Category Archives: Access

Virtual Reference: We are there, even when we are not

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 You can also look through our extensive FAQ list to see if your question has previously been answered. You can find our FAQs at 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

If we are not sitting at the reference desk, but you see the chachatwithalibrariant 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.

LexisNexis Digital Library Now Available at Brooklyn Law School Library

lexisdigitalCurrent 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.



Stay In the Know

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.2009_reading_newspaper_NYC_4328271821

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. Covers both national and regional legal news.  Publications include the National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, and the New Jersey Law Journal. 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 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 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. Free legal blog aggregator that culls and vets legal blogs.  View blogs by practice area.  LXBN also publishes its own content.

Bar Exam Study Options at Local Law School Libraries

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.

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

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,, 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
LexisNexis Contact for Questions:
Mary Beth Drain, Esq., Account Executive, LexisNexis,, 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 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
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,, 212-548-7432



A Holiday Gift: Journal of Open Access to Law


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.

Bar Study Options at Local Law Schools

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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.

Summer Access to Bloomberg, Westlaw, and Lexis (Update)

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 all summer with no academic use restriction. This means that students are able to use all of the available resources on the 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 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 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 ID. Lexis Advance Summer Access does not include international content. Students that need access to specific content available only on (i.e. international materials) can content our LexisNexis Account Executive, Megan Cowden, at

Service Disruption

BLS Information Technology Department is performing maintenance and upgrades on the Law School’s computer systems.

On the evening of January 22, 2012 through the morning of January 23, 2012,  from approximately 7:30 PM on Sunday through 6:30 AM on Monday, all services will be interrupted for periods of up to two hours each; this includes wireless Internet access, e-mail, and BLSConnect.

BLS IT notes that it will wait until after 2:00 AM to take any steps that may disrupt Internet access.

Please feel free to e-mail or call BLS  IT at 718-780-7507 if you have any questions or concerns.

Improved Wireless Access @ BLS Library

We are extremely excited to announce that there is improved wireless conductivity in Brooklyn Law School Library. BLS IT has recently installed new four new wireless access points in the law school building located at 250 Joralemon Street.

Library users will notice improved conductivity through out the library. The current exception is in the computer labs on 2M and 3rd floors.

There are two high security networks and two medium secuity networks.
The high secure networks are called bls-unifi and bls-aruba.  The medium secure networks are called bls-med-unifi and bls-med-aruba.

BLS IT  recommends using the high secured networks. Use of the medium secured networks is recommended when you are at distance from an wireless access point or there are lots of obstructions between you and the access point.

To connect to high security networks:

  1. Choose the network called bls-unifi and bls-aruba.
  2. When you are prompted, enter your Brooklyn Law School username and your password.
  3. If you see security warnings about the certificate, choose to accept it and continue. (On a Mac, you should open the details about the certificate and choose to “always trust” the certificate.)

 To connect to the medium security networks:

  1.  Click on the network called bls-med-unifi and bls-med-aruba.
  2. When prompted for the security key, enter blsf2008.
  3. Once connected, you will need to start your preferred web browser and logon to the web portal.
  4. Use your Brooklyn Law School username and password. (You should allow your browser to accept popups while on these networks, otherwise your connection may time out after a period of inactivity.)

If you have trouble connecting, use your smartphone and e-mail BLS IT – Leave your name and a phone number.  Alternatively, you can call BLS IT  during business hours, you may call 718-780-7507.