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.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Post-Grad Privileges

Photo credit:
Now that the excitement of commencement has ebbed at bit, some UW Law grads may be wondering if they can still enter the Law Library with their Husky Cards when the Library is closed.

The answer is Yes!! Your Husky cards will work in the card readers until August 1st. You are welcome to use the Library as you study for the bar exam.

What about access to the big three commercial online legal research services? See the section on "Summer & Post-Graduation Use" in the guide on Access to BloombergLaw, LexisAdvance & Westlaw Next.

What other services does the Law Library offer to graduates? See our page on Library Services for Law School Alumni.

And congratulations on this tremendous achievement!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Upcoming Changes to Library Hours

With final exams ending for 1Ls, the Library moves to its interim hours.

The Library will be closed Saturday, June 13 through Tuesday, June 16.

Wednesday, June 17 through Friday, June 19 the Library will be open from 8am to 5pm and the Reference Office will be open from 9am to 12noon and from 1 to 5 pm.

The Library will be closed again the weekend of Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21.

When Summer Quarter classes begin on Monday, June 22, the Library will be open 8am until 7pm Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and from 8am until 5pm Thursdays and Fridays. The Library will be closed on Saturdays and open on Sundays from 12noon until 5pm.

The interim hours for the Reference Office will be from 9am until 5pm Mondays through Fridays and from 1 until 4pm on Sundays.

In addition, the Library will be closed Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5 for the Independence Day holiday.

For future hours changes, consult the Law Library Hours page.

UW Law students have before- and after-hours access to the Library with their Husky cards. Please don't allow anyone you don't personally know take the elevator with you to L1 or into the Library.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Emojis and the Law - the (ㆆ‿ㆆ) and the ( ˘︹˘ )

While I am no stranger to emojis, researching this blog post opened my eyes to their prevalence, as well as their potential gavel implications.
What is an emoji? Emoji is a Japanese word meaning picture (e) + letter (moji). Just how prevalent is the use of emojis? About 500 emojis are sent out to the the twittersphere every second! For a realtime view of emoji usage on twitter go to emojitracker. Watch with delight as emoji are rapidly highlighted and their use totals continue to soar. Even the seemingly innocent emoji can have legal implications. Recently, during the Silk Road Trial, featuring the Dread Pirate Roberts, Judge Forrest instructed the jury to pay attention to an emoji that a prosecutor withheld when reading text from an internet post. Technology resource Wired highlighted several other cases in which emojis were relevant. For example, a New Yorker was charged for using emoji to make threats against police. In another case, a Pennsylvania man argued that threats made on Facebook towards his ex-wife should not be taken seriously because they concluded with an emoji smiley face sticking its tongue out. Even the Senate Floor is getting in on the action; Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, recently introduced a shruggie when discussing health care reform. If you want to brush up on your emoji knowledge, you can skim an emoji dictionary or the emojisaurus. Also, you can visit the emoji governing body, the Unicode Consortium. Will you ever need to know about emojis when conducting legal research? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

P.S. Emojis and emoticons are fun to see, but they may present obstacles for those using screen readers. In addition to the emoji in the first paragraph of this post, the title has a smiling face and a frowning face, and there is a shruggie at the end of the post.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Gun Violence Awareness Day + New ProQuest Congressional Social Media Feature

A number of organizations have declared June 2 National Gun Violence Awareness Day, encouraging supporters to wear orange to symbolize the value of human life.

Media Matters (a partner in the campaign) reports on the National Rifle Association's reaction to the campaign:
The NRA's online magazine, America's 1st Freedom, lashed out at the campaign, calling it pointless in a May 30 post. On June 2, it encouraged readers to mark the day by buying a gun, saying, "If you see any friends or neighbors wearing orange, consider the possibility that they: a) don't support your right to self-defense; and b) have a rather naïve view of what constitutes real activism."
The ABA's Governmental Affairs office announced in this month's ABA Journal ABA joins medical organizations in advocating steps to curb gun violence. That position paper (joined by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of

NSA's Collection Activities  
A subject much in the news recently is the National Security Agency's "bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls."

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service considers the constitutionality of the authorizing provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act.

Note the URL below the image of the cover of the report. The report is found not on the website of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) or any other federal government website. Why? Because Congress has deliberately chosen not to make CRS reports available to the public.

Want to learn more? Check out the Gallagher guide on CRS Reports.

And what's up with the way that members of Congress often create acronyms and initialisms out of titles of statutes? Did you know that the full name of the USA PATRIOT Act is United and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism?

Want to learn more about this phenomenon? My colleague reference librarian Mary Whisner wrote an interesting article on the topic. What's in a Statute Name?, 97 Law Libr. J. 557 (2005).

Friday, May 29, 2015

Obsessed with Serial?

Logo courtesy of

If you were obsessed with the podcast Serial, and want to hear more from a lawyer's perspective, check out the podcast Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed. Three attorneys, Rabia Chaudry, Colin Miller, and Susan Simpson, have been following Adnan's case and ongoing appeal. In the podcast, they explore the case from an investigatory perspective in greater detail. Importantly, they provide us, the listeners, with all of the evidence they are aware of.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Woman in Gold: New Film Focuses on Nazi Art Theft

Woman in Gold is a new film focused on the true story of the famous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece, Maria Altmann, fought the Austrian government for years to reclaim the portrait, a legal battle that eventually culminated in the United States Supreme Court case Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004). You can find Seattle show times for this film here.

Interested in learning more about Nazi art theft and current repatriation efforts? Check out these great resources online and at the library.

The Lost Art Internet Database is the official German governmental resource for information on looted art. The site also has a news section to keep track of recent case developments.

The Rape of Europa is an award-winning documentary that details the extent of Nazi art looting across Europe.

The Lost Museum : the Nazi conspiracy to steal the world's greatest works of art by Hector Feliciano (Art Library Stacks, N8795.3.F8 F4613 1997) is a book that details the systematic looting of private art collections in Europe during World War II, focusing on the private collections of five families.

The History of Loot and Stolen Art From Antiquity Until the Present Day by Ivan Lindsay is a book about the history of stolen art, from Alexander the Great to the 21st century. This book is available online in eBook format.

Allied Looting in World War II by Kenneth Alford is a book that looks into the oft forgotten history of looting in World War II conducted by Allied forces. This book is available online in eBook format.

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RBG to get her own book and movie!

Photo courtesy of  Irin Carmon 

If you have been waiting to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you will not have to wait much longer. In October 2015, NOTORIOUS RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will be published. If you have enough to read already, or want to know more, Natalie Portman will be playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex, a film following RBG's career. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of this year.
Natalie Portman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo courtesy of Breuel-Bild—ABB/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images, Evan Vucci—AP

Monday, May 18, 2015

"POTUS" and "SCOTUS"--Recent Buzzwords

President Obama is now tweeting as @POTUS. This adds to the official @WhiteHouse account, the Vice President's @VP, and the First Lady's @FLOTUS. And you can follow even more White House Twitter accounts.

We might be used to thinking of the President of the United States as POTUS and the First Lady as FLOTUS, but these terms haven't always been in common parlance. As recently as 1999, the pilot of The West Wing could make it a punchline:
Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend; he's my boss. It's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States. I'll call ya.
And what about SCOTUS, for Supreme Court of the United States? It hasn't always been a common nickname. When I was in law school, back in the last century, we said "Supreme Court" (or, impertinently, "the Supremes") and wrote "SCt" in our notes.

SCOTUSblog, founded in 2002, quickly became a go-to source for information about the Supreme Court and its cases—and its name doubtless influenced the language, along with our texting, tweeting love of textual shortcuts.

In old law review articles in HeinOnline, you can find plenty of instances of "scotus"—but they are mostly references to the medieval philosopher, theologian, and (since 1993) saint, Duns Scotus. In fact, looking at search results in chronological order up through the 1990s, I saw hundreds of references to Duns Scotus and just a few to SCOTUS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ABA's Silver Gavel Awards

The ABA has announced the winners (and honorable mentions) of its 2015 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.


Nell Bernstein, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison
available in print and online via UW Libraries
publisher's description
book cover Burning Down the House
Honorable mention:
Laurence Tribe & Joshua Matz, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution
available in print: Gallagher Classified Stacks and Odegaard Stacks (KF4550 .T789 2014)
publisher's description
Uncertain Justice book cover

Pedalers Push WA to Number 1!

Washington State ranks Number 1 in the League of American Bicyclists' 2015 report card on Bike Friendly States.

 Scores are based on rankings in five categories:

  1. Policies and programs
  2. Legislation and enforcement
  3. Infrastructure and funding
  4. Education and encouragement
  5. Evaluation and planning
Keep biking!

Free Legal Research Tune-up

Is your legal research search engine a little rusty? Could you use the help of an experienced "mechanic?"

Then consider attending the free legal research tune-up session on Wednesday, May 20, from 9:30-11:30am at Seattle University School of Law's Sullivan Hall, Room 109.

Please RSVP here.
The workshop will cover state and federal legislative history, regulations, and practice materials using a problem-based approach. Students will have hands-on practice working through research scenarios.  Please bring your laptop.
This program is sponsored by the Seattle University Law Library and Lane Powell.