Author Archives: Becky Beaupre Gillespie, Law School Communications

Through the eyes of a Nobel laureate’s wife

Ronald H. Coase and his wife, Marian, had just buckled themselves into their seats on the last leg of a journey from Chicago to Stockholm when an unusually loud and clear voice came over the in-cabin announcement system, jolting them to attention.

It was early December 1991, and their flights so far had been mercifully calm and relaxed. Less than two months earlier, the couple had been visiting Tunisia when a Reuters reporter approached them and became the first to tell the 80-year-old economist—a University of Chicago Law School professor well regarded as a founder and leader in the field of law and economics—that he’d won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. (“I didn’t know a thing,” Coase later recounted. “I’m really pretty fortunate to be in a place where it’s so difficult to reach me. It’s a good place to learn about it—a place so ancient.”)

Now, as the plane prepared for takeoff, someone on the cabin crew wanted everyone to know that a new Nobel laureate was on board—and that champagne would be served in his honor.

The first page of Marian Coase’s account. Source: Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 22], SCRC, UChicago Library.

“And it was, immediately, the trays of glasses having already been prepared,” Marian recalled in a 15-and-a-half page handwritten account of their visit to Sweden for the Nobel Prize ceremonies. “We were grateful that there was no spotlight on the plane to shine on us.”

So began the trip of a lifetime: one documented not just in news stories extolling Coase’s work on transaction costs and the nature of firms—but one chronicled in about a dozen Nobel-focused folders that are part of Ronald Coase Papers, which became publicly available earlier this year at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The collection, a 186-box treasure trove of research files, drafts, lectures, personal and professional correspondence, notes, reports, photographs, clippings, artifacts, and more, offers insight into both the mind and the man, a Law School legend who died in 2013 at age 102. Marian Coase died in 2012.

The materials documenting Coase’s 1991 Nobel Prize are just a small part of the 112.5-linear-feet collection. But they paint a picture of an extraordinary experience that only 923 global leaders in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, economics, and peace have shared. When Coase won the economics prize—which wasn’t established until 1969 and is technically the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel—it was a distinction he shared with only 30 others, nearly half of them associated with the University of Chicago.

This year, University of Chicago Professor Richard H. Thaler, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, was honored “for his contributions to behavioural economics”—becoming the 49th Nobel laureate in economics, and the 29th associated with the University of Chicago. Although Coase won his prize more than a quarter century ago—in a year of particularly elaborate festivities designed to mark the Nobel Prizes’ 90th anniversary—the artifacts in the Coase Papers offer a hint of what Thaler, and his wife, might expect when they travel to Sweden in December for the awards banquet and other events.

A congratulatory drawing from a young friend. Source: Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 24], SCRC, UChicago Library.

The Coase Papers include dinner invitations from ambassadors, printed University of Chicago Law School thank you notes (“I would have liked to reply individually but the numbers made this impossible”), news clippings, congratulatory notes, laureate information, letters nominating Coase for the Nobel in the 1970s and 1980s, and an official program emblazoned with a gold Nobel Prize seal. And then there’s Marian Coase’s neatly written account, assigned to its own folder. It is relayed with an attention to detail, as if she hoped to keep the particulars of their visit from being lost to history. She describes moments of splendor, from listening to Georg Solti conduct Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 at Stockholm Concert Hall (“Fortunately, we sat near enough to hear the machinery at work … I understood, from the sound of the first chord, why Solti … commands such high praise. It wasn’t just satisfying Brahms, it was great Brahms”) to dining at the Royal Palace at a dinner given by the King and Queen of Sweden.

“The meal was chosen with the skillful restraint of a grand gourmet who was, I was informed, the King himself,” she wrote. “He was also responsible for hunting the deer whose meat, exceptional in both flavor & in texture, was the star offering of the main course.”

Dinner invitations from ambassadors. Source: Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 23], SCRC, UChicago Library.

Marian marvels again and again at the efficiency, organization, and planning expertise displayed by the Nobel Foundation, and she tells of the “intricate maze of events” that were at once spectacular and exhausting.

The couple, who had been traveling until mid-November that year, had only two and a half weeks in Chicago before leaving for Stockholm. Preparations had been intense, with Ronald fielding congratulatory notes and interview requests while writing his 45-minute Nobel lecture and three-minute banquet remarks and Marian assembling appropriate “special events” wardrobes, something she’d never troubled about in previous travels. Garment alterations stretched to the last minute; in fact, she’d set down her needle and thread “only moments before rushing off to O’Hare Airport.”

Coase’s name tag and lecture from the Nobel events. Source: Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 17], SCRC, UChicago Library.

In addition to the time pressure, there had been the sudden shock of sad news: Ronald Coase’s friend and colleague George Stigler, the 1982 Nobel laureate in economics and a member of the University’s economics faculty, had died suddenly on December 1, just days before Coase left for Stockholm. The grieving Coase offered a tribute as a prologue to his prize lecture, Marian wrote, adding that his words “seemed to lead his friend into the auditorium to acknowledge all the allusions to him in the Lecture.” Afterward, numerous people came by to tell Ronald that he’d given a fine eulogy. (Stigler actually formulated and named the Coase Theorem based on an argument Coase made in his well-known 1960 paper on transaction costs, “The Problem of Social Cost.” In his lecture, Coase made this distinction.)

The action-packed week hit its crescendo the next day when 1,300 people gathered for the much-anticipated Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet.

“One was warned not to make too many demands on one’s energy the day before as the day itself would be long & arduous & it all was going to be televised,” Marian wrote. “Everyone was counted on to be punctual and not to make mistakes. The Laureates were taken to the auditorium & rehearsed—& no doubt the King and Queen went through their paces as well.”

The demanding pace ultimately took its toll, and Coase fell ill with a cold and fever on the flight home. On Christmas Day, Ronald and Marian Coase finally “abandoned ourselves to sleep & awoke, unbelievably, 18 hours later,” Marian reported. “It was no longer Christmas but late in the morning of the 26th.”

Thank you cards. Source: Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 19], SCRC, UChicago Library.

Despite the physical impact, the week had included various thrilling extras. The day after the banquet, Ronald, who had explored the economics of lighthouse management in some of his work, was taken for a private visit to the Swedish Lighthouse Authority. Two days before the banquet at Stockholm City Hall, the Coases were able to make a private visit to the building to admire the “bold design that had made a strong impression on us when we saw it forty-five years ago,” Marian wrote. And on the way back to the States, they had a nice stop in Paris.

Afterward, as Ronald settled into life as a Nobel laureate, someone compiled an album, pages of which are preserved in the collection. Affixed to the sticky pages with clear plastic overlay are yellowing news clippings, including a Chicago Tribune story featuring a photo of Marian and Ronald locked in a tender kiss, and a hand-drawn note of congratulations with multiple signatures. There’s a picture, too, of a blue ribbon labeled “Nobel Prize Economics” drawn in marker by a 12-year-old who appears to be a family friend.

The same child wrote him a poem that also relays the magnitude of the experience:

There once was a scholar named Coase,
Whom for the Nobel Prize they chose.
He was surprised at a prize of this size,
And now for pictures he does pose.
Hats off to Dr. Ronald Coase!

Poems by a young friend. Coase, Ronald H. Papers, [Box 1, Folder 24], Special Collections Research Center, UChicago Library.

Introducing Scott Vanderlin, new Student Services Librarian

Scott Vanderlin joined the D’Angelo Law Library on September 5 as our new Student Services Librarian. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Scott worked at the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library and also served as a Reference Associate and taught first year legal research for three years at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University School of Law.

Todd Ito, Head of Instruction and Outreach, interviewed Scott to find out how he plans to work with faculty and students, how he became a law librarian, and about his love for craft beer, indiepop, and artisanal candles.Photo of Scott Vanderlin

What were you doing before you came to the University of Chicago?

For the past 6 years, I worked at Chicago-Kent College of Law as a reference librarian and then briefly as the Associate Director for Research and Instructional Services. Pretty much just hanging out.

What’s your favorite thing about being a law librarian?

I’d be lying if I said that the glory wasn’t nice, but honestly I just really like being able to help students out with an aspect of law school that is not always the easiest or most exciting. And, every day I get to learn about new areas of the law and interesting research that is being done by scholars all around me. So, law librarianship is both intellectually and personally satisfying for me.

What originally got you interested in law libraries?

Most of the things that led me to this career probably happened subconsciously, and over a number of years. When I did make the decision to actually pursue law librarianship, however, it was towards the beginning of my 3L year, and I was slowly realizing that while everyone else couldn’t wait to graduate, all I wanted to do was keep reading, learning, researching, writing, etc. Basically, my favorite things about law school were the things that a lot of my classmates couldn’t wait to be done with. At the same time, I went to law school with the conscious, if vague, idea that I wanted to use my education to help people. I assumed that the “where” and “how” of helping people would become clearer as I learned more about the law, and I guess that while I was slowly backing away from the idea of traditional legal practice, I bumped into the thing I was supposed to be doing all along.

tl;dr: I like law school, doing research, and helping people.

Do you have any advice for law students from when you were a law school student?

I mean, yeah. Tons. Fiercely protect the things about you that make you unique–being different is the best possible thing you can be. BUT, also learn to adapt to the people around you when the situation calls for it–a lot of life is a game, so learn to enjoy it and figure out how to play it well. Look at your professors’ past exams. Don’t take your health for granted–you’re not invincible. Call your parents–they miss you. Nurture your closest friendships–you’ll need them, and neglect can be a tough thing to undo. Learn how to handle criticism. Figure out a study routine that works for you and don’t be intimidated if it’s not the same as someone else’s. Read books for pleasure. Make use of CALI lessons. Travel as often as you get a chance. Learn how to be completely fine on your own–then find somebody who makes you not want to be. Ask librarians for help.

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

Craft beer, fantasy football, candle making, reading, indiepop, personal finance, listening to podcasts, sleeping.

What’s the best thing you read, watched, or listened to recently?

Read

Listened to

Duh.

 

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer

Your law student accounts for Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law can all be used over the summer, though under different terms for each service.

Westlaw

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

Unlike last year, you do not have to do anything to gain access to these tools over the summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students will have full access to Westlaw through June 30, 2017. Graduating students can also continue to use Westlaw through the Graduate Elite program, which will extend their access through the end of November. Graduating students should have received an email regarding this program and can locate information about the Graduate Elite program on the https://lawschool.westlaw.com homepage.

For help or more information, contact the Law School’s Westlaw Account Manager Tami Carson at Tami.Carson@thomsonreuters.com.

Lexis

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Returning students will have full access to Lexis Advance during the summer without special registration.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduates have full Lexis Advance access through December 31, 2017. For help or more information, contact our LexisNexis Account Executive, Carter Mills Isham at carter.mills@lexisnexis.com.

Bloomberg Law

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Bloomberg Law provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer. There is no need to register, as your student account will remain active and available all summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Students graduating this spring have unlimited and unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.

For help or more information, contact our Bloomberg Law Account Manager, Chrishantha Vedhanayagam at cvedhanayagam@bna.com.

Exam preparation resources at the D’Angelo Law Library

The D’Angelo Law Library provides a variety of resources to help students prepare for exams.

Past exams: Perhaps most importantly, the Library provides copies of past exams given at the Law School, in addition to model student answers and memos written by the professors where available. The exams are organized by course and faculty member. Everything we have been given permission to post is available on the Library website.

Screenshot of Law Library website

Study Supplements: Another helpful resource for preparing student outlines and studying for exams are the many study supplements, including the popular Examples & Explanations and Understanding series, that are available in the Reserve Room. Our Hornbooks & Study Supplements page provides lists of the available study supplements by course name. Students also have access to the online West Academic Study Aids package. This package provides online access to many of the study supplements, including West’s Concise Hornbook Series, the Law Stories Series, and all of the Nutshells.

CALI Lessons: If you prefer something more interactive, CALI lessons might be the resource for you.  The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) provides UofC law students with access to nearly 1,000 internet-based lessons on different legal topics. Lessons range from core 1L courses (92 lessons on property, for example) to many different upper level courses. CALI lessons are often interactive and feature questions to test your knowledge as you go through them. If you have not already registered an account with CALI, you can Ask a Law Librarian to get the authorization code for the Law School.

Student Outlines: Student outlines for various courses taught at the Law School are made available by the UChicago Law Students Association (LSA) in an online outline bank on the LSA’s website. You will need to enter a password to access. If you do not have the password, Ask a Law Librarian.

Study Rooms: If you want to meet with a study group, the D’Angelo Law Library has seven study rooms that can be reserved online: two study rooms on each of the 4th, 5th and 6th floors, and one study room on the second floor. Law students may reserve use of a study room using the Law School’s room reservation system. For further assistance, see How to Reserve a Law Library Study Room.

Quiet Study Space: Quieter study spaces are available on the upper floors of the Law Library. Law School students are also able to study in any of the other libraries on campus. Crerar, Mansueto, and Regenstein will extend weekend building hours during reading period and finals week. For a full list of library hours, see https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/using/libraries-hours/.

Lockers: Please remember to secure your belongings when you take breaks. You can check out a locker key from the Circulation Desk. Library lockers are located in the northeast corner of the second and third floors. Two types of lockers are available: laptop lockers, which are smaller and each equipped with an electrical outlet, and bookbag lockers, which are large enough to accommodate a bookbag and/or coat.

Good luck with exams!

Apply for the D’Angelo Law Library Student Advisory Board

Do you want to help shape the D’Angelo Law Library experience for you and your fellow students? If you do, consider applying for the D’Angelo Law Library Student Advisory Board. We’re looking for Law School students from all class years (including incoming 1L and LLM students) and who participate in a range of student organizations and extracurricular activities. Even if you don’t think you use the library very much, we want to hear from you, too!

The Board was started in 2012, and the students’ feedback has led to several improvements in Library services. Minutes from previous meetings are available on the Board’s webpage. The librarians look forward to receiving more valuable feedback from this year’s Board on a variety of topics, from library hours to legal research instruction in the Bigelow program to promotion of Library services like UBorrow and Scan & Deliver. The Board will meet approximately two times per quarter, with the meeting dates and times set once Board members are selected.

To apply, fill out the brief online application by Friday, October 14. For questions or additional information, please contact Todd Ito at tito@uchicago.edu.

Student Advisory Board Application: https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/law/about/advisoryboard/dllboardapp/ 

Guide to researching legal employers

To help you prepare for OCI this week, the library has created a Guide to Researching Legal Employers. It contains quick links to directories and legal news sources, as well as sources for law firm profiles and biographies for judges and attorneys. Among the many resources the Library provides access to is ALM Legal Intelligence, which includes the full-text of ALM Survey & Ranking reports, including the AmLaw 200 and the ALM Midlevel and Summer Associate Surveys.

Summer research tips for law students

Whether you will be on campus or away from Chicago, the D’Angelo Law Library provides many resources and services to help support your research during the summer. If you are working as a summer associate, you should review our Research Guide for Ensuring Summer Success, and if you are working as a faculty research assistant, you should consult our Library Guide for Law School Faculty Research Assistants.

Other summer research tips include:

Access to Online Resources
The Library’s electronic resources (including ebooks and ejournals) may be accessed no matter where you are located this summer. Learn how to connect to our online resources from off-campus. Returning Law School students will also continue to have full access to Bloomberg Law and Lexis Advance during the summer, while there are some restrictions on use of Westlaw. For the full details, see Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer.

Finding the Best Research Tools
D’Angelo Law librarians have created a number of online research guides on various topics. To identify a leading treatise in a particular area of law, you can also consult our Treatise Finder. The Library also provides help guides on finding specific types of sources, such as newspapers or data.

Scan and Deliver
Do you need to read a case, journal article, or book chapter that is not available online? Use our Scan and Deliver service to request a copy be sent to you via e-mail.

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Librarians are available during the summer to help you–in person or remotely via our Ask a Law Librarian service.

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements
The Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements with several academic libraries which allow UChicago students and faculty to borrow books directly from their collections. These include libraries in Borrow Direct Plus, as well as several Chicago-area institutions, including Northwestern.

Visiting Other Libraries
If you need to visit libraries and archives outside our reciprocal agreements, view our guide to doing research at other libraries before your visit. You’ll find tips on how to access different institutions, and strategies for identifying relevant collections.

Learn About Citation Managers
Summer is an ideal time to learn how citation managers can ease your research process.  Use citation managers such as Zotero or EndNote to organize your research and create footnotes and bibliographies automatically for your paper.  View the Library’s online tutorial for Zotero or guides to learn more about these tools.

Ask a Law Librarian/Reference Services
Librarians are on hand throughout the summer to help you with your research. Contact them directly via our Ask a Law Librarian service.  Or, if you are staying in Chicago, this may be a good time to schedule a consultation with a law librarian who can suggest sources and research strategies for your project.

Graduating? Services and Tools to Support Your Research
Alumni can continue to visit and use our campus libraries if they live in the Chicago area. The Library and Alumni Association provide off-campus access to select research databases for alumni. Graduating Law School students will also have some degree of access to Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw after graduation. For the full details, see Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer.

D’Angelo Law Library summer hours

Beginning June 11, 2016, the D’Angelo Law Library will be on our summer schedule. The Circulation Desk and Reserve Room will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the Reference Desk will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Law Library will be closed Saturdays and Sundays during the summer. We will resume regular hours in September before the start of Autumn Quarter.

Prepare to Practice legal research workshop, May 20

The Law Library has organized a series of legal research workshops focused on getting students ready for their summer work. On Friday, April 8, from 3:30 – 5:00 pm, in Room IV, we will be hosting a Keystone program featuring representatives from Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw, who will talk about using these services in practice, from how to be cost-effective to how to do transactional law research.

Following the April 8 program, there will be further legal research workshops on the following days:

  • Lexis: Prepare to Practice – Monday, April 18, 12:15 pm, in Room F
  • Bloomberg Law: Prepare to Practice (register here) – Thursday, April 21, 12:15 pm, in Room E
  • Westlaw: Prepare to Practice (sign up here) – Friday, April 22, 12:15 pm, in Room F
  • Bloomberg Law: Prepare to Practice (register here) – Wednesday, April 27, 12:15 pm, in Room E
  • Lexis: Prepare to Practice – Wednesday, May 18, 12:15 pm, in Room F
  • Prepare to Practice: Beyond Bloomberg Law, Lexis, & Westlaw (register here)- Friday, May 20, 12:15 pm, in Room F

D’Angelo Law Library spring interim hours, Mar. 14 – 26

Beginning Monday, March 14, the D’Angelo Law Library will have reduced building hours for Spring Break. The Library will be open from 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday and closed on the weekends. Normal hours resume Sunday, March 27.

For a complete list of hours for all locations and departments, see hours.lib.uchicago.edu.