November 2013 Bar Bulletin
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November 2013 Bar Bulletin

Classics at the Public Law Library of King County

By Kim Ositis
Assistant Law Librarian for Reference Services


In keeping with this month's theme, and in between yelling at the darn kids to get off my lawn, I'm highlighting a few classical aspects of our law library.

While some whippersnappers might be using Westlaw Next and Lexis Advance, we use traditional versions of these two powerful subscription databases for our public users.

Westlaw Classic is available on two PCs in Seattle and one PC at the Maleng Regional Justice Center library in Kent. It contains full-text searching of all 50 states and federal cases, statutes and regulations, our state's classic legal encyclopedia, Washington Practice, Washington jury verdicts and West's proprietary citator service KeyCite.

Classic is available on one terminal in Seattle and one at the MRJC. It contains full-text searching of Washington Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Washington federal cases, the Annotated Revised Code of Washington, and our state's three law reviews. Other law review articles and non-Washington cases are available by specific citation.

We have a collection of 200-plus DVDs available for checkout at the Seattle library. While some are popular movies and TV shows with a legal theme, such as "Boston Legal," others are legal classics such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Few Good Men." All of our videos are available for check-out to subscribers:

We have more than 60,000 books in our collection and (gasp!) many of them are not available on the Internet! We have current subscriptions to legal classics such as Nimmer on Copyright, Corbin on Contracts, Newberg on Class Actions, Appleman on Insurance, Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Bender's Forms of Discovery and many more. You can search our collection, not via a card catalog, but by visiting our catalog online at

While we don't have a large archival collection, we do have several unique resources, such as superseded pages from the Seattle Municipal Code and King County Code, as well as older versions of classic Washington secondary sources, such as Washington Practice and the Real Property Deskbook.

Another legal database we have available at the library is In addition to full-text access to thousands of law reviews, HeinOnline also has an extensive Legal Classics database featuring titles from as early as the 1600s with such page-turning titles as History of Gavel-Kind, with the Etymology Thereof.

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