Exam Time Success

STUDENTS_STUDYING_AT_CATHEDRAL_SENIOR_HIGH_SCHOOL_IN_NEW_ULM,_MINNESOTA._THE_TOWN_IS_A_COUNTY_SEAT_TRADING_CENTER_OF..._-_NARA_-_558209 - CopyThis time of year can be quite overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources in the library to help you succeed. Listed below are some of the resources. If you have questions about them, please feel free to stop by or email (refdesk@brooklaw.edu) the reference desk.


Study Aids:

First Year Courses:

Site provides links to popular study aids for first year courses.

Upper Level Courses:

There are a few ways to identify study aids for upper level courses. One way is to search the SARA catalog for the subject matter of the exam and then use the filters on the left to limit the list to items located on Reserve.  Another way is to search for a particular series. For example, you could search SARA for West’s Nutshell Series, the Understanding Series, Sum and Substance, Concise Hornbook Series, or Examples and Explanations.

Legal Writing and Citation Tools:

Legal Writing & Analysis:

Site links you to resources to help with legal writing and analysis.

Legal Citation:

Site links you to legal citation resources

Other Tools for Success:

Exams on File:

Link provides access to past exams


Study Room Reservations & Library Hours for the Reading/Exam Period: April 30 – May 15, 2015

  • studyroomDuring the reading and exam period, you must make a reservation to use a library study room.  Mandatory study room reservations will begin on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 8:00am; 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.  Please use the link to the study room reservations which is on the library homepage under “Related Links.

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 two days ahead
  • Study rooms may be reserved for periods from 30 minutes up to four hours
  • Students are permitted to reserve one study room for a maximum of four hours per day
  • Study room reservations are monitored and reservations violating these policies will be deleted
  • Instructions for making reservations and a list of rooms available are on the study room reservations page

Library Hours for the Reading & Exam Period:

  • Thursday, April 30 – Thursday, May 14, 2015:  8:00am – 2:00am
  • April 30 – May 14:  The circulation desk closes at 12Midnight; no books can be charged out after Midnight
  • Friday, May 15:  8:00am – 10:00pm

Library Hours for the Writing Competition Weekend:

  • Saturday, May 16:  9:00am – 2:00am
  • Sunday, May 17:  8:00am – 2:00am


  • Please limit all conversations in the library; remember that your colleagues are studying too.
  • There is no eating in the library; please go to the student lounge or cafeteria for snacks and meals.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended.  If you step away from your study table or carrel, take anything of value to you with you.

Good luck on your exams and have a great summer!



Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy Trial

On April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, died from a bullet wound inflicted the night before by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer. Lincoln’s death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War. In the aftermath of the nation’s first assassination of its president, the newly sworn-in President Andrew Johnson issued an Executive Order on May 1 directing that persons charged with Lincoln’s murder stand trial before a military tribunal. The trial lasted more than fifty days, and 366 witnesses gave testimony. The Lincoln assassination and its aftermath continues to resonate with the public and historians.

LincolnThe Brooklyn Law School Library has ordered a new book on the subject for its collection:  The Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy Trial and Its Legacy by Frederick Hatch (Call # KF223.L47 H38 2015). The 244 page book takes a close look at the trial of the eight defendants charged with conspiring to assassinate President Lincoln who were tried by a military commission under military law. The author contends that this was illegal, since the civilian legal system was fully functioning. The many ways in which the defendants’ rights were violated are described, as are the ways in which the trial testimony was either not accurate or not legally obtained. The trial is also compared with other incidents in which the U.S. military was used in police and judicial functions, with questionable results. The book is a warning against unchecked power by the executive branch of the government.

Summer Access (& Beyond) to Bloomberg Law, Lexis & Westlaw

0e2ba5_c6af0e49ed0e47a9a37a6829ff43672b.png_srz_173_140_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe three legal research databases, Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance and WestlawNext, are available to Brooklyn Law School students this summer.  May 2015 graduates will also have access to these databases for six months after graduation.  See the details below:


Bloomberg Law:  Provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer.  Student accounts will remain active and available all summer.  Students may use Bloomberg Law without restrictions.  Graduating students have continued access for six months after graduation.

For questions, contact Erica Horton, Esq, Law School Relationship Manager, Bloomberg BNA, ehorton@bna.com, 1-800-542-1113, ext. 1884.

Lexis Advance:  Students will have continuing access all summer for academic, professional and non-profit research.  All legal and news content will be available and there is no limitation on the number of hours of use.  Graduating students will have extended access until December 31, 2015.

Lexis ASPIRE:  Students graduating in Spring 2015 working for a non-profit 501(c)(3) employer may apply for an ASPIRE ID which provides free access to Lexis Advance for as long as their non-profit work continues, until September 1, 2016.  ASPIRE provides free access to federal and state cases, codes, regulations, law reviews, Shepard’s, and Matthew Bender treatises to use in their non-profit employment.

  • Use the Graduate ID Form which will open ASPIRE details and extended access to Lexis Advance when you fill in your non-profit employment status.
  • Review the eligibility requirements, and if your non-profit employment qualifies, use the Graduate Program form to apply for an ASPIRE ID.  You will need to provide verifying documentation.

For questions, contact Mary Beth Drain, LexisNexis Account Executive, marybeth.drain@lexisnexis.com, 845-598-3203.

WestlawNext:  Students may extend their passwords for the following academic uses on WestlawNext:

  • Summer law school classes and study abroad programs
  • Law Review & Journal, including writing competitions
  • Research assistant
  • Moot Court
  • Unpaid internship/externship

To extend their passwords, students can select the “Need Westlaw this Summer” banner on the Westlaw homepage for continued access.  They can then complete the online summer extension form to request the summer extension.

Graduating students will need to complete an online password extension request on the Westlaw homepage for continued access.  Once they complete the online extension request, they will have continued access through November 30, 2015.

For questions, contact Stefanie Efrati, Academic Account Manager, Thomson Reuters, stefanie.efrati@thomsonreuters.com, 212-548-7432.


The Supreme Court Crafts a New Standard in Pregnancy Discrimination Cases – Young v. UPS

On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down Young v. United Parcel Service and set forth a new standard making it easier for a female employee to establish discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act [42 U.S.C. 200e(k)] (“PDA”).  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII in 1978, explicitly provides that discrimination “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” includes discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

The Young case arose when UPS offered light-duty accommodations to disabled and injured employees but not to pregnant employees.  Young alleged this policy violated the PDA.

In Young, the Court did not go as far as to say that employers must accommodate pregnant workers whenever they accommodate non-pregnant workers.  What the Court did say is, whenever different accommodations are provided to similarly situated pregnant and non-pregnant workers, the employer must determine whether there is any legitimate reason for the disparate treatment. If no legitimate reason exists, then the employer has discriminated on the basis of pregnancy in violation of the PDA.  Even when the employer is able to articulate a neutral business rational for the different accommodations, the Court ruled that the pregnant worker must still be given the opportunity to show that the different accommodations impose a “significant burden” on pregnant workers that cannot be justified by the employer’s neutral rationale.

Going forward, the Young decision means that a pregnant worker will not be required to establish explicit discriminatory intent to prove a PDA violation.  Instead, under Young, it is sufficient for the worker to show that different accommodations offered to similarly situated pregnant and non-pregnant workers impose a “significant burden” on pregnant employees.


In Honor of Women’s History Month – BLS Alumna and Suffragette, “General” Rosalie Jones

rosaliejonesRosalie Gardiner Jones was born in 1883 to Mary and Oliver Livingston Jones, wealthy Oyster Bay socialites.  She graduated from Adelphi College, then a women’s school, in Brooklyn and later from Brooklyn Law School.

When she was 28, Rosalie entered the suffrage movement and led two “suffrage hikes”, one from NYC to Albany, and the second from NYC to Washington DC, to bring attention to the women’s right to vote movement.

The NYC to Albany hike took thirteen days. Rosalie along with other women, walked (in skirts), through bad weather and difficult roads, a distance of 150 miles to reach their destination. They made speeches, sang songs to keep morale up, and gave interviews to the press along the way. The press dubbed her and her followers, “General Jones” and the “suffragette pilgrims”.

The NYC to Washington, DC hike covered more than 200 miles and took 20 days to finish.  When the arrived in DC they joined over 5,000 of their fellow suffragists in the National Woman Suffrage Parade procession, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue toward Constitution Hall.

Brooklyn’s Eastern District Federal Court: 150 Years

This Monday in the courthouse on Cadman Plaza East in Downtown Brooklyn, two Justices of the US Supreme Court, the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, both of whom hold honorary degrees from Brooklyn Law School (Ginsburg receiving hers in 1987 and Sotomayor being awarded her Degree of Juris Doctor Honoris Causa in 2001), attended a ceremony celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Eastern District of New York (EDNY). The actual date of the first EDNY court session was March 22, 1865 after President Abraham Lincoln, on Feb. 25, 1865, signed the bill creating the Eastern District. Monday’s celebration looked back at the humble beginnings of the court, noting the progress towards diversity and the application of justice over the years. It also looked at a district that has become one of the most respected and revered federal courts in the country.

The courthouse for the Eastern District has occupied several sites over the years: its first session convened in a room at Brooklyn City Court; it then moved to two separate locations on Montague Street and in 1891 settled in the backyard of 40 Clinton St. At one point the court rented space in the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle Building …for overflow Chambers and offices,” noted a History of the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York, prepared by the Federal Bar Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
In her remarks, Justice Ginsburg, Brooklyn-born and an alumna of James Madison High School, said “The birth of this court, 150 years ago, is cause for celebration…In its early years…the court only had one judge.” For the first 46 years of the district’s existence, one judge handled all of the court’s business, and in 1910, a second judge was added to assist with the caseload. It was not until a high rate of litigation during and after World War I when more judgeships were created for the Eastern District.

The second female to sit as a justice in the highest court of the land, Ginsburg remarked on the diversity of the Eastern District bench, mentioning the first “woman to break that barrier in the Eastern District, Reena Raggi, in 1987.” Raggi now sits on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ginsburg stated “For me, it is an incredible dream come true that the majority of the [EDNY] court’s active judges are women and that the composition of this bench mirrors the diversity of the communities the court serves.” There are currently 12 female district judges serving the Eastern District of New York,  all in active and not in senior status. Justice Sotomayor did not speak at Monday’s event but will officiate a naturalization ceremony in October to commemorate the court’s anniversary.Providing hope for another 150 years of the Eastern District, Ginsburg concluded, “May the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York continue to flourish, serving all of the people … [and] to serve and [provide] justice that is equal and accessible to all…We can’t let our history die with those who know it.”

Monday’s ceremonies included remarks by Former Chief Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who recalled sitting on his parents’ shoulders as they watched Civil War veterans ride down Grand Central Parkway in the 1920s. He said: “Over the years, our judges and magistrate judges, despite a huge increase in number, have continued to share a deep affection—and an unwavering desire to provide the rule of law to all our people in this district.”

For a history of the Eastern District, see in the BLS Library the short 95 page book titled To Administer Justice on Behalf of All the People: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York 1965-1990 by Jeffrey B. Morris (Call # KF8755.N49 M67 1992).

Legal Research Beyond Westlaw & Lexis

data baseWhile in law school, you may find the vast majority of the sources you need through the two main online legal platforms, Westlaw and Lexis. There is a reason why they are the leaders of the pack. They provide you with a comprehensive set of primary and secondary sources of law. But Westlaw and Lexis do not necessarily have every resource you may need. Listed below are three other key legal online platforms with a brief description of each platform’s unique content. Before you graduate, make sure to utilize and become familiar with these tools. If you have any questions about accessing or using them, please contact a reference librarian. (refdesk@brooklaw.edu)

Bloomberg BNA:

For legal news, Bloomberg BNA Law Reports are the industry standard. There are over 100 different law reports, which cover a range of topics including: securities, patent, trademark, copyright, white collar, health care, environmental law, labor and employment, etc. Besides BNA Law Reports, Bloomberg BNA provides access to Bloomberg News which monitors the latest legal, regulatory, and industry developments. One of my favorite features of Bloomberg BNA is the dockets database. Only Bloomberg BNA searches both the text of the docket sheets as well as the retrieved underlying court documents. The dockets database is a great way to monitor litigation of interest and to identify sample court documents.

CCH Intelliconnect:

CCH is a platform that focuses on highly regulated areas of law. The database contains related cases, statutes, agency regulations, agency decisions, agency handbooks and guidance documents, editorial commentary, and legal news. Areas of law covered include securities, banking, antitrust and trade, corporate governance, products liability, secured transactions, and tax. If you end up practicing in one of these areas, this is a key platform for research and keeping current on the law.


Heinonine has cornered the market for legal history platforms. Compared with Lexis and Westlaw, whose coverage for many sources begins in the late 80s or early 90s, Heinonline contains volumes which often date back to the publications’ inception. For example, Heinonline contains every volume of the Congressional Record, the entire Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations, volumes of the United States Reports that date back to 1754, as well as classic legal treatises from the 16th to 20th century. Unlike Westlaw and Lexis, Heinonline also carries the complete run of law review and law journals.

March is Women’s History Month: Women & the Law

images_106The month of March every year is Women’s History Month.  Each year the Library celebrates March with a book display in the first floor display case opposite the elevator.  These books will be back on the shelves and available for loan on April 1st. If you have an interest in any of them now, just go to the first floor reference desk and we’ll retrieve the book for you immediately.

During this month the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society are highlighted with professional conferences and social activities throughout the country.

Each year the President issues a proclamation reminding us of the contributions American women have made to American society.  See this year’s proclamation from President Obama here.

Also see the American Bar Association’s report entitled A Current Glance at Women in the Law, published in July 2014, which gives statistics on the number of women in the legal profession, the number of women in the judiciary, the number of women in law schools, the number of women on law reviews, etc.  The report can be found here.  Great strides have been made, but more progress is needed.

To read about how far women have come in the legal profession and some of the issues that they still encounter, see the selected titles below about women and the law in the Library.

Pioneering Women Lawyers: From Kate Stoneman to the Present

The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women

Women and the Law Stories

Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law

Women Attorneys Speak Out! How Practicing Law is Different for Women than for Men

Women on Top—The Woman’s Guide to Leadership and Power in Law Firms

Sisters-in-Law: An Uncensored Guide for Women Practicing Law in the Real World

It’s Harder in Heels: Essays by Women Lawyers Achieving Work-Life Balance

Legally Mom: Real Women’s Stories of Balancing Motherhood & Law Practice

And finally, there is a quarterly publication from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Professions:  Perspectives – A Magazine For and About Women Lawyers.




Bestlaw: Chrome Extension for WestlawNext

Earlier this week, BLAWg IN Bloom, the Indiana Law Library Blog, had an interesting post that could be of great help to Brooklyn Law School faculty and students who use WestlawNext. Titled Legal Research Tech Tool: Bestlaw, the post discusses how cost-effective research is one of the toughest skills to master. Law students have the luxury of using legal databases without any fiscal consequences. In the practice of law, when paying for subscriptions to legal research platforms (with clients are being billed for research time on these platforms), users need to think more carefully. Now a new tool called Bestlaw, developed to encourage cost-effective in subscription platforms, will change things.

BestlawJoe Mornin, a third year law student at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, built Bestlaw, that adds useful features to WestlawNext:

  • Perfect Bluebook citations with one click
  • Clean, readable view
  • Automatically-generated tables of contents
  • Quick links to jump to footnotes
  • One-click copying for citations, titles, and full text
  • Collapsing and expanding statutory sections
  • Finding documents on free sources like CourtListener, Cornell LII, Casetext, and Google Scholar
  • Preventing automatic sign offs
  • Sharing documents by email or on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

WestlawNext users can download the Bestlaw browser add-on for Chrome (support for Firefox is coming soon too) and get help conducting research in WestlawNext more cost-effectively Morin is working on support for Lexis Advance that is coming soon). After installing Bestlaw, its tools appear for searches on WestlawNext. The add-on allows a view of documents in free sites like Casetext, Cornell LII, Court Listener, Findlaw, Google, Google Scholar, Ravel Law, or Wikipedia before viewing (and paying to view) them in WestlawNext. For secondary sources, like law review articles, users have the option under Display to show an automatically-generated Table of Contents for documents. While many law review articles come with these already, some do not, and many other secondary sources do not either, so this can be a handy tool for quick skimming to find the parts of the document that are most germane to the research task.