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Law Library News for Dec. 2, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor.

Law Library News Archive


Book of the Week

The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860, by Suzanne Lebsock. HQ1423.L39 1984 at Classified Stacks

Suzanne Lebsock, a social historian and currently a professor of history at the University of Washington, studied the public documents (e.g., marriage contracts, deeds, and wills) of the free women (white and black) of Petersburg, Virginia, between the early years of the nation and the Civil War to chart the changing status of women and to document a uniquely female culture of values and beliefs.

As many of the documents she studied were legal documents, legal historians will find her work of interest. For example, she notes changing patterns of property ownership and transfer leading to women's increased economic independence. She discovers that more women held separate estates, more women worked for a wage, and fewer married. She comments, "Petersburg provides a case study of how the condition of women could change for the better in a nonfeminist, even antifeminist culture." 

Books to Read for Fun (or to Give as Gifts)

by Ann Hemmens

Once you make it through law school exams, you might want to take some time to read books for fun before school begins again in January. Or maybe you are looking for a few gift ideas. If you haven't had time to keep up on new books this year, there are several resources you can consult for a quick run down on the "best" or "most popular" works.

  • The 2002 Notable Books list from the American Library Association, Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry works are selected for "their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge or for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers." Includes brief descriptions of books, pictures of book jackets, and price.
  • YALSA Winning Titles, from the American Library Association, This website contains links to lists of books, videos, and DVDs for young adults and children.
  •,, "a literary smorgasbord of the best current books," includes book summaries (from the book jacket), reviews, author interviews, and news. Browse by genre or review bestseller lists.
  • Recommended Reading, from Seattle Public Library,, includes reading ideas for all ages and recommendations for book groups. Includes the weekly book reviews by Nancy Pearl, Director of the Washington Center for the Book, featured on KUOW's 94.9 Public Radio: "The Beat."
  • The University Bookstore,, sells general books in addition to textbooks! On their website you will find a catalog of over 170,000 titles, recommended books and reviews, and the author special events calendar (in case you want to get a book signed by the author). An added benefit for UW student, faculty, UW alumni, and staff who purchase items at the Bookstore is the Patronage Refund program (the Patronage Refund rate for 2002-2003 is 8% of eligible purchases).

Taking Exams in the Library

You may choose different places to take your law school exams.

Possible locations in the Law Library include carrels on floors 4, 5, and 7; tables on floor 7; long tables in the Reading Room; and group study rooms on floors 4, 5, 6, and 7.

The group study rooms are for UW law students only. Students wishing to study in a group have priority -- that is, one student taking an exam alone should defer to a group of students who are reviewing for their next test.