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Law Library News for April 30, 2001

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


Yamashita Display

We invite everyone to take a look at the display cases on the first floor of Condon Hall. Our newest display celebrates the recent honorary induction of civil rights crusader Takuji Yamashita into the Washington State Bar - nearly one century after he graduated from Law School and passed the bar exam. The induction, which took place on March 1, was described by Dean Hjorth as the centerpiece of the Law School's centennial celebration. Nikki Pike and Larisa Bosma created this tribute.

Law Week: Celebrate Your Freedom, April 30-May 4

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the first Law Day Proclamation in 1958 (Proclamation 3221), and every President since that time has annually issued a Law Day Proclamation on May 1st.The National Law Day, U.S.A. observance is:

�a special day of celebration by the people of the United States � (1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and (2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.�

36 U.S.C. � 113

For over forty years, the American Bar Association has sponsored Law Day programs on Law Day and the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA expanded the celebration to a week-long community event promoting public legal education.

On the local level, the Washington State Bar Association is coordinating a statewide effort to bring lawyers and judges into schools during Law Week (April 30 - May 4, 2001) to educate young people about the role of law in people's lives. These volunteers will talk with the students about our justice system, current legal topics or specific areas of law, and they will hold mock trials.

For more information on how to get involved in Law Week celebrations and on the background of Law Day consult the following sources:

  • Washington State Bar Association Law Week Website
  • American Bar Association Law Day Website. The theme this year is "Celebrate Your Freedom: Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children." How much do you know about the "best interests of children"? Take a quiz on the ABA website.
  •  In the article, "Law Day 2000: Law Library of Congress Hosts Annual Event," by Marie-Louise H. Bernal, Library of Congress Information Bulletin, June 2000, the originator of the idea of the Law Day, Charles S. Rhyne (former President of the ABA), discusses the justifications for Law Day and how he persuaded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to sign the first Law Day Proclamation in 1958.

Summer Access to LexisNexis & Westlaw

by Nancy McMurrer

Access to LEXIS-NEXIS is restricted during the summer to the career databases. However, there are four exceptions to this general rule. If you are

  1. on a law journal board
  2. on a moot court board
  3. enrolled in a summer law school class, or
  4. working as a research assistant for a law professor

you may sign up on the Web for full access to LEXIS-NEXIS during the summer months.

Just go to and look for the SUMMER ACCESS link on the right in yellow letters. Click there and follow the directions. Your wisest course is to sign up now for summer access. Do not wait until the end of spring quarter and run the chance of having your LEXIS access restricted!

Westlaw has taken a different path for full access during the summer. Since UW has a quarter system and our spring quarter ends much later than the majority semester-system law schools, Westlaw has decided to permit all UW law students to have full access during the summer. NOTE, HOWEVER: you may use Westlaw ONLY for academic purposes, that is, for one of the four categories above. You may not use Westlaw for your summer job. You may notice a link at for students to sign up for summer access. Just ignore it! You already have full access.

Dueling Federal Websites: All Are For Work, One is for Fun

by John Dethman, Reference Intern

The United States government is big. It has numerous websites containing incredible amounts of information. Much of this information can be invaluable to lawyers, even that which is not legally related, or, perhaps, especially that which is not legally related. But all this information is not easy to access. Certainly much of it can be found through general search engines such as Google, Dogpile, Hotbot, and others. But then you may have to wade through nongovernmental sites as well, unless you know how to limit your search. Google, for example, has an option of searching only .gov and .mil sites. Hotbot�s Advanced Search allows you to specify domain names to search.

An alternative to the general search engines is to go directly to a U.S. government access portal. The Gallagher Law Library home page has under the Research heading, a link to the Internet Legal Resources guide. Within this guide, under the United States Legal Materials and Sites, General Sources and Directories heading you will find links to two government sponsored search sites:

  • FirstGov (Executive Branch � President Bush will welcome you) and [Note: FirstGov became in Jan. 2007.]
  • GPO Access (Government Printing Office � GPO)

and four university-sponsored sites:

All these sites have their strengths and weaknesses and quirks. FirstGov�s opening page follows Yahoo�s indexing approach as well as providing a keyword search option. It was designed to be the general public�s one-stop access to all online Federal resources. GPO Access, as its sponsor would imply, is oriented to finding government documents. The University sites emphases vary from documents, to law, to federal agencies. (Another University site, Govbot,, from the University of Massachusetts, will shut down on May 1, 2001).

Two more government search sites to consider are Usgovsearch and Fedworld, both of which are powered by the Northernlight search engine and connected to the U.S. Department of Commerce and its National Technical Information Service. These two sites, which can search across multiple government databases, have received awards from Yahoo, EContent and PC Magazine (the latter for the search engine).

Finally, let me suggest a �fun� site from your government that may escape you. It is full of information and is brought to you by your favorite agency, and mine, our friends at the Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook 2000, can be downloaded in whole or part. The first World Factbook was published in 1962 and was �classified.� An unclassified version was published in 1971 and first made available to the public in 1975 through the GPO. Data are available for more than 260 countries. For each country, map and flag, geographic, population, government, economic, communication, transportation, military, and transnational issue information is provided for the latest date available (January 1, 2000 in most cases). Users can also browse the Factbook by field and topic. For instance, selecting Literacy under the People heading within the Field Listing webpage, displays definitions and literacy rates for all countries, listed alphabetically. This may be an extremely helpful feature for users seeking comparative statistics. There are also nineteen reference maps in .pdf or .jpg format and eight appendices. You might use it as a quick, one-stop �travel guide.�