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Law Library News

Law Library News Archive

Oct. 9, 2006.
Kristy Moon, editor.

Library Lifesaver

Our first Library Lifesavers last week was a big success. Almost twenty of you showed up for bite-size nuggets of research information and sweet Lifesaver candy. Remember, each Tuesday at lunch time, we’ll offer two 15-minute sessions on practical research tips and technology tricks.

This Tuesday Oct. 10, topics are:

  • 12:45 – Google Tips
  • 1:00 – Finding a Paper Topic

Join us at 12:45 or 1:00. We hope to see you there!

Past Exams

Yes, it’s only the third week of classes, but looking at previous years’ exam questions can give you a clearer picture of what awaits you at the end of the quarter and, consequently, help you in studying for your courses. The Gallagher Law Library website includes an exam archive organized by professor’s name and then by course title.

These exams are restricted to UW users, so you’ll need to log in with your UW Net ID.

What if your professor doesn’t have any exams posted? You might ask your professor about the availability of previous exams that are not posted in the archive or you might view other professors’ exams on the subject. To find exams by subject, select the first professor’s name that appears alphabetically and then use the browser's “Edit” and “Find on Page” features to search by subject or course name. You could also use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + F and type in the subject or course name.

And speaking of exams, I highly recommend:

Patrick Wiseman, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It," and Other Sage Advice for First-Time Law School Exam Takers, 22 GA. ST. U. L. REV. 653, 655 (2006). The print issue (Vol. 22, No. 3, Spring 2006) is at the Reference Area. The online versions are available on LexisNexis and Westlaw.

Why? Because as Professor Wiseman says, “You should be thinking about your final exams from the first day of law school. In most first-year courses, you will receive no feedback on your understanding of the material during the semester; everything rests on the final examination.”

Course Evaluations

Another resource that you might find interesting is the Survey of Student Opinion (1987-2006) (KF292.W3 F3s in Special Collection Washington. Ask for this item at the Circulation Desk). The Survey is also available in Academic Services, as is the grade distribution notebook for your current courses.

Casebooks & Study Aids

Did you accidentally leave your contracts casebook at home? Could you use a study aid for that civ pro class?

The Law Library has casebooks, hornbooks, commercial outlines, flash cards, and nutshells that can help you with class preparation and in studying for exams. Most current editions are in the Reference Area and older editions are in the Classified Stacks. Some secondary sources and most casebooks for this quarter are on Course Reserve. To locate them:

  • Pick up “A Browser’s Guide to the Reference Area” in the Reference Office. This quick guide lists the call numbers of most legal subjects. Then go to the shelf and browse around that call number. Copies of the Browser's Guide are available in the display rack across from the Circulation Desk and in the Reference Office.


  • Search the Law Library catalog with these keywords:
    • casebook and contracts (you can replace contracts with other subjects)
    • outlines and torts
    • flash card and property
    • nutshell and civil procedure
    • hornbook and constitutional law

Law Cartoons

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).

Cartoon on Marbury vs. Madison

Stuart Rees, a graduate of Harvard Law School, made a successful career for himself representing cartoonists. He also creates his own cartoons about constitutional law, criminal procedure, evidence, and corporations based on the facts or law of major cases taught in law schools. For more, visit his website. (Cartoon reprinted with permission.)