Category Archives: 1Ls

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 Back and Welcome to the BLS Library!

The BLS Library staff welcomes new and returning students to school for the 2019-2020 academic year.  We are here to help in whatever way we can with your print and electronic use of the Library.

You may borrow reserve and circulating books from the first floor Circulation Desk and you can ask for reference and research assistance at the first floor Reference Desk.  Also, we want to let you know that there are now more ways than ever to reach the Reference Librarians.  You can visit us at the Reference Desk, call us, text us, or email us.    See above for Reference Librarian contact information and reference hours.

We also invite you to use our chat function.  Visit the library homepage and click on our chat icon (see below) – you’ll be chatting with a friendly librarian in no time!

Good Luck in the fall semester!  We look forward to seeing you in the Library!

First Floor Open for Business!

If you stopped by the law school over the summer, you would have noticed that the first floor of the library was closed for renovations. What was going on behind those closed doors? What was all of that hammering and drilling for?

Good news: the first floor of the library is now open for business! The circulation desk, which was temporarily located on the third floor for the summer, is back on the first floor. Stop by if you need to borrow a textbook or other materials in the Reserve collection. The reference desk is also back on the first floor, and you can consult with a reference librarian if you need research assistance or a pass to another law library.

Enjoy the brand new, comfortable furniture and the new space!

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!!!

Did You Know The Library Offers Ebook Study Aids?

The library has dozens of study aids available to help you ace your finals!  Just come to the circulation desk and you can check out a study guide to help you create an A+ outline.  Did you know that the library also has study aids in the ebook format?  For example, if you want to borrow a study aid from the “Understandings” series, you can go here: http://brooklyn.law.overdrive.com/A277C1C7-3692-4CF7-BE2A-4E65154FAC2F/10/1334/en/Default.htm.

To find out more about the study guides BLS library has available for you, visit here:http://guides.brooklaw.edu/c.php?g=330909&p=2222538

Westlaw Edge Coming to BLS

As of January 1, 2019, BLS Students will have access to a new version of Westlaw – Westlaw Edge.  In addition to a new look, Westlaw Edge will offer users:

  • An enhanced, AI-powered version of the KeyCite citator providing new warnings about cases may no longer be good law.
  • WestSearch Plus, an AI-driven legal research tool designed to aid students in discovering answers to specific legal questions.
  • Integrated litigation analytics, providing detailed docket analytics covering judges, courts, attorneys and law firms, for both federal and state courts.
  • Statutes Compare, a tool that allows students to compare changes to statutes.

Stop by the reference desk and the reference librarians would be happy to give you a quick tutorial on how to use these new features on Westlaw Edge.

Seventh Annual Databases Research Fair Recap

The library held its Seventh Annual Databases Research Fair on October 3, 2018, in the third floor Phyllis & Bernard Nash Reading Room.  Representatives from Bloomberg Law, EBSCO, Fastcase, Lexis, Westlaw, and Wolters Kluwer came to showcase their legal research platforms to students.  BLS librarians were also on hand to demonstrate HeinOnline and research tools available on the BLS Library website.

The mix of 1Ls and upperclass students enjoyed stopping by vendor tables, learning about the latest database features while picking up swag like portable wireless speakers, coffee mugs, tote bags, and pens.  Students who had visited at least 5 vendors also qualified to enter the raffle. For the prizes, BLS Library and the vendors contributed gift cards ranging from $10 to $100, with a total value of $385. Congratulations to the nine lucky students who won the raffle gift cards!

Finally, it must be noted that the research fair was organized, as always, by Associate Librarian Linda Holmes.  After 37 years with the library, Linda’s last day at BLS was today, October 5. We wish her a very happy retirement!  It speaks to the success of the event, and to Linda’s superb organization, that on the day of the research fair a 3L student told us “The day of the research fair is my favorite day of the school year.” And the next day, after she received an email from Linda notifying her that she had won a raffle prize: “I was so happy, I did a little dance.”  

 

BLS Library Databases Research Fair: October 3, 2018

The 7th Annual Library Databases Research Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 3, 2018.  The fair will be held in the Library’s 3rd Floor Phyllis and Bernard Nash ’66 Reading Room from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

Representatives from the following legal research companies will be present to demonstrate their databases:

  • Bloomberg Law
  • Ebsco
  • Fastcase
  • Lexis Nexis
  • Westlaw
  • Wolters Kluwer
  • Handouts/Brochures & Pens/Post-Its provided by Hein Online

There will be handouts, give-aways, & light refreshments.  A raffle drawing for gift cards will be held at 5:45pm.

Come and learn how these databases will help you with your legal research.

Save the date:  Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, 3rd Floor Nash Reading Room.

Law School 101: Books to Get You Started

As recent BLS graduates prepare to take the New York State bar exam next week, and we wish them luck, those individuals admitted to Brooklyn Law School for fall 2018 are preparing to begin their legal studies next month.  There is much to prepare for:  move into Feil Hall or a new apartment, explore a new neighborhood, attend welcome events and orientation sessions, purchase text books, meet other 1Ls, etc.

The library has a number of books geared to helping new students get off to the best possible start.  Listed below are some of those titles.  Good luck as you begin your legal career!

Critical Reading for Success in Law School and Beyond by Jane Bloom Grise. St. Paul, MN, West Academic Publishing, 2017.  Call No.:  Main KF 283 .G75 2017.

Demystifying the First Year of Law School:  A Guide to the 1L Experience by Albert Moore and David Binder, New York, NY, Wolters Kluwer, 2010.  Call No.: Main KF 283 .M66 2010.

Finding Your Voice In Law School:  Mastering Classroom Cold Calls, Job Interviews, and Other Verbal Challenges, by Molly Shadel, Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, 2013.  Call No.: Main KF 283 .S52 2013.

Get a Running Start: Your Comprehensive Guide to the First Year Curriculum by David Gray, et al., St. Paul, MN, West Academic Publishing, 2016.  Call No.:  Main KF 283 .G739 2016.

Navigating the First Year of Law School : A Practical Guide to Studying Law by G. Nicholas Herman, et al., Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, 2016.  Call No.: Main KF 283 .H47 2016.

Open Book:  The Inside Track to Law School Success by Barry Friedman and John Goldberg, New York, NY, Wolters Kluwer, 2016.  Call No.:  Main KF 283 .F75 2016.

Law School 101:  How to Succeed in Your First Year of Law School and Beyond by R. Stephanie Good, Naperville, IL, Sphinx Publishing, 2009.  Call No.: Main KF 283 .G66 2009.

A Short & Happy Guide to Being a Law Student by Paula Franzese, St. Paul, MN, west Academic Publishing, 2014.  Call No., Main KF 283 .F735 2014.

What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know:  An Introduction of the Study of Law, by Tracey George and Suzanna Sherry, New York, NY, Wolters Kluwer, 2016.  Call No.:  Main KF 283 .G46 2016.

Beware the Bootleg Bluebook

Richard Posner doesn’t like the Bluebook. He has railed against it for years, devoting entire articles in the University of Chicago Law Review (1986) and the Yale Law Journal (2011) to the horrors of what he deems an ever-growing monstrosity. In a December 2016 article for Green Bag, Judge Posner stated that among the reforms he would implement at federal appellate courts, the first thing to do is burn all copies of the Bluebook, in its latest edition 560 pages of rubbish”.

Well, one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.  Enter the Bootleg Bluebook.  

Say what? Of all the things to make knockoffs of, why the Bluebook? It isn’t a literary bestseller like Harry Potter and it sure as heck isn’t Louis Vuitton. Even the Kelley Blue Book would seem a likelier candidate for a fake. Then again, with over 35,000 students matriculating at ABA-accredited law schools annually, the built-in demand means that a lot of Bluebooks are sold every year.

Unfortunately some BLS students who bought Bluebooks through third party vendors have been victimized by these fakes.  We’ve heard that students at other law schools have run into this problem too.

Imagine a student at Any Law School, U.S.A., meticulously poring over the Bluebook to make sure everything is cited correctly for their first legal writing assignment. Only to get his or her paper back, marked up to the hilt with corrections in red ink.

“But I cited to page 16 of the Bluebook. Id at 100, no period after Id

“That’s not correct and not what it says in my copy. Let me see your Bluebook.”

Sorry. It’s fake.

I feel for students who are using the Bluebook for the first time only to find out that their trusted source was a bootleg.  Fake news we can handle. But fake Bluebooks?

One of the BLS students was kind enough to lend us their bootleg copy.  It’s basically a case of OCR gone bad.  Periods vanished, text out of sync, commas turned to periods and vice versa, blurry text, off-kilter page numbers, and the most common error: missing spaces. New jersey losing its capitalization and making you think of swag rather than state — while the III for Illinois makes you want to yell “My kingdom for a horse!” Interestingly, the Chinese and Japanese characters seemed to be in good shape, though the bootleggers couldn’t decide what color print to use and kept switching back and forth between black and blue.    

 

 

      

So the Public Service Announcement for today: It’s best to get your Bluebook directly from the publisher or from a trusted retailer, rather than through a third party vendor.

It’s nice to know, though, that the bootleggers got this citation on page 510 right:

Richard A. Posner, The Bluebook Blues, 120 Yale L.J. 850 (2011).