Category Archives: Law Library News and Events

Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

The Ross-Blakley Law Library is pleased to announce the annual Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.  The purpose of the award is to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research skills beyond ordinary proficiency to their personal best.  The award also serves as a means to showcase extraordinary student research.

Two award recipients will be selected.  The first place winner will receive $500.00 and a Certificate of Recognition.  The second place winner will receive  $250.00 and a Certificate of Recognition. Winners will be invited to publish their paper in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Faculty Scholarship Repository and winners are further invited to showcase their writing in the Faculty Scholarship Display case located in the Law Library lobby for public exhibition during the year following receipt of the award.

A panel composed of two Law Librarians and one Legal Writing Instructor will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, print resources, electronic search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis

To learn more about the award including eligibility, acceptable papers, selection criteria and application procedures, please visit:

Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

 The deadline for submission is April 1, 2014.

 And remember, if you need help with your research, don’t forget to Ask a Librarian.

Good Luck!

Constitution Day: How Long Have YOU Had the Right to Vote?

If you would like to celebrate Constitution Day, there will be a program at Hayden Library on Constitution Day

Join us on Constitution Day, Sept. 17th to hear ASU Professor T.J. Davis speak on the history of voting rights.

  • Tuesday September 17, 2-3pm
  • ASU Libraries Location: Hayden Library C-6A/ East Campus: Tempe 
  • Cost: Free

For more information E-mail: Website: ASU Libraries: Constitution Day    Phone: 480/965-1798



Goodbye, Magic Mountain

ASU Main - Law South - 2009-03-04



If you’ve been around this summer, you’ve undoubtedly noticed some construction going on around the building.

As part of this construction, starting Monday, the large mound of rocks to the South of the Law Library will be dismantled to make way for a service road (don’t worry, the area adjacent to the Reserve Reading Room will still be nicely landscaped). This project will also fix drainage problems around the building and at the McAllister/Lemon intersection (crossing the street to get to the Rural Road parking structure after a monsoon will no longer require a grand jeté over lake that forms!).

As we bit adieu to our dear “Magic Mountain,” we thought we’d pay tribute by sharing its story.

Magic Mountain was not in the original plans for the building and was a happy accident. When the site for the Law Library was excavated to lay the foundation for the building, the dirt was piled up here. Ironically, the original building plan called for a service road through the area, but when that idea was nixed, the pile of dirt was covered with rock, peppered with Saguaros and turned into a landscape feature. It was mockingly dubbed “magic mountain” by law students, who disliked it (now we use that as a term of endearment!).

Law students were not the only ones unhappy with it in the beginning. An undergraduate student journalist’s State Press opinion column titled “Law Library Just Plain Ugly Building”  (Oct. 19, 1993) said:

This waste of space may have been put there for a purpose, but it looks like a mistake. It seems as if the construction company did not have any place to haul the dirt that remained after the dig so they put a bunch of expensive sandstone and saguaro on it to make it look like a work only the finest sculptor could create. They failed.

The article criticized the rest of the building as well, and incited a firestorm of newspaper articles responding to it.

In 2000, Magic Mountain was awarded an “Onion” by the Phoenix Business Journal (click here to read the article).

Love it or hate it, layers of this “onion” will be peeled away in the coming weeks. Magic Mountain has kept watch over the Reserve Reading Room for the past two decades. It has seen countless numbers of hard-working law students, has been a happy home to many ground squirrels (who have been safely relocated), and has even been climbed by naked people…twice (that we know of).

Whoever thought a pile of dirt and rocks would have such a colorful history?


Real World Legal Research: Top Ten Tips Workshop

Beth DiFelice, Assistant Director of the Ross-Blakley Law Library, will be giving a workshop next week on the most important legal research strategies you need to know before starting your legal position this summer or embarking on your career.

The hour-long workshop will be offered twice:
Tuesday, April 2nd: 12-15-1:15pm in Library 119
Wednesday, April 3rd: 3-4pm in Room 118

Library Reroofing Project March 18, 2013 – April 12, 2013

We’re getting a new roof!  Construction on the Law Library roof will begin Monday, March 18, 2013 and will be completed Friday, April 12, 2013.  To minimize noise and disruption, the work will be done weekdays from 10:00 pm – 6:30 am.  The largest part of the project will be the dome over the Treatise Collection on the 2nd floor.  Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have concerns about the noise.

Reference in the Rotunda

Beginning the week of January 14th,  the Law Library will have a Roving Reference service available in the Rotunda of the College of Law twice a week.  Librarians will be available from Noon to 1:30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays through March to answer your reference questions.  Please stop by our table to say hello!

While at the table you can also get information on the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research, which has a $500 first-place cash award, and learn how to sign up for a Bloomberg Law account.

Law Library Annual Donation Drive for Pets

Since so many of us at the Law School enjoy the company of our furry friends we thought it might be nice to help animals less fortunate than our own pets with a donation drive for the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA.    

Founded in 1971, the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA is Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. Their facilities provide a temporary home for nearly 2,000 dogs and cats every year. Their mission is to provide excellent care, protection and loving compassion for the life of the animals and to take a   leadership role in promoting humane values for the benefit of all animals and people. They are supported entirely by private funding.

A box to collect donations is located at the Circulation desk in the Law Library and there is also box located in the Law School near the information desk. Below is a list of items you may wish to donate:

  • Canned pate’ cat food
  • Canned dog food
  • Cat litter clumping and non-clumping
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • New cat trees/towers
  • Litter pans

To see a list of items the Arizona Animal Welfare League especially needs, please click below. 

Arizona Animal Welfare League Wishlist

You can also make an online donation at the following web site: Online Donations

Donations will be accepted until December 28th.

Thank you for your generosity in supporting our furry friends & Happy Holidays from the Law Library staff.

Construction in the Building Next Week

Next week during Fall Break, part of the first floor of the Law Library will be under construction.

As a result, access to the main restrooms on the first floor (near the foyer) will be blocked.

There are additional restrooms on the second and third floors of the Law Library. There is also a unisex restroom in the All Night Study Room (122).

We apologize for the inconvenience. We hope this construction will  provide some much-needed enhancement to the building.