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Law Library & Legal News - 2017

Techbytes III: Go Phish!

Over 90% of hacking attempts begin with a phishing email. All it takes is one person to click on a malicious link or attachment to spread malware or ransomware throughout an organization. Stop by the library Tuesday through Thursday (November 7 – 9) between 11:45 am and 12:45 pm  to learn how to identify phishing attempts in emails and on the web. Take our Phishing Quiz to earn Goldfish crackers!

Techbytes II: Smart Smartphone Security

Stop by the Law Library Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (October 3rd, 4th & 5th) from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. for the second “Techbytes” session of the semester.

  • 94% of lawyers regularly or occasionally use a mobile device for law-related tasks at home. Do you know how to keep your personal data safe now, and your clients’ data safe in the future?
  • Find out best practices for smartphone security.
  • Take the “Smartphone Security Challenge” and earn candy for the security features  you’ve enabled on your iPhone or Android device!

Techbytes I: How secure are YOUR passwords?

Stop by the Law Library Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (September 12th-14th) from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. for the first “Techbytes” session of the semester:

  • Discover why good password security is important to you now and will be critical to your practice in the future.
  • Learn the latest tips for creating good passwords, how to use password manager programs, and how to implement two-factor authentication.
  • Visit secure sites to test your passwords to see if they’re up to current standards.
  • Pick up a handout for more password tips (and some candy too!).

ABA launches "Legal Fact Check" website

On August 17, the American Bar Association launched a new web-based fact check service at to help the public find dependable answers to legal questions arising from news and current events.  Initial postings examine whether individuals can be punished for burning the American flag, explore who has the constitutional authority to redraw U.S. Circuit Courts, and offer explanations on the power of presidential pardons and hate speech, among other topics.

PowerNotes: boost your research, outlining & note-taking with this new, FREE service

PowerNotes is a new online research tool designed to make legal research and document drafting more efficient for legal writers. All COL students and faculty are eligible to sign up for a FREE account.

  • PowerNotes allows you to gather excerpts from any online resources, including Lexis and Westlaw, and save, highlight, or annotate this content within customized research subjects with a single click.
  • Build and edit a brief or memo outline as you research -- if you want to change your outline, you can drag and drop your research subjects to restructure your outline.
  • PowerNotes also saves links to all of your sources so you’ll never forget where you found them, to help ensure you cite to your sources accurately.

Find out more about how PowerNotes works at, then use your NIU email address to create a free account at

Online access to Supreme Court filings to be available in November

The newly-redesigned Supreme Court website will provide online access to almost all new filings once a new e-filing system is implemented in November. More information on this and other changes to the website is available at Robert Ambrogi's LawSites blog.

Recommended reading before starting law school

You'll have plenty to read in law school...but before you dive in, consider reading one (or two, or three) of the recommended titles on these lists:

July 4th weekend/week hours

  • The Law Library will be open regular summer hours the weekend before July 4th: closed on Saturday July 1 and open 1-5 p.m. on Sunday July 2.
  • On Monday July 3 the Law Library will close at 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. The Law Library will be closed Tuesday July 4. Regular summer hours will resume Wednesday July 5.

New off campus login procedure for Hein Online

HeinOnline has changed its off-campus login procedures. If you see a HeinOnline login screen when trying to log in from off campus, ignore the login & password box on the left side. Instead, in the box on the right hand side where it asks for institution name, enter Northern Illinois University and click Login. If you are still having problems logging in, please contact the Reference Desk by phone, chat or email - contact information is on the law library home page.

Law Library access during Reading Period/Exams

  • From Tues. May 2 until Thurs. May 18 the Law Library is open only to students, faculty & staff of the College of Law Mondays through Fridays all days and after 6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays.
  • Non-College of Law patrons are welcome to use the Law Library on Saturdays & Sundays from opening until 6 p.m.
  • NIU students, faculty & staff who need Law Library materials during this time: call the Law Library at (815) 753-0507. We will check the materials out to you and deliver them to Founders Library for pickup.
  • See our Hours page for opening & closing times.

"TechBytes" returns with Lexis Digital Library Study Aids

It takes just a few minutes to get up to speed with learning how to access the "Understanding" series through the Lexis Digital Library. Sessions will be held in the law library lobby 11:45 a.m. -12:45  p.m. on the following days:

  • Tues. April 18
  • Thurs. April 20
  • Mon. April 24
  • Wed. April 26

Hope to see you soon!

National Library Week Open House (with treats!) Tues. April 11

Join the Law Library faculty & staff at an open house to celebrate National Library Week from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Libraries Transform” & we will be featuring a display of how books and other library materials transformed the lives of the College of Law’s faculty and staff. We hope to see you there!

Learn Leo demo, Wed. April 12

Come hear the founders of Learn Leo talk about their product at noon in the Marshall Gallery. Learn Leo helps students organize  notes, bar exam preparation, outlining, and legal research. Their newest product, PowerNotes, saves your notes and creates  outlines. Learn Leo is in use at many U.S. law schools. NIU will have free beta access for students this spring and permanent access by summer 2017.

OneCard (keycard) access to the North Wing after business hours

A key card access system has been added to the door between the north end of Swen Parson and the north wing. After 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Saturday and Sunday, access from the north end of Swen Parson to the north wing will be available to members of the College of Law via their NIU OneCard. The doors will still be open during weekdays and the key card will permit members of the College of Law access after regular business hours. If your card provides access into the law library after 6:00 p.m., it is active for the north end access. When using the north end key card system, lightly press your card to the reader for it to read the card. Please direct any questions you have regarding the north end access system to Prof. Therese Clarke,

Noise Policy Reminders

To help keep the law library an inviting place for research and study, please follow the following guidelines:

  • The South Wing is now the Quiet Study area.
  • Keep conversations to a minimum & low in volume.
  • Our study rooms are not soundproof. Be considerate of those in nearby areas by keeping noise levels low.
  • Silence ringers on phones or set them to vibrate. To take or make calls, please leave the library.
  • Tell library staff about noise issues so we can correct the problem.

"TechBytes" session on Tues. March 7

Stop by the Law Library lobby between noon and 12:50 p.m. to learn more about IICLE (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education) and how their print & online publications can help you succeed academically and professionally.  As always, the "bytes" part of TechBytes involves candy!

How to Bluebook Seminar Papers, Wed., March 8

Taking a seminar this semester? Join Professor Clarke Arado from noon to 1 p.m. in room 155 as she takes you through the wonderful world of Bluebooking your seminar papers! This session is primarily designed for Spring 2017 law seminar students, but feel free to attend if you have general Bluebook questions or just want to learn more about Bluebooking. Baked treats will be provided! 

Reminder: Spring Break Hours

Spring Break hours for the Law Library will be in effect from Saturday March 11 through Saturday March 18:

Sat. March 11 CLOSED
Sun. March 12 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Mon. March 13 - Friday March 17 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat. March 18 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sun. March 19 noon – 10:00 p.m.


Possible construction noise in the library Feb. 15-19

Due to installation of a new fire alarm/strobe lighting system for the North Wing there may be some drilling and noise during early morning hours and on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. The noise will be primarily limited to the library staff area but may be able to be heard in the North Wing or near the Illinois Collection. The South Wing should remain quiet. 

"Library North" Open House Feb. 16

Come celebrate the grand reopening of the Law Library’s North Wing which has been reconfigured to provide more private study & collaborative space and student organization meeting space. The "Library North" Open House will be held on Thursday Feb. 16 from 5-6 p.m. Light hors d’ oeuvres and beverages will be served.   

North Wing renovation update

The North Wing will be accessible from the Marshall Gallery and the north end of Swen Parson during the following hours:

  • Sunday through Thursday until 6:00 p.m.
  • Fridays until 4:45 p.m.
  • Saturdays until 4:15 p.m.

 Hours of access will be updated upon the installation of a permanent door in the hallway near the Lexis printer.

Upcoming "TechBytes" sessions on CALI

"TechBytes" are quick instructional sessions that you can attend without committing your entire lunch hour! Join us for our next TechByte session, "CALI: What It Is & How It Can Help You Succeed in Law School" between noon & 1 p.m. on Mon. Jan. 24, Thurs. Jan. 26, and Fri. Jan. 27.

Drop by the Law Library near the circulation desk for a personalized introduction to CALI & learn how to create your free CALI account. We'll highlight the many CALI resources available to help you through the 1L curriculum and beyond.

Matt Timko joins Law Library faculty

Matt Timko joined the NIU College of Law Library faculty in January 2017. As a Reference and Instructional librarian, Matt assists with legal research for faculty, staff, students, the public, and other university patrons of the law library, as well as instructs Basic Legal Research courses. As an Academic Technologies librarian, Matt will coordinate the use of academic technologies between the library and the faculty, and integrate the use of legal technologies into the law curriculum. Finally, as the Outreach Services librarian, Matt works with the broader NIU and legal communities to create an interactive, interdisciplinary and collaborative environment where all parties will use library resources for greater academic and legal knowledge creation.  Please stop by to welcome Matt!

Book shifting continues

The Law Library staff will continue shifting (moving) books from the North to South Wings during the spring semester. 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.

Winter Break hours in effect through Mon. Jan. 16

Winter Break hours will continue through Martin Luther King Day on Monday January 16.  Spring semester hours will begin on Tuesday January 17.


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