Call for Bloggers: 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 ways, and easy to do–and are 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 already 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
  • 9:30-11:00:  Special Features of Luxembourg Law, such as its Sources
  • 2:15-4:30:  The New Luxembourg Space Resources Act and International Law

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 Settinsg
  • 11:30-1:00:  Traditional Cultural Expressions and International Intellectual Property Law
  • 2:15-4:30:  EiPro-Max Planck Encyclopeida of International Procedural Law

Wednesday, October 3rd:

  • 9:45-11:15:  What is the European Union, a Union of Citizens and States, a New Constitutional Topos?
  • 11:45-12:30:  Robot Law
  • 16:35-17:25:  Lecture of a Member of the Court of Justice of the European Union

We’d also be interested in a travelogue or posts on the visits to some of the tours included as part of the conference if anyone is interested.

If you’re attending and interested in blogging for us, please contact Alyson Drake at with the name(s) of the session(s) you’d like to recap.  Thank you in advance!

AALL 2018 Recap: Should One Judge Have All This Power?

By Benjamin Keele

scales-of-justiceIn recent memory, several high-profile court cases have seen federal district judges issue injunctions that purport to bind conduct and parties beyond the parties to this case and outside the judges’ districts. These injunctions have been dubbed nationwide, global, and universal. In the session “Should One Judge Have All This Power?,” Charlton Copeland (University of Miami) and Michael Morley (Florida State University) discussed the history and consequences of these far-reaching remedies.

Copeland noted that while universal injunctions were relatively new, compared to other remedies, they have been used before. In the 1960s, judges issued universal injunctions against federal agencies. These injunctions were a tool for judges to discipline agencies empowered by important legislative reforms. I found Copeland’s point that universal injunctions were primarily used as tool in conflicts between courts and executive agencies especially interesting. He also suggested that as congressional action has decreased due to partisan gridlock, then administrative actions have become more important and resulted in more conflicts with courts. More conflicts between courts and agencies put judges in more positions in which they may decide to deploy universal injunctions.

There are two risks with the universal injunction strategy. First, these judicial actions reduce the impulse for congressional oversight—if a judge prohibits an agency action, then legislators have less need to step in with hearings or other oversight measures. Second, universal injunctions undermine the Supreme Court’s discretionary jurisdiction by adding urgency for the Court’s review before the usual record can be developed (Justice Thomas complained about this in his concurrence in Trump v. Hawaii).

Morley distinguished between four types of injunctions that may count as universal: injunctions that relate to the plaintiffs, regardless of what judicial district they are in; injunctions for a nationwide class of plaintiffs; injunctions that regulate a defendant in all districts; and injunctions for a nationwide class of defendants. By separating these varieties, Morley suggested we can more clearly see when a judge is doing something unobjectionable (an injunction protects a plaintiff, even if they go to a neighboring district) or extraordinary (prohibiting any agency, whether or not they are named party yet, from implementing a policy). He also noted that some sorts of class-action remedies may be more appropriate in many cases that may involve universal injunctions.

The panelists did not spend much time directly engaged with whether universal injunctions are constitutional—Copeland did posit that perhaps courts should have more power during times of extreme partisan gridlock—but for anyone interested in these injunctions, this session is an accessible introduction. The session recording is at

Last Week to Up-Vote FCIL-Related Programs in IdeaScale

This is your last week to up-vote programs in IdeaScale! If you’d like to see FCIL-related ideas make the must-have list for AALL 2019 in Washington, DC, please get your votes in before August 17th.

In addition to the programs we’ve already highlighted, there is a new batch of FCIL-SIS related programs you can can up-vote this week:

Idea 343:  AI in the United States and China

Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs are now a part of every AALL conference. But this program will take a more global view by including China, a global leader in AI. This session will include a panel of speakers from the United States and China discussing the state of AI in the legal arena in their respective countries.

Idea 342:  Use of Big Data in the United States and China

Big Data is hot. But how can we use it effectively in our workplace? This session will include a panel of speakers from the United States and China discussing how they are using big data to increase faculty scholarship impact, encourage global collaboration, increase their university’s reputation, and how you can do the same at your own institution.

Idea 325:  FCIL Reference Toolkit

Many of the standard reference tools use for FCIL reference questions have become outdated. What is the FCIL reference toolkit for the modern reference librarian? This program would gather FCIL specialists who would discuss and demonstrate the best FCIL reference sources. The audience for this program would be reference librarians of all types.

Idea 320:  The International Aspects of Tax Reform

The world’s most profitable companies derive most of their income from intellectual property and other intangible assets, which can easily be transferred to foreign subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions. International tax rules, premised on outdated concepts like “physical presence” and “permanent establishment,” are increasingly unable to cope with the disruption caused by the rise of digital corporate titans.

This program will provide an overview of legislative reforms designed to prevent profit-shifting and tax base erosion and ensure that digital firms pay their fair share. They include the GILTI, FDII, and BEAT provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the EU’s proposal for a Digital Services Tax. The program will equip librarians with the background knowledge and specialized vocabulary needed to effectively assist students, faculty, and practitioners in researching this rapidly evolving field of law. It also will familiarize librarians with the best research platforms and current awareness tools to keep abreast of the latest developments.

The substantive law component of the program will be provided by tax faculty who are able to succinctly explain complex concepts in a manner that is accessible to non-experts. The research component will be presented by law firm librarians who support the work of international tax practitioners.

Idea 317:  Creating Semester Abroad Programs for the FCIL Librarian

It is possible that collaborative programs exist between U.S. Librarians and Librarians in Other Countries. Semester abroad programs (or shorter versions) would aim to provide FCIL librarians with immersion in the laws, language, history, and culture of a jurisdiction they are interested in. This program would explore how these programs can be established, or if some already exist, what have been the benefits, challenges, etc. and how do we improve them.

Idea 313: Aligning the Library with Your Law School’s LLM Program

LLM programs have seen tremendous growth with some schools hosting several hundred LLM students each year. This can present challenges and opportunities for academic law libraries. This program will explore how to make lemonade by discussing strategies for connecting with your LLM program, supporting these students, overcoming language & cultural challenges, and offering real world examples of successful and less successful library programs for LLM students.

Idea 312:  Litigating Human Rights Abuses in U.S. and Foreign Legal Systems

Slavery in U.S. commercial fishing, child marriage, widows not allowed to inherit property, human trafficking, etc. How do lawyers pursue litigation in the fight for human rights in the United States and abroad? What statutes and international law apply? What research skills and tools do librarians need to support these efforts and market our services to them? I’m hoping to have one law firm attorney and one clinic professor who practice in these areas offer their insight and strategies when fighting for human rights in the United States and in Africa.

Idea 302:  Land, Water and Education

The program will review current international human rights principles which can be applied the contemporary land and water issues in the developing world. Also dealt with are human right to education as a solution to the third world land, water and development issues. Ultimately suggested are the research strategies and recommendations for researching human rights to water, land and education.


Get voting!

AALL 2018 Recap: CONELL (Conference of Newer Law Librarians)

By Tarica LaBossiere

I had been forewarned by my colleagues that the Conference of Newer Law Librarians (CONELL) was where I would make new friends with my librarian peers that would last throughout the rest of our library careers (“Just bring lots of business cards–you’ll be fine”). How right they were! It was fascinating. Speaking as a newer law librarian (in the profession less than one year), and as a newer law librarian in academia, it is rare to see other new law librarians. Just being able to network with other newly minted peers was an amazing experience in and of itself.

After a light breakfast, the newest librarianship recruits were rounded up, and ushered into Key Ballrooms 9-10. Greg Lambert’s opening speech–motivational, yet directional– served as a call to those seated at the podium before him to bring new ideas and inspiration to the profession. He advised us to use the services and guidance offered by AALL to blossom in our careers.


Q&A with the AALL Executive Board. Image via

Following Lambert’s speech was a Q&A with the AALL Executive Board. The Q&A featured questions on avoiding burnout, successful networking for the fake extrovert or low-key introvert (like me!), mentor/mentee relationships, finding leadership roles in the profession, and overall general tips on turning our new careers into lifelong professions. Knowing that almost every speaker experienced what we were going through today acted as a soothing balm to the rash of anxieties faced by newer law librarians at the beginning of their careers.

After the Q&A, there were several speakers who discussed getting more involved with the AALL Community. This included information on how to become more involved with AALL online, submitting proposals for the Annual Meeting, as well as submitting proposals to the Law Library Journal and AALL Spectrum. This was beneficial not only because we were given information about publication opportunities, but Tom Gaylord and Kris Niedringhaus, the respective speakers for the Law Library Journal and AALL Spectrum, were able to provide a clear distinction between the goals of each publication and details on what each publication was looking for when reviewing submitted proposals. This was a helpful tidbit for those considering submitting proposals to either wide-reaching publication.

We were also given details about the AALL Leadership Academy. The Academy is a weekend-long, intensive program designed to cultivate leadership skills and techniques in newer law librarians. Although the Academy was just hosted this year, the next will be available in 2020. This information is good to know for those planning to seek leadership opportunities and those considering submitting an application to the Academy.

Finally, we discussed available mentorship opportunities. I have already been gifted with great mentors through various channels, but for those who had yet to find guidance during their professional journey, there will be several opportunities available via AALL’s updated mentoring program. The program aims to match mentors with mentees through shared interests listed by each applicant when applying for the Mentorship Program.

After discussing all that AALL had to offer, we were separated by last name into two groups to attend the CONELL Marketplace and participate in CONELL’s Speed Networking.


Speed Networking at AALL 2018.  Image via

Speed Dating Networking, as its namesake implies, was where groups of two participants sat face-to-face in two rows, creating an awkward assembly line of getting-to-know-you’s. We were given two minutes to answer one of eight questions appearing on cards that were sat on the chairs of the inner most rows. After the two minutes, the whistle would blew, and the outer rows would shimmy over one seat to begin introductions all over again.

Unfortunately, the room we were in absorbed just as much sound as it did cool air, and we very quickly found ourselves shouting to perspiration how we came to be in the law library profession and where we would live if we could live anywhere in the world and why. Business cards flew like blackjack at the casino; but, I must admit, here is where I would meet new–and now familiar–friends with whom I would spend my entire conference weekend.

After leaving the Key Ballroom sized oven, we were directed over to the CONELL Marketplace, where we mingled with members of regional AALL chapters and AALL Committees. Although we received a lot of information in the Marketplace, the setting was easily navigable, all the volunteers were informational and engaging, and it was easy to gain more insight into the AALL chapters and committees we would consider joining. Depending on one’s professional goals or current position, there was a committee dedicated to gathering similarly situated professionals to promote the exchange of ideas and enable newer librarians to be successful in their librarianship positions.


The USCGC Taney at the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

After a quick lunch and break, we headed to the front of the Hilton for the annual CONELL Tour. The tour was amazing! We saw all that Baltimore had to offer. We started by passing the USCGC Taney, the last warship floating after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and continued through little Italy and little Poland, all while our vibrant tour guide pointed out the brickwork of new and historic houses and churches, like the Baltimore Basilica–the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the country! Also, she was sure to point out the history of the Baltimore Screen Paintings (“a Baltimore tradition!”). We journeyed down and around the Inner Harbor, where we gazed at the Under Armor Corporate headquarters from both sides of the lively docks, and up and around The Walters Art Museum–where a handy billboard gleefully informed us that the Museum currently housed a Faberge Egg! We passed both the Battle Monument and the Washington Monument, and we even made a brief stop at Fort McHenry, arriving just in time to catch the engaging Star-Spangled Banner mini-documentary and light show.


The Tour concluded back at the Baltimore Convention Center Hilton. Thus, we ended our CONELL 2018 adventure. Our novice introduction to the Conference via AALL’s CONELL was complete, and it was on to the big leagues–one floor down, at the AALL Opening Reception.

Overall, I felt my CONELL experience to be a successful and exhilarating start to my first AALL Conference. I thank all those who put in the work to make our 2018 Baltimore CONELL experience a great one. I can guarantee–just as my colleagues and mentors before me–that I’ll be sharing these stories with the friends I made for years to come.

Celebrating One Year of Weekly Content on DipLawMatic Dialogues!

One year ago, after an ambitious meeting in Austin, DipLawMatic Dialogues launched an initiative to post at least one post per week for the next year.  A year later, we’ve met that goal and seen our readership blossom. More importantly, we’ve gotten to hear from many more voices within the FCIL-SIS community.

We thought we’d celebrate by looking back at the most popular posts of the last twelve months, and then ten posts you might have missed. Here’s to many more years of consistent content (email Alyson Drake at if you have ideas of posts in between official calls for bloggers.

Top 12 Posts of the Last 12 Months:

  1. Transition to Law Firm From Academia, by Catherine Deane
  2. The Emergence of LGBT Rights in International Human Rights Law: A History Inquiry, by Carlos Andres Pagan
  3. 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Teaching, by Alyson Drake
  4. Using the “A” Word in Legal Research Instruction, by Alyson Drake
  5. Cuba 101: It’s Complicated, by Julienne Grant
  6. What Helped Me Transition to the Law Firm, by Catherine Deane
  7. From the Reference Desk: When Librarians Google, by Lora Johns
  8. Teaching Foreign & International Legal Research–From the Beginning, by Beau Steenken
  9. New FCIL Librarian Series: So Much to Learn and Do, by Jessica Pierucci
  10. New FCIL Librarian Series: Collection Development in 2018, by Jessica Pierucci
  11. New FCIL Librarian Series: Creating a New Research Guide, by Jessica Pierucci
  12. Spain Fractured: Some Thoughts on the Catalonian Crisis, by Julienne Grant


12 Posts You Might Have Missed–And Should Definitely Check Out:

  1. Teaching Foreign Customary Law: Tips and Tricks, by Susan Gualtier
  2. MHz & Me: How a Crime-Solving Priest Saved My Italian, by Julienne Grant
  3. Crafting an FCIL Niche (When You’re NOT an ‘FCIL Librarian’), by Alyson Drake
  4. Teaching Religious Law Research as Part of Comparative Law: Focus on Jewish Law, by Marylin Raisch
  5. Acquiring Foreign and International Law Materials with a New Collection Development Focus, by Joan Policastri
  6. From the Reference Desk: ‘Can You Strip Mine An Asteroid?”, by Lora Johns
  7. The Long and Winding Road to Using Reading Knowledge in French and Spanish in Service of FCIL Research, by Katherine Orth
  8. Revisiting Puerto Rico’s Political Status: The Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle Case and Its Implications in Contemporary International Law, by Carlos Andres Pagan
  9. Wroclaw Travelogue, by Charles Bjork
  10. From the Reference Desk: Research in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, by Lora Johns
  11. Regional Integration Among African Nations–The Birth of AfCFTA, by Yemisi Dina
  12. Mapping the Civil Law World: Ancient Outlines, by Marylin Raisch


AALL 2018 Recap: Schaffer Grant Presentation — Professional Profile Survey of the Law Librarian in the State of São Paulo, Brazil

By Amy Flick

Daniela dos ReisThe 2018 recipient of the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians was Daniela Majorie Akama dos Reis. Daniela is a law librarian at the firm of Lobo de Rizzo Advogados in São Paulo, Brazil, and she is also a PhD candidate in Information Science at UNESP (the Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita filho). While working on her dissertation, she found a lack of recent scholarship on the profile of law librarians in Brazil. This prompted her, along with co-author Paula Drumond Sales, a fellow law librarian at Lobo de Rizzo Advogados, to conduct a survey and write a “Professional Profile Survey of Law Librarians in the State of São Paulo, Brazil,” which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Revista Brasileira de Biblioteconomia e Documentação (Brazilian Journal of Library Science and Documentation).

Daniela presented highlights of the findings and data from her survey to AALL attendees on Monday, July 16, 2018. She started by discussing the need for the survey. There is no official data on the number of law librarians in São Paulo. Unofficially, the Legal Information and Documentation Group of São Paulo has around 150 active members. She sent her questionnaire to the membership, with 21 question on profiles, salary, routines, and activities. As is often the case with surveys, only 32 librarians answered her survey questions, even though she sent the survey out multiple times.

One of her questions was about the main difficulties in starting a career as a law librarian. The largest number, 53%, cited the lack of specialized education, since most Brazilian law librarians have only a bachelor’s degree in library science without specialized legal training. Another 38% found difficulty with legal terminology. 56% have not taken a professional improvement course in law, and 72% have no degrees beyond a first bachelor’s degree.

Another survey question was on salaries: “The salary is the sad part.” 31% earn between 2000 and 4000 Brazilian reals per month, and another 28% earn between 4000 and 6000 reals per month. With a Brazilian real the equivalent of around 27 U.S. cents, she noted the difficulty of living on a law librarian’s salary.

Duties of most law librarians in São Paulo would be familiar to U.S. librarians, particularly firm librarians, including classification, cataloging, news clipping, collection development, and what she considers the most important, legal research. She discussed the lack of standardization in documentary language used, with only 50% using documentary language at all, and of those that do, 25% each using the Thesaurus of the Senate, controlled vocabulary, and their own controlled language.

Daniela’s findings were that São Paulo law librarians, in the absence of instruction on law librarianship, are mostly self-taught and dependent on the librarian’s own curiosity and experience. They also rely on the knowledge of more experienced law librarians.

As for Daniela herself, she works for a firm that specializes in many practice areas, especially corporate and M&A. Her library has a small physical space, with around 3000 print books and 1500 periodicals. They focus on products and services in digital formats. She has in-progress projects indexing documents and digitizing their periodical collection.

In the Q&A portion of the presentation, Daniela was asked about librarian meetings in São Paulo and Brazil. São Paulo librarians in the local group rely on each other for information and exchange of documents. They meet monthly within São Paulo, but there is no national meeting. Asked about her foreign and international research, she said that she does a lot of international research since she works in tax and M&A. And to a question about electronic resources she uses, she noted that her attorneys are resistant to change, but she uses databases that she saw represented in the AALL exhibit hall, including from Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, and Wolters Kluwer. And on electronic research, she said “I don’t think the end of the print book is the end of the library.”

FCIL librarians in attendance appreciated Daniela’s presentation, and we will look forward to the publication of her research.

AALL 2018 Recap: Education Committee Meeting – Program Planning for DC


By: Loren Turner

The FCIL-SIS Education Committee met at the crack of dawn (7:00 am) on Tuesday, July 17th to begin brainstorming and strategizing for the AALL 2019 conference in Washington, D.C.  We were joined by two members of the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC), Sabrina Sondhi (our official FCIL liaison to the AMPC) and Alyson Drake.  Sabrina and Alyson shared the AMPC’s timeline for gathering program ideas and proposals.  Alyson will be writing a separate DipLawMatic blog post that covers the AMPC’s timeline and goals in more detail, but in a nutshell, there is a two-step process for us to get some FCIL-related programming into the DC conference: (1) submit and up-vote your undeveloped, wild and crazy ideas to the Ideascale platform (from now until August 17th) and (2) submit your developed, professional program proposals to the AMPC (Labor Day-ish until October 1).

We have an excellent location for the next conference and the Georgetown folks who joined our meeting are already on-the-ball with fab ideas on international taxation, international trade, and international human rights.  What about you?!  What programming do you want to see in D.C. for your professional development?

Dennis Sears ( and I ( would L.O.V.E. to hear from you!  Tell us what you want to learn.  Tell us what you want to teach. Tell us who you know and what they might offer.  We will do your cold-calls.  We will help craft your wild and crazy ideas into fully-developed programs (or pre-conference workshops). We need you to help us create substantive FCIL programming for the AALL 2019 conference.  Let’s do this.