Read a Good Book Lately?

rec reading

Need a break from reading legal textbooks?  On the main floor of the law library (near the stairs) is the law library’s recreational reading collection. The collection has an eclectic assortment of fiction and non-fiction and includes recent best sellers, mysteries and cookbooks.

Featured Book from the Recreational Reading Collection

Dave Eggers, The Circle (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor)   PS3605.G48C57 2013

“Most of us imagine totalitarianism as something imposed upon us—but what if we’re complicit in our own oppression? That’s the scenario in Eggers’ ambitious, terrifying, and eerily plausible new novel. When Mae gets a job at the Circle, a Bay Area tech company that’s cornered the world market on social media and e-commerce, she’s elated, and not just because of the platinum health-care package. The gleaming campus is a wonder, and it seems as though there isn’t anything the company can’t do (and won’t try). But she soon learns that participation in social media is mandatory, not voluntary, and that could soon apply to the general population as well. For a monopoly, it’s a short step from sharing to surveillance, to a world without privacy. This isn’t a perfect book—the good guys lecture true-believer Mae, and a key metaphor is laboriously explained—but it’s brave and important and will draw comparisons to Brave New World and 1984. Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information, and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life. But perhaps most chilling of all is his notion that our ultimate undoing could be something so petty as our desperate desire for affirmation.” Starred Review (Review by Keir Graff from Booklist via Amazon)

1L Information

We met many of the new students during the recent library 1L orientation, but if you were unable to attend, here is a summary of some of the most important things we covered:

Library Survival Guide
If you need information about law school in general, briefing a case, or outlining, consult our new student guide at

Study Aids

The library has a variety of study aids located in our reserve section including: Nutshells, Hornbooks, Examples and Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines and Gilbert Law Summaries.  For specific titles see our Finding Study Aids Guide at:

The library maintains one copy of each required first year casebook in the Reserve area for two-hour check-out (no overnight checkouts).  The first year casebook collection is to be used for quick reference or limited photocopying and is not intended to be a substitute for purchasing casebooks.  The library does not purchase copies of required supplementary materials/handouts or upper division course materials.  

Study Rooms

Study rooms can be reserved for your study group.  It’s a two hour maximum per day per group.  For more information, visit: and click on the links under Study Rooms and Equipment Requests.

Reference Help

reference help

Reference librarians can help with any aspect of legal research—finding sources, searching databases, and understanding search results.  If you have a reference question, please stop by the reference desk, call us at 206-398-4225 or email us at   We welcome your questions.

Our reference team consists of:

If you have a reference question, you can contact any of the above librarians directly.  Our reference desk hours are as follows:  Evening reference is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am until 8:00 pm and Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. On Sunday afternoons from noon to 4:00 pm, we will provide reference services via email ( ).  We look forward to working with you throughout the year.

Law Library Reconfiguration


Returning law students will notice changes in the library.  The area behind the Reference Desk has been made into office space for the law school’s four journals.  Books that had been shelved in the Reference stacks have been relocated to various parts of the library based on their currency and usage.  In addition, the large study room on the 4th floor has been divided into two smaller study rooms.  Hopefully, the law students will be happy with the changes.

New Student Information

This guide is a must read for those who are new to law school or for those who are still confused about anything in the library, from the card security system to how to reserve a study room!

Study rooms available again

20150713_190705Construction on rooms 400 and 401 are now complete!  You are able to reserve these study rooms online.

Study Room Policy:

The law library study rooms are for law student discussion groups only.

TWO HOURS PER DAY PER GROUP LIMIT. To make a reservation, you may select up to four 30-minute blocks (two hours) at once on the grid, then click “Continue” to proceed to the next step.

Reservations MUST BE CONFIRMED within 30 minutes by selecting the link sent to your valid SeattleU e-mail address.

Rooms not occupied within ten minutes of reserved time may be re-assigned.

Groups are limited to reserving study rooms for one continuous 2-hour block per day.

2nd Floor Library Renovations

20150712_140124Please note that the renovation of the second floor south end of the Law Library for the relocation of the Student Publications space has been completed.  Thank you for your patience during this process!

Emerita Cheney speaks at “The Boys in the Boat” Lecture

cheney gold medal cheney oar cheney speakingKristin Cheney, Professor Emerita and former head of the law library recently spoke at the Puyallup Public Library about her father and “The Boys in the Boat.” Her father, George “Shorty” Hunt, was a member of the University of Washington crew that won the Olympic gold medal in Berlin in 1936. Those members are the title characters of Dan Brown’s New York Times number one bestseller.
Photos courtesy of Kelly Kunsch.

Legal Research Tune-Up

The Seattle University and Lane Powell law firm law libraries are pleased to offer a legal research workshop to help students brush up on their legal research skills for their summer employment or other summer research endeavors. The workshop will cover state and federal legislative history, regulations, and practice materials using a problem-based approach. Students will have hands-on practice working through research scenarios. Please bring your laptop.
The workshop is free and will be held on Wednesday May 20th from 9:30 – 11:30 am in Sullivan Hall room 109. Coffee and breakfast snacks will be provided. Please RSVP by May 18th.
Questions? Contact: Barbara Swatt Engstrom

Seattle University School of Law Flashback: House of Sand and Fog

200px-HouseofSandandFogbookA little bit of sleuthing in the Law Library Reserves will reveal that SU has ten copies of the novel House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. Why? It probably has to do with the 2005 1L Orientation, when SU requested that incoming students read the provocative book in order to facilitate a reflection on the law.

 SU Professor, Paula Lustbader, describes the experience best in her 2008 article You are Not in Kansas Anymore: Orientation Programs Can Help Students Fly over the Rainbow:

“Although very depressing, it is an excellent story about two equally compelling characters, one a recovering alcoholic, the other, an Iranian immigrant, both of whom have legitimate claims to the same house. What begins as a legal struggle turns into a personal confrontation, with tragic results. The story is relevant for beginning law students because there are many points where appropriate legal intervention might have been able to alter the outcome. The story raises numerous substantive issues in the areas of property, constitutional law, criminal law, torts, alternative dispute resolution, domestic violence, transformative law (collaborative, therapeutic jurisprudence), diversity, values and culture, gender, access to justice, client counseling, case theory, storytelling, professionalism, ethics, substance abuse, and mental health.

A panel of local legal practitioners from different areas of practice discussed what legal interventions could have taken place to change the ultimate tragic outcome of the story. After the panel, students met in reflection groups of twenty to twenty-five students and four co-facilitators-an alumnus, a faculty member, a staff member, and an upper-class student. There they continued the discussion. The students’ responses to the first orientation session were extremely positive. After the session, sixty-eight percent of the students who responded to the survey indicated they thought legal intervention could have altered the outcome. Ninety-two percent indicated they believed that they could make a difference as a lawyer. Forty-one percent indicated that their inspiration to sustain a commitment to the service of justice increased.”

Paula Lustbader, You are Not in Kansas Anymore: Orientation Programs Can Help Students Fly over the Rainbow, 47 WASHBURN L.J. 327, 353-54 n.151 (2008).

Interested in reading House of Sand and Fog? Check it out: LAW-Reserve: PS3554.U265H68 2000

Or, you can watch the equally compelling film with the same title?  LAW-Reserve (Videos) VC-H014.

Article written by Justin Abassi, law library intern.