13 Steps of Successful Academic Legal Research

Scholarly Writing students, this short article describes 13 steps to researching and writing a good academic article or note. The author writes clearly, succinctly, and with humor. I highly recommend it. Of note, he emphasizes talking to others about your topic, getting help from librarians, using the library catalog, and dividing your time as follows: 60% research, 30% writing, 10% editing.

Free E-book Versions of Rules of Evidence, Civ. Pro., Crim. Pro.

CALI and Cornell LII teamed up to make free, downloadable versions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure available to students to use on iPads, iPhones, Nooks, or any device that supports .epub files. Here is a link to the downloads. If you want information about how to read .epubs on your mobile phone or desktop computer, you can read information here.

The Reference Office has small, free, print versions of the U.S. Constitution, Federal Rules of Evidence, and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, courtesy of Lexis and Westlaw. Stop by and help yourself to the rules you need.

All Printers Are Working

Update of August 30th post: The Westlaw printer in the microforms room on the Library’s first floor is working. All printers — Lexis and Westlaw in the microforms room and in Lab 351, and pay-for-print stations in the microforms room and Lab 351 — are working. If you haven’t had the nice guys in Computing Services (Library Room 362) configure your laptop to print to the pay-for-print stations, visit them at your earliest convenience. You also need to load money on a print card or your Mason ID to pay (8 cents per page) for your print jobs at the pay-for-print stations.

Printing from Westlaw, WLNext, and Lexis

Westlaw has finally made printing from WestlawNext seamless and free, just like printing from Westlaw.com. Unfortunately, Westlaw’s printer in the microforms room (Library 1st floor) is out of order right now. We will post letting you know when it is fixed.

In the meantime, you can still print for free from Lexis in the microforms room and Lab 351. You can print from Westlaw.com and WestlawNext in Lab 351.

Whether or not you have configured your laptop to print to the GMU pay-for-print systems, you can direct your Westlaw and Lexis print jobs to the Westlaw and Lexis printers from your laptop.

First Floor Re-opened Today

We have re-opened the first floor of the Library. Pardon our mess today as workers put on the last touches and we tidy up. Copy services is open. The Reference Office and Circulation Desk are both open in their usual places on the First Floor.

First Floor’s Progress

The guys working on re-carpeting the Library’s first floor have been hard at work, but the first floor remains closed for now. We will keep you updated. In the meantime, enter the Library on the second floor from the stairwell on the Kirkwood side of the building. Reference and Circulation staff are available in study room 248. Here is a link to a map with the temporary entrance points and offices.

Spading Guide

If you are working on a journal spading assignment, you might like the assistance of the Library’s Scholarly Writing & Spading Guide, which is linked from the Library’s homepage. The second half of the guide is designed to help you find materials for your spading assignment. Of course, don’t hesitate to ask a law librarian for help. Our contact information is here.

Library Entrance on 2nd Floor from Jul. 26 to Aug. 11

We are having new carpet installed on the first floor of the Library beginning Tuesday, July 26. The installers tell us that they should be done by August 11, possibly sooner. A company is coming to move the book stacks so that the installer can carpet underneath them. They have specialized equipment that can lift up fully loaded stacks and move them around. This will provide the best result but means that we will need to close the first floor while this work is being done. There will be a temporary entrance into the Library from the 2nd floor stairwell on the Kirkwood side. Reference and Circulation services will be set up in Study Room number 248. For a map with details, click here.

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.