Farewell to a Classic

Westlaw Classic has gone off into the sunset. . . .

Effective today, Westlaw Classic is not longer available to academic subscribers. All GMU users will have access to Westlaw Next only. TWEN and West Study Aids remain available.

Need help with the transition?

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.

 

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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.

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.

 

Student Webinars: Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to use ProQuest Congressional and Legislative Insight, outstanding resources for legistlative history research.

Proquest is offering webinars designed for the summer associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional Digital Suite & Legislative Insight to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process
  2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue
  3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred
  4. Find both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent

Webinar Dates (please register via the link for your preferred date):

Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:00 pm
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=715979805

Friday, May 16, 2014 1:00 pm
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=719719265

Thursday, May 29, 2014 1:30 pm
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=714258131

Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:00 pm
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=715500467

Friday, June 20, 2014 9:00 am
https://proquestmeetings.webex.com/proquestmeetings/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=711140312

GMUSL Reference Librarians are also available to answer any questions you have about using these databses!

 

 

 

New from HeinOnline: Women and the Law Collection

The law library’s subscription to HeinOnline now includes a new Women and the Law Collection:

Women and the Law is a collection that brings together books, biographies and periodicals dedicated to women’s roles in society and the law. This unique collection of materials provides a platform to research the progression of women’s roles and rights in society over the past 200 years. Also included are more than 70 titles from Emory University Law School’s Feminism and Legal Theory Project which provide a platform to view the effect of law and culture on the female gender.

Please consult the library catalog for additional resources related to law and women.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

On Thursday, November 26, 1789, the first Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated pursuant to a proclamation issued by President George Washington. A 1863 proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday of November as the regular date for this celebration.

That tradition continued until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the holiday would be celebrated on the second to last Thursday of November that year (November 23, 1939). Roosevelt was responding to pressure from retailers to expand the Christmas shopping season.This change sparked controversy and angered some football coaches, whose season was scheduled according to the holiday. There was also a  a split among states, 32 issuing proclamations following the President but 16 others refusing to change the date.  See H.R. Rep. No.77-1186, at 1 (1941) (available to GMU patrons on Proquest Congressional)

Two years later, on December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a joint congressional resolution, known as the Thanksgiving Day Act (55 Stat. 862) establishing Thanksgiving as a Federal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the law library will have reduced hours:

  • Wed. Nov. 27  9:00 am – 5:00 pm, References Services 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Thurs. Nov. 28 Closed
  • Fri. Nov. 29  Closed
  • Sat. Nov. 30 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Sun. Dec. 1  10:00 am -11:00 pm, Reference Services 2:00 pm-9:00 pm

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Turkey

 

 

First Year Resources from Bloomberg Law

All new GMUSL students should have received a card explaining how to set up a Bloomberg Law account.  You’ll be learning about using Bloomberg Law for legal research later in the semester.

Bloomberg Law also has a collection of First Year Resources that you may find useful. Access this information here.

 

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