Memorial Day

In observance of Memorial Day, the Law Library will close at 6 pm on Sunday, May 29 and remain closed on Monday, May 30.

A brief Memorial Day History is available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Website.  Also of interest may be two famous Memorial Day speeches delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, one in 1884 and the other addressed to the graduating class at Harvard Law School in 1895.  PDFs of these speeches are available using The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises Database (GMULS users link to this database here).  Select Advanced Search>Enter Title “Speeches,” Author “Oliver Wendell Holmes.”

And where is Memorial Day officially designated a Federal holiday? Title 36 of the United States Code includes statutes relating to “Patriotic and National Observances.” 36 U.S.C. § 116 designates the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

Westlaw and Lexis Summer Access

If you meet the criteria outlined by Westlaw and Lexis for continuous access this summer (e.g., you are in classes, are an RA, or are working for a non-profit under certain conditions), you must sign up for summer access before June 1. When you log-on, you should see a news blurb in the main section of the pages providing instructions.

Summertime Access to Loislaw

The law school has an agreement with Loislaw to provide students complimentary access to Loislaw online research, which includes searchable primary materials for all 50 states and federal jurisdictions. Unlike Lexis and Westlaw, Loislaw is offered on a year-round basis, and students are encouraged to use Loislaw for part-time and summer positions. Students also have free access for six months after graduation.

To obtain the GMUSL access code for Loislaw, please email Melanie Oberlin at or drop-by the Reference Office. To obtain a copy of the Loislaw Subscriber Handbook, please drop by the Reference Office. For more information on Loislaw, click here.

Congratulations Graduates!

The library staff congratulates all 2011 George Mason University School of Law Graduates!  

Please remember that GMUSL graduates retain full library privileges through September, including checking out books, reserving study rooms, use of the computer labs etc.  After that, you are welcome to use our resources in the library, including our publicly available electronic databases.

Why not take advantage of your continued library privileges now?  Here are some titles that you might find valuable as you transition from law student to attorney (for others, please consult our catalog): 

Deborah Epstein Henry, Law & Reorder: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance   KF315 .H46 2010

Ursula Furi-Perry, Your First Year as a Lawyer Revealed: Secrets, Opportunities, and Success!  KF297 .F873 2010

Gerald G. Goldberg, Practical Lawyering: the Skills You Did Not Learn in Law School  KF300 .G64 2009

Carl Horn III, Lawyerlife: Finding a Life and a Higher Calling in the Practice of Law  KF297 .H67 2003

Class of 2011:  We wish you much success in your new endeavors!!

Summer Associates: We are here to help!

As many of you go off to Summer jobs, remember that the library reference staff is here to help you.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email, or in person for assistance with your research assignments.

Spring and Summer Reference Hours

There will be no Evening Reference Services Monday, May 16- Thursday, May 19.  Reference librarians will be available to help you Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.  Regular Evening Reference Hours (Monday-Thursday until 9:00 PM) will resume on Monday, May 23. 

There will be no Sunday References Services until classes resume in August.

You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

According to a study by a University of Tennessee law professor, Bob Dylan’s music is quoted more than any other songwriter’s in American court opinions and other legal writing.  In an interview yesterday on All Things Considered, Professor Alex Long tells Robert Siegal, “It’s Dylan in a landslide.”  A landslide of 186 citations to be exact.  The most quoted song: “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”  In 2007, Professor Long published a law review article on this subject.  Alex B. Long, (Insert Song Lyrics Here):  The Uses and Misuses of Popular Music Lyrics in Legal Writing, 64 Wash & Lee L. Rev. 531 (2007).


University of Michigan Law Students Protest Commencement Speaker

University of Michigan Law School students staged a silent  protest in response to Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s speech at graduation.  Students objected to Senator Portman’s opposition to gay adoption and marriage.  According to one report, close to 100 students quietly exited the commencement ceremony when Portman was introduced, and the majority of graduates wore rainbow buttons or ribbons. 

Would you like to explore the legal issues related to sexual orientation?  In addition to primary legal materials, some resources available to members of the GMUSL community include:

  • Westlaw:  Sexual orientation and the  Law (SEXORIENT)
  • Ebsco:  LGBT Life with Full Text
  • Library Catalog:  Search related subject headings such as:  Gay Rights, Same-sex marriage, or Gay couples–legal status


Law and the Death of Bin Laden

Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee today that killing Bin Laden was “justified as an act of national self-defense.”   One more specific authorization cited by commentators is the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force  (Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224). This joint resolution (S.J. Res. 23), issued one week after the September 11 terrorist attacks, authorizes the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those . . . he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided” these attacks.  

To explore this issue, please consult the library’s research guides on Homeland Security and International Law.