Holistic Student Development: Studies, Social Events, and Professional Development

HolisticStudying, cold calls, and exams constitute just one important aspect of the law school experience. Landing a dream clerkship, government placement, or law firm associate position will be easier for students who get involved with your fellow students and professors at the law school, as well as with practicing attorneys and judges.

Getting prepared for your mixers and interviews is an important skill to develop during your law school career. You have already begun to form the professional networks that will help you succeed in the profession. And it’s important to make a good impression in the classroom, through the student organizations, and—especially—at the interview table.

The Ross-Blakley Law Library provides a number of tools to help students fulfill their professional dreams.

  1. Background research for professional opportunities: We understand how to use the research tools of the trade, including the new litigation analytics tools within Westlaw and Lexis, to help you land and prepare for a big clerkship or job interview.
  2. Study and research aid: We have an extensive collection of study materials and the expertise to help students select the proper guides for their situations. For students with a commute on the light rail, CALI’s podcasts may be the right fit. For students with plenty of time to build a thorough understanding of the material, Examples & Explanations is a perfect fit. For those who need a faster, more accessible overview, the Acing series can help. Before a midterm or a final, Crunch Time helps visual and experiential learners thrive.
  3. In-depth understanding of your practice area: We have tools geared toward specific areas of law you can use to build expertise in your field to improve your performance on the job, in interviews, and in the social scene. Meet with a librarian to get started!
  4. Research skill building: After you land in a placement, your attention will turn to making a good impression and building your professional career. We provide student-driven, efficient training tips that can help you make a splash as a thorough, efficient researcher and writer. Meet with a librarian to get an edge.

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law has numerous resources to help all of its students thrive academicallysocially, and professionallyCareer Services provides amazing support to help students enter the profession, from fashion tips to interview guidance.

Andrea Gass’s office is Room 350E, behind the Law Library circulation desk on the third floor. She welcomes visitors and questions: algass@asu.edu, 480-965-2521.

Making the Most of Midterms

My Post (2)Midterm season is just around the corner. Too soon, you say? As a law library fellow and self-described 4L, I remember the olden days of 2016 walking into my torts final with only an outline, some grim prophecies, and uncertainty, because newfangled midterms hadn’t spread to my section yet.

Midterms are your crystal ball showing your future exam-taking self, and a window to the essence of your learning style. They may be more important in informing and adjusting your study habits to achieve your academic apotheosis in December than their nudge to your final grade. Some students have taken them without much extra study just to see how well they can do on just regular, daily reading. But, of course, many of us are type-A achievers, so here are some tips from the Ross Blakley Law Library to help you excel.

  1. Study aids for exam practice: The book Getting to Maybe has helped many budding lawyers learn to thrive in a field laden with slippery “it depends” answers instead of familiar, concrete facts. Crunch Time, on Wolters Kluwer provides flow charts, multiple choice, short answer, and essay exam questions. West Academic provides Exam Pro practice questions for multiple-choice and essay exam practice, and Mastering the Exam for tips that will help you throughout law school. CALI offers podcasts featuring panels of experts on outlining, time management, exam prep, and the grading process.
  1. Meet with a Librarian about your open memo to buy yourself valuable study time for other classes: We can help you navigate Westlaw and Lexis to find all relevant good law efficiently and thoroughly.
  1. Take past exams to prepare: Thinking like a lawyer involves more than just repeating memorized knowledge. Unexpected scenarios will test your ability to apply and analyze the law. The library’s Past Exams archive can help; even if it’s not from your professor, authentic issue-spotting exams offer invaluable practice in Civ Pro, Torts, Contracts, and upper-level classes. (Of course, when you come across questions that might be clearly outside the scope of your class, don’t sweat them and move on!)
  1. Refine your outline: Making an outline is probably the best way to study legal doctrine and make the connections between the rule of law and the court’s reasoning. ASU’s past outlines are most useful to check your own work as you process your notes and readings. Your classes’ teaching assistants can help you resolve discrepancies.
  1. Breathe: Remember that no one exam will make or break your professional dreams, not even the ones you’ll take in December. Good luck!

Andrea Gass, research fellow, doesn’t have to take midterms or finals anymore, but she still gets all the fun of life at ASU law. How great is that?

Spotlight on New Law Library Resources: BLASE – Sports and Entertainment Law

Greetings from your resident ELECTRONIC Resources Librarian for a Spotlight on New Law Library Resources.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. – Muhammad Ali

Want to be a sports law champion?  Then you need to train your research skills to be able to competently represent your clients. Luckily for you we’ve added an all-star player to our database roster and I think you’re going to like the way they perform in the upcoming seasons: BLASE.


What is it?
A massive database of information all centered around sports and Entertainment law.  It has books, scholarly articles, congressional documents, important cases, legislative histories, etc.  It intended to be a one-stop-shop for all of your sports law needs.

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:

How do I use it?
That’s a great question and it depends on your purpose.  If you’re looking for case law, they’ve got a meticulously sorted list of sports topics that you can choose from:  everything from Agents, to Horseracing, to Olympics and Golf.  They’ve collected these cases into neat categories so you don’t have to scour Lexis and Westlaw to find them.

Looking to drill-down on the Athlete Agents Act NCCUSL?   They’ve got a mini-collection of committee meeting reports, agendas, state by state violations, and (of course) drafts of the final act.

If you’re looking to stay up-to-date on current events, they have a robust collection of sports law periodicals and magazines.

(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.)

more hein

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

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Demaine and the Law Behind the Mind

In addition to teaching her first-year Torts classes and upper-level courses on Cults & Alternative Religions and seminars, Professor Linda Demaine has developed a body of published work on liability issues and the interplay between the human mind, the law, and the court system.

In The Psychology of Intellectual Property Law, A book written with ASU Law Professor Aaron Fellmeth and due to be published this year, Professor Demaine explores how the law of intellectual property—names, artworks, trademarks, and inventions of the human mind—tracks (and departs from) the science of psychology. Earlier this year, Professor Demaine provided the preface to the book The Psychology of Family Law. There, she discussed the unfortunate limitations on the legal profession’s ability to embrace scientific research in other fields despite the remarkable improvements to judicial understanding of eyewitnesses, confessions, and its potential to improve legal doctrine governing marriage, divorce, and parenthood. Previously, Professor Demaine contributed to The Civil-Military Gap in the United States, a book that explores the potential impact of divergent views between military leaders and civilian elites on U.S. military effectiveness.

Professor Demaine has produced numerous law journal articles. Most recently, in Seeing Is Deceiving: The Tacit Deregulation of Deceptive Advertising, Professor Demaine discussed the potentially misleading impact of federal regulations that concentrate mostly on the truthfulness of words in advertising despite advertisers’ increasing reliance on less-regulated visual images. In Navigating Policy by the Stars: The Influence of Celebrity Entertainers on Federal Lawmaking, she analyzes the problems associated with entertainers testifying in Congress to influence policy. In Search of the Anti-Elephant: Confronting the Human Inability to Forget Inadmissible Evidence examines the threats to justice associated with judicial reliance on instructions to juries to disregard evidence they should not have known of, a practice whose merits are hotly debated but potentially dubious.

Earlier, in “Playing Doctor” with the Patient’s Spouse: Alternative Conceptions of Health Professional Liability she analyzed the effects of refusing to extend to all medical professionals a ban on sexual relations that stands between psychiatrists and psychologists with regard to their patients. Reinventing the Double Helix: A Novel and Nonobvious Reconceptualization of the Biotechnology Patent, a Stanford Law Review piece she co-authored with Professor Fellmeth explored the scope and purpose of patent law, and whether including biochemicals such as naturally occurring DNA sequences that are “isolated and purified” by human ingenuity should be considered intellectual property.

You can read Professor Demaine’s scholarship in the Law Library’s Faculty Scholarship Repository. If you have interest in tort, legal-scientific, or intellectual property research, the reference librarians can help you get started on an article of your own. Stop by the third floor reference desk or make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Law Library Fellow

Seven Reasons to Meet with a Librarian About Your Open Memo

  1. We can help you navigate research resources and identify relevant information quickly: WePinClipart.com_clip-art-face_111485 (1) are here to show you ways to narrow down search results to cases and statutes pertaining to your legal issue without tedious, time-wasting trial and error using search bars. Taking advantage of tools such as annotations, headnotes, and secondary sources on Lexis Advance and Westlaw Edge can save you valuable time for your other classes.
  2. We have J.D.s, and we understand the process: Beth, Tara, Sean, and Andrea have all been through law school, and understand the process of writing open memos. Our primary focus at the library is you, and we can help you succeed. Use our Meet with a Librarian form to set up an appointment in our private offices behind the circulation desk on the third floor.
  3. We are within the bounds of the Honor Code: We won’t read your writing, and your professors are happy to let us help.
  4. We can help you get used to Bluebook’s blue rules, white rules, and tables: Legal citation will become second nature as you practice during your 1L year, but we understand that it has a lot of unfamiliar intricacies. We can identify resources that will be helpful in your citation practice, such as the Interactive Citation Workstation exercises, Examples & Explanations (see Appendix B), and Legal Citation in a Nutshell. We can also guide you through the Bluebook’s rules and help you answer questions.
  5. CRuPAC, CREAC, IRAC, or IREAC? We can help you find resources, such as textbooks, study aids and examples to organize your writing, whether you have a single, in-depth issue or need to analyze a variety of sub-issues.
  6. You will likely start working this summer or next fall: The lessons we provide in efficiently and thoroughly researching only the relevant legal issues will help you in practice. For now, it might seem like the only concern is reading and going to class—and that should be your primary concern—but our research tips will help you long after you turn in your research memo and start looking to build real-world legal experience for your resume.
  7. We can introduce you to materials that can help you succeed in your other classes too! Struggling with Civ Pro? Concerned about Contracts? Troubled by Torts? Need some peace of mind? Learn better with audio you can listen to on the light rail? The law library has a wide variety of study aids to appeal to your particular learning style, and you can make an appointment with the librarians for help.

Take if from someone who could have used a lot more efficiency during her 1L research projects: You should Meet with a Librarian early on for your open memo. The time you save trying to navigate Westlaw and Lexis alone will be more than worth the 20-30 minutes for your appointment!

Andrea Gass, Law Library Fellow

Free Digital Subscription to the New York Times

NYTASU Students, faculty and staff can sign-up for a digital subscription to the New York Times for freeThe New York Times reports on a wide range of topics which makes it a powerful resource for academic research. Your free subscription includes access to the NYT archives dating back to 1851. In addition to the current news and archive features, NYT offers other apps such as cooking, virtual reality, real-estate, podcasts, and more.

This is a valuable resource provided by Arizona State University. Please use the link below to create an account. You must be logged into your My ASU to redeem the free access.


Problems: Ask a Librarian

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Hinshaw and the Peacemakers of ADR

adrProfessor Art Hinshaw’s teaching and research focuses on alternative dispute resolution, a field that looks to forge peace between adversaries that, among other things, can save their money and the courts’ time. At the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Professor Hinshaw teaches Negotiation and directs the Lodestar Mediation Clinic. The students, for their part, have been winning awards in ADR moot court competitions and building connections with ADR professionals through the student organization DRSA. ADR methods include mediation, in which neutral a third party facilitates communications between disputing parties in an attempt to resolve matters, and arbitration, in which a third party hears the dispute and drafts an arbitration award stating who prevails in the dispute.

West Publishing recently released the sixth edition of a popular casebook Professor Hinshaw co-authored, Dispute Resolution and Lawyers: A Contemporary Approach, which provides an overview of the latest developments in arbitration, negotiation, and mediation. Oxford University Press is scheduled to publish his next book, Discussions in Dispute Resolution: The Foundational Articles, which revisits several foundational works in the field, and he has a forthcoming magazine article and book chapter will analyze negotiation ethics.

Much of Professor Hinshaw’s published work focuses on attorney negotiation ethics, a topic he argues is widely misunderstood, in large part because of his empirical work surveying practicing attorneys in Doing the Right Thing: An Empirical Study of Attorney Negotiation Ethics.  This research also led to a piece titled Gender and Attorney Negotiation Ethics, which explored possible reasons for an unexpected result in a study of the reaction of men and women when asked to engage in fraud.  He has written several pieces arguing that lawyers need to internalize their understanding of negotiation ethics in order to follow the requirements of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and in Teaching Negotiation Ethics he offered advice to fellow law professors on how best to teach the subject.

More recently he has analyzed the evolutionary psychological understanding of emotions, and how mediators can harness outbursts of anger or moments of gratitude to resolve disputes in Outbursts: An Evolutionary Approach to Emotions in the Mediation Context. A piece in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Regulating Mediators, concerns the potential for scammers to fleece the public resulting from under-regulation of mediators, and suggests innovative solutions.

You can read Professor Hinshaw’s scholarship at the ASU Law Library’s Faculty Repository. If you have an interest in research or practice in the growing ADR field, check out the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center, and watch the Daily Disclosure for information on the next Dispute Resolution Student Association session. And if you’d like to do your own research on negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, you can Meet with a Librarian to get started.

Andrea Gass, Law Library Fellow

Speedy and Thorough: Research Tips for Time-squeezed 1Ls

researchAt the end of June 2017, I finished my 1L year at ASU by sleepily turning in my final memo for Intensive Legal Research and Writing. After the All-Journal Write-on Exam, thirty writing assignments in one month instilled a sense of urgency in my legal research: I want it done fast and I want it done well the first time. My friends and I pulled off several all-nighters in that great class working on objective memos, persuasive motions, informative client letters, and tough-talking demand letters to learn the following lessons:

Look for ambiguities: A lot of the most interesting discussions in law come in the gray areas—where the law and the facts are not entirely settled or clear. This “it depends” territory can create interesting analytical puzzles for you to solve in your memo: you will want to show that you can see both sides to an argument, and you will want to demonstrate the critical reasoning skills to form a solid conclusion.

Seek secondary sources: If they’re available, secondary sources on your legal issue can quickly set you on the right path for your research. Not only can they provide a quick explanation of the law and an overview of the factors courts consider in deciding on those legal issues, but they list primary law that you will want to analyze. It’s tempting to want to “save time” by diving into the statutes and case law directly, but a little advance reading can make research a lot faster, easier, and more complete.

For relevant case law, use headnotes, KeyCites, and Citing Decisions rather than trying to “Google” everything: Lawyers at Lexis and Westlaw have analyzed cases and the legal issues they contain and have grouped together related authority to help legal researchers perform faster, more thorough research than keyword searching alone. In Lexis, when you find your legal issue, you can click “Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote” to find more relevant authority. In Westlaw, KeyCites will arrange the legal areas and issues that a headnote addresses, from general to specific. Click on the KeyCite codes for more relevant authority.

For statutes, start by looking at the statute, and find secondary sources from there: Underneath the statutory text, Lexis will break apart the statute into the key legal issues it addresses. If you find one of the issues that your memo is intended to address, you get a quick, one-line summary of a judicial interpretation of the statute, along with a link to a case that could be super-relevant. In Westlaw, you can find similar information in the Notes of Decisions tab at the top of the page, and navigate to helpful secondary sources that will collect relevant case law, such as the ALR Library, underneath the Context & Analysis tab.

CREAC tips: When you’re explaining a precedent case, it may not be enough to list the facts the court considered and tell the reader how the court ruled. You want to analyze why the court ruled the way it did on a variety of factors. Contrasting and comparing the facts in your writing prompt will then much more clearly indicate to the reader whether or not a particular ruling will further the legal principle at issue.

We are here to help. Meet with a Librarian today!

Andrea Gass, Law Library Fellow

Be here now.

ZenMuch of law school involves looking ahead: I am in a professional school and want to make connections and do the right things academically to get my dream job. Unfortunately, it also involves looking behind: did you spot that issue in the Torts final?

Visualizing our ultimate success can help make it so! But some of the best advice you’ll get in law school is to quietly leave it in the past after you turn in an exam. Post-exam parties with friends can be fun, not stressful re-enactments. Be here now.

You will be able to save so much time and regain valuable focus by practicing mindfulness, taking a moment to be aware of your breath, your feelings, your thoughts as they pertain to this moment in time. Living in the moment can prevent you from dwelling on distractions and refocus your attention, and it just might help you let go of harmful stress.

The Ross-Blakley Law Library has resources to help you build mindfulness into your law experience. ASU Law’s own Professor Chad Noreuil offers practical tips on studying, taking exams, developing healthy thoughts, and building relationships with peers, professors, and professionals in The Zen of Law School Success, available in our study skills section on the third floor. Professor Noreuil also can help 3Ls beginning to think about the bar exam get past negative thoughts and emotions and focus on practical skills to sharpen their legal analysis in The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam. Mindfulness for Law Students can help you train your brain for academic success, let go of pain and worry, and improve your physical health. Professors can also learn to incorporate mindfulness into your classroom, or even teach a course on the growing trend of mindfulness in the law.

The newly founded Zen Law Students Association (ZLSA) offers an encouraging, accepting, and kind space to breathe, rest, and unleash your creativity. You are invited to join them on September 24th for Zen Tuesday with Professor Noreuil to boost your serenity and productivity. Be here now.

The ASU Mindfulness, Compassion, and Resilience Center offers more information, resources and events to guide you along the path to mindfulness.

For more stress relieving advice on research and study skills, please click on Meet with a Librarian on the Law Library home page. Librarians Beth, Tara, Sean, and Andrea have been through law school and are delighted to help. Any 1Ls who make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win their own autographed copy of Professor Noreuil’s The Zen of Law School Success!

Andrea Gass, Law Library Fellow

ASU’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Changed My Life

Hi, I’m Andrea, and I adore ASU so much that I’m now working as a research fellow at the law library. But I started law school feeling a little vulnerable. As a transgender woman, I found strong support groups with other trans* and LGBTQIA+ people to help me navigate daily life, but I knew I would be undertaking two great challenges simultaneously, and Civil Procedure was hardly the most daunting.

I faced many obstacles to being who I am today: my true self, complete with a JD! The light rail and my daily running routes were not always safe spaces. But Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and its law library absolutely helped me grow with strong support. I was just another woman learning the law and how to help people. The consistent respect and affirmation I found at ASU helped me achieve a sense of dignity and personal autonomy in a way I never thought would be possible.

Beth DeFelice, for whom I worked as a research assistant after my 1L year, is committed to providing a safe space to help all students thrive at the law library. We can help anyone with study or research needs or concerns. And with four reference librarians holding JDs in our private offices behind the circulation desk on the third floor, we can help get any research or advocacy project off the ground. Please set up a time to Meet with a Librarian or ask any questions at the reference desk during business hours or by phone or email. You can also reach out to ASU Law’s many student organizations to find support from fellow students and faculty members.

I hope you’ll join me at the Diverse Students Coalition lunch discussion Monday, September 23 at 12:15 PM in Room 240. The panel will provide tips for all law students on thriving at ASU. Feel free to drop by my office at Room 350E anytime, or email me at algass@asu.edu.

Andrea Gass, Law Library Research Fellow