The U.S. Legal System

March 26, 2011 at 6:45 pm (Law)

It’s been over two years since I’ve taken my “introduction to law” paralegal course and I know I’ve already forgotten many of the basic structural elements that I believe would serve me well as a 1L law student. So I hope to dig-out my notes over the summer to refresh my memory.  In addition to a short “refresher” of my paralegal course, if time permits, I would love to read this FREE book available online in PDF form by the U.S. Government entitled, “Outline of the U.S. Legal System.” In just skimming the chapter contents, it looks this will be a great refresher for anyone who hasn’t taken a civics or “intro to law” type course in a few years.  I’m really excited to read it and hope I can find some time to do so soon.  I love that it is free plus in a handy electronic PDF.

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Itunes U Podcast on State and Federal Courts

February 28, 2010 at 3:35 am (Law) ()

Emory University has a series of podcasts on Itunes U entitled “Mini Law School,” which I have been thoroughly enjoying.  Each podcast topic ranges from first amendment and religion rights, torts, constitutional law, and my favorite: State and Federal Courts.  All of the podcasts are FREE and are a great intro to law school (though I found them useful as an undergraduate).

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You Decide! Should both State and Federal Judges be elected by the people or appointed by the executive branch?

February 28, 2010 at 3:24 am (Law) ()

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Sandra Day O’Connor Daily Show Clip

February 28, 2010 at 3:02 am (Law) ()

Often we come to know the justices of the United States Supreme Court after they have stepped down from the bench.  My undergraduate poli sci professor who taught a class on SCOTUS lectured about the many reasons justices attempt to remain very private, so as not to reveal any insight into how they may rule on a particular issue.  This is an older clip from 2009 when Sandra Day O’Connor was on the Daily Show but I recently came across it and I think it exhibits Justice O’Connor’s personality as a person, rather than as a justice for the United States Supreme Court.

Since Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement she has been busy working on educational websites and tools for middle-school aged children to better understand the judiciary; her website ourcourts.org is actually very entertaining, there is an interactive (and addicting) online game where the student (read: me) can play an attorney, and clients enter the law firm explaining their issues and its up to the “lawyer” to determine whether the client’s constitutional rights have been infringed upon. 

Additionally, former justice O’Connor has been busily speaking in support of merit selection of judges not just at the federal level, but at the state level from the supreme appellate courts down to the trial courts.  I agree with this position and am in fact working on an extensive research paper on judicial selection and working with a local county judge.  I plan to submit my paper to my undergraduate’s research journal in hopes of having it published. . . . all the while studying for the June LSAT which I registered for two days ago.

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