Constitution Day Is Here!


Stop by the front of the library today before 1 pm for more resources and goodies including temporary tattoos featuring Ben Franklin, copies of the Constitution, and more! In addition to the many resources shared in our previous blog post about Constitution Day, we have compiled a list of items to check out from our current display which are available in the library collection. After our display of these books ends, you can find this selection and others on the Balcony:


Understanding the Founding: the Crucial Questions

By: Alan Gibson / KF4541 .G534 2010 

This book examines the preconceptions that scholars bring to these questions, explores the deepest sources of scholars’ disagreements over them, and suggests new and thoughtful lines of interpretation and inquiry. In examining the controversy over interpretive approaches, Gibson suggests a new synthesis of the insights of linguistic contextualists and philosophicalrationalists; and in revisiting the liberalism-versus-republicanism debate, he analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of alternative accounts of the interactions of multiple traditions in the political thought of the Founders.


The Constitutional Convention : A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison 

Edited by] Edward J. Larson and Michael P. Winship /  KF4510 .M33 2005  

Virginian James Madison was instrumental in organizing the Constitutional Convention, in which one of the world’s greatest documents would be debated, created, and signed. Inspired by a sense of history in the making, His extensive notes are made accessible in this book edited by two esteemed scholars, presented with modern punctuation and spelling, judicious cuts, and helpful notes–plus fascinating background information on every delegate and an overview of the tumultuous times.


The Writing and Ratification of the U.S. Constitution : Practical Virtue in Action

By John R. Vile / KF4541 .V555 2012 

Author John Vile examines the events surrounding the development of the U.S. Constitution in this book which focuses primarily on records of debates at the convention. Setting these events within the context of the colonial conflict with Britain and the experience with state constitutions under the Articles of Confederation, the author discusses the delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the major plans and proposals that delegates offered, and the arguments that delegates made both in the Convention and in subsequent state ratifying debates that ultimately led to the adoption of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

514bcwkrmol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Charting an American Republic : the Origins and Writing of the Federalist Papers

By Jude M. Pfister / KF4515 .P45 2016  

The Federal Constitution of 1787 faced an uncertain future when it was sent to the states for ratification. Next to the Constitution, the Federalist Papers are the most referenced statement of the Founding Fathers’ intentions in forming the U.S. Government. This book looks at the Papers in the context of the times in which they were created.

51rx2q7qehl-_sx340_bo1204203200_For Ourselves and Our Posterity : the Preamble to the Federal Constitution in American History

By Peter Charles Hoffer / KF4541 .H575 2013

Author Peter Hoffer offers a sweeping, dramatic narration of a crucial moment in Early American history. The Preamble and all that it came to represent was the unique achievement of a remarkable group of men at a momentous turning point in American history. Providing a clear exposition of constitutional issues, For Ourselves and Our Posterity features individual portraits of the leading framers at the heart of this dramatic event.






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Celebrate Constitution Day with Events and Resources: Monday, September 17th

By Amy Taylor and Wendy Moore

In the Law Library

On Monday, September 17th librarians will have a table at the front of the Law Library. Stop by to check out our display of resources related to the Constitution and to quiz yourself on the finer point of Constitution Convention history.

At the University of Georgia

Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York will be presenting a lecture on Monday, September 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the Chapel. The lecture includes a reception. For more information visit UGA’s calendar:

On the Web

We also recommend checking out the following online resources:

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UVA Law Launches Kavanaugh Project Website


This week UGA School of Law streamed the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in Rusk Hall’s Walker Room for students, faculty and staff to watch portions of the proceedings. Even though today was the final hearing, we know the membership of the Supreme Court is a matter of interest to many members of the law school community. To assist researchers and other’s interested in the nominee’s judicial record University of Virginia School of Law’s Legal Data Lab has launched the Brett Kavanaugh Project. According to UVA Law Library’s blog, the project is:

…a website that assembles all of Kavanaugh’s written opinions, as well as concurrences and dissents he either wrote or joined as a judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The site includes both full-text search and delimited search capabilities. For example, researchers can find the number of dissents Kavanaugh authored in “Freedom of Speech” cases and get easy access to those opinions.

For more information about the project, and to search the site visit the website.

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On Reserve Podcast Episode 4: Legal Research

In this episode co-hosts Leslie Grove and Rachel Evans interview the Law Library’s two newest librarians about their most memorable reference questions, their past library and law firm experiences and their favorite legal research resources:

Download Episode 4: Legal Research


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Revisit On Reserve Episode 2: Alum Michelle Davis talks Kindercore Vinyl, Networking and Entertainment Law Resources

UGA Today recently shared a story about Kindercore Vinyl in Athens, GA. The video above from UGA’s YouTube explains the various close ties the vinyl pressing plant has with the university. Did you know the School of Law also has connections to this new business? Check out a few choice excerpts from Episode 2 of the library’s On Reserve podcast with law school grad and local entertainment attorney Michelle Davis who delivered they keynote earlier this year for the 8th Annual Protect Athens Music conference. Michelle works closely with Kindercore and explains in our podcast how this relationship was a perfect example of effective networking.

On her work with Kindercore Vinyl:

“This was one of those cases where these were long time friends. It’s kind of funny. They started the Kindercore as a record label in the ’90’s so I knew them as musicians when I was an undergrad here. As part of an assignment since you were required to be published in the journalism school I pitched a feature to Red & Black about Dan Geller because he had this great story about being a researcher and scientist by day and then a rock star and DJ by night so that was the first time I met him. And you know I never would have thought that sitting there as a 19 year old nervous writer that this guy would one day be a client of mine in my own law practice. But Ryan Lewis he emailed me in 2016, I was very newly barred as an attorney and he said ‘we have this dream, this idea, of pressing records here in Athens’. And he said we want you to be our Bertis, which was highly flattering, and so Bertis Downs being R.E.M.’s counsel and they paired with him when he was straight out of law school and then they both became wildly successful. I think they liked the idea that they were this upstart, and they wanted to find a young upstart attorney too that was passionate about working here in Athens and supporting the community. They kinda took a chance and I was willing to do whatever it would take to help. And so I put together their first operating agreement to help them assess intellectual property concerns. Once we got to the stage where we had real investors on the line I helped them find an attorney through some mutual contacts that could help take care of that piece of it. And now my office is actually in the pressing plant itself, I have some space there, and continue to support them in whatever legal needs they have.”

Networking with Clients and Attorneys:

“The vast majority have been friends that I knew before law school or have been referred to me by those connections. In my last year I did this sort of tour of entertainment lawyers in Georgia and talked to every single person I had met on any panel or symposium or event and just sort of said … “what do you suggest?”  and more than one attorney said you should just do it, start your own practice and if you have questions or are in over your head call me and I’ll help. And I was pleasantly surprised to see how warm and supportive the other attorneys were in this field.”

Entertainment Law Resources:

“I still use LexisNexis and Westlaw for research for case law stuff, and for finding forms, that is really useful. There’s also industry specific publications that I follow like Hollywood Reporter and Law 360, the ABA has a sports and entertainment law section and so does the Georgia Bar. Also strategically selecting CLEs that are relevant is a great way to meet other attorney’s in entertainment law or IP but also they’re usually really informative.”

On the Benefits of Clinics and Internships:

“I did the D.C. Semester… and I did that to work with an awesome artist’s rights group in D.C. called the Future of Music Coalition. While there I got a list of UGA Law grads who were in the D.C. area and one worked for NPR … We went for coffee and he said I should check out the internship program. It never would’ve occurred to me that it existed, so I applied and was accepted and came back that next summer. I highly encourage law students or undergrads if you’re interested in journalism, literally every show has an internship position. It is a great program and they pay their interns and it is enough to get by in D.C. in the summer.”

For the full segment of Michelle’s interview, listen to 45:38 to 1:04:50 of the episode below or find it on iTunes:

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Game Weekend and Labor Day Hours


Photo courtesy of UGA photographic services.

The first UGA home football game of the season is this Saturday, followed by Labor Day on Monday September 3.

The Law Library hours this weekend are as follows:

  • Friday, 8/31:  7:00 am until 9:00 pm.
  • Home Game Day Saturday, 9/1:  10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
  • Sunday, 9/2:  8:00 am until 9:00 pm.
  • Labor Day Monday, 9/3:  12:00 pm until 9:00 pm.


  • The Law Library will be open on Home Football Saturdays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, no matter the time of kick-off.  Otherwise, the Law School is closed on home football Saturdays and tailgate activities inside the building are prohibited.
  • Please do not let any strangers into our buildings and do not prop open any exterior door.
  • All exterior doors are locked and alarmed.
  • Alcoholic beverages may not be brought into the Law School.
  • UGA is a Tobacco-Free Campus so please do not smoke on campus.
  • Dean Rusk Hall is not open to students. Faculty may enter with their UGA cards.
  • Any irregularities should be reported to the Law Security Officer, a Law Library Staff Worker or to UGA Police at 706-542-2200 or 911, if it is an emergency.

The Law School is closed on Labor Day, Monday September 3 and there will be no classes. The doors will be locked.  However, the Law Library will be open that day from12:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

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Favorites from Fiction #6


The high court descends to Earth in A Matter of Life and Death.

After a long break in our Favorites from Fiction series, we’re returning with four favorites I discovered over the last year through films with very opposing settings: the realistic landscapes of rural America and a fantastically surreal depiction of “heaven”. The first two characters are female lawyers which come from the literary works of Maile Meloy (Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It and Half in Love) which inspired the screenplay for the 2016 film Certain Women. The second two characters are an otherworldly judge and a doctor-turned-defending counsel that come from the 1946 film A Matter of Life and Death (originally released as Stairway to Heaven in the U.S.).


Characters Beth Travis and Laura Wells from Certain Women

Both of the lawyers in Certain Women are extremely relatable, and it is easy to sympathize with the small glimpses we get of their lives in rural Montana. They draw subtle but vital attention to issues all of us face with class and gender roles in society. In their own way, each overcomes it, even if only a little.

  1. Beth Travis from is a young lawyer, straight out of law school. She is determined to follow through with a commitment she made while still in school to teach night classes in a town that is a 4 hour drive from where she lives. In the film she interrupts her own complaints while eating dinner with a student about her class struggles by trying to put a positive spin on her not-so-easy educational and career paths:  “I was afraid I’d get out of law school and be selling shoes. My mom works in a school cafeteria, my sister in a hospital laundry, so selling shoes is the nicest job a girl from my family is supposed to get.” Frustrated with the impossible schedule (she works another job during the day at a firm in the town where she lives) and dangerously frozen commute Beth quits teaching suddenly and finds herself in an awkward situation when the student she was spending time with confronts her.
  2. Laura Wells is a seasoned lawyer dealing with a very agitated client who refuses to take her advice. After continuing to visit her at the office for months she finally asks another male lawyer to review the case. Of course the other lawyer tells her client exactly the same thing, leading to Laura confiding in a friend after the meeting that: “It would be so lovely to think that if I were a man people would listen and say ‘OK’… Oh that would be so restful.” Later that evening she is called by the police to meet her client who has taken is holding a security guard at his former employer hostage. Her character perfectly portrays the difficult roles female lawyers can find themselves playing when clients like this one emotionally unload on them and then trust that they will do as they are asked. In the case of this fictional lawyer, she decides not to put up with this client anymore, and upon leaving the hostage situation immediately tells the police where her client is instead of covering for him.

Characters Dr. Frank and The Judge from A Matter of Life and Death

My two favorite lawyers from A Matter of Life and Death are not exactly lawyers, but in both the real and fantasy spaces they traverse throughout the film they each exhibit a compassion for the man on trial and do whatever they can to help him, including thinking outside the box.

  1. Dr. Frank Reeves is a doctor and surgeon who is fascinated by patient and protagonist Peter Carter. Peter is brought to him by his friend June who hopes Dr. Frank can help diagnose and cure him from strange visions and pains he is experiencing after he survives a plane crash without a parachute. Dr. Reeves diagnoses Peter with symptoms resulting from brain injury and schedules Peter for surgery. Just before the surgery Dr. Frank dies in a motorcycle accident which is lucky for Peter who while undergoing brain surgery is simultaneously having a trial which will determine if he lives or dies. Since Dr. Frank is now dead, he can serve as Peter’s counsel – and no one knows Peter’s case better than Dr. Frank. With some very quick thinking, the doctor turned defense attorney returns to the surgery room to retrieve Peter, designates Peter’s flying officer Bob as a witness, and captures the only bit of evidence he can of Peter and June’s love (June’s tear drop) on a flower to bring back to the heavenly courtroom. Mid-trial Dr. Frank requests a new jury which destroys the prosecutor’s base argument. The jury rules in Peter’s favor, and Dr. Frank makes an incredible statement at the film’s close: “… nothing is stronger than the law in the universe, but on Earth, nothing is stronger than love.”
  2. The Judge – Fewer figures in film are more fantastic than the stern figure with empathetic eyes that the Judge displays. From the start, he is hearing a type of case that has never been heard in this courtroom of the “other world” before: an appeal. The appeal is for the life of one Peter Carter. Peter should have died in a plane crash, but miraculously did not. When the “heavens” attempt to retrieve him he refuses, claiming it is not his fault this error occurred and his circumstances have changed since then (he is now in love). In addition to hearing the case in the first place, the Judge shows superior understanding by allowing the defendant to choose his own counsel, agreeing to the defense attorney’s request for a new jury, and his request to allow June to take the stand. For this scene the Judge takes the entire jury, prosecutor, defense, and himself from the “other world” into the operating room where Peter’s surgery is underway and June is looking on anxiously. Although mostly silent compared to the other major roles on screen, this character represents the type of judge we would all hope were hearing our case should our lives be at stake in a celestial courtroom as grand as the one in this film.

Certain Womenalong with the short story collections that inspired the film (linked above), can be checked out from the Main UGA Library. For more films about the law, check out our own law library DVD collection, located in the front of our library near across from the public computers.

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