What about isEmpty() ?
if(str != null && !str.isEmpty())
Be sure to use the parts of && in this order, because java will not proceed to evaluate the second part if the first part of && fails, thus ensuring you will not get a null pointer exception from str.isEmpty() if str is null.
Beware, it's only available since Java SE 1.6. You have to check str.length() == 0 on previous versions.