuba’s laws on cooperatives
  • Sources for French commercial arbitration decisions.
  • Research on the health laws of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. This request led to my being invited to teach an evening session on researching international law to students in the Legislation Clinic.

These questions, and the occasional invitations to teach informal sessions on researching international law, have helped me to hone my skills in this area, as well as allowed me to pursue a niche interest of mine. I thought I would share this post to encourage other librarians who have an interest in FCIL law, but who might not have the official title, or might be apprehensive about tackling reference questions in this area. I am encouraged that there have been similar postings on DiplawMatic Dialogues in recent times.

Introducing…Paul Moorman as the September 2018 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Paul Moorman

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.  No, not on a farm, but I have detasseled corn.

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

I remember first thinking about law librarianship as a career while still in law school after a particularly helpful reference librarian steered me in the right direction for a paper I was writing.  However, it wasn’t until about a decade after practicing law that I started to seriously consider making a career change.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

I’m going to blame it on my stunning diplomatic victory as the representative of the Byelorussian SSR at the 1985 Omaha Area High School Model UN.   They hook you when you’re young.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have you worked there?

I work for the USC Gould School of Law and I’ve been here for 13 years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

German was one of my majors in college.  I used to consider myself conversationally fluent, but I’m very rusty. I’ve also taken classes in Spanish and Russian.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Achieving continuing appointment (our equivalent of tenure).

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Maybe you should ask what isn’t?  I indulge in salty snacks a lot more than is healthy.

8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

I don’t do much dancing anymore except at weddings and if you look at my typical play lists you’ll see that I’m still stuck in the 80s, however, if I’m on the treadmill, I like to play Alors on Danse by Stromae, a Belgian who sings in French.  That song always makes me go a little faster.

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

I occasionally have dreams that I can fly and when I do they make me happy so I’ll say flying.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Coffee and the New York Times.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

I am so lucky to have joined a profession that I love and that is filled with wonderful, smart, and generous people.   Life is fantastic when you love what you do.

Second Call for Bloggers for IALL 2018

luxembourgThe 37th Annual Course of the International Association of Law Libraries is taking place from September 30, 2018 to October 3, 2018 in Luxembourg.  We’re looking for volunteers to recap one or more sessions for us.  Blog posts are short–between 400 and 700 words–and easy to do, and they’re a great way to contribute to the SIS.  Recapping a session is a great way to share your knowledge with those who are unable to attend.

We’re happy to have recaps for any session you’re planning on attending, but think our readers would be particularly interested in the following if you’re looking for ideas of which programs to recap:

Sunday, September 30th:

  • Pre-Conference Workshop, “Workshop on Library Innovation & Robot Usage

Monday, October 1st:

  • 9:30-11:00:  Introduction to the Legal System of Luxembourg and its History

Tuesday, October 2nd:

  • 9:30-11:00:  The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg: 50th Anniversary of EU Procedural Law
  • 11:30-1:00:  Privacy in European Cross-Border Settings
  • 11:30-1:00:  Traditional Cultural Expressions and International Intellectual Property Law
  • 2:15-4:30:  EiPro-Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law

Wednesday, October 3rd:

  • 11:45-12:30:  Robot Law
  • 16:35-17:25:  Lecture of a Member of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Thanks to our three volunteers so far–Charles Bjork, Caitlin Hunter, and Jessica Pierucci –for their willing to report back on the conference!

If you’re attending IALL and are interested in blogging for DipLawMatic Dialogues, please contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu with the name(s) of the session(s) you’d like to recap.  Thank you in advance!

New FCIL Librarian Series: Resources for New or Aspiring FCIL Librarians

By Jessica Pierucci

This is the sixth and final post in a series of posts documenting my first year as a foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) librarian. I started in this newly-created role at the UCI Law Library in July 2017. The aim of this series is to document my year in the hope of inspiring aspiring FCIL librarians to join the field (and hopefully not scaring them away!) by discussing one librarian’s experience entering the field.

My final post in this series reflects on this past year and shares some general FCIL background sources that I found particularly helpful for familiarizing myself with the universe of resources available for FCIL-focused researchers.


First, some reflection. One aspect librarianship that drew me to this profession is the requirement to always be curious. I feel fortunate that in the past year I’ve had the opportunity to indulge my curiosity in foreign and international legal resources. I’ve tried to absorb as much as possible from each opportunity I’ve had to engage in FCIL research topics. There’s no substitute for practice, and I can really see how my ability to more quickly hone in on the best ways to tackle certain FCIL research problems has developed over the course of the year in particular when assisting law school faculty with their research needs. As we all experience, there are never enough hours in the day to do it all, so there’s still so much more I want to learn that I just haven’t been able to fit in between all my other responsibilities outside of FCIL-focused work, but I look forward to continuing to be curious and always learning in the years ahead.

In addition, as I head into my second school year in this position, I’m excited to do some things a second time with the opportunity to incorporate knowledge gained from experience. For example, I can share what I learned from attending the Jessup Moot Court finals at the conclusion of the ASIL Annual Meeting with the UCI Law Jessup team to guide their research process. I look forward to sharing additional international legal research ideas I’ve picked up throughout the year with the team as well.

FCIL Background Resources

Second, the list. I hope this list will provide a beginning checklist for anyone looking to increase their familiarity with FCIL research or considering becoming an FCIL librarian. I would also encourage comments on this post from anyone who has additional resources to share. As is the nature of research, these resources point to tons of other helpful resources, so this is only the tip of the iceberg.


FCIL research books published since 2011 provide innumerable valuable research tips and resources to consider. Each book has its own approach and has added to my conception of FCIL research in different ways as I’ve perused different chapters and books while working on various projects. If you plan to teach an FCIL research course you can consider using one of these books, although you can also teach without a textbook.

Learn more about many of these textbooks from DipLawMatic Dialogues:

The AALL/Oceana Institute publications, while from the 1990s, provide valuable background information. These books were the result of an initiative to train future FCIL librarians.

  • Introduction to Foreign Legal Systems (Richard A. Danner & Marie-Louise H. Bernal eds., 1994).
  • Introduction to Transnational Legal Transactions (Marylin J. Raisch & Roberta I. Shaffer eds., 1995).
  • Introduction to International Organizations (Lyonette Louis-Jacques & Jeanne S. Korman eds., 1996).
  • Introduction to International Business Law: Legal Transactions in a Global Economy (Gitelle Seer & Maria I. Smolka-Day eds., 1996).
  • Contemporary Practice of Public International Law (Ellen G. Schaffer & Randall J. Snyder eds., 1997).


The FCIL-SIS Education Committee created a fantastic list: Articles Considering a Career in FCIL Law Librarianship. And many of these articles include further awesome lists and helpful footnotes themselves.


Subscribing to alerts for each of these publications allows me to review the table of contents for each issue and pick out articles to read and others to save for future reference as needed.

Core Groups/Lists to Join

After attending a few conferences throughout the past year, I’ve been able to put faces to names for many of my FCIL-focused colleagues who share valuable resources and information with one another through the digital forums created by the lists associated with these groups.

Also look for specialized groups of potential interest, such as Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries (CAFLL).

In Conclusion

While I’m sure much of the list above is old hat to my FCIL colleagues who have been doing this wonderful work for some time and many of them have authored or spearheaded the publications and organizations listed, I hope listing this information all in one place on DipLawMatic Dialogues will help my future colleagues find starting points for entering this exciting world of FCIL librarianship. I’ve truly enjoyed my first year as an FCIL librarian and hope these posts have inspired others to consider pursing this path with their library careers too.

July/August GlobaLex Issue Now Live

By Lucie Olejnikova

In our July/August 2018 GlobaLex issue we bring you nine fantastic updates. We are also excited to welcome number of new authors. Webmasters and content managers, please update your pages. And of course, our sincere thanks to all our contributors!

UPDATE: The European Human Rights System by Grigory Dikov at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/European_Human_Rights_System1.html.

Grigory Dikov is a former law clerk at the European Court of Human Rights (2003-2014). He is currently a legal officer at the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and a Ph.D. researcher at the Law School of the University of Liverpool (UK).

UPDATE: A Guide to MERCOSUR Legal Research – Sources and Documents by Gloria Orrego Hoyos and Mariel Romani at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Mercosur1.html.

Gloria Orrego Hoyos has a law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. She has a Masters in Constitutional Law and Human Rights from the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires and a postgraduate degree in Library and Information Management from the Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales (UCES) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently a professor at the Legal Research Methods course in the Law Department of the University of San Andrés and also, in the same course at the Universidad Torcuato DiTella (UTDT). She currently serves as a legal reference at the General Secretariat of Training and Jurisprudence of the Public Defender’s Office.

Mariel Romani is an Argentine librarian in charge of the Serials library at the Max von Buch Library at the Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She assists faculty in their research and is in charge of legal reference and information literacy at the institution.

UPDATE: Guide to Research on Vienna Convention on Consular Relations Notification Requirements by Cindy G. Buys at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Vienna_Convention_Consular_Relations1.html.

Cindy G. Buys is a Professor and Director of International Law Programs at Southern Illinois University School of Law. She holds an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctorate and a Master’s of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany.

UPDATE: A Guide to the U. S. Federal Legal System Web-based Public Accessible Sources by Gretchen Feltes at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/United_States1.html.

Gretchen Feltes is Faculty Services/Reference Librarian at New York University School of Law Library.

UPDATE: A Guide to Fee-Based U. S. Legal Research Databases by Jootaek Lee and Brittany Strojny at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/US_Fee-Based_Legal_Databases1.html.

Jootaek (“Juice”) Lee is Senior Law Librarian (Research Librarian for Foreign, Comparative & International Law), Adjunct Professor, and Affiliated Faculty for the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at the Northeastern University School of Law. He is one of the Global Law Advisors and serves as the law school’s Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team coach. Juice teaches international and foreign legal research, international business transactions and advanced legal research. Juice received a B.A. from Korea University where he also received an M.A. in international law. Jootaek completed his J.D. at Florida State University, where he was also awarded M.L.S.

Brittany Strojny currently serves as Reference Law Librarian at the Wyoming Supreme Court. Brittany previously worked as a Legal Librarian and intern at Northeastern University School of Law. While at Northeastern, she was one of the main editors for the Journal of Legal Education. She also assisted Jootaek Lee with his international and foreign legal research class and other legal research classes. Brittany received her B.A. from Bridgewater State University, a J.D. at University of Massachusetts School of Law and a M.S. from Simmons College.

UPDATE: A Guide to Online Research Resources for the Australian Federal Legal System with some Reference to the State Level by Petal Kinder at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Australia1.html.

Petal Kinder is a Director, Research and Engagement at BarNet/JADE. She was formerly Court Librarian at the High Court of Australia. Prior to her commencement at the High Court, Petal was the Manager of the Library and Information Services at the Federal Court in Melbourne. During her lectureship in the Law Faculty at Monash University, she designed, implemented and taught legal research courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. Petal has written articles on legal research and also designed an interactive web based legal research program.

UPDATE: The Legal System of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh by Ershadul Karim at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Bangladesh1.html.

Dr. Md. Ershadul Karim is a Senior Lecture at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and a non-practicing lawyer enrolled with Bangladesh Supreme Court.

UPDATE: A Guide to Legal Research in Costa Rica by Roger A. Peterson at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Costa_Rica1.html.

Roger A. Petersen is an Attorney at Law, member of both the Costa Rican Bar and Florida Bar Association.  He is the author of The Legal Guide to Costa Rica and a partner with Petersen & Philps of San Jose, Costa Rica.

UPDATE: An Introduction to the Czech Legal System and Legal Resources Online by Olga Pouperova at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Czech_Republic1.html.

Olga Pouperova is an associate professor and researcher at the Palacky University, Department of Administrative Law and Financial Science, Olomouc, Czech Republic. She holds an M.A. (Law, Palacky University, Olomouc), Dr. Jur. (Masaryk University, Brno), Ph.D. (Charles University, Prague) and completed her Associate Professorship at Masaryk University, Brno.


For more articles on foreign, international, and comparative law research topics, visit http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html.