An Introduction to Law Library Services

by Patrick Butler, Electronic Resources and Reference Librarian

What do you need to know about the law library as a 1L? First of all, law school is different from your undergrad years. Being a lawyer requires the ability to research, write, and think creatively. The library is where the research takes place. Today, many resources are online (although not everything!), so much of the library may be accessed through your computer from home on your couch.

The library will offer learning opportunities throughout the semester. We want to help you become better, more efficient and effective researchers, so please stop by! Even when you are not physically in the library, the library staff is still available for help to conduct research. If you don’t know where to start, or how to use a particular database, the library staff is here to help. You can contact a reference librarian via the Law Library’s website, either by live chat, email, text messaging, or phone.

Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and WestlawNext

As a 1L, you should have already received your Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and WestlawNext account information. If you did not, please send an email to refdesk.lawlib@uconn.edu. These are the major legal databases used in practice, and you will use them in your first semester of Lawyering Process and all throughout your time here at UConn Law as well. As a student, you have unlimited access to all of them. It is important that you learn to use them efficiently in your time here. While these databases are fantastic resources for legal research, they are not comprehensive. There are many more resources available, and the librarians can help direct you to the best ones for your research needs.

As you may have already figured out, most professors use TWEN to post course materials, create assignments, and communicate with students. TWEN is accessed through Westlaw.

Study Aids

With your Bloomberg, Lexis, and Westlaw activation information, you should have also received an access code for CALI. CALI is a collection of interactive, computer-based lessons and e-books covering a large number of legal subject areas. This is an excellent resource to gain a better understanding of a particular area of law.

Before you begin to struggle through Torts or Contracts, take a look at some of the many study aids we have on reserve in the library. Study aids such as Civil Procedure in a Nutshell, or the Examples & Explanations series on all core legal subjects provide great summaries of complex subjects. Take a look at our New Student Toolkit, which can be found under “Events and Announcements” on the Library’s website, for more information.

Ask!

Throughout your law school career, keep in mind that we are here to help: shoot us an email, send us a message on chat, give us a call, or stop by the desk. We are happy to get you started in the right direction, dig you out of a hole when you are stuck, or suggest a research method. Reaching out to us may save you valuable time and help you succeed.

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