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Law Library News for October 15, 2001

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


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 types of print resources and how to find them in the Law Library using MARIAN, the online catalog. You can search MARIAN at any of the public terminals in the Law Library as well as anywhere you have access to the Internet. Current editions of these study materials are on Reserve (at the Circulation Desk).

Outlines provide a summary of the basic principles and issues of law covered in a law school course and may be oriented toward a particular casebook. Law professors and attorneys write them. These items are usually referred to by their series name such as, Black Letter Series, Casenote Law Outlines, Emanuel Law Outlines, Gilbert Law Summaries, Legalines, Professors (Smith's) Series, or Sum & Substance Quick Review. To locate outlines 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).

Flash Cards. For those of you who learn well using flash cards, you can even checkout boxes of flash cards to study for exams on topics such as civil procedure, real property, and torts. To locate flash cards in MARIAN, conduct a keyword search such as: flash cards and torts. You can substitute other legal topics (e.g., contracts or evidence).

Nutshell is the name of a paperback series, published by West Group, providing brief overviews of legal topics. Generally there are fewer footnotes or references in a nutshell than in a hornbook (see below), and they are shorter in length. To locate nutshells in MARIAN, conduct a keyword search such as the following: nutshell and civil procedure. Replace civil procedure with other legal topics (e.g., torts or contracts).

Treatises provide a comprehensive review of a specific legal topic. They are often multi-volume 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 on a particular area of law, 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). West Group publishes a hornbook series covering many legal topics. To locate hornbooks in MARIAN, conduct a keyword search such as the following: hornbook and property. Substitute property with other areas of law (e.g., contracts or evidence).

Restatements, produced by legal scholars of the American Law Institute, attempt to state 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. You can replace torts with other subjects (e.g., contracts or property).

Connecting to Online Library Resources

by Cheryl Nyberg

UW students and faculty have access to a wealth of online resources through the Gallagher Law Library and the UW Libraries Information Gateway. Many commercial sources to which the libraries subscribe are restricted to computers bearing a University of Washington Internet Protocol (IP) address, such as the computers located on the 2d floor outside of the Reference Office.

Some of the commercial services that require a UW IP address include:

  • Access UN
  • Congressional Universe
  • Dissertation Abstracts
  • EconLit
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
  • LegalTrac
  • OCLC WorldCat

and many full-text journal article sources.

You may access these same sources from your home computer in one of two ways:

  1. Install the UW Internet Connectivity Kit (UWICK) on your home computer. The UWICK CD-ROM is available for about $20 from the University Bookstore (you must show your Husky Card). These programs will provide your home computer with a UW IP address when you connect to a UW server. More information about UWICK is on the Internet,
  2. Connect via the Libraries proxy server. If you access the Internet through DSL or cable, you may register with the proxy server, You will need to obtain a UW Libraries PIN; follow the instructions at the website. Again, this process will give your computer a UW IP address, which will allow you access to the commercial services to which the Libraries subscribe.

Please note that you do not need to use either of these options to access any of the following:

For more information on computing at the University of Washington, visit the UW's Computing and Networking website,