Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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September 25, 2018

Financial preparation and natural disasters

Natural disasters crop up unexpectedly, and create financial burdens in their wake. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released a dedicated guide for individuals preparing, recovering, or rebuilding after disasters and emergencies.
image source

This guide focuses on managing your finances during or after an emergency. It features articles and links to guides on topics like foreclosure relief, FEMA financial aid, flood insurance, and more.

Learn how to plan your finances and save money for emergencies that may arise in the future.

If you're dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster read about how to prevent fraud. This page also includes tips for working with contractors and insurance companies.

September 24, 2018

Wisconsin Legislative journals

Assembly and Senate journals can provide insight into past legislatures, as well as open a wonderful window to Wisconsin's history.

The David T. Prosser Jr. Library - our main library - has the journals in microfiche from 1848-1995 and print journals from 1836-1927. The Wisconsin State Law Library also provide easy online access from 1854-1981 to all of our library cardholders through LLMC Digital.

LLMC Digital allows you to search the full text of Senate and Assembly journals, as well as browse through them by year and volume. The journals include roll call data, motions, votes, statements, and speeches on bills from each chamber.

Older volumes may also include letters, committee reports, and financial records. Speeches and presentations preserved in the journals provide valuable insight into Wisconsin's past, such as this excerpt from the 1849 Senate Journal. In this report from the State Library committee, F. A. Sprague makes the case for the addition of a law library to the State Library collection and services. This law library would later become the State Law Library.

"A Law Library, containing the best elementary works not only upon the Common Law of England upon which our statutes are based, but also treatises upon the civil law, in the opinion of your committee, is a matter of very great importance to the State of Wisconsin. It would afford most important facilities to practitioners in our Supreme Court - it would be of great convenience to our Supreme Court Judges; and from these considerations it is evident that it would assist materially in the enlightened dispensation of justice..."
Our library has Wisconsin Legislative journals in the following formats. Ask a librarian for help!

LLMC 1854-1981
Legislature website 1981 to current session
HathiTrust & Google (some)

David T. Prosser Jr. Library
Microfiche 1848- 1995*
Paper in Compact Storage 1836-1927
*1836-1847 in paper only

September 18, 2018

Job posting: Library Associate (Milwaukee)

The Milwaukee County Law Library (MCLL) located in the Milwaukee County Courthouse is seeking candidates for a Library Associate Limited Term Employment (LTE) position. The MCLL is a branch of the Wisconsin State Law Library.

This position is approximately 24 hours a week between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, 8 hour shifts on selected week days. 40 total hours during a two-week pay period. Hourly wage is $14.70/hour.

Duties include assisting library users in person and on the phone, processing new materials, filing and shelving library materials, assisting with maintenance of the judges' print collections, and maintaining equipment and supplies.

Highly qualified candidates will have excellent customer service skills, cash handling experience, be able to work independently, manage and complete projects on time, and be able to follow directions.

This would be a great position for someone interested in a library or legal career. Enrollment in a library program is preferred.

To be considered, submit a cover letter and resume by e-mail clearly stating your qualifications and week days available to Jennifer.Waite@wicourts.gov. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls please.

The Wisconsin Court System is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants who request them.

September 17, 2018

Welcome new lawyers!

This month new attorneys are being admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar. Welcome new lawyers! We can help you check out library materials, log in to legal research databases, and help you with other legal research questions.

Here's what you can do with a Wisconsin State Law Library card: 

Check out library books and videos at our 3 libraries in Madison & Milwaukee or by mail. Delivery by mail is available to residents outside of Dane and Milwaukee counties.

Renew books at wilawlibrary.gov/renew or call 608-266-1600. Items can be renewed once. Return at any of our 3 libraries in Madison & Milwaukee or by mail.

Log in to read full text articles and primary law in HeinOnline, Index to Legal Periodicals, & more. (Only cardholders in firms with fewer than 25 attorneys may log in to HeinOnline.)

Get cases & forms emailed to you, KeyCite & Shepard's reports, and copies from library-use-only items. Ask us for help borrowing items from other libraries.

Visit the library on your schedule with our After Hours subscription access. Sign up to use the library before we open, after we close, and on weekends and holidays.

Read our newsletter and blog on our website and follow us on online for community and timely updates on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Save time with fifty state surveys of laws

Fifty state surveys of laws are great resources for getting a quick overview of the differences and similarities between state laws on particular topics. The library has two online resources, as well as print sources, that can be useful for quick fifty state survey research.


Available in HeinOnline, 2015, 2008, 2005

Browse topics with easy to download, customizable charts and references to state laws and code. Also available in print as Richard Leiter's National Survey of State Laws, this collection is perfectly adapted to online viewing. HeinOnline includes the last three editions, allowing you to compare laws as they existed in 2005, 2008, and 2015. A summary of each topic is available, but a little bit hidden. Look for the "show more" link above the topic's table to read the summary.

You can log into HeinOnline with a Wisconsin State Law Library card.

Westlaw's 50 State Survey
Search regulatory and statutory 50 state surveys on Westlaw

50 State Surveys provides access to state and federal statutes and regulations, covering topics of law such as garnishment, attachment and judgment execution requirements, durable powers of attorney, cancellation and nonrenewal of insurance policies and premiums, and many others. More than just a listing of laws and regulations, Westlaw also includes some summary analysis for several of its topics.

Westlaw is available to library users within all of our three libraries.

Charts, tables, and links 

HeinOnline provides quick-to-browse charts of each topic for all 50 states, but there is little customization that can be done, other than filtering states you don't wish to see. In Westlaw, detailed information is in a table in the PDF version linked at the top of the page. Otherwise the related statutes for each state are linked from the main page, but little summary is provided.

HeinOnline list of topics


While there is some topical overlap between HeinOnline and Westlaw's 50 state surveys, there are unique topics to both sources so it's a good idea to check both when looking for a survey. Both sources give you the option to browse through topics to see what subtopics are included.

Both HeinOnline and Westlaw are keyword searchable. Westlaw is easier to search within broad topic areas, although both have that capability to some extent.
Search one or both databases in Westlaw
Do you need help using these sources? Ask a librarian if you have questions, or if these resources don't cover the topic you're researching.

September 5, 2018

WSLL at Your Service: September 2018

The September issue of WSLL @ Your Service is now online. As always, your comments are welcome. Please direct them to the editor, Carol Hassler.

In this issue:

Six sources we love (Part one)

September is Library Card Signup Month. To mark it, we want to share with you some great databases and sources that you can access for free with your library card. Read more

Help us improve our website

We'd like your help improving our website. Take our surveys! Read more

Grand juries

To mark Juror Appreciation Month, we're focusing on a lesser-known aspect of jury service in Wisconsin: grand juries. Read more

New books

Our featured new titles this month are U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook and Firearms Law Deskbook. Don't miss our monthly new book list as well! Read more

Tech tip

Cell phone video is ubiquitous these days. However, viewing a cell phone video on a Windows PC can be problematic. This month's tip helps you convert those videos. Read more

Library news

Several CLE-credit classes are scheduled for fall at our Madison and Milwaukee locations. Read more

September snapshot

Photos of Edgar Allan Poe memorials, taken while in Baltimore for the American Association of Law Libraries conference. Read more

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