Law Library News
March 28, 2005.
This is the final quarter of the academic year. As you start thinking about graduation or your summer job, don’t forget to check the Law Library News for information that may be helpful to you. Here is a preview of two upcoming events:
Our theme for this year is “banned books.” Take a look at our display of banned books and enter the crossword puzzle and “Count Chocula Candy” contests for chances to win prizes.
This is the tenth year that the University of Washington and Seattle University law libraries will be jointly sponsoring this event. This year, the program will be offered twice, once at Seattle University on May 25 and again at UW on June 21. Stay tuned for details.
Have you ever encountered the dreaded “Error 404: Not Found” message when searching the Web? One answer to this problem is Google’s cache.
When the Googlebot spider visits a website, it makes a copy of the webpage and carries it back to Google. You can view that cached image whenever your Google search retrieves a website. The Google cache can show you pages that have been completely removed from the Internet or have been assigned new URLs.
The next time you come across a “Not Found” message, run a Google search for specific words relating to the document or the website. Maybe the cached image will allow you to carry on your research!
For Google tip No. 1, see http://lib.law.washington.edu/news/2004/Nov29.html.
--Vicenç Feliú, Reference Intern
Suppose you are drafting a business contract and run across a complicated customs issue, or you do criminal defense work and are approached to represent a client facing a court-martial. Where would you go to quickly learn how to research issues in specialized areas of the law? Because legal practice is becoming more complex and specialized, non-specialists need a research guide that provides the “layout of the land” and teaches them how to research in topical areas in which they have little familiarity.
The recommended book for such situations is Specialized Legal Research (KF 240.S63 1987 at Reference Area), a collection of detailed guides for researching in specialized areas of substantive law such as:
Unlike typical research guides that simply list legal resources available for a particular topic, Specialized Legal Research identifies resources that are “hidden” to non-specialists, evaluates them, and teaches how to carry out the research.
The guide is updated regularly; the last update was in 2004 to chapters on Immigration, UCC, Admiralty & Maritime, and Patent & Trademark. The updates to the Immigration and UCC chapters were done by Gallagher law librarians Ann Hemmens (in collaboration with Seattle attorney Lourdes Fuentes) and Jonathan Franklin, respectively. The Immigration law chapter includes select statutes passed after September 11, 2001 and pending legislation which shows the fluid and changing situation in this area of the law. The UCC chapter explains the complexities associated with UCC research and provides a wealth of tips in researching the UCC.
Specialized Legal Research is the "go to" resource for practitioners who are not specialists in the topics covered. Consulting this book before starting the research process can you save innumerable hours of work as this will help you navigate through unfamiliar areas of the law.