Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

Skip to content

Website Catalog

WSLL @ Your Service February 2014


What's New – Carol Hassler

Securely Sign in to the Catalog

We are pleased to now offer secure, encrypted access to library accounts in our online catalog. Visitors logging in to renew books, manage email alerts, or use an article database will automatically be routed to our secure login page. Watch for the lock icon and https to appear in your browser as soon as you log in. The session will remain encrypted until you log out or leave the catalog.

example of URL

CLE classes

Upcoming Classes

Don't forget to sign up for our three February CLE classes. At the Wisconsin State Law Library in Madison, we are offering classes on WestlawNext and how to find free case law online. In Milwaukee, sign up for a tour of our website and learn how to use it to start any research project.

Complete details and registration information are available on our Classes page. Is there a class you would like to see offered in 2014? Check our list of classes offered to request a course or suggest a new class.

top Up to Top

After Hours Service – Carol Hassler

Man studying in reading room

When you're working on a case we know the work doesn't stop after the 8 to 5 workday ends. That's why we offer our After Hours Access service to Wisconsin attorneys. Come in at 7:30 before we open and stay until 10 p.m. on weekdays. On the weekend and holidays when we are closed to the public, use the library from 8 until 6 p.m.

Subscribers can use the library's extensive collection to read, make copies, or check out library materials. Our databases are all available on our public computers, including Westlaw Classic, WestlawNext, HeinOnline, LegalTrac, and more. Many databases are also available on our public Wi-Fi network, so come in with your computer or handheld device.

After Hours Access is all about convenience, so you'll be given a key fob and personal tour of the library when you subscribe. Get more information on our after hours page or fill out a subscription form right now.

top Up to Top

Wisconsin State Law Library Year in Review – Julie Tessmer, State Law Librarian

On January 22, 2014, the Wisconsin State Law Library (WSLL) marked its twelfth anniversary in the Risser Justice Center. To me it seems like we just moved in and considering the library has been around since 1836, those 12 years represent a mere 7 percent of the time we've been serving the citizens of Wisconsin. Having said that, each year we serve more people, add new services, and make improvements on what we already do.

Conference room WSLL's Conference Room

Looking back on last year, we were pleased to be able to add WestlawNext, the new Google-like Westlaw platform, on our public computers. Researchers can choose between Westlaw Classic and WestlawNext. WestlawNext is also available via Wi-Fi allowing users the convenience of accessing the legal database from their own laptops while working in the library. Speaking of Wi-Fi, an additional antenna boosted the signal in our second floor conference room. This and many of our other rooms can be rented for meetings and presentations. The improvements made to our Wi-Fi access throughout the library helps ensure users can get their work done efficiently.

Also in 2013, we developed and presented our very first webinar style training class on the HeinOnline database. The webinar format allowed participants to connect to the class from anywhere via the internet, especially convenient for our users outside of the Madison area. Moving forward, we plan to offer more of our classes online.

Finally, I will close with some words about the library staff. At the end of December, we said good-bye to Connie Von Der Heide, the Director of Reference and Outreach Services. Connie was an important member of Team WSLL for 16 years. Connie and her brother are now the co-owners of their family's grocery store, Gempler's Supermarket, in Monticello, WI. We wish Connie the very best in her new venture.

Looking back on the year, I am most proud of the continued high level of service all our staff provides to our users. Everyone at WSLL, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center (MLRC) and the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC) are committed to serving the many people who use our libraries daily. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such energetic, resourceful, and friendly professionals.

I invite you to come see what the State Law Library and its branches can do for you in 2014 and beyond!

top Up to Top

Milwaukee Legal Resource Center Year in Review – Lynne Gehrke

The Milwaukee Legal Resource Center continues to serve a diverse group of visitors. More than 1,000 people use the library each week, including self-represented litigants, attorneys, law clerks, courthouse staff, law and paralegal students, and judges. This past year more legal professionals used our services; we enjoy the challenges they bring.

We will be moving to our new location in Room G9 sometime in 2014. The new space is almost twice as large and will have a room reserved for attorneys.

In collaboration with the Milwaukee Public Library, the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center now offers a continuing series of legal research classes. The Legal Resource Center provides the lecturers, while the Public Library provides the classroom, promotional materials, and class registration. Classes are usually held on the third Tuesday of each month over the noon hour. The Central Library is conveniently located across the street from the Courthouse.

We had two interns during the spring from Bryant & Stratton College's paralegal program. They updated materials in the judges' libraries, answered questions from patrons, made copies, and assisted people needing to set up computer accounts.

Over the course of last year, several of our part time staff left to pursue full-time positions. We're pleased to report that the employees who moved on all have commented that the experience they gained at the MLRC is helpful in their new careers. Kate Roherty, a full-time 6-year veteran at the MLRC also left to take a position as an employee benefits' counselor. She continues to help people in her new job, and is enjoying the opportunities it offers. We wish all the MLRC alumni the best in their endeavors.

top Up to Top

Dane County Legal Resource Center Year in Review – Lisa Winkler

In 2013 the Dane County Legal Resource Center focused on serving library users, improving resources, and organizing events.

The Legal Resource Center welcomed around 16,800 visitors and responded to over 1,500 phone and email requests. Through our partnership with the Dane County Bar Association we helped the Family Law Assistance Center and the Small Claims Assistance Programs serve over 1,100 pro se litigants last year. This year DCLRC became the main location for Temporary Restraining Order forms in the Courthouse and distributed over 1,300 packets.

We rearranged our print collection to increase accessibility as described in the November WSLL @ Your Service. Both of our computer research stations now have public access to WestlawNext and Books UnBound.

I continued to work with various local partners to coordinate events through the library. DCLRC now hosts an internship for students, including those in the Madison Area Technical College's Paralegal Program. As part of the Dane County Bar Association's Courthouse Committee, I helped organize Law Day events such as CLE programming and bilingual pro se consultations in the library. I also interviewed several outstanding members of our legal community for "In Other Words," a feature in the Dane County Bar Association's monthly newsletter.

Beginning this January the Small Claims Assistance Program is partnering with the Consumer Law Clinic of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Law School. Students supervised by Associate Professor Sarah J. Orr offer additional legal services to people facing consumer protection violations.

top Up to Top

This Just In... – Pete Boll

New Edition! Value of Pensions in Divorce, 5th Edition, by Mark K. Altschuler.
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2014.
WSLL Call Number: KF 524 .A48

This concise one volume resource provides guidance on the pension valuing process from start to finish. Included are discussions on everything from death and survivor benefits to child support and qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). The author addresses legal principles and concepts of pension valuation in plain English using examples and simple math formulas. Highlights include:

  • New regulations under the Pension Protection Act of 2006
  • A national survey of Social Security offset case law
  • Detailed explanation of how a present value is calculated
  • Sample Military Court Orders (Military QDROs)
  • Detailed description of the Armed Forces Retirement System
  • Preserving the benefits of the former spouse under military disability

New Title! Beyond the Fracking Wars, by Erica Levine Powers, and Beth E. Kinne, Editors.
American Bar Association, 2013.
WSLL Call Number: KF 1849 .A2 B49 2013

The practice of hydraulic fracturing is a hot topic right now. The editors of Beyond the Fracking Wars explain the basics and details of the technology, regulatory framework, and potential hurdles and pitfalls of unconventional oil and gas exploration and development. The book is divided into four parts:

  • Overview of shale oil and gas development technology, best practices, and the industry's relationship with regulators.
  • Legal foundations of oil and gas development and federal pipeline regulations.
  • Municipal case studies.
  • Other issues such as long-range planning, stakeholder participation, shareholder involvement, and the need for international standards.

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.

top Up to Top

WSLL Recommends: Corporate Practice Series

This monthly column highlights a legal research tool, in print and/or electronic format, that is not freely available on the internet. We hope it will increase your knowledge of sources with which you might already be familiar and help to expand your legal research toolkit.

Corporate practice series covers

The library subscribes to BNA/Bloomberg's Corporate Practice Series portfolios which includes 65 individual titles. The compact design of these topical guides are perfect for the busy legal professional. Each portfolio breaks down a basic area of corporate law like securities, antitrust law, environmental law, trade regulation, intellectual property, financial reporting, and many more. The portfolios include checklists, forms, regulatory filings, agreements, and relevant statutes to make the practitioner's job easier.

How do you find a portfolio on your topic?

You can keyword search the library's catalog. Or if you're in the library, you can use the detailed index, the classification guide, or page through the newsletter BNA's corporate counsel weekly for current developments. To highlight the range of topics, we've listed some the most heavily used titles below:

Check out these compact detailed guides for your practice needs.

top Up to Top

Comments Welcome!

Keep Up With Current News