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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Jan. 23, 2006.
Kristy Moon, editor.

Printing from a Laptop

You can print to the Pharos printers in the Law Library (or in the Computer Lab) from your laptop or a home desktop. All you have to do is download the software and drivers that are set out at Once the software is installed, your computer needs only an Internet connection (such as our wireless network) to send print jobs to these printers.

Your print jobs are sent to the Pharos printers using the Pharos Popup software. Once a print job is sent, it can be retrieved at printing stations on floor L1 of the Library (or in the Computer Lab) using a pre-paid copy card (10 cents per page). Print jobs sent but not retrieved are wiped out at the end of each day.

THOMAS Has a New Look

If you’ve tracked congressional activity or done federal legislative history research, you’re probably familiar with THOMAS,, a website created and maintained by the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information available to the public.

This site was redesigned recently. The changes are more cosmetic than substantive, but are still worth noting. The homepage is improved with tighter organization and visual appeal. There is a uniform look among the pages, and the standard headers provide breadcrumb-style navigation that help you see the path that you took from the home page. The left-side menu provides quick links to the major sections of the site.

The kind of information available on THOMAS hasn’t changed. But because of the redesign, it’s more obvious from the homepage what kind of information is available on THOMAS. For example, did you know that you can see all the appropriations bills and their status with a single click from the homepage?  THOMAS also has full text of (coverage varies):

  • bills and resolutions
  • committee reports
  • the Congressional Record
  • congressional voting records
  • treaties search (links to full text on GPO Access)
  • presidential nomination records & links to Senate hearings

A couple of other noteworthy features – you can search bill text across multiple Congresses (for committee reports and the Congressional Record, you must first select a Congress), and the advance search page is accessible from “Bills, Resolutions” > “Search Bill Summary, Status” > “Try the Advanced Search.”

An outstanding feature of THOMAS is how fast new legislative information is uploaded; it is more up-to-date than Westlaw or LexisNexis. For example, the Congressional Record is added within one hour of receipt. Bill text is added within few hours of receipt. (Most legislative documents originate in the House or the Senate and are sent to the Government Printing Office (GPO) for printing and further electronic processing. GPO then transmits the documents to the Library of Congress and the Library makes them available on THOMAS within hours).

For a more in-depth look at the recent changes, see

This Could Happen To You

--Alicia Brillon, Reference Intern

I graduated from law school in 1995 and was sworn into the bar in November of that year. Not six months later, my grandmother died. My father, in his infinite wisdom, determined that since I was now an attorney, I should be responsible for taking care of the legal aspects of probating her estate. I, of course, was a bit concerned about this prospect. The closest I had come to the subject of probate was a Trusts and Estate course I took two years earlier. Somehow I didn't think this had fully prepared me for the intricacies of what I would need to do. I decided I needed books – ideally, practical, instructional books!

Although I went to the King County Law Library to find books, as you would imagine, the Gallagher Law Library also has books on the topic of probate. Two good resources are:

  1. Washington Lawyers Practice Manual: Manual & Forms and
  2. Washington Probate Practice, Procedure, and Tax Manual.

Each of these publications contains everything you need to successfully navigate the probate waters. From providing advice on how to get started (producing the will, making an insurance claim) to how to handle a situation where someone contests a will, these resources provide the necessary guidance.

As an added bonus, each contains a number of checklists. For instance, Washington Lawyers Practice Manual has a checklist of the forms you will need to file as well as the deadlines for filing those forms. Similarly, Washington Probate Practice has an initial procedure checklist which details each step you will need to take throughout the probate process. As I found out, probate is all about filing forms in a timely fashion, so these checklists will be a lifesaver.

While I hope that you won't be faced with a deceased grandmother shortly on the heels of your becoming an attorney, rest assured that when you face a new situation, there is undoubtedly a guide or resource that can greatly help you with your task.

Washington Lawyers Practice Manual: Manual & Forms (KFW80 W27 1986 at Reference Area).

Washington Probate Practice, Procedure, and Tax Manual (KFW144 W28 at Reference Area).