Category Archives: Misc.

Stay in Control in Times of Stress

Staying aware of the present moment can improve your focus and performance in stressful situations, mindfulness and meditation studies indicate. It doesn’t take a deserted lakeside forest, perfect lotus posture, or hours of a silenced mind to achieve mindfulness. It’s a skill—a secular skill–useful for everyone, and particularly useful for lawyers and law students who maintain a busy schedule with overlapping work and academic deadlines as well as networking and social commitments.

Awareness of the present moment can not only dull stinging worries about the future. It can improve an attorney’s concentration, active listening, and understanding when meeting with clients or representing them. Law schools and universities are increasingly recommending mindfulness training and offering mindfulness programs to help students cope in times of increased academic pressure. And although it might sound like a luxury or one more task for an already bloated schedule, mindfulness can actually save time, with improved attention and performance.

Mindfulness is not a luxury for people with lives of leisure or an all consuming experience that must dominate a busy person’s time. In fact, some experts suggest that simply taking a minute or two to calm the mind can calm stress, and lead to a more focused practice that can clear a cluttered mind and improve health and wellbeing.

Whether you are a regular attendee of the student Zen Law and Mindfulness Association at ASU Law or you have never considered a mindfulness practice before, the law library has compiled resources that can help you build this skill. Check out our research guide Mindfulness and Mental Wellness in Law School for academic studies, guided meditations, and brief guides to improve your attention and awareness.

And as the semester winds down, the reference librarians are here to help with research questions, legal citation, or to bolster research you’ve already done. Click on Meet with a Librarian to schedule a brief, efficient, time saving appointment with a JD holding reference librarian.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Sandra Day O’Connor

March is Women’s History Month which commemorates and encourages the study, observance, Sandra-Day-OConnor-law school portraitand celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Ross-Blakley Law Library will have a recurring series of social media posts dedicated to the women who helped shape the state of our legal system.

First up, our namesake, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

If you have not already, please visit the Ross-Blakley Law Library LibGuide, Sandra Day O’Conner: Her Life and Legacy, which gives her a far more robust treatment than we could manage in a single blog post.

Born in El Paso, Texas Sandra Day O’Connor grew up on a 198,000-acre ranch called the “Lazy B” in South East Arizona near Duncan, Arizona.  The ranch did not have running water nor electricity and was nine miles from the nearest paved road.  When she was six years old she was sent to El Paso to live with her maternal grandmother. Schooling options near the ranch were limited for a young woman. O’Connor attended Radford School for Girls and then graduated from Austin High School. She did return to the life on the cattle ranch during the breaks. She learned to brand cattle at the age of eight.

Academic Excellence
Sandra Day O’Connor was a gifted student with a tenacious spirit.  At the age of 16, she began her college career at Stanford University. In 1950 she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Economics.   She then attended Stanford law school where she served on Stanford Law Review with later colleague Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. She completed law school in just two years as opposed to the usual three. In 1952 she graduated from Stanford law ranked third in her class. To give some context, Harvard didn’t even accept women applicants until 1950. This remains the only law school class to produce two Supreme Court Justices in the same year.

Legal Career
Finding a legal job in the 1950’s was not easy for women and O’Connor, despite her flawless credentials, was no exception.  While her male peers like Justice Rehnquist went to clerk for judges or work for large law firms, she found that none of the large California firms would hire a woman. She began her legal career working for the county attorney of San Mateo for free, after turning down a paid position as a legal secretary. Having proved herself as an asset, she got a job as the deputy county attorney.

In 1954, O’Connor left California to work in Frankfurt, Germany as a civilian attorney for the Quartermaster Masker Center, a site abroad for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, while her husband served mandatory military service. After his service was complete, the couple returned to Phoenix, Arizona. While her husband took a good job in corporate law with a prominent firm, O’Connor opened up her own private practice with one other lawyer. In 1965, she began working as the Assistant Attorney General for Arizona. In 1969 the Governor of Arizona appointed her to fill a vacancy in the Arizona senate – she ran for the position and won it the subsequent year.  Three years later she became the state senate’s first female majority leader. In fact, she was the first female majority leader in any state senate

In 1975 Justice O’Connor was given her first set of robes when she was elected to the Arizona State Superior Court.  In 1979 she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals by the governor of Arizona where she presided until she was nominated for the United States Supreme Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.

While on the SCOTUS, she authored a number of opinions on a wide range of issues.  She was frequently the swing vote and received the respect of both political parties for ability to compromise on tough issues.

Justice O’Connor’s meteoric rise and brilliant career are a testament to a woman who, despite roadblocks and closed doors, achieved a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a prolific author, has received countless awards and honors including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.  In later life she created the non-profit, iCivics, which promotes civics education to students so they might become active citizens.

Courageously, on October 23, 2018, Sandra Day O’Connor announced in a letter that she is in the early stages of what is likely Alzheimer’s disease and is retiring from public life.

A generous gift to the law school from the O’Connor estate has allowed the Law Library to come into possession of a great number of books from Justice O’Connor’s personal collection.  We are currently in the process of organizing these items for display in the 5th floor reading room.  We have received everything from inscribed books to artifacts from her desk at the Supreme Court.  Look forward to future announcements about this fascinating collection.

Prodigious Honor for Ross-Blakley Law Library Director

Dean Victoria Trotta is the 2018 recipient of the American Association of Law Libraries Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1984 to recognize exemplary service to the Association. The Award is given in recognition of a career of outstanding, extended, and sustained service to law librarianship and to AALL. This award is the Association’s highest honor.  We are so happy for Tory and her well-deserved accolade. Tory Award Slide

ASU LiveSafe Enhances Your Personal Safety

A mobile phone app called ASU LiveSafe is now available to download for free to your smartphone or obtain for free at Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.  You can view more detailed information about the app online at

This app enhances your personal safety across all ASU campuses.  It allows you to report, immediately, to the ASU Police any tips, information, pictures, audio and video you need to report to them.  

  • ASU LiveSafe Mobile App Features and Benefits:
  • Activate SafeWalk so friends or family members can view your step-by-step progress on a map. Chat live with your designated emergency contacts during your trip. Deactivate Safewalk once you arrive safely.
  • Alert personal emergency contacts in times of distress with a link to your accurate GPS location.

Report tips to ASU Police with your user information for more accurate location information, or enable the anonymous reporting option.

If you have questions about the ASU LiveSafe mobile app features and functions, please send an email to this ASU address.

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



Thanks to the Man in Black,we’re shedding some light on finding articles

This day in history, it was lights out for the Man in Black; music legend Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003.
Mr. Cash, of course, was no stranger to the law. He kept lawyers busy with arrests for drug smuggling, setting a forest on fire, and more. Through his legal adventures, he developed compassion for prisoners, performing free concerts in prisons and advocating for prison reform.
While learning a little about Mr. Cash, we found a nifty journal article titled: “Social Justice and Social Context in the Music of Johnny Cash”  (2009 J. Inst. Just. Int’l Stud. 53), which is available on Westlaw and HeinOnline.
If you ever see a citation to an article like this and want to know if the Law Library has access to it, here are a few tips:

Restroom Maintenance this weekend

This weekend (Saturday, June 30 – Sunday, July 1), the main Women’s and Men’s Restrooms on first floor (near the front entrance) will be shut down for some necessary maintenance.

All other restrooms in the building will be available. Restrooms are located in the following areas:

  • Room 122 (All Night Study Room) – unisex restroom
  • Second floor – women’s and men’s restrooms
  • Third floor – women’s and men’s restrooms


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

ROTC Training Exercise on the SRC Field Thursday

An ROTC Training exercise will be held on the SRC Field Thursday, April 12, 2012.

The Army ROTC will be landing 2 Blackhawk Helicopters on the SRC East Field on April 12, 2012.   The first will land at 7:30am and the second at 10:00am.  Each pick-up usually last 10-15 minutes.

The noise from the helicopters may carry to the Law Library.  Be sure to ask for earplugs at the front desk!

Law Library Student Survey Winners!

Thank you to everyone who took the Law Library Student Survey.  We had a great response rate.  We are now going over the results and we will soon be implementing some of your suggestions. 

Congratulations to our prize winners:

Grand Prize:  A Study Room for a Week!
Ryan McCarthy Gift Card Winners
Josephine Bidwill
Lacy Cooper
Daniel Hutto
Amanda Fischer
Joel Fugate
Kathryn Krejci
Katelyn Miller
Michael Pang
Derek Pratt
Samantha Whetherholt

10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines

Who doesn’t love a great legal movie? The editors of Bloomberg Law sure do – they’ve come up with a list of 10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines of all time.

Did you know the Law Library has a great selection of legal movies? Stock up for the weekend with any of the movies from Bloomberg’s list:

…and more!

You can vote for your favorite line on Bloomberg’s Tumblr site. Or tell us your favorite line in the comments below!