Sandra Day O’Connor: Video Game Developer (Silicon Alley Insider)

Eric Krangel | June 4, 2008 2:24 PM

More American teenagers can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government, and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor thinks that’s a very bad thing. Her solution: Video games!

For the past year-and-a-half O’Connor has been spearheading, an interactive game-like website designed to teach American kids about civics, the courts, and the U.S. Constitution. Fun stuff! “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn,” she says.

We don’t know much else about the game, except that it’s supposed to debut in mid-2009 and is backed by Arizona State University and Georgetown Law. From the looks of the promo site it looks like kids will be able to create avatars and participate in all kinds of civic activities. O’Connor is slated to give more details tonight at The New School when she keynotes the Games For Change conference.


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Is the Future of Legal Scholarship in the Blogosphere? (

Margaret A. Schilt
Legal Times

If you are looking for the future of legal scholarship, chances are that you may find it not in a treatise or the traditional law review but in a different form, profoundly influenced by the blogosphere.

Law-related blogs are proliferating on the Internet — more than 80 are listed on the blogroll of one popular law-related blog, Concurring Opinions. A significant number of the blogs — sometimes called “blawgs” — are hosted by law professors.

What do these blogs look like? There’s a wide variety, from the weighty to the conversational or, in the jargon, the more “bloggy.” On the Becker-Posner Blog, Judge Richard Posner and economist Gary Becker debate issues such as crime and economic development, health care reform and whether higher education is a good investment. (more . . .)

Law Firms Get Their Share of Attention From Bloggers

Amanda Bronstad
The National Law Journal
August 6, 2007

When Jeff Brauer left his job serving of counsel to a law firm in China, he spent five months sending e-mails and hired two attorneys to collect $150,000 in unpaid compensation he claims the firm still owed him.

When that didn’t work, he started his own blog. Within weeks, the managing partner of the firm “told me to take the blog down immediately. I realized that, actually, I should do precisely the opposite,” Brauer told The National Law Journal from China, where he has since started his own business consulting firm. “I was in the public eye, and that really made it sort of even more of a problem for them to … do anything to me.”

The publicized spat, while extreme, exemplifies a growing tension between law firms and their current or former lawyers, or employees, who post negative or confidential information about their employers online. In the past year, at least two other blogs, Skadden Insider and Above the Law, have raised eyebrows for publishing internal information at firms, such as confidential firings and sexual trysts with partners.

(more. . .)

Backup systems averted loss of N.Y. bar exam essays (NYLJ)

Joel Stashenko/New York Law Journal
August 3, 2007

Backup systems in software that malfunctioned last week for hundreds of students writing essays on the New York state bar examination appear to have prevented the loss of any test takers’ answers, the software company’s president said Wednesday.

Douglas M. Winneg of Software Secure Inc. said in an interview that he believes the essay question answers uploaded from the computers of approximately 5,200 people who used laptops to take the bar exam last week have been accounted for. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is in the process of transferring the computer data to another company, which will print the essays and transfer them to the state Board of Law Examiners for grading.

The board has promised that all students who took the test last week on a laptop will be notified when their essays have been located. The other half of the test takers wrote the essays in longhand. (more . . .)

Software Company Hopeful No Bar Exam Essays Will Be Lost (NYLJ)

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
July 31, 2007

The Massachusetts company that provided the software for students using laptops for the New York state bar examination last week said it believes no essays will be lost due to computer problems, the New York state Board of Law Examiners said.

Students reported problems saving the essays on their computers, and later uploading the essays onto the company’s Web site for transfer to the state for grading.

“We have been advised by the software company that so far, there are no essays that appear to be lost and they are confident that no one will lose any essays,” John McAlary, executive director of the Board of Law Examiners, said Friday. The board will notify laptop test takers by electronic mail when their essays are located, McAlary said.

He said the process of matching the essays with the answer packets of the students who wrote them will probably take until the end of this week to complete. The board is also sending e-mails to the test takers to notify them of the status of the effort to locate all essays.

The six essays were included on the New York state portion of the two-day bar exam that students took on July 21. About half the 10,850 students taking the bar exam used laptops to write their essays, McAlary said.

Software Secure Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., was the supplier of the SecureExam software that the law examiners blamed for the glitches.


Keeping Current Can Be Hard to Do for Law Librarians (

…So, keeping current has two parts: awareness of new or changing resources/activities and appreciation of possible uses or impact in your institution. Or, there may not be a use in your library. Mash-ups look to be a fun technology, but I do not see a need for it at my institution at this time. Law firm librarians may find it more interesting.

Keeping current is not just for technology advances, although technology does drive much of the change and activity. My “Hats” series is an attempt to describe how the Internet and electronics have impacted and continue to impact our profession. Our traditional hats as modified by technology means current awareness crosses more lines and covers more topics than ever.
(more. . .)

Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web (WaPo)

Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of Anonymous Attacks

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, has published in top legal journals and completed internships at leading institutions in her field. So when the Yale law student interviewed with 16 firms for a job this summer, she was concerned that she had only four call-backs. She was stunned when she had zero offers.

Though it is difficult to prove a direct link, the woman thinks she is a victim of a new form of reputation-maligning: online postings with offensive content and personal attacks that can be stored forever and are easily accessible through a Google search. ( more…)

[via Althouse]