Ask a Librarian
Course Web Pages
Exams on Reserve
The Law Library provides a variety of services designed to meet the research and teaching needs of the Law School faculty. To ensure that the Law Library's print and electronic resources, as well as the talents of its staff, are fully available to you, this brochure briefly describes the Law Library, its collection, policies and services. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Robin Schard, Assistant Library Director for Public Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-284-6441).
Ask a Librarian is the text, email and chat reference service provided by the University of Miami Law Library. It is only available to law faculty, staff and students. The e-mail address is email@example.com. On AOL and Yahoo under the name umiamilawlib, on Google Chat or MSN under firstname.lastname@example.org. Text to 66746 and start your question with umiamilawlib. Instant Reference is available during reference desk hours.
All of the Law Library's holding can be located through Baron, the online library catalog. Baron can be accessed from terminals located at the Reference and Circulation desks and in the elevator lobbies on the 2nd-4th floors, or through the Law School's network or through the Library's web page or directly at http://baron.law.miami.edu. For information on how to search Baron, try Using Baron, the Law Library Catalog. Other University of Miami libraries have their own, separate catalogs. IBISWEB, http://ibisweb.miami.edu, is Richter Library's online catalog, and CALLCAT, http://callcat.med.miami.edu, is Calder Medical Library's online catalog. (Ibisweb includes the holdings of Richter, Marine Science, Business, Music, Architecture, Math and Lowe Art Museum Libraries.)
One of the enhanced features of the Law Library's catalog is the one-step ability to repeat searches in both Richter Library's and Calder Medical Library's catalogs. In the past, since each UM library has its own catalog, the researcher would have to check each catalog individually. Now, after doing a search in the "home" library, the user can repeat the same search in either of the other two UM libraries by merely clicking on the "Repeat Search" buttons.
The Library's web page includes information about the Library and links to internet resources in addition to a link to Baron. The internet links include subscription databases provided by the Library, as well as other helpful legal research web sites. Its address is http://library.law.miami.edu/. Additionally, the webpage has information on library and reference department hours as well as a directory of staff telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. Please contact Robin Schard at 284-6441 or email@example.com with any suggestions for additions to the Library's web page.
Librarians are available to provide the law faculty with a number of services. Reference librarians train faculty, faculty assistants and research assistants (See the section on Research Assistants below.) in the use of Law Library materials and electronic databases, the internet and the electronic resources offered by Richter Library. Other services provided by the Reference Department include performing short research projects, searching online databases, compiling legislative histories and topical bibliographies, and locating materials in other libraries. For specific information on services that the reference department provides, please contact Robin Schard, at 305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the reference desk at 305-284-3585. Contact Bianca Anderson, the Foreign and International Law Librarian at 305-284-3615 or email@example.com for international or foreign legal research expertise.
Reference librarians conduct both individual and group training on a variety of resources. They are available to teach guest lectures on legal research in general or on specific topics. A discussion of research strategies can be a practical component of your course, particularly in classes that involve writing papers or extensive research. Examples of subject-specific lectures include lectures on researching estate planning, Florida law, the internet, and international and foreign law. Reference Librarians have also done individual training on specific online services for faculty or for classes, such as Lexis, Westlaw, or the CCH Internet Tax Research Network. Please contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on this service.
In this era of internet information, many professors have added course information to the web. Lexis and Westlaw both have products designed to add value to legal courses, and the University subscribes to a third product, Blackboard. In addition to basic course information and readings, these products also support discussion groups, quizzes, links to web pages and more. Please contact the Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or email@example.com) if you are interested in using one of these products.
Additionally, the reference librarians prepare research guides describing research techniques and tools for specific areas of law. Topics covered by existing guides include employment discrimination, federal regulations, art law and estate planning. Hard copies of the research guides are available in the stand next to the Reference Desk, and several of our guides are available on the Law Library's web page (http://library.law.miami.edu/guides.php). The librarians will also create new research guides as requested. Please contact Pam Lucken, Head of Reference, (305-284-3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for a complete list of existing guides or to request one on a new topic.
The reference staff offers topical and advanced research training to research assistants to ensure that they utilize online and print resources efficiently. Training and refresher sessions include print, Lexis, Westlaw, and other online resources. Particular topical areas can be incorporated that address your research needs.
During the academic year, individual training and orientations are held when research assistants are hired. Please contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or email@example.com) for information on this service.
Research assistants can also check out material from the Law Library for you as your Proxy. The student will need a signed letter from the relevant faculty member which also includes the period of time the student is to have this privilege. Contact Bill Latham, Circulation Librarian, (305-284-1935 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information concerning Proxies.
To have the library staff retrieve items from the University libraries, see Document Delivery below.
Faculty must fill out a separate form to give their research assistants proxy power at Richter Library. This form is available from the Circulation Department of Richter Library or at this link.
Professors will be ultimately responsible for any materials checked out of the Law Library or Richter Library by a proxy on their behalf.
In addition to using any of the resources listed here for their work with faculty, the reference department will be happy to train faculty assistants in the use of any resources provided by the library, including subscription databases (e.g. Westlaw or Lexis), course web products, and other library services. Please contact Robin Schard, at email@example.com or 305-284-6441, for more information.
The Circulation staff can help you locate material in the Law Library and answer directional questions. In addition to re-shelving and circulating material, the Circulation Department maintains the Reserve and Course Reserve Collections. Circulation staff members also provide assistance in using Law Library equipment, such as microfiche machines.
Occasionally, material is already checked out to one person when another person needs it. If so, the Law Library staff may be able to recall the material. Please contact Nery Ruiz (305-284-3728 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to recall books. The reverse may also be true, and we may need to retrieve, for another patron, material that a faculty member has checked out. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
These materials, kept behind the Circulation Desk and arranged by faculty name, may include Law Library books, photocopies of course material, audiotapes, videotapes or personal copies of books owned by faculty. Faculty members who wish to place a copy of a book from the Library's collections on course reserve should give the Circulation staff a citation for the book and the name of the course. At any time during the semester, faculty may place videotaped or audio taped classes on reserve by providing the Circulation staff with these items.
Faculty can see what is currently available on Course Reserve by using Baron, the Law Library catalog. Course Reserve material may be searched by course name or by professor's name.
Course Reserve requests should be directed to the Circulation staff and should include the name of the corresponding course or seminar and any specific restrictions on use. Photocopied materials and personal copies delivered for course reserve will be returned at the semester's end, and the Law Library materials will be returned to the shelves. Unless otherwise directed, Course Reserve materials do not circulate outside the Law Library and circulate within the Law Library for two hours at a time. A Course Reserve Form (doc) should accompany every addition to the Course Reserve collection. Bill Latham (305-284-1935 or email@example.com), Circulation Librarian, will be able to answer any questions on the Course Reserve Collection.
Material that is heavily used by students and other patrons is automatically placed in the Reserve Collection. The Reserve Collection is located behind the Circulation Desk on the first floor. Examples of the type of material in this collection include hornbooks, nutshells and court rules. Recent issues of some periodical titles, such as the Harvard Law Review, the University of Miami Law Review, or the National Law Journal are also located on Reserve.
Reserve materials generally circulate within the Law Library for two hours at a time although, for some titles, there are copies that may be checked out overnight. No material circulates outside the Law Library during the Reading/Exam Period.
The Law Library maintains a collection of past law school exams for students to review. Exams are placed and kept on course reserve at the discretion of the faculty member teaching the course. The Circulation staff will make the exams available to students whenever the faculty member teaches the relevant course. Bill Latham (305-284-1935 or firstname.lastname@example.org), Circulation Librarian, will be able to answer any questions concerning Exams on Reserve. Any faculty members wishing to make their exams available to students electronically should contact Robin Schard (284-6441 or email@example.com).
Faculty members seeking books, journals or other material not on the Law Library shelves have several options. Reference librarians may be able to assist in locating the item or the information sought. Reference librarians are available at 305-284-3585. Circulation staff may be able to find materials which have been misshelved and can recall materials checked-out to another Library patron. Circulation staff members are available at 305-284-3563. Faculty may also use the interlibrary loan services of the Law Library (284-3728).
A modest collection of law-related movies is available for 24 hour check-out (or longer if being used for a class). All videos are housed in the Reserve Collection behind the Law Library's Circulation Desk. The complete list is accessible from the main page of Baron, the Law Library's catalog. To recommend an addition to this collection, please contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Upon request, the Law Library will retrieve materials from our collection or from other University libraries. The items will be checked out under the faculty's name. Document Delivery can also arrange for duplication (subject to copyright restrictions) of materials and route requested items to faculty offices. Occasionally, requests may be fulfilled by printing out a digital version of the requested document instead of photocopying a print version of the requested text. Please contact Nery Ruiz (305-284-3728 or email@example.com for document delivery. The Document Delivery Department will also return items to Richter Library. If, however, the faculty member returns items directly to Richter Library, he/she should always get a receipt for the transaction to avoid any confusion.
The faculty circulation period for Richter Library is one year from the date of checkout, and the individual faculty member will be responsible for any books not returned to Richter Library. The University will bill for items not returned. Richter Library will also bill for books not returned when recalled.
From time to time, a faculty member may need to use materials not available at the Law Library or other University Libraries. In such instances, the materials can be requested through the interlibrary loan department. There is no charge for this service and standard requests are generally filled within two weeks although other delivery options (e.g. fax or first class mail) may reduce the time it takes for material to arrive. An Interlibrary Loan Request Form for requesting material is available on the library's webpage, or faculty may also contact Barbara Cuadras, Interlibrary Loan Assistant, at 305-284-3728 or firstname.lastname@example.org for interlibrary loan requests.
Interlibrary loan material can usually be kept from two to four weeks, depending on the lending library. Most libraries will allow an additional two weeks renewal upon request. Late return of books negatively affects our ability to borrow books from other libraries, so please try to assist staff in meeting these deadlines. If interlibrary loan material is not returned in a timely fashion, the lending library will exact a fee. The faculty member may be required to pay any fines, processing and replacement costs.
The Library provides access to Lexis, Westlaw and many other online services and digital publications. Please call Pam Lucken (305-284-3043 or email@example.com) to obtain or renew a Lexis or Westlaw password or for refresher sessions in using Lexis or Westlaw. Please call the reference librarians at 305-284-3585 to request online research assistance.
Requests for network passwords, e-mail accounts, or assistance using the network equipment should be directed to the Computer Resources and Technology Department Help Desk at 305-284-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also access these databases from off-campus. Start by going to the Subscription Database page. Once you click on a link, you will get a sign-on screen. This screen will direct you to use the same user name and password you use to log onto the computers in the law school. If you do not know your user name and password are, you must check with the Computer Resources department. In most cases, you will not need to insert your user name and password again during your research session. For additional information, see the Off-Campus and Wireless Access page.
Below is a partial list of electronic resources to which the library currently subscribes. A complete list of resources, with passwords when neccessary is available on the Subscription Database page. These resources are generally restricted to law students, faculty and staff. Additionally, some of the material is limited to law faculty only, so please do not distribute passwords (where required) to students. If no password is listed below, access is available to anyone using the product through the Law School's network.
ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct - Provides news and guidance on legal ethics, including practice guides, model rules, ethics opinions, reports and more. A username and password are available for access to this product from off-campus.
BNA All - Provides over 100 titles containing current law, news and analysis in numerous subject areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, ethics, family law, taxation and more. All BNA online titles are also available through Lexis and Westlaw for current law faculty, students and staff. Law faculty may subscribe to automatic email alerts of current contents which are available for most BNA titles. If faculty would like to receive email alerts for any BNA title, please contact Helen Wohl or 305-284-2823. Law faculty may, according to the terms and restrictions of the BNA license, forward email alerts to students in their classes. A username and password are available for access to this product from off-campus.
CALI (The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) CALI provides over one hundred interactive exercises written by law faculty and librarians. The exercises are designed to enhance traditional education or to be integrated into course materials. They cover a great variety of topics, including Administrative Law, Contracts, Evidence, Examination Skills, and many more. The web page requires users to register. The registration requires a Law School Authorization Code password.
CCH Internet Tax Research Network - Includes a wealth of Federal, State and international tax information. It incorporates the full text of such tools as the Standard Federal Income Tax Reporter, the Federal Estate/Gift Tax Reporter, the IRS Code, Letter Rulings, State tax reports, recent, pending and final legislation in the States, Tax Notes International and much more. Each portion of the product may be searched by keyword or term, and browsed by subsection. You can also download the Quick Start Training Guide for a description of how to search this site.
Chronicle of Higher Education - The Chronicle website includes the current edition of the weekly Chronicle of Higher Education, daily news updates and a searchable archive of the Chronicle dating back to 1995. Also includes Chronicle's Almanac (back to 1995), The Chronicle Review and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. An RSS feed is available through software available on the Chronicle's website.
Congressional (LexisNexis) - CIS is a major commercial publisher of federal legislative material, such as congressional bills, reports, and hearings. While the indexes to CIS material were in paper, most of the actual documents were only available in the microfiche format. With Congressional Universe, however, not only are the indexes available but also the full text of many bills, reports, and other material. Most publications are searchable by keyword or by citation, in addition to other terms, such as witness or bill sponsor.
Constitutions of the Countries of the World - Provides English translations in full-text of almost 200 country constitutions. The user can browse for constitutions by country name or search the full-text. Advanced search features allow you to search for constitutions by geographic regions, political affiliation or economic connection (e.g. all countries that are OECD members.). Some historical versions are also available. Introductory and comparative notes explain recent amendments and provide pertinent historical, political and economic information. Go to the pull-down menu called "Select a Product" on the left side of the screen, and select "CCW" to enter the service. Only one user may access this service at one time.
Foreign Law Guide: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World - Provides relevant information on sources of foreign law, including complete bibliographic citations to legislation, the existence of English translations whenever possible and selected references to secondary sources in English. This is primarily a guide to official sources and official versions with references, when appropriate, to the full text of legislation and English translations of codes, laws and relevant material.
Hein Online - Hein Online has four major library collections: the Law Journal Library (including older issues of journals), the Federal Register Library (1936-1990), the Treaties and Agreements Library, and the U.S. Supreme Court Library. All of these libraries are image-based and fully-searchable, meaning that they provide exact page images and enable the researcher to view all pages as they originally appeared.
Legal Scholarship Network (LSN or SSRN) - Each LSN journal issue contains abstracts of recent working or accepted papers and comes in the form of individually delivered e-mail messages. A law professor with expertise in the field covered by the journal edits each journal. Each abstract is accompanied by an email address for the author, whom you can contact to obtain a full copy of any paper you are interested in, and often a web site address from which the paper can be downloaded free of charge. The main page (http://www.ssrn.com) also gives the researcher the ability to search and download papers.
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers Series - Abstracts and full-text of the National Bureau of Economic Research's Working Paper Series available on the web.
United States Law Week - United States Law Week reports weekly on the proceedings, opinions and activities of the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts. Contents inlcude Legal News Highlights and Case Alert Highlights. The Legal News section contains thorough reviews of developments in the law including pending legislation, rules decisions or reaction to new court decisions. The Summary & Analysis section, discusses certain cases in depth. Analysis & Perspective provides a more in-depth review of issues in the Legal News. The Circuit Split Roundup is a monthly feature describing differences between federal circuit courts of appeals on points of law. The Supreme Court Today component of the service is a searchable database of the status of certiorari petitions, full-text Supreme Court opinions, summaries of selected oral arguments, an upcoming oral argument schedule and an annual Review of Term section that analyzes some of the major topics considered that term. Authorized users can arrange to receive weekly e-mail summaries of United States Law Week with links to the full-text articles. To receive the email, please contact Helen Wohl, Assistant Library Director for Collection Development and Acquisitions (305-284-2823). For off-campus access, users must use a user name and password.
The Law Library welcomes faculty recommendations of books, periodicals and digital resources for addition to the Law Library collection. To recommend or request a specific publication, please contact Helen Wohl (305-284-2823 or email@example.com), Assistant Library Director for Collection Development and Acquisitions, or a reference librarian at 305-284-3585. To recommend purchases for the foreign and international collection, faculty may contact Bianca Anderson, Foreign and International Law Librarian (305-284-3615 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Acquisitions staff will notify each faculty member when his or her order has been placed, and, if requested, route the requested item to the faculty member after processing. If the faculty request indicates that the material is needed by a particular date, Acquisitions staff will attempt to meet that deadline. If the delivery date cannot be met, the Acquisitions staff will ask the faculty member whether the Law Library should initiate an interlibrary loan request for the intermediate time period. For more information, contact Helen Wohl (305-284-2823 or email@example.com).
The Law Library maintains a collection of Law Faculty and Law School publications in the Archives. Faculty members wishing to donate their publications to the Law Library should either leave the items in the library pick-up area outside of their office or contact Nery Ruiz (305-284-3728 or firstname.lastname@example.org). The items should be clearly marked as a faculty publication for the Archives and include the name of the person donating the material.
Please contact Bill Latham (305-284-1935 or email@example.com) about getting material from the Archives and Special Collections.
Upon request, the Law Library will route current issues of periodicals to faculty. A personal copy of the periodicals list can be obtained by contacting Robin Schard, at 305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon request, the Serials staff can send each member of the faculty a copy of their current routing list. Faculty may update their list by adding or deleting periodical titles, or initiate a new routing request at any time, by contacting Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or email@example.com). The Serials staff will follow these requests with a note to the faculty member indicating the date of each routing addition.
In addition to the periodicals routing mentioned above, the Library offers other current awareness services for faculty. For information or help in setting up any of these services, please contact Robin Schard (firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-284-2916).
Recent Acquistions is a monthly list of Law Library Acquisitions is available on the Law Library's web page. Faculty can request items be sent to them by contacting Nery Ruiz (305-284-3728 or email@example.com).
SmartCILP is published by the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library, indexes over 150 legal periodicals. A profile is set-up for individual faculty members according to their subject and periodical interests. Each week an e-mail message is sent to the faculty member listing recent articles that match the profile. To set up a SmartCILP profile, go to the SmartCILP website and click on 'Create or Change a SmartCILP Profile,' and fill-in the boxes for your name, e-mail address, affiliation (University of Miami Law Library) and authorization code.
Current Publications in Legal and Related Fields is a bibliography of current literature issued annually with updates nine times per year. The Law Library has obtained permission to reproduce several copies of the updates which are routed to faculty upon request. To receive a copy, contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), part of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), is a service providing e-mail delivery of abstracts of working papers and just published papers. When possible, the complete text is posted to the web site. To sign up for the e-mail delivery, go to http://www.ssrn.com/update/forms/lsnsite.html.
BNA provides more than 100 titles containing current law, news and analysis in numerous subject areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, ethics, family law, taxation and more. All BNA online titles are also available through Lexis and Westlaw for current law faculty, students and staff. Law faculty, staff and students may subscribe to automatic e-mail alerts of current contents which are available for most BNA titles. See the list of BNA titles and sign up to receive summaries from BNA publications. A username and password are available for access to this product from off-campus.
E-mail to Faculty are occasionally sent via the law school faculty e-mail list. The e-mails typically notify faculty about new electronic products or about enhancements to existing products. For any questions or comments about this e-mail service, please contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or email@example.com).
Law Library News, a newsletter published regularly by the Law Library staff, contains useful information about Law Library services, and techniques for searching print, electronic resources and internet sites. An archive of previous issues is available on the Law Library's website. For any suggestions or questions about the newsletter, please contact Robin Schard (305-284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Law Library Letter, The Law Library Letter is an e-mail newsletter published by the Law Library staff to keep members of the faculty, administration and staff informed of library events, new services, new products and other library-related news. An archive of previous issues is available on the Law Library's web site. For any suggestions or questions about the Law Library Letter, please contact Helen Wohl (305-284-2823 or email@example.com).
United States Law Week reports weekly on the proceedings, opinions and activities of the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts. Contents inlcude Legal News Highlights and Case Alert Highlights. The Legal News section contains thorough reviews of developments in the law including pending legislation, rules decisions or reaction to new court decisions. The Summary & Analysis section, discusses certain cases in depth. Analysis & Perspective provides a more in-depth review of issues in the Legal News. The Circuit Split Roundup is a monthly feature describing differences between federal circuit courts of appeals on points of law. The Supreme Court Today component of the service is a searchable database of the status of certiorari petitions, full-text Supreme Court opinions, summaries of selected oral arguments, an upcoming oral argument schedule and an annual Review of Term section that analyzes some of the major topics considered that term. Authorized users can arrange to receive weekly e-mail summaries of United States Law Week with links to the full-text articles. To receive the e-mail, please contact Helen Wohl or 305-284-2823. For off-campus access, users must use a user name and password.
Faculty members may also elect to receive a personal copy of the official Florida Statutes, either in print or CD-ROM. The six-volume statutes are issued annually in October. To obtain your copy of the statutes, please contact Helen Wohl at 284-2823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty members wishing to donate books or other materials to the Law Library should either leave the items in the library pick-up area outside of their office or contact Nery Ruiz at 284-3728 or email@example.com. The donated items should be clearly marked as a gift and include the name of the person donating the material.
The Law Library staff place several daily newspapers in the Faculty Lounge. The newspapers delivered to this room are the Daily Business Review, Miami Herald, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. These newspapers should not be removed from the Faculty Lounge so everyone has the opportunity to catch-up on the day's news.
Maps of the Law Library can be found at the Circulation or Reference desks or on the Library's web page (maps).
The Law Library has some audio-visual equipment to use with information sources in alternate formats. Two microfiche and microfilm reader/printers are located on south side of the second floor, near the microform cabinets. There is also a reader/printer on the first floor behind the reference area. Two television/DVD/VCR machines are also found in this section of the first floor. Headphones for the VCR's, audiotape cassette players, and computers can be checked out from the Circulation Desk.
The Reference Electronic classroom, Room D236, has some multimedia capabilities. For more information on using or reserving this room, please contact Robin Schard (284-6441 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian
Researching Family Law
Sept. 24th, 12:30-1:30 in D236