Updates and Reminders for All Students

The Law Library staff is excited to welcome all UVA law students to Grounds this fall. Whether you’re new in town or returning from summer break, we look forward to getting to know you better and helping you take advantage of everything the library has to offer. To get you started, here are a few updates and reminders about our services.

Hours

The Law Library is now open from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week.

Research Assistance

If you need help finding a source or planning a research project, our reference librarians will be happy to assist you. One of us will be at the second-floor Reference Desk from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. You can also get in touch with us via email at RefDesk@law.virginia.edu or use our website to schedule a Zoom consultation.

Getting Materials from Other UVA Libraries

The University has developed a system that allows you to request books from other UVA libraries using the Virgo catalog (https://search.lib.virginia.edu/). To request a book, find it in the Virgo catalog, click on the “Request Item” button, and choose “Law” as your Preferred Pickup Location. (If you’re unable to pick up the book in person, a form is available for making alternate arrangements.) Note that you’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.

Requesting Scans

Last year’s scanning service was so popular that we’ve decided to keep it! If you would like us scan an article or book chapter for you, please request the scan through Virgo. On the Virgo record for the item you need, click on the “Request a Scan” button and fill out the form that appears.

Online Study Aids

We offer various study aids and other resources to help you learn. For example, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, known as CALI, offers a collection of interactive legal tutorials. You can register for CALI using the activation code on LawWeb. And you can sign up for free online Bluebook access using this form.

Renew Your Subscriptions!

Finally, a friendly reminder for returning students to renew your online subscriptions: Once each year, you will need to reactivate your NYTimes.com account and get a fresh registration key for the Bluebook Online. (In order to renew your NYTimes.com account, you must be on-grounds or using a VPN.) If you’re having trouble accessing WSJ.com, please visit the registration page (also while on-grounds) and click “Register or Renew.” First-time registrants can sign up for NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, WashingtonPost.com, and more by logging into LawWeb and following the links on the “Other Student Services” tab.

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 refdesk@law.virginia.edu or to stop by and ask us a question.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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The Law Library Welcomes New Students

To new students arriving for orientation: Welcome! The Law Library staff looks forward to working with you throughout your time at UVA. From personalized research consultations to exam-time grilled cheese breaks, the library offers services to make your time here more enriching, efficient, and enjoyable. This post describes some key resources to help you hit the ground running this academic year.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law Passwords

The Law Library provides subscriptions to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, three major legal research databases. You’ll find sign-up instructions and registration codes on LawWeb (linked under “Other Student Services” >> “Library”). If you have questions or don’t find an assigned code listed there, please contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu

Newspaper Subscriptions

As a UVA law student, you’ll receive free subscriptions to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Sign up on LawWeb under “Other Student Services” >> “News Access.”

Reserve Materials

Some materials in our collection have been placed “on reserve,” which means that they can be checked out for three hours at a time. Study guides, some textbooks, and popular legal treatises are likely to be held on reserve so that more students have an opportunity to use them. (We only place course materials on reserve if your professor specifically asks us to do so.) You can find these materials in the Klaus Reading Room near the first-floor circulation desk.

LR&W Help

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.

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 this guide to student services. And remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu!

Once again, a warm welcome to all incoming students!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Kent Olson Set to Retire

Kent Olson will retire in August after more than 35 years at the Law School, and we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on his many contributions to our community. But where to begin? Since Kent dedicated his career to research services, we decided it would be fitting to do some research of our own—about Kent’s scholarly publications, his appearances in student publications, and all the ways in which UVA Law  faculty have acknowledged him in their publications. Here’s what we found.

Kent Olson, undated (CC BY Image courtesy of University of Virginia Law Library)

As you may already know, Kent is a star of the legal research field. He has twice won the American Association of Law Libraries’ Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographic Award for making “a significant contribution to legal bibliographical literature”—first in 2000 for Legal Information: How to Find It, How to Use It, and again in 2010 for Principles of Legal Research, which is now in its third edition.[i] Kent worked on ten editions of Legal Research in a Nutshell, starting in 1992 with co-author (and Nutshell creator) Morris Cohen and continuing through the just-published fourteenth edition. He has published various articles and book reviews over the years, including one that led Bob Berring, another eminent legal bibliographer, to call Kent “the author of my all time favorite book review.” (Berring was referring to Kent’s review of a volume of the federal reporter, “Book Review of 750 F.2d.”)

But Kent’s professional service extends well beyond his publications. He launched the Law School’s Advanced Legal Research course in 1993, and as evidenced in the annals of the Virginia Law Weekly, he has been liked and admired by class after class of law students. Kent racked up an impressive streak of VLW “thumbs ups” ratings from 2002 to 2004, beginning on April 26, 2002, when the editors recounted how, “[o]n the last day of Advanced Legal Research, he went through the entire class (100 plus), row by row, and named every single person without using notes or a facebook.” VLW later recognized Kent “for showing Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Advanced Legal Research” (January 23, 2004) and giving gifts to the students with the highest grades in Advanced Legal Research (April 23, 2004).

In addition to Kent’s human touch as an instructor, VLR praised Kent’s fearless stewardship of the library space:

[I]n the library, brave Librarian Kent Olson responded to the distress call of a woman who noticed that a garbage can in the law library was rustling. Olson stuck his arm in the can, retrieved a real live bat, and disposed of it appropriately.

And students appreciated Kent’s sense of fun. A 1994 issue of VLW presented this vignette of Kent playing softball:

During a recent game at Copeley, Kent Olson (the captain of the Law Library team) was seen behaving remarkably like someone who actually enjoys the game. He took a full-fledged slide into home plate, ensuring jeans with orange clay stains for years to come, and was heard cheering his teammates, including Anne H., the Westlaw rep., with slogans like: “Come on, Annie! Give ’em a password!”

Kent’s accomplishments as a softball teammate, an author, and an instructor would be enough to constitute an exemplary career–but there’s more. Kent has provided decades of top-tier service the UVA Law faculty. His keen grasp of scholars’ research needs was on display in a 1999 issue of VLW:

If vodka is made from potatoes, why don’t the Irish make vodka? . . . “This is the kind of question that professors come up with when they go to lunch together,” explained Kent Olson, Director of Reference Research and Instruction.

Wry comments aside, Kent’s approach to faculty research has been marked by a commitment to service and remarkable skill as a researcher. Here’s how he described his philosophy:

“We don’t want [faculty members] to ever have to enter the library; we want them to be able to sit at their desks and wish for things.”

And what have those faculty members who “wished for things” said about Kent? They’ve praised his “superb,” “generous,” and “exceptional” research assistance. They’ve told readers how Kent “helped track down an elusive quotation,” “bent rules and beat bushes to find what I needed,” and “answer[ed] even the [questions] I didn’t know enough to think of.” And they’ve expressed the extent to which they “utterly depend” on his “skill and patience.”

The Law Library staff will miss Kent’s skill and patience, not to mention his sense of humor, his Halloween costumes, and his fantastic blueberry muffins. But after more than 35 years of scholarship, instruction, research assistance, and mentoring, we know that Kent has more than earned his retirement. We wish him all the best in his coming adventures.

[i] Co-authored with Aaron Kirschenfeld and Ingrid Mattson.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Summer in the Law Library: FAQs

To all of our students, congratulations on completing a challenging academic year! Remember that as you turn to bar prep or your summer job, the Law Library is still here to support you. Read on for answers to some of your top questions about using the Law Library over the summer.

I’m staying in Charlottesville to get ready for the bar exam. Can I study in the Law Library?

Yes! We’ll be open this summer for bar studiers, RAs, and any other law students who need a place to work. From May 15 through July 27, our hours will be:

Monday to Thursday: 8am-8pm
Friday: 8am-5pm
Saturday: Noon-5pm

(As often happens in the summer, there may be days with a little extra noise due to facilities upgrades, but we’ll post signs to warn you.)

Can I use Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg over the summer?

Each service’s summer use policy is summarized below.

Lexis

The Lexis Summer Access program starts when classes end and continues through August. During that time, you can use your Lexis ID at any law firm, government agency, court, or other legal position. If you’re graduating, you’ll have access for six months after graduation.

Bloomberg

You can use your Bloomberg Law account over the summer in any capacity you’d like. You’ll also have access for six months after graduation.

Westlaw

You can use your Westlaw ID (including Practical Law) for non-commercial research, but you can’t use it in situations where you’re billing a client. Acceptable uses include:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

After you graduate, you can maintain your Westlaw access for six months by opting into the “Grad Elite” program. The program provides 60 hours of access per month and is limited to non-commercial uses. There are two registration options: (1) Go to www.lawschool.tr.com, log in, and use the drop-down menu by your name to go to Grad Elite Status; or (2) use this Grad Elite link.

How can I get books from the Law Library over the summer?

As always, students are welcome to stop by the library and check out books. If you’re out of town or prefer to spend less time in the Law Library, you have a few options:

1. Ask us to retrieve the book and hold it at circulation for you. Please use the ‘Request item’ button in Virgo and choose ‘Law’ as your Preferred Pickup Location. You’ll receive an email when the book is available for pickup. (Note: You’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.)

2. Ask us to make a scan for you. We’ll be happy to scan chapters, articles, or pages from any Law Library book. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog. You can use the same procedure to request scans from other UVA libraries. (Note: If you don’t see a “Request a Scan” button, that means your book is available to read on HathiTrust.)

3. Ask us to send you a book. If you’re out of town, we’ll be glad to mail any books that you need (except for reference and reserve books). For full books from any UVA Library (including Law), please use this form and UVA Libraries staff will contact you about mailing arrangements or other options for accessing the book.

I’m studying for the bar exam and I need a break. Help!

Your bar preparation will be more successful if you make time to exercise, see friends, and take care of yourself—we promise. At the Law Library, we have lots of materials to help you recharge, including board games, DVDsmindfulness resources, and our newest acquisition, outdoor games. Stop by the circulation desk to check out Cornhole, Kubb, Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, or another game, and forget about the bar for a few hours. Just be sure to stay 6 feet apart while you play!

I’m looking for something to read over the summer. Any ideas?

The common read display.

Visit the reserve room to check out our collection of non-law books! We’re especially excited about our display of the books recommended by UVA Law affinity groups to help build understanding about diversity. We also provide electronic access to many of these recommendations.

How can I stay in touch with the Law Library over the summer?

As always, you can send research questions to RefDesk@law.virginia.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UVALawLibrary for the latest news!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Library Services to Get You Through Exams

The Law Library’s student services are designed to support academic study and self-care. Here are some services that we hope will make your life a little easier during this fall’s end-of-semester crunch.

Longer Hours

The Law Library has extended its hours through the end of the semester. We’re now open from 8am to 8:45pm Monday through Friday. Please remember to wear your mask at all times while in the library, including during evening hours. If you forget your mask, please stop by the circulation desk for assistance.

Study Aids

Did you know that the Law Library provides free access to study aids? With a Lexis+ (formerly Lexis Advance) password, you can view BARBRI course outlines using the links in our database directory. Print study aids, including the popular Examples and Explanations series, are available in the reserve room, and we’re happy to scan excerpts for students who are learning remotely this semester. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog.

Courtesy Services

The Law Library offers many courtesy services, including some that you might not expect. At the circulation desk, you can:

  • Check out a power cord, a flash drive, headphones, or a book stand
  • Borrow an umbrella or a bike pump
  • Use our sewing kit and lint brush
  • Get a free envelope
  • Access our basket of emergency menstrual products
  • …and more!

And don’t forget—whether you’re taking classes on grounds or remotely, we’re here to assist you with more traditional library tasks like accessing books. Email us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu for research assistance and Circ@law.virginia.edu for general library questions.

Outdoor Games

The Law Library’s Klaus Collection (in the reserve room) contains materials to help you recharge from your studies—including board games, DVDs, mindfulness resources, and non-law books. Starting this week, we’ll also be offering a selection of outdoor games, which we hope will provide opportunities for fresh air, sunlight, and socially distanced time with your friends. Stop by to check out Cornhole, Kubb, Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, or another game from our collection. (Be sure to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart while you play!)

Newspapers

To keep up with current events, take advantage of your free subscription to the online editions of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. 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, and then select the resource you’d like to access. (To sign up for your NYTimes.com and WSJ.com accounts, you must be on grounds or using a VPN.)

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Special Bulletin: Accessing Law Library Books in a Hybrid Environment

If you’re a law student taking classes on grounds or remotely this semester, you have several options for accessing the Law Library’s print collection:

Visit the stacks. The Law Library stacks are currently open to law students and faculty. If your book is located at the Law Library and marked ‘On Shelf Now’ in Virgo, then you can grab it from our stacks! (Note: This is true even if Virgo displays a message indicating that UVA Libraries stacks are closed.) Make a note of the call number and check where that will be on the map. If you’d like to scan part of the book, you can use one of the Law Library’s two public scanners. Flash drives for saving your scans are available at the circulation desk.

Ask us to pull the book for you. If you prefer to spend less time in the Law Library—even if you’re taking classes on grounds this semester—you can ask us to retrieve the book and hold it at circulation for you. Please use the ‘Request item’ button in Virgo and choose ‘Law’ as your Preferred Pickup Location. You’ll receive an email when the book is available for pickup. (Note: You’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.)

Ask us to make a scan for you. Whether you’re on grounds or working remotely, we’ll be happy to scan chapters, articles, or pages from any Law Library book. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog. You can use the same procedure to request scans from other UVA libraries. (Note: If you don’t see a “Request a Scan” button, that means your book is available to read on HathiTrust.)

Ask us to send you the book. If you’re working remotely, we’ll gladly mail you any books that you need (except for reference and reserve books). For full books from any UVA Library (including Law), please use this form and UVA Libraries staff will contact you about mailing arrangements or other options for accessing the book.

Questions? Send us an email at refdesk@law.virginia.edu, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Law Librarians: Here to Help

With the addition of plexiglass and social distancing reminders, the Law Library may look a little different this semester—but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing UVA Law students with excellent research assistance and instruction. If you find yourself stuck on a research question, or just want to talk through a new project, remember that law librarians are standing by to help. Here are some of the best ways to get in touch with us:

  • As always, email us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu.
  • Schedule a (virtual) research consultation for help developing a research strategy, working through a challenge, or using Law Library resources.
  • For questions about checking out books or other general library issues, use the chat feature on our homepage to contact the circulation desk.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, check out our new Start Your Research guide, which provides information about finding databases, obtaining books, and getting additional help.

No question is too big or too small, so please don’t hesitate to ask. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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The Virtual Law Library: Still Here to Help

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 refdesk@law.virginia.edu. 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.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Your End-of-Semester Survival Guide

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.

Study Guides

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.

Study Breaks

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!

Written by

Kristin Glover

Kristin Glover is a Research Librarian at the Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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Don’t be afraid to ask your question!

“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.[1] 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!

[1] Constance A. Mellon, Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development, 47 C. & Res. Libr. 160, 163 (1986).

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, Arthur J. Morris Law Library

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