PLL Perspectives Volume 16 Issue 4 (Summer 2005)

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Spring 2005 Volume 16 Issue 4

entire issue in Adobe Acrobat format 

FROM THE CHAIR

by Sue H. Johnson, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP, Dallas, TX
 

FEATURES

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES: THE HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP EXPERIENCE
by Riva Laughlin, Jennifer Stephens, Stephanie Towery and David Bader,Haynes & Boone, Dallas, TX
 

PLL NEWS

AALL 2005 PLL SPONSORED PROGRAMS
by Jenny Kanji, LexisNexis Librarian Relations Group

NEWS FROM THE CHAIR OF THE RECORDS/CONFLICTS MANAGEMENT GROUP
by Lee R. Nemchek, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Los Angeles, CA
 

AALL NEWS

LEARN FROM THE FCIL FOLKS (FOREIGN, COMPARATIVE & INTERNATIONAL LAW)
By Mary Rumsey, University of Minnesota Law Library, Minneapolis, MN

THINGS ARE BIGGER IN TEXAS!
by Monica M. Ortale, South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX

MY 10 FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT TEXAS
by Mary Forman, Semi-Native
 

 

 

Sue H. Johnson

 

�That was a learning experience!� is often used facetiously when an event does not turn out as expected, and is, in fact, a real bummer. However, the phrase can be used affirmatively, as in the meetings of AALL local chapters, regional chapters and, of course, the national convention. Attendees at SWALL this year were encouraged to learn the steps individuals need to take to effect change, beginning with the awareness that the process of change is necessary, persuading our firms to undertake change, implementing change and receiving (hopefully, positive)feedback. We, as leaders, can set clear goals and inspire a vision in our firms to enable others to put the desired change in motion by providing the information, tools and training needed and communicating, collaborating, and encouraging the change. That can be a positive learning experience! The library may no longer be just a place, or a place at all, but a virtual experience. That will not frighten us, or make us feel inadequate if we have prepared ourselves, through learning experiences, to take charge of the change process. Attendance at AALL meetings provides us with these �learning experiences�, by attending sessions, listening to outstanding speakers, networking and scoping out the exhibit hall. Plan on going to San Antonio, soaking up all the information available and returning to your firms renewed, refreshed, re-energized!


Another learning experience we sometime ignore is how to market ourselves. I have recently attended several excellent meetings where marketing was emphasized. It�s not about attorneys making contacts leading to new business, it�s about attorneys realizing how we can help them bring in that business. We must promote ourselves to partners as being better, lower priced researchers than new associates, and promote ourselves to new associates as being solvers of all their research problems. I�m sure you all know to read current literature and send anything of interest to the appropriate person; do you provide superior �customer service� by personally delivering that item-quickly? Are you visible or hidden in your office? Do you lead your attorneys to learning experiences of their own by providing short training sessions, lists of new publications, valuable web sites or free on-line trials of e-letters? I�m sure I�m stating the obvious, but marketing may be contrary to our natures and becoming a skilled promoter is a learning experience.


PLL is excited about the upcoming AALL centennial, but remembering our past may be a learning experience for many of you. Elizabeth LeDoux, chair of our Centennial Committee is eager to help you learn. She urges you long-time librarians to share your memories with newer members of our profession, so they will love it as we do. If you have clever ideas, fabulous photos, meaningful thoughts, contact Elizabeth at Covington Burling and learn the history of AALL, beginning at the San Antonio Convention and continuing through the St. Louis meeting next year. Come prepared to be informed.

Remember, information is not a luxury but a necessity; resolve to learn something new every day!

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES: THE HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP EXPERIENCE

by Riva Laughlin, Jennifer Stephens, Stephanie Towery and David Bader.

Haynes & Boone, Dallas, TX

 

A Brief Introduction: the Library takes over BD research


In August 2004, a decision was made to transfer the research aspect of the firm�s Business Development department to the professional librarian staff. Previously, two people had handled the various queries for the firm. Their work product, lengthy reports, spiced with illustrations of charts, tables, graphs, etc. was considered good, but had also generated large expenses and took a sizeable amount of time.
There were many reasons for making this change: the firm�s librarian staff, while spread over three cities, was a highly professional and cohesive corps, accustomed to working together on joint projects. Seasoned by some 70+ years accumulated reference experience, wide and in-depth knowledge of legal and business resources, plus the law librarian�s ingrained imperative of conducting effective and efficient searches, it was a logical conclusion that librarians could also handle this type of information request in a timely manner and for considerably less cost.


There were some caveats laid down at the outset. It was expressly stated again and again that the librarians would not be in the business of producing desktop published reports. They would do the research, collect the information, organize it to a degree, and pass it along. There would be no analysis � the business equivalent of �we don�t interpret the law.� With that, the experiment began.

The requests start rolling in�.


We receive many different types of request, many starting with the phrase, �I�d like a list of companies or clients,� and the criteria are piled on from there. The criteria might be as simple as �all companies in the metropolitan region in a particular SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code� or as complex as, �all companies in the X industry who have a revenue range of Y to Z. By the way, how many of those are our clients?�


We have been asked to enhance lists of client or non-client companies with officers and/or directors, plus all publicly known in-house counsel. We have also been asked to provide or update an overview of an industry or company prior to a client or prospective client meeting. Other requests have included what types of litigation a company is facing or articles on particular types of legal fees. In short, there�s really no question that might not be asked for a Business Development research project.

The Librarians� Toolkit


In order to fulfill the various Business Development research projects, we have assembled an information toolkit, including subscriptions to Hoover�s (Pro Premium level), LexisNexis Company Dossier, LexisNexis Business News, Westlaw News and Business Profiles, general web search engines, and the good old-fashioned business and legal magazine lists of the top X firms/businesses/people/etc.

Hoover�s Pro Premium


Hoover�s, a business information service owned by Dun & Bradstreet, provides a mixture of profiles written by Hoover�s employees and data retrieved from Dun & Bradstreet databases. There are several levels of service available from Hoover�s, from the free site to Pro Premium, the highest level of service offered by Hoover�s. Hoover�s Pro Premium service is available by subscription in the US and Europe.
Hoover�s profiles are searchable by company, executive name or title, ticker symbol, or industry keyword. A Pro Premium subscription adds company keyword and D-U-N-S number searches. For business development projects, we often need details about companies: mailing address, key people, key numbers, key competitors, key industry, and, if public, the stock ticker and exchange. You can also search for executives and industries. These reports may be generated on the fly into a PDF document, complete with table of contents and color.


Pro Premium subscribers can also view the company�s Family Tree. This information may help untangle relationships between companies, locate parent companies or subsidiaries, and help determine in which countries a company does business. Generally, the larger the company, the more detail Hoover�s will provide about the company.


One of our favorite tools is the Build a Company List option. We use this to compile and download lists of companies by industry, size, and geographic region. For business development purposes, downloading all the companies with certain SIC or NAICS codes is an excellent start for the requests for all companies within a certain range of annual sales, in a particular region, in a particular industry. Hoover�s Pro Premium allows downloads in either Microsoft Excel or Comma Separated Values (CVS) formats. Hoover�s also provides the opportunity purchase Dun & Bradstreet reports during any point in the research.

LexisNexis Company Dossier


Another source we use for company research is LexisNexis� Company Dossier service. Company Dossier aggregates data from a variety of business, news, financial, and legal sources including Hoover�s, Standard & Poor�s, Disclosure, American Business Directories, SEC filings, state and federal cases, and the Lexis current news file. Company Dossier has multiple search options, including company name, ticker, D-U-N-S number, company type, city, county, state, ZIP code, area code, and country.


The typical report has a company overview, financial information, and list of competitors, products, SEC documents, recent cases, and recent news stories. Like Hoover�s, Company Dossier allows us to create custom reports from Custom Report template. The report may include an overview, news, corporate hierarchy, financial data, legal information, references, competitors, and more. You can also print or download side-by-side financial comparisons of multiple companies; this data may be downloaded to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for additional analysis.


LexisNexis Company Dossier is available by subscription; for details, contact your local representative.

Westlaw and LexisNexis Business and News


Westlaw�s Company Profiles database is searchable using either a standard search, or a template with fields for company name, ticker symbol, address, city, state, country, and SIC. Company Profiles sources include the Gale Group, ILX Systems, First Call Corporation, Thomson Financial Research, Nelson�s Brokerage Summaries, and Snapshots International. A profile will list the company name, address, and primary SIC; a full report is available for an additional charge.


Westlaw also has a collection of business and trade journals, arranged by industry, which is helpful when you are looking for industry specific articles on people, companies, or an overview of the industry. Another option for searching news sources is AllNews, which is a gateway to multiple Dialog files. The scope is much wider, but the price is higher than the more limited Westlaw databases. AllNews is searched by using the standard search or by a template


LexisNexis� News, All database is a mega database from a large number of sources. We use this option sparingly, due to the cost, but it is a handy tool for those searches where you don�t have enough initial information and that elusive article could be anywhere. When we do know the industry, or specific company, the Company Profiles database can be quite handy. These files can be searched quite narrowly according to industry, market, or individual source. But for scooping up a lot of information at once, we tend to use Company Dossier or Hoover�s.

Internet Research


We often find that there is not much information on small or private companies in the usual directory or profile type sources. In this instance, the company�s website might provide a surprising amount of useful information. Additional information is often found by searching Google and Yahoo! (no surprise there) but one of our favorites, ixQuick, is not so well known. ixQuick is a metasearch engine which returns a finite set (rarely more than 100 entries) ordered by the number of other search engines pointing to that site. This has the advantage of not overwhelming the searcher while still returning the sites most likely to be helpful. Of course, the searcher must be careful to evaluate any site found to make sure of getting accurate information.

Legal and Business lists


Paraphrasing the line from the Book of Ecclesiastes, ��There is no end to the making of lists��
At some point, nearly every magazine in existence will publish its own �Top <fill in the blank> List�. Would most law libraries need to keep People Weekly�s �Ten Most Beautiful People�? Probably not. However, there are some stalwarts out there that should be kept and updated: worthies such as the American Lawyer 100 (& 200), American Lawyer Global 100, National Law Journal 250, plus any local or state rankings of law firms.


On the business side of the ledger, Fortune�s annual 500 and 1000 companies are de rigueur. Any listings that the local paper, chambers of commerce, etc. publish would be a good idea to clip. Business Week is also a good source, but, again, it would also depend on the Firm�s focus. Always be on the lookout, but always be choosey.
 

Putting it all together


At least half of the business development research requests the Librarians receive are for a list of companies and/or clients that fit a particular set of criteria. The projects often include a request to add company officers, directors, or other key personnel to the list. A project manager, or point person, is chosen to contact the requesting attorney, conduct the reference interview, divide the work among the librarians, and coordinate the completion of final product. Since many of the lists are compiled in a worksheet or CVS format, Microsoft Excel is often used to create workbooks with individual worksheets (lists) for each librarian to annotate, and then return to the designated project manager.


The completed project is typically delivered via email. The body of the email has a recap of the request; list of resources consulted, and list of all staff that contributed to the final product. The body will also contain descriptions of all documents attached to the email. This email is then sent to the requestor and everyone who worked on the project.

Conclusion


Business Development research was transferred to the Library in August of 2004. Since then, requests have ranged from �send me a list of companies in this industry� to researching background information prior to a client or prospective client meeting. Our most commonly used sources include Hoover�s, LexisNexis, Westlaw, general web searches, and Top 100-250-500-1000 lists from legal and business periodicals. The research is typically split into equal parts, then compiled and sent to the requestor via email. The project manager recaps the initial request, acknowledges the sources and contributors, and then provides a brief description of the final product.


As of early March 2005, the Library has completed twenty-six Business development projects. Half of the projects have requested only external information, while the other half have required a mixture of internal and external resources. Our turnaround time varies depending on the complexity of the project, but it can be as little as a few hours with one librarian working on it to as much as a week with all four librarians working on it. The typical turnaround time is closer to a few hours to two days. With nothing but success thus far, we expect to refine and perfect our tool kits as we continue to tackle Business Development projects into the future.

The Haynes and Boone librarians are: David Bader, Library Supervisor (Dallas); Jennifer Stephens (Dallas); Stephanie Towery (Austin); and Riva Laughlin (Houston). Our experience covers law firm libraries, public libraries, corporate law libraries, academic libraries, desktop computer support, and non-profit organizations.
 

AALL 2005 PLL SPONSORED PROGRAMS

by Jenny Kanji, LexisNexis Librarian Relations Group

 

As the program co-chair, I�d like to say it has been an honor and a privilege to choose among so many interesting proposals. We are pleased that the Annual Meeting Program Committee selected seven of the programs, including a one- half day workshop submitted by PLL. These programs address all ranges of competency from information technology, library management to core competencies for law librarianship. We would like to thank all those who submitted the programs and ask for your continued support.
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the following programs.

W-2 Systems Thinking: A new Way to Strategize - Saturday July 16th 8:00am - Noon
This half day workshop will introduce the participants to the basics of system thinking and provide definitions to ground them in the process. The workshop will also review personal behaviors and thought processes that support an individual�s adaptation of a systems approach to work. This not to be missed workshop will be divided into three parts � lecture, group exercises and case notes.

A�2 Outsourcing: Odious or Out of the Box? � Sunday July 17th 10:00am
This program examines the many facets of outsourcing in information services. It focuses on libraries and records management departments in the private legal environment. Panel speakers discuss new outsourcing models, including direct marketing of fee based legal reference services to lawyers and firm administrators, and the hot topic of offshore legal work and its ramifications of law librarians. A case study of one law firm�s records management outsourcing strategy presents a test methodology for success. In contrast, a firm librarian discusses her firm�s decision to �reinforce� the library department after successful outsourcing.

D-2 Moving and Downsizing Private Law Firm Libraries � Monday July 18th
As law firms remodel, build out and move to new locations, the library is often down-sized in the process. This program will look at ways for librarians in a management role, to showcase their business savvy and forward thinking mentality. Attendees will learn how to make a case for a library that best meets the needs of the firm and learn from real life experiences.

E-4 Marketing Schmarketing! � Monday July 18th 4:15pm
We all know the advantages of marketing but where do good ideas come from? Here is a chance to listen to the experiences and ideas of two law firm librarians who have taken advantage of creative marketing ideas. From National Library Week ideas to Limerick Contests to April Fools Jokes gone horribly wrong, these two will share enough ideas to help you promote yourself and your library.

E-2 Form and Function: The Basics of Designing and Building Your Law Library � Monday July 18th 4:15pm
This program is an expansion of a session presented at the Practicing Law Institute�s �The Law Library 2004� program. The librarian and the architect share the same goal: to create the best possible facility. However, the law librarians are not often full participants in the design and build of their new or renovated facility. Participants in this program will understand the design and build process involving the collection of background information, as well as the architect�s focus, drawings and language.

F-5 Partnership for Shared Success � Tuesday July 19th 9:00am
We all have to have an understanding of what we can do to more effectively communicate our value to our organizations. This program is an opportunity to share strategies for partnering with other departments in a firm towards common goals and objectives. Our speaker will explain how this strategy is communicated to management and how it affects the perceived value of the library within the entire firm.

G-3 Indexes, Taxonomies and the Google Generation: What you don�t know will hurt you � Tuesday July 19th 10:15am
The panel will share experiences by comparing the results of research tasks attempted by users with and without the aid of an indexes or taxonomy. We�ll hear from two publishers who build and study the use of online classification schemes and a firm librarian and an academic librarian who work with the attorneys and students conducting online searches. This program will highlight some of the pitfalls or relying only on full text searching and serve as a reminder of the value of human input in organizing and classifying legal information in the digital age.

It is always a challenge to develop programs that are interesting and practical. We believe that these programs provide valuable information and stimulating experience for our private law firm librarians.
See you in San Antonio!
 

 

NEWS FROM THE CHAIR OF THE RECORDS/CONFLICTS MANAGEMENT GROUP

by Lee R. Nemchek, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Los Angeles, CA 

As usual, the Records/Conflicts Management Group has been very busy since the annual conference in Boston last summer. Here's what we've been up to:

1. I'm especially pleased and proud to announce that the textbook entitled Records Management in the Legal Environment: A Handbook of Practice and Procedure, published by ARMA International in October 2003, has won the prestigious Christine Zanotti Award for Excellence in Non-Serial Publications. This award, given to recognize certain exceptional contributions in the field of literature for the records and information management profession, was presented to the authors at the ARMA annual conference in Long Beach, California in October 2004.

2. As a result of intense scrutiny on corporate security and compliance, the first half-decade of the 21st century will be remembered as a period when records management came into its own in the corporate and legal environments. Hardly a day goes by where an article touching on some area of records management doesn't appear in the national and legal press. Lee R. Nemchek has written an article entitled "Mid-Decade Review: Critical Issues in Legal Records Management" that discusses this trend. The article appears in the the March 2005 issue of Practice Innovations (v.6, no.1, pp. 1-5).

3. ALA Programming. Lee Nemchek spoke at the annual conference of the Association of Legal Administrators in San Francisco on April 19, 2005. The session, entitled "Successful Records Management Strategies: A Mid-Decade Best Practices Review," explored the various forms legal "records" take and discussed current best practices for effectively managing them through their active and inactive life cycle stages, including technology solutions that balance the competing records management goals of providing access to information while minimizing risk.

After returning from the ALA conference, Lee Nemchek spoke at a monthly lunch meeting of the local Orange County, California ALA chapter on May 25th. The topic for this program was "Law Firm Records Retention: An Overview of the Total Program Approach."

4. AALL Programming. Our Group's program entitled "Outsourcing: Odious or Out-of-the-Box?" was accepted for presentation at the AALL annual conference in San Antonio in July 2005. The program will run in the morning slot on Sunday, July 17, 2005. Because this is a very big topic and we only have ninety minutes in which to cover it, I've had to limit the scope of the program to three panel speakers. These speakers will focus on (a) an overview of the outsourcing of information services in the private legal environment; (b) offshoring of legal services outside the United States; and (c) partnering with an outsourcing vendor.

5. Legalrec Listserv. AALL is investigating occasional instances of spamming on the lists that it hosts, including legalrec. To help prevent unauthorized persons from posting messages to our list, I've done some cleanup on the subscriber records of all members that don't have a first and last name associated with their email address. For those who may join legalrec in the future, please remember to include your full name when subscribing, and also please keep in mind that our list doesn't accept subscribers from commercial vendor organizations.
 

 

 

 

 

LEARN FROM THE FCIL FOLKS (FOREIGN, COMPARATIVE & INTERNATIONAL LAW)

By Mary Rumsey, University of Minnesota Law Library, Minneapolis, MN

As a law school librarian, I am always amazed by the demands placed on firm librarians. Queries to law-lib and popular annual meeting programs show that you are expected to be researchers, contract negotiators, records managers, investigators, conflict-checkers, database administrators, knowledge managers, trainers, tech support, CLE-credit-counters, and �oh yes� magicians. I see rabbits popping out of hats every day on law-lib!

But as if that�s not enough, attorneys expect you to go beyond US borders these days. They want answers to foreign law questions as quickly as you handle US ones. In my work as a foreign/international law librarian at the University of Minnesota, I find that some of my hardest questions come from firm librarians. I�ve learned a lot from working with them, so I jumped at the chance to write for PLL Perspectives.

In this article, I�ll talk about some basic tools for answering those questions, and highlight some 2005 annual meeting programs sponsored by the FCIL-SIS (Foreign, Comparative and International Law SIS).

Best sources
If you were stuck on a desert island and forced to do foreign legal research, you�d want to take �Reynolds & Flores�� Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World. This eight-volume loose-leaf set is also available as a database called �Foreign Law Guide� (you did pack your laptop, didn�t you?). Reynolds & Flores covers most countries, and for each one, it identifies the main legal publications, noting English translations where available. For each country, it lists key legislation by topic. So if you need to find out what law governs copyright in Argentina, or telecommunications law in Singapore, this is the source for you. With information from Reynolds & Flores, you can make document delivery or interlibrary loan requests, or confirm your suspicion that what the attorney wants just isn�t out there.

For example, last month I got a request from a local firm librarian. She had been asked to get an English translation of the criminal code for Saudi Arabia�an up-to-date one, of course. Reynolds & Flores only listed a couple of partial translations. While I still searched a few other sources, we were confident in concluding that there�s no full translation available.

When you need basic information about foreign law, Martindale-Hubbell�s International Law Digest gives you quick answers for countries ranging from Argentina to Vietnam. You can access the Digest on Lexis, but it is also free on the internet at the martindale.com site (you must register). The Digest has short summaries of foreign law, including incorporation, owning property, taxation, litigation, marriage, and more.

Another of my favorite free resources is the LLRX collection of foreign and comparative law guides. These guides cover more than 50 jurisdictions, and are written by legal research experts in each area. Most of them give a brief overview of the foreign legal system and highlight available online sources. Updating is sometimes an issue, but if you find a broken link, the guide may give you enough information so that you can search for the new site of the information.

The World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) also deserves a spot in your research toolbox. Someday, this site might be a one-stop-shop for all foreign law�that�s certainly its aspiration. Right now, it�s worth a look for most foreign law questions. For 55 countries, it links to available online legal information in any available language. You won�t find everything here, but you�ll often find a link to what you need.

GLIN, a Law Library of Congress project, deserves at least an honorable mention here because it recently opened up access to full-text documents. Originally, GLIN let non-members search English-language summaries of foreign legislation. Now, if one of the summaries looks promising, you can get the full-text legislation -- if the member country has agreed to this access.

Usually, it�s harder to find foreign cases than foreign legislation. One site that tries to link to supreme court cases from all available jurisdictions is GlobalCourts. As with other foreign legal sources, you�ll have trouble finding English translations; but identifying the original version can make you look very clever.

New foreign law databases, guides, and websites pop up every day. If you don�t have time to keep track of them, get to know someone who does!

Other Foreign Questions

Just as we�re getting a handle on foreign legal research, attorneys are asking for foreign non-legal research! You probably use Pacer or commercial systems to find court dockets�can you find docket information for foreign countries? Recently, Erik Y. Adams, Electronic Resources Librarian at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, asked and answered this question on law-lib. The short answer is �no,� except for some courts in Canada. Adams noted that CourtExpress can search individual courts in some foreign countries. The company charges separately for each search in each court, however, so a comprehensive search would cost several body parts (arms, legs, maybe a kidney�).

I�ve also gotten questions from local firm librarians about searching for information on foreign companies. Currently, LexisNexis has much better coverage than Westlaw, including International Company Reports and Business Monitor International Company Profiles. But it�s impossible to get the same detailed information about foreign businesses than about US ones.

Staying afloat
Since you don�t have time to keep up with all these resources on your own, a better strategy might be to get a research update. In San Antonio, you can check out FCIL-sponsored programs, such as the two programs on treaties (�Treaty-making--Really, Part II,� and �Navigating the Maze of U.S. Treaty Research - Strategies for Finding Treaties, Treaty Actions and Interpretive Materials�). Or check out �Researching International Marine and Environmental Law.� The FCIL-SIS Executive Committee is also offering a special �Introduction to Latin American Legal Systems� with two experts from the University of Houston. If your firm�s interests lie elsewhere, check out �Looking Eastward: Researching Asian Trade Law� by Chenglin Liu, Adjunct Professor of Law and Foreign and International Law Librarian at the University of Houston.

Many firms have clients with business in the European Union; and if you�ve dipped into EU research, you know how confusing it can be. An all-day workshop on European Union research could make you the expert-in-residence. �New Vistas and Values for Europe: Strategies for Researching European Law,� scheduled for Friday, July 15th, will give you the guidance you need to tackle EU problems. This session will fill up quickly, so register soon!

Reaching Out
Law firm librarians, like most librarians, know the value of connections. Networking plays an even bigger part in getting foreign legal information, because fewer libraries have big foreign collections. I often call on FCIL librarians elsewhere to get an elusive document, and have returned the favor many times. Cries for help on the FCIL listserv and on INT-LAW are usually answered promptly. As we�ve all learned, though, personal connections work best. Why not make a point of meeting some FCIL librarians in San Antonio or in your local chapter? If you�d like to learn more about becoming an FCIL librarian, you can check out a lively panel Q&A session at this year�s annual meeting. This Tuesday lunchtime session will feature FCIL specialists from firm, county, and law school libraries, talking about what they do, why they like it, and how they learned how do it. Drop by and check out some foreign vistas, values and visions!
 

THINGS ARE BIGGER IN TEXAS!

by Monica M. Ortale, South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX

Just take a look at the giant sized boots outside North Star Mall - a tribute to just two of my not so secret vices, shopping and shoes! San Antonio has fabulous shopping, and La Villita, a complex of 27 restored buildings on the site of a Coahuiltecan Indian Village, is right next to the Hilton. Each building showcases various artists. You�ll find painting, jewelry, pottery and beautiful weavings, all unique to the region.

Just a short trolley ride down Commerce St. is El Mercado, a veritable warehouse of pottery, and then there's the farmer's market. If you don't get enough to eat browsing the stalls, then head to the restaurants. La Margarita is my favorite, and I can picture it now as the colorful waiter carries the sizzling fajitas platter, the steam streaming behind and, oh, the aroma!

But, if you have a car, head north on I-35 for about 30 minutes and be prepared to visit the mecca of all shopping, the factory outlet stores of San Marcos, hundreds of them. There are too many to mention, but it�s definitely worth the trip when you consider the savings.

Ah, but I digress. For those who love shopping for footwear, there are marvelous boot makers. Try Lucchese, makers of hand made boots since 1883, or Crazy Horse custom boots, both in San Antonio.

For me, shoes are everything, and the factory outlet shoe stores are an option. But, if you want something closer to the convention center, then Dillards & the shops in RiverCenter have a wonderful assortment. When all are tried on and bought, there's nothing like relaxing at a table on the Riverwalk level, watching the tourists and the riverboats, sipping a Starbucks coffee, knowing that the bags surrounding you are full of shoes just waiting for the right occasion, like the General Business meeting.
 

MY 10 FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT TEXAS

by Mary Forman, Semi-Native

My great-great-great uncle, Thomas Jefferson Chambers, came to Texas in the 1820s. Chambers County in east Texas is named after him. I, however, am a relative newcomer. Although I�ve only lived in Texas for 10 years, I have compiled quite a list of things I love about Texas. Here are 10 of them focused almost exclusively on San Antonio � 10 reasons for you to come to AALL in July � and to come back and visit again. As Texas singer/songwriter Gary P. Nunn (famous for the Austin City Limits theme song � London Homesick Blues aka Home with the Armadillo) would say, �You ask me what I like about Texas�. Well, I could tell you, but we�d be here all night long.� So I�ve limited it to 10�.

10. Patio dining � Eating outside � good Mexican food � a cold beverage � well, it�s a favorite pastime of many. When it�s hot, you sit under an umbrella. When it�s cold they fire up the heaters. We eat outside all year long.

9. Boat cruise on the San Antonio River. Yep, even the locals ride it! It�s great fun and you always learn something new.

8. Gruene, Texas, and the Guadalupe River. Great shopping (and I don�t even like shopping!), lunch at the Gristmill Restaurant, and a stop at Gruene Hall (Texas� oldest dance hall) to listen to whoever�s playing, or tubing down the Guadalupe River, taking out at Gruene and then doing the above. Old or young, it�s a fun way to spend the day!

7. Walking through the King William District and having breakfast (preferably on the patio) at the Guenther House.

6. Music, music, music. Country, symphony, you name it, we�ve got it � and I love it all.

5. Steak Night in Waring, Texas. Wednesday night is steak night at the country store in Waring, Texas. Come back sometime and experience it!

4. The Majestic Theatre. Arguably the most beautiful theatre in Texas (maybe the world?).

3. Visiting any Texas State Park. Three of my nearby favorites include Garner, Lost Maples, and Enchanted Rock.

2. Wildflowers. They start in March with bluebonnets, but they continue on throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Lady Bird Johnson was on to something�.

1. The people. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, cultures, and personal beliefs, but despite their differences, there is something that draws them together � something my buddy, Gary P. Nunn, calls �the spirit of the people who share this land.�

Welcome to Texas!
 

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