The main collection of Virginia materials is located on the second floor, shelf ranges 228 and 229. In that area you can find: the Virginia Code (both Lexis and West editions), the Virginia and West Virginia Digest, Michie’s Jurisprudence, form books, rules, jury instructions, court opinions, legislative materials, treatises, and Virginia Continuing Legal Education materials.
As a convenience to patrons, the library also has a small Virginia quick reference collection on the first floor, Range 121, providing duplicate copies of frequently used items, including: the Virginia Code (Lexis edition), Virginia Forms, Rules, Michie’s Jurisprudence, and the Virginia & West Virginia Digest. Some heavily used Virginia titles are on permanent or faculty reserve behind the circulation desk
Many suggested that we provide access to PACER, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system, so that students can download litigation documents, such as complaints and motions, in federal court cases. We do provide PACER access! Because the library pays a charge for every page downloaded, we ask you to see a Reference Librarian for assistance in using PACER for academic purposes (class, note, journal, etc.).
What’s more, though, all PACER documents are available for free to academic users through Bloomberg Law. Search Dockets on BLaw. Be sure to “Update” your docket at the top of the page. Download the document(s) you want. When the notice of PACER fees pops up, ignore it, and submit your document request. BLaw does not charge academic users to retrieve these documents. The document will arrive in your email inbox within moments.
Courtesy emails about overdue books are sent from an automated system. Normally, the reminders are sent one week before a book is due and one day after the due date. But occasionally the system goes down, and a reminder is not sent.
So, please make a note of due dates to avoid fines. If you need to check due dates for library materials, the circulation staff is happy to help in person or by phone (703.993.8120). Items may be renewed online via the library catalog if they are not overdue and do not have any holds or other renewal restrictions.
Google Books is able to provide access to digitized materials consistent with U.S. Copyright Laws. In short, the only titles that are available in full-text are those in the public domain—i.e. their copyright protection has expired or they are not copyrightable.
A very brief history: Google developed a project to create an online digital library of the world’s books. Google launched this project by partnering with a number of major research libraries that allowed Google to scan their collections—both those books in the public domain as well as books still under copyright. Google’s scanning of books and offering them up on a searchable database led copyright owners (authors and publishers) to bring a copyright infringement claim against Google. On March 22, 2011, a U.S. District Court Judge rejected an amended settlement agreement.
So while the law library cannot provide greater access to titles via Google Books, if a book is not in our collection, students may be able to acquire a copy through Inter-Library Loan from another GMU library or other university libraries.
For those who want to study after the Library closes, we offer an After-Hours Study Hall in classrooms 120 and 121. These rooms stay open until 2:00 a.m. If you are in the building after 11:00 p.m. (when it closes to the general public), please keep your ID with you, and don’t lock yourself out of the building or prop the building doors open. The police officers are on duty 24 hours per day, and they are accommodating of GMUSL students here until late in the night, whether you are in the two study hall rooms or in the atrium.
We have recently added five very popular new study rooms on the fourth floor of the library. Several students indicated how much they like these new study rooms and the other new fourth floor study space. The new study rooms have helped to alleviate the heavier exam time crunch for study room space.
Some study rooms are colder than others due to their proximity to the computer room. If you prefer a warmer room, request rooms other than 245, 359, and 360, which are generally cooler than the other study rooms.
Books on permanent reserve may be renewed for longer than the initial two hours if no one else has requested to use them. Books on reserve are often in demand, especially during study periods before exams, and need to be available to all our students. The library has older editions of some of these books in the collection that can be signed out.
And, as we announced previously, starting in the fall semester, the library will be providing students with access to electronic study aids. The new West Study Aids subscription will include titles from eleven popular series including the Concise Hornbook Series, the Nutshell Series, Gilbert Law Summaries, Sum & Substance Quick Reviews, as well as other Thomson Reuters study materials. Students will be able to access e-book versions of over 350 study aids, search within the texts, highlight, take notes, and print from them in limited quantities. Want to try this product sooner? Activate a free 2-day trial here.
Thanks to all students who have responded to the Library and Technology Survey. If you haven’t completed the survey yet—there’s still time! We’ve received some great questions/comments so far and will post responses to some of those issues. Here’s our first response:
HeinOnline is an outstanding resource for law review articles. GMU law students may link to HeinOnline from the law library’s listing of Law-Related Databases.
Features of HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library:
- Contents: more than 1,620 law and law-related periodicals.
- Coverage: from the first issue published for all periodicals to recently published issues.
- Search: by article title, author, subject, state or country published, full text, and narrow by date.
- Format: all of the articles are PDF images of the original journal, meaning footnotes are at the bottom of the page and you can use this version for your journal work.
A short reference guide to using HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library is available here. HeinOnline also offers several training videos.