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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

March 7, 2005.
Kristy Moon, editor.

  • Exam Period Specials
  • LexisNexis Tips That Are Worth Remembering
  • Library Lookup Bookmarklet

All Carrels Reserved for Law Students!
Special Library Hours for Law Students Only!
Group Study Rooms Reserved for Study Groups!

--Jonathan Franklin

The Law Library is more heavily used during exam periods. However, some of those studying here during those times are not law students. So we have made the following changes from last quarter to improve the usability of the library for law students during exam time.

We know that law students need places to study, so the library has set aside all the carrels for law students. Each carrel will have a sign stating this. If you need a carrel and see a non-law student in one, please politely ask the student to leave. If you would like, library staff can assist you in finding a carrel.

The library normally closes at 6:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. But on Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th, law students will be able to get into the library between 6:00 and 9:00pm.The main library doors will be closed, but you will be able to key them open with your Husky Card. The library will close at 9:00pm on those nights.

For the first time, the study rooms on the lower level will be reserved for study groups. Groups need a place to study for upcoming exams so please do not take exams in those rooms.

If you have other suggestions for ways to balance public access with the needs of law students during exam time, please e-mail Jonathan Franklin at jafrank@u.washington.edu.

LexisNexis Tips That Are Worth Remembering

--Rachael Smith, Reference Intern

This article focuses on LexisNexis tips; for Westlaw tips, see http://lib.law.washington.edu/news/2005/Feb21.html.

LexisNexis has all kinds of features that are designed to aid legal research, but only if one can remember what they are and how to make them work! So here are several tips to get you started.

How to find an appropriate database

If you log on from www.lexis.com, click on the “Search Advisor” tab.If you log on from www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/, click on the “Research System” tab and then the “Search Advisor” tab. From here, choose a database from a list of general topics or run a search for an appropriate database. For example, if you type “dog bites” into the search text box, a list of databases will be suggested.

How to refine or brush up on your research skills

  • From the “Law School Home” page, http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/, click on the “Learning LexisNexis” link on the left frame. Choose the “Tutorials & Tours” link to brush up or expand your research skills.
  • Click on the “What’s New” link on the left frame to see new databases or other enhancements that can help you in constructing your searches.
  • The “Web Courses” tab lets you check assignments and syllabi, and participate in class activities for those courses where the professor has set up an online course page using the LexisNexis Blackboard.

How to keep up to date and informed on a topic of interest

You can set up an ECLIPSE clipping service to stay current on particular topics.

  1. Choose a database and run a search.
  2. At the top center of the screen, click on the “Save As ECLIPSE” link.
  3. Since you can save multiple searches, you will be asked to name each ECLIPSE. You will also be asked to specify the frequency and the delivery method for each one (“Email notification” tells you there are new results and gives you a link to go online and retrieve them. “Online only” delivery option will save the ECLIPSE results on your Lexis account. If you choose this option, you will have to access the results by logging on to Lexis and clicking on the ECLIPSE link at the top right corner of the screen. This option saves paper and space in your email inbox, but takes an extra step on your part.)

How to cite check quickly and effectively

Although Shepard’s has become a verb (i.e., I need to Shepardize this cite!), there are other choices available from the “Shepard’s” tab. They are Table of Authorities, Auto-Cite, and LEXCITE. A Shepard’s report is a combination of all three features.

  • Table of Authorities will generate a table of authorities for a citation that you enter – that is, the cases that that case cited.
  • Auto-cite will generate only negative treatments of the citation you enter.
  • LEXCITE will search federal and state case law, U.S. Code sections, federal and state agency opinions, federal and state attorney general opinions, ALR annotations, and law reviews and legal newspapers and find references to your citation. It will automatically search for parallel citation references.

How to access the table of contents for basic legal sources

Depending on the database or the source that you’re searching, a table of contents (“TOC”) may be available. Databases or sources with a TOC will have a red arrow going through the file icon that appears next to the database or the source name; to access the TOC, click on “Browse TOC” link found on the search pages of these databases or sources.

Where to get additional help

  • LexisNexis Account Manager for UW School of Law, Ben Gresh, (206) 860-2683 or benjamin.gresh@lexisnexis.com.
  • LexisNexis Live Research Help, click in the “Live Support” link (24/7).
  • LexisNexis Customer Support, 1-800-45-LEXIS (1-800-455-3947).
  • Reference Librarians – walk in, telephone, or email the Reference Office http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/ref.html.

Hopefully, these tips will give you some ideas about how to use this service in new and more effective ways.

Library Lookup Bookmarklet

--Tyler Bosma

Have you ever browsed Amazon and wondered if the Law Library has a book you found? Then check out this neat tool developed by blogger John Udell. Start by plugging in the Law Library catalog’s URL (http://marian.law.washington.edu/) and the Law Library’s name (“Gallagher Law Library”) into the bookmarklet generator found at http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/stories/2002/12/11/librarylookupGenerator.html. The vendor whose software the Law Library’s catalog employs is Innovative, which should already be pre-selected. Once you’ve done these things, click the “Build your own LibraryLookup bookmarklet” button. Voila – your bookmarklet has been created!

The next page has a test link. Assuming that the link works (i.e., assuming you’re taken to a Law Library search results web page – note, though, that the particular title in the test is not in our collection), you can drag the bookmarklet link to your toolbar. You’re done! Next time you’re looking at a specific item on a book-related website such as amazon.com, bn.com, etc., click on the bookmarklet to check the Law Library’s holdings.

You can read more about this project here: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/stories/2002/12/11/librarylookup.html.