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Associate Justice Breyer to speak at law library dedication (Released: 8/26/96)

by Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer will be the main speaker at the dedication of a new library at the University of Connecticut Law School, Monday, Sept. 9.

The new facility, funded by $23 million in state bond money, is one of the largest academic law libraries in the world. It also has more than 950 access points for laptop computers, offering a level of access to technology that is rare in law libraries.

Prior to his speech, Breyer will receive an honorary doctorate of law. Breyer, the newest supreme court justice, was nominated by President Clinton and took office in August 1994.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. with a procession through the library quadrangle at the Law School, at 55 Elizabeth Street in Hartford. The dedication ceremony will be followed at 11 a.m. by guided tours of the new library.

The library serves law students from various schools, Connecticut lawyers, and others. It has a collection of more than 400,000 volumes, including federal and state statutes, judicial opinions and other primary sources. The collection is particularly strong in Connecticut and American law, and has a growing international and foreign law component. The library also is a depository for selected U.S. government publications. Previously the collection was housed at several sites. The liberary serves law students from various schools, Connecticut lawyers, and others.

"This magnificent new library enables us for the first time in 20 years to have all our books under one roof," said Hugh Macgill, dean of the Law School.

Through computer access points throughout the facility, students can connect to computer-assisted legal research programs, on-line databases, and CD-ROM databases, as well as global networks such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, and electronic mail.

"If every student in the school, full-time and part-time, were to arrive at the front door of the new library, each with a lap top in hand, every one of those students could sit down and plug in directly to the entire wired world -- all of the legal and law-related electronic data bases, the University mainframe, the Internet, World Wide Web, and whatever the future may bring as well," Macgill said.

The new building, designed in the "collegiate Gothic" style of the campus, contains 120,000 square feet and is environmentally controlled. It houses more than 400 individual study carrels, 14 study rooms, computer laboratories, a rare book and manuscript center, a student lounge, periodical reading rooms, multi-media capabilities, and over 70,000 linear feet of shelving.

Thirteen sculptured panels on the exterior walls depict the sequence of a criminal trial, from the violation of the law to sentencing. The panels were sculpted by Lombardo Brothers Mason Contractors of Hartford.

The library building was designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative of Glastonbury and Hartman-Cox Architects of Washington, D.C., and constructed for the Department of Public Works by Gilbane/Arborio of Glastonbury. It won first place for best project in the 1996 Golden Trowel Awards from the International Masonry Institute.

The collections were moved during the summer and the library opened to the public on Aug. 12.

Breyer, one of the leading authorities on administrative law and the regulatory process, has taught at Harvard University as a professor of law and at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He also worked as an assistant Watergate special prosecutor, as special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as the Judiciary Committee's chief counsel. He was appointed judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 1980 and became the circuit's chief judge in 1990.

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