LAW LIBRARY RESOURCES FOR NEW GRADUATES

Access to Legal Databases:

  • Bloomberg Law: Full access continues until December 31, 2015. No action needed.
  • Lexis Advance
    • Full access through July 1, 2015. No action needed.
    • Graduates who register here will receive access to a Graduate Home Page with tailored content, resume tips, virtual research training, and current legal news from Law360® through December 31, 2015.
    • If you are working for a nonprofit or public interest organization you may apply here for one year of free access through the ASPIRE Program.
  • Westlaw:  
    • Access to job-related resources for 18 months. No action needed.
    • Graduating students may extend their password here for unlimited Westlaw access through November 30th for Academic purposes, finding a job, for updating research/note/comments, etc.

Access to Library Services:

  • Student IDs are valid through October 12, 2015—so new graduates 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— including in-library access to Keycite, Shepards, Bloomberg Law, and HeinOnline. There are also Westlaw and Lexis Patron Access Terminals with limited primary sources. More information about the library’s access policy is available here.
  • Reference librarians are also happy to assist you in person, by phone 703.993.8076, or email.


SUMMER ACCESS TO LEGAL DATABASES FOR CURRENT STUDENTS

During the summer, Current GMUSL Students have the following legal database access:

  • Bloomberg Law: Unlimited, unrestricted access. No registration required.
  • Lexis Advance: Unlimited, unrestricted access. No registration required.
  • Westlaw: Limited, restricted access. Registration required.
    • Students retain access to all TWEN courses and materials, and West Academic Online Study Aids.
    • 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
      • Unpaid, nonprofit public-interest internship/externship or pro bono work required for graduation
    • Summer passwords may not be used for research for “law firms, corporations or other entity (unrelated to law school) that is paying you to conduct said research or that is passing the costs of said research to a third party.”

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.

 

ATTENTION WESTLAW USERS: YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD!!

The library has just received notice from Thomson Reuters that all WESTLAW Passwords (created before October 7, 2O14) ) MUST be changed IMMEDIATELY.

If you do not change your password by January 13, 2015, then your access to WestlawNext and TWEN will be suspended.

Here’s what to do:

LOGON TO WWW.LAWSCHOOL.WESTLAW.COM THEN: 

WestlawPWs_002

If you have any questions, please stop by or call the Reference Office 703.993.8076.

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.

 

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.