On the Ballot: Texas Constitutional Amendments 2019

Ten proposed constitutional amendments will be on the November ballot. The Texas League of Women Voters has compiled a nice list of the amendments along with important voting deadlines. Compare the pros and cons of each proposed amendment, and prepare to cast your vote on Election Day, November 5, 2019.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

  1. Municipal Judges

  2. Assistance for Water Projects in Distressed Areas

  3. Tax Relief for Disaster Areas

  4. Personal Income Tax

  5. Sporting Goods Tax to Support State Parks

  6. Cancer Prevention & Research

  7. Funding Public Education

  8. Flood Control

  9. Tax Exemption of Precious Metals

  10. Law Enforcement Animals

For additional information and resources for voting in Texas, visit VoteTexas.gov And, for a brief history lesson on why the Texas Constitution is so long, with so many amendments, read this article at the Texas Tribune. Finally, for all your Texas statutory and Constitutional law research needs, the Texas Legislative Reference Library is your best free online resource.

Renewed On-Demand Learning Opportunities from the Legal Tech Institute

The Legal Tech Institute at Harris County Law Library is happy to announce that one of the most popular programs in our LTI Lecture Series is once again available on the LTI On-demand Learning page. The Robot Lawyer: Artificial Intelligence in the Practice of Law can be viewed on our YouTube channel, accessible via our Legal Tech Institute web pages. Licensed Texas attorneys can earn 1.0 hour of CLE credit from now until September 30, 2019. Guest speaker, Saskia Mehlhorn, Director of Knowledge Management & Library Services for Norton Rose Fulbright US, provides a basic overview of AI in the legal profession, gives specific examples of tools that incorporate AI technology, and discusses opportunities for lawyers and other legal professionals to benefit from the power of AI technology.

While visiting our On-demand Learning page, be sure to check out our other recorded CLE programs, which carry a total of 3.0 hours of CLE credit and .75 hours of ethics credit. Included in the series are the following:

Finding & Formatting Legal Forms (1.0 hour CLE)

Legal Practice Technology (1.0 hour CLE)

The Ethics of Cloud Computing (1.0 hoiur CLE, .75 hour ethics)

The Robot Lawyer (1.0 hour CLE)

Don’t forget that we also offer a Hands-on Legal Tech Training session every Thursday at 2:00 pm in the Law Library’s Legal Tech Lab. Join us!

Quiet Spaces in the Law Library

Looking for a quiet place to read, study, think, research the law, or do legal work? The Harris County Law Library is the place for you! We do have a lot of patron traffic at the reference desk — more than 6,000 people visited the Law Library in month of August alone! — and we work hard to give each patron the time, attention, and resources they need. We also receive more than 400 phone calls each month. Each of these interactions generates a certain level of noise that may be disruptive to some library patrons. Fortunately, there is no shortage of quieter work spaces throughout the Law Library.

Reading tables at the east end of the library provide quiet work spaces away from the action at the reference desk.

Reading tables at the east end of the library provide quiet work spaces away from the action at the reference desk.

Study carrels in the computer area offer work space with privacy.

Study carrels in the computer area offer work space with privacy.

The Legal Tech Lab provides nine quiet work spaces tucked into the library stacks.

The Legal Tech Lab provides nine quiet work spaces tucked into the library stacks.

  • Reading tables at the back (east) end of the Law Library are situated quite a distance from the the activity of the reference desk. These tables are popular spots for library patrons who prefer to be away from the activity of the reference desk.

  • Study carrels, available in the computer area, provide a slightly more private work space. Library staff occasionally assist patrons at the computer work stations (helping pro se patrons access and download legal forms on our legal research databases, for example), but the bank of study carrels in the computer area is generally a quiet place to work as well.

  • Nine seats in the area that we’ve designated as the Legal Tech Lab are another quiet work space option. Hands-on Legal Tech Training classes are held in the Legal Tech Lab every Tuesday at 2:00 pm, so this seating area is occupied during that time, but otherwise, this space is accessible and provides a less active work space tucked into the library stacks.

  • Finally, as a courtesy to other patrons, cell phone use is prohibited in the Law Library, helping to maintain a quiet environment for all library visitors.