The Law Library

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6.1 Introduction

The UW Law School Library is one of the major resource libraries on the UW–Madison campus. Its primary mission is to support the research and learning of the Law School Community and its collections, hours and services are geared to the unique needs of the Law School. The library has a permanent staff of twelve professional librarians and ten support staff and is open over 100 hours each week.

Comprehensive information about the library, including access to resources and services, library hours, maps, and study room reservations is available on the Law Library website at http://library.law.wisc.edu. Information about UW-Madison campus libraries can be found at http://www.library.wisc.edu.
The Law Library staff welcomes comments and suggestions at comments-library@law.wisc.edu.

6.2 Policies

6.2.1  Library Hours

Law Library hours are posted outside the main door of the library and on its website at http://library.law.wisc.edu/about/information/. Handouts are also available at the circulation desk. Hours are increased during the weeks before final exams.  Please check for revisions because library hours are subject to change.  

6.2.2  After-Hours Access

Students are not permitted in the library when it is closed.

6.2.3  Study Carrels

Students enrolled in the graduate LLM-LI, LLM, and SJD programs can reserve individual study carrels for ongoing research to the extent that carrels are available. Graduate law students can apply for a reserved carrel in the administrative office on the sixth floor of the Law Library. Unreserved carrels are open to all library users.

Library materials that are not checked out are routinely removed from carrels. Reserved carrel occupants should ask for “flags” when checking out materials at the circulation desk. These flags indicate to the library staff that the materials are charged to the carrel occupant.

6.2.4  Study Rooms

The Law Library has seven small rooms for group study. Each room (except Room 5350) has a white board and a podium. Three rooms (2384, 3335, 3339) have computers with large monitors. One room (5350) is equipped with a television with a built-in DVD/VCR player.

Rooms can be reserved for two hour blocks on the Law Library website at http://library.law.wisc.edu/studyrooms/ or at the circulation desk. Study rooms and computer equipment are checked out to students at the circulation desk (reserve policies apply).

6.2.5  Food and Beverages

Law Library users deserve a clean and quiet atmosphere in which to study. Therefore, food is not permitted anywhere in the library. Insects and rodents attracted by food pose a danger to the library collection. Students frequently complain that noisy food consumption serves as a distraction to study and research.

Beverages in covered containers are allowed, but not near library computers or other equipment.

6.2.6   Noise

Please respect those around you by keeping noise to a minimum.  This includes, but is not limited to, talking in a loud voice, audible technology use (mobile devices, computers, etc.), and food consumption.

Talking in low tones is allowed in study rooms. 

6.3    Reference and Research Assistance

The Law Library offers a full range of services to support student research.  Reference librarians are available in person, or by phone, email, or online chat to advise students about resources best suited to their research needs.  Library staff also offer instruction on the use of legal databases and applications, as well as on the Bluebook legal citation system.  Reference librarians are available to assist law students with their research.

For quick research assistance or a more in-depth consultation, you may contact a librarian:

- In person at the reference desk on the fifth floor of the Law Library

- By phone at (608) 262-3394

- By email at askuwlaw@law.wisc.edu

- By live chat from the Law Library website at http://library.law.wisc.edu.

Reference librarians are generally available at the following times during the academic year:

Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hours may vary during vacations, holidays, intersession, and summer. A schedule of reference desk hours is posted at http://library.law.wisc.edu/about/information/hours/reference.html.

6.3.1  Locating Library Materials

With a collection of almost 650,000 volume equivalents and hundreds of databases, the UW Law Library ranks among the top academic law libraries nationally. The library provides print and electronic access to a full range of state and federal law, international law, and the law of certain foreign jurisdictions. As a member of the campus library system, Law Library users may also draw upon the over six million resources of the UW-Madison campus libraries. To search the library catalog, go to http://search.library.wisc.edu/.

For a list of items checked out on your Wiscard identification card, to renew items, to check the status of library requests, and to monitor due dates, use the My Accounts link in the library catalog.

To locate journal articles when you have a specific citation or as a guide to all of the e-journals available on campus, use the UW-Madison campus libraries' Find-It tool.  Access Find-It at http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.web/findit.

To access the hundreds of databases available through the Law Library, go to http://library.law.wisc.edu/search.html?iQuery=eresources&iType=databases

6.3.2  Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

Through our strong collaborative networks, law students may request research materials outside the scope of the Law Library’s collections.

You may have books from other UW-Madison campus libraries or from other UW System libraries sent to the Law Library for pick up.  When looking at a book holding in the UW-Madison library catalog (http://search.library.wisc.edu), use the "Place Request" link on the right side of the screen. UW-Madison books are delivered within 1-3 business days.

To search for books across all the UW System Libraries, in the library catalog, choose "Search All of UW System" below the main search box.  UW-System books are typically delivered in 3 - 5 days. 

You may also request delivery of journal articles from UW-Madison campus libraries that are not available in an electronic format.  This service is offered free of charge, but please note that campus libraries are not able to process a large number of requests from individual users. Use the "Advanced Search" mode in the catalog. An availability box appears on the right side of the screen with instructions for requesting these titles.

To obtain research material not owned by UW System libraries, use the Article/Book Delivery link on the UW Law Library home page. Electronic copies of articles are delivered to your desktop in 1-5 business days. The turn-around time for borrowing books is 1-3 weeks.

If you have any questions regarding Interlibrary Loans and document delivery services, ask for help at the Reference or Circulation desks.

6.3.3  Checking Out Library Materials

Circulating materials (books, videos, etc.) can be checked out at the circulation desk on the fifth floor. However, note that not all library materials circulate.  A valid Wiscard is required to check out materials. Complete information about loan periods, renewals, and recalls can be found at: http://library.law.wisc.edu/about/policies/circulation.html.

6.3.4   Course Reserve Materials

The Law Library makes course reading materials available to students in both print and electronic format. To access electronic course reserves and course packs, go to "My UW"; "Learning" tab; "My Courses" link. Or, go directly to https://courses.moodle.wisc.edu/prod/my/.  A list of your courses that have electronic materials posted will appear. Access to e-reserve materials is limited to students enrolled in the class. 

Print materials placed on course reserve can be checked out at the Law Library’s fifth floor circulation desk. Use the Course Reserve Search in MadCat -- the old library catalog  (http://madcat.library.wisc.edu/) to find available materials for courses. The students at the circulation desk also can assist in locating course readings.

You must have a valid campus ID (Wiscard) to check out course materials from the Law Library. Course materials have short loan periods to ensure that all students in the class have sufficient access. Be sure to return materials on time.

6.3.5  Recreational Reading

The library maintains a collection of popular magazines and daily newspapers at the north end of the fifth floor Habush, Habush, and Rottier Reading Room near the windows.

6.3.6  Legal Fiction and Feature Films

The library has a large collection of novels with law-related subjects. Most of these are in the general collection on the second floor and have call numbers beginning with “PR” and “PS.”

The library also offers a collection of feature films with law-related themes. The films (most in DVD format) are stored behind the circulation desk on the fifth floor. Individual film titles can be located through the library catalog. An annotated guide to the Law Library’s feature film collection can be found at:
http://library.law.wisc.edu/services/find/guides/location/videos.

6.3.7  Purchase Recommendations and New Books

Suggestions for additions to the library’s collection are welcomed. Every effort is made to purchase recommended materials if the materials are within the scope of the library’s collection and meet the library’s acquisitions criteria. An online purchase recommendation form is available at http://library.law.wisc.edu/services/purchase/.

A selection of new books is available for browsing near the reference desk on the fifth floor. Recent additions to the collection are announced in a monthly Selected Recent Acquisitions list, which is available on the library website and via email delivery at http://library.law.wisc.edu/services/recacq/.

6.4  Technology in the Law Library

6.4.1  Computer Labs and Public Access Computers

The library has two computer labs for law student use with 42 networked PC workstations that provide access to word processing, email, the Internet, and other resources. Lab B (Room 2387) is a general purpose lab, and Lab A (Room 2386) is an instructional lab. Lab A is available for general use when it is not being used as a classroom.  More information about the library’s computer labs can be found at: http://library.law.wisc.edu/services/hardware/computers/labinfo.html. Several public access computers are also available in the Law Library for legal research use.  No log-in is required.

6.4.2   Scanners, Copiers and Printers

Three photocopy machines are available in the Law Library: two in the Copy Center on the fifth floor and one in a copy room on the third floor. Photocopies are $.10 per page and are only available with copy cards available for purchase in the Copy Center. The Law School's Digital Print Center also provides self-service copiers at $.05 per page.  See Section 5.5 for more information.

Free scanning is available from two standalone print scanners in the Copy Center as well as from all three photocopiers. Two free microform scanners are also available in the Microforms room on the second floor. Please respect other users by limiting the amount of time that you use the scanners. See a reference librarian for assistance with scanners.

Printers are available in the Copy Center and in the Computer Lab on the second floor. Printers charge $.07 per page ($.14 for double-sided). For instructions on configuring your laptop to print to the Copy Center or Lab printers, see http://www.law.wisc.edu/help/for_students/. Assistance is available in the Computer Lab.

The printers in the Copy Center may be used with either your Wiscard or with a copy card available for purchase in the Copy Center. To add money to your Wiscard Campus Cash account, see https://sites.google.com/a/wisc.edu/print/.  The printers in the lab and the photocopiers in the Copy Center may only be used with a copy card.  Free Lexis printers are also available.

The Law School's Digital Print Center also has printing available for $.05 per page.  See Section 5.4 for more information.

6.4.3    Laptop and Mobile Device Use

Laptops and mobile devices may be used anywhere in the library; however, noise should be kept to a minimum.  Wireless access is available throughout the Law Library. For more information about network connections in the Law Library see: http://library.law.wisc.edu/services/hardware/computers/network.html.  Two mobile charging stations are available on the fifth floor of the Law Library:  one in the Copy Center and one in the newspaper alcove.

6.4.4    Email Access

Email access is available in the computer labs on the second floor of the Law Library and in the Atrium.  Other public computers in the library are intended for research use. As a courtesy to other library users, students are asked not to use those computers for email.

6.4.5    Electronic Legal Research (LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, etc.)

The Law Library offers law students access to many legal databases, including LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg BNA, CCH Intelliconnect, Hein Online, and many more. These databases are available from the Law Library website at http://library.law.wisc.edu/ and many can also be accessed remotely with your UW-Madison username and password. With the exception of LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, no passwords are required to access them in the Law School.

All law students are given access to LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law either during orientation or later through the Legal Research and Writing program.

LLM-Legal Institutions students are issued passwords to LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law through the Graduate Programs office.

All other transfer, visiting, and graduate students wishing to obtain a password or training for LexisNexis, Westlaw or Bloomberg Law should contact Kris Turner at kturner3@wisc.edu. 

For lost or forgotten LexisNexis, Westlaw or Bloomberg Law passwords, you may also contact Kris Turner at kturner3@wisc.edu. 

(From a trial transcript):

Q. When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?

Mr. Brooks: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot!

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