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Law Library News for May 14, 2007

Law Library News Archive

Cheryl Nyberg, editor

Library Lifesavers: Casemaker and Loislaw

Learning and using LexisNexis and Westlaw in law school should serve you well in practice or in your summer clerkship. However, many firms and other legal offices may not subscribe to these very expensive services or may restrict their use.

Tuesday’s Library Lifesavers session will focus on two low-cost alternatives that you may encounter this summer. The first, Casemaker, was developed by the Ohio State Bar Association. It is offered through a consortium of state bar associations, including the Washington State Bar Association, whose members enjoy free access.

Loislaw is another low-cost service that provides access to basic legal sources. In addition, Loislaw is the exclusive online source for Washington State Bar Association deskbooks.

Join us for a quick look at Casemaker and Loislaw on Tuesday, May 15th, from 12:45-1:15 in Room 119.

Note: If you can’t attend this session, take a look at the Gallagher guide on Low-Cost Legal Research Services on the Web

Fight Gaposis!

What you don’t know about legal research can and will hurt you during your summer job. Plan now to combat the gaps in your knowledge by registering for one of the free Bridge the Legal Research Gap programs on May 18 or June 13.

These programs will address:

  • legal research in the real world
  • legislative history and administrative research in Washington and U.S. (federal)
  • lawyers’ practice material

Law students from all of the country who are working in the Seattle area this summer will be attending. What will they learn that you don’t know?

Services for Soon-to-be-Alumni

With graduation and the bar exam approaching, 3L’s are both anxious and excited. As you think about putting all you’ve learned in law school into legal practice, remember that you can still rely on the staff and services of the Gallagher Law Library.

Our great legal research guides and links to free Internet legal sources are available to everyone. The Library is open to the public, so you can use the print materials and many of the commercial databases to which we subscribe (not including the versions of LexisNexis and Westlaw that you are used to, however). You can call or email the Reference librarians for research advice.

What if you’ll be practicing in Walla Walla or Key West, FL? The Law Library offers Law School alumni a new service called Law Books on Demand. No matter where you are in the United States, you can request any book that is found in the Classified or Compact stacks and we will ship it to you overnight, for free. You pay to return the book to us. See the page on Library Services for Law School Alumni for additional information.

Two Catalogs Diverged in a Tangled Web

If you have used the UW Libraries online catalog recently, you might have been surprised. The catalog found on the UW Libraries homepage is a test version of a new catalog interface (librarian jargon for the front-end of an online catalog or database).

What you see is a Google-like single search box. No drop-down choices for searching by author, title, or subject heading. Even more unusual are the search results:

  • Article citations are mixed in with book references.
  • Options to refine your search include lists of authors, subject headings, formats, languages, and publication years.
  • Books and other materials from around the word appear.

The UW Libraries—excluding the Law Library—are testing this new catalog and collecting feedback from users. Click on What Is This? to read more about the new catalog and to register your opinion and impressions on the survey.

To use the “traditional” UW Libraries catalog (the one that looks and acts more like the Law Library catalog), go to or follow the UW Libraries Catalog link from the Law Library homepage.