Site Search | Site Index

Site Search | Site Index

Law Library News for Oct. 21, 2002

Ann Hemmens, editor

Law Library News Archive


Lost Anything in Condon Hall?

If you have lost something in Condon Hall (PDA, watch, glasses etc.), please check the lost & found collection at the Library Circulation Desk. We are the official collector of unclaimed items for the Law School, but you may also want to check with the Computer Lab and Academic Services. Several times a year the unclaimed items are taken to the Husky Union Building (HUB) in the center of campus.

Book of the Week

by Mary Whisner

The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt, by Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren & Jay Lawrence Westbrook. HG3766 .S794 2000 at Classified Stacks

Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence Westbrook � two law professors and a sociology professor � have been studying people in bankruptcy intensively since the 1980s. Their latest book, The Fragile Middle Class, is a fascinating report. It focuses not on the legal doctrine but on the social and economic characteristics of the individuals (and couples) who file for bankruptcy.

The book should be of interest to many in areas outside bankruptcy. For example, health care policy analysts might want to read the chapter on sickness and injury. A large portion of people in bankruptcy land there because of medical bills or an interruption in work due to illness or injury. Those interested in employment law will also find useful material, as the authors examine the effects of declining industrial jobs, increasing part-time and contingent employment, and the limited safety nets of workers comp and unemployment insurance. If you are interested in commercial law (or if you are tempted by credit card solicitations), you might want to read the discussion of rising credit card debt as a factor in consumer bankruptcies.

The book is at once well written and well documented � a wonderful combination.

The authors� first book, As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, is also available in the Library: HG3766 .S79 1989 at Classified Stacks.

Noah Webster's 244th Birthday

by Nancy McMurrer

October 16 marked the 244th birthday of lawyer and lexicographer, Noah Webster. After serving in the American Revolution, this Yale graduate practiced law in Hartford, Connecticut. He wrote grammar and spelling books that were used across the country and that helped standardize American spelling and pronunciation. The difficulty he had copyrighting them in the thirteen states led him to lobby for a national copyright law, which was passed in 1790.

He strongly believed that the new country's cultural independence would be aided by developing a distinctive language. His crowning achievements were the first truly American dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1806), and his exhaustive American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). Webster was the first to document American words such as skunk and hickory. He successfully urged altering the spelling of such words as musick to music and plough to plow, but was not so fortunate with his suggestion of changing women to wimmen.

For biographies of Noah Webster, go to and

Study Aids for Class

There are lots of resources in the Library that can help you study for class by explaining a case holding or analyzing a legal issue. There are many types of study aids, some very scholarly and lengthy, others more narrative and brief.

For example, you may use flash cards, commercial outlines, Nutshells, Treatises, Hornbooks, or Restatements. An earlier article in Law Library News explains how you can search the Library catalog to find these types of study aids.

The University of California Berkeley School of Law Library has created a helpful list of titles of study aids organized by first year courses (Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Writing and Research, Property, and Torts), Find a title on this list that looks helpful and search our catalog to see if it is available in Gallagher Law Library. Ask a reference librarian for additional suggestions.