Coming May 2nd: Grilled Cheese Night

Here at the Law Library, we believe that just as every cloud has a silver lining, every exam period has its share of golden-brown grilled cheese sandwiches. Law Librarians will be serving the sandwiches (with and without tomato) on Thursday, May 2, starting at 6 p.m. Please stop by for a snack, a smile, and our best wishes as you finish up exams.

And if you haven’t seen our mini-documentary Grilled Cheese: One Night Only, enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at a UVA Law tradition!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Celebrating National Poetry Month with Five Lawyer-Poets

April is National Poetry Month, a celebration created by the Academy of American Poets and co-sponsored by organizations such as the American Library Association. If the words “Law Library” bring to mind shelves of Federal Reporter volumes (à la Law and Order), Walter Brown Hall might not be your first stop for poetry. But in fact, the Law Library maintains a collection of popular reading materials—including poetry—and serves as an access point for all sorts of books held by other UVA libraries.

And besides, who’s to say that lawyers can’t also be poets? To illustrate the poetry resources available to UVA Law students, this post highlights five lawyer-poets whose work you can read this month.

* * *

Before she became a full-time poet, Monica Youn litigated election law issues and directed the Campaign Finance Reform Project at the Brennan Center for Justice. Property law students will appreciate the title of her 2016 collection, Blackacre, which Youn used “in a poetical sense to talk about questions of legacy, landscape and particularly the term ‘devise.’” Her most recent collection, From From: Poems, made numerous “best of 2023lists, including the National Book Award longlist for poetry.

Both Blackacre and From From: Poems are held by libraries on UVA’s main grounds, but law students can have them delivered to the Law Library. Just find the relevant record in Virgo, click on “Request item,” and select “Law Library” as your preferred pick-up location. We’ll send you an email when your item arrives.

Requesting an item in Virgo.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and legal scholar who recently published Redaction, a stunning book collaboration with visual artist Titus Kaphar. Redaction uses the eponymous legal technique to create poems out of legal documents. It also includes etched portraits of incarcerated individuals.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 2016, Betts worked in the New Haven public defender’s office. He has written “numerous articles and essays on topics of mass incarceration and the perils of youth behind bars,” including his experiences representing young clients and serving time in prison. (For example, the poem For a Bail Denied is told from the perspective of a public defender.) Betts is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Law at Yale, where his interests include administrative law, criminal law, empirical legal studies, and law and literature.

You can find Redaction, as well as Betts’s collection Felon: Poems in the Klaus Reading Room (just to the left of the circulation desk) with our other popular reading materials. Or use Virgo to request the collection Shaheed Reads His Own Palm from Shannon Library.

* * *

Annie Kim

We can’t let National Poetry Month pass without mentioning that the Law School’s own Annie Kim is an extensively published and prize-winning poet. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and is collected in two volumes, Into the Cyclorama and Eros, Unbroken; Eros, Unbroken won the 2021 Library of Virginia Literary Award in Poetry. Kim directs the Law School’s program in Law and Public Service and practiced for 12 years representing Virginia school districts and local governments.

As of this writing, Into the Cyclorama is available in the the Klaus Reading Room, and Eros, Unbroken is on the way. Looking at the catalog records, you may notice that we also hold copies in Law Special Collections—that’s because we maintain a special archive of UVA Law faculty publications. Learn more about accessing Special Collections materials here.

* * *

Former tenant lawyer Martín Espada won the 2021 National Book Award for poetry for his book Floaters, which, according to its Virgo catalog summary, “bears witness to [Espada’s] confrontation with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings the praises of Central American adolescents playing soccer in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry.” (The name of the title poem refers to offensive language used to describe migrants who drowned crossing the Rio Grande.)

Espada is the author of more than twenty books, many of which you can find using the Virgo catalog record for Floaters. Just navigate to the record and scroll down to the “Shelf Browse” section to find out what books would be near it on the shelf. Since literature is shelved by the author’s last name, you’ll see several other collections by Espada.

The Shelf Browse section of a Virgo record.

Lawrence Joseph is an acclaimed poet and retired St. John’s School of Law professor. The breadth of his work is exceptional—Joseph has written a number of poetry collections, as well as publishing extensively on topics such as labor, employment, tort and compensation law, jurisprudence, law and literature, and legal theory; his prose work Lawyerland distills conversations with lawyer acquaintances into a collection of stories. His poem And That Language was published last month in the journal Poetry.

Joseph’s work is available from UVA Library in print and e-book versions. The e-books allow for especially quick access. For example, to read Joseph’s Curriculum Vitae, simply find its Virgo catalog entry and click on the blue button labeled “Library Catalog (Access Online).”  

Accessing an e-book through Virgo.

We hope you’ll enjoy these resources during National Poetry Month!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Researching Black History

Black History Month is an opportunity to honor past generations of Black Americans and learn more about their pursuit of equity and justice. There are many online resources for researching Black history—from digital collections maintained by the Library of Congress and National Archives to the numerous African American Studies databases available through UVA. This post focuses on three types of resources that may be especially interesting to UVA Law students: (1) Collections relating to UVA and the Law School, (2) oral histories that preserve personal accounts of the past; and (3) databases with a legal-historical focus. 

UVA and Charlottesville 

The resources below provide information about Black history at the Law School, at UVA, and in the broader Charlottesville community. They also document ways in which local institutions, including the Law School, participated in historical injustices. 

An article featured on the Fifty Years of BLSA website. Courtesy University Journal, early 1980s.
  • Black Fire at UVA: This is a multimedia initiative sponsored by the provost’s office and spearheaded by Professors Claudrena Harold and Kevin Jerome Everson. The website collects sources such as alumni interviews, historical audio files, and files of the Black Student Alliance. Its goal is to document “the struggle for social justice and racial equality at the University of Virginia.”  
  • Fifty Years of BLSA: To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of UVA BLSA, Law Special Collections partnered with BLSA to create this online exhibit. Learn more about BLSA’s history, read reflections from members and alumni, and view a gallery of images. 
  • Slavery and the UVA School of Law. On this website created by Law Special Collections, you can read about people and places involved in the Law School’s connections to slavery, view antebellum student notebooks documenting the teaching of slavery, and learn about the historical landscape of North Grounds.
  • Monticello – Getting Word: The Getting Word Oral History Project at Monticello preserves the histories of the African American families at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation.
  • No Playbook: Using athletics as an entry point, this project collects the oral histories of former students who experienced desegregation and Massive Resistance in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
  • The Holsinger Studio Portrait Project: The Small Special Collections Library assembled this remarkable collection of portraits commissioned by Black residents of Central Virginia. As the project website explains, these portraits “expressed the individuality of the women and men who commissioned them and silently yet powerfully asserted the Black community’s claims to rights and equality.” The website also provides information about the lives of the portrait sitters. 

Oral Histories 

Oral histories capture compelling personal accounts that may not be reflected in official sources like government archives. They also provide an opportunity to consider historical events from a more individualized perspective.

Screen capture from an oral history provided by Elaine Jones ’70. Courtesy HistoryMakers, 2006.
  • The History Makers: A large collection of oral history interviews with Black luminaries in various fields. The speakers include politicians, religious leaders, athletes, musicians, civil rights activists, soldiers, and more. A few UVA Law alumni have contributed interviews, including Elaine Jones ’70, UVA Law’s first Black alumna. 
  • Behind the Veil: A project of Duke University that includes interviews, photographs, and oral history project files. The oral histories were collected in 1993-95 to preserve the memories of Black Southerners who lived through the period of legal segregation (from the 1890s to the 1950s). 
  • African American Communities: A collection documenting Black communities through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports, and in-depth oral histories. It focuses primarily on Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina. 
  • Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project: A repository highlighting the stories of prominent civil rights lawyers and others. To create this collection, UVA Library restored and digitized 273 tapes that had been recorded by Professor William Elwood and his students while creating the documentary film, “The Road to Brown: The Untold Story of the Man Who Killed Jim Crow.” 

Legal-Historical Databases 

If you plan to write a paper touching on Black history, consider these databases. They contain historical records relating to civil rights litigation, legal actions by free Black individuals during the antebellum period, and more.

Handwritten notes from an arguments file for Brown v. Moore, from the archives of the law firm of Blacksher, Menefee, and Stein. Courtesy Gale Primary sources.
  • NAACP Papers: A digital collection from the years 1909-1972 that includes internal memos, legal briefings, and direct-action summaries from offices throughout the United States. Use this database to find primary sources relating to school desegregation, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, and other topics. Legal Department files cover Brown v. Board of Education and other important cases.  
  • ACLU Papers: A large collection of papers dating from 1912-1990, which document the organization’s work on civil rights and civil liberties. The database includes records relating to efforts by the ACLU’s Southern Regional Office to enforce the Civil Rights Act. 
  • Legal Battle for Civil Rights in Alabama: Vernon Z. Crawford Records, 1958-1978 Civil Rights Cases and Selections from the Blacksher, Menefee & Stein Records: Selected records of attorney Vernon Z. Crawford, a prominent civil rights lawyer, as well as the Mobile, Alabama-based law firm of Blacksher, Menefee & Stein. 
  • Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Federal Government Records: A database focusing on efforts by civil rights groups to obtain legislation, as well as interactions between Black Americans and the federal government. It includes FBI files on Martin Luther King Jr.; FBI files from Montgomery, Albany, St. Augustine, Selma, and Memphis; and records from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. 
  • Slavery and the Law: Petitions relating to race, slavery, and free Blacks that were submitted to state legislatures and county courthouses between 1775 and 1867. (The documents were collected by UNC-Greensboro Professor Loren Schweninger.) Also included is the State Slavery Statutes collection, a collection of laws from the years 1789-1865.
  • Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative: A Library of Virginia site providing access to digitized county court records related to the lives of Black individuals in Virginia.

We hope you’ll enjoy exploring these records. If we can be of any assistance in your research, please contact us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu. 

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Welcome, New Students!

To new students arriving for orientation: Welcome! The Law Library staff looks forward to working with you throughout your law school career. From personalized research consultations to exam-time grilled cheese breaks, the library offers services to make your time at UVA more enriching, efficient, and enjoyable. This post describes some key resources that will help you hit the ground running this academic year.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law Accounts

The Law Library provides you with access to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, three leading legal research databases. First-year J.D. students will receive sign-up instructions in Legal Research & Writing class; L.L.M. and international students will receive them via email. Please email us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu with any questions.

News Subscriptions

As a UVA law student, you’ll receive free access to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times. Sign up for newspaper subscriptions on LawWeb under Other Services >> Library Services >> News Access.

LR&W Help

Not sure how to tackle your Legal Research & Writing assignment? The Law Library is here to help! Each section of LR&W has a dedicated librarian—or “Library Liaison”—to help students get comfortable with legal research methods. Once classes start, your LR&W instructor will provide more information about meeting with a Library Liaison. For additional research tips, check out this guide to legal research for law students.

Reserve Materials

Some materials in our collection have been placed “on reserve,” which means that they can be checked out for three hours at a time. Study guides, some textbooks, and popular legal treatises are likely to be held on reserve so that more students will have an opportunity to use them. (We only place course materials on reserve if your professor specifically asks us to do so.) You can find these materials in the Klaus Reading Room near the first-floor circulation desk.

Guide to Student Services

As your studies progress, we hope that you’ll find the Law Library to be a valuable partner in your academic efforts. You can learn more about the library’s offerings in this guide to student services. And remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a staff member!

Once again, a warm welcome to all incoming students!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Updates and Reminders for All Students

The Law Library staff is excited to welcome new and returning students to Grounds this fall! We look forward to supporting your research projects and helping you take advantage of all the library has to offer. To get you started, here are a few updates and reminders about our services.

Hours

The Law Library is open from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week.

Research Assistance

If you need help finding a source or planning a research project, our reference librarians will be happy to assist you. The second-floor Reference Desk is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. You can also get in touch with us via email at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu or by scheduling a consultation.

Getting Materials from Other UVA Libraries

You can request books from other UVA libraries using the Virgo catalog (https://search.lib.virginia.edu/). To request a particular book, find it in the Virgo catalog, click on the “Request Item” button, and choose “Law Library” as your Preferred Pickup Location. Note that you’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.

Requesting Scans

If you would like us to scan an article or book chapter for you, please request the scan through Virgo. On the Virgo record for the item you need, click on the “Request a Scan” button and fill out the form that appears.

News Subscriptions

Be sure to take advantage of our subscriptions to news websites! Sign-up instructions for FT, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post are available on LawWeb under Other Services >> Library Services.

CALI Sign-up

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, known as CALI, offers a collection of interactive legal tutorials to help you study. You can register for CALI using the activation code on LawWeb.

As you embark on a new academic year, remember that the library is here to help you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu or to stop by and ask us a question.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

New LibGuide: Thinking About Equity and Justice

The Law Library is pleased to announce the publication of a new LibGuide, Thinking About Equity and Justice. The guide highlights sources that provide good starting points for reading and thinking about the law’s relationship with equity and justice. It also includes research suggestions for those who would like to dig deeper into selected topics. Our intention is to help readers learn more about issues that arise in contemporary discourse, recognizing that conversations about equity and justice are constantly evolving. If you would like to suggest an addition to the LibGuide, please use this form.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Celebrating the End of a Successful Academic Year

It seems like just yesterday that we welcomed a new class of students to the Law School, but the evidence of change is undeniable: flowers are blooming in Spies Garden, students are heading off to their summer internships, and the 2022-23 academic year is drawing to a close. Time flies when you’re having fun!

It’s been a busy year in the Law Library, and our biggest project was emptying the former Government Documents Room to make way for other uses. This herculean task required us to relocate some 107,000 government documents, 18,000 books, and 39 cabinets full of microfiche and microfilm. Before declaring “mission accomplished,” we used the newly cleared space to host a study break for students–complete with coffee, donuts, lawn games, and the famous Law Library dinosaurs!

You may be asking yourself: Where did all those documents go?

Some of them were relocated within the Law Library, while others were sent to UVA’s impressive offsite storage facility, Ivy Stacks.

But that’s not all we did in 2022-23! For the Law Library staff, no academic year would be complete without the United Way Day of Caring. This year’s project had the team in Crozet sprucing up Innisfree Village, a voluntary community for adults with intellectual disabilities, ahead of their 50th anniversary celebration. By the end of the day, doors and windows had been cleaned, art studio supplies sorted, and the woodshop organized, along with other assorted tasks. 

And of course, we still found time for one of our most popular services, preparing grilled cheese sandwiches for students during exams.

As the exam period ends and Arthur dons his graduation regalia, we extend hearty congratulations to the Class of 2023. May the coming years bring success in all your endeavors!

A bust of Arthur J. Morris dressed in graduation regalia

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Banned Books Week 2021

It’s Banned Books Week! Traditionally observed the last week in September, Banned Books Week is a time when the American Library Association, the Association of University Presses, and other organizations draw attention to past and present attempts to censor books.

Banned Books Week also highlights the ALA’s annual list of the top 10 most challenged books. When we say that these books were “challenged,” we mean that someone tried to have them removed or restricted in a library or school. Common reasons for challenges in 2020 included LGBTQIA+ content, perceived anti-police sentiment, and issues having to do with race.

You’ll find several of the ten most challenged books of 2020 in the Law Library’s collection. They include:

For librarians in schools and public libraries, responding to challenges can be a complicated part of the job—one that implicates professional values like intellectual freedom and social responsibility. Thus, Banned Books Week is more than a chance to speak out against censorship; it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the values that animate our daily work.

For those of us in the legal field, Banned Books Week is an occasion to celebrate free speech, and perhaps to consider its benefits, limitations, and potential for change. Here at UVA, we’re lucky to work with scholars who have written thoughtfully on these topics. For example:

In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ve created a pop-up display highlighting some of the works mentioned in this post. We encourage you to take a look and enjoy your freedom to read!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

Updates and Reminders for All Students

The Law Library staff is excited to welcome all UVA law students to Grounds this fall. Whether you’re new in town or returning from summer break, we look forward to getting to know you better and helping you take advantage of everything the library has to offer. To get you started, here are a few updates and reminders about our services.

Hours

The Law Library is now open from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week.

Research Assistance

If you need help finding a source or planning a research project, our reference librarians will be happy to assist you. One of us will be at the second-floor Reference Desk from 9am to 5pm on weekdays. You can also get in touch with us via email at RefDesk@law.virginia.edu or use our website to schedule a Zoom consultation.

Getting Materials from Other UVA Libraries

The University has developed a system that allows you to request books from other UVA libraries using the Virgo catalog (https://search.lib.virginia.edu/). To request a book, find it in the Virgo catalog, click on the “Request Item” button, and choose “Law” as your Preferred Pickup Location. (If you’re unable to pick up the book in person, a form is available for making alternate arrangements.) Note that you’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.

Requesting Scans

Last year’s scanning service was so popular that we’ve decided to keep it! If you would like us scan an article or book chapter for you, please request the scan through Virgo. On the Virgo record for the item you need, click on the “Request a Scan” button and fill out the form that appears.

Online Study Aids

We offer various study aids and other resources to help you learn. For example, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, known as CALI, offers a collection of interactive legal tutorials. You can register for CALI using the activation code on LawWeb. And you can sign up for free online Bluebook access using this form.

Renew Your Subscriptions!

Finally, a friendly reminder for returning students to renew your online subscriptions: Once each year, you will need to reactivate your NYTimes.com account and get a fresh registration key for the Bluebook Online. (In order to renew your NYTimes.com account, you must be on-grounds or using a VPN.) If you’re having trouble accessing WSJ.com, please visit the registration page (also while on-grounds) and click “Register or Renew.” First-time registrants can sign up for NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, WashingtonPost.com, and more by logging into LawWeb and following the links on the “Other Student Services” tab.

As you embark on a new academic year, remember that the library is here to help you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu or to stop by and ask us a question.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .

The Law Library Welcomes New Students

To new students arriving for orientation: Welcome! The Law Library staff looks forward to working with you throughout your time at UVA. From personalized research consultations to exam-time grilled cheese breaks, the library offers services to make your time here more enriching, efficient, and enjoyable. This post describes some key resources to help you hit the ground running this academic year.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law Passwords

The Law Library provides subscriptions to Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law, three major legal research databases. You’ll find sign-up instructions and registration codes on LawWeb (linked under “Other Student Services” >> “Library”). If you have questions or don’t find an assigned code listed there, please contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu

Newspaper Subscriptions

As a UVA law student, you’ll receive free subscriptions to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Sign up on LawWeb under “Other Student Services” >> “News Access.”

Reserve Materials

Some materials in our collection have been placed “on reserve,” which means that they can be checked out for three hours at a time. Study guides, some textbooks, and popular legal treatises are likely to be held on reserve so that more students have an opportunity to use them. (We only place course materials on reserve if your professor specifically asks us to do so.) You can find these materials in the Klaus Reading Room near the first-floor circulation desk.

LR&W Help

Not sure how to tackle your Legal Research & Writing assignment? The Law Library is here to help! Each section of LR&W has a dedicated librarian—or “Library Liaison”—to help students get comfortable with legal research methods. Once classes start, your LR&W instructor will provide more information about meeting with a Library Liaison. For additional research tips, check out this guide to legal research for law students.

Guide to Student Services

As your studies progress, we hope that you’ll find the Law Library to be a valuable partner in your academic efforts. You can learn more about the library’s offerings in this guide to student services. And remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at refdesk@law.virginia.edu!

Once again, a warm welcome to all incoming students!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

Kate is the Research, Instruction & Outreach Librarian at Arthur J. Morris Law Library.

View all posts by .