This year, instead of conducting its usual biennial user survey, the library decided to run a series of smaller “quick polls” between spring break and the end of classes. Each week the SBA Events E-Mail contained a link to an online survey consisting of 2 to 4 questions. Participating students were invited to enter a drawing for a free library t-shirt.
Quick Poll #1. The Law Library’s first Quick Poll asked students how likely they were to use one of the standing desks recently purchased by the library. Almost 35% of the responders said they were "Likely" or "Very Likely" to use the standing desks and 46% were "Unlikely" or "Very Unlikely."
Quick Poll #2. The second Quick Poll asked students to rate several service categories using a 5-point scale (1. "Very Unsatisfied," 2. "Unsatisfied," 3. "Neutral," 4. "Satisfied," 5. "Very Satisfied"). The majority of students were "Very Satisfied" (53%) or "Satisfied" (40%) with the Library overall and no one rated the Library lower than "Neutral" (6%).
Results of Quick Poll #2
Quick Poll #3 asked students about their use of the library’s Research Consultation Service. More than 95% of the responders had never used this service to schedule consultations with research librarians. Half of the students said they weren’t aware of the service.
Quick Poll #4 asked students if they had ever had a summer position that required a significant amount of legal research.
An open-ended follow up question asked students in retrospect what areas of research would have better prepared them for the job. Many students said more familiarity with free or low-cost alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw or more cost efficient search techniques in general would have been helpful.
- Joe Wynne
Want a quick afternoon break from bar studying and summer research projects? Curious about how meditation can help you better focus, manage stress, communicate, and be happier? Stop by a Mindful Minute Study Break in the Law Library this summer, 3:30 every Wednesday.
The study breaks will be 15 minute to half-hour guided meditations. You don’t need any prior meditation experience – the guided meditations will tell you exactly what to do (basically, sit, breathe, & relax!). We’ll use guided meditations from the University of Virginia’s Mindfulness Center, & other sources.
No need to sign-up ahead of time– just come on by the Law Library’s Fox Room (1st floor, across from the Circulation Desk). Each week’s meditation will have a different theme – here’s a schedule:
Law Library, Fox Room
(1st floor, across from Circulation Desk)
- Kristin Glover
This year the Library is offering a FREE graduation photo booth session from 2:30–4:30 on Sunday, May 18, in the Law Library circulation area! Images will be available immediately with the Law School logo and date. Get your friends, parents, and classmates together and stop by the Library for a special picture on your special date!
- Micheal Klepper
As exams wind down, you may start thinking once again about your summer plans. In case you missed our recent lunchtime session on "Preparing for Your Summer Job," here is our "Top 10" summary list of tips:
1. Stay calm and check secondary sources.
2. Ask questions. And that includes asking us!
The Reference Desk: (434) 924-7465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Learn about your jurisdiction.
4. Go free to start your research.
5. Give yourself time to THINK about the information you are finding.
6. Use Westlaw and/or Lexis and/or Bloomberg Law to your advantage.
7. Look for Advanced Search screens.
8. Update your sources.
9. Keep track of your research trail (sources you’ve checked, searches you’ve run, whether you’ve updated the law) and organize the documents you find.
10. No drafts.
- Law Library Reference Librarians
A wise law student once said, "Nothing beats exam period blues like a hot grilled cheese sandwich!" The Law Library staff heard that call and sprang to action. This Wednesday, April 30, law librarians Ben Doherty and Micheal Klepper will continue the tradition by donning their aprons and serving up those buttery sandwiches in all of their warm, cheesy goodness. Law students are invited to stop by MyLab between 6:00-7:00pm, or until supplies run out.
Best of luck with exams!
- The Law Library Staff
Alumni who attended the University of Virginia School of Law before the move to North Grounds in 1974-75 will remember the student lounge in the basement of Clark Hall. Digital Collections Librarian Loren Moulds and I recently went in search of the long-lost lounge. Its former location is now in a restricted area of Clark Hall, current home of the Department of Environmental Sciences. The search was part of my research for a forthcoming book on the history of the Law School buildings.
The student lounge was one of the amenities of Clark Hall made possible through the generous financial support of law alumnus William Andrews Clark Jr. (Law 1899), whose father had made a fortune in copper mining in Montana. Measuring approximately 58 by 34 feet, this large room boasted fireplaces at both ends, a handsome columned entrance, and leather sofas and chairs. Plasterwork panels, suggestive of colonial wood paneling, decorated the walls. At Clark Hall’s dedication on October 5, 1932, Dean Armistead Dobie said that the “student lounge would do credit to a metropolitan club,” and indeed the room was one of the University’s most sophisticated spaces.
Over time the lounge suffered from use and lack of maintenance, so much so that in 1961 the Virginia Law Weekly described it as a “disgusting sight” with a “nauseating profusion of spilled beverages, scattered newspapers, paper cups and cigarette butts strewn over tables and floors.” In 1965, law students and the Law School Foundation cooperated to provide funds to renovate the lounge as a memorial to Edward J. Kelly Jr., the third-year student body president who had recently been killed in an automobile accident. The refurbished lounge featured wall-to-wall carpeting, seating upholstered in “fall colors . . . accentuated by occasional pieces covered in scarlet and others in solid black,” walnut veneer cocktail tables, an inlaid chess table, and a fire-engine red telephone.
After the Law School vacated Clark Hall in 1974, the Department of Environmental Sciences installed a wind tunnel and a silt-depositing experiment in the former lounge. Visiting the room in 1976, a writer for the Virginia Law Weekly reported that the room “is now devoid of carpeting, the chandeliers have lost their miniature shades and there are no couches or chairs.”
Loren and I were not sure what we would find when the Facilities Department provided access to the Clark Hall basement, but alumni may be saddened to learn that the student lounge is no more. The University dismantled the room to provide space for the mechanical functions of the building. Where law students once roamed is now the abode of wires and pipes. Fragments of the lounge survive in the form of the chipped remains of the room’s plasterwork wall panels, the ghosts of the chimney flues, and the black bricks that lined the insides of the two fireplaces.
- Philip Herrington, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities
Studies show meditation helps you relax and focus your attention. The Law Library is hosting a series of meditation study breaks this week and during finals period. The U.Va. Mindfulness Center is guiding the first study break meditation this Wednesday (April 23), at 3:45 in the Law Library’s Klaus Room (second floor). No sign-up necessary, just come on by.
The finals period meditation study breaks will be in the Library’s first floor Oasis Room (the McBeal group study room near the Caplin Reading Room). The Oasis Room will be available throughout finals period (starting this Friday) as a space for you to retreat away from your books, outlining, and papers. It will have meditation cushions, yoga mats, and guided meditation CDs to help you take some deep breaths, relax, and re-focus.
All are welcome to the meditation study breaks, no sign-up necessary, just come on by. Here’s a schedule:
- Kristin Glover
Thursday, April 17 at noon or Friday, April 18 at noon.
Get ready for summer success! Learn the law library's top ten tips to help you tackle research assignments at your summer job. The Thursday and Friday sessions are the same, so pick the time that works for you. Bring your lunch if you'd like.
- Ben Doherty
Law librarian Jon Ashley has for the second time filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Justice. The FOIA filing seeks the release of 30 prosecution agreements between the Justice Department and various organizations. With Professor Brandon Garrett, Ashley has developed the Federal Organizational Prosecution Agreements database, a repository of prosecution agreements that is freely available to researchers. Ashley's lawsuit last year prompted Justice Department officials to release a single prosecution agreement after a FOIA request for it had been denied. Today's New York Times features an article about the work of UVA Law School's First Amendment clinic students in pursuing the litigation. [Reposted with corrections. - Ed.]