Law Library Tour and Orientation Videos: Quick YouTube Videos to Get You Up to Speed

The Law Library has a YouTube channel!  We have a series of New Student Orientation videos you can watch at your convenience to get you started on your road to success in law school. You will learn about our resources and what our expert staff can do to help you throughout your law school experience.

Here, you can watch Associate Director, Tara Mospan take you on a short tour of the third floor library space, the circulation desk, and the library’s dedicated Zoom reference room.

The reference librarians are happy to give you advice on which study aids may be right for you. You may check them out using the self-checkout machine located on the east end of the circulation desk or with the help of the friendly circulation desk staff.

We also introduce you to the resources available on the Law Library’s homepage and in its catalog, with tips on making an appointment with a librarian and the plethora of resources to help you that we have compiled in our New Student Guide. The video One Search and Library Catalog demonstrates searching for materials and accessing them, including an explanation of how to retrieve materials from other branches of ASU Library.

We also introduce the wide variety of extremely useful study aids available to you through our subscriptions to West Academic and Wolters Kluwer, including how to set up your own account so you can access all study materials away from campus. Materials on CALI can supplement your course lectures when you run into tricky topics.

For your clinical classes, we have a First Year Legal Writing Guide to help you write memos and deliver winning oral arguments. We can also help you format your citations. The video Meet with a Librarian tells you how you can set up an appointment with us to discuss all your research assignments, in which we can provide feedback on your research and tips on how to quickly find what you need.

Finally, we will discuss our social media presence, and how checking out our blog can help you succeed. We will have advice for you throughout the semester. So welcome! And best of luck!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Reference Librarians are Available to Assist You Virtually

The reference librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are happy to help you find or navigate research resources. We are now available to help you virtually. We can meet with you via Zoom. To make a Zoom appointment, click here: Make an Appointment with a Librarian.

You can also join us on Zoom during reference hours. Librarians are available 9am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-2pm on Friday. Join us on Zoom during reference hour: Reference Zoom Room on Law Interactive  You will be taken to the Law Interactive page. Look for the Zoom Reference Room under Library Resources on the right side of the screen. You will be admitted to the Zoom Reference Room from a waiting room.

You can Chat with a Librarian, which is also available during reference hours.

You can also contact us by phone (480) 965-7161 or Email us during reference hours. You can email us anytime. We will get  back to you during normal library hours.

We can’t wait to assist you!

Stay in the Know: Our Blog is Here for You Throughout the Semester

Welcome to a new semester! Especially for those just joining us, it will be a new and exciting experience. And it’s a time to connect with those who have experience with ASU Law to learn, grow, and build ties to the legal community.

The Law Library is here to help and our blog is just one of the resources that can help you. Throughout the semester, we will share information on helpful study resources, efficient and thorough legal research, exam prep, career development, and even maintaining your calm focus on the task at hand.

Early in the semester, we will help you find the right resources to keep you well prepared for class by highlighting resources in our study aids platforms. We will examine the Socratic method and help you achieve success and overcome unnecessary anxiety.

Later, when research assignments arrive on the scene, we will turn our attention to Westlaw, Lexis, and beyond with resources to help you find what you need and avoid wasting precious time on what you don’t need.

We will then touch briefly on using midterm exams to your own advantage before returning to legal research and helping you wrap up your research projects. By then, you’ll be ready to attack your final exams with authority, armed with our exam prep materials and guide on crafting exam answers. And when you submit your last Scantron, we will help you get a jump on the job hunt.

Bookmark our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep receiving timely information and advice from our expert reference librarians. And if you are a new student, be sure to take a look at our New Student Resource Guide.

We are here to answer questions about study aids, legal research databases, citation, troubleshooting problems with legal research or study skills websites, and more. Contact us via Ask a Librarian. We can help you via email, chat, in our Zoom reference room for shorter questions or Meet with a Librarian for more involved questions.

Have a great semester!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

The Law Library’s New Student Resource Guide

The New Student Resource Guide is a fundamental resource to help new and returning law students. Even if you’re a 2L or 3L, the guide will lead you to library tools that will help you succeed.

We have made establishing your research and study database accounts easy:  Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and CALI Access. Here, you will find a link to a streamlined page enabling you to set up these essential accounts in just a few steps, including registration codes and contact information should you need help troubleshooting a problem.

Our Tour and Orientation Videos were created to provide you with a personal and practical introduction to the resources and services the Law Library provides.

Please subscribe to the Ross-Blakley YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of our helpful and practical instructional videos.

Our New Student Guide also features the many different ways you can reach out to us for Research Help.  You can make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian. We meet with you one-on-one at time which is convenient for you. We can connect with you via Zoom, email, chat, or phone.  We prepare for the meeting ahead of time and are ready to assist you because we know how valuable your time is. We are here to help you make the most of your time. We can help you navigate research resources and identify relevant information quickly. You can also Chat with us, send a quick email if you just have a simple question, or call us 480-965-7161.

The Study Materials section of the New Student Guide features the Wolters Kluwer and West Academic study aids platforms which provide easy online access to hundreds of study aids, treatises, and audio lectures to help you succeed in law school. We also have a print collection of study skills books located on the 3rd floor of the Law Library right across from the Circulation Desk.

Our Class and Exam Prep section has the latest resources on how to efficiently read and summarize cases for class, help you learn how to outline and prepare for exams, and includes exam practice questions you can use to prepare for the real thing. For your clinical classes, our First Year Legal Writing section guides you to resources to make your memos, briefs, and oral arguments stand out from the crowd.

Finally, Stay in the Know throughout the semester by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and bookmark our Blog. We will have posts throughout the semester to help you find what you need to meet each challenge along the way.

Please reach out to us when you need help. The Law Library is here to help you succeed.

Your Professional Obligation Not to Overlook the MPRE

While the MPRE, or Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, is the smaller and less grueling of the two exams required for admission to the bar in Arizona and most other states, failure to respect its significance can cost you valuable time.

The MPRE is administered only three times per year, in spring, summer, and fall, so students who miss the minimum 85 score required to pass in Arizona could face a long wait to retake it. And the spring and fall exams can become a burden in the middle of a law school semester. To help you avoid this potential speedbump, the Ross-Blakley Law Library has updated its Bar Exam and MPRE Resources Library Guide to highlight MPRE study resources and exam preparation courses.  

In addition to valuable resources in the print Study Skills collection on the third floor in front of the circulation desk, the library subscribes to online study resources to help you master legal ethics. Wolters Kluwer offers Strategies and Tactics for the MPRE, which provides tips and dozens of practice questions to help you prepare for the two-hour MPRE, which includes sixty multiple choice questions. West Academic, for its part, offers an efficient resource for last minute MPRE preppers, The Weekend MPRE, which includes two full length practice exams.

For students seeking more depth in their knowledge pool of professional responsibility, CALI offers a series of lessons highlighting specific issues arising under the law governing lawyers. Wolters Kluwer, in addition, provides detailed guidance in solving legal ethical problems in Examples & Explanations: Professional Responsibility.

For perhaps a preview of the bar exam preparation course to follow, a number of exam preparation companies offer free MPRE preparation courses (see box at top right). Finally, we have compiled Web resources including the full texts of the rules and commentary governing attorney and judicial conduct, as well as resources offering valuable advice on study and exam taking skills.

For additional help choosing materials to prepare for the MPRE, the bar exam, or law school exams or research projects in general, please Meet with a Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Bluebook 21: The Most (Foot)Noteworthy Updates

Despite its spiral binding, the Bluebook is not known for flexibility.

It’s A Uniform System of Citation, and that uniformity means usually requires demanding attention to detail and rigidity. For a long time, legal writers had to turn to their well worn Rule 1.4 to check out the order of authorities for their string citations. It always followed a strict pattern roughly approximating the persuasive weight of the source material, from constitutions at the front end to secondary sources at the back end, with books always preceding periodicals, student written journal pieces always following professional works, and websites always bringing up the rear.

The new 21st Edition of the Bluebook gives us a rest. One of the big changes in the new citation manual is a major simplification of Rule 1.4. Now legal writers simply use their judgment and prioritize the most relevant materials in a string citation.

We are staying on top of these changes at the Law Library so we can help you produce the best, most up to date footnotes and citation sentences. We can also suggest study materials and online lessons to help you bring your citation A-game.

In other modernizations, the Bluebook is opening up to online resources, as Rule 12.3 has shifted to more readily accept unofficial federal codes from Westlaw or Lexis. Rule 12.5(b) follows suit, welcoming more online state and municipal codes into legal citations. And we no longer need to determine the release date of the last print edition of the United States Code: Rule 12.3.2 eliminates the date parenthetical from federal code citations.

International lawyers and students also have a wider range of online materials at their disposal, as Rule 21 now acknowledges the wider availability of treaties and other international materials. And in an increasingly visual online world, Rule 18.8 gives photographers and other visual artists their due, providing more concrete guidance on citing photos and graphics.

In a move that journal editors will cheer when they’re cite checking, Bluebook no longer includes separate tables for abbreviations in case names and common words in periodical titles: All of that information is now in the expanded Table 6, with Table 13 continuing to provide abbreviations of institutions such as universities and law schools.

The Bluepages have a few updates as well, with updates to Bluepages Table 2 to keep up with rules changes in various jurisdictions. And if you are practicing in a jurisdiction that limits the number of words that can appear in a document, the new Rule B6 provides a welcome change, providing the option to close spaces in the abbreviations of case reporters to conserve space, like so: F.Supp.2d.

And those changes are just some of the highlights to the new Bluebook, which also omits the bulky Table 2 on foreign materials from the print edition and places it on the website for free access.

Whether you’re adding footnotes to your graduate writing requirement or crafting a memo for your externship, the reference librarians are here to help. Feel free to make an appointment to meet with us via Zoom. For simpler questions, email us!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

DACA Resource Guide

The Ross-Blakley Law Library’s DACA Resource Guide has been updated. It provides general information and links to resources about DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and is maintained by reference librarians at the ASU College of Law. The guide includes information on the history of DACA, recent DACA developments, ASU resources for students, a list of local agencies offering DACA assistance, and a list of national advocacy groups. You can view the guide by clicking on the link below.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) LibGuide

Racial Justice Resources – New Research Guide

Racial Justice Resources is a guide to resources provided by the Ross-Blakley Law Library and to external resources to support our community in considering racial justice and reconciliation. The guide’s focus is on resources concerning racial justice in the United States including information about:

National Social Justice Organizations
Local Social Justice Organizations and Government Entities
Resources for Protesters
Research Resources including Databases, Books, Law Reviews and Journals
U.S. Federal Government Hearings and Reports

We are always here to help you. If you have questions about accessing resources or want to discuss these subjects in more depth, feel free to Ask a Librarian or make an appointment to meet via Zoom.

Practical Research Skills Workshop Series: Get the Edge on How to Exceed Your Employers’ and Professors’ Expectations

The librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library have prepared a video series for you. Our Practical Research Skills Workshop Series will help you get the edge on how to exceed your employers’ and professors’ expectations. We share our expertise on legal research, in a friendly, fast-paced format that you can watch at your own pace. We help you navigate primary law including statutes and regulations as well as help you build your practical skills by sharing our insights on topics like litigation tools and legal search algorithms.

Practical Research Skills Workshop Series

What the series covers:

Federal Statutes & State Statutes

Learn how to find and navigate statutes in research databases and on government websites. We highlight case law that courts rely on to resolve disputes concerning statutory interpretation to help you perform professional statutory research for your employer.

Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Arizona Regulations 
Master how to navigate and use the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, and Arizona’s regulatory frameworks so that you can master interpreting and applying regulatory rules on the job.

Search Algorithms, Data Analytics, Ravel & Advanced Searching
Not all databases are transparent about how they return results based on your search terms but understanding how the search tools operate can help you research more effectively and efficiently.

Practice Tools: Settlements Data & Litigation Analytics, Litigation Tools, Standard Documents & Transactions, Practice Notes & Checklists
Practical tools can help you impress your assigning attorney. These include resources to learn the law, to manage a legal project, to efficiently draft legal documents, and to compare the client’s situation to past deals and cases.

We are always here to help you whether you are a current student or a graduate. If you have questions or want to discuss these subjects in more depth, feel free to Ask a Librarian or make an appointment to meet via Zoom.

Spotlight on Law Library Resources: Award Winning BLASE – Sports and Entertainment Law Database

Back in October 2019 we highlighted a new (at the time) database hosted at HeinOnline: Business and Legal Aspects of Sports and Entertainment (“BLASE”).

Since then, this database has received industry acclaim by receiving the Joseph L Andrews Literature Award for 2020.  The Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award recognizes a significant textual contribution to legal literature.

HeinOnline makes heavy use of the LibGuides platform to provide detailed explanations of their databases and they have a guide for BLASE.

What does it contain?

  • 1.3 million pages of sports and entertainment related content.
  • 120 landmark sports law cases.
  • 65 landmark entertainment law cases.
  • A collection of important articles on both of these topics, curated by the editors, after reading over 8,000 scholarly works. 

When would I use it?

Essentially any time you are starting research in these bodies of law.  This is a great place to start your research since it is a curated databased, created specifically for these two topics.  It can help you ensure that you’re not missing any big cases or articles.  It can also help you interpret complex statutes.  You can build your research on the foundation laid by two experts in these areas

This database also has a useful topic index for the categories that it covers – so that you can weed out the irrelevant hits you might receive if you did a keyword search (or if you simply don’t know which terms to use).

How to I get to it?

Please see the video below.  Soon many of these titles will be integrated into the ASU catalog.  Until then, you must access them through HeinOnline:

(Pro-Tip: if you click the image box, it will convert the .PDF original to a text format so you can cut-and-paste.  This works for nearly all HeinOnline .PDFs.)

And take a look at the Law Library’s Sports Law LibGuide.

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian