Under Construction: A Brief History of Construction Law in the U.S.

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In conjunction with this summer’s construction of the Law School’s Campus Center within the library, we thought it appropriate to continue the theme with a display on Construction Law and its history.

A combination of contract law, commercial law, employment law, and tort, Construction Law is a branch of law that deals with matters relating to building, construction, engineering, and related fields. While the field was not officially recognized as an individual area of legal practice until the 1970s, Construction Law’s origins can be traced to the dawn of civilization. The earliest known written laws concerning construction trace back to Hammurabi’s Code, which dictates punitive measures towards builders whose actions cause damages to others. [1] Examples include:

229 “If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.”

233 “If a builder builds a house for someone, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.”

Staff Spotlight - Josh LaPorte

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Josh LaPorte is the Circulation Supervisor for Access Services in the law library. He started working at the Law Library part-time in 2005, and became a full-time employee in 2006. His duties include managing the library’s circulation desk, supervising Access Services student staff, managing the stacks, and taking care of lots of other odds and ends for the library and law school.

How does your work fit into the core functions of the library/law school?

Our circulation desk also serves as an information/reception desk for the entire Law School campus. We are often the first point of contact for people visiting the campus, and need to keep ourselves aware of everything that happens at the Law School. We also serve as an important resource for members of the public who find themselves facing legal problems.

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:

Staff Spotlight - Barbara Plante

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At the end of December 2016, the law library staff bid fond farewell to Barbara Plante, Head of Cataloging, who has retired. She had been employed at UConn Law Library since April 1988. Over the years, her primary duties have included providing access to the vast library collections through description and call number placement. Jessica Panella, Head of Access Services for the law library, said it best during her sendoff; “Barbara’s work has had a ripple effect on the law school community.” If you think about all of the books and online resources Barbara has provided access to over her (almost) three decade tenure at the law library, and all of the students, faculty, and other patrons those resources have reached, her impact has been tremendous.

Barbara was kind enough to answer a few more questions about herself:

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.

Staff Spotlight - Tanya Johnson

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Our second staff spotlight blog post features the library’s new reference librarian, Tanya Johnson. Tanya joined us in October 2016. She provides reference and research assistance as well as research instruction, develops research materials, and participates in collection development. She is also involved with interlibrary loan services. 

1.      How does your work fit into the core functions of the library/law school?

As I understand it, our mission at the library is to assist our patrons (primarily students and faculty, but also including the public) with research and educate them with regard to finding and using appropriate sources (without giving legal advice, of course).  As an educational and research institution, I think that providing reference services is a core function of the library and the law school.

Staff Spotlight - Adam Mackie

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Thank you for reading the inaugural entry of a new series featured on the UConn Law Blog, titled “Staff Spotlight Series.” This series will include a variety of questions that staff can choose to answer. The goal of this series is to better acquaint the law school community to the library's exceptional staff.

This post features one of the new reference librarians at the law library, Adam Mackie. Adam joined us in September 2016. Prior to joining the library, he spent nearly the last decade working and studying in Hawaii and Japan. Adam will be providing reference and research assistance to library patrons, presenting formal and informal research instruction in law school courses, and developing research materials in a variety of formats.

How does your work fit into the core functions of the library/law school?

I think my role here at the law school is to connect patrons with all the valuable resources our library has to offer and to teach something about the research process along the way.

Games and Sports Equipment

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The Library has a variety of sports equipment and games available from the main desk, courtesy of the SBA and Student Services office, which may be checked out.

Balls, bats, bocce. Take a study break and enjoy the lingering summer weather.

Toss some beanbags in a game of cornhole, or just relax in the sunshine on a lawn blanket.

We also have chess, checkers, backgammon, Scrabble, and puzzles.

New Display: The Library's Connecticut Collections

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Connecticut has an important place in the historical development of American law and government, as well as in the evolution of legal publishing. Connecticut is home to several important-- albeit debated -- firsts, such as the first Constitution and the first law reporter and legal text in the United States. The library endeavors to collect and maintain a comprehensive collection of Connecticut materials, from our oldest item – a book of statutes published in 1750 – to the current books and electronic resources that are critical to the practice of law in Connecticut.

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.