HAPPY 800th BIRTHDAY MAGNA CARTA!

On June 15, 1215 at Runnymede, King John affixed his seal on Magna Carta. Eight hundred years later Magna Carta remains one of the world’s most important documents, especially in America where it heavily influenced the drafters of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Magna Carta remains relevant today as a symbol of liberty and the fundamental principle that no one is above the law:

No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any other way ruined, nor will we go against him or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

–Magna Carta, Clause 39

Want to learn more about Magna Carta?  Please see the law library’s new guide to Select Resources about Magna Carta.

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.

 

ADVANCED LEGAL RESEARCH FOR SEMINAR PAPERS

“Wait. The information I need to research this topic isn’t on Westlaw or Lexis? Google isn’t helpful either.  #$@&%*!” 

No need to despair. Instead, attend a short seminar at 5:00pm on Thursday, January 22, in Room 120. We’ll focus on the resources you need to know about to conduct academic legal research.  ​

Take a few minutes now—save time later!!!

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.

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!

 

 

 

Chance to Win Up To $5K in the “Supreme Court Challenge”

Here are the details from ScotusBlog:

Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog’s Supreme Court Challenge

Welcome to Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog’s Supreme Court Challenge! Do you have what it takes to beat Tom Goldstein’s expert team and win up to $5,000?

You and your teammates will use the first-class resources provided by Bloomberg Law and SCOTUSblog – including opinions, Supreme Court briefs, Justices’ profiles, and news – to perform research to make your predictions for merits cases and petitions for certiorari that will be considered by the Court in March 2013. View the required training videos to learn more about these resources, and visit Bloomberg Law for tips and tricks on how best to execute your research.

Prizes will be awarded to the three student teams with the most points as follows:

  • First prize is a minimum of $3,500, with an additional $1,500 awarded if your team also beats the experts at SCOTUSblog.
  • Second prize is $1,500, with an additional $1,000 if you beat the SCOTUSblog team.
  • Third prize is $1,000, with an additional $500 if you beat the SCOTUSblog team.

Teams of up to five students from the same law school can register by February 28, 2013 and submit their picks by March 14, 2013. See the competition rules for more details.

Good luck!

 

 

Introducing inPrimo

 

inPrimo is a new discovery tool that allows GMU students and faculty to search multiple research databases, the Mason Catalog, ejournals, media, special collections, and also hundreds of millions of records for collections not owned by Mason.

inPrimo Features:

  • Filters – help refine your results (e.g., resource type, subject headings, publication dates, etc.)
  • Full text – direct links to available online items
  • Portability – functions with mobile devices
  • inPrimo will not replace the current catalog nor the Law Related Databases or GMU Databases Portals (these remain linked from the Law Library Home Page)

Search inPrimo Directly from the Law Library Home Page: