It’s that time again when hotly anticipated orders are being issued by the U.S.’ top court. This session the Court is addressing everything from religious rights in the workplace (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores) to whether or not the Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits “disparate impact”  (Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.). Arguably one of the most anticipated issues of recent history focusing on the Fourteenth Amendment and marriage (DeBoer v. Snyder & Tanco v. Haslam) is also being decided.

A great resource for following all of the Court’s exciting action is SCOTUSblog. The blog, about all things Supreme Court, is written by members of the legal community including lawyers, law professors and law students. The site live blogs as the Court hears oral arguments and announces opinions. The site also provides comprehensive coverage of all of the cases being argued before the court and maintains individual case archives of briefing and other documents. Bloggers also provide links to PDFs of opinions as they are released by the Court. The Court is expected to release its next set of orders on Monday morning, so tune in to follow all of the developments live!

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Statistical Abstracts of the U.S. Reboot

ProQuest’s Statistical Abstracts of the U.S. is getting a makeover!

The cleaner, more intuitive interface will go live June 1st

Statistical Abstracts

ProQuest has based the upgrade on extensive user testing and feedback. Their goal is to make the interface of Statistical Abstracts an easier and more valuable experience for users.

Other improvements users can expect see include:

  • More responsive design making use on any device, mobile or otherwise, smoother
  • A more reader-friendly interface
  • Better in-line previews for tables and improved document viewing
  • Reorganization of the screen to highlight more popular features, making them easier to find
  • New and improved navigation for filtering and refining results after an initial search

Pro Quest is running training sessions May 29 to June 18 – sign up here!

View the LibGuide here.




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BYU Law Ranked #22

BYU Law was recently ranked #22 in Above the Law’s Top 50 Law Schools for 2015. ATL’s ranking looks at employment score, quality jobs score, SCOTUS clerk and federal judgeship scores, education cost, alumni rating, and M7 ratio (debt per job).

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Religion & the Law

Law and religion

The Law Library is excited to announce the newly acquired digital library, HeinOnline’s Religion & the Law. Included in the collection are books, periodicals and bibliographies that relate to religion and the law. The 1,200 titles include works on:

  • Canon Law
  • History of the Church & State
  • Religion & Freedom
  • Jewish Law
  • Reformation Period
  • Early Constitutions of the Church
  • Religion & Politics
  • The Bible in Public Schools

The collection “provides a research platform for the development, history, organization, and fundamental principles of various world religions.” This library is also a dynamic one, as Hein anticipates the ongoing addition of new material in the future.

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Book River

If you’ve been to our library you’ve likely noticed the display of book jackets we have just inside the glass walls of the Reserve Library. These are from books that we’ve recently added to our collection and gives us a way to highlight what we’re adding to the library. At the reference desk we often get people who see a book cover and stop by to ask where they can find the book.

On our website we’ve recently released a web version of these book jackets. If you scroll towards the bottom of our website you will see a book “river” that rotates through the book jackets of many of the books that we have recently added to the collection. If you click on a book, it will take you to our catalog to help you find the actual book. We hope this will give you an additional way to find the great resources we have here in the library.

recent acquisitions

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Library Closed May 11-15

Due to planned electrical upgrades to the Law Building, the Law Library will be closed May 11-15.  Please make arrangements to visit the Law Library before the 11th if you need to use our print or electronic collections.  Electronic resources will still be available off campus for Law School faculty and students during the closure. If you have reference questions while we are closed, please feel free to email me at

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Research Help This Summer

Congratulations everyone! You made it through another year of law school. We hope you get a chance to relax for a bit before you set off for your next adventure of summer jobs and externships.

When you are ready to get back to work we want you to know that the Law Library is still here for you over the summer.  Our reference desk is open from 8am-8pm M-F and 9am-5pm Saturdays. You can contact us by phone at 801-422-6658 or if you go to our webpage you will find an “Ask A Librarian” link next to the catalog search box.

Ask a librarianThat button will allow you to email or chat with a reference librarian so you can get some help with your research projects.

If you’re looking for other summer research tips, here are a few in a short article I wrote a few years back: Observations for Summer Research Success.

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Unique Database Available Soon…

U.S. Intelligence on Europe, 1945-1995

US Intelligeance on Europe

This interesting digital collection contains over 4,000 formerly classified U.S. government documents. These primary source documents provide a comprehensive survey of the U.S. intelligence community’s activities in Europe between the end of World War II until the fall of the Iron Curtain and beyond.


  • U.S. Intelligence operations in Western Europe
  • U.S. Intelligence operations in Eastern Europe
  • U.S. Intelligence gathering on Western European communist parties
  • Economic intelligence gathering
  • Monitoring European anti-nuclear groups in the 1980s
  • Intelligence gathering on terrorist groups
  • Analyses of European socio-economic developments




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Celebrate National Library Week

“Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library”

Celebrate National Library week Banner

Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2015: Best-selling author David Baldacci


  • Monday April 13: 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report released
  • Tuesday, April 14: National Library Workers Day
  • Wednesday, April 15: National Bookmobile Day
  • Thursday, April 16: Celebrate Teen Literature Day

Fun library facts[i]

  • There are 119,729 libraries in the United States.
  • June 2014: the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, which holds that providing access to works for people with print disabilities constitutes fair use.
  • October 2014: the US 11th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down an important decision in Cambridge University Press et al v. Carl V. Patton et al. (The Georgia State University e-reserves case). The decision includes an analysis of fair use and rejects the highly restrictive guidelines of many publishers. However, the decision also affirms the importance of flexible limitations on publisher’s rights, such as fair use.
  • Some of the “Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2014” included: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi; and The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.

[i] American Library Association. The State of America’s Libraries 2015: A Report from the American Library Association. Kathy S. Rosa, ed. 2015.

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Finals Help

We do our best to help our students out during finals time.  Here are some resources and services we hope will make this time a little less stressful.

Sample Exams – The Law Library has a number of sample exams for BYU Law professors and courses.  These sample exams are available electronically and can be found here or through the “For Law Students” section of our webpage.  BYU Law students with a current BYU Net ID and password can access these exams.  Sample exams can be browsed by professor or by class.  We currently have sample exams for Professors Augustine-Adams, Backman, Benson, Brinton, Durham, Fee, Ferrin, Lee, Mangelson, Rasband, Scharffs, Thomas, Todd/Nydegger/Richards, Wardle, and Wilkins.  If your professor doesn’t appear on this list, you will still likely be able to find sample exams for the class that you are taking on the sample exams page.

Flash Cards – One of the popular study helps we offer are flash cards by Law in a Flash.  Near finals time it’s tough to keep these puppies on the shelf.  You can check them out for 2 hours at a time at the circulation desk.  We currently have the following sets of flash cards: Civil Procedure (parts 1 & 2), Con Law (parts 1 & 2), Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Crim. Pro., Evidence, Fed Tax, Future Interests, Professional Responsibility (parts 1 & 2), Real Property, Sales, Secured Transactions, Torts, and Wills and Trusts.

CALI – The Law Library’s subscription to CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, provides BYU law students with access to nearly 900 internet-based lessons on 35 different legal topics.  Lessons range from core 1L courses to many different 2L/3L courses.  In addition to being web-based, CALI lessons are often interactive–asking you questions to test your knowledge as you go along.  Not only does this help you retain things better, but it can help add some variety to your study techniques.  If you don’t have a username and password already, email me at and I can get you our authorization code.

Study Guides – We collect a number of study guides that may be useful as you brush up for finals.  They are available in the Reserve Library and can be found by browsing  or by searching the library catalog.  The best way to find them is to search for your subject in the library search box and then when the results come up, you will see a place to narrow the search to “study guides.”  Here’s an example for torts.  Study Guides in the Reserve Library are available for 2 hour checkout to law students.

Extended Hours – The Law Library is open until 1am Monday-Friday until finals end.  We will continue to close at 11pm on Saturday.

Study Rooms – The law library is home to 13 group study rooms that are especially popular during finals.  Law students can reserve study rooms online in 2 hour blocks.  We ask that you please be respectful of others as groups transition between study rooms.

Quiet Reading Room – The Quiet Reading Room in the northeast portion of the library’s main floor is also available for study.  This room is for law students only (so bring your ID card to swipe in) and quiet study will be enforced.  We ask that you help us keep the noise down in there.

Good luck getting through finals!

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