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Law Library News for May 20, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


New Books

We invite everyone to stop by the bulletin board outside the main entrance to the Library -- on it you'll see some of the Library's recently acquired materials. The topics of this display are Civil Rights, Freedom, and Family. Thanks to Roberta Williams for creating this display.

Bridge the Legal Research Gap Reminder

The buzz about this year's event is growing! On Tuesday, June 25th, more than 100 law students from around the country who are working in Seattle this summer will attend the 7th Annual Bridge the Legal Research Gap Program. The free event will be held at Seattle University's Sullivan Hall from noon to 6pm.

Program topics include:

  • Administrative Law Research
  • CALR (including several low-cost vendors in addition to LexisNexis and Westlaw)
  • Legal Drafting
  • Legal Research on the Internet
  • Researching Job Opportunities
  • Secondary Sources
  • Washington Legislative History
  • Washington Practice Materials

and 50 can't miss tips and tricks in 50 minutes.

We are very excited to offer a Law Firm Table Talk session from 5-6pm. This first-time event is sponsored by Seattle Area Legal Recruiting Administrators and will feature representatives from medium and large firms. We also hope to have several government and public interest employers participating.

Watch the Gallagher Law Library's website for your chance to register.

Using Loislaw This Summer in Your Job

by Nancy McMurrer

There are a number of online legal research services competing with Westlaw and LexisNexis in the low-cost market. The Law Library has contracts with three of them, Loislaw, Quicklaw America, and VersusLaw, for access by law students. For an overview of these and other low-cost electronic products, see our guide to Low-Cost Legal Research Services on the Web.

All of the low-cost companies have the same "academic use only" restriction that LexisNexis and Westlaw have EXCEPT Loislaw. Loislaw permits students to use its online service for any purpose, including during your paid summer clerkship! What sort of databases does Loislaw contain? It has caselaw, federal and state (only selected federal district court cases), federal and state statutes and administrative codes, and some administrative decisions, attorney general opinions, and court rules. Some state CLE materials are included; Washington's materials include the Washington State Bar Association deskbooks, such as the Washington Real Property Deskbook and the Washington Family Law Deskbook.

Remember, students, that these WSBA deskbooks provide you a wealth of practical, state-specific information useful for your summer clerkships. These deskbooks often include forms, practice tips, and checklists that point the way to handling real legal problems. If you want to register online for a Loislaw password,, you will need the Special Access Code assigned to the law school. Please drop by the Reference Office or email reference to get this Access Code number.

Book of the Week: Washington Practice

by Julie Turner, Reference Intern

Washington Practice (KFW80.W3 at Reserve & Washington Alcove) is a series of treatises on Washington state law, written by authorities such as practitioners, law school faculty, and experts on each particular topic. University of Washington Law School professors Marjorie Rombauer and William B. Stoebuck have contributed to the series. Professor Rombauer is the author of Creditors� Remedies � Debtor�s Relief. Professor Stoebuck wrote Real Estate Property Law and Transactions. The series is published by the West Group. Although Washington Practice is now available online on Westlaw (WA-PRAC database), the paper version is extremely user friendly. This is a description of the layout, updating, and suggestions for the use of the hard copy series.

The areas of law covered are:

  • Civil Procedure, including Forms
  • Contract Law and Practice
  • Creditors' Remedies - Debtors' Relief
  • Criminal Law with Sentencing Forms
  • Criminal Practice and Procedure with Forms
  • Elder Law and Practice with Forms
  • Environmental Law and Practice
  • Evidence Law and Practice
  • Courtroom Handbook on Washington Evidence
  • Family and Community Property Law with Forms
  • Methods of Practice (Unlike other volumes in the series, the purpose here is to give an overview of the subject matter in a broad array of practice area. References within the text provide access to more in depth research. The most commonly used forms are also included.)
  • Pattern Jury Instructions - Civil
  • Patter Jury Instruction - Criminal
  • Real Estate: Property Law and Transactions
  • Rules Practice
  • Tort Law and Practice
  • Trial Practice - Civil
  • UCC Forms

There are 46 volumes in total at present. Each volume can be updated in three different ways � pocket parts, supplemental pamphlets, or an entirely new volume. In 2001, the Washington Practice General Index was published for the first time, which covers material in all volumes at the time of publishing. The General Index is available at the same call # in the Reference Office, on Reserve, and in the Washington Alcove, with the other volumes in the set. West plans to update the General Index when necessary, by issuing a supplemental pamphlet or by a complete replacement.

A topic may be covered in several volumes. In the back of the last volume on a particular topic, there is a Table of Washington Statutes with the appropriate RCWA sections; a Table of Court Rules; a Table of Cases and an Index with the relevant sections within the volumes for that particular topic. The tables are very helpful because they contain every reference/citation from the volumes concerned.

Washington Practice is an excellent starting point for Washington research. The information progresses from a general overview of a topic to very specific and detailed notes. The series is a black letter statement of the Washington law, heavily annotated, including references to cases and statutes.

Researchers can find their way to the information they need by using the General Index. They can begin their search under words and phrases descriptive of legal remedies, procedures, rules, or doctrines, or the things, acts, persons, or places involved. Article topics are represented by abbreviations. A complete table of topics, with corresponding abbreviations, appears at the beginning of the General Index volume, similar to the national legal encyclopedias, AmJur and CJS. For example, if a researcher wanted to look up the law covering visits to the zoo in Washington, they could go to ZOOS in the General Index. Under this heading, the researcher is given - �Field trips, premises liability, Tort Law 17.4�. Now the researcher knows that visits to the zoo are covered under Tort Law, and they also have two specific sub-topics within the body of Tort Law � field trips, premises liability. When the researcher proceeds to the actual volumes of Washington Practice on Tort Law, they will find that there are two volumes, 16 and 16A, that contain a considerable amount of information for them to add to their initial find.

The series receives constant use in law libraries, whether in academic, county, or law firm settings. This is due in part to the forms and checklists included. Researchers can use this valuable resource as a starting point for Washington law and then progress to more in depth research, within the same set of volumes. This makes for an extremely user-friendly research tool.

For additional descriptions of selected books see the Book of the Week Archive