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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Dec. 6, 2004
Mary Whisner, Editor

Preparing for Exams

To get here, you probably showed great skill at taking exams in your field, whether it was history or biology. But the typical law school exam is very different from exams in other disciplines. (It’s also not like the LSAT, another test you mastered.)

Some resources for preparing:

  • The Library has the videotape of Prof. Aronson’s lecture, “Preparing for and Taking Law School Exams,” Examsvid  11/18/04 at Course Reserve. (Remember, each group study room has a VCR.)
  • Prof. Andersen’s CALI lesson, “Writing Better Law School Exams: The Importance of Structure,” is available at www.cali.org. You can get our school’s access code from Computing Services (lawhelp@u.washington.edu) or the Reference Office (come in or use the email reference form at http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/askform.html).
  • Old exams from many law school courses are loaded on the Library’s website, at http://lib.law.washington.edu/exams/. (You will need to enter your UW NetID.) What if your professor is new and doesn’t have any exams posted? Search for the course name – you might find it helpful to review exams from other professors.

For more resources, see our guide on Law School Exams.

Where’d It Go? It Was on the Web Last Time I Looked!

Have you ever tried to find a document that was on the Web but just isn’t at that URL anymore? What implications does this have for scholarly writing?

See Mary Rumsey, Runaway Train: Problems of Permanence, Accessibility, and Stability in the Use of Web Sources in Law Review Citations, 94 Law Libr. J. 27 (2002), available at http://www.aallnet.org/products/2002-02.pdf. Some of Ms. Rumsey’s findings are:

  • More articles cite to the web in each successive year studied (1995-2000).
  • Many links no longer work, and the news is worse the older the article. In May-June 2001:
    • only 62% of the links in articles published in 2001 were working.
    • only 30% of the links in articles published in 1997 were working.

Here’s a tip for when you encounter defunct links (a/k/a “link rot”): try the Internet Archive, http://www.archive.org. There you can use the Wayback Machine to find a site as it was archived at different times. Want to see what www.johnkerry.com had on Feb. 1, 2002? You can do it. How about what was on www.whitehouse.gov on Sept. 13, 2001? You can do that, too. Just try the Wayback Machine.

Same-Sex Marriage

The Seattle University Law Library has an excellent online exhibit about same-sex marriage, including both the national context and the Washington statutes and cases. See http://www.law.seattleu.edu/library/samesexmarriage/home.asp.

Book of the Week: Would You Convict? Seventeen Cases That Challenged the Law

-- Mary Whisner

In Would You Convict?, Paul H. Robinson uses cases -- some contemporary, some old -- to illustrate different themes, such as punishing intent versus punishing harm; knowing the law's commands; and whether doing the wrong thing can ever be blameless.

Here's an example: A drug user and petty thief is hanging out at a crowded beach in Tel Aviv. He sees a backpack left unattended, grabs it, and leaves the beach. He takes it to an abandoned building to see what's in it and discovers wires and explosives. Leaving the bag, he runs to call the police. A bomb squad dismantles the bomb while the thief clears the street and keeps passersby away from the building. Scores of people are saved. Would you convict him of theft? If so, how would you sentence him?

The vignettes are illustrated (for instance, we see a picture of the beach and a picture of the thief's mother kissing him after he saved all those lives). The author also includes relevant legal provisions and guides the reader through the legal analysis. A long appendix gathers the applicable statutory and case law rules for each case -- sometimes noting changes in the law (e.g., giving the statutes in force at the time of an illustrative case and the statutes in force today).

This book is in the Classified Stacks at KF9218 .R634 1999.