D’Angelo Law Announcements

Introducing Scott Vanderlin, new Student Services Librarian

Scott Vanderlin joined the D’Angelo Law Library on September 5 as our new Student Services Librarian. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Scott worked at the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library and also served as a Reference Associate and taught first year legal research for three years at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University School of Law.

Todd Ito, Head of Instruction and Outreach, interviewed Scott to find out how he plans to work with faculty and students, how he became a law librarian, and about his love for craft beer, indiepop, and artisanal candles.Photo of Scott Vanderlin

What were you doing before you came to the University of Chicago?

For the past 6 years, I worked at Chicago-Kent College of Law as a reference librarian and then briefly as the Associate Director for Research and Instructional Services. Pretty much just hanging out.

What’s your favorite thing about being a law librarian?

I’d be lying if I said that the glory wasn’t nice, but honestly I just really like being able to help students out with an aspect of law school that is not always the easiest or most exciting. And, every day I get to learn about new areas of the law and interesting research that is being done by scholars all around me. So, law librarianship is both intellectually and personally satisfying for me.

What originally got you interested in law libraries?

Most of the things that led me to this career probably happened subconsciously, and over a number of years. When I did make the decision to actually pursue law librarianship, however, it was towards the beginning of my 3L year, and I was slowly realizing that while everyone else couldn’t wait to graduate, all I wanted to do was keep reading, learning, researching, writing, etc. Basically, my favorite things about law school were the things that a lot of my classmates couldn’t wait to be done with. At the same time, I went to law school with the conscious, if vague, idea that I wanted to use my education to help people. I assumed that the “where” and “how” of helping people would become clearer as I learned more about the law, and I guess that while I was slowly backing away from the idea of traditional legal practice, I bumped into the thing I was supposed to be doing all along.

tl;dr: I like law school, doing research, and helping people.

Do you have any advice for law students from when you were a law school student?

I mean, yeah. Tons. Fiercely protect the things about you that make you unique–being different is the best possible thing you can be. BUT, also learn to adapt to the people around you when the situation calls for it–a lot of life is a game, so learn to enjoy it and figure out how to play it well. Look at your professors’ past exams. Don’t take your health for granted–you’re not invincible. Call your parents–they miss you. Nurture your closest friendships–you’ll need them, and neglect can be a tough thing to undo. Learn how to handle criticism. Figure out a study routine that works for you and don’t be intimidated if it’s not the same as someone else’s. Read books for pleasure. Make use of CALI lessons. Travel as often as you get a chance. Learn how to be completely fine on your own–then find somebody who makes you not want to be. Ask librarians for help.

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

Craft beer, fantasy football, candle making, reading, indiepop, personal finance, listening to podcasts, sleeping.

What’s the best thing you read, watched, or listened to recently?

Read

Listened to

Duh.

 

Supreme Court October 2017 Term Begins

Tuesday the Supreme Court hears the first arguments of the October 2017 term. This year, the Court has before it the President’s travel ban, rights of aliens facing deportation, high-tech gerrymandering, First Amendment challenges to gay rights laws, and whether police need a search warrant to track people through their cell phones. See our Supreme Court Research Guide for sources of news, case status, briefs, and oral arguments in the cases you care about.

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes new students

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes the JD class of 2020 and the LLM class of 2018. The D’Angelo Law librarians will introduce new JD and LLM students to the Library’s resources and services during tours and presentations during orientation. We hope you will take advantage of our vast resources and knowledgeable staff. There is a great deal of new information to process, so please remember that if you ever have any questions about the Library, please ask us!

We’ve gathered what we think is the most important information in the Library Guide for Law Students and in the D’Angelo Law Library organization site on Canvas, the University’s course management system, but we also wanted to highlight our Top 5 services and resources here:

1. Reference librarians are here to help.

Our reference staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and accessible by email, chat, phone, and in person. Each Bigelow section also has a Reference Librarian assigned to teach legal research sessions over the course of the year. You can consider that librarian as your point of contact in the library, although all of our librarians are available to help you. We are available seven days a week through email, chat, phone, text and in person at the Reference Desk. See our Hours page for the exact hours.

2. Start with the Law Library website.

The Library website can direct you to services and tools to help you find what you need to study law and conduct legal research. Use our website to get research help, find databases, learn library policies, and keep up with the latest library and legal research news.

3. Access information using our primary discovery tools.

Library Catalog: You can search the Library Catalog for books, electronic materials, and more. The University of Chicago Library has over 7 million books and access to hundreds of thousands of electronic resources, so if you are looking for something, you should start with the catalog, and chances are we have what you are looking for.

Databases: The Library offers access to hundreds of databases covering various subjects. To locate a database to use for your research, use Database Finder, a tool that enables you to search for a particular database by name or browse by subject to identify relevant databases. The Law Library also provides a list of the main databases used for legal research.

Access to Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw is restricted to Law School students, and each law student will be supplied with an individual password. You will get this password during your library orientation. If you have any questions about these resources, please do not hesitate to Ask a Law Librarian.

Research Guides: The reference librarians have created research guides on a variety of legal topics. These guides give you starting points for doing research in particular areas of law.

4. We offer a number of on demand services.

Scan & Deliver is an electronic document delivery service that enables members of the University of Chicago community to obtain scanned portions of books or journal articles from the Library’s collections. Requests should be made online, directly from the Library Catalog. Requested documents will be scanned and delivered within four business days. We will scan chapters from books or single articles from journals, provided that the chapter(s) or article does not exceed 20% of the entire book or journal issue.

We also offer a paging service for Law School students. We will retrieve uncharged Library books located in the stacks of other libraries on campus. This service is currently available to Law School students, faculty, and staff only. Materials will generally be collected within two business days and placed on hold at the Circulation Desk or delivered to the appropriate carrel. You will receive an email when your item is available for pick-up.

While searching the Libary Catalog, you may also occasionally come across items with the location Mansueto or one of the two D’Angelo Law Library annexes. You can request materials from these storage collections to be delivered to the Law Library. It generally takes less than 24 hours, and you will receive an email when your item is available for pick up at the Law Library circulation desk.

5. You can easily get books from other institutions.

Use Borrow DirectUBorrow, and Interlibrary Loan if you need material that is not available here on campus.

Borrow Direct is a service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Ivy League universities plus Duke, Johns Hopkins, and MIT. Most books borrowed through Borrow Direct are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days.

UBorrow is a similar service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Big 10 universities plus University of Chicago. Most books borrowed through UBorrow are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days.

If the book you want is not available from Borrow Direct or UBorrow, or if you need it for an extended period of time, you should use Interlibrary Loan. Requests may be submitted online.

If the material you are looking for is not available from any of these services, Ask a Law Librarian, and we’ll be happy to help you locate the material.

University of Chicago students in other schools and programs are welcome at the D’Angelo Law Library. If you are interested in an introductory D’Angelo tour or a research consultation with a law reference librarian, please use the Ask a Law Librarian service to schedule a time with one of us.

Lyonette Louis-Jacques among award-winning authors

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian at the D’Angelo Law Library, was among the authors who were recently awarded the Reynolds and Flores Publication Award for their “Mexican Law and Legal Research” guide. The award, named after the authors of the Foreign Law Guide, a core foreign law research source, recognizes members of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) who have created a publication that “enhances the professional knowledge and capabilities of law librarians.” Louis-Jacques shares this award with her co-authors Bianca T. Anderson, Marisol Floren-Romero, Julienne E. Grant, Jootaek Lee, Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, Jonathan Pratter, and Sergio Stone.

The guide was recently published in March 2016 in Volume 35, Issue 1, of the Legal Reference Services Quarterly. It covers all types of primary sources of law and secondary legal literature, including international agreements, state gazettes, law journals, textbooks, and monographs. Additionally, it filled a gap in the literature: it contains an extensive bibliography of secondary literature in English on Mexican law and legal research, which is not found in other research guides or treatises on Mexican law and legal research. Since its publication, it has received approximately 500 views and over 200 SSRN downloads.

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer

Your law student accounts for Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law can all be used over the summer, though under different terms for each service.

Westlaw

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

Unlike last year, you do not have to do anything to gain access to these tools over the summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students will have full access to Westlaw through June 30, 2017. Graduating students can also continue to use Westlaw through the Graduate Elite program, which will extend their access through the end of November. Graduating students should have received an email regarding this program and can locate information about the Graduate Elite program on the https://lawschool.westlaw.com homepage.

For help or more information, contact the Law School’s Westlaw Account Manager Tami Carson at Tami.Carson@thomsonreuters.com.

Lexis

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Returning students will have full access to Lexis Advance during the summer without special registration.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduates have full Lexis Advance access through December 31, 2017. For help or more information, contact our LexisNexis Account Executive, Carter Mills Isham at carter.mills@lexisnexis.com.

Bloomberg Law

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Bloomberg Law provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer. There is no need to register, as your student account will remain active and available all summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Students graduating this spring have unlimited and unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.

For help or more information, contact our Bloomberg Law Account Manager, Chrishantha Vedhanayagam at cvedhanayagam@bna.com.

Brief formatting classes for 1L students: Tue. and Thu., April 18 & 20

First year Law School students are encouraged to attend one of two sessions on formatting for the Bigelow appellate brief assignment:

  • Tuesday, April 18 at 4:00 p.m. in classroom II
  • Thursday, April 20 at 4:00 p.m. in classroom II

The training will focus on Microsoft Word for generating a table of contents and a table of authorities. The sessions are the same: students are welcome to attend either session. The sessions are scheduled till 5:30 p.m. each day and will allow ample time for questions.

Throwback Thursday: The Law Library on the cusp of the Digital Age

There’s a hand-drawn map of the law library’s second-floor Reading Room that harkens back to a barely digital age—a time when card catalogs and bound volumes of Shepard’s Citations took center stage and the latest technology included a dedicated Lexis machine with a dialup modem and a clunky “comcat” terminal that couldn’t even search whole words. It appears to have been created some eight or nine years before the library was expanded, renovated, and renamed in honor of Dino D’Angelo, ’44, in 1987.

It’s a small piece of the library’s past—but one that serves as a visible reminder of how far technology, legal research, and the law library itself has come in the past three or four decades. The drawing, part of an old law library guide, was sent to the Law School late last year by a 2011 alumnus who works as an attorney with the US Railroad Retirement Board and found the map on a shelf in the RRB’s law library.Map of D'Angelo Law Library from the 1970s

“It’s interesting to look at this and see what was most prominent in the space,” D’Angelo Law Library Director Sheri Lewis said of the map, which appears to represent the Reading Room in the late 1970s. Back then, federal, state, and regional case reporters filled stacks along the north end of the room, and bound copies of state annotated codes, various indices, and the latest copies of Shepard’s ringed the center of the room.

“These were obviously a very important resource, so they had prime real estate,” Lewis said, remembering the days when a lawyer or law student needed to consult the bright red books to find tables of citations to see if a case had been overturned, reaffirmed, questioned, or cited by later cases. “But this was also a system that was just screaming for automation.” (LexisNexis released an online version of Shepard’s in 1999.)

The 1970s library also featured a built-in card catalog along the southwest wall, just past the circulation and reference desks. At the beginning of that decade, the library was already crowded, and books were being moved into Harper library for storage, said Judith Wright, who retired as the law library’s director in 2013 after more than four decades. “We sold the second copy of the English Reports to make space—very painful!” Wright said.

Online cataloguing was nascent; there was a single “dumb” terminal that hooked into the Library Data Management System mainframe. The comcat (computerized catalog) terminal didn’t have a search engine, and users could only type in portions of words, said Bill Schwesig, the D’Angelo’s Anglo-American and Historical Collections Librarian, who has worked in the law library since 1986. As the technology advanced, though, searching became easier—and the library eventually undertook a long project to digitize all of its catalog entries. When the library was renovated again in 2008, the printed card catalog was removed.

Photo of the D'Angelo Law Library Wilson Reading Room from the 1980sIt wasn’t always easy to accommodate emerging technology: when the building was built in the late 1950s, few could have anticipated how important wiring would become.

“There were few plugs, few telephone lines—it was a major problem,” Wright said. “It was hard to find a place to put anything.”

When the first Lexis terminal arrived in the late 1970s, it ended up in the Rare Book Room at the far west end of the library because there was a place to plug it in. The dedicated microfilm reader on which users could view an index of law reviews and other academic journals was installed nearby.

The 1970s library was smaller and darker. There was wasn’t yet a staircase in the center of the room—that came with the 2008 renovation—and there were three heavy wood tables surrounded by dark wood chairs with hunter green cushions, several of which can be found now in Lewis’s office. The latest law journals were kept in stacks in the room’s northwest corner, and Lewis said faculty would stroll through and browse the latest scholarship.

In those days, law library staff spent a lot more time handling print material—labeling, shelving, and routing material to faculty. A huge volume of mail came to the library each business day and on Saturday, including Shepard’s pamphlets and other updates, new materials, and more.

But as the computer age took hold, and resources and catalogs moved online, the work of the law librarians evolved, too.

Today, “their work is so much more complex and requires a vast knowledge ranging over incredible print and online resources along with sophisticated knowledge about ever-changing technology,” Wright said. “In addition, law seems to have become more complex, and scholarship and teaching reflect that complexity.”

One thing, however, has remained constant, Wright said.

“From my earliest days in 1970s to the day I retired, we always had committed faculty and students who were very serious about their work—and always trying to keep a step ahead of whatever (research tools) were available. It was amazing how quickly students and faculty adapted to each new thing.”

Restricted Access to the D’Angelo Law Library during reading period and finals

Access to the D’Angelo Law Library for non-law students will be limited from Monday, March 6 through Sunday, March 12 during the Law School reading and exam periods. During this period, the library will continue to be accessible to any member of the University community who needs access to legal materials or who would like to work with one of our reference librarians. In addition, all non-law students who are taking Law School classes will have access to the library.

Consult the D’Angelo Law Library webpage on access for additional information.

New app lets users check out Library materials with their phones

The University of Chicago Library has launched a new mobile app, Checkout UChicago, that lets users check out Library materials using their phones or tablets.

Checkout UChicago allows students, faculty members, staff, and others with borrowing privileges at the University of Chicago Library to scan an item’s barcode with their phone and instantly check it out to their Library account.

Checkout UChicago app on a phone in the bookstacks

A phone displaying the Checkout UChicago start screen

D’Angelo Law Library users who want to leave the building with their items can bring items to Circulation Desk for deactivation. Books shelved in the Reserve Room cannot be checked out using Checkout UChicago.

Download the app

Checkout UChicago is available for download for both iOS and Android devices.

Gift for new users

The first 100 UChicago students and faculty members to check out a book with this app will receive a $3 credit to their UChicago Card in Maroon Dollars. They will receive an email notifying them when the credit has been applied.

Library staff, including student staff, are not eligible for this promotion.

Exam preparation resources at the D’Angelo Law Library

The D’Angelo Law Library provides a variety of resources to help students prepare for exams.

Past exams: Perhaps most importantly, the Library provides copies of past exams given at the Law School, in addition to model student answers and memos written by the professors where available. The exams are organized by course and faculty member. Everything we have been given permission to post is available on the Library website.

Screenshot of Law Library website

Study Supplements: Another helpful resource for preparing student outlines and studying for exams are the many study supplements, including the popular Examples & Explanations and Understanding series, that are available in the Reserve Room. Our Hornbooks & Study Supplements page provides lists of the available study supplements by course name. Students also have access to the online West Academic Study Aids package. This package provides online access to many of the study supplements, including West’s Concise Hornbook Series, the Law Stories Series, and all of the Nutshells.

CALI Lessons: If you prefer something more interactive, CALI lessons might be the resource for you.  The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) provides UofC law students with access to nearly 1,000 internet-based lessons on different legal topics. Lessons range from core 1L courses (92 lessons on property, for example) to many different upper level courses. CALI lessons are often interactive and feature questions to test your knowledge as you go through them. If you have not already registered an account with CALI, you can Ask a Law Librarian to get the authorization code for the Law School.

Student Outlines: Student outlines for various courses taught at the Law School are made available by the UChicago Law Students Association (LSA) in an online outline bank on the LSA’s website. You will need to enter a password to access. If you do not have the password, Ask a Law Librarian.

Study Rooms: If you want to meet with a study group, the D’Angelo Law Library has seven study rooms that can be reserved online: two study rooms on each of the 4th, 5th and 6th floors, and one study room on the second floor. Law students may reserve use of a study room using the Law School’s room reservation system. For further assistance, see How to Reserve a Law Library Study Room.

Quiet Study Space: Quieter study spaces are available on the upper floors of the Law Library. Law School students are also able to study in any of the other libraries on campus. Crerar, Mansueto, and Regenstein will extend weekend building hours during reading period and finals week. For a full list of library hours, see https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/using/libraries-hours/.

Lockers: Please remember to secure your belongings when you take breaks. You can check out a locker key from the Circulation Desk. Library lockers are located in the northeast corner of the second and third floors. Two types of lockers are available: laptop lockers, which are smaller and each equipped with an electrical outlet, and bookbag lockers, which are large enough to accommodate a bookbag and/or coat.

Study Break: On Saturday, March 4, enjoy free coffee and small snacks near the Reference Desk in the D’Angelo Law Library, from noon until 2:00 p.m., or whenever the coffee runs out.

Good luck with exams!