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Legal Research for Law Students: 1Ls' Essential Library Guide

So, your first-year classes are giving you a basic understanding of how law is made; now, how do you find it? This guide is a brief introduction to the sources of law you may be researching and how to access them.

Seven Ways the Law Library Makes Your Day

  1. Carrels, standing desks, group study rooms…we have a space to suit your study style. Carrels on both ends of the 2nd floor main room are open for anyone to use, as are several on the first and third floors (use any that do not have a reserved slip). Tables on the 2nd floor overlooking Spies Garden and in the 1st floor Caplin Reading Room have power outlets for your laptop. We have several standing desks for you to use on the first and second floors. Use this map to scope out a spot. Reserve our Loblaw, Matlock, Woods, and more rooms to meet with your study groups. The Library is open every day, 8am to midnight, and longer during finals period.
  2. Casebooks, Bluebooks, and study aids. Prepare for class and finals with materials in the Reserve Stacks in our 1st floor Klaus Reading Room, next to the Circulation Desk, where you’ll find helpful Nutshells and Examples & Explanations on Torts, Property, Constitutional Law, and more. Some professors request us to put casebooks for their classes on reserve – you’ll find those in the Klaus Reading Room Reserve Stacks, too. Search all of UVA’s print and electronic books, journals, and databases in Virgo. Need something from another UVA library? Our Student Delivery Service will pick it up for you. It's a good idea to get to know the Bluebook in print first, to understand the different types of citation rules. Once you're familiar with the rules, it is convenient to be able to access them online - students can click here to request an access key for the Bluebook Online (  
  3. Free Coffee! In MyLab on the 2nd floor. Also in MyLab: space to chat on your phone and hang out with classmates, a vending machine, and board games to take a break during finals time. Put a lid on that coffee to enjoy it elsewhere in the Library. Study snacks that won’t bother your neighbors with smells or loud crunching are fine. 
  4. Scan, print, copy, shred. Scanners, printers, copiers, and desktop computers are in the Klaus Reading Room on the 1st floor and in MyLab on the 2nd floor. A shredder and color printer are in the Klaus Reading Room. Check out thumb drives, laptop power cords, phone chargers, and earphones from the Circulation Desk. Find answers to frequently asked questions about printing, copying, and scanning here on our homepage. 
  5. Movies, TV Shows, & study breaks. Take home Game of Thrones, this year’s Oscar winners and over a thousand more titles from our DVD collection in the 1st floor Klaus Reading Room. Learn more about the introduction to mindfulness workshop sponsored by the Law Library. 
  6. Research experts, at your service. Consult with a librarian to get the best research results for your papers and to save time on cite checks. Stop by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor anytime 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, email us at, or set up an appointment online. Check out our research guides, videos, and links to databases on the Library homepage
  7. And more! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog to learn about new research resources and Library events like our annual Art Show and finals period grilled cheese night.

Law Library FAQs for 1Ls

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