As you conduct your legal research, don’t be afraid to ask a Reference Librarian!

We’ve had an uptick in our reference statistics this week, with lots of 1Ls asking us questions all week because their LRW open memo draft is due on Tuesday.  That’s great!  We hope we’ve been helpful so far.

For the rest of you: Please don’t sit there stressing and overwhelmed, banging your head against your nice new MacBook Airs. Ask one of your reference librarians, ideally leaving yourself enough time to get the research and writing work done.  We obviously can’t give you the answers, but we can help guide you toward them, hone your search strategies, and make you feel more comfortable and familiar with the legal research database of your choice.

Reference Librarians Diana Botluk, Louis Rosen, and Jason Murray, plus our Associate Director and Head of Public Services Whitney Curtis and our Head of Technical Services Elizabeth Outler (who both take shifts at the reference desk as well) all have law degrees, as well as Masters degrees in Library and Information Science, putting us in a great position to be of assistance.  We’ve been to law school, we’ve survived LRW, and we empathize more than you know.  We can help you narrow down searches using the Lexis and Westlaw filters, choose helpful secondary sources, use Shepard’s and/or Keycite to make sure your cases are still good law, and from there, springboard off those cases to find additional authority.

Seriously, talk to us!  And if you have a thought at home, or after hours, e-mail us at .  If you want to schedule a one-on-one meeting, we offer PERCs — Personal Research Consultations — at times that are convenient for your busy schedules and stressful lives.  Go to to set up a PERC with one of us.

We also strongly recommend you schedule one-on-one sessions with your LRW professors during their office hours, or possibly even reach out to their hard-working TAs, who are successful 2Ls and 3Ls who have been just where you were, not that long ago.  They know more of the specifics for this open memo assignment, so they might be able to guide you even better than we can.

And for you upper-level students working on articles and class papers, this all applies to you, too.  Reach out to us in person or via e-mail, and let us know if you want to schedule a PERC as you delve deeper into researching your topics.  If law school was easy, everyone would do it, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it completely alone, without assistance or guidance.  That’s where your Reference staff comes in!


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