Thursday, February 26, 2015

ProQuest Databases Unavailable on Saturday, Feb. 28

The UW Libraries subscribe to several useful databases from a company called ProQuest. Law students and other legal researchers might use:

These and other ProQuest databases will be unavailable on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 10pm EST until 3am EST.

Writing Competitions for Law Students

The George Washington University Law School has created a list of more than 150 legal writing competitions for students.  You can get more information and download the spreadsheet here.

Hat tip: Legal Skills Prof Blog

Friday, February 20, 2015

Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal

After the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the UN set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). This historic tribunal delivered its last trial judgment in December 2012 and is now winding down its appellate work.

In 2008,  a team from Seattle—including information scientists, lawyers, and videographers—went to Tanzania (where the tribunal is) and Rwanda to interview judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, interpreters, court administrators, and others connected with the ICTR. The result is 49 video interviews, publicly available on the Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal website as well as carefully archived for the future. The project's principal investigator is Prof. Batya Friedman, from the UW Information School.

The project's vision is to "provide to the world, especially the people of Rwanda, free and open access to these interviews with personnel from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ban Laptops in the Classroom? Yes, Says Suffolk Law Professor

Suffolk University Law Professor Steven Eisenstat recently wrote an article arguing for the ban of laptops in law classes. He relies heavily on a study of UCLA & Princeton students that demonstrated that their comprehension and retention suffers when taking notes in class with a laptop, even without internet access.

The idea of banning laptops in classrooms has long been gaining momentum, and Professor Eisenstat maintains that other law professors need to cast aside the fear of students protesting a ban. In fact, Professor Eisenstat has found that while a laptop ban is at first unpopular in the courses he teaches, there is a significant rise in support of the ban by the end of the semester.

photo of class of students with laptops

It is hard to imagine grinding through a difficult property lecture without the distraction of social media or my fantasy football team. In hindsight, however, it would have been a good idea to turn off the laptop when my property professor introduced the Rule Against Perpetuities. If you choose to use a laptop during class, then you may be interested in a recent blog post by Gallagher Law Librarian Mary Whisner about tips on controlling internet distractions.

Graphic: “Mac for every student” by Luc Legay. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). Accessed February 15, 2015. <>.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Federal Courts App

A new Federal Courts app is available for Android, iPad, and iPhone.

With access to PACER, the federal rules of civil, criminal, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure, federal rules of evidence, local rules for EVERY federal court in the country, and more, the Federal Courts app is a must have for all practitioners.
The app costs $2.99.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Library Hours for Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 16

The Law Library will be open from 8am - 5pm on Monday, Feb. 16.  The Reference Office will be open from 1 - 4pm.

These hours, like the Presidents on Mount Rushmore, are carved in stone!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Free Hi-Def Images

Are you interested in finding high-quality images to use in PowerPoint presentations, on a website, or on social media?

Consider Pixabay!

This free site offers about 300,000 photos and illustrations that may be used without attribution.

The collection is searchable, so you can find images of law, such as the classic scales of justice held by Themis, above, or an iconic image of Seattle, below.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Law Library: Closed on Saturdays

Effective this Saturday, Feb. 7, the Law Library will be closed to the public.

UW Law faculty, students, and staff will continue to have access with their Husky cards. Please exercise caution when using your Husky card to use the main elevators down to Floor L1 and when entering the Library. Do not allow strangers to join you.

Other UW students and members of the public looking for student space may want to consider any of the other University of Washington Libraries

Monday, February 2, 2015

Innocence Movement; Video Series Online

The University of Illinois Springfield offers a free online course on the Innocence Movement beginning today, Feb. 2, 2015. You can register online at: (Click on this link, then click the name of the course, The Innocence Movement, in the box on the right, then self enroll.) You can enroll in the course at any time. It will remain open and accessible indefinitely. The instructor is Prof. Gwen Johnson, from the Legal Studies Department.
This Innocence MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a series of videos that feature exonerees, lawyers, students, and advocates from across the country describing their experiences in the Innocence Movement. It includes the stories of Kirk Bloodsworth, Brian Banks, Juan Rivera, Audrey Edmonds, Vanessa Potkin, Justin Brooks, Laura Caldwell, Senator Dick Durbin, Dr. John Plunkett, Scott Turow, and Eric Zorn, among many others.