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Law Library News & Announcements - 2014

Reading Period, Final Exam & Holiday Break Hours (11/14/14)

Changes to regular hours during reading period, final exams & the holiday break are now posted on our Hours page.  Please note that from Mon. Dec. 1 through Wed. Dec. 17 access to the Law Library will be restricted to students, faculty and staff of the College of Law.  You will need an updated OneCard (see below) to access the library during evening hours.

Changes to Law Library evening access (10/1/14)

As of Oct. 1, 2014, access to the Law Library will be limited to College of Law students, faculty and staff after 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. An updated version of your NIU OneCard (“prox card”) will be required to access the library after 6 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays & all evenings the library is open during Reading Period & Final Exams (beginning Dec. 1, 2014).

  • 1Ls: Your OneCard card is the correct version. No action is required on your part.
  • 2Ls, 3Ls, faculty & staff: If your OneCard can access the student organizations suite at the north end of Swen Parson, your card is the correct version.  

If your OneCard is not the correct version:

  1. Bring your current OneCard to the OneCard office in the lower level of the Holmes Student Center (open 8:15 am to 4:00 pm M-F).
  2. Identify yourself as a member of the College of Law and ask for the “prox card.”  The office is aware of this upgrade and has a list of all authorized COL students, faculty & staff.
  3. If you have your current OneCard there will be no charge to upgrade your card. If you have lost your OneCard there will be a $25 replacement fee.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Professor Clarke at

Prof. Mentkowski assumes new role (9/10/14)

Please join us in congratulating Annie Mentkowski on her new role in the Law Library as Head of Reference and Research Services.  During her time at the NIU College of Law, Annie has been a very valuable member of the team in the David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library and will expand her position as a reference and instructional services librarian to include management responsibilities for the reference desk and serving as a liaison to student affairs.  Annie will also be using her talents to develop outreach sessions for law students and faculty, and will assist with coordinating all research requests while managing the reference desk.  We are very excited to have Annie's leadership in this new role.

Law Library welcomes two new colleagues (8/15/14)

Heidi Frostestad Kuehl joined the NIU College of Law in August as an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library. Professor Kuehl’s primary research and teaching interests are in foreign, comparative, and international law, international business transactions, law and technology, and basic and advanced legal research. Prior to joining the NIU College of Law, Professor Kuehl was the Associate Director for Research and Reference Services and Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Library at Northwestern University School of Law’s Pritzker Legal Research Center in Chicago.

Clanitra L. Stewart joined the NIU College of Law Library faculty in May. She provides legal reference assistance to faculty, students, and other library users. In addition, she teaches legal research. Prior to joining the Law Library faculty, she practiced law at the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, where she provided local and statewide policy advocacy on behalf of low-income communities in the areas of affordable housing, homelessness, hunger, and community economic development.

Please welcome Heidi & Clanitra to the College of Law community!

Fastcase Premium available in HeinOnline (7/2/14)

Fastcase Premium offers the following additional features within HeinOnline:

  • Full-text and metadata searching of all case law
  • "Bad Law Bot" full negative treatment analysis
  • Hein's ScholarCheck will list cases that cite the current case
  • Case law included in search results from HeinOnline’s "search all subscribed collections" tool

For a quick reference guide to the features in Fastcase and Fastcase Premium, see adds new features (6/20/14), the official source for federal legislative information online, made several new features available this week including:

  • Create user accounts to save and re-run searches.
  • Search the Congressional Record daily transcript of congressional floor action by member name from 2009 – present. Member profile pages now also link to a list of all Congressional Record articles in which that member was speaking.
  • Track presidential nominees from appointment to hearing to floor votes back to 1981.

For more information and to sign up for an online training session, see the full press release at .

Access to the Law Library during reading period & final exams (4/21/13)

Starting Monday April 28 through Thursday May 15, access to the Law Library will be limited to current  College of Law students, faculty and staff after 6 p.m. Law students, please make sure you have your student ID with you as you may be asked to present it upon entering the Law Library during this time. At 6 p.m. each day all patrons who are not current College of Law students, faculty or staff will be asked to leave the library.

The Law Library will remain open to all NIU and community patrons from Mon. April 28 through Thursday May 15 from opening time each day until 6 p.m. Special hours for reading period and final exams are posted on the law library's hours page.

'11 Mobile Apps for Law School Students' (4/4/14)

Check out this U.S. News and World Report article on study aids, dictionaries and other handy tools to help you succeed in law school and beyond.

Updates to patron conduct policy (4/1/14)

The Law Library is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff that is conducive to teaching, learning, study and research. Towards that end, we've revised and reorganized our patron conduct policy.  As of this revision shoes or other footwear must be worn in the library at all times -- for health and safety reasons, bare feet or stocking feet are not allowed. For the full text of the policy, please see

Starting to think about finals? Try out Westlaw online Study Aids (3/26/14)

When logging into Westlaw (but before selecting WestlawNext or Westlaw Classic) you may have noticed a maroon box labeled "Study" with the link "Study Aids Subscription." That link brings you to online versions of West's most popular study guide series, including Nutshells, Concise Hornbooks, Black Letter Outlines, and more.  The online Doc Viewer allows you to change font sizes, highlight text and take notes, print selected materials, and do text searching. All your highlights and annotations are saved to your Westlaw account and can be accessed from anywhere. Try them out today!

Library CLOSED Mon. Jan. 27 - Tues. Jan. 28 (1/26/14)

Due to the University-wide closure because of severe weather conditions, the Law Library will be closed Monday Jan. 27 through Tuesday Jan. 28. The Law Library will reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Library hours for Martin Luther King Day, Mon. Jan. 20 (1/16/14)

The law library will be open from 1 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Martin Luther King Day.

Fastcase available at Law Library (1/16/14)

Fastcase is now available via the law library's home page. Fastcase includes primary law from all 50 states; federal coverage going back to 1 U.S. 1, 1 F.2d 1, 1 F.Supp. 1, and 1 B.R. 1; cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions; newspaper archives; legal forms; and PACER searches of federal filings. Use of Fastcase is restricted to the students, faculty and staff of the College of Law and is currently only available on campus. Off campus access will be available later in the semester. For questions about using Fastcase, please see a reference librarian.

Library to remain closed through Tues. Jan. 7 (updated 1/6/14)

Due to continuing severe weather conditions, the law library will remain closed through Tues. Jan. 7 because of the University-wide closure. The law library will reopen at 8 a.m. on Wed. Jan. 8  Any further developments will be posted to the website as soon as they are available, or you may call the Circulation Desk at 815-753-0507 for a recorded message concerning the library's status.

Fastcase now available through HeinOnline (1/2/14)

From HeinOnline's December 2013 newsletter:

The much anticipated release of case law powered by Fastcase is now available in HeinOnline! This partnership allows HeinOnline to provide inline hyperlinks to federal and state case law, and users will also have the option to retrieve case law by citation.

HeinOnline Core subscribers will now see a Fastcase tab when logged in to HeinOnline; subscribers can access case law by clicking on that tab and searching by citation. Or, when a publication in HeinOnline cites a case, we will provide inline hyperlinks to that material provided by Fastcase.

Federal case coverage now includes the judicial opinions of the Supreme Court (1754-present), Federal Circuits (1924-present), Board of Tax Appeals (vols. 1-47), Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (vols. 1-59), U.S. Customs Court (vols. 1-70), Board of Immigration Appeals (1996-present), Federal District Courts (1924-present), and Federal Bankruptcy Courts (1 B.R. 1-present). The state case law covers all fifty states with nearly half of the states dating back to the 1800’s. Coverage for the remaining states dates back to approximately 1950.

Library on reduced hours Jan.2 - Jan. 12 (1/2/14)

The Law Library will be on reduced hours from Thurs. Jan. 2 through Sun. Jan. 12. Please see our Hours page for details. Regular semester hours begin Monday, Jan. 13.

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