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Law Library News for April 3, 2000

Mary Whisner, editor

Law Library News Archive


Reference on the Internet

by Jean Dart, Reference Intern

Many students want to know where to find sites that provide both legal and nonlegal reference information you can access from home. The Internet Public Library has an extensive range of reference materials, as well as collections organized specifically for librarians, teens, and youth.

The IPL began in a graduate seminar at the University of Michigan School of Information and Library studies in 1995. Joe Janes, now a professor at the UW Information School, was the first director of the project. The purpose of the site is to provide access to well-organized, reliable information resources that are freely available on the Internet.

The Reference page contains links to online sources for Arts and Humanities; Business and Economics; Education; Health and Medical Sciences; Social Sciences; Sciences and Technology; Computers and Internet; and Law, Government, and Political Science. The Reference page also includes a reference desk where visitors can ask reference questions. As in a traditional library, human beings (not computer algorithms) answer the questions � generally within one to seven days. Many are answered by librarianship students from several different schools. In fact, students from the General Reference class at the UW recently answered digital reference questions as part of the class. Many students enjoy this type of reference so much that they continue to volunteer on the digital reference desk.

Two collections are of special interest to teens and youth. The teen page has links to homework helpers and career information. The youth page includes homework helpers and information on science, computers, sports, and nutrition. The site also contains searchable and browsable databases for online magazines and serials, texts, and newspapers from around the world.

Reference Services

As you start a new quarter, you may also be starting a new research project or needing resources you haven�t used before. Remember that the Reference Office is staffed 60 hours a week to help you use the Law Library and other resources. Stop by or give us a call (543-6794) and we�ll be happy to help you use the Library, construct an online search, or locate a good source.

Take Your Kids to Work Day

by Nancy McMurrer

The Law Library's fourth annual Take Your Kids to Work Day is Wednesday, April 12. There will be two classes, one at 10:30 and one at 11:30. Please bring your school-age children to the Library's Circulation Desk on the second floor at 10:25 and pick them up in Room 115 at 12:20.

So, what are the classes about this year? First, the kids will spend 50 minutes with Reference Librarian Nancy McMurrer (in Room 12) investigating what it might be like to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. We will be using as a vehicle the Washington case, Troxel v. Granville, which involves visitation rights for grandparents and which was argued this January. We will talk about how a case gets to the Supreme Court, what sort of legal research and preparation the attorneys do, and what an oral argument is like. What sort of questions would they want to ask if they were Justices? What sort of issues do they see? How would they rule?

The next class will be led by Professor Tom Andrews. He will lead a discussion about "Lawyers and Promise Keeping." No doubt your sons and daughters have been told secrets they promised not to tell others. Clients tell lawyers all sorts of things that they do not want anyone else to know, and part of being an ethical lawyer is preserving those secrets from disclosure. But what are the reasons behind this rule of confidentiality? Is it always a good idea not to tell? If your children had to make the rules to protect clients and lawyers and society, what sort of rules would they establish?

We hope your school-age children will join us!

How to Run a Law Practice

If you go to work for an existing firm or law department, you need to learn how that organization runs, but you don�t have to worry about a variety of practical questions, from how to hire a receptionist to where to find your first client. But what if you want to hang out a shingle, either on your own or with a couple of other young lawyers? You�ll need to think about these and a host of other issues.

If you�re contemplating your own practice, consider these books published by the American Bar Association:

  • Jay G. Foonberg, How to Start and Build a Law Practice (Millennium 4th ed. 1999) (ABA Law Student Division and Section of Law Practice Management). KF300.Z9 F66 1999 at Reserve
  • Barry L. Brickner et al., Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo Lawyer (2d ed. 1994) (ABA Section of Law Practice Management). KF300.F58 1994 at Reserve
  •  K. William Gibson, How to Build and Manage a Personal Injury Practice (1997) (ABA Law Practice Management Section). KF8925.P3 G53 1997 at Classified Stacks