Monthly Archives: January 2021

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: 

Sean Harrington, Electronic Resources Librarian

Bar Prep’s Not Just for 3Ls: The Library Equips You for the Ultimate Final

Graduating from law school is a huge achievement and a new beginning, maybe more so than finishing high school or college. For most students at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, even after they submit their last exams and papers, the ultimate final exam awaits. 

And bar prep isn’t just for 3Ls. The courses you take and study skills you learn during law school can help you clear the final hurdle on your way to a legal career. 

Whether you’re a rising 2L or 3L or newly minted grad, the Ross-Blakley Law Library is here for you. Our Bar Exam and MPRE Resource Guide gathers the resources you’ll need to reach the magic passing number: 273 points on the Uniform Bar Exam in Arizona

First, we have tips for getting started, such as choosing a jurisdiction, planning a study strategy, and finding the right books for the job. We also point you to the requirements in Arizona and other states to sit for the exam and join the bar. 

Analyzing and answering legal questions on the bar exam is a skill that strengthens only with practice. Print and online study aids help you develop essential exam skills and provide lots of opportunities to test your knowledge. Especially helpful resources include Professor Chad Noreuil’s The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam, which helps students find the proper mindset for success, and Steven L. Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics for the MBE, which provides concise reviews of all multiple choice subjects, with dozens of practice questions for each. 

We also point you toward the commercial bar exam review courses that most students find essential. The guide also breaks down the elements of the Uniform Bar Exam administered in multiple states, including Arizona, so you’ll know what you’ll be facing: two hundred multiple choice questions, six essay questions, and two closed-universe legal documents. 

The bar exam is difficult, but as ASU students, you can be confident in your likelihood of success, given the College of Law’s 88.2% total pass rate in July 2020. The bar exam and the array of aids can be a lot to take in, so our reference librarians are happy to help you navigate the options and find the right study aids for you. 

Best of luck on the bar exam!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

On Campus Interviews: Stand Out from the Crowd

Navigating the legal employment landscape can be challenging. The Law Library’s reference librarians are happy to meet with job seekers to put you on the road to success. We can help you with the following:

  • Focused advice on researching law firms
  • Resources for interview prep
  • Tools to tailor your resumes and cover letters
  • Material to provide focused advice on landing particular jobs
  • How to build your current awareness toolbox
  • Show you how to find networking opportunities

Make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian today.

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

No 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 Law Employment Research Guide for job seeking law students and graduates 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

The Law Library Can Help You Shine for On Campus Interviews

Law students send resumes far and wide with the hope of landing their dream placement, but during On Campus Interviews, or OCI, you won’t have to venture far. Employers come to campus because it is an efficient way to gauge many students’ qualifications in one cost effective, concentrated time period. The Law Library can help you highlight the knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd.

The library’s reference librarians are happy to meet with job seekers to help research firms and other employers. We can help you read up on cases that attorneys have argued to assemble talking points. Find judges’ past decisions and gather details such as the types of cases that law firms tend to handle most frequently. This can help you keep a steady rapport with your interviewers when they ask you what you’d like to know about the placement.

We can help you identify ways to stay up to date on developments in your field. Reading through blogs, reading details on developing cases, pending rule changes and other legal news, or engaging with expert commentary is a way you can highlight your mastery of and dedication to your particular field during interviews and networking events. We can help you set alerts on your favorite research databases so you can be sure that you’ll have the latest information when you need it.

We can also introduce the tools of the trade, including materials in the library collection that practitioners frequently consult. Online practice guides and document templates can help you impress interviewers, and then produce professional work efficiently. We have experience using specialized tools and research databases for particular practice areas, which can give you a leg up over competitors with more baseline research skills.

Furthermore, our Law Employment Research Guide assembles tools job seekers can use to tailor your resumes and cover letters and to prepare for interviews. Books from the library’s collection provide focused advice on landing particular jobs and thriving in the legal profession. Legal news websites can help you stay current. We have focused advice on researching law firms, with websites and litigation analytics tools that provide data on employers. Blogs and books provide tips for getting in the door and moving up the ladder.

The guide also has advice if you are seeking a clerkship. It lists texts and blogs that provide tips on standing out, as well as resources on finding job openings and reading up on judges’ work. Finally, the Professional Development topic, we introduce networking opportunities, such as specialized legal associations in Arizona as well as student organizations at ASU. We also provide texts on developing life and legal skills and introduce practice tools that can help you build expertise and efficiency in your field. The law librarians have firsthand experience navigating the legal employment landscape, and the skills and experience that can help you land your dream job during OCI. Meet with a Librarian to get an edge before you button up your best interview suit.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian