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Law Library News for January 8, 2001

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


LEXIS-NEXIS Standalone Printer Returns

by Nancy McMurrer

At last! LEXIS-NEXIS has worked out its system to implement limited free printing to a stand-alone printer in the computer lab; its printer should be installed within two weeks. LEXIS does not count the number of pages printed, so its system will work with a combination of the number of printed lines and printed documents. The rest of this year you will be able to print 15 documents on the LEXIS-NEXIS stand-alone printer (based on an "average" document length of 25 pages). The total is 375 pages, which is the same number of pages that can be sent to the Westlaw stand-alone printer for the rest of the school year.

You will need to keep count of the number of documents you print yourself, since the number will not be reflected on LEXIS when you sign on. LEXIS will be counting the documents, of course, and will remove the stand-alone print option after you have printed 15 documents. LEXIS reps will try to warn you when you near your limits, of course, but your wisest course is to keep your own count.

To make the most of these limits, consider the length of a document before you send it to the LEXIS printer. Is that case only about five pages or so? You can read it online or in the Library's case reporters instead of sending it to the LEXIS stand-alone printer and save your "no-cost document print" for a longer opinion!

Study Aids for Law Students

There are many study aids available to help you with class preparation and in studying for exams. This article describes several resources and how to find them in the Law Library; a later article will examine online resources.

Treatises provide a comprehensive review of a specific legal topic. They are often multi-volumes sets with many footnotes and supplements (e.g., pocket parts). The word treatise does not usually appear in the title of the work, so to locate a treatise, consult reference sources such as Legal Information: How to Find It, How to Use It (KF240.O365 1999 at Reserve & Reference Office), which includes a list of major legal treatises by subject area (pages 62-65), or the Encyclopedia of Legal Information Sources (KF1.E53 1993 at Reference Office).

A hornbook provides an overview of a specific area of law in a narrative summary format, with less detail than a treatise (and often in only one volume). The West Group publishes a hornbook series covering many legal topics. To find a hornbook in a particular area in MARIAN, the Law Library catalog, conduct a keyword search such as hornbook and property. Substitute property with other areas of law (e.g., contracts or evidence).

Nutshell is the name of a paperback series published by the West Group providing brief overviews of legal topics. Generally there are fewer footnotes or references in a nutshell than in a hornbook. To locate nutshells available in the Library, conduct a keyword search in MARIAN with the word nutshell and the subject matter (e.g., contracts or criminal law).

Outlines produced by commercial publishers are also available to supplement your studies. For example, to locate materials from the Sum and Substance Quick Review Series (published by a division of West Professional Training Programs, Inc.) conduct a title search in MARIAN for sum and substance quick review. The 14 titles cover topics such as corporations, evidence, and criminal law. To locate Gilbert review materials, conduct a title search with the entry: gilbert law summaries. From the list of more than 35 items you can select the title on your topic (e.g., commercial paper or civil procedure). To locate outlines generally in MARIAN, conduct a keyword search such as the following: outline* and contracts. Replace contracts with other subject matters (e.g., torts or civil procedure).

Restatements are produced by legal scholars of the American Law Institute in an attempt to say what the law is or should be in a particular area (e.g., contracts, torts, or property). They consist of summaries of legal principles and longer comments. To locate Restatements in MARIAN, conduct a keyword search such as: restatement and torts. Replace torts with other subjects (e.g., contracts or property).

Catalog Tip: Many of these study materials are on Reserve, so it is helpful to limit your catalog search to materials there, by using the "Modify Search" button or the "Limit This Search" button found in the upper right hand corner of the screen and choosing "Reserve" from the Location list.