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Law Library News & Announcements 2016

Early closure on Thurs. Dec. 22

The Law Library will close at noon on Thursday, Dec. 22, instead of at 5 p.m. as previously announced. Best wishes to everyone for a happy holiday and relaxing break!

Law Library reduced hours during Winter Break

As of Friday, Dec. 16, the Law Library will have reduced hours and weekend and holiday-related closures through Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.  Please see our Hours page for details. 

Study Aids & Exam Prep Brownbag Tues. Nov. 15

Noon – 1:00 PM, Room 187
Join Law Library faculty for an overview of resources helpful for exam prep, including study aids available at the Law Library in print and electronically. You can also watch our Study Aids slide show in the library lobby the week of Nov. 14 for an overview of the various study aid series available.

Reading Period, Exams and Holiday Break schedule available

Please see our Hours page for the Law Library schedule Nov. 28, 2016 - Jan. 16, 2017.

Law Library Halloween Party Mon. Oct. 31

All students, faculty & staff are invited in the Law Library on Monday, October 31 from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM to enjoy tasty treats and fun activities like Boo Bowling and Autumn Tic-Tac-Toe! Join in our Horror Movie Trivia contest for the chance to win a prize! We will also announce the winner of the Pumpkin Decorating Contest! Don’t miss out on the food and fun! We hope to see you there!

Annual Law Library Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Students, faculty & staff: drop off your decorated or carved pumpkin at the Law Library on Monday, Oct. 24. Even if you don't submit a pumpkin, you can still vote on your favorite! Ballot boxes will be in the Library until noon on Friday, Oct. 28. The winner will be announced at the Law Library Halloween party on Monday, Oct. 31 and will receive a prize!

Preview of U.S. Supreme Court Cases Available in Hein Online

Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases is now available exclusively through HeinOnline in an easily accessible, fully searchable, digital format. Users have access to the current issues and complete backfile of this incredibly valuable title, which is published eight times annually and provides comprehensive expert analysis of all cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The first seven issues summarize the Court's argument sessions from October through April. The last issue, which is published subsequent to the close of the Court's term at the end of June, reviews the entire term using statistics, charts, essays, and case summaries.

TechBytes Demo #1: LexisNexis Digital Library
Monday, Oct. 3 and Tues., Oct. 4 between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM
Law Library lobby, near the Circulation Desk

Need help studying for your midterms? Want to access some of the study aids online? The NIU Law Library will be hosting a TechBytes demo on accessing the top-rated “Understanding” series on your laptop or tablet through the LexisNexis Digital Library. Prof. Nelson will walk you through how to read the “Understanding” series online through your web browser or download it to your iOS, Windows, Chromebook, or Android device.

Bluebooking for Seminar Papers Brownbag Session
Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Room 187

Writing your seminar paper can be daunting; Bluebooking it properly can be even more so. Have no fear! Join Prof. Clarke on a journey through the wonderful world of the Bluebook, with an emphasis on Bluebooking the types of sources commonly cited in seminar papers. Bring your own lunch! Prof. Clarke will bring baked goods! One lucky attendee will also win a $10 Starbucks gift card!

RESCHEDULED: Brownbag Session: Researching in Non-law Databases, Thurs. Sept. 29

Learn how to use non-law databases including JSTOR and Academic Search Complete. One lucky attendee will also win a $10 Starbucks gift card! Join us in Room 187 on Thursday Sept. 29 from noon to 1:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch, but be sure to save room for Prof. Clarke's baked goods!

"Ask a librarian" chat service available Sept. 9

As of Friday Sept. 9 you can chat or text with the law librarians! Chat/text services will generally be available Mondays through Thursdays 9 am - 5 pm and Fridays 9 am - 4 pm. Use the chat box on the law library home page or you can text us at (815) 518-2275. When chat/text is unavailable, please feel free to email us at

Using the chat interface is easy - just type your question in the indicated box and press Enter. You can also send files to the librarian or send a transcript of the chat to yourself via email using the icons indicated below. (Please note that not all options are available if using chat/text from a mobile device).

libraryh3lp chat box on home page

Learn online research tips at Sept. 10 Breakfast Club

All are invited to join us at Breakfast Club this coming Saturday, September 10th from 9am-11am in the North Wing of the Library, for coffee, bagels, and excellent conversation.

This week, Professor Kuehl will offer insights and answer questions regarding online legal research, especially helpful for first year students.

  • Online Research Tips to find cases and materials at lightning speed
  • Coffee & Bagels will be provided by Barb City Bagels

Future Breakfast Club events will cover more of the stuff you’re interested in—hot legal topics, research, wellness, coffee, etc. Stay tuned for upcoming topics of discussion, and see you Saturday!

Constitution Day display

Sept. 17 is U.S. Constitution Day (observed Sept. 16 in 2017). Visit our new book display which highlights Constitutional history and past and current issues involving the Constitution. There are also some pocket Constitutions free to take (first come first serve). This display is located in the Illinois Collection near the west windows. A virtual version of the display, as well as other current and past Law Library displays, can be viewed on the Law Library Book Displays LibGuide. 

Ongoing book shifting

Over the fall semester the Law Library staff will be shifting (moving) books in the North and South Wings. If you are having trouble locating anything just ask someone at the Circulation Desk and we will help you find it. Thank you for your understanding as we work towards making the Law Library a better space for you to study and do research.

New database available: Legal Source

As of July 1, Ebsco's Legal Source database is now available to NIU students, faculty & staff. Legal Source contains over 2.1 million records and provides indexing and selected full-text coverage of scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, legislation, books, and book reviews. International coverage includes periodicals from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Pardon our dust...

Over the summer the law library is working on increasing the usability of the collection and creating additional study space near the Computer Lab.  On occasion there may be noise associated with this project.  We will post more specific notices in the library on days when project work may result in significant noise.  If you need quiet study space, please use the North Wing.               

During this time materials may not be in their expected places. If you are unable to locate a particular item, please ask at the Circulation Desk.

Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

The Law Library faculty & staff wish our 2016 graduates the best of luck with wherever life takes them. Please remember that as a graduate you are eligible for alumni borrowing privileges at the Law Library - stop by the Circulation Desk to register.

Treats in the library on Tuesday May 10

Stressed out and having a sugar crash from studying for finals? Please stop by the library for a sweet treat to revive yourself on Tuesday May 10! Treats will be out sometime around 11 a.m. and we'll have some healthy snacks available too. Good luck with the rest of finals!

Update: on campus access to Hein Online restored

As of the afternoon of Mon. April 25, on campus access to Hein Online should now be available again. Thank you for your patience.

HeinOnline not available on campus

As of 3:20 p.m. on Friday April 22 we are not able to connect to Hein Online on campus (previously the problem was only with off campus connections). NIU IT staff has been informed.

[CANCELED] Law Library Brown Bag: Ravel and Free Legal Resources, Tues. April 19

Please join Professor Clarke at noon on Tuesday April 19 in room 173 for an overview of Ravel Law, now available through the Law Library, and free legal resources that are available anywhere, anytime.

HeinOnline not available off campus

Changes made to the campus network over spring break are still prohibiting access to Hein Online from off campus. This change has also affected databases at Founders Library. DoIT staff continues to work on the problem but we do not know when the issue will be resolved. Other off campus access issues to law library databases should be resolved at this point. If you have problems accessing any databases from off campus other than Hein, please contact Sharon Nelson.

National Library Week Open House, Wed. April 13

Join us in the Law Library on Wednesday, April 13th starting at 12:15, for treats and a celebration of libraries and how they transform people’s lives.  

  • Browse through the display of the favorite books of the NIU COL faculty.
  • Check out the Women and the Supreme Court Display, the Mindfulness Display and the Stason Collection Display
  • Enter the raffle for a chance to win a Starbuck’s gift card.
  • Guess the amount of candy in a jar to win that candy – and jar!

We look forward to seeing you Wednesday (and every day) in the library!

Database access issues (updated 4/11/16)

Due to recent changes made to the campus network, we are experiencing difficulties connecting to some of our databases via wifi or off-campus access. These changes are also affecting some databases at Founders Library.

  • BNA databases: working in law library (labs, office PCs, etc.) but not via wifi.
  • Fastcase: working in law library (labs, office PCs, etc.) but not via wifi. Workaround is to access Fastcase via HeinOnline, which is now available via wifi.
  • HeinOnline: working in law library (labs, office PCs, etc.) and is now working via wifi, but is still not available off campus.

We apologize for the service interruptions. NIU DoIT staff are working to have them resolved as soon as possible.

Law library brownbag: The Legal Technology Audit (aka "The KIA Audit"), Thurs. April 7

Please join Professor Sharon L. Nelson, Associate Director of Systems & Emerging Technologies in room 173 from noon to 1 p.m. for a presentation on what is included in the legal technology audit and how the Word, Excel & PDF skills on the audit can save you time in law school, impress future employers, and comply with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. All students, faculty & staff are welcome to attend.

International Law Brown Bag, Mar. 24

Law Library Director Professor Heidi Kuehl will present a brown bag session on researching issues in international law on Thurs. Mar. 24 from noon until 1 p.m. in Room 173. All students, faculty & staff are welcome to attend.

Bluebook workshops Feb. 12 & 19

Professor Clarke will hold a session on Bluebooking secondary sources on Friday, February 12 at 9AM in Room 188. She will also hold a session on Bluebooking cases on Friday, February 19, also at 9AM in Room 188.

'National Survey of State Laws' now available in HeinOnline

This online version of the 7-volume print set provides an overview of some of the most sought-after and controversial legal topics in the United States. Users can make basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws. The new 7th edition, along with the 6th and 5th editions, are included in database, which allows users to compare the same laws as they existed in 2005, 2008 and 2015.

Bloomberg Law Brown Bag Session Thurs. Jan. 28

Professor Clanitra Stewart Nejdl presents our second brown bag for the spring. Learn about what's in Bloomberg Law, key features and content, and how to use apps to access content on your mobile device.  The session will be in room 173 from noon to 1 p.m.

Professor Stewart Nejdl Selected for AALL Leadership Academy

Professor Clanitra Stewart Nejdl has been selected as a fellow for the 2016 American Association of Law Libraries Leadership Academy, which takes place in April 2016 in Oak Brook, IL. The Academy is a training program designed to provide librarians with key skills and techniques necessary for effective leadership. Professor Stewart Nejdl completed an arduous application process to be one of only 45 librarians nationwide selected as a fellow.

CALI Brown Bag Session Thurs. Jan. 21

Curious about what CALI is and how it can help you succeed in law school? Come to the Law Library's first brown bag for 2016 in room 173 from noon to 1 p.m. and find out! Professor Annie Mentkowski will provide an overview of how to register to use the site and how to access the nearly 1000 interactive tutorials covering many first-year and upper-level subjects.


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