Wisconsin State Law Library

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WSLL @ Your Service April 2020

We’re Here to Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak - Amy Crowder

The David T. Prosser Jr. State Law Library, Milwaukee County Law Library, and Dane County Law Library continue to be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unusual time in the country and in the history of our libraries.

I want to assure you that, despite this closure, our librarians are available to help. Our reference librarians continue to answer questions about the law and government and assist with legal research. Among other topics, we're answering questions about unemployment, small businesses, family law, and landlord/tenant law. We're also helping attorneys get documents and sample forms they aren't able to access directly while our libraries are closed.

Questions and requests can be sent through our Ask a Librarian form or directly at wsll.ref@wicourts.gov.

Librarians have developed two webpages that may especially be of help. One is a compilation of COVID-19 resources on topics we're being asked about such as the courts, elections, housing, employment, and family law. A second is on Remote Work & Work from Home - something many of us are doing now - and includes resources on management, meeting and communication tools, and file and document sharing.

The Wisconsin State Law Library will continue to serve you while our physical locations are closed! We're your remote law library. Keep up with new resources and service updates on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and read our blog and newsletter to learn more about how we can help you.

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Legal Career Research Guide - Michael Keane

This year's theme for National Library Week is "Find your place at the library." In April, we're featuring professional development resources and ideas to help legal professionals find their place in the law profession, using resources from the State Law Library. Bar journals and law reviews on HeinOnline and Index to Legal Periodicals are great places to find discussions or career prospects in subject specialties from professionals like you.




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New Books - Kari Zelinka

New Book! Standing Before the Bar and Sitting in Front of it: a History of the Bar in Eau Claire County 1857-2006, by William G. Thiel, 2018
Call number: KFW 2478 .E28 2018  

This thorough history of law in Eau Claire County is neatly organized chronologically beginning in 1857. William Thiel provides a snapshot of the first 150 years of the bar in Eau Claire County by reviewing all Wisconsin Reports to see what kinds of cases were reported from Eau Claire County and by providing historical, social and economic background of the residents and those practicing law. The appendices are full of detailed dockets of cases, representative clients from various decades and other documents that provide a glimpse into history.

Contents include:

  • Physical setting of Eau Claire County
  • Political organization of Eau Claire County
  • The Courts and Judicial Officials
  • Practice of Law (divided by decade)

We would like to thank William Thiel for the generous donation of his book to the State Law Library. In early March, the author was kind enough to sign our copy!

New Edition! Immigration Consequences of Criminal Activity: a Guide to Representing Foreign Born Defendants, 8th ed. by Mary E. Kramer, 2019
Call Number: KF 4842 .K73 2019  

The 8th edition of this book has been updated to include law changes from the courts and policy changes from all areas affecting criminal immigration law. If you practice in the area of criminal immigration law, this book is essential. Immigration attorneys will benefit from instruction on how to prepare applications for clients with criminal records. The author includes information on how non-American citizens who have a criminal past can be granted immigration benefits. Criminal defense attorneys can also use the advice on how to format a plea with immigration consequence in mind.

Topics include:

  • Basic immigration terminology
  • The agencies at work: removal procedures
  • Tips and tools of the trade including: Westlaw, Lexis, AILA.link, AILA.org, Fastcase
  • Expungement and record sealing
  • Foreign convictions
  • Deportation
  • How the government locates your clients
  • Crimes of violence
  • Firearms offenses
  • Alien smuggling

new book shelf
New Titles RSS Feed See our latest New Titles list for a list of new books and other resources.

For assistance in accessing these or other resources, please contact our Reference Desk.

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Tech Tip - Heidi Yelk

Using more data? Know your plan, your limits and your phone

For most, a "Safer at Home" protocol includes connecting online with work, friends, and family. And this means using a lot more data - possibly more data than allowed under your current plan. Thankfully, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have lifted data caps or are expanding monthly data allowances. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has an excellent summary of Wisconsin ISPs and how they are responding to the COVID-19 health emergency. This list includes links to each ISP and that ISP's COVID-19 response plan.

Now is a good time to become familiar with reviewing cellular data on your smart phone. This will allow you to monitor stats, such as how much you have used on your personal hot spot. iPhone users can view this support document from Apple and Android users can review this document from Google. It's helpful to reset your cellular data use statistics after each billing period. 

Another (and perhaps better) way to monitor usage is to connect directly with your carrier via an app or text message, as described in this article from Lifewire, How to Easily Check Your iPhone Data Usage. Check your carrier's website for more details.

Can't go to the zoo?  Bring the zoo to you!

Google's augmented reality (AR) feature brings lions, tigers, bears and more right into your house (on your smart phone). This is a fun way to entertain kids of all ages. Simply Google search an animal, for example "lion" (no quotes) and look for the "Meet a life-sized lion up close" in the search results. Then click "view in 3d" and watch the animal roam about, as your camera provides the background. The Verge goes into more detail about this AR feature.

Image from Pixabay

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Library News - Carol Hassler

Legal Research Tips in InsideTrack

Amy Crowder, State Law Librarian, published an article in the April 1 issue of the State Bar of Wisconsin's InsideTrack. Law Libraries Closed: Now What? Learn about quick ways to get help while libraries are closed, and get an overview of legal research sources you can use from anywhere with your State Bar membership or a library card.

Spring Classes Canceled

We have canceled our April and May CLE classes due to library closures and caution about larger gatherings in the near future. Currently, our summer and fall CLE classes are open for registration. We will contact registrants if we need to cancel any further classes. Thank you for your understanding! See our current offerings on our Classes page.

National Library Week

This year's theme for National Library Week is "Find your place at the library." In April, we're featuring professional development resources and ideas to help legal professionals find their place in the law profession, using resources from the State Law Library.

During this health crisis, we'll also focus on helping you find resources for business planning, disaster recovery, and information to help you help your clients.

New staff

We welcome two new library assistants to our staff.

Maureen McShane is the new library assistant at the Dane County Law Library. Maureen is a graduate of UW Eau Claire with a degree in theater technology. She volunteers at the Olbrich Botanical Library and is a paralegal student at MATC. Welcome, Maureen!

Linda Xiao is the new briefs assistant at the David T. Prosser Jr. Library. Linda is a graduate of UW Madison with a degree in mechanical engineering. She comes to us with digitization experience gained during an internship at the New York Historical Society. Welcome, Linda!

Librarians Reach Out

Carol Hassler, Web Services Librarian, will offer two legal research webinars to librarians through the South Central Library System. Librarians can learn more and register using the links below.

Public Records: Research Tips and Tricks
Thursday, April 16, 10 – 11 a.m. Learn more and register

Embrace your inner government information nerd! Get an overview of the history of Wisconsin's public records law, understand top research sources, and learn where to find public records on individuals and businesses. Discover business entity records, liens, real estate records, and more. We'll help you find online and offline government agency sources for commonly-sought Wisconsin public records.

Understanding the Wisconsin Circuit Court Records Website
Thursday, April 23, 10 – 11 a.m. Learn more and register

CCAP is the popular nickname for the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) website, which provides information about circuit court cases in Wisconsin. Learn what's in WCCA and gets tips for creating successful searches. This session will also discuss common questions library users may ask about the database.

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April Snapshot

Desk Sharing
Photo by Carol Hassler

From pets to our human family members, we're all learning ways to work with our new coworkers!

We are accepting snapshots! Do you have a photo highlighting libraries, attractions or points of historical interest? Send your photo the editor at carol.hassler@wicourts.gov to be included in a future issue.

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