Library Study Hall

Effective Monday November 26, all study areas and computer labs in the Mendik Library will remain open late night and early morning hours. The late hours extend to 2 a.m. every day, and the Library space reopens at 7 a.m. every morning. This Study Hall schedule will remain in effect through the end of the exams period.

During the Study Hall period all areas behind the Circulation Desk, including the Reserve Collection and the Reserve Reading Room, will close at 11 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Library opens for business at 8 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. on weekends.

During late night and early morning Study Hall hours there are no librarians on duty; security guards patrol Library rooms and study areas. All Circulation transactions, including borrowing and return of books, as well as charge-out and charge-in of Reserve materials, must be completed by regular closing time. Policies regarding food, drink and quiet study remain in effect.

Late and early Study Hall is for NYLS students only; you’ll need your NYLS OneCard ID to stay at closing time, and to enter the Library after closing. Please have your ID ready to show the guard.

Students will be required to leave the Mendik Library when the facility closes at 2 a.m. Study areas elsewhere on campus remain open 24 hours.

Congrats to Our Winners!

We wanted to congratulate all of the winners in this year’s Halloween Info Hunt!  Even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t scare off these (or the many other) intrepid researchers.  We also wanted to thank ALL participants for joining in what we hope you all found to be a fun learning experience!  At our November 8, 2012 drawing, we drew 13 winners from our famous Raffle Drum and offered them their choice of prizes.  Hearty congratulations to:

Lola Ajifowobaje
Alena Bohacova
Vanessa Caicedo
Christopher Carrion
Gloria Chacon
Jordann  Connaboy
Tenzin Dharlo
Aisha Elston-Wesley
Lansburg Jean-Pierre
Jamin Koo
Jonathan Reinstein
Kelly Rutkowski
Greg Sun

 If your heart is already throbbing for the Mendik Library’s next Info Hunt, you’ll find satisfaction (and perhaps love) in early February when we announce our annual Valentine’s Day Find Love in the Library Info Hunt.  Stay tuned!!

Halloween is Back!

You may have missed Halloween but you definitely don’t want to miss this week’s prize drawing in the Haunted Halloween Info Hunt —Thursday November 8th at 5:45 p.m.  We still have all of our candy to give out and then there are all the prizes . . . .

Click here for the details and an entry form if you need one (remember you can enter the drawing online or pick up an entry form at the Reference Desk).  Entries will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on November 8th.

Sausage or Pepperoni? – 2012 First Week Pizza Survey Results

For the sixth consecutive year the Mendik Library surveyed 1Ls during First Week library tours about their use of digital communication tools.  Below is a quick summary of the results. You can see all the survey questions (and the responses) here.

In addition to telling us their favorite pizza topping (answer below), 411 members of the class of 2015/16 responded to questions about:

  • their preferences in electronic communication;
  • their social networking activity;
  • their usage of Blogs, RSS feeds, Podcasts, E-Books, and Twitter; and
  • the types of electronic devices (Smartphones, Tablets, E-Book Readers, etc.) they owned.


Some of the trends we have noted before are continuing – an increased use of social media, an increasing dominance of Google in web searching and beyond, and the increased popularity of Macs versus PCs. E-Book usage is advancing slowly, but don’t expect students to emerge as big followers of Blogs.  And, the students you see with headphones or ear buds?  Chances are good they are not listening to Podcasts.

  • For the first time since we introduced the survey in 2007, the percentage of students whose preferred means of written electronic communication was E-mail has actually increased to just over 40%, following five years of steady decline, from a high of 67% (2007) to last year’s low of 37%. 

*  At the same time, a preference for mobile-based text messaging continued to rise, reaching a new high of 49%. This result is consistent with the findings of a Pew Internet & American Life Project 2011 study detailing that 73% of American adults who own cell phones (83% of Americans) send and receive text messages.  The study further found that young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 averaged nearly 110 texts per day, translating to more than 3,200 per month. Though probably unrelated, the increased usage of E-mail was accompanied by a distinct drop-off in the use of BlackBerry Messaging, which fell from 6% in 2011 to just under 1% this year.

  • Although Facebook remains the dominant social networking site for these students, favored by nearly 75%, it has lost a bit of ground to relative newcomers Google+ (4%) and Instagram (2%), as well as LinkedIn (3%) and Twitter(4%).  At the same time, almost 11% of the class is not using any social networking site, up from 8% last year.

* Significantly, this class is also using their social networking sites of choice more than predecessor classes, with 52% claiming use more than once per day, the fifth straight year witnessing an increase. 

  • Our survey included questions about Twitter for only the second time, and the results reflect its increasing prevalence. The number of students who have a Twitter account jumped from 38% in 2011 to 46% in 2012.  Tweeting on Twitter has remained relatively steady but the number of Twitter feeds students follow has increased modestly – those following more than five feeds increased from 26% to 32% and the number following between one and five feeds increased from 5% to 8%.  We would expect both types of Twitter usage to increase over time.
  • Despite the passage of time, neither Blogs nor RSS feeds are capturing the hearts and minds of these students.  The numbers of students who arrived at NYLS as subscribers to or readers of Blogs dropped from 35% in 2011 to 29% in 2012.


  • Podcasts seem to be losing what little intermittent traction they had been developing.  The percentage of students who downloaded or listened to 1-5 Podcasts dropped from 28% in 2011 to 20% in 2012.  Although the percentage of students who downloaded or listened to more than five Podcasts increased marginally (from 14% to 15%), the number of students who did not know what a Podcast was reached its highest level ever, 13% (up from 7% in 2011).


  • Continuing what had already been a steady trend, the popularity of Macs compared to PCs increased, jumping to 57% from 51% in 2011.


  • When it comes to web browsers, all three majors (Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari) lost a little ground to Google Chrome, used by 29% of incoming students.  Firefox fell from 24% in 2011 to 23%; IE fell slightly from 16.3% 15.6%; and Safari fell from 28% to 27%.


  • When asked which search engine they use most often, respondents again identified Google by a wide margin (92%), with Yahoo a mere 2% and Bing and AOL each barely achieving 1%.


  • For just the third time, we asked students which among certain specified electronic devices they owned. 

 *  Among “Smartphones,” BlackBerry lost significant ground again this year (from 32% to 15%) to both the iPhone and the Android.  That does not come as much of a surprise.  An October 16, 2012 New York Times article titled “The BlackBerry as Black Sheep” noted that in the United States, BlackBerrys accounted for less than 5% of the Smartphone market, down from 50% three years ago.

 *  iPhone ownership saw a large uptick, from 37% in 2011 to 62% in 2012, while Android ownership remained steady at 21%.

 *  Ownership of an iPad or other Tablet device nearly doubled this year, from 16% to 30%.  That result tracks the nationwide trend:  according to a September 2012 Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project report, 25% of adult Americans own a Tablet computer.

 *  Ownership of E-Book Readers, however, which now compete against Tablets for readers of E-Books, increased only marginally, from 14% to 16%.  In 2010, the first year this question was posed, E-Book Reader ownership was at only 4%.  

  • Along with the increasing ownership of Tablet devices, more students are taking advantage of E-Books – 59% (up from 48% in 2011) said they have used their computer or another electronic device (e.g., iPad or other Tablet, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or Smartphone application) to view an E-Book.  Here, our students seem to

Celebrate Pro Bono Week

October 21 through 27, 2012 is Celebrate Pro Bono Week.  Lawyers have a long tradition of providing pro bono services to Americans in need of legal assistance.  Pro bono has been a part of our legal culture for a long time. Yet, despite our efforts, many of the civil legal needs of the poor are not being met and we must continue to expand our efforts in this area.  Since 2009, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has sponsored Celebrate Pro Bono Week and does so again this week.   The Celebration is a coordinated national effort to meet the ever-growing needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services, and by showcasing the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve.  More information is available on the ABA’s  website:


 “A legal system isn’t just or fair if it is not accessible to the most vulnerable in society,” William Robinson, former ABA President.

Costumes Not Required

Happy Halloween from the Mendik Library! As a Halloween treat, here’s an easy opportunity to WIN prizes, including study aids, texts and other legal dictionaries, flash drives . . . and more.

Using Internet Explorer, click here  to access the Haunted Halloween Hunt.  Each slide includes one question (there are only 6) and easy, step-by-step instructions. Press enter to move on to each new question.  Click  here to access an answer sheet or pick up a copy at the Reference Desk. Either submit your completed answer sheet at the Reference Desk or e-mail it to  by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, October 31st. The drawing will take place outside the library entrance on October 31st at 5:45 PM. You need not be present to win, but an additional entry form will be added for each student who does attend!

 Among the prizes winners will choose from are:

Professional Responsibility: A Student’s Guide
Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
Leading Constitutional Cases on Criminal Justice
Winning On Appeal
Skills & Values: Legal Negotiating
Legal Writing: Examples and Explanations
Foundations of Tort Law
Questions & Answers: Wills, Trusts & Estates
Questions & Answers:  Business Associations
Foundations of Labor and Employment Law
Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail
Understanding Intellectual Property Law
Barron’s Law Dictionary
Flash drives
NYLS Guest Cards
Halloween Treats

First Monday in October

The United States Supreme Court’s new term begins today (October 1, 2012), the first Monday in October.  The 2012-2013 docket thus far includes at least one case of particular interest to members of the NYLS community:  In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involving a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as a factor in undergraduate admissions, New York Law School’s Racial Justice Project has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Black Law Student’s Association.  (See this previous Mendik Matters post for additional details.)  Fisher is set for argument on October 10, 2012.

Two great sources for learning about the new term are the ABA’s Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases and the SCOTUS Blog.  Preview is published eight times during the term, providing a concise analysis of cases granted review.  The Preview website links to a list of the cases granted certiorari for the 2012-2013 term and provides links to the merits briefs filed in each case.  The SCOTUS Blog provides comprehensive coverage and discussion of the Supreme Court and generally reports on every merits case before the Court at least three times: before argument; after argument; and after decision.


In preparing for the new term, you may also want to look back at earlier terms.  At the end of each term, a number of journals and blogs provide a wealth of information on the types of cases heard by the Court, a breakdown of cases by major subject areas, analysis of key cases and opinions, and discussion of voting trends.  For example, Preview devotes its last issue each year to a review of the newly completed term.  The Harvard Law Review (also accessible via HeinOnline) devotes its November issue to coverage of the completed term, and the SCOTUS Blog provides a comprehensive end-of-term statistical analysis.  End-of-term reviews are a great way to keep up with and learn more about the work of the nation’s highest court.

Celebrate National Punctuation Day!

Take a break from the tedium of law study and enjoy the pleasures of punctuation! 

September 24 is National Punctuation Day:  “A celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.” 

How do you celebrate such an event?  Enter the Presidential Punctuation Challenge; entries must be one paragraph, a maximum of three sentences – this post isn’t – and use the thirteen punctuation marks (you may use a mark more than once) in this post [apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, semicolon . . . and don’t forget the ellipsis] to argue which punctuation mark should be the official punctuation mark of the President of the United States.

Celebrate Constitution Day!

Constitution Day (September 17) commemorates the day the members of the Philadelphia Convention signed the United States Constitution.  Of the three delegates from New York, only one participated through to the end and affixed his name:  Alexander Hamilton.  Revolutionary War veteran and lawyer, Hamilton was also a co-author of The Federalist Papers and the first Secretary of the Treasury.  Aligned with the Federalists, the rival party to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s Democratic-Republicans, Hamilton founded the New York Post in 1801 with other Federalist Party members. In 1804, he successfully opposed Aaron Burr’s bid to become governor of New York, a bitter dispute that led to the fatal duel, and Hamilton’s death, in July of that year.  (An interesting historical footnote:  Aaron Burr was a cousin of Theodore Dwight, whose grandson Theodore W. Dwight, a major figure in the history of American legal scholarship, played the central role in the creation of New York Law School in 1891.)

Further reading:

R. B. Bernstein, The Founding Fathers Reconsidered (2009).

R. B. Bernstein, The Constitution as an Exploding Cigar, 55 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 1073 (2010/11).

Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (2004).

Alexander Hamilton, Writings (2001).