This year, instead of conducting its usual biennial user survey, the library decided to run a series of smaller “quick polls” between spring break and the end of classes. Each week the SBA Events E-Mail contained a link to an online survey consisting of 2 to 4 questions. Participating students were invited to enter a drawing for a free library t-shirt.
Quick Poll #1. The Law Library’s first Quick Poll asked students how likely they were to use one of the standing desks recently purchased by the library. Almost 35% of the responders said they were "Likely" or "Very Likely" to use the standing desks and 46% were "Unlikely" or "Very Unlikely."
Quick Poll #2. The second Quick Poll asked students to rate several service categories using a 5-point scale (1. "Very Unsatisfied," 2. "Unsatisfied," 3. "Neutral," 4. "Satisfied," 5. "Very Satisfied"). The majority of students were "Very Satisfied" (53%) or "Satisfied" (40%) with the Library overall and no one rated the Library lower than "Neutral" (6%).
Results of Quick Poll #2
Quick Poll #3 asked students about their use of the library’s Research Consultation Service. More than 95% of the responders had never used this service to schedule consultations with research librarians. Half of the students said they weren’t aware of the service.
Quick Poll #4 asked students if they had ever had a summer position that required a significant amount of legal research.
An open-ended follow up question asked students in retrospect what areas of research would have better prepared them for the job. Many students said more familiarity with free or low-cost alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw or more cost efficient search techniques in general would have been helpful.
– Joe Wynne
Law librarian Jon Ashley has for the second time filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Justice. The FOIA filing seeks the release of 30 prosecution agreements between the Justice Department and various organizations. With Professor Brandon Garrett, Ashley has developed the Federal Organizational Prosecution Agreements database, a repository of prosecution agreements that is freely available to researchers. Ashley's lawsuit last year prompted Justice Department officials to release a single prosecution agreement after a FOIA request for it had been denied. Today's New York Times features an article about the work of UVA Law School's First Amendment clinic students in pursuing the litigation. [Reposted with corrections. – Ed.]
“What one piece of advice would you provide to attorneys who are presenting legal research in a brief or memo to your court?” U.Va. Law Librarian Ben Doherty asked this question of the justices and judges of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Doherty’s article, “appellate Research Lessons from the Judges,” was published in this month’s Virginia Lawyer. It contains valuable tips from the judges, such as “analyze the cases, don’t just find them.” It’s must reading for anyone who wants to persuade judges without committing errors that can detract from the merits of an argument.
The December issue of the Virginia Lawyer features seven articles written on a range of topics by Doherty and other members of the Virginia Association of Law Libraries (VALL).
– Amy Wharton
March Madness is upon us. Every March the best teams in college basketball are seeded in a tournament with the goal to crown the national champion. While we know that the players may go on to successful professional basketball careers, quite a few college basketball stars head off to law school. Jay Bilas (former Duke Basketball player and Duke Law alum) may be familiar to folks as an ESPN analyst and Bill Walton spent two years at Stanford Law during a break in his NBA career. It was UVa’s own Richard Warren “Buzzy” Wilkinson who made headlines in the 1950s.
“Buzzy” Wilkinson turned down Kentucky to play at Virginia and his jersey became the first number retired in the University of Virginia basketball history. Sports Illustrated called Buzzy the “best but certainly the least-known star in the country.” Mr. Wilkinson was recruited by the Celtics (and their famous coach Red Auerbach) in 1955, but turned it down to attend law school at UVa. Mr. Wilkinson graduated law school in 1962 and began a career in banking in his home state of West Virginia. He still holds the season scoring record for UVA basketball with 898 points, and he made “Honorable Mention” on a list of Top Five Lawyers Who Were Great College Hoopsters.
– Leslie Ashbrook
Congratulations to Ben Doherty for his lightning-fast performance Saturday in the annual Charlottesville 10 Miler. Ben's six-minute mile pace brought him in at 2nd place for his age bracket and 23rd place overall. It also gave him the fastest time of any Law School runner, 23 seconds ahead of second-year Rich Connaroe and more than two minutes ahead of Professor Jim Ryan.
Four other MoreUs runners also crossed the finish line: first timers Jon Ashley and Tim Breeden, and repeat contenders Katherine Jenkins and Cathy Palombi. Congratulations to all of our runners!
Welcome to More Us, the official blawg of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library! We named our blawg “More Us” because we hope to tell you more about “us” — our entire community of library users, staff, scholars, the publishing industry, and IT professionals. We’ll share information about the resources we use, what happens behind the scenes at the library, and the rapid evolution of information discovery techniques for legal researchers and scholars.
In addition to the traditional “news and announcements” about the latest databases, training opportunities, and schedule changes, we’ll blawg research tips, tech reviews, and recommendations of newly acquired videos, books and articles. We also hope to hear from you. Whether it’s a comment on a posting or a complaint about a library policy, we welcome your feedback.
About our banner: The banner is based on a cartoon by French satirist Honoré Daumier. This sketch was originally published as Number One in the series “Les Avocats et les Plaideurs” (“The Lawyers and the Litigants”) in the French newspaper Le Charivari on November 12, 1851. We find a kindred spirit in our banner version of Daumier’s avocat: like the UVA Law Library, he is steeped in tradition even as he embraces state-of-the-art technology in his legal research. Prints of Number One and several of Daumier’s other works can be found on display near the Klaus Room in the UVA Law Library.