Shelley Chick-Gravel

Divorce Resources

Thinking of filing for divorce yourself? The following resources may help you. As with all legal issues, we highly recommend that you hire an attorney. Resources for finding an attorney can be found at the end of this document. You are not required to hire an attorney. If you decide to proceed pro se (without an attorney), remember that you must follow the same rules as if you had an attorney. Library staff cannot give you legal advice nor can court personnel. We cannot tell you which forms you need to use, nor can we assist you in completing the forms.

Using Digests in Legal Research

Have you tried searching for legal cases by randomly typing in key words in a database? Searching this way can be time consuming and is often unsuccessul. Instead, try using a West digest that provides you with specific subject headings.

Thomsen West, a publisher of legal materials developed a key number system that assigns key numbers to subject headings. In the law library we have Virginia and West Virginia Digest in print. This digest is a multivolume set and the subjects, with their assigned key number, are listed alphabetically.

Follow Law Blogs and Stay Informed

Many blogs are available on the internet on many topics, including legal blogs. One blog of particular interest to citizens of Virginia is The Virginia Lawyer's Weekly blog. While the blog was created for attorneys, it does offer information on some of the latest legal cases as well as breaking news for the legal community.

Tracking Legislation

Once you elect your representatives it may seem like a herculean task to follow what they are doing and how they are voting. Two websites will help you quickly catch up on issues important to you. To track your federal representatives try the website Government Track Us. At this site you will find a wealth of information about what is happening in Congress right now. You can also have e-mail alerts sent to your e-mail account. You can narrow your alerts to your specific representatives or specific issues.

Consumer Information

Automobile Recalls
Check out this site for up to date information on automobile recalls.

Product Recalls
For this latest information on product recalls, safety information and to report an unsafe product, visit this site.

Basic Legal Research

The purpose of this tutorial is to guide a person beginning legal research on Virginia law. After completing this course you will have a basic understanding of the legal research process.

To begin, you must define your legal question. Consider whether state, federal or local law governs your legal issue. Once you have defined your legal problem, you may want to begin by using a legal research guide to better understand the process and the resources available for you.

Bankruptcy Resources

Get more information about bankruptcy from these helpful Web sites.

Filing Bankruptcy Without An Attorney
This site provides information on the bankruptcy procedure for individuals filing without an attorney.

Bankruptcy Forms
Official Bankruptcy Forms can be found here.

Christmas Around the World

If it's December, it's time for that familiar topic for reports: Christmas Customs Around the World. Fortunately, the library has a number of resources to help you.

If you like picture books with African Americans...

Faraway Home by Jane Kurtz
Desta's father, who needs to return briefly to his Ethiopian homeland, describes what it was like for him to grow up there.

If you like Fudge by Judy Blume...

Other books I would suggest include:

The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

Let me know if we can be of more assistance. 

Shelley Chick-Gravel

There is another author that you might like. I think his books are
hilarious. His name is Daniel Pinkwater, and he has published many
humorous books. Here are some of his books that you might like: