December 2016 Bar Bulletin
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Five Plus Five Plus Two: 12 Things You Need to Know about the Public Law Library

By Rick Stroup
Assistant Director



Five Services We Provide

Our staff is available in person, via email and over the phone, during all hours of operation, to help you with your research. Sometimes, this may be something as simple as helping you use our online catalog. We use it all the time and are aware of its quirks. As a busy practitioner, you may not be, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help.

Sometimes, you may want our help in choosing between a variety of possible resources. Our staff can help here, too. We can provide you with “mechanical” information — such as which is more up to date or which has a more authoritative author — or with more subjective information — such as which is more popular among our other patrons or which is easier to use.

Sometimes, you might be aware of a particular online resource for a specific question, but not aware that there is also a valuable paper resource on the same topic or vice versa. We can help you in either of those situations. Sometimes, we don’t own the particular resource you really need, but we can help you locate it in another library’s collection. Sometimes, we can also redirect you to a resource we do own that might be a viable alternative.

Conference room space is a scarce commodity in either of King County’s courthouses. We have six rooms in our Seattle location and one in our MRJC location. They are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis and can be reserved for your exclusive use for a modest hourly fee, which is very competitive with other similar services in either downtown Seattle or downtown Kent. Members of our Subscriber Program receive a 25-percent discount on conference room reservations.

If you have a citation to a case, a statute or regulation, or a particular treatise, consider using our document delivery service to have a copy faxed or emailed directly to your office. For most requests, the turnaround time is usually less than one hour. Members of our Subscriber Program receive a 25-percent discount on document delivery requests.

Sometimes what you really need is a place to spread your notes out for review before a hearing; sometimes it’s a convenient place to meet briefly with your client; sometimes it’s a convenient computer from which to check your email; sometimes it’s a place to make a quick photocopy; sometimes it’s a place to send or receive a fax. In all of these situations, we can help and most of the time that help is free.

We support audio and video conferencing in both of our locations, so if that form of communication is necessary, we can help.

Five Resources You Might Need

Westlaw and Lexis Advance — We provide free access to both of these foundation online services in both locations. Subject to some restrictions imposed by each vendor, these services allow downloading and emailing of results, so if you prefer to remain paperless we support you there, too.

HeinOnline — We provide free access to this valuable online resource so you can have full-text access to a universe of law reviews and journals, classic legal research texts, and state and federal statutory and regulatory materials. Subject to some restrictions imposed by the vendor, this service allows downloading and emailing of results as well.

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