Memorial Day 2014

In observance of Memorial Day, the law library will be closed Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26.

A brief Memorial Day History is available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Website. Also of interest may be two famous Memorial Day speeches delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, one in 1884 and the other addressed to the graduating class at Harvard Law School in 1895.  PDFs of these speeches are available using The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises Database (GMUSL users may link to this database here).

And where is Memorial Day officially designated a Federal holiday? Title 36 of the United States Code includes statutes relating to “Patriotic and National Observances.” 36 U.S.C. § 116 designates the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.

 

477px-Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_Day

Summer Job Research Tips

Top Ten Research Tips for the summer  . . . and beyond:

1.  Use secondary sources first:  Treatises, journal articles, practice guides, etc.

2.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions:  Make sure you understand the details of the assignment, including deadlines, cost constraints, context for your work, format for completion, and any relevant resources that should be consulted.

3.  Jurisdiction matters: Federal law? State law? Administrative tribunal or court?

4.  Use free resources:  Law firms pay big bucks for legal databases, so use free sources when possible. See the library’s guide to Free Legal Research Sites for suggestions about useful resources on the web. Also, remember Bloomberg Law and Lexis Advance are offering free, unlimited Summer access.

5.  Think Of course you’re thinking while you work! But don’t just research on autopilot. Pause, consider what information you need, and which resources would best meet that need.

6.  Use advanced search options:  Save time by refining your database search results with filters to weed out less helpful or irrelevant results.

7.  BCite, KeyCite, or Shepardize:  Make sure all case law/statutes/regulations are current and valid. Use citators to expand your research.

8. Keep track of your research trail:  Record the sources you’ve checked, the searches you’ve run, and your results. This prevents repetition and may be information you need to share when you complete an assignment or need to explain your results.

9.  No drafts:  Always present your best work. Proofread, and provide accurate citations. You will be evaluated most heavily on the quality of your written assignments.

10. Consult a librarian Librarians can help you save time and money, and curb frustration. Firm librarians are a terrific resource so get to know them. Reference librarians at GMU Law library are also available throughout the summer, so give us a call at 703.993.8076, email us, or stop by the Reference Office.

Hat tip to MoreUs Law Library Blawg (UVA), whose excellent post has been used and freely adapted here.

Brown at 60

The Supreme Court issued its decision in Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954.

Please take a few minutes to view the library’s atrium display commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Brown decision. This exhibit includes historical images and highlights some of the library’s print materials related to Brown.  There are also numerous digital resources that may be of interest, including:

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Congratulations Graduates

The law library staff congratulates George Mason University School of Law Graduates!

Please remember that library services continue to be available to you after graduation. Student IDs are valid through October 6, 2014—so recent grads may reserve study rooms, check out books (until Sept. 30), and use the computer labs.

The library is open to the public for conducting legal research, so please feel free to use our print resources and publicly available databases (includes in-library access to Keycite, Shepards, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw Patron Access Terminals). Reference librarians are also happy to assist you in person, by phone, or via email.

Best of Luck Class of 2014!!

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Legal Database Access for Grads

Graduating GMUSL students have the following access:

Bloomberg Law:  Access until December 31, for any purpose, including commercial. No action is needed to continue access.

Lexis Advance: Access until July 31. To extend access (with restrictions), visit wwwlexisnexis.com/grad-access/

WestlawNext: 

  • Access to job-related resources for 18 months after graduation.  No action is required for this service
  • Passwords may be extended through November. Login at lawschool.westlaw.com and click on box in lower right corner of home page: “What’s Next? Tell us and extend your WestlawNext password.”

 

Summer Access to Legal Databases

During the Summer, current GMUSL students have the following legal database access:

  • Bloomberg Law: Unlimited, unrestricted access.
  • Lexis Advance: Unlimited, unrestricted access.
  • Westlaw:
    • Students retain access to all TWEN courses and materials, and West Online Study Aids.
    • Limited research access June 1-July 31. Students may apply for a password extension here for the following acceptable uses: Summer law school classes, law journal work, projects for faculty, moot court, and unpaid, nonprofit public-interest internship/externship work required for graduation. Summer passwords may not be used for research for law firms, government agencies, corporations or other purposes unrelated to law school coursework.

During the Summer, students continue to have full access to all other Law-Related Databases and databases available from the GMU Libraries Database Portal.

Reference Librarians will be available throughout the Summer to answer any research-related questions.  Please feel free to call, email, or stop by the Reference Office. Full contact details are available from the library Staff Directory.