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1L Survival Guide: Before the First Day

Basic Law Library Survival Information

Summer Reading

See also Admitted Students.

Recommended Reading

(in no particular order)

* The Companion Text to Law School, Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student by Andrew McClurg

How to Read a Legal Opinion

Unlocking the Secrets of Highly Successful Legal Writing Students

Logic for Law Students

Explaining the 'Big Picture:' Why Students Should Know Why They Read Cases in Law School

* Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen Liliuokalani

* Billy Budd by Herman Melville

* Bramble Bush by Karl Llewellyn

* Bleak House by Charles Dickens

* Broken Trust by Samuel King & Randall Roth

* Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawaii? by Jon Van Dyke

* Buffalo Creek Disaster by Gerald M. Stern

* To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

* The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

* The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court by Bob Woodward Scott Armstrong

* The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

* A Question of Choice by Sarah Weddington

* A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

* Damages: One Family's Legal Struggles in the World of Medicine by Barry Werth

* A Defiant Life: Thurgood Marshall and the Persistence of Racism in America by Howard Ball

* Brush with the Law by Robert Byrnes and Jaime Marquart

* Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis

* One L by Scott Turow

* The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer & Truth, Justice, Power, and Greed by Richard A. Zitrin & Carol A. Langford

* Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change by Lani Guinier

* Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, For Students by Robert H. Miller

* Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams by Richard Michael Fischl

* The Law School Labyrinth: A Guide to Making the Most of Your Legal Education by Steven R. Sedberry

* Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Lynne Truss, (Gotham, 2004).

* The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White, (4th ed., Allyn & Bacon 1999)

Before the First Day


You've been accepted to the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii.  Now, find out what you can about the law library before you show up for orientation and classes. Start with the Guide to the Law Library or the Law Library website.  Some of the more important items are listed on this page.  But there's much, much more to explore.  The Guide to the Law Library also includes information on UH fitness facilities and recreation programs.


Two maps of the law library are available:  the stack map and the reference area map.  There are two main aisles in the stack area.  The one on the right passes by the computer lab, the restrooms, and the legal research classrooms.  The one on the left takes you past the study carrels. A center aisle is accessible within the stacks. 

A range is a numbered set of shelves. You find the number on the end of the shelf stack.

A set of Hawaii laws (currently in force) is available in the reference area.

A reserve collection is located behind the Circulation Desk.  Ask for materials from this collection at the Desk.  Here you will find materials your professor placed on reserve for you and other, highly used, materials.

Take some time to explore the online catalog.  There's an entire page devoted to learning how to use it.

Major Collections

  • American Law Reports (A.L.R.) - locate it on the reference area map
  • American Jurisprudence 2d (Am Jur 2d) - locate it on the reference area map
  • Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) - locate it on the reference area map
  • Digests - locate these on the reference area map

A digest is a finding aid for cases.  They are keyed to specific reporters.  E.g. to find cases in the Pacific Reporter, look in the Pacific Digest.  They are arranged by topic and key number. More...

  • Federal Reporters - locate it on the stack map 

A reporter is a hardbound collection of opinions by courts (cases) or administrative agencies.  They are arranged chronologically.

  • Federal Statutes (U.S. Code, USCA, USCS) - locate these on the reference area map

A statute is a law enacted by a legislature.  Statutory compilations are codified (topically arranged).  Sometimes called Codes.

  • Journals/Periodicals - law journals and periodicals are classified and shelved in the general collection (stacks).
  • Regional Reporters- locate these on the stack map 
  • Restatements - locate these on the reference area map

Restatements are textual distillations of case law written by legal scholars. More...

  • State Statutes- locate these on the stack map 
  • Treatises - classified and shelved in the general collection (stacks).

A treatise is a book about the law written by a legal scholar. More...

Virtual Collection

Legal research materials are increasingly made available online.  After you begin classes you will receive passwords to access Westlaw and LexisNexis.  Other materials are available remotely via a proxy server.  You will need UH ( login credentials to access them, but after you have a UH login you can explore the wealth of materials available to you.  


Previous exams  are available online.  You will need UH ( login credentials to access this archive.

Copying, Printing, Scanning


A photocopier is available in the lobby.  Copies are $0.10 each, coins or $1.00 bills only.



Each student is given a GoPrint allowance of $90 (equivalent to 1,000 pages) worth of free printing in the computer lab each year.



There are three scanner stations with Adobe Acrobat for scanning documents into PDF files in the computer lab.


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