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.”

Do you need to write a seminar paper, but don’t know where to start? Get answers at the Seminar Paper Workshop

On Thursday January 30, Prof. Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil are holding their semi-annual workshop on how to research and write a seminar paper in Room 700. The workshop is from 4-5:30 PM.

Topics covered include sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and strategies for effectively organizing and writing your paper.  If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can access an online research guide which contains a recording of the workshop, links to and descriptions of all the research sources discussed, and the writing and research presentations.  The online guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.  From the guide’s main page, you can access the recording of the presentation, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper.  If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.

Library Exam Time Info & Policies

During the reading and exam period you must make a reservation to use a library study room.  Mandatory study room reservations begin on Thursday, December 5 at 8:00 am; at that time, all study rooms will be locked, and you must go to the first-floor circulation desk to charge out the key to the room at the time of your reservation.  The link to the study room reservations is on the library webpage.

The reading and exam period is from Thursday, December 5 through Friday, December 20, 2019.

Study Room Policies:

  • Study rooms are for the use of groups of two or more students.
  • Study rooms may be reserved for the current day and three days ahead.
  • Study rooms may be reserved in 30-minute time slots; your time slots must be contiguous.
  • You may book up to 8 contiguous time slots (use the grid to select your start time and use the drop-down box to select your end time).
  • Study room use is limited to 4 hours per user per day to ensure availability for all users.
  • You must use your brooklaw.edu email address to reserve a study room.
  • Study rooms are subject to availability and reservations may be modified by library staff at any time.

Hours for the Reading & Exam Period:

  • Thursday, December 5 – Thursday, December 20:  8:00 am – 2:00 am.
  • Friday, December 21:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • The circulation desk will close at 12:00 am from December 5 – 20.
  • The library will close for Winter Break at 5 pm on Friday, December 21 and reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Reminders About Noise & Food in the Library:

  • Please keep your voices down in reading rooms and study rooms.  Your colleagues are also studying.
  • If you need a space for discussion, the collaboration areas are: the Bernsen reference & reading room (1st floor), the library lounge (1st mezzanine), the Nash reading room (3rd floor) and the study rooms.
  • Our food policy allows for light snacks in the library.  Light snacks are foods such as those generally dispensed in vending machines: candy, cookies, chips, pretzels, donuts, bagels, etc. — food which can be easily eaten dry and with the hands. No plates or bowls of food which require utensils. No fast foods such as pizza, burgers, etc., which can be messy and odorous. The library reserves the right to determine which food items are acceptable and which are not appropriate for library consumption.
  • Brooklyn Law School is a smoke and tobacco free campus.  Smoking or vaping is not permitted anywhere in the school, which includes the library.  If you have any questions, please read Brooklyn Law School’s Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy on BLSConnect.

Good Luck on Your Exams & Happy Holidays!

Study Aids at the Library

Need a little extra help with your classes? The library has a robust collection of study aids to assist with your mid-semester cramming. Check out the following resources:

“Understanding” Series from LexisNexis  
Check out the LexisNexis e-Book library at the link above for practice guides and study aids, including the “Understanding” series which covers a range of topics including Administrative Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Torts, Evidence, Property, International Law, and the First Amendment.

“Nutshell” Study Aids

Constitutional Law in a Nutshell
Civil Procedure in a Nutshell
Contracts in a Nutshell
Criminal Law in a Nutshell
Property in a Nutshell
Torts in a Nutshell

Examples & Explanations Series
Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Contracts
Criminal Law
Property
Torts

This is just a sample of the available study aids. The Nutshell and Examples & Explanations Series also cover upper level courses such as Conflict of Laws, Bankruptcy and Corporations.

1Ls: Remember to refer to the 1L Research Guide for links to study aids and library resources. And remember you can always stop by the reference desk for assistance in finding study aids to help you get through the semester.



New this Week: Alcove Academy @ the Library First Floor

Starting this week, the Library will be hosting a series of 10 minute talks during Wednesday’s lunch time hour (12:45-1:45pm).  These quick talks will be held in the alcove of the newly renovated Library first floor.  We are calling these sessions, Alcove Academy, and they will be focused on quick tips, tools and best practices for conducting research and using technology.   Occurring every other week, the Fall Alcove Academy will inform you on how to conduct docket research, how to format your Bluebook citations, and quick tips on digital security. 

Fall Semester Dates:

Oct. 23: Researching with Dockets

Nov. 6: Bluebooking Academy

Nov. 20: Digital Security Quick Tips