Monday, November 23, 2015

Washington, the 42nd State

November 11 marks the anniversary of Washington joining the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state! Here are some resources related to this momentous event.

The United States Constitution outlines the legal process by which new states are created. Article IV Section 3 says: "New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union." You can find an official copy of the United States Constitution in Title 1 of the United States Code, which can be found in the Gallagher Law Library Reference Area at KF62. Or you can read the text on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) webpage.

Washington's origins can be traced to the Monticello Convention Petition of 1852. Settlers in the then massive Oregon Territory sent a letter to the federal government asking for the creation of a separate territory. You can find a copy of this petition in the Suzzallo-Allen Libraries Special Collections-Manuscripts collection. The Washington Secretary of State also has a webpage providing more information about this petition.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Terrorism and the Law: Books and Articles at the Gallagher Law Library

In 2005, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism, and Security that terrorism is a direct attack on the core values of the United Nations: "the rule of law; the protection of civilians; mutual respect between people of different faiths and cultures; and peaceful resolution of conflicts." In fighting terrorism, he continued, "human rights and the rule of law must always be respected." (, Mar. 10, 2005)

Following the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, news outlets worldwide have questioned the effectiveness of current international law in preventing and addressing terrorism. In the past several months, several nations have put forth new laws in attempts to counter these kinds of attacks, but many of these laws have been criticized as too broadly defining terrorism or too harshly treating perpetrators of these acts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LawLibe App - A Law Library in your Pocket

Have you ever wanted to carry a law library in your pocket? Now you can!

LawLibe is a free app on the iTunes App Store available for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

LawLibe is powered by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. LawLibe includes the U.S. Constitution, and you can download additional legal content such as the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and State Statutes. You can then access these materials offline. Other features of this app include full-text searching, in-text highlighting, font-size adjusting, and frequent updating.

Thanksgiving Library Closures

The library will be closed to the public at 5 pm on Wednesday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Reference Office will also close at this time.

The library will remained closed from Thursday, November 26 until 8 am Monday, November 30.

Please see our hours page for additional hours information.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daylight Saving Time and the Law

On November 1, at the stroke of 2:00 AM, Washingtonian clocks collectively rolled back to 1:00 AM (providing many of us an extra hour of much needed sleep). The popular saying “spring forward, fall back” reminds us that it is once again Daylight Saving Time (DST) in Washington State. As we adjust to later sunrises and sunsets, we might reflect on the laws that make DST a reality, and on efforts to change those laws.

In 1960, Washington became the 15th state to adopt DST when 51.7% of voters approved Ballot Initiative 210.  In the official voter pamphlet, the initiative promised “154 more hours of daylight each year.”

page from voter's guide summarizing initiative 210

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Shortened Library Hours for Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 11 is Veteran's Day and is a University of Washington holiday. Gallagher Law Library will be open but with shorter hours. 

The library will be open 8 am to 5 pm. The Reference Office will be open from 1 pm to 4 pm. 

Please take a look at our hours page for more information.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

National Love Your Lawyer Day

You have several days to plan how you will celebrate National Love Your Lawyer Day, Nov. 6.

Wait - - - what? There is a National Love Your Lawyer Day?

Yes, the American Bar Association's Law Practice Division has declared the first Friday in November as a day:

  • for the public to celebrate lawyers and express their gratitude to them for their affirmative contributions to the public good and the administration of justice
  • for lawyers to help promote a positive and more respected image of lawyers and their contributions to society.
The resolution notes that the American Lawyers Public Image Association initiated the day in 2001.

An article in today's National Law Journal (subscription required) provides additional information about this commemoration, observing that the founder of ALPIA created the organization after hearing one too many nasty lawyer jokes. It also mentions a self-published book called Comebacks for Lawyer Jokes: The Restatement of Retorts ($9.95 from Amazon). The author, Malcolm Kushner, is quoted as saying: “The real thing about the lawyer joke isn’t so much they’re mean, it’s that they’re cultural carriers of bad images of lawyers.”

So plan to convey expressions of affection and appreciation for the lawyers in your life on Friday. And if you are a self-respecting lawyer or lawyer-to-be, give yourself credit for the work you do to promote justice.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SCOTUS to Combat Link Rot

At the beginning of the October 2015 Term, the Supreme Court announced on its website's "What's New" section that it will host internet material cited in the Court’s opinions from the 2005 Term forward.

Image of "What's New" section on Supreme Court Website

It's a good idea that the Court chose to do this. When we rely on something, we want others to know what we relied on. As the Court explains, “Because some URLs cited in the Court's opinions may change over time or disappear altogether, an attempt is made to capture, as closely as possible, the material cited in an opinion at the time of its release. Capture dates, when they appear on the material, may not match the ‘as visited’ date contained in an opinion's citation to that material.”

Below is a funny example of the potential trouble with citing to a website:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thoughts on Legal Writing (#WhyIWrite)

To celebrate National Day on Writing, we took a look at the legal writing section of The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations. Here's a sampling:
In the third year of law school, they ought to teach English as a Second Language.
Stephen Wermiel, quoted in Tom Goldstein and Jethro K. Lieberman, The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well 80 (1989). Read a later edition of the book as an e-book or in print.
Legal writing is one of those rare creatures, like the rat and the cockroach, that would attract little sympathy even as an endangered species. 
Richard Hyland, A Defense of Legal Writing, 134 U. Pa. L. Rev. 599, 600 (1986).
There are only two cures for the long sentence: (1) Say less; (2) Put a period in the middle. Neither expedient has taken hold in the law.  

National Day on Writing (#WhyIWrite)

How are you marking the National Day on Writing?

The New York Times, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project others encourage people to share their reasons for writing by posting on Twitter with the hash tag #WhyIWrite. Here are a few of the many Tweets:

Because I'm a magician and words are spells. So to spellcast, I use terms and sentences to sentence you to terms of enchantment.

Because I want to read a story with a black space detective. Only 18 hours left.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ― Benjamin Franklin

To serve our clients

Dogs, Cats, and Numbers

Since this is both Adopt a Shelter Dog Month (ASPCA) and World Statistics Day, let's look at some numbers.

In March, the Census Bureau released the Where Are the Animal Companions? infographic below. Seattle is just above average among cities in percentage of households with at least one pet.

infographic ranks metro areas by percent of households with pets

An accompanying press release explained that the American Housing Survey asked about pets for emergency preparedness.

If you've been around Seattle awhile, you might have heard that we have more dogs than kids. Gene Balk, the Seattle Times's "FYI Guy" (and news librarian) checked the stats and discovered In Seattle, it’s cats, dogs and kids — in that order (Feb. 1, 2013). To see other interesting local stats, browse the paper's data page.

Monday, October 19, 2015

World Statistics Day, Oct. 20

The second annual World Statistics Day will be recognized on Oct. 20, 2015.

The U.S. Census Bureau will join with the United Nations Statistics Division and other national statistics agencies to "highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems."

Infographic: World Statistics Day 2015 [JPG]

Infographic from U.S. Census Bureau.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free CALI eBooks--Federal Rules, IP Statutes, and More

Nothing suits a thrifty student's budget better than CALI eBooks: they're free! Most are available in a variety of formats--e.g., PDF, Kindle, or Word (great for copying and pasting into your outlines).

CALI eBooks includes texts prepared by faculty for use in class (e.g., The Ethics of Tax Lawyering, by UW Law Professor Michael Hatfield), sets of statutes and rules, and some classics of law and literature.

Rules and Statutes

If you frequently need to refer to, say, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Copyright Act, download a set:

Constitution and Related Documents

Law and Literature

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trouble Printing from Your Laptop?

Printing from Macbooks was most common problem I saw yesterday in the Reference Office. The solution was to download an additional software application, which you can find on the Creative Communications Printing Troubleshooting site.

UW Creative Communications is the campus-wide department who controls all of the Dawg Prints printers in the law library. The best place to start if you're running into technical issues with printing is this troubleshooting page.

Instructions for printing from your laptop.

Come to the Reference Office or the Circulation Desk if you have any questions!

Monday, September 28, 2015

C-SPAN Series: Historic Supreme Court Cases

Although the Supreme Court still does not allow cameras in its courtroom, this year the First Monday in October brings a TV series from C-SPAN and the National Constitution Center exploring "the personalities, people, and constitutional dramas" of twelve famous cases.

Landmark Cases: Historic Supreme Court Decisions will run live on C-SPAN Monday evenings (9 pm ET is 6 pm here), Oct. 5 to Dec. 21. "A video-rich website will offer the series on-demand along with classroom materials."

The cases:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Upcoming Changes to Library Hours

It's that time of year again! The Library's interim hours end Friday, as the law school is back in session on Monday.

On Sunday, September 27, the library is open 11 am to 6 pm, and the Reference Office is open 1 pm to 6 pm. Please note that the Circulation Desk always closes fifteen minutes before the Library closes, so if you need to check out a book be sure to do so before 5:45.

Next week and until Veteran's Day, the Library is open Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 11 pm; Fridays 8 am to 8 am to 6 pm; closed Saturdays; open Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm. The Reference Office is open Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm; Fridays 9 am to 5 pm; closed Saturdays; open on Sundays from 1 pm to 6pm.

Please take a look at our hours page for more information.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Listen Up: RBG the DJ, Music Suggestions, and a SCOTUS Opera

While in Chicago this Monday, September 21, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join a live broadcast at Chicago's WFMT radio station to share a collection of her favorite music and discuss her love of opera. The classical music station has more information online here, which airs at 10am CST. Non-Chicago audiences can listen at

Interested in more of RBG's music suggestions? Check out Alex Ross's 2012 New Yorker article, My Favorite Records: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

For another SCOTUS-inspired opera event, check out Derrick Wang's Scalia/Ginsburg, a comic opera inspired by the opinions of Justices Anton Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which premiered this summer at the Castleton Festival.

Photograph by Karin Cooper/Liaison, via The New Yorker.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Constitution and Citizenship Day 2015

Today, September 17, we celebrate Constitution and Citizenship Day, commemorating the signing of the Constitution in 1787 and to "recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens."

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
Because the University of Washington is not yet in session, our campus Constitution Read-Aloud will be held Thursday, October 15 at noon outside the Suzzallo Library Reading Room. You can sign up to be a reader here. It's a truly fun and inspiring experience to participate in a public reading of our nations' founding document.

If you can't wait for that and want to celebrate today, take a look at our guide to the U.S. Constitution, the Law Library of Congress' guide, or take the Washington Post quiz.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Closed on Labor Day

The Law Library and Reference Office will be closed on Sept. 7, Labor Day. Regular interim hours (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm) will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Empirical Studies in Intellectual Property

The Center for Empirical Studies of Intellectual Property at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has created an Empirical Studies Database.

drawing of microscope with (R), (c), and TM in view

You can sort by:
  • Lead author
  • Title
  • IP area (patent seems to have the most, but there are papers on copyright and trademark too)
  • Type of study
    • Experimental
    • Qualitative
    • Quantitative
You can only sort by one at a time: you can’t easily look for, say, qualitative studies of copyright. But you can sort on one factor and then either skim or use Find (Ctrl-F) to look for the other.

Graphic: image from ad for W.L.'s New Pattern Family Microscope, in 1884 pamphlet (John Bull's Neighbour in Her True Light), available on British Library's photostream. ®, ©, and ™ added by Mary Whisner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Improve Your Professional Skills with Free NITA Videos

Getting ready for a new school year—and looking forward to a new career—you might benefit from some of NITA's free resources.
screen snip showing shopping cards and prices

NITA—the National Institute for Trial Advocacy—is famous for its intensive training programs in (you guessed it!) trial advocacy. NITA offers various fee-based programs, but it also offers some free webcasts each month, with an online library of past webcasts you can view anytime. Some address skills needed in trial practice, but some are useful for any lawyer (or law student!). For example,

And of course, NITA offers lots of webcasts on trial skills, such as witness preparation, jury selection, and cross-examination. Browse the list of webcasts. Look for the ones with "$0.00" under the shopping cart, and try them out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tips for Wrapping up Your Summer Job or Externship

A career consultant suggests 3 things to do before you wrap up your summer job (Nat'l Jurist, July 20, 2015):

  1. Introduce yourself to key players you haven't met.
  2. Wrap up all your projects.
  3. Ask for references.
Let me add a few:
  • Reflect and write some notes about what you did
    • What did you like and not like? How will that affect the next job you seek?
    • What did you learn about yourself? about the practice of law? 
    • What will you put on your resume(s)? (Remember, you can have two or more resumes, tailored to different jobs you might apply for.)
  • Think about writing samples. Ask your supervisors whether you can use any of your memos, motions, or other documents as writing samples. What identifying information about clients should be redacted? Make a portfolio of your work.
  • Ask for advice. The attorneys you've worked for have gotten to know you. What would they recommend you do to help you move toward your long-term goals?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Changes to Law Library Hours Coming

With the end of School of Law summer classes this week, the Law Library will shift to an interim schedule:

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday, closed

The Reference Office schedule during the interim period is 9am - 12noon and 1 - 5pm.

The Law Library will also be closed on Monday, July 27.

This schedule will be in effect from Saturday, July 25 through Saturday, Sept. 26.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Quickly Contact Members of Congress

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created an efficient tool for contacting your federal Senators and Representatives:

A process that used to take up to 15 steps using sites like Congressmerge,  ContactingtheCongress, or now takes 3 steps:

  1. Enter your address
  2. Select which Senators and/or Representative you want to send a message to
  3. Use the form to write and send your message
Participate in democracy by sharing your opinions and priorities with your elected members of Congress.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence for Law Library Staff

The Law Library will be closed from Friday, July 3d through Sunday, July 5th in observance of Independence Day. The Library resumes regular summer quarter hours on Monday, July 6th.