Thursday, October 30, 2014

Exam Prep Materials in the Law Library

It's that time of year again; we're into the second half the semester and finals are drawing ever-nearer.  Here is a reminder of some of the exam prep materials available to aid you in your studies:

Study Aids
  • Electronic: 
    • The Westlaw Study Aid Subscription offers study aid materials on a wide variety of legal topics and includes series such as the Acing Series, Gilbert Law Summaries, Nutshells, Black Letter Outlines, and many more.
    • The Understanding and Questions & Answers series of study aids are available in e-book form from the Law Library's subscription to the Lexis Digital Library.
  • Print:  The Law Library has a variety of study aids on the study aid spindle next to the circulation desk and case briefs behind the circulation desk.  All 1L course subjects are covered, as are a wide variety of upper class subjects.
  • Audio: Also available on the study aid spindle, all 1L course subjects have CD or MP3 study aids available, and many of the upper class subjects are covered as well.
Past Exams
Check out the Exam Archive for past or sample exams for your courses.  If you don't find any for your class, ask your professor if they have put print copies on reserve at the Law Library circulation desk or if they have posted some on the class TWEN page.

CALI Lessons
CALI provides online lessons and tutorials on a variety of legal topics that can be useful in class review and exam prep.  You'll need a UK student authorization code to access them, so please contact the circulation or reference desks for the code, or email me at

Studying Effectively
Need some guidance on how to use those exam prep tools effectively? Now is a good time to make an appointment with UK Law's Academic Success director, Jane Grisé ( for advice on how to make the most of the tools at your disposal and the time remaining in the semester.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: the Increasingly Meaningless Syrian Border

According to media reports today, Kurdish Peshmerga from Iraq have crossed into the Syrian town of Kobane to reinforce Syrian Kurdish forces under siege by Islamic State militants. Interestingly, Turkey is allowing the passage of Iraqi Kurds into the threatened town, despite Turkey's troubled relationship with Turkish and Syrian Kurds. This sort of tangled web of allegiances and antagonisms is what happens when arbitrary, artificial lines are drawn on a map just to advance imperialist interests (and then later to make the resulting region work with international law after the inevitable decolonization).

Speaking of arbitrary, artificial lines, one of the major principles of the state-based international legal system is the respect for individual states' territorial integrity, and thus a respect for the same arbitrary lines drawn on the map. However, Syria's borders have begun to be largely ignored, with the Islamic State claiming Syrian territory, and with the United States and various (though not all) allies performing combat operations against the Islamic State in Syria.

Typically, to conduct armed operations within a state's borders legally, one must meet one of several criteria: the state whose borders are being ignored could formally invite the armed intervention (which the Iraqi government fighting IS has done, but won't work in Syria, as there is some dispute as to who the legitimate government of that country should be), the U.N. Security Council could authorize the intervention (unlikely to happen since Russia can veto Security Council resolutions as a Permanent Member and is a traditional ally of one of the Syrian factions), or the state doing the intervention could be acting in self-defense, either on its own or on behalf of an ally. This latter seems to be the stance the U.S. is taking, though the U.S. action is against the Islamic State but is violating Syrian sovereignty. Of course, this is not the first time that American forces have violated third-party territorial sovereignty in hot pursuit of enemy combatants. Nor the second. Nor the third or fourth or...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Take a Halloween Research Quiz & Win a Prize!

Dear Students:

Want a shot at 3,000 Lexis points (=$50 Amazon gift card), a $25 Starbucks gift card, or other prizes?  Stop by the Law Library reference desk and pick up a Halloween Research Quiz!  Here's how it works:  Pick up a copy of the quiz at the reference desk and answer the 5 Halloween-themed legal research questions correctly.  Turn the completed quiz back in at the reference desk by noon on Fri. Oct. 31, pick up some candy for your efforts, and your quiz will be entered into a drawing for the following prizes:
  • 3,000 Lexis Points (equivalent to a $50 Amazon Gift Card, donated by Lexis)
  • $25 Firehouse Subs gift card (donated by Bloomberg Law)
  • $25 Starbucks gift card (donated by Bloomberg Law)
  • $25 Starbucks gift card + bag of Westlaw swag (including a tote bag, thermos, and pens; donated by Westlaw)
  • Travel outlet extenders and power packs (donated by Bloomberg Law)
Ask a librarian if you have any questions!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: Swedish Submarine Hunt

Since last Friday, Sweden has mobilized its navy to a level not seen since the Cold War as Swedish authorities suspect a Russian submarine of operating illegally in Swedish territorial waters near Stockholm. Much of the Baltic region is ready to jump at any vaguely Russian-shaped shadows ever since Moscow's incursion in Ukrainian affairs, but apparently the Swedes are ready to use armed force to remove the unwanted underwater intruder. Of course, Sweden and Russia also share a historical rivalry or two. Still, the whole thing seems reminiscent of a Tom Clancy novel and serves as another indication of increasing tensions between the West and Russia.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Resource for Federal Legislative History Research

The Law Library recently subscribed to ProQuest's Legislative Insight, an excellent tool for legislative research at the federal level.  Legislative Insight includes legislative history documentation related to major laws passed between 1789-1928 and over 27,000 legislative histories related to public laws enacted from 1929-present.

The legislative histories consist of PDF versions of CRS reports, presidential signing statements, House and Senate reports, the Congressional Record, and other congressional publications preceding the enactment of U.S. Public Laws.  These histories are fully searchable by keyword, publication type, and citation.  Each list of legislative documents pertaining to a public law can be sorted chronologically or by publication type.  These functions greatly assist the researcher in sorting through a large quantity of documents.

This database is well organized, but if you have questions or would like an overview, please contact one of the Law Library's reference librarians for assistance.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: New Foreign & International Law Research Tool

The library recently subscribed to JustCite, a British electronic legal research platform that should make researching international and select foreign legal authorities a lot easier.

JustCite is a legal research platform that serves as a finding aid for foreign and international legal authorities including cases, legislation, and scholarly articles. The platform indexes materials from the United Kingdom, member states of the British Commonwealth, Ireland, Hong Kong, the European Union, and select international bodies, such as the International Court of Justice, which may then be searched by keyword or by certain fields via the advanced search. All results returned will feature full citations, with links out to the full text of many of the documents. Regardless of whether a full-text link is available, JustCite also provides researchers with lists of citations to authorities that cite a given legal authority. In this way, researchers may build a robust repertoire of foreign and international legal authorities on a single topic.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Titles from September 2014

Check out our Featured Acquisitions page for September 2014 to see the new titles in the Law Library last month!

A few sample titles:

And a sampling of the new DVDs:

A selection of our new titles can be found on our "New Books" display atop the reference section in the library lobby.  Enjoy your browsing!