The law library space may be closed due to COVID-19, but our online services, digital resources, and remote reference desk are very much open for business. UVA law librarians want you to know that we’re still here to help!
Our COVID-19 Guide to Library Services explains how to access library resources—from online study aids to streaming films. For research assistance, contact our reference librarians at email@example.com. If you need more in-depth assistance (for example, if you want to talk through your research plan for a seminar paper) schedule a research consultation, and we’ll set up a meeting over the phone or via Zoom. And if you just want to relax, try an entertainment resource like Kanopy or an ebook.
Students: we miss you, and we’re sorry that you can’t come see us in person. We know that digital resources can’t replace the library’s physical space, where you come to collaborate, interact with librarians, or simply study beside a friend. But we hope that our “virtual library” will provide the next best thing, by making you feel welcome, providing access to materials you need, and making it easy for you to get research assistance from law librarians.
Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library
On March 3, 1865, an enslaved woman named Jane set off from her home—the Sunnyside property on which the University of Virginia law and business schools now sit—and watched the Union Army march into Charlottesville. Following this arrival of the Union troops, Jane liberated herself from slavery. 
At Sunnyside, Jane labored as a cook. In 1865, she was in her mid-30s or early-40s and had been enslaved by the Duke family since 1859. That year, Jane had been put up for sale on the green by Court Square, the city’s site for slave auctions. Facing imminent sale to traders, Jane advocated for herself there on the green and convinced R.T.W. Duke Sr. to purchase her bondage for $1000.
Jane was a skilled cook. In 1863, the Duke family moved to Sunnyside at a moment of severe wartime food scarcities. Jane “deftly” concocted stews, hash, and soups that winter from the weekly ration of beefshead.
On March 3, 1865, as the Union army under General George Armstrong Custer marched into Charlottesville, Jane ran towards the music of the Union band when it drifted across to Sunnyside. She was joined by two other enslaved people from Sunnyside, including ten-year-old Caesar, as well as eleven-year-old R.T.W. Duke Jr. The group made their way up and over UVA’s modern-day intramural and softball fields. Onward towards the “martial music,” they eventually perched themselves on a hill behind the property of Andrew Brown, likely the current site of the John Paul Jones Arena or the hill above Lambeth Field.
From her post, Jane saw the long line of Union cavalry—column after column—march into town from Ivy Road and up toward Carr’s Hill. The group watched in silence. R.T.W. Duke Jr. recalled feeling “horror & rage” at the “great blue snake.” He imagined the rest of his observation party, all enslaved, watched in similar awe. For them, though, the feelings were likely quite different, even if complicated. No direct account of their reaction remains.
Shortly thereafter, Jane liberated herself from slavery and the Duke family. She was the first of the enslaved community to leave Sunnyside. Jane had departed the Dukes by the time R.T.W. Duke Sr., a Colonel in the Confederate Army, returned home after Appomattox. She may have left Charlottesville more immediately as part of the large group of free African Americans that followed the Union army out of town on March 6, 1865. In that train, according to one Union cavalry soldier, Jane would have joined other free African Americans “old and young, male and female, trudging through mud and water, animated with the thought of freedom.”
As a free woman, Jane turned her cooking skills into a livelihood. In the postwar period, the Duke family heard news that Jane was living in New Jersey and working as a cook at an impressive salary.
Our location on North Grounds, in the hills of the former Sunnyside property, was the setting for Jane’s bondage, as well as her liberation. Both required fortitude. Today, Charlottesville observes Liberation and Freedom Day on the 155th anniversary of the Union Army’s arrival in the city and the beginning of the liberation of the Charlottesville’s enslaved community. We honor Jane on this day.
This post builds on Amalia Garcia-Pretelt’s summer 2019 research into Sunnyside and the enslaved community there.
 The University of Virginia purchased the Sunnyside property from the Duke family 1963. The Sunnyside house still stands and is owned by UVA. For information on Jane, this post draws on the Recollections journal of R.T.W. Duke Jr., a boy in the Duke family that enslaved Jane at Sunnyside. Duke penned his Recollections beginning in 1899 (cited hereafter as Recollections, Volume: page). For Jane running to see the Union Army, see Recollections, 1:214. Elizabeth Varon has recently written on Duke Jr.’s ideas of slavery and the “lost cause” narrative. Elizabeth Varon, “UVA and the History of Race: The Lost Cause Through Judge Duke’s Eyes,” UVA Today, September 4, 2019. https://news.virginia.edu/content/uva-and-history-race-lost-cause-through-judge-dukes-eyes
 Jane was likely the thirty-one-year-old mulatto woman associated with R.T.W. Duke Sr. in the 1860 federal Slave Schedule. For the Court Square episode, see Recollections, 1:20. R.T.W. Duke Jr. provided his remembrances of the enslaved community in the Duke household in Recollections, 1:17-27.
If you’re studying for exams or finishing up a seminar paper, the Law Library staff is rooting for you! Here are some resources to help you get through the end-of-semester crunch.
The Law Library has a room full of books to help you review for finals. Browse them online and in person in the Reserve Room next to the Circulation Desk to find Examples & Explanations with short hypos and answers, Nutshells with straightforward narrative overviews, more detailed Hornbooks, and Sum and Substance audio CDs. Check them out from the Circulation Desk before you leave with them (three-hour checkout period). Access detailed BARBRI class outlines from the comfort of your couch or other favorite study spot through Lexis Advance.
Even though the Library will be open longer starting December 2 (6am-2am weekdays, 8am-2am weekends), we encourage you to take regular study breaks and get a good night’s sleep. To help you take some deep breaths and manage exam stress, check out the audio guided meditations in the Reserve Room’s low shelves and the meditation mats and cushions in the second floor Collaborative Classroom. The UVA Mindfulness Center’s website has free study-break length guided meditations – try the 5-minute mindful breathing one between class outlines, the 10-minute kindness one when the “how could I have missed that practice exam answer!” thoughts come, and the 16-minute body scan if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night. For more peace and quiet, CALI earplugs are available at the Circulation Desk. Head to MyLab for coloring books and puzzles and keep an eye out for surprise toys throughout the Library.
Grilled Cheese Night
If comfort food is more your style than meditation, stop into the Law Library on Wednesday evening, December 11, for grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by librarians Ben Doherty, Micheal Klepper, Rebecca Hawes Owen, and Tim Breeden. Grilled Cheese Night is guaranteed to take your mind off of exams for at least a few minutes!
Kristin Glover is a Research Librarian at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.
Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library
The American Society for Legal History has awarded the 2019 Mary L. Dudziak Digital Legal History Prize to the UVA Law Library’s Scottish Court of Session Digital Archive (SCOS). SCOS is a digital archive and research platform produced by the University of Virginia Law Library that makes accessible roughly 10,000 printed documents produced by Scotland’s supreme civil court in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The SCOS documents, formally known as Session Papers, tell a new and understudied story of life, law, and trade in the British Atlantic world. Cases before the Court regularly involved underrepresented groups, despite their apparent absence from available case indices, law reports, and, most notably, scholarship. As a result, the papers contain rich narratives of women, enslaved persons, and laborers who lived in the British Atlantic world during the era of the American Revolution. These are documents about people, often in their own words, circulating in these spaces as they protected their physical and intellectual property, conducted business, engaged in marriage or divorce, and established personal and economic connections that transcended political borders. By digitizing these materials, providing fully searchable page text, and describing them with rich metadata, SCOS presents new avenues for scholarly inquiry across many fields, particularly legal history.
In 2019, the project team based within Law Special Collections re-launched the SCOS website with enhanced tools for exploring the collection, including curated themes that align with current interests in the field of legal history and a full-text search function that displays snippets of relevant documents. This launch followed a complete redesign of the project database led by Loren Moulds and Jim Ambuske. The Law Library debuted this intellectual work and technological overhaul in July 2019 at a conference held by the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Continued digitization, rich description, and new features are planned through 2020.
For scholars and students of legal history, these seemingly unlikely sources provide a new Atlantic perspective on America’s colonial and early national periods. The project responds to emergent trends in academic scholarship centered on Atlantic and global history, women’s history, slavery and the law, and the history of capitalism. Providing scholars with ready access to these court papers has revealed a fascinating world of women, men, and children and their relationship to the law.
The award was presented at the ASLH’s annual conference in November 2019.
The Summit is an interdisciplinary conference focused on the creation, management, and use of digital archives throughout Virginia. Building on the success of previous Summits in 2017 and 2018, this year’s gathering will focus on digital projects that address the legacies of slavery and freedom in Virginia. We welcome individuals from various fields—archivists, scholars, librarians, museum specialists, and technologists—to attend and join the conversation.
The 2019 Summit is a joint effort between the University of Virginia Law Library, the Library of Virginia, George Mason University, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
“I was scared to ask questions. I didn’t want to bother anyone. I also didn’t want them to think I was stupid.”
In a study of library usage, that’s how one student described their feelings about research. Do you sometimes feel the same way? If so, I have a message for you: Don’t be afraid to ask your question! Here at the reference desk, it’s our job to answer research questions. We enjoy it, we’re happy to help you, and we’ve heard just about everything. We will not think you’re stupid.
In case you aren’t convinced, let me assure you that your classmates experience many of the same challenges you do. For example:
You’re not the only one who finds the Bluebook confusing. Heck, I sometimes find the Bluebook confusing, and I’ve been using it for 15 years. It’s full of detailed rules, and those rules don’t always apply cleanly to real-world documents. The reference desk gets tons of questions about citation format, and we’re always happy to help.
There are plenty of sources that your classmates don’t know how to find. Legal scholarship and practice employ sources that you probably didn’t use as an undergrad, including some that don’t come up in 1L research orientation. Having a hard time finding a Congressional document, regulatory materials, or something else? Ask us. I promise you won’t be the first.
If a source is difficult for you to use, it’s probably challenging for your classmates, too. Many legal sources are unintuitive. Some of them are poorly written or aimed at researchers with specific expertise. As a legal professional, you’re capable of evaluating the quality and usefulness of sources. If a resource doesn’t meet your needs, try something else. If you’re having trouble navigating a source, you guessed it—ask us for help!
Remember, everyone encounters challenges during research projects. The next time you’re having trouble, we hope you’ll feel comfortable asking a reference librarian for help!
 Constance A. Mellon, Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development, 47 C. & Res. Libr. 160, 163 (1986).
Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library
Just months before he died, Thomas Jefferson completed one of his last tasks in the project to establish the University of Virginia: the selection of the University’s first law professor. In an April 1826 letter recently acquired by the UVA Law Library, Jefferson wrote to members of the University’s Board of Visitors that John Tayloe Lomax had accepted the professorship of law and would commence law classes in July 1826.
Early this summer, the Law Library was alerted to the letter’s upcoming auction at Sotheby’s. Prior to its sale at Sotheby’s, the letter had once been part of the James S. Copley Library, a large private collection of American manuscripts, books, pamphlets, broadsides, and maps. As a circular letter to the Board of Visitors, Jefferson wrote, signed, and sent copies to every member of the Board. The New York Public Library holds James Madison’s copy in its collections; the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA holds the copy sent to Joseph Carrington Cabell. Based on markings on the UVA Law Library’s newly acquired letter, we believe that this is the copy sent to James Breckenridge.
The Law School Opens
Jefferson’s letter is an important institutional record in its own right, but its significance becomes more apparent in the context of other sources from the same time period. Based on further research, we know that the letter marked the end of a prolonged search for the University’s first law professor, during which Jefferson and Madison had scrutinized the credentials, elocution, and politics of numerous candidates. Their stringent criteria—must be a devoted patriot, a native Virginian, a legal philosopher more than a “common-place” lawyer, and an effective public speaker—coupled with the difficulty of convincing established jurists to move to central Virginia, resulted in the law chair remaining unfilled when University classes began in 1825. Finally, in this April 1826 circular letter to members of the Board of Visitors, Jefferson announced Lomax’s hiring and the much-anticipated opening of the new Law School.
As with other aspects of UVA’s founding, the University’s historical relationship with slavery underlies the newly acquired letter and gives perspective to our understanding of the document. The opening of the Law School depended on the labor of enslaved people. Lomax’s own undergraduate education had been funded by his uncle, John Tayloe III, one of the largest slaveholders in Virginia at the time. Twenty-six male students, most from slaveholding families, formed Lomax’s first law class. Law lectures were held in Pavilion III, which had been built in large measure by enslaved laborers. As the letter joins other primary sources in UVA archives, it offers the opportunity, in line with ongoing initiatives at the University of Virginia, to investigate and tell a full story of the University’s founding, particularly the founding’s deep connections to slavery.
Teaching the Law
After assuming his professorship, Lomax implemented the law school’s early curriculum, which comprised two year-long sessions: legal procedures in the first, for those entering practice after one year’s preparation, and principles of law in the second. Eschewing Jefferson’s preference for Sir Edward Coke, Lomax taught Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries to first years for its “general map of the law,” followed by additional assigned texts. In the classroom, he “rigidly and critically” examined the students upon their readings “every other day.”
During annual examinations, students submitted written answers to a committee of University faculty for review. Below are actual Law School questions from 1829.
1. What are the ages at which male and females are competent to different legal purposes? Viz.
Males. To take oath of allegiance? When at years of discretion to marry? To choose a guardian? To make a testament of personal estate (by the common law? By Act of Assembly)? To be an executor? To aliene land?
Females. To be betrothed? To be entitled to dower? When at years of discretion to consent or disagree to marriage? To bequeath personal estate? To choose a guardian? To be an executrix? To dispose of herself and land?
2. What four requisites are necessary to make a tenancy by curtesy?
3. Of what two sorts is the remedy for false imprisonment? What are the four means which may be employed (at common law) for removing the injury? And which of them is now the most usual and effectual means in all manner of illegal confinement? What is the remedy by way of satisfaction of the injury?
The Jefferson letter will now be part of the Law Library’s Special Collections and Archives. Interested researchers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
 For examples of Jefferson’s and Madison’s correspondence regarding the law professorship search, see Jefferson to Breckenridge (“the appointment should not be given to a mere common-place lawyer”), 22 December 1824; Madison to Jefferson, 31 December 1824, 1 February 1825, and 4 August 1825. See also James Ambuske and Randall Flaherty, “Reading Law in the Early Republic: Legal Education in the Age of Jefferson,” in The Founding of Thomas Jefferson’s University, eds. John A. Ragosta, Peter S. Onuf, and Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019).
 For a biography of Lomax and the financial support he received from his uncle to attend St. John’s College in Annapolis, see E. Lee Shepard, “John Tayloe Lomax,” in Legal Education in Virginia 1779-1979: A Biographical Approach, ed. W. Hamilton Bryson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1982), 359; For John Tayloe III as one of the largest Virginia slaveholders in this time, see Richard S. Dunn, “Winney Grimshaw, a Virginia Slave, and Her Family,” in Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9, no. 3 (2011): 495; For a list of the first law students, see A catalogue of the officers and students of the University of Virginia Second session, commencing February 1st, 1826 (Charlottesville: Chronicle Steam Book Printing House, 1880); For the role of enslaved laborers in the construction of the UVA lawn buildings, the African American community at the University, and the University’s connection to slavery more generally, see The President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, Report to President Teresa A. Sullivan, 2018.
 See Lomax’s 1829 outline of the Law School curriculum in “University Intelligence,” The Virginia Literary Museum and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts & Sciences &c., August 5, 1829.
Welcome back, returning students! While you were away, the Law Library added some new resources that we thought you’d like to know about.
Washington Post Access
Law students can now sign up for free online access to the Washington Post. To request an account, navigate to the Student Services tab on LawWeb and select “Washington Post Academic Access” (or use this shortcut). This will bring up a form for you to fill out. After submitting the form, you will receive an email with further instructions for creating your online account.
As in past years, the Law Library also provides online access to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Bluebook. If you signed up for these resources last fall, note that two of them require annual renewal. You’ll need to reactivate your NYTimes.com account and get a fresh registration key for the Bluebook Online. (To renew your NYTimes.com account, you must be on-grounds or using a VPN.) First-time registrants can sign up for these resources by logging into LawWeb and following the links provided on the “Student Services” tab.
ProQuest Regulatory Insight
The Law Library has acquired a powerful new resource for researching federal regulations. ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight compiles regulatory histories for federal statutes and executive orders by assembling pertinent Federal Register notices, rules, and proposed rules. It also provides links to related pages in Supreme Court Insight and Legislative Insight (a legislative history resource). Use Regulatory Insight to help make your regulatory research more efficient and complete.
A New Digital Resource for Legal History Research
Law Special Collections has launched a new website for its Scottish Court of Session Digital Archive Project. The Project is an initiative to explore everyday life in early America and the British Atlantic world of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries through Session Papers, which were submitted to Scotland’s supreme civil court as part of the litigation process. Explore the archive to find material for your next legal history paper!
UVA Law at 200 Exhibition
In honor of the University’s Bicentennial, the UVA Law at 200 exhibition by Law Special Collections highlights a rotating selection of Law School alumni/ae who broke local and national barriers, mastered the campaign trail, issued judgments from the bench, and transformed the legal landscape. The exhibition includes photographs, old yearbooks, historical documents, campaign buttons, and more. Exhibit cases are located on the first and second floors of the library.
Updates to Study Spaces
The tables in Caplin Reading Room now have power outlets! With this addition, most seating in the Law Library provides a place to charge your phone or laptop. Additionally, new skylight windows have been installed over the study space in the Reference area.
As you embark on a new academic year, remember that the library is here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or to stop by and ask us a question.
Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library
Five years after the University of Virginia Law School began offering a “Women and the Law” course, which was supervised by two male professors in 1972, the Virginia Law Women (VLW) embarked on an extraordinary project. Six members of the group—Joan Kuriansky, Susan Buckingham Reilly, Diane Pitts, Jackie Blyn, Diane Smock, and Tracy Thompson—researched and wrote a legal handbook for women in Virginia titled Your Legal Rights as a Woman: A Handbook for Virginians (1977). Modeled on a handbook created by the North Carolina Law School Women, the text was, as the introduction stated, “written by women for women who want the law to work for them…Today we have many more rights than we had even five years ago. But unless we are aware of these rights we cannot exercise them” (VL141 .Y817 1977). The handbook, funded by the Virginia Commission on the Status of Women, was written in lay terms and explained Virginia laws concerning marriage, divorce, adoption, property rights, insurance, taxes, employment, social welfare programs such as Medicare and worker’s compensation, birth control, abortion, the criminal justice system, and gay rights. It also included a section on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which had been approved by Congress in 1972 and was awaiting the requisite 38 states to ratify it into law at the time. In concert with consciousness-raising movements and projects across the country in that historical moment, the text made women conscious of the rights they were entitled to and the wrongs they suffered on account of their gender.
While the Virginia Law Women distributed the handbook locally to libraries, organizations, agencies, alumni, and faculty, the Virginia Commission on the Status of Women distributed the bulk of the copies across the state. In the VLW manuscript collection here at Law Special Collections, one folder brims with requests for the handbook at the time of its publication. Dozens of women who read about the handbook in the newspaper wrote and asked for copies. Several stated that they planned on using the handbook to help them through their divorces. One high schooler even asked for the handbook as research for a paper on the ERA. The group received requests from rape crisis centers, women’s prison projects, libraries, law schools, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the ABA, the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Women’s Law Coalition, and Legal Aid. The combination of the handbook’s popularity and the significant changes in laws applicable to women in this period resulted in revised editions in 1979 and 1984. In the second and third editions, new sections were added to reflect changing laws, such as Title VII, Title IX, establishing credit, mental health, and domestic violence. In addition to the revised editions, the VLW taught a local continuing education course on the handbook in 1980. While the handbook did not address everything (the absence of a discussion about the legal implications of American racial inequality is noticeable), it served as a much-needed resource for women across the state.
The most revised and debated section of the handbook was the section on the ERA. The VLW originally planned to openly advocate for the ERA in the first edition, but they deleted that paragraph, deciding simply to describe the amendment and its potential impact because their funder, the Commission on the Status of Women, asked them to remain “politically neutral” (VL16. L425L c.1). The second edition was delayed because the Commission asked them to remove the entire section on the ERA. The VLW objected, citing the copyright in their name and declaring the issue of the ERA “vital to the women of Virginia” (RG 209-82). The Commission eventually withdrew their request and the subsequent editions not only included a section on the ERA but a section that was longer than the original. While the ERA was not originally a partisan issue (it has appeared in the platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties), the Commission’s anxieties about it have made me wonder whether they knew the story of the woman in the photograph on the front cover of the first and second editions. The photograph was of British suffragette Mary Leigh in her Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) uniform. Leigh was famous for throwing a hatchet at Prime Minister Asquith in 1912, among other militant activities.
I’d like to end this post by reflecting on how these handbooks serve as a historical record of change. My own research focuses on women, politics, and property rights in eighteenth-century literature. I have spent more days than I can count poring over pamphlets about women’s legal rights, law books, and case documents from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. I inevitably came across the word “dower” in most of them. I never expected to come across that word in all three editions of Your Legal Rights as a Woman: A Handbook for Virginians. I was shocked that dower, a widow’s right to a life estate in one-third of her husband’s real property which came into being sometime around 1310, appeared in a legal handbook for women in the late twentieth century. Upon further research, I discovered that dower was not abolished in the state of Virginia until 1990. I discovered that the topic of my last blog post, the law of necessaries—an integral element of coverture—was the law in Virginia until 1983 when the state Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional under the 14th amendment. Finally, I discovered the word “coverture”—the common law doctrine that rendered husband and wife legally one person after marriage, which required the husband to act as representative for them both and which stripped the wife of many legal rights—still appears in the Virginia state code in two places. The first place is section 55-35, a statute that reflects the Married Women’s Act of 1877, which enabled women to hold and dispose of property as if they were single women and declared that the wife’s property was not liable for her husband’s debts.
The second place is section 55-38, a statute that states the wife’s right of entry into land cannot be barred by judgments during or after her husband’s lifetime. Ironically, the word “coverture” appears in statutes that recognize women as legal persons independent of their husbands. In fact, these sections are scheduled to be repealed in October 2019 and replaced by revised sections that continue to use the word “coverture.” This means that the word “coverture” has been a part of Virginia law since the colony’s founding over 400 years ago and still is to this day. To me at least as a scholar, the appearance of “coverture” in the state code raises the question of whether it was ever really abolished, or if it was simply reformed and remains part of our legal framework. Even though dower and coverture might seem like antiquated legal tools that we rightly dismissed long ago in the name of equity, they recently informed, and in the case of coverture may still inform, the way women are treated under the law in Virginia. These legal relics are one of the reasons why women would still find a handbook like this one useful today.
For more on the Virginia Law Women, see our collection (RG 209-82 and RG 209-2010) as well as the three handbooks (VL141 .Y817 1977, VL141 .Y817 1979, and VL141 .Y817 1984).
 Fern Riddell, “ Suffragettes, violence, and militancy,” British Library, 6 February 2018, https://www.bl.uk/votes-for-women/articles/suffragettes-violence-and-militancy.
 Marylynn Salmon, Women and the Law of Property in Early America (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), 144.
 See Va. Code Ann. § 55-37 (2012) and Mark S. Brennan, “The New Doctrine of Necessaries in Virginia,” University of Richmond Law Review 19 no. 2 (1985): 317–330.
 After October 2019, see Va. Code Ann. § 55.1–200 (Supp. 2019) and Va. Code Ann. § 55.1–203 (Supp. 2019).
Kelly is a Curatorial Assistant at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections. She is also a Lecturer in the English department at the University of Virginia, where she earned her PhD in 2019. Her research focuses on the relationship between eighteenth-century British literature, women's property rights, politics, and material culture.
To new students arriving for orientation: Welcome! The Law Library staff looks forward to working with you throughout your law school career. From personalized research consultations to exam-time grilled cheese breaks, the library offers services to make your time at UVA more enriching, efficient, and enjoyable. Here are some key resources that will help you hit the ground running this academic year.
Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law Passwords
Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law are three core legal research databases, so be sure to sign up for access! On August 21 from 9 am to noon, activation codes will be available in the lounge area of Withers-Brown Hall. The lounge is to the right as you exit the Law Library.
NYT, WSJ, WaPo, CALI, and More!
As a UVA law student, you’ll receive free access to resources like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and CALI (which provides interactive legal tutorials). You can sign up for these and other law-school-only resources via LawWeb. From the LawWeb homepage, just click on the “Student Services” tab (shown below), and then select the resource you’d like to access.
Not sure how to tackle your Legal Research & Writing assignment? The Law Library is here to help! Each section of LR&W has a dedicated librarian—or “Library Liaison”—to help students get comfortable with legal research methods. Once classes start, your LR&W instructor will provide more information about meeting with a Library Liaison. For additional research tips, check out this guide to legal research for law students.
Well-formed citations are an important part of legal writing. To help you nail every detail, the Law Library offers online access to the Bluebook uniform system of citation. Law students and faculty can request an access code.
Guide to Student Services
As your studies progress, we hope that you’ll find the Law Library to be a valuable partner in your academic efforts. You can learn more about the library’s offerings in our guide for students. And remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a staff member!
Once again, a warm welcome to all incoming students!
Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library