Category Archives: BLS Students

4/11/2024: National Library Week Presentation in BLS Library on Free Sources for Legal Research

This Thursday (April 11) at 1 pm on the first floor of BLS Library, BLS Reference Librarians/Adjunct Professors of Law Loreen Peritz and Sue Silverman will offer a program on free sources for legal research. To accompany their program, Loreen Peritz also created this publicly-accessible research guide: Sources of Free Legal Research. Knowledge of reputable free sources can help you to conduct cost-effective research. Refreshments will be served at this program!

Also, our staff noticed that the two bulletin boards for student announcements of BLS events (located outside of BLS Library’s Nash reading room, by the third floor main elevators) were often overflowing with notices.  So, there are now additional bulletin boards for your announcements.  There are signs on the two center bulletin boards stating: This Week: Events.  BLS students can place announcements about the current week’s BLS events on these two central boards.  Students can place signs about BLS events occurring farther in the future (or events that might not have a specific date) on the additional bulletin boards.

Happy National Library Week!

Celebrating a Centennial of Influential Legal Work: The 100th Anniversary of The American Law Institute

Featuring: BLS Book Talk/Discussion (Oct. 30 @ 6 pm) & New BLS Library Display

The American Law Institute describes itself as “the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.” From the bedrock Restatements on contracts, property and torts to the influential Uniform Commercial Code to the current project on Children and the Law, ALI’s legal experts have crafted (and continue to develop) key documents to aid courts, legislatures, agencies and law teachers/students. As ALI celebrates one hundred years of codifying and developing law, BLS librarians are proud to note that ALI’s history is Brooklyn Law School’s history. Many BLS current and emeritus faculty are ALI members: William D. Araiza, Miriam H. Baer (Vice-Dean), Anita Bernstein, Dana Brakman Reiser, Neil B. Cohen, James A. Fanto, Marsha Garrison, Andrew Gold, William E. Hellerstein, Alexis J. Hoag-Fordjour, Edward J. Janger, Beryl R. Jones-Woodin, Roberta S. Karmel, Brian A. Lee, David D. Meyer (President and Dean), Samuel K. Murumba, Norman S. Poser, David Reiss, Alice Ristroph, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Winnie F. Taylor, Aaron D. Twerski and Joan G. Wexler (Dean and President Emerita). We invite you to view a display highlighting ALI and BLS faculty’s work on noted ALI texts and projects in the third-floor Nash reading room.

BLS patrons also can review the texts featured in this display through HeinOnline’s American Law Institute Library (a subscription database accessible on campus through the BLS network or off campus through a web browser that communicates with the BLS proxy server).

On Monday at 6 pm, BLS Professor Andrew Gold and his co-editor Robert W. Gordon (Professor of Law Emeritus, Stanford Law School) will lead a book talk and discussion in the BLS Subotnick Center on their new work: The American Law Institute: A Centennial History. As noted in its introduction, this book is a collection of essays on certain ALI undertakings. Essay authors include a number of current and former Reporters involved in Restatement projects. The chapters raise questions like: What does it really mean to “restate” the law? How does a Restatement change the direction of law? Chapter 5 has the intriguing title: “Canon and Fireworks: Reliance in the Restatements of Contracts and Reliance on Them.” BLS patrons can access a digital version of this book on campus or off campus through the BLS proxy server.

Visit LibraryFest this afternoon!

Meet BLS librarians & vendor representatives + Enter a raffle to win prizes (including a $100 gift card) for learning about BLS Library’s resources

Today from 1-5 pm in BLS Library’s Nash Reading Room (3rd fl.), we are proudly hosting LibraryFest!

Enjoy a snack while

  • Receiving a few database tips – this qualifies you to enter the Library’s raffle for gift cards and other prizes
  • Discussing your class paper, note topic or other research interest with a friendly BLS librarian
  • Greeting our two Library Fellows (who are currently editing research guides to help you)

We look forward to seeing you today in the Nash Reading Room!

Researching Copyright Law or Trademark Law? BLS Library Offers 2 Online Guides to Help!

This summer, attorney and BLS Library volunteer Grace Pickering worked with BLS librarians to substantially revise Researching Copyright Law and to create Researching Trademark & Unfair Competition Law.

The home pages of these two guides feature introductory sources in guide boxes Copyright 101 and Trademarks 101. The home pages also highlight sources (examples: podcasts, hearings, case trackers and books) on selected hot topics. Moreover, these guides feature: casebooks, study aids and legal encyclopedia entries; treatises and practice guides; current awareness sources to help law students choose paper topics; sources of scholarly articles; starting points in Bloomberg Law, Lexis+ and Westlaw Precision; and WIPO’s resources.

Tip: Both guides link to key BLS subscription sources like: The Fashion Law (TFL) and Law360.com > topic: Intellectual Property. (In BLS Library’s SARA catalog records, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION.) BLS students: remote access to these sources requires implementation of the BLS proxy server instructions for one web browser. BLS librarians recommend the instructions for Firefox.

Tip: BLS librarians are happy to support your paper topic research–feel free to email us at: askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or to text us at: (718) 734-2432.

Thank you, Grace Pickering, for your hard work!

Note: If you are an MLIS student who wishes to learn about BLS Library’s fellowship program, please contact Associate Librarian for Public Services/Adjunct Professor Kathleen Darvil at: kathleen.darvil@brooklaw.edu.

Finding Casebooks & Study Aids in BLS Library

Questions & Answers, Torts
by Prof. Anita Bernstein

In its first-floor Reserve collection, BLS Library provides current editions of casebooks/textbooks that are required for classes.  There also are current editions of many treatises, hornbooks and other study aids in the Reserve collection.  Note: Study aids are only supplements to required course readings.  These print books circulate for two hours.  You can search for a specific source by title, author or keywords in SARA catalog.  Feel free to email askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu or to text (718) 734-2432 if you have questions about finding or accessing specific sources.

BLS Library’s guide 1L Resources, Tips and Tools highlights 1L casebooks and study aids available through BLS Library in both print and digital formats.  The top-level guide tab: 1L Course Study Aids provides a pull-down menu of subjects.  Click a subject, like: Civil Procedure.  There are “quick links” to boxes highlighting:

  • Selected CALI Lessons (online lessons on specific legal topics created by law professors/librarians – these lessons include review questions)
  • Casebooks
  • Treatises & Hornbooks
  • Study Aids Containing Multiple-Choice Questions
  • Additional Study Aids

In the 1L guide, sources in a box appear in reverse chronological order (“newest first”).  Guide pages also include a search feature (top right).  Recently, vendor EBSCO began supporting BLS Library’s desire to circulate Reserve copies of ebooks for two hours.  So, EBSCO ebooks like Mastering Multiple Choice for Federal Civil Procedure and A Short & Happy Guide to Torts circulate for two hours.  BLS Library’s e-copies of study aids in the Q&A, Understanding and Gilbert Law Summaries series (available through Lexis Digital Library) circulate for three days. 

Additionally, the 1L guide identifies print sources and online tools to support legal research and writing.  Top-level guide tab: Research, Writing & Citation provides a pull-down menu of resource pages on:

  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing & Analysis
  • Legal Citation

Please reload the 1L guide’s web page when you visit this guide – BLS Library frequently adds new sources.  Reference librarians are happy to help you identify BLS Library’s sources!   

Study Rooms – Now You Can Use a QR Code to Check in and Out!

Several BLS students requested that the library reconsider its policy of locked study rooms during the regular (non-exam) part of the semester.  We heard you!  In response to your requests, the library will not lock study rooms during the regular semester. 

It is important for the library to continue tracking study room usage, however, as the law school regularly reevaluates the library’s space requirements.  As a result, to ensure that the library continues to meet student demand for study room space, students will now use QR codes to check in and out of study rooms.

We’re glad you asked!  Here is how it works in four easy steps:

STEP ONE: Make your study room reservation HERE, just as you always have.

STEP TWO: After making your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email that looks like this:

STEP THREE: Before you enter your study room, you must check in:

1. Scan the QR code posted on your study room door or click this link.

2. You will be directed here:

3. Now click Check In and you will be directed here:

4. Enter the unique reservation code provided in your confirmation email.  You are now checked in!

STEP FOUR: At the end of your study room reservation, you must check out:

1. Once again, scan the QR code posted on your study room door, or click this link.

2. You will be directed here:

3. Now click Check Out and you will be directed here:

4. Once again, enter the reservation code provided in your confirmation email.  You are now checked out!

Please make sure you follow these 4 easy steps.  If students regularly use study rooms without making reservations, or if students fail to check in and out of study rooms, the library may reconsider locking study room doors during the regular semester.

Contact the Reference Desk at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu.

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!