Category Archives: News for Alumni

Pharos printer upgrades and unavailability 8/20/2015

The Pharos printing system will be undergoing an upgrade today. During this upgrade individual printers will be unavailable at times during the day. There will be signage to direct you to operational print stations. Between noon and 1:00pm will likely be the biggest disruption as the new software is activated. If you need any printing assistance please visit the circulation desk in either the Williams or Wolff Library.
hacked printer

Georgetown Law Library Extended Bar Review Study Hours

Starting Monday July 13th Georgetown Law Library will be open additional hours for studying for the bar.

Williams Library schedule:
Every day  –  7am to 2am daily

Wolff Library schedule:
Monday – Saturday 9am to Midnight
Sunday Noon to Midnight

The extended hours will end at closing on Monday July 27th, 2am for Williams and midnight for Wolff.

Both Williams and Wolff will resume normal summer hours on opening on Tuesday July 28th.

Details about library hours as well as Circulation Desk and Reference Desk availability can be found on our Library Hours Calendar.

Happy 800th Birthday Magna Carta!

King John sealing Magna Carta

800 years ago today King John met the rebel Barons at Runnymede to sign and seal what would become known to posterity as Magna Carta, or the Great Charter. While King John may indeed have signed and sealed it on this day eight centuries ago, he had no intention of honoring it. He’d already made plans to appeal to the Pope to have the Charter nullified for having been signed under duress, which news he shared with his English subjects in early August of 1215 thus plunging the realm back into the turmoil of civil war. Fortunately for posterity, John would not outlive the conflict and upon his death in 1216, William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke and the newly appointed Regent to John’s son and now King, Henry III, reissued a revised version of the Charter. Marshall would again reissue it in 1217, and King Henry III would himself reissue it upon reaching his majority in 1225. It was only at this point in history that the Charter was titled Magna Carta in order to distinguish it from the Charter of the Forest clauses which had been reissued as a separate charter. Henry’s son, Edward I, would also reissue Magna Carta by having Parliament enact it in 1297 thereby securing its place in English legal history as the ‘first statute.’ It is in this later form that Magna Carta would come to be revered and appealed to as guaranteeing the rights of English, and later colonial American, subjects.

In honor of this 800th anniversary day, Georgetown Law Library is pleased to announce a small online collection of annotated late 16th and early 17th century imprints of the statutory compilation titled – Magna Carta cum Statutis. While all of Georgetown Law’s five annotated imprints have notations throughout in law-French, the professional language of English lawyers of the day, only three of them have extensive notations on the leaves containing Magna Carta and the 1608 imprint contains no notations about Magna Carta at all. The most extensive annotations are in copy 1 of the 1587 imprint that was signed by its owner on the title page – “Liber Richardi Bell de Grais Inn” [Richard Bell of Gray’s Inn’s book]. Complete images of all the leaves in these five imprints are available through Digital Georgetown.


Bell’s notations on clause 29 (clauses 39 and 40 of the 1215 Charter), known today as the Due Process Clause.

We have also prepared a research guide on the history and legacy of Magna Carta. This guide includes links to treatises, articles, and books.

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!

Results of the 2015 Student Library Survey

We have concluded the 2015 Annual Student Survey for the Georgetown Law Library.
This year, 387 students responded. Thank you. We appreciate all feedback.

Here’s a quick overview of the representation of student responses:


All students who completed the survey were eligible for a prize drawing.  Congratulations to our four student winners:  A law student (L ’16), Margot B. (L ’17), Christopher W. (L ’16), and another law student (L ’17). Each student received a $50 deposit to his or her GoCard account.

Thank you to all 387 students for participating in this year’s survey. We’ve already started reviewing responses, and we’ll use this input to inform decisions about services and resources.  You can view 2015 quantitative charts and a response summary on our website. For starters, here’s a view of the top items students are seeking on the library website:


The second-most frequent reason listed is to book study rooms.  We recently announced a revision to the group study room reservation system, which we hope is easier to use.

Here’s an overview of the reasons students visit each of our two library locations:


We will publish a summary response at a later date.  Students and others are encouraged to give us feedback at any time.


Holiday Hours

Christmas Tree





The library will have reduced hours during the holiday break and will be closed from December 24th until January 2nd. Standard operating hours resume on January 10th. To view a complete list of hours, please visit our calendar. The holiday hours are as follows:

Building Access Williams:
December 22nd through 23rd: 9am – 5pm
December 24th through January 1st: CLOSED
January 2nd through January 9th: 7am – 10pm

Building Access Wolff:
December 22nd through 23rd: 9am – 5pm
December 24th through January 1st: CLOSED
January 2nd through January 3rd: 9am – 5pm
January 4th: 10am – 8pm
January 5th through January 9th: 8 am – 10pm

Reference Services Williams:
December 22nd through January 1st: CLOSED
January 2nd: 9am – 5pm
January 3rd through 4th: CLOSED
January 5th through January 9th: 9am – 5pm

Reference Services Wolff:
December 22nd through January 4th: CLOSED
January 5th through January 9th: 11am – 5pm


Law Genius – Crowd Commentary on Cases and Codes

If you’ve ever wanted a commentary on texts as diverse as Marbury v. Madison, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the iTunes terms of service, then there’s a perfect site for you:  Law Genius. Specifically, this is the Law branch of  This is a crowd-sourced annotation platform where anybody can add commentary, analysis and images to texts as diverse as music lyrics, cases and contracts.   They even offer selected essays such as Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and PerpsGeniusLogo

Started as Rap Genius, it now includes thirteen categories, including five musical genres.  Last month, they added the Law School Genius page, grouping cases into broad topics billed as ‘casebooks.’  Currently there are far more cases without annotations than with them, but this may change if crowds convene to comment.

If you’re looking for more traditional commentary and explanations of the law, look no further than our Treatise Finder collection. For this, Georgetown Law librarians selected and organized leading study aids and treatises in more than fifty subject areas.

If you prefer narrative case descriptions with historical context, consider books in the Law Stories series. Each title contains a set of essays on leading cases in subject areas ranging from evidence to environmental law.

LawStories-coversWhether or not Law Genius takes off, the broader site is a great place to explore the back story to lyrics from BeckBeyoncé or Garth Brooks.


Restoring Lost Lambs to the Fold: completing the Lord Eldon Library

Over the course of the last year the Georgetown Law Library has been able to acquire two significant additions to the Lord Eldon Library Collection: Francis Plowden’s 1803 An historical review of the state of Ireland; and, Lord Eldon’s 125 volume collection of political pamphlets – the Lord Eldon Pamphlets. The latter also contained a volume of Parliamentary Reports from the Committees of Secrecy in 1794. We believe that with these additions the Lord Eldon Library Collection now contains all of the books collected by Lord Chancellor Eldon during his professional life, as well as the manuscript codices he produced or collected. The Lord Eldon Library collection provides an invaluable look into the professional life of one of 19th century Britain’s most influential lawyers. A short biography of Lord Eldon and complete lists of the titles within the Lord Eldon Library and the Lord Eldon Pamphlets are available here.

The Lord Eldon Pamphlets collection contains 1059 titles covering a wide range of subjects including, the debates over the re-introduction of civil jury trials and other reforms to Scotland’s legal system, the debates over Catholic Emancipation, various proposals to modify Britain’s financial systems, proposals for making and keeping the peace with France, proposals to reform the Court of Chancery, proposals for penal reform, proposals for ending the Slave Trade, and debates over the 1801 Union with Ireland, among many other political topics. There are even literary, agricultural, and scientific pamphlets. It is a diverse collection reflecting both Lord Eldon’s interests and the interest of authors in gaining the notice of his attention throughout his professional career by sending him presentation copies. Lord Eldon had apparently even acquired a few of his brother Lord Stowell’s collected pamphlets as several are signed “William Scott” or “W.S.” In contrast to the majority of the books in the original Middle Temple Lord Eldon Library collection a significant number of the pamphlets are annotated in Lord Eldon’s hand, especially those dealing with Chancery issues and Catholic Emancipation. Regrettably, some of those annotations were cropped when the pamphlets were bound together into their respective volumes.

Eldon Pamphlets blog pic

To access the Lord Eldon Library or other rare and historical acquisitions, contact Erin Kidwell, Curator of Legal History Collections –, or Hannah Miller, Special Collections Librarian –, or Special Collections You can also visit us in Special Collections (Williams 210) Monday – Friday from 10am to 6pm.