Category Archives: News for Alumni

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.

Bar Exam Resources

If you are studying for the July 2014 Bar Exam, you may want to check out the Georgetown Law Library’s Bar Exam Resources page. This collection of resources focuses on information about the exam and best practices for preparation. It includes books and articles, as well as links to sample exams and answers.

For questions about accessing any of the materials on the resource page, you can email or chat online with a Reference Librarian, or stop by the Reference Desks during regular reference hours.


Photo Attribution License by albertogp123


2014 Law Library Student Survey – Preliminary Results

We have concluded the 2014 Annual Student Survey for the Georgetown Law Library. This year, 540 students responded. Thank you.  We appreciate all feedback.

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

2014 Survey response distribution

Distribution of student responses in 2014 survey

All students who completed the survey were eligible for a prize drawing.  Congratulations to our four student winners: John Oxenreiter (L ‘15), Santana Monda (LLM  ‘14), Meghan Levine (L ’16) and another law student (L ‘16).  Each of these four people will receive a $50 GoCard deposit.

Thank you to all 540 students for providing feedback in this year’s survey. We’ve begun reviewing responses, and we’ll continue to use this input to influence services and other developments over the coming weeks and months.  You can view 2014 quantitative charts and a response summary on our website.  For starters, here’s an overview of reasons people visit either library location at Georgetown Law Library:

2014 chart showing reasons students visit the library

Why Visit the Georgetown Law LIbrary? 2014 responses

The library will publish a narrative response at a later date.

Spring Break Hours: March 7 to 16

During the period from March 7th to the 16th, the Georgetown Law Library will operate on a slightly reduced schedule for the Law Center’s Spring Break.

Following are hours for each library location, including building and circulation service hours.  Note that there is no reference service on either weekend.

All hours for the rest of the school year are listed on our website hours calendar.

Dates – Spring Break WILLIAMS Library
Circulation Hours
Building Hours
Friday March 7 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Saturday March 8 9 am to 4:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Sunday March 9 Noon to 7:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Monday March 10 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Tuesday March 11 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Wednesday March 12 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Thursday March 13 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Friday March 14 8 am to 9:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Saturday March 15 9 am to 4:45 pm 7 am to 2 am
Sunday March 16

Resume normal hours

10 am to 11:45 PM 7 am to 2:00 am

WILLIAMS Reference hours are 9 am to 5 pm,   Monday through Friday. No weekend service on either weekend.

WILLIAMS Special Collections hours remains at 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday

DATE- Spring Break 2014 WOLFF Library
Friday March 7 8 am to 10 pm
Saturday March 8 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday March 9 Noon  to 8 pm
Monday March 10 8 am to 10 pm
Tuesday March 11 8 am to 10 pm
Wednesday March 12 8 am to 10 pm
Thursday March 13 8 am to 10 pm
Friday March 14 8 am to 10 pm
Saturday March 15 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday March 16

Resume normal hours

10 am to Midnight

WOLFF Reference hours remains 11 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Wolff Circulation Desk closes 15 minutes before library closing time.

Keeping Up With Legal News: Law-Related Podcasts

A great way to keep up with news on the go is to subscribe to podcasts you can listen to during your commute, at the gym or walking across town.  Whether you’re studying the law or practicing it, there are great law-related podcasts from established and emerging providers. Here are three tips for podcasts that offer law-themed content on a regular basis.

This Week in Law



Each Friday afternoon on This Week in Law, well-known legal bloggers Denise Howell and Evan Brown provide a summary and discussion of the latest developments in the law.  Topics focus on Internet privacy, technology law, social media lawsuits, intellectual property disputes and a host of related topics.  Regular guests provide additional insights and lively discussion.  There’s even an active chat room if you tune in during the live broadcast. Check out the rest of the TWiT network for many other tech-focused shows.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer Podcast

The Legal Talk Network hosts more than a dozen law-related podcasts, covering technology, eDiscovery, subject-specific news and materials for paralegals and medical professionals.  One of the network’s longest-running series is the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast.  In this, show hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams cover a broad range of topics, often touching on technology issues, ranging from drones to bitcoin to Google Books.

Fastcase Presents: The Law ReviewAn brand new legal podcast series comes as a daily news update called The Law Review.  Launched early in 2014, this is hosted by Josh Auriemma, creator of the Legal Geekery blog and podcast, who now works for the show’s host, Fastcase.  A typical episode features a selection of the latest latest legal developments and as much commentary as Josh and his invited guests can cover in around ten minutes.



Holiday Break Hours: December 21st to January 10th

Over the December break, the Georgetown Law Library will be open fewer hours, and we’ll be completely closed from December 24th through January 1st.  Following is a summary of hours for the library from December 21st through January 10th.

View a full calendar of our hours for these and other dates.Union Station Wreaths - DC

Circulation and Building Access
(Wolff and EBW Library Locations)
December 21st  7am to  7pm
December 22nd Noon to 8pm
December 23rd 9am to 5pm
December 24th through January 1st  CLOSED
January 2nd through January 10th  7am to 10pm
January 11th resume normal hours   7am to 2am

Reference Services:
December 21st: Noon to 6pm (Williams)
December 22nd through January 1st: CLOSED
January 2nd and January 3rd: 9am – 5m (Williams); 11am-5pm (Wolff)
January 4th and January 5th: Reference Services Closed.
January 6th to January 10th: 9am – 5m (Williams); 11am-5pm (Wolff)
January 11th: Normal hours resume.



Photo: We 3 Wreaths

A Rare Book for Thanksgivukkah

Although the first occurrence of Thanksgivukah would not be until 1888, the first Jewish Thanksgiving sermon was preached a century earlier on Nov. 26th, 1789, by the Reverend Gershom Mendes Seixas (1746-1816)  in New York City at the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation Shearith Israel. To mark Thanksgivukkah 2013, Georgetown Law Library Special Collections has acquired a copy of a scarce 1977 Jewish Historical Society of New York reprint of this landmark in American Judiaica.

Seixas 1977r

This 1977 reprint of the exceedingly rare 1789 pamphlet included an introductory historical essay by the long-time Editor and Librarian of the American Jewish Historical Society, Isidore S. Meyer. Dr. Meyer notes Rev. Seixas’ strong exhortation to the small community of Jewish Americans in 1789 (“0.04 percent of the country’s total population”, Meyer at xiii) – “If to seek the peace and prosperity of the city wherein we dwell be a duty [Jeremiah XXIX:7] even under bad governments, what must it be when we are situated under the best of constitutions?”(Seixas at 13-14) – as “an expression of civic responsibility” inspired by having become full citizens of a country “for the first time, since 212 C.E. when the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla… had given all Jewish freemen of the Roman Empire the rights and duties of Roman citizenship,” (Meyer at xii); an apt reminder of the inclusive aspirations of American constitutionalism for Thanksgivukkah 2013.

The full text of the 1789 Thanksgiving Day Sermon is available through the library’s Early American Imprints subscription.

To view these and other recent rare and historical acquisitions, contact Erin Kidwell or Special Collections, or visit us in Williams 210 M-F from 10am to 6pm.

Extended Library Hours and Access Restrictions During Exams

Georgetown Law Library’s reading and exam period will be in effect Monday Dec. 2 and run through Saturday Dec. 21. As you go over course outlines, continue writing papers and prepare for exams, rest assured: we’re open extra hours for Georgetown student study.



During the reading and exam period, the Williams Library will remain open 24 hours daily, and Wolff International Library will continue to close at midnight.

For the benefit of Georgetown students studying for exams, only Georgetown University students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Friends of the Library program and public patron card holders will be admitted through the end of exams. Students from other law schools will not be admitted during this time.

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

Photo by smcgee

September 17 is App-solutely Constitution Day

Coinciding with today’s Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (36 USC § 106), there’s a new government-developed app where you can find hundreds of pages of annotations and analysis of our United States Constitution.  This is available now in the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPad platforms, and it’s free.  Developed by the Library of Congress, this app includes more than 2800 pages of materials popularly known as the Constitution Annotated.  The Constitution Annotated provides a clause-by-clause explanation of the United States Constitution, with references to nearly 8,000 Supreme Court cases. Constitutional law experts from the Congressional Research Service author the treatise and the Government Printing Office publishes the editions and supplements.  2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the print publication, which is now available online and in an app.

You can read a great review of the app at Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites blog.  As he points out, the app will take just over 100 MB of space on your Apple device.  Individual sections from the Constitution Annotated can be downloaded on any device of your choosing, and they appear as authenticated PDF files from the Government Printing Office.

As long ago as 2002, it was novel to have a mobile version of the United States Constitution, such as for the Palm OS.  Today you get much deeper depth of analysis provided for free from our government.

This app and several others are featured in our page of Mobile Apps on the Georgetown Law Library website.