Category Archives: BLS Students

Ten Tips for Summer Research

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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 (marybeth.drain@lexisnexis.com). 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)  
  7. 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.     
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. Feel free to email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or to use the the chat feature (“Need Help?”) on this page to ask whether there might be a useful research tool to support your summer work.  For example, those seeking New York civil trial practice aids or evidence treatises might wish to consult Brooklyn Law School Library’s New York Civil Practice research guide.  New registrants in the Safe Harbor Project might wish to review U.S. Immigration Law Research Starting Points (which describes a new library subscription to AILALink database) and to apply for FREE membership in American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).   

Good luck with your summer research! BLS librarians are here to help.

Getting Ready for Exam Time? – Check Out the Study Guides Available from BLS Library

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. Both 1L and upper-class students may want to check out the Nutshell series of study guides or the Examples & Explanations study 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.  As you can see below, this series contains study aids for both first year and upper-level courses. 

Keep in mind, that if you want to access digital resources off-campus, you will need to 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 and good luck on your exams!

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!

BLS Library Services Continuing Remotely (Library closed until further notice)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 requires all employers, with the exception of “essential services or functions,” to reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% as of 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020. As a result, Brooklyn Law School Library is closed until further notice.

BLS librarians and staff are continuing to provide library services remotely. We are continually updating a web guide about how to remotely access online resources: https://guides.brooklaw.edu/remoteaccess. Many major casebook publishers are making ebook versions of casebooks available for free to students through the end of the semester; access information is found in the guide under the tab “Online Access to Case Books.” Information about how to request 60-day online access to the legal Bluebook can also be found in the guide.

Our reference librarian team is also ready and willing to help with reference questions. We are providing reference services online, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. 

If you have any questions or requests relating to library or reference services, please contact us by email at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or by text at (718) 734-2432.  

Stay safe!

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!!!

New Copier on Library 1st Floor

You asked, we listened!

A few months ago, the SBA told library representatives that students often encountered issues with the older copiers on the ground floor. Good news: the library now has a new copier that replaces the older equipment in the alcove near the reference desk.

The new copier copies, scans, prints, and you can readily email your scanned documents or save them to your USB device. Unlike its departed brethren, large stacks of paper will not derail it so copy and scan away! Thank you to the SBA for bringing this issue to our attention. Thanks also to Yves and Sunil, the library computer staff, who worked hard over the weekend to ensure everything is working properly.

By the way, we were thinking of naming the new copier. Any suggestions? For now, we’re calling it the anti-Bob Marley, since it’s not jamming.

The anti-Bob Marley

Welcome Back! A Few Resources to Help You This Spring

As you begin your Spring 2019 classes, keep in mind all of the resources available to you while you are a student at BLS:

Developing and Researching a Paper Topic:

Research Guides: If you are researching a particular subject area and don’t know where to start, or if you are trying to come up with a paper topic, check out the BLS Research Guides at http://guides.brooklaw.edu/. These guides cover a wide variety of topics such as EU Legal Research, Federal Securities Law, NY Civil Practice, and many others.

Finding Journal Articles and Cite Checking:

HeinOnline: Westlaw and Lexis have an excellent collection of journal articles. But especially if you are cite checking for a journal, you should also check out HeinOnline (https://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Welcome) which posts PDF versions of journal articles so you can view them exactly as they appear in the print copies.

Foreign and International Legal Resources:

HeinOnline: If you are researching foreign and international law, once again HeinOnline may be a great resource for you. HeinOnline has several databases devoted to foreign and international law including the Foreign and International Law Resources Database, United Nations Law Collection, and World Treaty Library.

Justis:  If you need to find caselaw or legislation from the UK, Ireland or EU, check out Justis, an online library of UK, Irish, EU, and international caselaw and legislation.

For more foreign and international legal resources check out the International and Foreign Law Databases in the A-Z database guide.

Corporate, Securities, Bankruptcy, Tax:

Bloomberg Law Practice Centers: Bloomberg Law is an excellent source for news and updates in specific practice areas such as corporate law, securities, tax, and bankruptcy. To access these resources, log into Bloomberg Law and click on the “Browse” icon on the upper left corner. Then click on “Practice Centers” on the left and choose the area of law you want to research.

If you don’t have a Bloomberg Law account, you can set one up by going to https://www.bloomberglaw.com/activate.

Westlaw and Lexis also have a wealth of information including cases, statutes, regulations, and secondary materials organized by practice area. On Westlaw, click on the “Practice Areas” tab on the homepage, and on Lexis, click on the “Practice Area or Industry” tab on the homepage. There you will find several areas of law such as Tax, Copyright, or Immigration which if you click on will bring you to primary and secondary source materials including statutes, regulations, caselaw, practice guides, and treatises for that topic.

And for your other research needs….

Check out the library’s A-Z Research Guide for a list of all of the databases available at BLS organized by subject area. And don’t forget about OneSearch (for searching articles and materials across all databases), SARA (for searching books & e-books), and Find A Source (for finding out whether BLS has access to specific journal titles).

Lastly, whenever you’re stuck, contact a librarian! Come find us at the reference desk or email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or use the “chat” feature on the library homepage.

Good luck!!!