Ready, Set, Write: Preparing for Your First Law School Exams

No doubt, preparing for law school exams, especially your first set of these assessments, is a challenging experience.  But many law students have survived this process not much worse for wear, so don’t panic!

As noted here previously, the law library has a variety of study aids available.  Here is a sample of some of the other potentially useful resources providing suggestions for exam preparation and writing:

Best of Luck!

More Exam Prep: Study Aids Available in the Law Library

The law library has numerous print study aids and other resources on reserve that may be useful during exams:

  • Get a broad overview: Nutshells
  • Focus on the core principles: Concise Hornbooks and Understanding Series
  • Go in-depth: Hornbook Series and Aspen Student Treatise Series
  • Test yourself: Examples & Explanations Series and Questions & Answers Series
  • Study on the Go:  Gilbert Law School Legends Audio Series and Sum & Substance CDs


Used Book and Media Collection

The Law School Library is collecting books and media for Turning the Page, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting District of Columbia Public School students by making “education a family affair.”

Turning the Page hosts activities including workshops, author visits, and museum trips focused on helping parents and children develop a love of learning. To raise funds for their programs, Turning the Page partners with local businesses and schools to collect and sell books to the public.

Please look for the donation bin in the Hazel Hall atrium.

Getting Ready for Exams: West Study Aids

A reminder that the Law Library is pleased to offer Mason law students access to West Study Aids. This subscription provides PDFs of over 350 titles, including:

  • Black Letter Outlines
  • Concise Hornbook Series
  • Exam Pro Series
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Nutshell Series
  • Sum & Substance Quick Reviews

Students may access these materials through their Westlaw account. When you sign-in to Westlaw, you will see a series of links under “Legal Research & Tools.” Click on the link to “West Study Aids Subscription” and you will be taken to a list of subject headings. Choose a subject area and then a title. You will click through a couple of windows including a “Subscriber Agreement” that you will need to accept. From there, you will have unlimited access to all of the study aids.

More details, including information about printing allotments and a list of available titles, are available here. Note that limited print copies of the most popular titles will remain available on reserve.



Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated pursuant to a proclamation issued by President George Washington. An 1863 proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday of November as the regular date for this celebration.

That tradition continued until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the holiday would be celebrated on the second to last Thursday of November that year (November 23, 1939). Roosevelt was responding to pressure from retailers to expand the Christmas shopping season.This change sparked controversy and angered some football coaches, whose season was scheduled according to the holiday. There was also a  a split among states, 32 issuing proclamations following the President but 16 others refusing to change the date.  See H.R. Rep. No.77-1186, at 1 (1941) (available to GMU patrons on Proquest Congressional)

Two years later, on December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a joint congressional resolution, known as the Thanksgiving Day Act (55 Stat. 862) establishing Thanksgiving as a Federal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the law library will have reduced hours:

  • Wed. Nov. 21 9:00am-5:00pm, References Services available 9:00am-2:00pm
  • Thurs. Nov. 22 Closed
  • Fri. Nov. 23 Closed
  • Sat. Nov. 24 Noon-6:00pm
  • Sun. Nov. 26  Regular Hours resume: 11:00am-11:00pm, Reference Services Available 2:00pm-9:00pm

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Introducing inPrimo


inPrimo is a new discovery tool that allows GMU students and faculty to search multiple research databases, the Mason Catalog, ejournals, media, special collections, and also hundreds of millions of records for collections not owned by Mason.

inPrimo Features:

  • Filters – help refine your results (e.g., resource type, subject headings, publication dates, etc.)
  • Full text – direct links to available online items
  • Portability – functions with mobile devices
  • inPrimo will not replace the current catalog nor the Law Related Databases or GMU Databases Portals (these remain linked from the Law Library Home Page)

Search inPrimo Directly from the Law Library Home Page:

Veterans Day 2012

Pursuant to 5 USC § 6103, Veterans Day is November 11 each year.  Because this date was a Sunday, the holiday for Federal employees is observed today. All GMU Law Library services are following a normal Monday schedule: the library is open 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Reference Services will be available 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM.

GMUSL has a special commitment to serving our country’s veterans. Since 2004, the law school has provided a Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers and Veterans (CLASV):

The clinic enables Mason law students to represent servicemembers and veterans in a wide variety of litigation and non-litigation matters. Since its inception, clinic students have assisted over 70 clients from all five branches of the armed services, in litigation, adjudication and negotiation regarding consumer protection, administrative and military law and entitlements (TSGLI, PEB Boards and discharge upgrade appeals), family law, bankruptcy, immigration, landlord-tenant, contract, estate and entitlement matters in federal and state forums.

Students interested in CLASV will find additional information here.



Law and the Presidency

Presidential documents most often used for legal research include Executive Orders, Proclamations, and Signing Statements. GMU patrons have access to a number of resources for locating these and other presidential documents, including HeinOnline’s U.S. Presidential Library.  This collection includes:

  • Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965-): Published by the Office of the Federal Register this compilation includes Proclamations, Executive orders, Communications to Congress and Federal agencies, Signing Statements, Appointments and Nominations, Speeches, Press conferences, and Press Releases.  Also available on FDsys(1993-)
  • Public Papers of the Presidents (Hoover 1929-)  Published by the Office of the Federal Register, includes writings, papers, and remarks.  (President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s papers, published separately, are also included in the Presidential Library).  Also available on FDsys (Bush 1991-)
  • CFR Title 3 (1936-) Executive Orders and Proclamations are codified here. Also available on FDsys (1996-)
  • Messages and Papers of the Presidents  (Washington-Hoover)  Includes annual, veto, and special messages.

Other useful resources include the Government Printing Office (FDsys) (coverage noted above) and the American Presidency Project which also provides varied coverage of the documents above as well as election-related documents and video.


Election Law

In honor of Election Day 2012, a few select Internet resources to learn more about elections and the law:

For extensive historical data related to elections, GMU Patrons may consult CQ Press Voting and Election Collection.