BLS librarians have created 40+ publicly-accessible legal research guides. Tips: A BLS student can email firstname.lastname@example.org, text (718) 734-2432 or chat with us for help determining whether there is a guide to support research on a specific topic. Off-campus use of many subscription databases described in BLS research guides requires implementation of the BLS proxy server instructions.
Also, your librarians serve as liaisons to the BLS full-time faculty–we can tell you which librarian works most closely with a particular professor. A librarian liaison might have created research links in the Canvas page for a paper-writing course or other material to support students’ research. Note: BLS librarians can highlight resources to support any type of law student paper, article or presentation.
Additionally, there are many subject-focused BLS research guides. If you need to develop a topic in the “Art Law” seminar, the Art Law guide > tab: Other Resources links to websites of organizations and the searchable ArThemis database of news/case notes on art and cultural property disputes. If you need to conduct research for the “Topics in White Collar Crime” seminar, you could link to many resources through guide: White Collar Crime Research. If you are writing in the “Civil Practice Workshop,” the New York Civil Practice guide might be helpful. (This is a guide BLS librarians like to highlight to all BLS students who might wish to become litigators.) If you are writing on a tax topic, see: Federal Tax Research Guide and International Tax Research Guide. These guides include instructions to access BLS subscription databases to support tax research.
COMING IN EARLY OCTOBER: A presentation for students on selecting a paper topic and avoiding plagiarism. We will provide the date/time soon!
Guide tab: Legal Books describes how to find many Sweet & Maxwell sources in: Westlaw Edge UK. In this database, BLS researchers now can access a number of additional treatises (example: Dicey, Morris & Collins on the Conflict of Laws).
Guide tab: Dictionaries includes a link to: Westlaw Edge UK: Index of Legal Terms. Westlaw Edge UK will search for a term like: demurrer in Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law, Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary of Words and Phrases and Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary. Westlaw Edge UK also states: “In addition to the dictionaries, the index includes definitions that form part of Westlaw UK’s Case, Legislation and Journal documents.”
Guide tab: Cases now includes a box titled: Easy Ways To Find and Print Cases in Westlaw Edge UK. Also, researchers might appreciate the way Judicial Treatment appears so clearly in Westlaw Edge UK > tab: Cases.
Guide tab: News explains: At subscription Law360 UK, it appears that BLS researchers can only access “Top Stories.” Tip: Use Lexis+ Legal News Hub > All sections > UK to obtain the text of additional Law360 UK legal news stories/analysis.
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing SB8, Texas’s restrictive abortion legislation which effectively bans all abortion after 6 weeks (and undermines nearly 50 years of constitutional precedent established by Roe v. Wade) to go into effect, some students may be interested in researching the laws addressing reproductive rights nationally and internationally. This post will focus on some international sources of law regarding reproductive rights and right to safe legal abortions.
UN Treaty Bodies
The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights published an information pamphlet on abortion summarizing the opinions and comments of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. The pamphlet contains several helpful endnotes to primary source documents issued by UNHR bodies addressing abortion.
OHCHR: Human Rights Council
The UN Human Rights Council Working Group on discrimination against women and girls issued a 2016 report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice on its mission to the United States of America in which it expressed regret that American women have “seen their rights to sexual and reproductive health significantly eroded…” (para. 28) and noted that “ever-increasing barriers are being created to prevent their access to abortion procedures.” (para. 68)
You automatically have summer access to Lexis. 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, 2022.
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, 2022.
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.
To help you begin your career as a practicing attorney, the Brooklyn Law School Library’s “Practice-Ready” program from Westlaw provides you with continued access to Westlaw and other practice tools for 18 months after graduation, for up to 60 hours each month, including use for work-related research.
To access these products, all you have to do is enroll in Westlaw’s “Grad Elite” program. Simply log in to your existing Westlaw account and you will receive a pop-up message to confirm your enrollment.
In addition to Westlaw and Practical Law, you also have access to these practice tools:
Drafting Assistant Essential Westlaw Doc & Form Builder Practical Law Connect
This summer, Brooklyn Law School’s continuing students will have access to their Bloomberg Law, Lexis+ and Westlaw Edge accounts. But a summer employer might want student workers to use one of the employer’s accounts for billing purposes—check with your employer. For continuing students, Thomson Reuters imposes a Westlaw Edge usage limit of 180 hours per month for an active (non-extended access) account. Brooklyn Law School’s graduating students will have access to Bloomberg Law and Lexis+ (excluding public records) for 6 months after graduation. Graduating students who plan to engage in “verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work” can apply to access selected Lexis+ content for 12 months. All graduating students can enroll in Thomson Reuters’ Grad Elite program to obtain 18 months of access (with a cap of 60 hours per month) to Westlaw Edge, Practical Law, Westlaw China, Thomson Reuters ProView eBooks and drafting tools.
A legal database might have a practice-focused page of sources for the area of law you need to research. These practice pages often provide: legal news, practice notes, checklists, sample forms, tools to build forms and model clauses. Explore these pages through: Westlaw Edge pull-down menu option: Practical Law, Lexis+ icon: Practical Guidance and Bloomberg Law home page link: Practical Guidance.
If you need to update someone else’s draft legal brief/opinion, or if you wish to try to find additional citations to support your own brief, try using one of the brief analysis tools that are supported by highly-regarded citators, such as Lexis+: Brief Analysis and Westlaw Edge: Quick Check. Note: When using a Safe Harbor Project memo as a test, Lexis+: Brief Analysis provided Shepard’s treatment for both cases and BIA Decisions cited in the memo. (Be aware of any citations in your brief analysis results that a brief analysis tool states it cannot verify. You will need to Shepardize or KeyCite these citations.)
If you might need to write legal briefs, consider downloading Lexis For Microsoft Office for Law Schools. After downloading Lexis for Microsoft Office: When you open your Word document and click tab: LexisNexis, you will be able to Shepardize citations in your document, to check the Bluebook format of citations in your document, to check the accuracy of quotes in your document (if Lexis+ recognizes the quoted sources) and to create a table of authorities. Feel free to direct questions about this product to Brooklyn Law School’s Lexis+ Practice Area Consultant, Mary Beth Drain (email@example.com).
If you want to find data about the types of cases a judge has heard, how a judge has ruled on motions, or the outcome of appeals from a judge’s decisions, try using a litigation analytics tool. In Westlaw Edge, Lexis+ and Bloomberg Law, these tools are called: Litigation Analytics. Westlaw Edge: Litigation Analytics covers U.S. federal and selected state courts and includes the ability to view damages awarded in U.S. federal district courts.
If you need to compare laws and/or regulations in multiple states, check: Bloomberg Law: State Law Chart Builders, Cheetah: choose a practice area, like: Tax: State & Local > link to Smart Charts or Quick Answer Charts, HeinOnline: National Survey of State Laws, Lexis+: Practical Guidance> Tools & Resources: State Law Comparison Tool, State Law Surveys and Westlaw Edge: 50 State Statutory Surveys, 50 State Regulatory Surveys,Jurisdictional Surveys. An additional free tool is National Conference of State Legislatures: Research> Topics. (Always check the dates of information provided by these tools.)
Create a free account at SSRN to search for current legal working papers and pre-prints of legal articles and book chapters. Tip: if you retrieve a lengthy list of SSRN results, try sorting the results by: Date Posted, Descending.
If you do not live in Feil Hall, implement Brooklyn Law School’s proxy server instructions for one web browser. Then, when you use that browser to search Google Scholar for articles, you will be able to link to the full text of more articles. (Your Google Scholar search results likely will include articles from Brooklyn Law School’s subscription databases.) Use of the proxy server also allows you to search for/link to articles from Brooklyn Law School Library’s home page. (Tip: change the search pull down menu option to: I’d like to search: Articles.)
If you wish to identify/access Brooklyn Law School Library’s subscription e-books off campus, use a web browser that communicates with Brooklyn Law School’s proxy server and search SARA catalog. If you are a New York State resident, you also can apply online for a New York Public Library (NYPL) digital library card. This will provide access to NYPL’s ebooks and selected databases.
BLS students: you can registerFOR 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 OSAILhave 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.”
The first day of summer
was June 21, and heading into July it sure feels like summer! For those of you
sticking around BLS to study, the Library will be open 9am-12pm every day but
Sunday (10am-12pm). The Library will be open from 9am-5pm on July 4th.
Reference Services will not be available for those days.
As the count down to the bar
begins, please remember to take care of yourselves! A good night’s sleep is
valuable as we get closer. If you need a brief distraction, games and puzzles
are available. Ask the Reference Librarian on duty for more information!
The first floor of the Library remains closed this for construction. Circulation, Reference, and Reserve services will be on the 3rd floor of the Library, near the internal staircase. Printing and scanning services will also be available on the third floor. If you have questions, you can always, Ask the Library.
Bloomberg Law has made significant enhancements to their citator, BCite, available on BloombergLaw.com:
“The enhanced Bloomberg Law Citator (BCite) makes it easier to navigate the content related to a case and to find related documents across all of Bloomberg Law. BCite now features separate tabs for the Direct History, Case Analysis, and Table of Authorities and provides expanded filtering options designed specifically for related tasks. For instance, the Direct History tab includes filter options for History, Court, and Date, while the Case Analysis and Table of Authorities tabs add filters for Analysis, Case Status, Citation Frequency, Court, and Judge. The new Citing Documents tab provides the ability to find documents citing to your court opinion across many content sets, including court materials, administrative and regulatory documents, legislative content, and secondary sources, like books, treatises, and BNA analysis.”
Users can now easily see all documents, including secondary sources, that cite to a particular case, and filter or search within those citing documents. Remember that BloombergLaw.com is free for all BLS students with no academic use restriction. Your passwords will be active until the end of the calendar year in which you graduate.
For questions on how to access or use BloombergLaw.com, see a Reference Librarian, or contact our BLS Bloomberg Relationship Manager, Erica Horton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For when New York City has more rain than shine…umbrellas are back and available to borrow in the library! We have been fortunate enough to receive replacements for the original Bloomberg umbrellas, courtesy of LexisNexis. There are currently 6 umbrellas that can be checked out from the library’s Circulation Desk for 24 hours. So the next time you see rain pouring down as you leave class for the day, stop by and borrow one – you can bring it back the next day.
In addition to umbrellas, remember that we have lots of useful things available to borrow besides books – USB drives, laptop locks, headphones, and dry erase markers. If you have suggestions for other items you might be interested in having available for loan in the library, please let us know.