Author Archives: Sue Silverman

Free Resources Alert! Law Library of Congress

If you need to do any type of foreign or international law research, the Law Library of Congress (law.gov) offers a trove of (free!) resources that will be invaluable to your research.  Recently, the Law Library redid their website, making it easier to navigate.  Below is a summary of the resources available on law.gov.

The Researcher Resources tab takes you to a page with links to the Library’s Research Guides, Guide to Law Online, the Legal Research Institute, Congress.gov, the Library’s blog, In Custodia Legis, databases, and story maps which are interactive web applications that describe the Library’s collections  through narrative, multimedia, and interactive maps. 

Research Guides

The Law Library has published dozens of research guides, including research guides on the laws of the 50 states and U.S. territories (e.g. Guide to Law Online: Puerto Rico); various topic areas (Nonprofit Organizations Law: A Beginner’s Guide,  U.S. Federal Appellate Courts: Records and Briefs, Public International Law: A Beginner’s Guide); and guides for foreign law (e.g. Guide to Law Online – Australia). Each guide contains links to additional free sources for caselaw, legislation, and other resources and guides to assist in your research.

Legal Reports
The Law Library of Congress produces reports on foreign, comparative, and international law in response to requests from Members of Congress, Congressional staff and committees, the federal courts, executive branch agencies, and others. Selected reports are provided for the public for reference purposes. This can be a great brainstorming resource if you are looking for a foreign, international, or comparative topic to write on.  Some recent reports include: Citizenship through international adoption; Children’s online privacy and data protection in selected European countries; and Legal provisions on gender equality. You can browse these reports or search for reports on a specific topic using the search feature on top of the page.

Reference Librarians at the Law Library of Congress
If you have any questions about a resource or obtaining a source of foreign or international law (or any law), you can ask the reference librarians at the Library using the Ask the Library feature.  The Law Library of Congress employs experts in different areas of the law and countries and is thus well-equipped to provide guidance on finding sources on a wide variety of topic areas and jurisdictions.

Stay in the Know: Current Awareness Resources

Whether for a class, a note topic, or just for the sake of staying informed, you no doubt want to keep up with today’s current events. The BLS Library offers a wide variety of subscription news sources to the BLS community. Explore just some of the resources we have below and if you have any questions about accessing any of these sources or others, just ask a librarian at askthelibrary@brooklyn.edu. Happy newsing!!

NEW YORK TIMES

Students and members of the BLS community are entitled to a free subscription to the NY Times. To register, go to https://nytimesineducation.com/access-nyt/, choose Brooklyn Law School from the drop-down, and then follow the instructions to register.  For your initial registration, you must either be on campus or go through Brooklyn Law School’s proxy server (see Proxy Server Instructions) AND you must use your brooklaw.edu email account to register.  Once you have registered, you can use your login name and password to access the site from anywhere.  Each year you will need to login from on-campus or using the proxy server in order to keep your access active. 

FINANCIAL TIMES

…and students and the BLS community also have access to the Financial Times! To create your FT.com account, follow the instructions at this link: https://join.ft.com/63059ceb-a0f6-4354-9471-4154de1e50da . Next, you will be sent an email with password creation info. (NOTE, there might be a delay before receiving the email). Once you have created your account, go to www.ft.com and sign in with your account details to access unlimited content and tools.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

While we do not have student subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, you can access the Wall Street Journal on ProQuest and Lexis+.

Wall Street Journal: access via ProQuest (Proxy Server required) or via Lexis+ (login required).

LEGAL NEWS

Finally, for legal news, check out these sources below:

Law360: (access via Proxy Server) www.law360.com

Law.com: (access via Proxy Server) includes national and local news sources: www.law.com

Bloomberg Law News: (login via Bloomberg Law here

And that’s not all! For even more resources check out our News Access Research Guide!

Keeping Up with Legal Publications through SmartCILP

If you are writing a note, seminar paper, or you are interested in a particular area of law, you will want to be apprised of the latest publications on that topic.  An easy way to stay up-to-date on new journal articles is to set up an alert that will inform you of any new publications in the topic areas of your choice.  


HeinOnline recently introduced SmartCILP, a weekly publication that alerts you to the latest articles indexed in the Current Index of Legal Periodicals, also known as CILP.  CILP indexes by subject heading, the most recent issues of primarily American law journals and includes more than 650 legal publications organized within 104 relevant subject headings. The University of Washington Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library has maintained CILP and sent out weekly updates to subscribers for nearly 90 years.  Now users can subscribe directly to these updates through HeinOnline. 

To set up your SmartCILP alerts, and customize the topic areas for which you would like to receive updates, go to: https://heinonline.org/HOL/CILPDownloads?collection=cilp and click on “Create New SmartCILP User.”

Then, enter a BLS email address, and choose the topics, subjects and/or specific legal journals of interest.  Remember that if you are off-campus, you will need to have the proxy installed (https://www.brooklaw.edu/Library/Proxy-Server).

Note that you likely would receive your first SmartCILP email on a Monday.  This email could be caught in Mimecast, so please check Mimecast and click “Permit” to allow future SmartCILP notifications to appear in your “Inbox.”If you have any problems or questions, email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu

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!

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.

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

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.



Welcome 1Ls!

The BLS Library is excited to welcome a new class of students and begin the 2019-2020 academic year! As you settle in and begin your classes, keep in mind the following library resources:

Course Books on Reserve: The BLS library keeps 1 copy of every 1L course textbook on reserve. You can check out textbooks for 2 hours and use the book scanner to make copies of the sections you need. The reserve collection is located on the ground floor behind the circulation desk.

Scanning:  The library has two scanners, one of which is also a photocopier, located on the first floor. The copier/scanner allows you to email scanned documents, while the large book scanner allows you to email or save your documents to a USB drive. Both allow for color or black & white scanning. There is no charge for scanning.

Printing:  The library has printers on the cellar, first, second, and third floors of the library. There is also a networked a printer on the fourth floor in the cafeteria. The IT department is responsible for student and faculty printing accounts. Instructions on how to install the printing software, known as Pharos, and instructions on how to print using the networked printers can be found at the IT Printing & Pharos User Guides page on BLSConnect.

Searching the Library’s Collection:  You can search the library’s collection using SARA, OneSearch, or Find a Source. The SARA Catalog is used for searching books, journals, and databases. You may use OneSearch for searching articles and books. To find out whether we have a specific e-journal or database, use our Find a Source page.

Research Databases:We subscribe to a large number of subscription databases and journals to support research and scholarship at Brooklyn Law School. You can browse our A to Z Guide to Databases, which lists our major databases organized by subject area or alphabetically.

Off-Campus Access:  

You can access Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg using the username and  password that you received when you set up these accounts (you will receive instructions for setting up these accounts during orientation). To access other subscription databases when you’re not on campus, you will have to set up the proxy server. To set up a proxy server, select your browser and follow the instructions below:

Microsoft Edge Proxy Instructions
Safari (Mac) Proxy Instructions
Firefox (PC) Proxy Instructions
Firefox (Mac) Proxy Instructions 

Note that Google Chrome is not recommended for accessing e-resources because many of these databases do not function optimally with this browser.

Research Guides: BLS’s Research Guides are written by Brooklyn Law School’s reference librarians to help you conduct legal research in different subject areas. Be sure to check out the 1L Resources, Tips & Tools Research Guide and the A-Z Databases Research Guide.

Reference Services: Reference services are available 9 am – 8 pm, M – Th, 9 am – 5 pm on Friday, and 12 pm – 4 pm on Saturday. You can email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu, call the reference desk at 718-780-7973, use the chat feature on the library’s website, or visit us at the reference desk, located on the ground floor.

Good luck and we look forward to meeting all of you!!!

50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

This past weekend marked the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal point in LGBTQ history.  The New York Public Library is commemorating this event with an exhibition featuring photographs by two photojournalists, Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, that captured major events in the gay rights movement in the 60s and 70s, alongside ephemera, periodicals, and other items from the library’s archival holdings.  The exhibition is free and open until July 13th at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Manhattan.   Be sure to check it out before it closes!  The NYPL has also provided book recommendations, podcasts, and other resources to learn more about the LGBTQ civil rights movement.  (https://www.nypl.org/stonewall50)

The BLS Library also has several LGBTQ resources. Check out our research guide for books, journals, major federal cases, legislation and a list of organizations advocating for LGBTQ rights. 

Keeping Up with the Issues: Immigration

Presidential candidate, Julian Castro, just released a comprehensive immigration reform plan which would repeal the provision of US law that makes “illegal entry” into the US a federal crime. Under Castro’s plan, an immigrant who crossed the border would be detained briefly by Border Patrol and, if no red flags are raised, released pending an immigration hearing. Instead of a crime, being in the US without legal status would be considered a civil offense for which the penalty is deportation. Thus, if an immigrant does not qualify for asylum or another form of legal status, they would still be deported. See Dara Lind, Julián Castro wants to radically restrict immigration enforcement, Vox (Apr 2, 2019) https://www.vox.com/2019/4/2/18291584/2020-immigration-democrats-policy-castro-abolish-ice

“Illegal entry” into the US has been a crime since 1929 under Chapter 8, Section 1325 of the US Code, but only in the last 20 or so years has this provision been routinely enforced.   To learn more about US law and policy regarding immigration and border control, take a look at these resources:

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Laws and Issues: A Documentary History (Michael C LeMay & Elliott Robert Barkan, eds., 1999)

This book compiles 100s of primary documents including court cases and opinion pieces that illuminate the controversies surrounding immigration and nationalization policies throughout US history. The book includes explanatory introductions to assist the reader in understanding the significance of each document.

Margaret S. Orchowski, The Law that Changed the Face of America : the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (2015)

Margaret Orchowski, a journalist and immigration expert, examines how immigration laws have changed over the course of US history into the 21st century in light of globalization, changes in technology, terrorism, the recession and changing attitudes and expectations among younger generations. She also explores the roles that different branches of government and competing interests play in influencing immigration policy.

Ira J. Kurzban et al., Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Outline and Reference Tool (16th ed. 2018)

Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook is intended to be a quick reference tool for practitioners and students that includes federal and administrative cases, regulations, statutes, and agency rulings.

Lucy E. Salyer, Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law (1995)

This book examines the debates surrounding judicial enforcement of the Chinese exclusion laws as well as administrative power and reform of the Bureau of Immigration during a period of heightened nativism in the early 20th century.

Kevin R Johnson & Bernard Trujillo, Immigration Law and the US-Mexico Border: Sí Se Puede (2011)

Johnson and Trujillo review the history of Mexico – US migration patterns, the discrimination against US citizens of Mexican ancestry and policy debates over “illegal” aliens. Their discussion encompasses US immigration law and policy, the migration of labor, state and local regulation, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US economy.

David Brotherton & Philip Kretsedemas, Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishment: Detention, Deportation, and Border Control (2017)

Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishment is an interdisciplinary exploration of immigration policies in America, Canada, and Europe during the Obama and Trump eras, within the context of what the authors refer to as a decades-long “age of punishment.” This book looks at deportations and border enforcement, national policy and jurisprudence, and the prison-to-deportation pipeline in its discussions of immigration laws and their enforcement.

Constructing Immigrant “Illegality”: Critiques, Experiences, and Responses (Cecilia Menjívar & Daniel Kanstroom, eds. 2014)

Constructing Immigrant “Illegality” is a collection of essays from the fields of anthropology, law, political science, religious studies, and sociology that explore the concept of immigrant “illegality,” how immigration law shapes immigrant illegality and how “illegality” takes effect in the lives of immigrants. The essays also examine power structures associated with the concept of illegality.

Immigration Stories (David A. Martin & Peter H. Schuck, eds. 2005)

This book tells the stories of 13 canonical immigration cases to illustrate how immigration law is made.