Archive for the ‘Studying in the Library’ Category

Attention! Attention! CALI Bans Hotmail Email Address Users!

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

As a refresher, CALI is an acronym for Computer Assisted Legal Education, and offers over 300 tutorials on various subjects of law, legal writing and legal research. They are written by professors at distinguished law schools, librarians, and other legal education professionals.  You should have received a CD with CALI lessons (in case you’re working somewhere offline), and a card with an authorization code (in case you want to go online and track your lesson on the web version) during orientation.

Part of the process for registering your CALI authorization code is entering your email.  Most students use their WFU email; however, you can also use a personal email account through gmail or hotmail.  Oh wait!  Not hotmail.  CALI sent out a press release yesterday notifying users that hotmail accounts would no longer be accepted as an email address for CALI registration.  This new ban includes users that may have previously registered for CALI with a hotmail email address.

CALI stated “Due to a near-site killing influx of spammers and other internet ne’er-do-wells using Hotmail, we’ve had to ban all accounts that are affiliated with a Hotmail email address.  Unfortunately, this will cause a number of legitimate registered users to be banned from our system.  This is a small percentage of our total users, but still a decent amount of people.”

What to do if you’re banned? CALI suggests two options:

“(1) Send an email to with [your] name and a non-Hotmail email address that [you] wish to use with [your] CALI account.  The switch over will have to be done manually, so it’s entirely foreseeable that the process may get clogged up.   If [you] want instant gratification and access….

(2) Create a new account using a non-Hotmail email address.  Please note, if [you] do choose this option, [you] will lose all access to previous lesson run information. [You] will also need a valid authorization code from a member institution.”

So there you have it.  Issues with accessing CALI?  First check to make sure that you aren’t registered with a hotmail account.  Still having problems, contact the PCL Reference Desk at (336) 758-4520.

In the Limelight: Our New Director – Knott a Stereotypical Librarian

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

When you hear that the Professional Center Library has a new Director who is an avid gardener, specializing in roses and orchids, do you imagine a person who looks like this? If so, you are in for a surprise.  The PCL’s new director, officially the Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology, is Professor Christopher Knott.   Aside from the fact that it would not be a flattering look, his hair is too short for a bun and he looks more like someone who would tackle a quarterback than “shush” a patron.  Professor Knott comes to Wake Forest from the University of Maine where he has been since 2006, most recently in the position of Vice Dean and Professor of Law.  Prior to his time in Maine, Professor Knott has worked The Columbia University Law School and the Georgetown University Law Center.   Before his career in academia, Knott practiced law and specialized in corporate transactions and commercial ligation.  Currently his interests are more in the area of legal research and legal information, and he is the co-author of the text Where the Law Is: an Introduction to Advanced Legal Research, soon to appear in its 4th edition.

Professor Knott’s interest in gardening could be said to be an inheritance from his father.   As a boy in Iowa, Knott and his brother returned home from school one day to discover their backyard, which had always doubled as the neighborhood playing field, transformed into a giant rose garden.  Admittedly shocked at the time, Knott’s positive outlook eventually won out and he is now a dedicated gardener himself, with a particular interest in orchids and roses.  Knott is also dedicated to his wife Maggi, with whom he is raising (but hopefully not pruning) an energetic first grade son and an teenage daughter who is an aspiring actor.

Those wishing to stop by to talk roses, research, or to just say “hi,” can find his office behind the Reference Desk, room 2201C.

This is not Knott

This IS Knott

I know those books were here yesterday…

If you’ve been in the Professional Center Library in the last couple of days, you’ve probably noticed that we’re once again making some changes to the second floor. Don’t worry – there will be much less construction this year than last! Here’s a look at what will happen:

Right now, books are being shifted to clear out some space for future work. They’re also being reorganized, slightly. While in the past books on the second floor have been shelved purely by function, at the end of this project they’ll be in call number order – just like books on the first and ground floors. It turns out that they’ll be in a pretty similar order, so hopefully it won’t take too much getting used to.

The shelves that are getting cleared out are mostly those in front of the Reference Librarian offices. Those shelves will be removed, and the Reference Desk will be relocated to that area. The form books and the Reference section will be put in new shelving near the copiers on the second floor, and work tables will be shifted around.

In July, there will be some construction to change the configuration of Reference Coordinator Angie Hobbs’ office. She’ll be working out of the an office on the back wall, near the Reference Librarians (Room 2201D) temporarily, so stop by if you need something notarized. There will also be some touch up work to some of the walls throughout the library during that time.

We’re excited about what the changes mean for the library – a new look, better access to the reference librarians and materials easier to find. To keep you up to date, we are resurrecting our Twitter hashtag #newPCL from last summer. Follow us @wfupcl and find out what to expect on any particular day!

Study Aids in the Limelight

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Was one of your new years resolutions to get started on your outlines earlier this semester? Or maybe it was to spend more time studying the subjects you had the most difficulty with. The PCL is here to help you accomplish your goals and not let another new years resolution fall by the way-side.

Did you know the PCL has a full collection of study aids for all levels of students?  Professor Kate Irwin-Smiler has created a ResearchGuide that helps you explore our study aids by subject or by course (e.g., First Year Courses, Upper Level Required Courses, & Upper Level Elective Courses).  If you’re a 1L, we have a ResearchGuide developed just for you!  The Help for First Year Classes specifically outlines all the library materials that we think you would benefit from knowing they are available.  This ResearchGuide is broken down by subject (e.g., Torts, Contract, Property, etc). If either of these ResearchGuides are helpful, take a look at our full ResearchGuide collection.

Study aids are materials published that explain the law in an easy-to-use fashion.  They are not like casebooks, where the reader is required to pull the applicable rule from the selected and edited cases.  These materials are much more similar to traditional textbooks and explain what the law is and how it can be applied.  Even though you can’t fully supplement these materials for your course readings, they are extremely valuable in filling in the gaps in your outlines or helping you to understand the nuts and bolts of a particular topic.  There are a variety of publishers that produce these materials, as well as multiple types of formats (e.g., CD, Sample Questions, Outlines, & Scholarly treatises).  Here is a break down of the publishers of the study aids the PCL has in our collection:

  • Sum and Substance  – A series of audio recordings published by West. In the Professional Center Library these are usually kept in the A/V room or on Permanent Reserve (at the Circulation Desk). You might want to check one of the CDs out to take on your next road trip or if you have a long commute to school.  It may not compare with the new Jay-Z jam, but it will probably help you stay in law school mode as you travel up and down the interstate.
  • Examples and Explanations – This series from Aspen provides an explanatory outline of a legal subject area with multiple explanations of the legal points discussed. Titles in this series are written by law professors who give a narrative overview of the key concepts and rules for a particular subject, followed by “examples” (hypothetical questions) and “explanations” of the answers.
  • Nutshells  – From West; brief explanations in a compact format. Usually pocket-sized books, these materials contain a comprehensive outline of a specific subject, usually written by a noted authority. Nutshells provide a big-picture look at the law and avoid in-depth analysis. They contain fewer footnotes and references than hornbooks, but generally give greater coverage of a subject than commercial study outlines.
  • Understanding Series  – The Understanding series contain an overview of an area of law, with footnotes to primary sources for further reading. This series can help you tremendously as you are developing your outlines, because it provides comprehensive information in a clean, concise format.
  • Law in a Flash  – These flash cards provide a hypothetical situation, legal question and detailed answers; from Aspen (previously Emanuel). These sets are kept on Permanent Reserve. You may want to think about using these flash cards with a study group.  Ask the question. Debate the right and wrong answers.  Discuss why the right answer is right and why the wrong answers are wrong.  You can do the same exercise with the Examples and Explanation series.  Try it out with your study group this spring and let us know how it goes!

Additionally, library materials are kept in several named locations in the library.  By knowing its location, you will save time because you’ll know where to get started. For further reference, check out the floor plans on the library website.

  • Permanent Reserve – these items are kept behind the Circulation Desk, on the Second Floor.
  • Reserve – these items are kept behind the Circulation Desk, organized by Professor name for the use of a class.
  • Reference – these items are on the North and West walls on the Second Floor, flanking the staircase.
  • Stacks – these items are kept on the Ground and First Floors. First floor: call numbers A-KE; Ground: call numbers KF-Z.
  • Periodicals – these items are kept on the First Floor, starting near the staircase/elevator at the North wall.

If you like the question-answer approach to  studying, don’t forget about CALI lessons – the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction offers online tutorials on more than 800 legal topics. You can pick up a CALI CD or request a registration code for the online versions at the PCL Reference desk. Beginning this semester, students are able to save their progress in online lessons in order to resume them later. See the CALI FAQ for details, or ask a librarian at the Reference Desk to recommend study aids for your topic. If you thought a CALI lesson was particularly helpful, leave us a comment and share the news with others!