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.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

Summer in the Law Library: FAQs

To all of our students, congratulations on completing a challenging academic year! Remember that as you turn to bar prep or your summer job, the Law Library is still here to support you. Read on for answers to some of your top questions about using the Law Library over the summer.

I’m staying in Charlottesville to get ready for the bar exam. Can I study in the Law Library?

Yes! We’ll be open this summer for bar studiers, RAs, and any other law students who need a place to work. From May 15 through July 27, our hours will be:

Monday to Thursday: 8am-8pm
Friday: 8am-5pm
Saturday: Noon-5pm

(As often happens in the summer, there may be days with a little extra noise due to facilities upgrades, but we’ll post signs to warn you.)

Can I use Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg over the summer?

Each service’s summer use policy is summarized below.

Lexis

The Lexis Summer Access program starts when classes end and continues through August. During that time, you can use your Lexis ID at any law firm, government agency, court, or other legal position. If you’re graduating, you’ll have access for six months after graduation.

Bloomberg

You can use your Bloomberg Law account over the summer in any capacity you’d like. You’ll also have access for six months after graduation.

Westlaw

You can use your Westlaw ID (including Practical Law) for non-commercial research, but you can’t use it in situations where you’re billing a client. Acceptable uses include:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

After you graduate, you can maintain your Westlaw access for six months by opting into the “Grad Elite” program. The program provides 60 hours of access per month and is limited to non-commercial uses. There are two registration options: (1) Go to www.lawschool.tr.com, log in, and use the drop-down menu by your name to go to Grad Elite Status; or (2) use this Grad Elite link.

How can I get books from the Law Library over the summer?

As always, students are welcome to stop by the library and check out books. If you’re out of town or prefer to spend less time in the Law Library, you have a few options:

1. Ask us to retrieve the book and hold it at circulation for you. Please use the ‘Request item’ button in Virgo and choose ‘Law’ as your Preferred Pickup Location. You’ll receive an email when the book is available for pickup. (Note: You’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.)

2. Ask us to make a scan for you. We’ll be happy to scan chapters, articles, or pages from any Law Library book. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog. You can use the same procedure to request scans from other UVA libraries. (Note: If you don’t see a “Request a Scan” button, that means your book is available to read on HathiTrust.)

3. Ask us to send you a book. If you’re out of town, we’ll be glad to mail any books that you need (except for reference and reserve books). For full books from any UVA Library (including Law), please use this form and UVA Libraries staff will contact you about mailing arrangements or other options for accessing the book.

I’m studying for the bar exam and I need a break. Help!

Your bar preparation will be more successful if you make time to exercise, see friends, and take care of yourself—we promise. At the Law Library, we have lots of materials to help you recharge, including board games, DVDsmindfulness resources, and our newest acquisition, outdoor games. Stop by the circulation desk to check out Cornhole, Kubb, Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, or another game, and forget about the bar for a few hours. Just be sure to stay 6 feet apart while you play!

I’m looking for something to read over the summer. Any ideas?

The common read display.

Visit the reserve room to check out our collection of non-law books! We’re especially excited about our display of the books recommended by UVA Law affinity groups to help build understanding about diversity. We also provide electronic access to many of these recommendations.

How can I stay in touch with the Law Library over the summer?

As always, you can send research questions to RefDesk@law.virginia.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UVALawLibrary for the latest news!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

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

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Library Services to Get You Through Exams

The Law Library’s student services are designed to support academic study and self-care. Here are some services that we hope will make your life a little easier during this fall’s end-of-semester crunch.

Longer Hours

The Law Library has extended its hours through the end of the semester. We’re now open from 8am to 8:45pm Monday through Friday. Please remember to wear your mask at all times while in the library, including during evening hours. If you forget your mask, please stop by the circulation desk for assistance.

Study Aids

Did you know that the Law Library provides free access to study aids? With a Lexis+ (formerly Lexis Advance) password, you can view BARBRI course outlines using the links in our database directory. Print study aids, including the popular Examples and Explanations series, are available in the reserve room, and we’re happy to scan excerpts for students who are learning remotely this semester. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog.

Courtesy Services

The Law Library offers many courtesy services, including some that you might not expect. At the circulation desk, you can:

  • Check out a power cord, a flash drive, headphones, or a book stand
  • Borrow an umbrella or a bike pump
  • Use our sewing kit and lint brush
  • Get a free envelope
  • Access our basket of emergency menstrual products
  • …and more!

And don’t forget—whether you’re taking classes on grounds or remotely, we’re here to assist you with more traditional library tasks like accessing books. Email us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu for research assistance and Circ@law.virginia.edu for general library questions.

Outdoor Games

The Law Library’s Klaus Collection (in the reserve room) contains materials to help you recharge from your studies—including board games, DVDs, mindfulness resources, and non-law books. Starting this week, we’ll also be offering a selection of outdoor games, which we hope will provide opportunities for fresh air, sunlight, and socially distanced time with your friends. Stop by to check out Cornhole, Kubb, Ladder Toss, Giant Jenga, or another game from our collection. (Be sure to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart while you play!)

Newspapers

To keep up with current events, take advantage of your free subscription to the online editions of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. You can sign up for these and other law-school-only resources via LawWeb. From the LawWeb homepage, just click on the “Student Services” tab, and then select the resource you’d like to access. (To sign up for your NYTimes.com and WSJ.com accounts, you must be on grounds or using a VPN.)

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

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

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Special Bulletin: Accessing Law Library Books in a Hybrid Environment

If you’re a law student taking classes on grounds or remotely this semester, you have several options for accessing the Law Library’s print collection:

Visit the stacks. The Law Library stacks are currently open to law students and faculty. If your book is located at the Law Library and marked ‘On Shelf Now’ in Virgo, then you can grab it from our stacks! (Note: This is true even if Virgo displays a message indicating that UVA Libraries stacks are closed.) Make a note of the call number and check where that will be on the map. If you’d like to scan part of the book, you can use one of the Law Library’s two public scanners. Flash drives for saving your scans are available at the circulation desk.

Ask us to pull the book for you. If you prefer to spend less time in the Law Library—even if you’re taking classes on grounds this semester—you can ask us to retrieve the book and hold it at circulation for you. Please use the ‘Request item’ button in Virgo and choose ‘Law’ as your Preferred Pickup Location. You’ll receive an email when the book is available for pickup. (Note: You’ll need to be logged in to Virgo to make a request.)

Ask us to make a scan for you. Whether you’re on grounds or working remotely, we’ll be happy to scan chapters, articles, or pages from any Law Library book. To request a scan, use the “Request a Scan” button in the Virgo catalog. You can use the same procedure to request scans from other UVA libraries. (Note: If you don’t see a “Request a Scan” button, that means your book is available to read on HathiTrust.)

Ask us to send you the book. If you’re working remotely, we’ll gladly mail you any books that you need (except for reference and reserve books). For full books from any UVA Library (including Law), please use this form and UVA Libraries staff will contact you about mailing arrangements or other options for accessing the book.

Questions? Send us an email at refdesk@law.virginia.edu, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

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

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Law Librarians: Here to Help

With the addition of plexiglass and social distancing reminders, the Law Library may look a little different this semester—but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing UVA Law students with excellent research assistance and instruction. If you find yourself stuck on a research question, or just want to talk through a new project, remember that law librarians are standing by to help. Here are some of the best ways to get in touch with us:

  • As always, email us at Refdesk@law.virginia.edu.
  • Schedule a (virtual) research consultation for help developing a research strategy, working through a challenge, or using Law Library resources.
  • For questions about checking out books or other general library issues, use the chat feature on our homepage to contact the circulation desk.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to start, check out our new Start Your Research guide, which provides information about finding databases, obtaining books, and getting additional help.

No question is too big or too small, so please don’t hesitate to ask. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

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

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The Virtual Law Library: Still Here to Help

The law library space may be closed due to COVID-19, but our online services, digital resources, and remote reference desk are very much open for business. UVA law librarians want you to know that we’re still here to help!

Our COVID-19 Guide to Library Services explains how to access library resources—from online study aids to streaming films. For research assistance, contact our reference librarians at refdesk@law.virginia.edu. If you need more in-depth assistance (for example, if you want to talk through your research plan for a seminar paper) schedule a research consultation, and we’ll set up a meeting over the phone or via Zoom. And if you just want to relax, try an entertainment resource like Kanopy or an ebook.

Students: we miss you, and we’re sorry that you can’t come see us in person. We know that digital resources can’t replace the library’s physical space, where you come to collaborate, interact with librarians, or simply study beside a friend. But we hope that our “virtual library” will provide the next best thing, by making you feel welcome, providing access to materials you need, and making it easy for you to get research assistance from law librarians.

Written by

Kate Boudouris

Kate Boudouris

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

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