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Law Library News for April 15, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


National Library Week Events

In honor of National Library Week, Ann Hemmens and Nancy McMurrer are offering two noon-hour presentations. On Tuesday, April 16th, Ann will describe free sources of legal information on the Internet, featuring the new site with retrospective Washington caselaw. On Wednesday, April 17th, Nancy will review low-cost online legal research services, including Loislaw, with its collection of WSBA deskbooks.

Both programs will be held in Room 135 from 12:30-1:20pm. Bring your lunch and a thirst for knowledge!

Don't despair if you can't attend. We have other ways you can celebrate!

Seldom do library staff utter cross words, but we will offer a challenging legal research crossword puzzle during the week of April 15th. Copies will be available at the Circulation Desk and the Reference Office. Bring your completed (or partially completed) puzzle to the RefO for a prize.

Check out the new library display on the bulletin board outside the Law Library to learn more about libraries, laugh at a few library jokes, and read the daily Trivia Question. Tell your answer to the person in the Reference Office and win a prize!

NEED That Case?

by Nancy McMurrer

You have just done the perfect search on LexisNexis or Westlaw, gone through the cases retrieved, and found a great case. Now you want a copy for yourself. What are your options? Both Westlaw and LexisNexis have two electronic options and two paper options.

Let's look at the electronic options first since they provide you with so much flexibility later on. In either service you can choose to email a copy of a document to yourself or download a copy to your hard drive or a diskette. Both choices permit you to select a word processing format and will provide you the case in a dual-column layout. Having an electronic copy reduces the amount of paper you must handle, allows you to cut and paste from the case into your document, and preserves natural resources.

You can also print a paper copy from Westlaw or LexisNexis to your attached printer or to the services' stand-alone printers located in the Law School Computer Lab. Both options can print your case in dual-column format. We have lifted the restrictions on printing to the stand-alone printers this quarter because of tracking problems by a vendor. Even so, deciding to print to those printers may not be the best choice.

Just think before you make a decision. Use the power and speed of the online services to browse the documents and choose only the relevant ones BEFORE making any copies. Bear in mind that there may be other documents ahead of yours in the print queue for the stand-alone printers. Consider the advantages of having an electronic copy of that case in the future

Law Day - May 1, 2002

by Julie Turner, Reference Intern

In the late 1950�s, the American Bar Association instituted May 1 as Law Day to draw attention to both the principles and practice of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day by proclamation in 1958. This tradition is now well established � each year the President issues a proclamation to mark Law Day, USA.

Law Day has been designated as a day on which we may reflect upon how the law protects our freedom from injustice, just as it permits us to express our opinions, select our leaders, and pursue our livelihoods. If we are to maintain the strength and vitality of our legal system, we need to believe in its ability to protect our individual rights, settle disputes and bring us together. Through special activities, Law Day can help citizens focus on their rights and responsibilities.

Each year there is a special theme or focus. The theme for 2002 is �Celebrate Your Freedom - Assuring Equal Justice for All.� The spirit of this year�s theme embodies not only the overall protection of individual rights, but also the provision of legal services to individuals who are socially and culturally isolated, and otherwise unable to gain access to traditional legal services in their community.

Law Day has unofficially become Law Week because of the many programs that are put together to celebrate this occasion. National organizations, state and local bar associations, businesses, and schools conduct thousands of programs each year. The American Bar Association believes that through great Law Day programs, you can expand people�s awareness of our heritage of liberty under law and help them appreciate how the rule of law makes our democracy possible.

This year, the American Bar Association is conducting a national program called �Dialog on Freedom,� which is designed to explore American values and civic traditions through classroom dialog between lawyers or judges and high school students. Some of the dialogs are structured around hypotheticals which ask students to defend American culture and values.

At the local level, the Washington State Bar Association plans to have a lawyer or judge in every school during the week of May 1, 2002. Their promotional flyer states that Law Week is an exciting opportunity for lawyers and judges to bring legal education to the classroom and that this program provides an enriching experience to youth through positive interactions with lawyers and judges.

Last year, nearly 20,000 Washington students, 66 judges and more than 500 lawyers participated in Law Week. Lawyers and judges in 30 Washington counties met with students to discuss current legal issues and specific areas of the law. Activities also included mock trials in which students played all courtroom roles.

The ABA,, and Washington State Bar Association,, and many other bar association websites provide information on how each member of the community can participate in Law Day programs. The associated programs and activities offer people of all age groups a deeper understanding of the Constitution and our legal system.