Author Archives: Leslie Pardo

Exam Prep: The Law Library Can Help

The Law Library has an abundance of resources to help you prepare for your exams. Our online study aids subscriptions will help build your confidence.

Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aids
West Academic Study Aids

  • CALI tutorials are written by law faculty and librarians from American law schools. They are reviewed and revised on a regular basis. The lessons are designed to help you become accustomed to taking multiple-choice examinations and provide feedback to your answers.

  • Our print Study Skills Collection is located on the third floor of the Law Library across from the Circulation Desk. The collection brings together an array of study aids to help you prepare for your exams. All the materials in the Study Skills Collection may be checked out for two weeks and are renewable twice. We also have a print collection of Exam Preparation Guides you may find useful.

  • You may access Law School Past Exams from the Law Library’s web site. Many faculty members make their past exams available to students as a teaching aid.

The law library collects a wide range of study materials because they present similar material differently. We want to accommodate for different learning styles. Some materials serve different functions. One title may restate class materials in a summary form (Examples & Explanations), while another may give you a boatload of practice multiple choice questions (Q&A), and another may be audio lectures for your commute (Sum & Substance). To determine which you like the most, it is best to skim the content either in the library or online to see what will work best for you. Please consult our succinct study skills materials chart to guide you through the semester:

PDF icon Study Aids Chart

If there is anything specific you might need help with as you prepare to study for your exams, please don’t’ hesitate to schedule an appointment to Meet with a Librarian.

We wish you the best of luck!

Sarah Brunswick, 2L & Kole Lyons, 2L Honored for Exemplary Student Research

First Place:  Sarah Brunswick, PFAS Are Forever: Why Unregulated Agricultural Water Is Not a Girl’s Best Friend

Second Place:  Kole Lyons, Fresh from the Freezer: Exploring the “Knead” for Transparent Bread Labeling

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.

Sarah Brunswick is the first-place award recipient for her paper: PFAS Are Forever: Why Unregulated Agricultural Water Is Not a Girl’s Best Friend. Brunswick is a second-year student. Kole Lyons is the second-place winner for his paper: Fresh from the Freezer: Exploring the “Knead” for Transparent Bread Labeling. Lyons is also second- year student.

Their papers demonstrate sophistication and originality in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis.  A review panel comprised of librarians Beth DiFelice and Tara Mospan and Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from a number of very competitive entries.

To read more about the winning papers, please follow this link: Announcing the 2021 Recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

Congratulations to our 2021 Winners!

Study to Your Strengths with the Law Library

Everyone learns a little differently. While mastering the Socratic method helps most lawyers optimize their professional performance, when it comes to acing a law school final, studying with tools that work particularly well for you can be critical.

Above all, pay attention to your professor. The one who wrote your test likely knows best.

The Ross-Blakley Law Library also provides a wide variety of study tools in print and online to help you master course materials and put your skills to the test before exam day. Here are some suggestions for particular learning styles:

  • In-depth explanation: The Examples and Explanations series provides detailed discussions of how the law operates. It also tests learners’ understanding with problems that can help a reader apply the law to a variety of fact patterns. E&E can be particularly useful to review any concepts that may have been more challenging in class.
  • Flashcards: Many students respond well to the challenge of recalling definitions, elements, or factors of legal concepts. Ask at the circulation desk about the law library’s collection of flashcards.
  • Audio/video: Video lectures and audiobooks can help students replicate the interpersonal, human approach to learning during Reading Week.
  • Visual learners: The Crunchtime series provides flowcharts, which help students break down the often complicated procedures for analyzing facts into a series of simple steps.
  • Practice questions: The Exam Pro series provides an extensive array of practice questions to help students prepare for multiple choice finals, and the Friedman’s Practice Series challenges students spot issues in large fact patterns before essay exams.

Meet with a reference librarian for help finding the best resources for your learning style. Good luck with finals!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research: March 29th Deadline Approaching

Do you want to win $500?  Do you want something special to add to your resume? How about all the pats on the back you will get from family and friends if you win this prestigious award?  You better get to work!

The deadline to enter the annual Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research is March 29th at 9:00am.

The purpose of the award is to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research abilities beyond ordinary proficiency to achieve their personal best. We are most interested in your research process. Submissions may be, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or as a journal note.

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.

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, online and print resources, 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

You can read about past winners here: Ross-Blakley Award for Exemplary Student Research Winners

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

Good Luck!

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:

When the mind is full
relax and let go, maybe
we don’t need civ pro?
– Caitlyn Haitaian

Sunlight kiss my eyes
Is this dawn or dusk I see?
One more practice test.
– Mike Uchrin

Here are two more favorite Haikus:

Stressful May and June
Brings an exam that leads to
Triumphant July
– Megan Manning

Idle waiting? No.
Unlike leaves falling from trees,
I pull the tide. Go.
– Aspen Miller

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. Good luck to everyone taking the Bar Exam. We know you will do great!

May It Please Your Prof: The Law Library Can Help You Develop Your Persuasive Skills

Legal research is not a one size fits all process. Different tasks require different strategies, different databases, different secondary sources. Few assignments will be as jarringly different as the first semester objective memo and second semester persuasive brief in Legal Advocacy class.

The Law Library is here to help. Our JD holding reference librarians have all been through the transition from dispassionate legal analysis to loyal, tenacious persuasion. If you make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian, we can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can befall all research and find all you need to state your best case in court.

We can critique your research trail. Looking over your research and refining your strategies and search terms can make sure you can find your opponent’s best case to defuse it before it’s thrown at you.

We can also point to secondary sources that will be helpful for your particular assignment. Objective treatises and encyclopedias can help you grasp the law in the beginning. Practice guides can help you make sure you’re fully representing your client’s interests. And persuasive law review articles that can inspire you to construct your own arguments for why the law should be interpreted in favor of your client.

The librarians can also suggest texts and treatises that can build the writing skills necessary to craft a compelling brief. See our First Year Legal Writing and Advanced Legal Writing: Persuasion research guides to get a jump start on honing your craft. The guides discuss everything from effective organization of your document, to choosing the best words to change a judge’s mind.

And our assistance doesn’t end with the four corners of your document, because we can help make sure your oral argument pleases your professor. We have a number of guides from the experts on how to craft compelling presentations for your judges, and how to field their questions to advance your client’s interests. We also have tips for calming and channeling the nervous energy that comes from facing a panel of decision makers in your best suit. To improve your skills, few things are more effective than watching the experts, so you should also check out our our compilation of links to oral argument recordings from the Ninth Circuit, Arizona Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, even with the experience of Bluebooking your first objective memos behind you, citation can be tricky. We are more than happy to field questions about your citation sentences; just Ask a Law Librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Law Library Research Guides: Tools to Help You Succeed

The librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library have authored dozens of research guides to help you with the following:

  • Class Preparation 
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Exam and Bar Prep
  • Employment Resources
  • And Much More!

You can find a complete list of our research guides here: Research Guides

And remember, you can Meet with a Librarian for personalized assistance. 

3L Bar Exam Haiku Contest!

Are you a 3L getting ready for the bar exam?  If you are, breath, relax, and write a haiku about the bar exam. If you write the best bar exam haiku, you will receive a copy of Prof. Noreuil’s book The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam. We will be giving away two copies.

What is a Haiku?
A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. We want you to focus on the bar exam. To get you started, here is an example from our very own Prof. Noreuil:

You will pass the bar.
Create your reality.
Breathe… Believe… Repeat.

We are going to share your entries on our social media outlets so get ready for fame and fortune.

Enter here: 3L Bar Exam Haiku Contest Entry Form

The deadline to enter is February 19th.

Good Luck!

Topical Swarm: Research Guides to Help You Dive Deep

Each new area of the law that you encounter during law school has its own jargon, quirks, and intricate research pathways.  The beginning of the semester can feel complicated and overwhelming.  But fear not!  The Ross-Blakley Law Librarians have developed research guides to help you during your journey. 

It might seem difficult to get a good start, particularly with casebooks to read. But our research guides can help you dive in to the hot-button legal issues ripe for new perspectives. In particular, we have recently added entries for the Spring 2021 semester to our Topical Seminar Research Guides to help students who will be writing about legal developments in a variety of areas of law. 

Our Artificial Intelligence guide, for example, includes publications dedicated to advancing knowledge of “thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.” Education and the Law links students to several blogs and news services capturing the latest trends in school policy.  Medical Malpractice and Medical Error can help you find forensic studies to bolster your legal claims, and Law and Sexuality can guide you to interdisciplinary databases that you can access as an ASU student. 

The topical seminar research guides can be accessed at: https://libguides.law.asu.edu/seminarguides 

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian