Category Archives: How-To

New Bluebook Tutorials Added to Research Tools

Learning Bluebook citation style can be downright confusing for many students — so much so that we have created three new dynamic tutorials to help get students up and running on three basic citation forms: cases, law reviews, and statutes. The tutorials do not just cover what you should include in a citation, but also why the various pieces of information included in standard citations are useful to your readers and editors and some common exceptions to the standard format.

These three instructional videos join our growing lineup of tutorials that cover a variety of subjects, databases, and tools.  If you have a suggestion for a new tutorial that you would find useful, please send us an e-mail.

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Explore New Library Titles

New Titles ScreenshotEvery month the library adds hundreds of books to its collection. It’s a lot to take in, so we’ve set up a new web page that makes it easier to browse recent acquisitions. You can see what’s arrived in the last few days or review acquisitions by month. The page illustrates the range of materials we get on a variety of legal topics as well as popular titles.

If you have an active library account, you can also set e-mail alerts for new titles that match your interests.

Finally, new books are put on display for a few days in the Williams Library Reading Room. They’re on the cart just inside the Reading Room entrance

Please let us know if you have any feedback on our “New Titles page”, if you have ideas for new books and resources we should add, or if you have any other suggestions for the library.

Citation Tools for Georgetown Users

As you’re organizing your resources for seminar papers and journal notes, make use of a citation tool to manage your books, articles and web sites. The library has a quick guide to the Citation Tools available.

With these citation tools, you can include notes as you use each resource. Refer back to each as you write your paper and a ready made bibliography is available when you are done!

If you have any questions about these tools, please feel free to consult a reference librarian.

Sending WestlawNext Documents to Your Kindle

If you have a Kindle, you can send documents directly from WestlawNext to the device.  However, in order for this to work you first have to authorize WestlawNext’s e-mail with Amazon, otherwise your Kindle will treat the e-mail as spam and reject the attachment.  Here is how to perform that authorization and use the Send-to-Kindle feature (for users of the Kindle App on a non-Kindle device such as a tablet or smartphone, please also see the postscript below).

First, select “Manage Your Kindle” under “Your Account.” settings

The resulting page will have a long sidebar on the left.  Select “Personal Document Settings.”  amazon2

At the top of this page is the e-mail address (or addresses if you have multiple Kindles or devices with the Kindle App) where you can send documents.amazon3

At the bottom of this page is where you add approved e-mail addresses.  It is generally advisable to add your own email address(es) so you can forward documents to your Kindle from your own account(s) as well.  If you have a Kindle, add to this list.amazon4 - Copy (

Having authorized the e-mail address(es), you send documents to a Kindle using the same menu you use to email, print, or download documents.westlaw

Use the email address for your kindle that is displayed in the Send-to-Kindle E-mail Settings on the Personal Document Settings page discussed above.westlawA

Postscript for Kindle App Users

If you don’t have a Kindle device but you have a device with a Kindle App installed, you can still send documents but it requires a small workaround.  First use the e-mail feature in WestlawNext and send the PDF version of the document to yourself.westlaw1

When the document arrives in your inbox, simply forward it to the device’s e-mail.  (You will need to authorize your own e-mail address at Amazon per the main instructions above).westlaw2

When the device syncs, the document will be in your library.  If you want to send a lot of documents to your device, create an e-mail rule that automatically forwards all mail from to your device’s account.

Recent Library Improvements Based on Student Input

During Spring 2013, the Law Library conducted our annual survey seeking student comments and suggestions.  595 students responded. In April, we published summary charts of responses accompanied by a selection of student comments and our feedback.  Since April, we’ve been working on several projects meant to improve student experience here at the law library.

You Are Here

In this summary of new developments, you can read about:

  • Completely revised floor plans to help people better find books and library features.
  • New and updated research tutorials.
  • A faster tool for finding databases.
  • New options for free scanning in both library locations.
  • Other developments and activities.

At any point during the year, feel free to send us suggestions or feedback in response to these changes or to suggest other enhancements.

Finding Electronic Journals

The library has a new tutorial explaining three ways to check to see if the library has access to a journal electronically. In addition to all of the law library subscriptions, members of the Georgetown Law community also have access to the vast majority of databases subscribed to by our main and medical campus libraries, so this tutorial demonstrates how to access all of these journals, as well.

Don’t forget, you can always ask a reference librarian for assistance with locating a journal!

Accessing Past Exams – Firefox User Note

This past Sunday, we wrapped up the law library’s annual student survey.  More than 90% of our students answer that access to the Exam Archive is a reason for visiting the library’s website. Hopefully 100% of our students know about this collection.  In case that’s not true, here’s what the system provides, as well as a technical note for Firefox users.

The library manages the Exam Archive to provide access to documents from our Registrar’s Office. The system is available to all Georgetown Law students, where you can download past exams from 1998 to the present.  Using the system, you can download exam files in batches (as a zip archive) or individually by semester.

In the survey, one person commented about problems with the Firefox browser that’s useful to know. If you are using the Firefox browser, a bug in Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer may cause the Georgetown Law watermark to obscure the text in exam files.

If you encounter this problem, please try viewing exam files in another browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) or a standalone PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader. This page has more information about Firefox’s PDF Viewer, including how to turn it off or use a different PDF plugin.

Dreaming of a White House job?

Professor Rosa Brooks has written an “unofficial” guide to getting a political job in the Obama administration in the latest issue of Foreign Policy. Of course, her tips on networking are important for obtaining a great job, whether you dream of working on 16th and Pennsylvania or 16th and K Street.

For more job-searching resources available in the Library, please consult the Library’s Job-Searching Research Guide.

Tools for Audio Learners and Audio Authors

We are pleased to announce the availability of a room in the Williams library where we provide access to assistive technology.

  • Do you learn better by listening or by reading? 
  • Is it easier for you to dictate than to type? 
  • Would it be easier to proofread your documents by listening to them read back to you?

What if you don’t know the answer to any of these questions?

The Law Library and the Office of the Dean of Students are launching a new service to let members of the law center community use two unique productivity tools:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking: A program that transcribes dictation, reads back your text, and allows users to control the computer using voice commands.
  • Kurzweil Educational System: A web-based program which allows the user to listen to text, either electronic or scanned printed information.

Both products are available in Room 111 of the E.B.Williams Law Library, and installed on a dedicated computer.

To try either system, simply reserve the room online and go to the Williams library circulation desk to borrow the headset and instruction sheet that will help you get started. When not being used for assistive technology, this room, EBW 111, is still available for group study purposes.

Tutorials on “Finding a Case on Lexis or Westlaw”

Need help finding a case on Lexis or Westlaw? The library has two basic video tutorials that demonstrate how to locate and print a case using Lexis and Westlaw. These tutorials can be found on our Resources for New Students page. All first years will receive more detailed instruction on these computer assisted legal research platforms as part of their Legal Research & Writing classes, but these videos will get you started.