Happy 450th Birthday William Shakespeare!?

The only documents related to William Shakespeare’s birth are church records recording his baptism in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564. So Shakespeare’s birthday has traditionally been celebrated a few days before that date.

The Bard clearly had an interest in law, referencing law and lawyers frequently in his plays. We have a number of books in the law library discussing legal references in Shakespeare’s work, including:


Films & Fiction

Check out the law library’s recently added Legal Fiction and DVD collection.

The collection is located in the first floor reading room. A list of available titles is available HERE.



Introducing Our New Legal Fiction and DVD Collection!

The library is happy to offer GMUSL patrons a new collection of law-themed novels and films. Please take a minute to browse these materials on the display in the first floor reading room. DVDs are available for an extended checkout period over the winter break.

Interested in learning more about law and film? Check out these titles:

More on law in literature? Search our catalog for “law in literature” as a subject heading.

If you have suggestions for books or movies to add to the collection, please contact Reference and Outreach Services Librarian Debbie Shrager (dshrager@gmu.edu).


The Paper Chase Turns 40

The classic law school film The Paper Chase was released on October 16,1973. Based on the book by then Harvard law student John Jay Osborn, Jr., the film is especially known for John Housman’s oscar-winning performance as the infamous Professor Kingsfield (“Mister Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”)

Both the Book and DVD of the film are available in the law library’s new Popular Collection, located in the first floor reading room.


Banned Book Week 2012

It is the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week—an annual event launched by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom to “promote awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrate[s] freedom of speech.”

The Banned Books Week Website includes a variety of information, including top ten lists of challenged books from the past decade. The 2011 list includes the legal classic To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

Federal Courts have struck down a variety of efforts to ban access to books.  A list of some of these cases is available on the ALA website here.


“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence”*

Today marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens, of course, was a prolific chronicler of English law and legal institutions—-warts and all. Dickens’ descriptions of the law and lawyers often did not paint a rosy picture.  See this recent New York Times Op-ed piece.

But two centuries later, Dickens remains an influential voice in the legal world.  His books are referenced in hundreds of law review articles.  Last Term, Chef Justice Roberts began an opinion quoting Bleak House.  Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. _, 131 S. Ct. 2594, 2600 (2011).

Happy Bicentennial Charles Dickens!

*Great Expectations

Read a Good Book Lately?

In honor of today’s celebration of Read Across America Day, here are some recommended fiction titles available in the law library:

Christopher Buckley, Supreme CourtshipPS 3552.U3394 S87 2008

S. Scott Gaille, The Law Review.   PS 3607.A755 L28 2002

John Grisham,  Associate. PS 3557.R5355 A95 2009

John Grisham, Brethren.  PS 3557.R5355 B74 2000

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.  PS 3563.E353T6 1995

John Mortimer, Rumpole and the Reign of Terror.  PR 6025.O7552 R787 2006

John J. Osborn, The Associates. PS 3565.S38 O7694 1979

Barry Reed, The Verdict.  PS 3568 .E36475 V47

Kermit Roosevelt, In the Shadow of the Law.  PS 3618.O68 I5 2005

Natalie Wexler,  A  More Obedient Wife:  A Novel of the Early Supreme Court.  PS 3623.E954 M67 2006