Studying for the Bar?

Looking for sample Bar Exam questions?  Check out the library’s Bar Exam Research Guide.  We highlight books and web sites offering sample questions for your review. We also link to the state Bar Associations for those looking to read about the requirements to enter a state Bar.

Good luck with your studies and please ask a Reference Librarian if you need any assistance with your preparations!



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Ballghazi and Sports Corruption around the World

Scandals in sports are about as unexpected as scandals in politics, right? But how often do the skies open and send us a scandal as entertaining as Deflategate? The ball jokes alone are enough to send those of us who have the maturity of a 12-year-old boy into giggles. While we may think that the NFL has a monopoly on bumbling incompetence in the form of Roger Goodell, who likes to hand out punishments that have no actual link to the severity of the crime committed, it turns out that Goodell is just following in the footsteps of his international compatriots. The NFL is no more corrupt than FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. Strong words, but true. Even though Tom Brady will be suspended for twice as long as Ray Rice, a man caught on video beating his then-girlfriend-now-wife, Goodell and co. at the NFL are only engaging in the time-honored tradition of citing to rules that they make difficult for others to find (seriously, stop by and try to find the rule book from which the Patriots violated the game; for bonus points, find the exact rule that was violated), and hiding behind the notion that while players may do egregious things off the field, the true crime is doing anything to ruin the sanctity and integrity of the game on the field. The Patriots, while certainly not saints in anyone’s imagination, are being punished because they’ve ruined the game on the field, instead of keeping their misbehaviors off the field like everyone else.

If you’d like to learn more about the wild world of Sports Law, take a look at our research guide on the Olympics and International Sports Law as well as our guide on U.S. Sports Law. Books like Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport are in their 4th edition for a reason.

Of course, it all boils down to one simple thought at the end of the day: if the Patriots hadn’t engaged in shady behavior, none of this would be happening. Enjoy the schadenfreude until it’s your team in the spotlight. *cough* Washington D.C. Professional Football Organization *cough*

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Library Training for Summer Faculty Research Assistants

The library will be offering two research training sessions for new faculty research assistants this summer.  In this training, research assistants will learn about library services and policies and will gain an introduction to our databases and best research practices.

The sessions will be held at the following dates/times in the Computer Learning Center (CLC) in the Williams Law Library:

  • Tuesday, May 26, 4:00pm-5:00pm
  • Friday, May 29, 11:00am-12:00pm

Research assistants can register for this training or request additional information by contacting Morgan Stoddard, Research Services Librarian,

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Summer Research Assistance

Working off-campus this summer?  Not sure where to turn for help with a challenging legal research assignment?  No matter what your location, you can access research assistance remotely by using the Law Library’s chat reference service.  To begin chatting, click here or look for the green chat button in the upper right-hand corner of the library homepage.  During the summer, chat is available on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.


Remote research assistance also is available by phone and email.  For help with U.S. legal research, email the Williams Library Reference Desk ( or call 202-662-9140. For help with foreign and international research, email the Wolff Library Reference Desk ( or call 202-662-4195.

In addition, the Law Library’s website provides 24/7 access to dozens of subject-specific research guides, as well as video tutorials.

(Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.)

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New Tool for Copyright Research: Fair Use Index

The U.S. Copyright Office recently launched a new tool for copyright researchers: the Fair Use Index.   This resource provides summaries of major fair use judicial decisions, which are searchable by court and subject matter, including category and type of use.  As stated on the landing page:

The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable to the public […].  The Fair Use Index tracks a variety of judicial decisions to help both lawyers and non-lawyers better understand the types of uses courts have previously determined to be fair—or not fair.

Fair Use IndexThis resource is pretty user-friendly.  On the search page, simply select or deselect the federal circuits for the jurisdiction of interest to you, as well as the categories of fair use cases you’d like to see.  The list of results is displayed right there on the same page, and automatically re-populates as you select and deselect options.  For each case in the results list, the citation, year, court, jurisdiction, related categories, and even the outcome (e.g. “fair use found”, “fair use not found,” etc.) are all displayed right on this page, no additional clicks required.  This allows you to quickly and easily scan your results, narrow or broaden your search, and choose the cases that you think will be the most relevant to your research question.

Note that the Fair Use Index doesn’t include all fair use decisions, and it doesn’t provide the full text of the opinions themselves.  As an index, it’s primarily a finding tool to help direct you to the cases that might be most relevant to your research.  It does, however, provide a handy PDF summary of each case, which is broken down to include information such as Key Facts, Issue, Holding, and Outcome.   If you need help using a case’s citation to find the full text of a case, check out our Case Law Research Guide.  For more in-depth research guidance on this or another topic of copyright law, we also have a Copyright Law Research Guide.  Finally, if you have questions along the way, don’t forget that you can always ask one of our reference librarians for help!

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Summer Reference Changes at Williams and Wolff

Beginning May 8th, the reference department will be unveiling a new model for providing reference services during the summer months. We will be monitoring Live Chat and e-mail on a regular basis in our offices, so will be available immediately via those mediums from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. For an in-person encounter, we are asking patrons to use the phone on the Reference Desk in Williams to call the librarian on duty. Signs will be posted at the desk. At Wolff, just ask at the Circulation Desk and a reference librarian will be contacted immediately.


We look forward to assisting all of our students, faculty and public patrons throughout the summer months and appreciate your feedback about our new model!

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Need a Study Break?

Have you checked out the Google Cultural Institute? Featuring art collections from around the globe and historic sites and moments, you could get lost browsing through art, planning your next vacation or learning about the history of Ford’s Theater.


It’s a welcome change from the world of law and everyone needs a little time away. For those art lovers, Georgetown Law even has an Art Law Research Guide. So browse through the murals of the 1984 Olympics in the Google Cultural Institute and enjoy the view!

Good luck on your exams!

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Argument recordings posted in same-sex marriage case

The Supreme Court has posted the audio recordings of the two-part oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges. The transcripts will be posted at the same links.

Part I (Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?)

Part II (Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?)