Final exams are just around the corner, and it’s normal to feel stressed. So why not put an anti-stress game plan in place?  Having a plan to keep anxiety under control while studying and taking exams will help you to feel better and it may even enhance your exam performance. 

Here are some things to put in your game plan:

  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks. Stock up on your favorite foods and snacks so they’re ready to go when you’re too busy studying to think too much about food.
  • Alert your friends and family. Let them know ahead of time when exams are so that they will understand if you’re less available physically and emotionally during this time.
  • Get yourself on a sleep schedule now, so you can stick to it during exams.
  • Plan ahead for a few good relaxation sessions – meditate, take a bath, watch a favorite movie or show on Netflix, or plan a Zoom session with friends. You’ll need to take a break from studying at some point.
  • Arrange for your study aids now – BLS law library’s 1L Study Aids can help.  The library also makes the Lexis Digital Library available to all students – this database includes the Understanding study aid series for both 1L and upper level courses.
  • Plan for exercise – at the very least, plan to take one long walking break for every day of studying. You’ll get exercise, Vitamin D, oxygen, and you’ll relax those tense muscles.  Walking breaks do a whole lot more for your concentration and wellbeing than social media or web surfing breaks.
  • Plan your rewards! Plan something extra nice for yourself after you’re done with each big exam or assignment.
  • Remind yourself to see the big picture of your law school and career goals. Do your best but remember no one exam is going to determine your future.
  • Finally, contact the reference librarians at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu if we can do anything to help.
  • Good luck- we’re pulling for you!

Exam Resources

It’s that time of year! As exam season approaches, there are several resources that the library offers to assist you in your studying. The library’s 1L Resources, Tips and Tools: Library Information Guide has links to study aids and other resources to help you succeed on your law school exams. For upper-level students, the library has created several research guides to aid you in your research: Library Research Guides.

If you are not on campus, you can access several digital resources such as the Lexis Digital Library which includes the Understanding study aid series in first year and upper level courses.

To access digital resources off-campus, make sure you install the proxy server. If you would like to study in the library, you will need to reserve a seat beforehand. Remember that you will need to submit a negative COVID test and abide by the law school’s safety procedures in order to enter and use the library.

Finally, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or use the chat feature on the library’s homepage.

Stay safe this holiday season and good luck with the remainder of the semester!

International Law Weekend & International Law E-Resources

BLS students: you can register FOR FREE to attend the online International Law Weekend 2020 (Oct. 22-24, 2020).  This year’s meeting theme is: International Law in Challenging Times.  On this page, click: Full Schedule of Speakers to view the complete schedule of events.  The opening panel will discuss current challenges on Thursday at 2 pm. Both Surveillance, Privacy, and Human Rights: The Outlook for 2021 and Intellectual Property and COVID-19 in International Law will follow on Thursday in the 3:30 pm program time slot. Asylum in Crisis: Upholding Human Rights During a Pandemic will occur on Friday at 10:30 am. Participate in International Law Trivia on Friday afternoon…  On Saturday at 9 am, sip your pumpkin spice coffee while enjoying the keynote address of H.E. Judge Julia Sebutinde, International Court of Justice.  The Pathways to Careers in International Law panel also will occur on Saturday at 11:30 am. After this career program, there will be a career networking session sponsored by ILSA. Then, attend one of the “hot topics” panels.   

A BLS student, faculty member or administrator who has implemented the BLS proxy instructions now has off-campus access to 180+ treatises, handbooks and treaty commentaries in Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law (OSAIL).  (In BLS Library’s SARA catalog record for OSAIL, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION-OXFORD.) This e-collection includes recently published handbooks, such as: The Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, The Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law and The Oxford Handbook of International Cultural Heritage Law.  It contains noted treatises, such as Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (9th ed.).  It provides treaty commentaries, ranging from The Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary (3rd ed.) to The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol: A Commentary.  Paper-writing students: if you click Title List near the top right of the screen, you will see OSAIL’s e-books listed by category, such as: Environmental Law, Human Rights Law and Use of Force/Humanitarian Law.

Q: What do International Law Weekend 2020 and OSAIL have in common?                                                                         

A: At 9:30 am on United Nations Day (Saturday, Oct. 24), International Law Weekend 2020 will offer a United Nations 75th Anniversary Plenary Panel.  To commemorate the United Nations’ 75th anniversary, OSAIL is providing a FREE (until Nov. 30, 2020) collection of articles and chapters about “the role of the UN in international law over the past 75 years, and its significance to the development of global human rights and international peace and security.”   

Getting Help Drafting Corporate Agreements

If you are asked to draft an agreement (a.k.a contract), there are some great tools to help you get started.  Each of Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg have specialized databases dedicated to corporate lawyers.  In these databases you will find millions of sample agreements that you can use to draft your own agreement. 

On Westlaw, first select Practical Law from the Westlaw homepage:

Then, select your practice area (e.g. if you are drafting an employment agreement, select Labor & Employment):

Now, select from Sample Documents, Sample Clauses, and other resources to help you draft your agreement (such as Practice Notes, Checklists, Toolkits, and more):

Lexis users can use Practical Guidance to find similar resources:

Bloomberg Law aficionados have plenty of corporate drafting tools to choose from but probably the best place to start when drafting a corporate agreement is Practical Guidance:

If you have any questions about using these corporate transactional resources, or would like to discuss search strategies with a reference librarian, contact the reference desk.  You can reach us by email at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu, by chat from the library homepage, or drop in during our Zoom Office Hours (M-W-F: 1-3pm; Tu-Th: 3-5pm).

Do you need to write a seminar paper, but don’t know where to start? Get answers at the Online Guide for Researching and Writing Your Seminar Paper

If you are struggling with selecting a topic, researching that topic, or developing a thesis on that topic, take a deep breath because help is out there. Professor Betsy Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil have created online video tutorials on four topics: developing your thesis, plagiarism, selecting a topic, and researching that topic. You can access the videos at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.

From the guide’s main page, you can access the video tutorials, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper. Also, included on the online guide are descriptions and links to a variety of the library’s resources that can help you either select your paper topic or research it. If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please email the reference desk at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu.

Summer Access to Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law

You can continue to use your Westlaw account for summer research. If you are interning at a firm, be sure to check with them first. You may need to use a different account for billing purposes. Graduating students have access for six months from graduation.

For Lexis, you automatically have summer access. You can use your account for both school work and your internship. Check the Lexis for Law School homepage for information on upcoming trainings and workshops. Graduating students have access to their accounts until February 28, 2021.

For Bloomberg Law, you can continue to use your account over the summer without interruption. This access is granted automatically. Graduating students will have access to their account until June 21, 2021.

Researching legislation related to the coronavirus? Check out the Law Library of Congress’s Coronavirus Resource Guide

If you are researching legal issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, you will definitely want to check out the comprehensive coronavirus resource guide published by the Law Library of Congress, which provides links to laws, regulations and executive actions in the United States at both the federal and the state level, and in various countries.  The guide is updated at least weekly and in addition to direct links to laws and regulations, it includes Congressional Research Service reports which provide information to Congress about the coronavirus, law library blog posts, and articles from the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor which tracks global legal developments. 

Some interesting Congressional Research Services reports listed in the Coronavirus Resource Guide include:

Todd Garvey, Constitutional Considerations of Remote Voting in Congress, Congressional Research Services(Apr. 14, 2020)

Colby Leigh Rachfal, COVID-19 and Broadband: Potential Implications for the Digital Divide, Congressional Research Services (Mar. 13, 2020)

Marc Labonte, COVID-19: Potential Economic Effects, Congressional Research Services (Mar. 11, 2020)

The Law Library of Congress’s Global Legal Monitor has dozens of articles organized by region which track individual country responses to the coronavirus, such as an article detailing Germany’s changes to its rules of procedure in Parliament and one discussing legislation in China that punishes the trade and consumption of wild animals.   

The guide also includes a link to a law library report on Legal Responses to Health Emergencies. Though written five years ago, the report provides useful summaries of regulations addressing health emergencies in 25 jurisdictions as well as a comparative summary and bibliography that may be useful in analyzing the level of preparedness of different countries for the current pandemic.

BLS Library Services Continuing Remotely (Library closed until further notice)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 requires all employers, with the exception of “essential services or functions,” to reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% as of 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020. As a result, Brooklyn Law School Library is closed until further notice.

BLS librarians and staff are continuing to provide library services remotely. We are continually updating a web guide about how to remotely access online resources: https://guides.brooklaw.edu/remoteaccess. Many major casebook publishers are making ebook versions of casebooks available for free to students through the end of the semester; access information is found in the guide under the tab “Online Access to Case Books.” Information about how to request 60-day online access to the legal Bluebook can also be found in the guide.

Our reference librarian team is also ready and willing to help with reference questions. We are providing reference services online, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. 

If you have any questions or requests relating to library or reference services, please contact us by email at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or by text at (718) 734-2432.  

Stay safe!

COVID-19 – Information for Studying

Though the library as of the date of this post, remains open, students are encouraged to stay home and avoid crowded areas, including mass transit when possible. For an explanation of why it is so important to heed these warnings, even if you are not at high-risk for severe complications, see the NY Times Article, Flattening the Coronavirus Curve .

If you need to access Library Resources from home, or need help with your research, the Library staff has created this helpful guide: http://guides.brooklaw.edu/remoteaccess.

For information on the Coronavirus, including tracking the virus in NY, the U.S., and globally; information on symptoms and what to do if you are sick; government responses and guidelines; and articles dispelling myths about the virus, see our guide: http://guides.brooklaw.edu/coronavirus

Who Run the Law Reviews? Girls!

According to a recent Law.com article, for the first time ever, female law students are sitting in top law review editor positions at each top 16 law school, including Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. 

According to the article, this achievement is due, in part, to the progress that many law schools have made toward cultivating a more hospitable environment for women, people of color, and first-generation law students. 

The advancement of women to law review leadership positions has been a growing priority in law schools since a 2012 study spotlighted the dearth of women in these roles. In fact, the Cornell Law Review made headlines last year when it elected an all-female executive board, believed to be the first in history for a flagship journal at a top law school.

The article concludes that women in leadership positions at law reviews is part of a growing movement which shows that “women are a strong force in the legal field and will continue to prove themselves.”