Category Archives: Legal Publications

Legal Information & Technology SSRN eJournal Offers Law Library Scholarship

Happy Birthday to the Legal Information & Technology eJournal which just concluded its fifth year.  This SSRN eJournal, curated by Randy Diamond and Lee Peoples, provides a platform for the dissemination of law library scholarship.

Beginning this year, the journal, which has heretofore been sponsored by  the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, will be self-sustaining.

I subscribe to this journal and frequently find many interesting and useful articles.  Institutional and individual subscription information is available at  Note that many university departments and other institutions have purchased site subscriptions covering all various eJournals.

Here’s a sampling of some of the articles in the upcoming issue of the Legal Information & Technology eJournal:

“White Slavery in the Northwoods” describes major WI & MI 19th cen. sex trafficking scandal

I’m pleased to share that my article, White Slavery in the Northwoods: Early U.S. Anti-Sex Trafficking and its Continuing Relevance to Trafficking Reform, has been accepted for publication in the William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law.  It will appear in a special issue in 2016 but it’s available now on SSRN.

This article is rather special to me as the subject and research have been of enduring interest to me for many years.  In fact, the topic is an extension of my very first article (my undergrad history thesis) on the history of prostitution in Eau Claire.

This new article explains how the lumber and mining camps of Northern Wisconsin and Michigan became the center of a major sex trafficking (aka “white slavery”) scandal in the late nineteenth-century.  It’s got virgins and villains, armed guards and attack dogs, yellow journalism, lies and political finger pointing, an amazingly strong heroine, and, of course, plenty of sex scandal.

It’s a truly fascinating story – one that could be, and in fact has, been the subject of an award-winning Hollywood screen play.  But it also has enduring impact as many of the strategies that these nineteenth century anti-traffickers originated to achieve law reform are still used today – strategies that were as dubious then as they are now.

Here’s the abstract:

This article provides a unique and comprehensive analysis of the first U.S. anti-sex trafficking movement and its continuing impact on trafficking reform today. It explores the significant, yet little known campaign against the trade of young, white women, a practice called “white slavery,” which emerged in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and Michigan in the 1880s. It examines the strategies developed by these late nineteenth-century activists, specifically the use of exaggeration and sensationalism, and demonstrates how trafficking reformers are still using these techniques today despite their dubious authority and effectiveness.

Part I will consider why the Northwoods became a focal point for white slavery in the nineteenth-century, specifically exploring the impact of the economic, demographic, and social changes occurring in the region at that time, as well as the role of the burgeoning mass media. It will also examine the escalating nature of the Northwoods white slavery allegations and the public outcry that they caused. Next, it will study the strategies developed by anti-trafficking activists, specifically the use of exaggeration and sensationalism to garner support. Finally, it will investigate Wisconsin’s and Michigan’s responses to white slavery and consider why this nineteenth-century campaign failed to generate the level of national law reform achieved by later anti-trafficking movements.

Part II will attempt to glean some truth about the existence and extent of prostitution and sex trafficking in the Northwoods in the nineteenth-century, specifically acknowledging that many historians now believe that white slavery was a myth. It will conclude with a demonstration of how the exaggeration and sensationalism strategies developed by nineteenth-century anti-trafficking activists are still being used today and an inquiry into whether or not such techniques encourage effective law reform.

An earlier version of White Slavery in the Northwoods was awarded the 2014 Morris L. Cohen (Law) Student Essay Competition from the American Association of Law Libraries Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section.

I’d love to hear your comments on the article.  You can find my email address on my profile page.


Water Law in Wisconsin

My colleague, Jenny Zook, has written a great piece on Water Law in Wisconsin for the latest Inside Track from the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Here’s the abstract:

The Great Lakes Region, at about 20 percent the world’s surface fresh water, stands to play an important role in the world’s global water market. Jenny Zook suggests this future demand for water is an opportunity for lawyers to effect policy and help safeguard Wisconsin’s natural resource. Here are some resources to get you started.

Will Including an Abstract and Table of Contents in your Law Review Article Increase Citations to It?

There is an interesting article on SSRN about whether including an abstract and/or table of contents in your law review article can have an impact on your scholarly influence.
The authors observed that “on average both abstracts and tables of contents associate with large increases in scholarly influence. Compared to articles that use neither document element, articles that include just an abstract are cited on average roughly 50% more, and articles that include just a table of contents roughly 30% more. Including both document elements corresponds to the largest increase in citation, over 70%.”
Here is the article:
Should Your Law Review Article Have an Abstract and Table of Contents?
Lee Petherbridge & Christopher A. Cotropia

Researching Tribal Law

If you’ve ever had to research an issue related to Native American law, you know how difficult locating tribal law sources can be. An article that I wrote, which was just published in Law Library Journal may help you track down those elusive tribal law materials.
The article, entitled ‘Whatever Tribal Precedent There May Be’: The (Un)Availability of Tribal Law, appears in the Spring 2014 issue of Law Library Journal.
The article explores the costs and benefits of publishing tribal law. Part I analyzes why tribal law is not more widely available; part II illustrates the benefits of making tribal law more accessible; and part III describes publication options for tribes. An appendix lists currently available tribal law collections.

UW Law School named 3rd Best School for Practical Training

National Jurist recently released their rankings of law schools for best practical training. The UW Law School placed third in the nation, receiving an “A+” for the experience it gives students.
Congrats to all the hard-working faculty and staff here at the law school! It is great to see such a great group of individuals be recognized for their hard work.
To read the full National Jurist article, click here.

The newest UW Law School Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Here is the most recent UW Law School Faculty and Staff scholarship from the UW Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.
*Agricultural Cooperatives and the Law: Obsolete Statutes in a Dynamic Economy by Peter Carstensen, University of Wisconsin Law School
*Jim Jones: A Teacher, a Mentor, and an Inspiration to Law Students by William C. Whitford, University of Wisconsin Law School
*Short-Circuiting Contract Law: The Federal Circuit’s Contract Law Jurisprudence and IP Federalism by Shubha Ghosh, University of Wisconsin Law School
*The Implementation of Exhaustion Policies: Lessons from National Experiences by Shubha Ghosh, University of Wisconsin Law School
*Commandeering, Coercion, and the Deep Structure of American Federalism by Andrew B. Coan, University of Wisconsin Law School

The newest UW Law School Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Here is the most recent UW Law School Faculty and Staff scholarship from the UW Law School Legal Studies Research Papers series found on SSRN.
Fathers Behind Bars: Rethinking Child Support Policy Toward Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers and Their Families by Tonya L. Brito, University of Wisconsin Law School
On Fallibility and Finality: Why Thinking Like a Qadi Helps Me Understand American Constitutional Law by Asifa Quraishi, University of Wisconsin Law School
Judicial Gatekeeping of Suspect Evidence: Due Process and Evidentiary Rules in the Age of Innocence by Keith A. Findley, University of Wisconsin Law School
No Altars: A Survey of Islamic Family Law in United States by Asifa Quraishi, University of Wisconsin Law School and Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Independent
Fixing Students’ Fixed Mindsets: Paving the Way for Meaningful Assessment by Carrie Sperling, University of Wisconsin Law School, Frank J. Remington Center and Susan Shapcott, Arizona State University (ASU)
The Unbearable Lightness of Criminal Procedure by Ion Meyn, University of Wisconsin Law School

Ads from Legal Publishers during Wartime

The AALL Spectrum Online has a very interesting article examining advertisements from legal periodicals and bar publications published during the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War.
“Due to the scale and scope of the conflict, every aspect of civilian life was affected. The American legal system, including legal publishing, was greatly transformed by the conflict.”
Many very interesting ads are reprinted in the article. I think that my favorite is the one from Shepards pondering “Were the Pilgrims Communists?”

Thomson Reuters Sells Law School Publishing Division

By Kris Turner, Reference and Technology Services Librarian
Thomson Reuters has officially gotten out of print publishing for law schools. On Friday, February 2nd, the publishing wing of the legal research giant was sold to Eureka Growth Capital, a private equity firm located in Philadelphia. It seems that paper publishing is not something that Thomson Reuters will be involved with in the future, at least for legal research. According to spokesman John Shaughnessy, “It’s a segment of the market that, longer-term, we didn’t see as within the core of our legal research offerings…”, suggesting that Thomson Reuters will be focusing solely on electronic content in the near future.
Westlaw Next and other e-resources that Thomson Reuters provides will continue to be available to legal researchers. The publishing wing, which was sold for an undisclosed sum, will continue to publish various textbooks and study guides, but will now go under the name “West Academic Publishing”. Thomson’s legal business, of which the publishing was only a small part, will continue with sales of software and online databases.
For more information, see Eureka Growth Capital’s press release or read the brief articles covering the sale in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal or Wall Street Journal Blog.