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Student Has Article Published in Boston College Law Review

Michael J. GoldsteinAn article by a legal assistant/paralegal student at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been published in the Boston College Law School’s Intellectual Property and Technology Forum, a rarity for an undergraduate.

Michael J. Goldstein, a former Marlton, N.J., resident now living in Williamsport,wrote “Google’s Literary Quest in Peril,” a well-received meshing of a lifelong interest in art/literature with his law-school career goal. The article e xamines Google’s online posting of published works and the ensuing claim by The Authors Guild that the enterprise violates copyright protections.

He might well be the first undergrad to be featured in the journal, but one of its editors said an article’s merit and not its pedigree drives the decision-making process on publication.

“Our focus is always the article itself. We accepted this article because it was a brief overview of a timely subject,” explained Zoe Argento, site editor for the forum. “There is a lot of public interest in Google’s effort to put books online, particularly with regard to whether this is legally feasible.

“We certainly applaud his effort to investigate the subject, and we are glad that this article’s publication communicates our firm belief that the world of academic research should be open to everyone,” she added. Goldstein, a graduate of Cherokee High School in Marlton, originally enrolled in Penn College’s physician assistant major. But between enrollment and the start of his first semester, his once-dormant “passion for law” was awakened in a visit with his father an attorney in Florida. He said he accompanied his father to the law office and to court on a few occasions, and, when he arrived back at Penn College, he changed his major to legal assistant/paralegal studies with the intent of continuing on to law school.

“I discovered copyright law and its relevance to art and literature by accident while browsing the library’s law section,” the 21-year-old said. “I opened up a book about the copyright statutes and realized that I easily understood the language and how it would apply to cases and real-life situations.”

Goldstein discovered that most law schools have law reviews publications designed for their students and professors to publish articles on relevant topics and found that, occasionally, they publish articles from students/faculty outside those schools. “I am an avid reader of the news and I came across an article describing a lawsuit filed a few days prior concerning Google Inc., and The Authors Guild. I decided it would be a great topic so I hurriedly wrote an article in about four days,” he said. “I submitted it to eight or nine law journals, and then sat back and waited. I didn’t expect any offers, as it is difficult to get published as an attorney/professor/student, but I figured it was worth a shot.”

Several weeks (and six rejections) later, he received an e-mail and a publication agreement from Boston College Law School. After a short editing process, his article was published Nov. 3, only about a month after it was written and less than six weeks after the Guild filed its lawsuit.

“We were happy to receive an article submission on the subject soon after The Authors Guild filed its complaint and before Google had even filed its response,” Argento said. “Goldstein’s article gave a broad overview of the type of arguments Google might make.”

Goldstein, who holds a degree in surgical technology from Star Institute, recently completed an article on a pending case involving context in copyright protection, and is awaiting word from Boston College Law School on its publication.

“Mike Goldstein is an example of the type of student our ABA-approved paralegal programs consistently attract,” said Kevin R. Derr, department head and professor of legal assistant. “We have many graduates working in the legal field, both as paralegals and attorneys. We are proud of the impact Penn College has had on our students and the legal community.”

For more information about Penn College’s legal assistant/paralegal major or other offerings of the School of Business and Computer Technologies, call toll-free (800) 367-9222, send e-mail or visit online.

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