Thriving at UConn Law

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Everyone loves Fall- the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and there are apple cider donuts around every corner. Unfortunately for law students, Fall is also when coursework begins to pile up and deadlines start to feel more imminent than the first hard frost. For 1L’s, this time of year is also means preparing for Mock Trial competitions and the beginning of commitments to other extra-curricular activities. On top of that, first year students might find that sitting down to outline for the first time feels a bit like getting lost in a corn maze.

Luckily for students at UConn Law, the library and administrative staff have seen it all before and have prepared resources to help students power through the tough Fall season.  In addition to exam preparation sessions (keep an eye on your email inboxes) and access to research librarians, “Thriving at UConn Law” is a new LibGuide on the library website that is designed to help keep your academic and personal life on track. The guide is broken down into three simple topics: mindfulness and stress relief, productivity, and healthy living. Each of these pages contains a curated list of quick tips, books, and other practical advice for staying on top of your game. If you checked out the guide at the beginning of the semester, pop back in for updates and even more helpful tips. Check it out at: http://libguides.law.uconn.edu/thrive

Using the Law Library's Catalog

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The UCONN Law Library’s catalog allows you to search and locate materials in the library’s physical collection, as well as access a wide variety of electronic resources.

There is a persistent search bar on the Law Library’s homepage, or you can reach the catalog directly at http://s.uconn.edu/LawLibCatalog.

What’s in the catalog?

  • Print books
  • Print journals
  • Other print sources
  • E-books
  • E-journals
  • Databases
  • Articles
  • Other electronic resources
  • Microform
  • DVDs

This Year's Orientation Book: "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson

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This year, all incoming students read Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, a memoir recounting the author’s legal career representing death row inmates, juveniles sentenced to life imprisonment, people with mental illness, and others. In telling the stories of individuals’ interactions with the criminal justice system, Stevenson exposes the ongoing problems of racism, inadequate legal representation, and mass incarceration.

Stevenson’s recent project is creating the country’s first memorial to the victims of lynching, to be constructed in Montgomery, Alabama. His organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, has spent years researching reports of lynchings, and have been able to document over 4,000 between 1877 and 1950. He connects the current racial disparities in capital punishment with lynchings that occurred into the twentieth century. He is not alone in this view; a recent book, Courting Death: the Supreme Court and Capital Punishment (available in the library), makes the same connection.

Using Library Resources Over the Summer

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Finals are wrapping up and the weather is finally warming up – summer is here. No matter what you are doing this summer, the library is here to help you.

We have shortened hours, but are still available by phone, email, or chat to answer research questions.

We also have online research guides if you don’t know where to begin with your research project. They cover a variety of subjects, including free and low cost resources, Connecticut law, legislative histories, lists of major treatises, and many more. Keep reading for information about access to Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, and other electronic resources:

10 Blogs Law Students Should Follow

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The best advice often comes from those that have been in our shoes at one point or another. Part of what makes blogs so incredibly informative is the fact that they are written by average, everyday people that just want to share their experiences with others. There are a number of Law Blogs (or “Blawgs”) that range from informative to humorous and sometimes even both. Here’s a list of 10 Blawgs that are definitely worth checking out.

  1. SCOTUS Blog – This blog covers topics about the Supreme Court in an unbiased manner.
  2. Legal Underground – Even though this blog is no longer being updated, it still has thousands of posts archived, some written by law students and others by practicing lawyers in the field.

Study Tips for Final Exams - Part I

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Reposted from November 25, 2014. Part 2 of this series can be seen here.

It’s beginning to be that time again – finals. To assist you, the library is starting a two part series about the resources available to assist with final exams. Whether you’re a 1L, 2L, 3L or LL.M. there is always a new tip around the corner that can assist with ‘hacking’ the exam process.

Law School Links(the Nuts and Bolts):

The basic nuts and bolts information about exams is on the Law School’s exam page. It is where all schedules, details and information about Exam Software can be located.

screenshot of library archive list

Exam Study Tips

A simple Google search will provide troves of exam study tips provided by law school professors and experts. Advice runs the gamut of exam strategy, study aids, study strategies and leveraging student groups.

The library also has a number of books that can assist with exam taking and study.  A complete list is in the Library New Student Toolkit . Many of these books are quick reads and available on reserve.

A good method for preparing for law school exams is to practice answering questions from past exams. For that reason, we have an exam archive which goes all the way back into the mid-1960s. Not all professors place their exams in the Law School’s exam archive. Some will post them on their individual TWEN site.

Course Texts Available on Reserve

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Forgot your casebook? Want to compare an earlier edition of a casebook to see what has changed before purchasing the new one? The Library keeps a copy of most required course texts on reserve – we have all casebooks but we do not purchase statutory supplements or coursepacks.

To locate books you need, please use the “Course Reserve” search available directly from the library home page (circled) and insert the course name or instructor into the search box (arrow):

If we don’t have the title we need, please let our desk staff know; we will verify that it is a required reading and purchase a copy for reserve.

Welcome and Welcome Back!

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The library welcomes all of our new students, and welcomes back our returning students. We are excited to see the campus and library full of students once again!

The library is here to answer your questions (about anything), provide a comfortable study space, provide collaborative spaces and technology, and assist you with legal research and using legal materials. Last year, we answered 1,200 reference questions, checked out 3,000 reserve items, circulated our laptops and other equipment over 4,000 times, and taught 20 classes on legal research and library resources. Whatever your needs are as a law student, we probably have some way to help.

Connecting to the CBA

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Law students my join the Connecticut Bar Association free of charge, and are automatically enrolled in the CBA’s Young Lawyers Section.  The YLS is a great group of active, younger attorneys.

Additionally, in the second half of the bar year you can join other sections for free as well.  Have an interest in Indian Law?  Join the Indian Law Section.  Are you intrigued by animal law?  There’s a section for that.  Banking?  You got it.  See all the sections and join for free

International Exchange Experience Archive

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Study abroad applications are due February 16, 2016.  Consider reading about the experiences of past law students using the new updated International Exchange Experience Archive. The Graduate and Exchange Programs office launched the Archive in the fall 2015 to provide a more comprehensive overview of the Law School’s study abroad experience. Student comments are available for all of the programs.  These essays provide valuable information from general impressions to recommendations on where to live and what classes to take. Nothing compares to the first-hand accounts by students and the challenges and benefits of the law school study abroad experience. So go ahead and consider making study abroad an important part of your law school experience.