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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Nov. 14, 2005.
Kristy Moon, editor.

New Westlaw Database: 50 State Surveys

by Cheryl Nyberg

Westlaw unveiled a new database this summer: 50-State Surveys (SURVEYS). This database contains tables that compare and identify states’ laws on numerous subjects.

The three sources for these 50-state compilations include:

1. Richard Leiter’s National Survey of State Laws. KF386 .N38 at Reference Office (latest edition). 2. Tables prepared by the Legal Research Center, Inc., from Minneapolis, 3. Tables prepared by West researchers.

Among the subjects covered are business and consumer laws, civil and criminal laws, education, employment, environment, family, financial services, health care, insurance, manufacturing, marketing and retail, real estate, statutes of limitations, tax, telecommunications, and utilities. Several more specific subjects are included under each of these subject headings.

Does the database contain a state law compilation on particular topic? Users have three ways to determine the answer:

 Open the SURVEYS database and click on the Table of Contents link. Browse the list of topics and click on the plus sign next to a topic to view a list of subtopics.  Open the SURVEYS database and do a Terms & Connectors search.  Open a state statute database (such as STAT-ALL (all unannotated state statutes) or WA-STAT (a single state’s unannotated statute database)). When your search retrieves a statutory section that is represented in one of the state law surveys, you will see a link called 50 State Surveys under the Results Plus heading.

For information about other sources that answer the “What states have laws on X?,” see Subject Compilations of State Laws, KF1 .S93 at Reference Office (most recent three years).

SUMMIT: Visiting Patron & Pick Up Anywhere

by Tyler Bosma 

The Gallagher Law Library is a member of a 32-member consortium called SUMMIT. As UW law students, you're able to borrow books from any of these consortium members (including law libraries at Lewis & Clark, the University of Oregon, and Seattle University). When you request materials online through the SUMMIT catalog (, click on Summit under the Other Library Catalogs heading), they'll be delivered to the circulation desk here and you'll receive an email notifying you of their arrival. But there are other ways to use SUMMIT, too:

Pick Up Anywhere: Heading out of town for a long weekend? When you request an item through SUMMIT, you have the option of selecting a pick-up location other than your home library, which is the circulation desk here at Gallagher. Maybe you're planning on spending some time in Portland – request books through SUMMIT and pick them up at the University of Portland. You can opt to pick up your SUMMIT materials at any of the 32 institutions involved in the consortium.

Visiting Patron: Or maybe you'll be in Eugene for a week, visiting relatives. Visit the University of Oregon's John E. Jaqua Law Library, and use your Husky Card to borrow materials in person. All consortium members participate in the Visiting Patron procedures, which allow any patron from a member institution to borrow materials from any other member library.

There are over 25 million items available to you through the UW's membership in the SUMMIT consortium, and there are many ways to take advantage of these materials. Feel free to ask questions about these services in the Reference Office or at the Circulation Desk.