Last month, the Library of Congress launched an online searchable database of Congressional Research Service reports (CRS reports). CRS reports are written by experts in a particular field. They present a legislative perspective on topics such as agriculture policy, banking regulation, the environment, veteran’s affairs, etc. Founded over a century ago, the Congressional Research Service’s purpose is to provide Congress with authoritative and confidential research and analysis on the issues before both chambers. The reports used to be available for a fee, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 changed that. The Act directs the Library of Congress to make CRS reports publicly available online. You can access the CRS Reports at crsreports.congress.gov
I ran a couple of test searches on the platform. A search of the term “environment” retrieved 93 results. A search for the term “trade” retrieved 102 results. Like other online tools, there are filters on the left you can use to narrow your result list. These filters include: topics, authors, and date. You can also search within your results to retrieve a more refined list.
Brooklyn Law School recently digitized and made accessible its collection of Brooklyn Law School’s student run newspaper, The Justinian. The digitized collection is available on Brooklyn Law School’s digital repository, BrooklynWorks . The BLS student-run periodical program began in 1918 as The Barrister. It was published monthly until 1922. Almost a decade later, in 1931, the periodical’s title changed to The Justinian. Publication continued until 1998. The Justinian was not produced from May 1945 to September 1954. After 1998, it was referred to as Brooklyn Law School News, which ran from 2002 to 2006.
The Brooklyn Law School Library Archives provides digitized versions of this printed collection from April 1932 to October 2006. The content has complete OCR text recognition for all 238 issues. The periodicals were published monthly. For most April issues, there is a special for April Fool’s Day. For 88 years, these news-sources have been accurate portrayals of political, social, economic, and local topics that have interested Brooklyn Law School students and engaged them in active involvement and debate.
Just because you don’t see a librarian sitting at the reference desk, does not mean we are not there to help. The library has many virtual reference tools to help you with your research. For example, you can always email the library at email@example.com. You can also look through our extensive FAQ list to see if your question has previously been answered. You can find our FAQs at askthelibrary.brooklaw.edu. You can also browse through our research guides to see if we have created one to address the issue you are researching. You can access a list of the library’s research guides at guides.brooklaw.edu.
If we are not sitting at the reference desk, but you see the chat symbol on BLSConnect or the Library’s webpage, click on it to contact a reference librarian for help. You can also text us at 718-734-2432. And of course, often times, we are only a phone call away at 718-780-7567. If a librarian is not available to help at that time, one will get back to you as soon as she is available. Reference librarians generally answer reference questions, Monday – Thursday from 9 am-8 pm and on Saturday from 12 pm – 5 pm.
Current law students and faculty can access the Law Library’s new subscription to the LexisNexis Digital Library. This new subscription gives provides access to primary law, code books, treatises as well as study aids, such as the Understanding and Questions and Answers series. Just sign in with your BLS user name and password for access.
The LexisNexis Digital Library provides eBook lending capabilities, much like lending a physical book. The books are accessible via computer, smartphone and tablets. They are compatible with all major devices (Apple® products, Android, Amazon® Kindle®, etc.). You can access them 24/7.
Borrowing times vary depending on the format, ranging from 7 days for a study aid and 30 days for a treatise. We also have multiple copies of titles, so several users may access them at once.
Check out the Lexis/Nexis Digital Library and see what it has to offer.
While working at your summer job or internship, it is important to stay up to date on legal developments and current events. One way to do this is to monitor legal news. The library subscribes to several legal news providers. Listed below are a few along with descriptions on how to access the sites.
Legal News Providers
Law360: Very current coverage of law. Browse news by practice area or jurisdiction. Need to implement proxy instructions for off-campus access.
Law.com: Covers both national and regional legal news. Publications include the National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, and the New Jersey Law Journal. Law.com also publishes topic specific news, such as corporate and security news, labor and employment news, and intellectual property news. Need username and password to access some articles. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for credentials.
New York Law Journal: Covers New York legal developments. It is the go to source for attorneys practicing in New York. Browse news by practice area. Also publishes decisions from New York State and Federal Courts. Need username and password to access some articles. Contact email@example.com for credentials.
Jurist Law: Free source supported by the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law. Very current, real time coverage or U.S. and World Legal News.
BNA Law Reports: Available via Bloomberg Law. BNA publishes law reports on over a 100 different legal topics. To access BNA Law Reports, sign on to Bloomberg Law and select BNA Law Reports from the “Getting Started” menu on the home page.
LXBN.com: Free legal blog aggregator that culls and vets legal blogs. View blogs by practice area. LXBN also publishes its own content.
If you are a Brooklyn Law School student who is taking a bar review course at another law school, or would like to use another law school library to study for the bar exam, you will be pleased to know that you may have access to other law libraries, usually for a fee. The policies and costs vary from library to library. Librarian Mary Godfrey-Rickards of Hofstra Law School Library has compiled a chart with the pertinent information for each school.
Click here to view the bar exam study chart for summer 2015.
Bloomberg Law—Summer Access Policy:
All law students may continue to use their Bloomberg Law accounts during the summer without restriction for any type of research (for work, for class, etc.). Student accounts automatically stay active all summer.
Bloomberg Law— Access Policy for Graduating Law Students:
All law students’ Bloomberg Law accounts automatically remain active for six months after graduation.
Bloomberg Contact for Questions:
Erica Horton, Esq., Law School Relationship Manager, Bloomberg BNA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-800-542-1113 ext. 1884
LexisNexis—Summer Access Policy for 1Ls & 2Ls:
Law students may continue to use their Lexis Advance IDs for any purpose (including work performed at a law firm, corporation or government agency). This includes unlimited access to all legal content and news available through current law student IDs.
LexisNexis—Access Policy for Graduating Law Students:
Graduating law students can register for Graduate Program IDs that will extend their access beyond graduation. The access for graduates ends at the end of December (12/31/2014). To learn more, visit http://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access.
LexisNexis Contact for Questions:
Mary Beth Drain, Esq., Account Executive, LexisNexis, email@example.com, Cell 845-598-3203
Westlaw—Summer Access Policy for 1Ls & 2Ls:
Westlaw will extend 1L & 2L passwords for:
• Summer law school classes
• Law review and journal work
• Moot court work
• A project for a professor
• An unpaid intern/externship or pro bono work required for graduation.
If a student is being paid for summer work or an internship, then the student is not eligible for Westlaw’s summer extension. To extend passwords, students can click on the banner on the http://lawschool.westlaw.com site that says “Need Your Westlaw Password this summer” and indicate the reason for the extension. If students do not complete the online summer extension form, they will receive a set number of hours of Westlaw usage for June and July. If they exceed those hours, then they will see a warning screen indicating that their summer access is limited unless they complete the summer extension form.
Westlaw—Access Policy for Graduating Law Students:
Graduating law students can extend their passwords to have the same level of access to WestlawNext as they did as students for up to six months after graduation. The access for graduates ends at the end of November (11/30/2014).
Instructions for graduating students to extend passwords:
1. Log on to http://lawschool.westlaw.com
2. Click “Rewards”
3. Click “My Messages”
4. Look for the extension email with link in the inbox
a. If not in the inbox, click “Deleted/Archived Items” and the email should be there.
Westlaw Contact for Questions:
Stefanie Efrati, Esq., Academic Account Manager, Thomson Reuters, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-548-7432
Launched by Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, the Journal of Open Access to Law (JOAL) is a peer reviewed multidisciplinary journal that publishes articles on the topic of open access to law. JOAL is an international forum. Topics of interest to the journal include: the relationship between open-access legal information and technology; governance of new models of legal publishing; and the technical challenges and economic opportunities created by open access to law and public sector information. Some articles published in the first volume include an article entitled, The Rise of the Internet and its Impact on the Openness of the Justice System in Mainland China: Improvements and Limitations, by Zhuozhen Duan, an article entitled, The Meaning of ‘Free Access to Legal Information’: A Twenty Year Evolution, by Graham Greenleaf, Andrew Mowbray, and Philip Chung, and an article entitled, A Right to Access Implies A Right to Know: An Open Online Platform for Research on the Readability of Law by Michael Curtotti and Eric McCreath.
If you are a Brooklyn Law School students who is taking bar review at another school, or who lives outside the Brooklyn area, you may be glad to know that many local law schools offer access to non-alumni for the purpose of bar study. The policies, costs, and number of passes vary from school-to-school, and interested students should review these details carefully.
Columbia and Hofstra offer study passes only to those students enrolled in a bar review course at their location. Fordham, NYU, New York Law School, Pace, St. John’s, Touro, and Cardozo all offer passes for sale beginning at various times in mid-May. For additional details, please check the NYC Law School Access for Bar Study chart created by Mary Godfrey-Rickards of Hofstra Law School Library.
All three of the research platforms available to Brooklyn Law School students provide students access over the summer. However, there are different steps that students must take to keep their passwords activated, and some limitations do apply.
Bloomberg is offering students full access to BloombergLaw.com all summer with no academic use restriction. This means that students are able to use all of the available resources on the BloombergLaw.com platform even when performing research in their summer jobs. Passwords can be obtained by contacting our Bloomberg Account Manager, Pamela Haahr. For students who need some additional training on Bloomberg, three Prepare to Practice trainings are coming up on Tuesday, April 3rd, 5:00pm-6:00pm, Wednesday, April 11th, 1:00pm-2:00pm, and Tuesday, April 17th, 1:00pm-2:00pm, all in Room 603. To reserve a spot, email Pamela at email@example.com with the subject line, “Bloomberg Law Training.”
All students will automatically receive 40 hours of Westlaw and WestlawNext usage this June and July. For additional access to Westlaw and WestlawNext over the summer, students just need to register at www.lawschool.westlaw.com. Look for the image that says “Need Westlaw this summer” and follow the instructions to register. Academic use only restrictions apply for summer. Passwords may NOT be used for research for law firms, government agencies, corporations or other purposes unrelated to law school coursework. Students graduating this year can extend their passwords by following the special link for graduates. in addition
LexisNexis will be offering students full access to Lexis Advance all summer for educational use only. To participate in this program, students need to have a registered Lexis Advance ID. This is a separate and different ID from the standard Lexis.com ID. Lexis Advance Summer Access does not include international content. Students that need access to specific content available only on Lexis.com (i.e. international materials) can content our LexisNexis Account Executive, Megan Cowden, at firstname.lastname@example.org