First Year Students Guide to the Law Library

Welcome to Bowen and to the law library. You will be spending a great deal of time here researching and studying, and we want to help you make the most of your legal education. This is a quick guide, answering the most frequently asked questions. However, if you have a question or a concern that is not addressed here, please ask a librarian or a member of the library staff. We are here to assist you in whatever way possible.

How can I connect to the wireless internet?

If you are using your personal computer, you may connect to the law school wireless system from anywhere in the building by logging on using your Net ID and password.

Important Notice: You must have an up-to-date anti-virus program installed and running to use the wireless system.

Where can I find and use a computer and/or printer?

There are two computer labs complete with computers and printers available for use. Printers are available in the labs, on each floor of the library, and in the Stern Gallery. Each semester every student is allowed 500 pages of free printing. Additional printing costs $0.10/page.

Where can I get help with my computer issues?

Computing Services will help with any issues related to using computers in the law school. Specific services offered include:

  • Virus removal
  • Setting up exam software
  • Using Word
  • Setting up printing
  • Resolving wireless issues
  • Helping with lab computers and printers

How can I reserve study space?

Tables and lounge areas are located throughout the library and are always available on a first come, first served basis. Open carrels may be reserved for a semester by any student. Open carrels not reserved for an individual’s use are available on a first come, first served basis. Group study rooms must be reserved ahead of time. Reservations may be made online. Check-in and check-out are handled at the Circulation Desk. Closed carrels are reserved for alumni studying for the Bar Exam and 2Ls and 3Ls who are on the Law Review editorial board or writing a case note and/or enrolled in an upper level writing course.

What types of information sources are available in the library?

Legal Sources

  • Primary materials including federal and state case law reporters and statutory and regulatory codes
  • Secondary materials including treatises, law reviews, ALR annotations, legal encyclopedias, restatements
  • Arkansas practice materials
  • Electronic databases including Westlaw and LexisNexis

Study Aids


Over 13,000 e-books are available in the library’s catalog

Fun Stuff

  • Movies, documentaries, fiction, and non-fiction, all with a legal theme
  • Newspapers and magazines

Where can I get help using the library?

The Circulation Desk is a good place to start if you have a question about the library and don’t know who to ask. If the circulation staff cannot help you, they will direct you to the person who can. Specifically, go to the Circulation Desk for help with the following:

  • Getting a library card
  • Checking out and returning circulating items
  • Placing a hold or recall on items
  • Reserving study rooms
  • Buying copy cards (copies are $0.20/page)
  • Clearing paper jams or adding toner to the printers and copy machines
  • Locating library and computing staff members

The Reference Desk is a good place to start if you have any questions about conducting legal research. Specifically, go to the Reference Desk for help with the following:

  • Locating specific documents and/or information
  • Identifying the information available in specific subject areas
  • Researching legal writing assignments
  • Identifying research topics for law review articles or writing courses
  • Developing a research strategy
  • Learning to use electronic databases
  • Using ALWD and the Blue Book
  • Conducting non-legal research

Where can I get research support?

The library website is a great place to start your legal research whether you are at home or on campus. Of primary importance is the link to the library’s E-Catalog which contains a listing of all print and electronic items available. The site also lists electronic databases owned by the library, free legal databases identified as particularly helpful, and databases provided by Ottenheimer Library. In addition, the site contains the library’s policies, hours, maps, and forms needed to request ILL materials or to apply for an open or closed carrel. The Reference Desk is an excellent spot to get help at any time. The desk is staffed Monday through Saturday during the fall and spring semesters and Monday through Friday during the summer. For in-depth questions, it may be helpful to set up an appointment with a librarian. During the appointment, you can discuss your research project in detail. Make an appointment by contacting the librarian of your choice. Research guides have been prepared by the librarians on many subjects.

How can I locate, borrow, and use items?

Locating Items

  • Use the library E-Catalog, which will direct you to both print and electronic titles owned by the library. If you don’t find what you are looking for, go to the Reference Desk for assistance.
  • Ask the Reference Desk staff to look up a title or subject area for you.
  • Use the list of databases to locate electronic materials.

Borrowing Print Items

  • Get a library card.
  • If the library owns the item and it is available, take it to the Circulation Desk to be checked out. (Circulation policy)
  • If the library owns the item but it is not available, go to the Circulation Desk and put a hold on the item. Once returned the item will be held for you at the Circulation Desk. You will be notified when the item is available.
  • If the library owns the item but it is not available and you need it immediately, go to the Circulation Desk and put a recall on it. Once the lending period has ended, the library will request that the item be returned within a week. You will be notified when the item is available.
  • If the item cannot be recalled in time or the library does not own the item, contact Professor Jeff Woodmansee to request that the item be borrowed from another library (Interlibrary Loan policy)

Book Scanner

Many items are meant to be used only in the library. If you need an item that does not circulate, you can use the library’s book scanner to save an Adobe pdf file to a USB drive.

Using Electronic Materials Westlaw and LexisNexis

You must have a personal user name and password to use these resources. If you lose your password or have other difficulty accessing these resources, contact Professor Melissa Serfass for assistance. Electronic resources other than Westlaw and Lexis are accessible from campus by clicking the link listed on the library’s website. If you are off campus, click the same link and enter your last name and T number at the prompt.

What are the rules?

Snack foods (but no meals) and drinks (but no alcohol) are allowed in all library areas except the computer labs and book stacks. Clean up and/or report all spills to the library staff immediately. Dispose of all food and beverage refuse outside the library. Tobacco of any kind is not allowed in the library.

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