Law Library

2013 Law Library Student Survey

During the Spring 2013 semester, the Law Library conducted a survey asking students to comment on various aspects of the library.  595 students responded. This is valuable input, and we want to thank everybody who completed the survey.

Below are several charts summarizing quantitative elements of the 2013 survey.
The Law Library's response to student input appears at the end of this page.

Quantitative Survey Results

Year and status of students who responded:

Year and Status

Reasons for visiting the Law Library:

Why do you visit the library?

Level of satisfaction with research assistance using LiveHelp (chatting online with reference librarians):

Live Help

Level of satisfaction with reference consultations:

Reference Consultations

Level of satisfaction with research assistance at the reference desks (in either location):

Reference Desks

Level of satisfaction with research guides:

Research Guides

Level of satisfaction with online tutorials:


Level of satisfaction with service at the Law Library Circulation Desk (in either location):

Circulation Desks

Level of satisfaction with past exams:

Past Exams

Level of satisfaction with course materials:

Course Materials

Level of satisfaction with group study rooms:


Level of satisfaction with library computers:

Library Computers

Level of satisfaction with obtaining materials from other libraries:

Interlibrary Loan

Level of satisfaction with photocopy services:


Level of satisfaction with printing services:


Level of satisfaction with scanning services:


Level of satisfaction with Classic (GULLiver) version of the catalog:


Level of satisfaction with Encore version of the catalog:


Level of satisfaction with the Library's collection of print materials:

Print Materials

Level of satisfaction with the Library's collection of electronic databases:

Electronic Databases

What users are looking for when visiting the Library's website:


Languages Spoken:


Law Library Response

Specialized Legal Research Classes

Comments from Students

It might be helpful to have tax-specific trainings for the tax LLMs.

Reply by the Library

The faculty often invite librarians into their classroom to provide lectures on specific topics, such as tax. For example, this year, Jason Zarin provided a lecture on electronic tax resources and keeping current for Professor Buch's LLM course on tax research and writing. He also provided a lecture for Professor Smiley's comparative and international tax course, Professor Stoddard's advanced legal research course, and a training for the Tax Lawyer journal staff. We are always happy to offer additional research trainings for students, such as the Terms and Connectors and Research Strategies classes we offered to any LLM or JD student in the Fall.

If you have an idea for a specialized legal research class please share it with Ann Hemmens, Head of Reference,


Comments from Students

Some of the group study room chairs are so old that sharp nails for holding the fabrics poke you when seated. It would be nice to have a study area with tables in a library where low talking was encouraged and expected for groups who can't get a room and for those who just prefer to study where they can consult with peers.

Reply by the Library

We heard you and new chairs have already arrived.  The library has moved them into the Wolff group study rooms. It was definitely time for our first face lift since opening the new building, as we intend to keep the study environment as attractive and inviting as possible.


Comments from Students

I also love having access to the language learning software!

Reply by the Library

The library is happy you are using our subscription to Mango Languages, an online language learning center, providing basic courses in over 40 languages. Whether you're interested in Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic or others, Mango Languages allows you to create your own account to track your progress. It also includes a translation tool based on Google translate.

Login to Mango and create an account. You'll be able to learn more than one language at a time, use your mobile devices for access and learn at your own pace.

Comments from Students

I had a question about a translation of a French law, and while I did not ultimately find an answer in English at the library, the librarian was really helpful in pointing me to some places I should look.

Reply by the Library

We are glad to hear that making language and comparative law expertise available has assisted students with research, and we tackle every question to find the best answer; no jurisdiction too obscure. Merci!

Database Access and Subscriptions

Comments from Students

[I would] prefer to increase subscription databases such as the database providing all the court filing documents.

Reply by the Library

The Library subscribes to many legal databases, including databases with court documents such as Bloomberg Law (for information on how to sign-up for access visit this website and follow the instruction for registering for a law school account), PACER (visit the Reference Desk for assistance with this database), and RECAP. Additionally some court documents are available on Westlaw and Lexis. The best starting place for locating court documents is our Briefs, Oral Arguments, and Other Court Documents Research Guide which will guide you to the resources containing court documents.

The library acquires materials (in print and online) to help support the Law Center's educational mission and we provide access to these materials in a variety of ways including  through the catalog, the website, and through research guides.

  • You can locate databases and research guides by searching for them in the library catalog by name (click "Research Guides & Databases" to limit your catalog search). Or you can go to the Research webpage and look for the database you need in the list of "Frequently Used Databases" or click the databases "by subject" button for more.

  • Another easy way to find databases on a topic is to look for an appropriate research guide, which will include databases and print resources. Our research guides cover US and foreign and international law topics (e.g., Copyright Law, International Trade Law) and U.S. states (e.g., Virginia Research In-Depth, Pennsylvania Resources).

Research Consultations

Comments from Students

  • [A librarian who met with me for a research consultation] was an absolutely invaluable help to me in writing a paper last spring. He pointed out valuable research tools and techniques and identified sources I didn't even know existed. There is no doubt I wouldn't have gotten an A on that paper if it weren't for his help.
  • I used research assistance to find some old congressional discussion on a tax law, the person who assisted was pretty awesome. I'm not sure if this drastically improved my grade, but I liked the one on one consultation.
  • Library research consultations are amazing  .. ..

Reply by the Library

We are thrilled to see in the survey results that students are taking advantage of our great staff of reference librarians at Williams and Wolff Libraries. These research specialists are available to meet with you one-on-one for research consultations to help you with a seminar paper, journal note, or any other research project. Sign-up online for a Research Consultation on the Library's Students webpage.

Exam Feedback

Comments from Students

The exams may not be a library issue. Most of the classes I have taken have not included exams but for the one that had exams, there were answers for only a few of the questions for one semester and no indication of how the answer was scored or whether it was an example of a good answer or a bad answer

Librarian Response 

As this responder correctly guessed, the exam database is limited to the documents which faculty deposit with the Registrar’s Office.  Not all faculty provide answers and many do not indicate how the exam was scored.  Our best advice is to ask your professor for guidance on how to best use the available feedback.

How to Find Online Journals And Periodicals

Comments from Students

I pull articles and other documents on a regular basis from a wide variety of electronic journals and databases. I really value having access to Academic Search Premier, HeinOnline, JSTOR, ScienceDirect, Proquest Congressional, and others.

Librarian Response

We are thrilled that you find our collection accessible and useful.  A few have asked for more information on how to find online journals and periodical. You have several options.

  • On the Library’s Research webpage, under the "Frequently Used Database" list, select "E-Journal Finder" and type in the name of the journal you need (e.g., Wall Street Journal, The Economist). It will provide links to databases containing your journal (e.g., Westlaw, EBSCO, ProQuest, JSTOR).
  • Or you can search the library catalog by the name of the Journal and get a record for the online and/or print version. And finally, checkout our research guides called “Articles for Legal and Non-Legal Research” and “Newspaper Articles Research” which include links to the resources you need.

  • Most of our databases are accessible off-campus via logging into the proxy server. One tip: search the library catalog for the name of the database you need (e.g., ProQuest Congressional), and click the provided link in the catalog record  (it will always route you through the proxy server).

  • If you ever have trouble accessing a database, please contact Reference for help or checkout our online Troubleshooting Database Connection Problems guide.

On The Web

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