Category Archives: Uncategorized

Final exams are just around the corner, and it’s normal to feel stressed. So why not put an anti-stress game plan in place?  Having a plan to keep anxiety under control while studying and taking exams will help you to feel better and it may even enhance your exam performance. 

Here are some things to put in your game plan:

  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks. Stock up on your favorite foods and snacks so they’re ready to go when you’re too busy studying to think too much about food.
  • Alert your friends and family. Let them know ahead of time when exams are so that they will understand if you’re less available physically and emotionally during this time.
  • Get yourself on a sleep schedule now, so you can stick to it during exams.
  • Plan ahead for a few good relaxation sessions – meditate, take a bath, watch a favorite movie or show on Netflix, or plan a Zoom session with friends. You’ll need to take a break from studying at some point.
  • Arrange for your study aids now – BLS law library’s 1L Study Aids can help.  The library also makes the Lexis Digital Library available to all students – this database includes the Understanding study aid series for both 1L and upper level courses.
  • Plan for exercise – at the very least, plan to take one long walking break for every day of studying. You’ll get exercise, Vitamin D, oxygen, and you’ll relax those tense muscles.  Walking breaks do a whole lot more for your concentration and wellbeing than social media or web surfing breaks.
  • Plan your rewards! Plan something extra nice for yourself after you’re done with each big exam or assignment.
  • Remind yourself to see the big picture of your law school and career goals. Do your best but remember no one exam is going to determine your future.
  • Finally, contact the reference librarians at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu if we can do anything to help.
  • Good luck- we’re pulling for you!

International Law Weekend & International Law E-Resources

BLS students: you can register FOR FREE to attend the online International Law Weekend 2020 (Oct. 22-24, 2020).  This year’s meeting theme is: International Law in Challenging Times.  On this page, click: Full Schedule of Speakers to view the complete schedule of events.  The opening panel will discuss current challenges on Thursday at 2 pm. Both Surveillance, Privacy, and Human Rights: The Outlook for 2021 and Intellectual Property and COVID-19 in International Law will follow on Thursday in the 3:30 pm program time slot. Asylum in Crisis: Upholding Human Rights During a Pandemic will occur on Friday at 10:30 am. Participate in International Law Trivia on Friday afternoon…  On Saturday at 9 am, sip your pumpkin spice coffee while enjoying the keynote address of H.E. Judge Julia Sebutinde, International Court of Justice.  The Pathways to Careers in International Law panel also will occur on Saturday at 11:30 am. After this career program, there will be a career networking session sponsored by ILSA. Then, attend one of the “hot topics” panels.   

A BLS student, faculty member or administrator who has implemented the BLS proxy instructions now has off-campus access to 180+ treatises, handbooks and treaty commentaries in Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law (OSAIL).  (In BLS Library’s SARA catalog record for OSAIL, click: ACCESS ONLINE VERSION-OXFORD.) This e-collection includes recently published handbooks, such as: The Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration, The Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law and The Oxford Handbook of International Cultural Heritage Law.  It contains noted treatises, such as Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (9th ed.).  It provides treaty commentaries, ranging from The Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary (3rd ed.) to The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol: A Commentary.  Paper-writing students: if you click Title List near the top right of the screen, you will see OSAIL’s e-books listed by category, such as: Environmental Law, Human Rights Law and Use of Force/Humanitarian Law.

Q: What do International Law Weekend 2020 and OSAIL have in common?                                                                         

A: At 9:30 am on United Nations Day (Saturday, Oct. 24), International Law Weekend 2020 will offer a United Nations 75th Anniversary Plenary Panel.  To commemorate the United Nations’ 75th anniversary, OSAIL is providing a FREE (until Nov. 30, 2020) collection of articles and chapters about “the role of the UN in international law over the past 75 years, and its significance to the development of global human rights and international peace and security.”   

Getting Help Drafting Corporate Agreements

If you are asked to draft an agreement (a.k.a contract), there are some great tools to help you get started.  Each of Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg have specialized databases dedicated to corporate lawyers.  In these databases you will find millions of sample agreements that you can use to draft your own agreement. 

On Westlaw, first select Practical Law from the Westlaw homepage:

Then, select your practice area (e.g. if you are drafting an employment agreement, select Labor & Employment):

Now, select from Sample Documents, Sample Clauses, and other resources to help you draft your agreement (such as Practice Notes, Checklists, Toolkits, and more):

Lexis users can use Practical Guidance to find similar resources:

Bloomberg Law aficionados have plenty of corporate drafting tools to choose from but probably the best place to start when drafting a corporate agreement is Practical Guidance:

If you have any questions about using these corporate transactional resources, or would like to discuss search strategies with a reference librarian, contact the reference desk.  You can reach us by email at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu, by chat from the library homepage, or drop in during our Zoom Office Hours (M-W-F: 1-3pm; Tu-Th: 3-5pm).

Do you need to write a seminar paper, but don’t know where to start? Get answers at the Online Guide for Researching and Writing Your Seminar Paper

If you are struggling with selecting a topic, researching that topic, or developing a thesis on that topic, take a deep breath because help is out there. Professor Betsy Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil have created online video tutorials on four topics: developing your thesis, plagiarism, selecting a topic, and researching that topic. You can access the videos at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper.

From the guide’s main page, you can access the video tutorials, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper. Also, included on the online guide are descriptions and links to a variety of the library’s resources that can help you either select your paper topic or research it. If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please email the reference desk at askthelibrary@brooklaw.edu.

Summer Access to Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law

You can continue to use your Westlaw account for summer research. If you are interning at a firm, be sure to check with them first. You may need to use a different account for billing purposes. Graduating students have access for six months from graduation.

For Lexis, you automatically have summer access. You can use your account for both school work and your internship. Check the Lexis for Law School homepage for information on upcoming trainings and workshops. Graduating students have access to their accounts until February 28, 2021.

For Bloomberg Law, you can continue to use your account over the summer without interruption. This access is granted automatically. Graduating students will have access to their account until June 21, 2021.

Researching legislation related to the coronavirus? Check out the Law Library of Congress’s Coronavirus Resource Guide

If you are researching legal issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, you will definitely want to check out the comprehensive coronavirus resource guide published by the Law Library of Congress, which provides links to laws, regulations and executive actions in the United States at both the federal and the state level, and in various countries.  The guide is updated at least weekly and in addition to direct links to laws and regulations, it includes Congressional Research Service reports which provide information to Congress about the coronavirus, law library blog posts, and articles from the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor which tracks global legal developments. 

Some interesting Congressional Research Services reports listed in the Coronavirus Resource Guide include:

Todd Garvey, Constitutional Considerations of Remote Voting in Congress, Congressional Research Services(Apr. 14, 2020)

Colby Leigh Rachfal, COVID-19 and Broadband: Potential Implications for the Digital Divide, Congressional Research Services (Mar. 13, 2020)

Marc Labonte, COVID-19: Potential Economic Effects, Congressional Research Services (Mar. 11, 2020)

The Law Library of Congress’s Global Legal Monitor has dozens of articles organized by region which track individual country responses to the coronavirus, such as an article detailing Germany’s changes to its rules of procedure in Parliament and one discussing legislation in China that punishes the trade and consumption of wild animals.   

The guide also includes a link to a law library report on Legal Responses to Health Emergencies. Though written five years ago, the report provides useful summaries of regulations addressing health emergencies in 25 jurisdictions as well as a comparative summary and bibliography that may be useful in analyzing the level of preparedness of different countries for the current pandemic.

COVID-19 – Information for Studying

Though the library as of the date of this post, remains open, students are encouraged to stay home and avoid crowded areas, including mass transit when possible. For an explanation of why it is so important to heed these warnings, even if you are not at high-risk for severe complications, see the NY Times Article, Flattening the Coronavirus Curve .

If you need to access Library Resources from home, or need help with your research, the Library staff has created this helpful guide: http://guides.brooklaw.edu/remoteaccess.

For information on the Coronavirus, including tracking the virus in NY, the U.S., and globally; information on symptoms and what to do if you are sick; government responses and guidelines; and articles dispelling myths about the virus, see our guide: http://guides.brooklaw.edu/coronavirus

Who Run the Law Reviews? Girls!

According to a recent Law.com article, for the first time ever, female law students are sitting in top law review editor positions at each top 16 law school, including Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. 

According to the article, this achievement is due, in part, to the progress that many law schools have made toward cultivating a more hospitable environment for women, people of color, and first-generation law students. 

The advancement of women to law review leadership positions has been a growing priority in law schools since a 2012 study spotlighted the dearth of women in these roles. In fact, the Cornell Law Review made headlines last year when it elected an all-female executive board, believed to be the first in history for a flagship journal at a top law school.

The article concludes that women in leadership positions at law reviews is part of a growing movement which shows that “women are a strong force in the legal field and will continue to prove themselves.”

Library Exam Time Info & Policies

During the reading and exam period you must make a reservation to use a library study room.  Mandatory study room reservations begin on Thursday, December 5 at 8:00 am; at that time, all study rooms will be locked, and you must go to the first-floor circulation desk to charge out the key to the room at the time of your reservation.  The link to the study room reservations is on the library webpage.

The reading and exam period is from Thursday, December 5 through Friday, December 20, 2019.

Study Room Policies:

  • Study rooms are for the use of groups of two or more students.
  • Study rooms may be reserved for the current day and three days ahead.
  • Study rooms may be reserved in 30-minute time slots; your time slots must be contiguous.
  • You may book up to 8 contiguous time slots (use the grid to select your start time and use the drop-down box to select your end time).
  • Study room use is limited to 4 hours per user per day to ensure availability for all users.
  • You must use your brooklaw.edu email address to reserve a study room.
  • Study rooms are subject to availability and reservations may be modified by library staff at any time.

Hours for the Reading & Exam Period:

  • Thursday, December 5 – Thursday, December 20:  8:00 am – 2:00 am.
  • Friday, December 21:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • The circulation desk will close at 12:00 am from December 5 – 20.
  • The library will close for Winter Break at 5 pm on Friday, December 21 and reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Reminders About Noise & Food in the Library:

  • Please keep your voices down in reading rooms and study rooms.  Your colleagues are also studying.
  • If you need a space for discussion, the collaboration areas are: the Bernsen reference & reading room (1st floor), the library lounge (1st mezzanine), the Nash reading room (3rd floor) and the study rooms.
  • Our food policy allows for light snacks in the library.  Light snacks are foods such as those generally dispensed in vending machines: candy, cookies, chips, pretzels, donuts, bagels, etc. — food which can be easily eaten dry and with the hands. No plates or bowls of food which require utensils. No fast foods such as pizza, burgers, etc., which can be messy and odorous. The library reserves the right to determine which food items are acceptable and which are not appropriate for library consumption.
  • Brooklyn Law School is a smoke and tobacco free campus.  Smoking or vaping is not permitted anywhere in the school, which includes the library.  If you have any questions, please read Brooklyn Law School’s Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy on BLSConnect.

Good Luck on Your Exams & Happy Holidays!

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.