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In a October 13, 2014 appearance on Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed. TV program, Prof. Thomas M. McDonnell addressed the challenge posed by the rise of ISIS. He explained “what led to the situation we now face in the war torn countries, and discusse[d] how our involvement should be open to a national debate.” In the interview, he summarizes the major immediate and historical causes that gave rise to the ISIS terrorist group, outlines the role of U.S. Senate and its authority in declaring war, and addresses the use and the effectiveness of the use of drones by the U.S. military.


Thomas M. McDonnell is a Professor of International Law at Pace Law School where along International Law, he also teaches International Human Rights, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law. His work related to the struggle against terrorism also includes the following:


2010 Orientation 40The following are the most recent additions to our Law in Film collection. This collection is housed on the library’s main level in the student lounge. All Pace Law Library patrons with borrowing privileges may check any of these films out at no charge for up to five days. Come by and check it out!

Environmental Law

Damnation (Patagonia’s Stoecker Ecological + Felt Soul Media production; executive producer, Yvon Chouinard; produced by Matt Stoecker and Travis Rummel; directed by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel; narration written by Ben Knight) [PN1997.2 .D36 2014 DVD] – “This film odyssey across America explores the sea change in national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.”

Pandora’s Promise (Impact Partners present in association with Robert Stone Productions, Vulcan Productions and CNN Films a Robert Stone film) [TK9145 .P36 2014 DVD] – Favorite at the Sundance Film Festival, Pandora’s Promise “asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty.”

Criminal Law

The Wire: The Complete Series (presented by HBO Original Programming; producer, Nina Kostroff Noble et al.; directed by Clark Johnson et al.; written and created by David Simon et al.) [PN1992.77.W57 W57 2011 DVD] – All five seasons of an urban epic set in Baltimore, where police detectives investigate cases involving the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and its bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media.

Mental Health Law

I am Sam (by New Line Cinema presents; directed by Jessie Nelson; written by Kristine Johnson & Jessie Nelson; produced by Jessie Nelson et al.; Richard Solomon, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick; in association with “Sam” productions GMBH & Co. Kg; a Bedford Falls company, Red Fish Blue Fish films production) [PN1997.2 .I165 2002 DVD] - Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks, is obsessed with the Beatles and has a daughter with a homeless woman who abandons them. As the daughter reaches age 7, Sam’s limitations start to become a problem. When the authorities take his daughter away, Sam shames a high-priced lawyer into taking his case pro bono.

Via In Custodia Legis, the Library of Congress announced that through an agreement with William S. Hein & Co., it will now offer free online access to historical U.S. legal materials, which include the following:

These titles are available through the Guide to Law Online: U.S. Federal compiled by Library of Congress.

Check this article from the ABA Journal “Ten Tips for Better Legal Writing” to help you produce better legal papers through research, understanding, and proofreading.

The New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) has recommended to the New York Court of Appeals that New York adopt the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), effective with the July 2015 bar exam. This proposal is open for comments until Nov. 7, 2014. From the request for public comment:

The UBE is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and passage of the test would produce a portable score that can be used to gain admission in other states that accept the UBE, provided the applicant satisfies any other jurisdiction-specific admission requirements. As the UBE is accepted by more states, the portable score will facilitate lawyer mobility across state lines, resulting in expanded employment opportunities for lawyers throughout the nation and facilitating multi-state law practices.

Persons or organizations wishing to comment on this proposal should e-mail their submissions to UniformBarExam@nycourts.gov or write to: Diane Bosse, Chair, New York State Board of Law Examiners, Corporate Plaza, Building 3, 254 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, NY 12203-5195. Submissions will be accepted until November 7, 2014.

Anyone can comment on the proposal, but the comment period closes on Nov. 7, 2014.

New York Court of Appeals Request for Comment

Below please find a list of select environmental reports published in September 2014.

Congressional Research Service Reports

Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

International Energy Agency

National Academies Press

Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)

World Bank

World Resources Institute

World Wildlife Fund

Bottles for Books MagnetThis fall the Pace Law Library instituted a new sustainability and fundraising initiative, Bottles for Books.  Since the Law Library’s renovation, food and drinks have been allowed in the stacks and study spaces.  However, while the Law Library has a number of recycle bins available, when students “just” recycle, the Library loses out on money available through the New York State Deposit Bottle Program.  With Bottles for Books, the Law Library hopes to transform those bottles into valuable additions to the collection with all proceeds going to The Nicholas Triffin Environmental Law Research Fund.

The Triffin Environmental Law Research Fund was created to honor the memory of Professor Nicholas Triffin, Pace Law Library Director, 1984-1998, who originally developed the Environmental Law collection. Contributions to the Triffin Environmental Law Research Fund are used to purchase new materials that enhance the Environmental Law collection and maintain the Law Library’s position at the forefront of Environmental Law research.  Donations go towards the purchase of environmental books, DVDs, journals, and databases.

The U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Law Revision Counsel recently announced new  Title 52 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), titled Voting and Elections. Unlike Title 51, National and  Commercial Space Programs, which was enacted by Congress in 2010, the new Title is an “editorial reclassification” that will relocate provisions on voting and election-related laws from existing titles 2 and 42 into the new Title 52 (a chart of the Code section changes is available at the Office of Law Revision Counsel website). Title 52 took effect on September 1 for the electronic version of the United States Code, and will be included in Supplement II to the 2012 print edition of the Code.

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel recommended more than five years ago that Congress enact a proposed new Title 52 into positive law. However, Congress failed to take any action on the proposal, so the Law Revision Counsel created Title 52 as an editorial reclassification, which is considered a routine transfer of existing Code sections that the editors can undertake unilaterally.

The Law Revision Counsel editors have proposed additional potential new titles of the Code. These titles await congressional action in the future:

  • Title 53: Small Business
  • Title 54: National Park System
  • Title 55: Environment

Below please find a list of select environmental reports published in August 2014.

Congressional Research Service Reports

Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

National Academies Press

Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

  • Global Environment Outlook: Small Island Developing States
  • Our Planet: Small Island Developing States
  • Forests in a Changing Climate: A Sourcebook for Integrating REDD+ into Academic Programmes
  • Keeping Track of Adaptation Actions in Africa: Targeted Fiscal Stimulus Actions Making  Difference

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)

World Bank

World Resources Institute

The Pace Law Library is proud to share that our very own Institute of International Commercial Law at Pacethat founded, developed and has maintained the CISG Database(the largest collection of primary and secondary materials on the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods) is among the signatories of the Lyon Declaration.

The Lyon Declaration, On Access to Information and Development, is an advocacy document drafted by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) and a number of other partners in the library and development communities in the first part of 2014. It is intended to positively influence the content of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda.

Read more about the declaration here, where you can learn why signing such declaration is a good idea, how to sign it, and the overall purpose of the declaration.

To view the growing list of signatories, click here. Additionally, the declaration is available in seven languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic, with the English version wording prevailing.

We, the undersigned, believe that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives.

We therefore call upon the Member States of the United Nations to make an international commitment to use the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, use and share the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies.

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