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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. Tables on the 2nd floor overlooking Spies Garden and in the 1st floor Caplin Reading Room have power outlets for your laptop. 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 Klaus Reading Room, next to the Circulation Desk. Search all of U.Va.'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.
  3. Free Coffee! In MyLab on the 2nd floor. Also in MyLab: space to chat on your cell and hang out with classmates, popular magazines, and a vending machine. Put a lid on that coffee to enjoy it elsewhere in the Library. Study snacks are fine, but please limit them to non-smelly, non-crunchy foods that will not bother your neighbors.
  4. Scan, print, copy, shred. Scanners, printers, and copiers are in the Klaus Reading Room and in MyLab. Find answers to frequently asked questions here. Check out thumb drives and laptop power cords from the Circulation Desk.
  5. Movies, TV Shows, & study breaks. Take home Game of Thrones, this year's Oscar winners, and over a thousand more titles from our Klaus Reading Room DVD collection. Drop in on twice-weekly 10-minute meditation breaks in the 2nd floor Klaus Collaborative Classroom.
  6. Research experts, at your service. Consult with a librarian to get better research results for your papers and to save time on cite checks. Stop by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor anytime 10am to 6pm Mon.–Thurs., and to 5pm Fri., email us at, or set up an appointment online. Check out our research guides and videos 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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