The Law Library is happy to welcome the class of 2019 to the law school! We’re excited that you’re here with us and want you to know that we’re here to help you throughout your legal education. In addition to the study carrels and the books you see around you, the law library has many electronic databases available to help you in your studies and research. Check out our website to find many of the great resources available to you. We do our best to keep you up to date on new databases, research tips, and more through our law library blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help. Here are some details about our library faculty and staff. We look forward to getting to know you!
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service for BYU Law faculty, staff, and students to assist with their research needs. ILL will locate and deliver to you: books, journal articles, and many other library materials. If the item you are looking for isn’t owned by the Law Library or the Lee Library, ILL is able to borrow the item for you from another library, even if it’s owned by a library outside the U.S. In general, if a library has it, ILL can get it.
Pronunciator teaches 80 world languages, including TESOL, from 50 language interfaces. This program is a great tool for self-assisted language learning, to provide supplemental practice and support for language classes taken on campus or as a brush up on your skills. This program is also a great way to prepare for international travel, internships or employment opportunities abroad. It helps with vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, and language practice in various situations including social, business and legal. There is also an app for your mobile devices, so you can practice your language skills on the go.
Mango Languages (available soon)
Mango Languages teaches over six dozen languages, including English for foreign speakers, using film-based modules, virtual dialogues and pronunciation monitoring. This program is designed to rapidly build language proficiency and cultural understanding by teaching real-world communication skills you will actually use. The program seeks to teach language structure and vocabulary in an intuitive and contextual way by breaking down language into smaller pieces and requiring the student to reconstruct sentences in a logical way. Like Pronunciator, this program is a great way to learn a new language, refresh skills, or prepare for an experience abroad.
Often one of the best places to start legal research is with a legal treatise. This is especially true for law students who have less experience in the law and need to get a good overview of the area of the law they’ve been asked to research. Since students have access to Lexis Advance for their summer work, I thought I’d highlight how to find legal treatises on Lexis Advance.
One way to find treatises on Lexis is to browse treatises by subject or jurisdiction. On the main Lexis page you can click on “Secondary Materials” and then “Treatises, Practice Guides & Jurisprudence” to get a list of jurisdictions and subjects.
You can then click on a subject or jurisdiction to get a list of treatises, practice guides, and legal encyclopedias that are relevant. While this gives you relevant sources, sometimes it gives you too much, making it difficult to identify important treatises if you aren’t familiar with them.
Another option is to identify a relevant treatise and go to it directly. One of the big differences between Westlaw and Lexis is what treatises they provide. For example, Westlaw has civil procedure treatise Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure while Lexis has Moore’s Federal Practice.
One way you can figure this out is by going to a legal treatise guide like those provided by Harvard and Georgetown. If we look at Civil Procedure, the Harvard list shows us some main civil procedure titles and also tells us which ones are available on Westlaw or Lexis. Knowing that Moore’s Federal Practice is on Lexis, I can now go to the Lexis search box and start typing in Moore’s Federal Practice. Clicking on the title will add the title as a source to search. Clicking on the lines next to the title takes me to the Table of Contents, which can be a useful research tool.
One of the questions we often get from students is whether they can access resources like Westlaw and Lexis during their jobs and externships over the summer. The answer depends on the restrictions set by each vendor.
Westlaw – Westlaw requires students to extend their passwords for the summer. Westlaw does not allow use of academic accounts for “research conducted for a law firm, corporation or other entity (unrelated to law school) that is paying you to conduct said research or that is passing along the costs of said research to a third party.” Usage for academic purposes, including unpaid public externships, are still allowed. More details are provided on the password extension page linked above.
Lexis Advance – Lexis, on the other hand, allows students to use their academic accounts for academic and commercial purposes during the summer. So, students should feel free to use Lexis at any job or externship this summer. (Commercial uses are not allowed during the school year.)
Bloomberg Law – Bloomberg allows students to use academic accounts for any purpose during the summer (and during the school year), as well as six months after graduation.
Law Library Resources – Wherever you are this summer you will still have access to all the Law Library resources available remotely from our Databases and Links page. These resources are available for academic use. If you are nearby you will still have access to our wonderful print collection, including a number of great legal treatises that might help you with your research. We also have two computer terminals near the reference desk that offer Westlaw Patron Access and that can be used by anyone.
If you have any questions about the resources and help you can get this summer, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Finals are almost over and students will be heading out for jobs and externships over the summer. We want students to know that the law library is still here to help as you begin researching this summer. Our reference desk is open from 8am-8pm M-F and from 9am-5pm on Saturdays. You can reach us at 801-422-6658 or you can get us by chat or email by clicking the “Ask a Librarian” button on the law library homepage.
BYU Law alum Melissa A. Beutler (’05) is the co-editor of the recently released 2nd Edition of the ABA’s Model Jury Instructions: Construction Litigation. The second edition substantially updates the first, which was published in 2001, providing construction litigators with model jury instructions as well as useful commentary for each jury instruction in the book’s 19 chapters. In addition to being an editor, Beutler co-authored the chapters on “Delay and Disruption” and “Differing Site Conditions.” The Law Library has recently purchased this book and it is available in the Reserve Library.
We do our best to help our students out during finals time. Here are some resources and services we hope will make this time a little less stressful.
Sample Exams – The Law Library has a number of sample exams for BYU Law professors and courses. These sample exams are available electronically and can be found here or through the “For Law Students” section of our webpage. BYU Law students with a current BYU Net ID and password can access these exams. Sample exams can be browsed by professor or by class. We currently have sample exams for Professors Augustine-Adams, Backman, Benson, Brinton, Durham, Fee, Ferrin, Lee, Mangelson, Rasband, Scharffs, Thomas, Todd/Nydegger/Richards, Wardle, and Wilkins. If your professor doesn’t appear on this list, you will still likely be able to find sample exams for the class that you are taking on the sample exams page.
Flash Cards – One of the popular study helps we offer are flash cards by Law in a Flash. Near finals time it’s tough to keep these puppies on the shelf. You can check them out for 2 hours at a time at the circulation desk. We currently have the following sets of flash cards: Civil Procedure (parts 1 & 2), Con Law (parts 1 & 2), Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Crim. Pro., Environmental Law, Evidence, Fed Tax, Future Interests, Professional Responsibility (parts 1 & 2), Real Property, Sales, Secured Transactions, Torts, and Wills and Trusts.
CALI – The Law Library’s subscription to CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, provides BYU law students with access to nearly 900 internet-based lessons on 35 different legal topics. Lessons range from core 1L courses to many different 2L/3L courses. In addition to being web-based, CALI lessons are often interactive–asking you questions to test your knowledge as you go along. Not only does this help you retain things better, but it can help add some variety to your study techniques. If you don’t have a username and password already, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get you our authorization code.
Study Guides – We collect a number of study guides that may be useful as you brush up for finals. This semester we pulled all the current study guides together on the first range in the Reserve Library. They are available for 2 hour checkout to law students.
Extended Hours – The Law Library is open until 1am Monday-Friday until finals end. We will continue to close at 11pm on Saturday.
Study Rooms – The law library is home to 13 group study rooms that are especially popular during finals. Law students can reserve study rooms online in 2 hour blocks. We ask that you please be respectful of others as groups transition between study rooms.
Quiet Reading Room – The Quiet Reading Room in the northeast portion of the library’s main floor is also available for study. This room is for law students only (so bring your ID card to swipe in) and quiet study will be enforced. We ask that you help us keep the noise down in there.
Good luck getting through finals!
Sponsored by Richmond School of Law, The T.C. Williams Legal Essay Contest Catalog is a comprehensive web-based collection of writing competitions for law students. These essay contests provide excellent opportunities for law students to showcase their research and writing skills.
The Law Library has a number of useful study guides available in the Reserve Library. We recently brought all the study guides together into one location on the first range of books (R:1) in the Reserve Library. Hopefully this will make them easier to find and browse. All study guides are labeled with a pink “Study Guide” sticker and are available for checkout to law students for 2 hours at a time.