Monthly Archives: February 2020

3L Walter G. Johnson Wins Highly Respected Burton Award

Walter Johnson Burton Award

A huge congratulations to 3L Walter G. Johnson on winning the most revered and highly respected Burton Award. The Burton Awards program is designed to reward major achievements in the law, ranging from literary awards to the greatest reform in law. The Burton Awards academic board selects ten law school students a year to honor with their distinguished legal writing award. Johnson won the Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award for his paper Governance Rules for Second Quantum Revolution, 59 Jurimetrics 487 (2019). He also won first place for the same paper in last year’s Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.

Winning authors of the Burton literary awards display a true understanding and mastery of the law as well as clear, cogent, and concise writing. The Burton Awards program is held in association with the Library of Congress, presented by lead sponsor Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. The awards are generally selected by professors from Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, and Columbia Law School, among others. The award ceremonies are held annually in the spring at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Well done Walter!

New Law Library Guide Helps Job-Seeking Law Students Do Homework on Employers

Job GuideNo matter how glorious your resume and transcript or how many glowing recommendations you collect, you have to know a lot about a job opportunity to let your employers know that you want it and are right for the position. Success in the legal job market, as in law school, takes a lot of homework.

And we at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are here to help! Our new Law Employment Research Guide job seeking law students and graduates, Employment Research, compiles resources to help get tabs on law firms, to land a clerkship with a judge, or just to build essential lawyering skills such as networking and compiling contracts.

The Researching Law Firms tab gathers resources to help you get a feel for how your potential employer operates, and how you can set yourself up to be its most appealing interviewee. Litigation analytics tools give you insight into practice areas, specialties, biographical details about attorneys. Legal news resources can help you brush up to keep the conversation flowing. Books give you background information on legal employment opportunities, and advice on your application materials and interviewing strategies. Online resources provide general career tips, and other online tools help you get a more complete picture of the life and culture of a law firm before you try to dive in.

The Clerkship Interviews tab features litigation analytics on judges, their histories of motions, and the practice areas in which they tend to work. Books and legal news will help you connect with your judge on a human and intellectual level, and advice on finding your judge’s opinions will help you get more personal. Online resources help you find openings and land your clerkship.

Finally, the Professional Development tab includes resources to help you build the skills to be a more effective attorney, and to be a better-known job candidate. Networking opportunities resources will help you connect with different facets of the legal community to build a higher profile that can translate into job opportunities. Books will help with the transition from law school to legal practice, keeping yourself happy and balanced as you meet the challenges of life as an attorney. Finally, practical job preparedness and practice tools can give you a leg up on the job, gathering resources that can help you operate effectively and efficiently.

If you make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian, we can give you some pointers on research tools to uncover the information you will need to wow your future employers in cover letters and interviews. And make an appointment with Career Services for more detailed assistance on landing a job and developing professionally. Good luck on all your interviews to come!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Congratulations to the 3L Haiku Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered. The judging was difficult but we did manage to pick two winners.

Drum roll…and the winners are:

Haiku Contest Winner 2020

Thank you to Prof. Noreuil for his inspiring Haiku and for signing the prizes which are copies of his book The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam. All the entries are below. Good luck to everyone taking the Bar Exam. We know you will do great!

What is the bar, friend?
Studying, books, law law law
But in truth? Coffee.
-Nick Walter

Let’s pass our finals,
Kill it on the Bar Exam,
And be great lawyers.
-Heather Martin

Oh the dread I feel
But hope’s on the horizon
I’m prepared to win
-Austin Cromack

Become a lawyer.
All it takes is two days, right?
Really — stop whining.
-Jenny Adams

Want to graduate,
but I know waiting for me
is a big gut punch.
-Austin Marshall

The bar will be hard
It is stressful and tricky
but lunch will be free
-Basil D’Souza

Oh god oh god oh
God oh god oh *coffee* god
Oh god oh god oh
-Andrew Weber

Was it all worth it?
Countless hours, books, funds, and tears
The bar will decide
-Andrew Weber

The Monkey Bar, Hang
A life in Cartoon Motion
The Bar Exam, BANG!
-Salvador Navarro

It is time to shine.
The bar test will be just fine.
Trust in you this time!
– Jordan Buckwald

West Academic Study Aids: New Interactive Study Resources Provide Instant Feedback

West Academic has a new, interactive resource to provide instant feedback as you prepare for final exams. The popular Exam Pro Objective series, featuring multiple choice practice questions for core law school subjects, now has an interactive quiz feature that provides a modern spin on exam prep.
exam pro
Click on “Take Quiz” in the bottom right corner of the gray box containing the book title and image. This opens the page containing multiple practice exams of twenty-five questions each. Click on “start” or “continue” to take a quiz.

There, you will find the multiple-choice questions that students have long used to prepare for multiple choice exams in a different format. You may skip questions and return to them by clicking “back” or “next,” or end the quiz early to view feedback. Each time you submit an answer you will get instant feedback on whether you chose the best answer, and an explanation for why your selection was or was not correct.

This format can help you prepare for your final exams in law school, and possibly the biggest exam of all: the bar. Some bar preparation materials have a similar online format, so you can get a jump-start on clearing the final hurdles on the way to becoming an attorney.

If you need any help accessing West Academic, or advice on research for your brief, journal note, or grad writing requirement, feel free to Meet with a Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Update on Wolters Kluwer Study Aids: New 1L Videos and More

If you haven’t visited Wolters Kluwer Study Aids in a while, you should.  They have completely modernized and retooled their user-interface to improve your experience.


In addition to revamping the interface, they have created a series of Quimbee-style videos on a number of 1L topics: Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Business Organizations, etc.  The videos are broken down in bite-sized topics (e.g. Criminal Law > Conspiracy) and are usually around 2-5 minutes in length.  They are a great way to supplement your studying with audio/visual materials . The “Videos” tab is directly below the search bar.


Wolters Kluwer is also home to the famously popular Examples and Explanation Series.  Many professors recommend this series to their students and it is a favorite student study aid whether in print or online. The law library provides you with access to both Wolters Kluwer and West Academic so save your hard-earned money and create accounts for these two services before you purchase a study aid.


If you are looking to test your knowledge before finals and are struggling to find model essays (with answers) to practice on, Wolter Kluwer hosts the Friedman’s Practice Series.  This series has eBooks for all of your 1L courses (and many 2L/3L courses) and has both practice multiple choice questions and practice essays – with model answers and issue-spotting outlines for the essays.


Remember: To access this resource you must go through the proxy link (below) and create an account while on the ASU campus wi-fi before you will be able to access the eBooks at home.  This is the proxy link you must use (bookmark it!):

If you have any trouble accessing these resources don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  If you’d like an in-person demonstration to any of these resources, Make an Appointment with a Librarian for a  one-on-one walk-through.

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian

Practically Attorneys: Tools for Efficient Legal Work

Pratically AttorneysBy now, all of us in law school are familiar with using Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg to find case law, statutes, and secondary sources. But all of the Big Three can do so much more to help you at your internships, externships, and clerkships.

The databases have compiled practical information on the substance and procedures of practices in various specific areas of law, from civil litigation to commercial real estate transactions. They each feature practice guides to help familiarize legal professionals with the substance and procedure of legal tasks. Standard documents consist of form agreements into which a client’s data may be entered to craft legal documents. Similarly, standard clauses provide customizable provisions to insert into other agreements. Checklists in all three databases compile the specific tasks necessary to complete transactions.

In Westlaw, click on “Practical Law” under “Content Types” on the homepage, or click on the black circle with the white arrow nest to the name “Westlaw Edge” to navigate to Practical Law. Here, you will find three main tabs:

  1. Practice Areas: Gathers resources for various legal practice areas, such as antitrust or international arbitration. Each link leads to key information specific to each area, such as market data, news, and common topics.
  2. Resource types: Enables users to browse compilations of resources, including customizable Standard Documents, resource compilations known as Toolkits, and State Q&As that enable users to compare and contrast the laws of different jurisdictions.
  3. Jurisdictions: Includes all states, the District of Columbia, and national/federal entries.

In Lexis Advance, click on the tic-tac-toe box at the top left and navigate to “Lexis Practice Advisor.” Here you will find five main tabs:

  1. Practice Area: Gathers resources that attorneys in particular fields, such as Corporate and M&A Law and Tax will often need to use. Each area offers up-to-date guidance, news, and information on legal developments.
  2. Content Type: Enabling users to browse for resources such as practice notes or forms.
  3. Jurisdiction: Includes the states, territories, and District of Columbia.
  4. Industry: Compiles legal resources related to established and booming industries, such as financial services and cannabis.
  5. Tools and Resources: Additional resources such as state law comparisons can also improve attorneys’ accuracy and efficiency.

In Bloomberg Law, click on the Browse icon at the top left and open the “Practitioner Tools” link. There, you will find “Practical Guidance Home.” Here, you will find resources arranged in a variety of practice areas, along with a search bar to find specific documents. Each practice area includes links to specific, commonly performed tasks and legal issues.

Bloomberg Law also offers:

  1. Chart builders that enable users to compare and contrast the laws of different jurisdictions.
  2. transactional precedents that enable users to browse or search resources such as bylaws and real property mortgages.
  3. EDGAR, a searchable compilation of business performance and financial information.

If you’re a 1L looking for your first job, schedule a time to Meet with a Librarian to get a leg up on researching your employer and finding the information that you need to prepare for interviews, especially that most dreaded query: “Do you have any questions for us?”

Speaking of that: Do you have any questions for us? Let the law librarians know if you need access to any of the databases or if you have any questions about how practical legal tools can help in your next placement.

Andrea Gass, Law Librarian