Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summer Fun in New York City

In honor of National Library Week and all the exciting adventures that books take us on, the library is highlighting a few resources that explore the adventures to be had in New York City. So, now that the weather is warming up, you can have some socially distant fun.

Compilations of New York City Events and Places to Explore:

Arts in New York City:

Outdoor Events and Adventures in New York City:

Stay in the Know: Current Awareness Resources

Whether for a class, a note topic, or just for the sake of staying informed, you no doubt want to keep up with today’s current events. The BLS Library offers a wide variety of subscription news sources to the BLS community. Explore just some of the resources we have below and if you have any questions about accessing any of these sources or others, just ask a librarian at askthelibrary@brooklyn.edu. Happy newsing!!

NEW YORK TIMES

Students and members of the BLS community are entitled to a free subscription to the NY Times. To register, go to https://nytimesineducation.com/access-nyt/, choose Brooklyn Law School from the drop-down, and then follow the instructions to register.  For your initial registration, you must either be on campus or go through Brooklyn Law School’s proxy server (see Proxy Server Instructions) AND you must use your brooklaw.edu email account to register.  Once you have registered, you can use your login name and password to access the site from anywhere.  Each year you will need to login from on-campus or using the proxy server in order to keep your access active. 

FINANCIAL TIMES

…and students and the BLS community also have access to the Financial Times! To create your FT.com account, follow the instructions at this link: https://join.ft.com/63059ceb-a0f6-4354-9471-4154de1e50da . Next, you will be sent an email with password creation info. (NOTE, there might be a delay before receiving the email). Once you have created your account, go to www.ft.com and sign in with your account details to access unlimited content and tools.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

While we do not have student subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, you can access the Wall Street Journal on ProQuest and Lexis+.

Wall Street Journal: access via ProQuest (Proxy Server required) or via Lexis+ (login required).

LEGAL NEWS

Finally, for legal news, check out these sources below:

Law360: (access via Proxy Server) www.law360.com

Law.com: (access via Proxy Server) includes national and local news sources: www.law.com

Bloomberg Law News: (login via Bloomberg Law here

And that’s not all! For even more resources check out our News Access Research Guide!

Summer & Alumni Access

You automatically have summer access to Lexis. 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, 2022.

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, 2022.

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.

To help you begin your career as a practicing attorney, the Brooklyn Law School Library’s “Practice-Ready” program from Westlaw provides you with continued access to Westlaw and other practice tools for 18 months after graduation, for up to 60 hours each month, including use for work-related research.

To access these products, all you have to do is enroll in Westlaw’s “Grad Elite” program. Simply log in to your existing Westlaw account and you will receive a pop-up message to confirm your enrollment.

In addition to Westlaw and Practical Law, you also have access to these practice tools: 

Drafting Assistant Essential
Westlaw Doc & Form Builder
Practical Law Connect

Learn more about these products and others, including how to access and support, by visiting the Practice Ready Landing Page

Recent grads should check out our Affordable Legal Resources research guide.

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!

Exam Time – Make a Plan to De-Stress!

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.