By now everyone knows that Judge Neil Gorsuch has been nominated to the United States Supreme Court. In thinking about what comes next, I thought I’d point out a great source from HeinOnline called History of Supreme Court Nominations for students and faculty interested in seeing what’s happened previously with the confirmation process. This work contains transcripts of hearings, reports, bibliographies, and other documents relating to the nomination of previous Supreme Court nominees from 1916-2010 (Louis Brandeis – Elena Kagan). In addition to seeing what happened at the hearings and what was written about the nominee, the documents provided in the confirmation process can be helpful research tools. For example, if you needed to find the opinions written by Chief Justice Roberts while on the D.C. Circuit you can find them in History of Supreme Court Nominations. There’s a lot of great information compiled together in this resource that can provide an insightful look into the confirmation process (and how it’s changed) and many of the judges and justices that have been nominated to the Supreme Court.
The new semester is well under way and many of our students are already starting the process of thinking about research papers. If you’re in that boat, feel free to come speak with one of our reference librarians to get some direction about where to find great topics or the best sources to search once you’ve picked your topic. The library offers a number of print and electronic resources, many of which students may not have had a chance to use yet. We also have a great collection of research guides that can help you become familiar with sources in your area. Reference librarians are at the reference desk M-F 8am-5pm and are also available by phone (801-422-6658) and email/chat.
Come check out the latest addition to our Christmas decor, our Christmas tree made from library books. Over 550 books to be recycled went into the creation of our unique tree. Come visit the library and take your picture in front of the book tree. Use the hashtags #happylawlidays #byulaw to see what others have posted.
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 email@example.com 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. All current study guides are together on the first range of shelves 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 Dec. 15. 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. This room is a good spot to take any take home exams.
Ear Plugs – We have a bowl of ear plugs near the 3rd floor library entrance for those looking for some additional quiet.
Stress Relief – For those of you that need a break from studying we’ve put a puzzle and some games in the Rex Lee Conversation Room.
Good luck getting through finals!
There is a color printer in the law school for student and community use. This printer is a BYU Pharos printer (named BYU Public Color), and it works like the other BYU Pharos printers across campus. It is in the printing room, which is located on the 3rd floor of the law library, by the stairwell. (The printing room has a Lexis printer, the Reference Co-Op printer, and a BYU Pharos printing release station, with a BYU Public Color printer and a BYU Public B&W printer.)
To print in color from your computer at the law school, you must download the BYU Pharos Printer drive.
- Go to software.byu.edu.
- If prompted, enter your BYU net ID and password.
- Under the “Vendors” heading, click the “Pharos” link.
- Click the “Download Now” button that corresponds with your computer’s operating system.
- Click the plus sign button that corresponds with your computer’s operating system.
- Click “Continue” to download the program.
- Once the printer drive is downloaded to your computer, the BYU Public Color printer will be available in your print dialogue box when selecting a printer. (The BYU Public B&W printer will also be available.)
To print to the BYU Public Color printer (or the BYU Public B&W printer):
- From the File menu of your document, select Print.
- From the drop-down menu on the Print dialogue box, select BYU Public Color to print all the pages in your document on a color printer, or select BYU Public B&W to print all the pages in your document on a black and white printer. Click “Ok.”
- A window will pop up asking your net ID and a name for the print job; enter that information and click “Print.” Your print job is then sent to a print queue that you can access from any printing release station on campus.
- To print in color at the law school, go to the printing room on the 3rd floor of the law library.
- Swipe your BYU ID card at the printing release station, and follow the instructions on the screen in order to select and print your job.
- These two BYU public printers, and the cost associated with printing to them, are in no way affiliated or connected with the BYU Law Co-Op printing.
- When you download the BYU Pharos Printer drive, you will be downloading both the BYU Public Color printer and the BYU Public B&W printer.
- The cost of one sheet from the color printer, regardless of whether it actually has color on it, is $0.15.
- The cost of one sheet from the black and white printer is $0.07.
- The BYU Public Color printer and the BYU Public B&W printer share a screen at the printing release station in the 3rd floor printing room in the law library. This screen is used to swipe your BYU ID card and select the job(s) to print. However, the BYU Public Color printer and the BYU Public B&W printer are two separate printers. Because there is no way to select between the two printers from the printing release station, your document will print from the printer you selected on your computer. The cost for that document will depend on the printer you chose from your computer, not on whether it has color. (For example, if you print a black and white document on the BYU Public Color printer, you will be charged $0.15 per page. There are no refunds for mistakes.)
- Double-sided printing is considered the same as printing two pages and is charged accordingly.
- When you swipe your BYU ID at the printing release station and subsequently select a job to print, the cost is automatically deducted from the money on your BYU ID card. You can add money to your BYU ID card through Cougar Cash.
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.