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Using the Library

Information about our services, facilities, policies, and procedures that will help you make the most of your UVA Law Library experience.

For Your Teaching

Course-Related Library Instruction

Reference librarians would be happy to provide research instruction for you or for your students. We can visit your class or arrange special sessions in the library to teach your students how to conduct research in specific areas. Contact Kent Olson to discuss these programs.

Course Reserves

Each semester we ask you if there are books or other materials you would like to put on reserve for your students, and send you (if applicable) a list of items previously on reserve for each course. Please contact Tim Breeden if you have any questions about reserve procedures or policies.

Past Exams

Though the Law Library no longer routinely makes copies of past exams available to students, we encourage faculty members to donate copies to our archives. Faculty members who wish to make past exams available to their students should post them to their Canvas course pages. Law IT can assist with this process for recent (post-2013) exams. Contact Special Collections if you need copies of older exams.

For Your Research

Resources

Refdesk

The Law Library provides a full range of services to support faculty research and teaching, from answering complex reference queries to supplying legal and nonlegal books, journal articles, and photocopies. Refdesk can help with any inquiry about the library, including:

  • Book requests - Refdesk will check out and deliver items to your office. A daily courier service collects materials from any of the other UVa libraries; items are usually delivered next day, Monday through Friday. We handle Interlibrary Loan requests as well.
  • Renewals - Refdesk can renew your books and request Interlibrary Loan extensions if necessary.
  • Reference questions - Reference librarians generally have research expertise in American legal and nonlegal materials. Experts in particular areas include:
  • Advice on proper Bluebook citation format

Reference librarians can also be reached by telephone at (434) 924-7465. Please contact Kent Olson if you have questions about the scope of Refdesk service.

Current Awareness

  • Digital Newspaper Subscriptions
    • New York Times - Requires annual renewal. You must be on-Grounds or using a VPN session to set up your account or renew.
    • Wall Street Journal - Requires annual renewal. You must be on-Grounds or using a VPN session to set up your account or renew.
    • Washington Post
  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals - For new law review literature, most faculty members subscribe to a customized program called SmartCILP that provides automatic e-mail notice of specific subjects and/or journals. An authorization code is required to register for SmartCILP; contact Kent Olson for details.
  • Bloomberg Law Newsletters - Browse the list of available reports under 'News' here. Click "Subscribe to Newsletter" on any of these topic pages to receive e-mailed headlines with links to full stories.
  • SSRN - The Law Library subscribes to the Legal Scholarship Network, Corporate Governance Network, Economics Research Network, Financial Economics Network, and Political Science Network. Each of these networks has numerous e-journals providing abstracts of working papers and other current scholarship. Visit SSRN's Subscriptions page for information about subscribing under the Law Library's site license.
  • Alert Services - Google, LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law all have services that automatically run saved searches on a regular basis. These alert services are powerful tools for monitoring developments in areas of interest. Contact Refdesk for more information about these notification services.
  • Routing Lists - If there are law reviews or other journals and newsletters you would like to see on a regular basis, send Refdesk a request to be added to a routing list. Popular journals are routed to numerous people, so speedy turnaround of new issues is appreciated by all.
    • The Law Library also provides abstracts or contents of new journal issues in other disciplines. Faculty members can opt to receive abstracts of articles in journals in economics, history, philosophy, political science, and psychology or specialized journals such as Addiction or Urban Studies. If you have a particular interdisciplinary interest or need to keep abreast of developments in journals we don't receive, contact Kent Olson.

Borrowing and Fines

Every faculty member is registered upon arrival for borrowing privileges at the Law Library and other UVA libraries. Most books are checked out to faculty for an indefinite loan period, although they are subject to recall if needed by another patron.

Faculty are not typically charged overdue fines. However, failure to respond to an overdue or recall notice may result in suspension of library services by other UVA Libraries. Faculty who have lost a book or just need to keep the book longer than the original loan period should contact the Reference Desk (434-924-7465 or refdesk@law.virginia.edu) for help.

For Your Writing

The Bluebook

The Law Library offers access to the online edition of The Bluebook. You will need to request a new access code every 12 months. 

Perma.cc

Citation to internet sources are subject to "link rot," a phenomenon where links to cited sources eventually break (sometimes before a work is even published), preventing access by future readers. Perma.cc is a free service that allows authors to create links to archival copies of open web resources, subject to applicable copyright laws. The Law Library administers the Law School's perma.cc accounts. Signing up for an affiliated account will allow you to create an unlimited number of permanent links to the web resources you cite. We can also create accounts for your RAs. Cite a perma.cc link according to the Bluebook, 20th ed., rule 18.2.1(d), e.g.:

2 Federal Bureau of Investigation: Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 2016 Hate Crime Statistics (Data for 1995-2017 available at https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime) [https://perma.cc/Y8QK-AV9M].

Publication Resources

The Law School has accounts with ExpressO and Scholastica for electronic submission of manuscripts to your choice of law reviews. For shorter opinion pieces, submission criteria and procedures for op-eds in more than 100 U.S. newspapers are available from The OpEd Project.

Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking, from Washington & Lee School of Law, classifies and ranks law reviews based on subject matter, impact, and number of citations in journals and legal opinions, and also provides manuscript submission instructions. Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals, by Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit at UMKC School of Law, provides submission guidelines for more than 200 law reviews.

Libra, UVA's Institutional Repository

Libra is UVA's open-access repository for long-term preservation of scholarship produced by its faculty.  It allows UVA faculty members to make completed versions of their works (e.g., preprints and published articles) freely available to the general public for non-commercial research and scholarship.  Making works freely available through a central, stable storage location makes them more widely accessible to researchers.  While it is virtually impossible to guarantee that any work will be retrievable in absolute perpetuity, UVA does provide reasonable assurance that secure backup procedures and data management techniques will be employed to preserve the scholarship deposited in Libra for as long as is feasible. 

When you deposit a work in Libra, you grant UVA a non-exclusive right to distribute your work through the Libra website.  You will want to carefully review the Libra website, particularly license options before you deposit any works.