Late September, early October is when 1L students start realizing that the law school workload is unquestionably intense, and the Law Library is here to help. In addition to having a diverse array of legal information, the Law Library also features librarians, staff, and resources that can guide you through the maze of coursework. The following are a few of the many helpful resources available to students.
1. Research Guides
The Law Library Reference Team has created a rich set of research guides to assist students to gain a better understanding of course materials, instruction, general reference, and other topics. For instance, the Law Library’s Research Guide Series contains explanations of the major concepts and related resources, references to study guides, and other helpful information for 1L, advanced required, and particular elective courses.
2. List of Books, Study Aids, & Other Resources
The Reporter (Law Library Blog), has published multiple references to books and online resources available to students to augment class materials. In particular, see prior postings on:
- Entering 1L Students: The Law Library’s Selective Summer Browsing List (by Arturo Torres). The list contains a short list of books highlighting general information on what to expect and how to succeed in law school.
- CALI Lessons (by Jamie Baker). CALI (Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) includes over 50 web-based tutorials and lessons covering more than 35 law school subjects. Also, this post provides registration information and how to start using your CALI account.
- Study Aids in the Law Library (by Sue Kelleher). The post explains the different types of study aids and where you can find them.
- Study Guides Available in Print and Online (by Marin Dell). This provides additional descriptions of the Law Library’s collection of study guides and treatises for all 1L and upper-level law courses.
3. Law Library Reference Support Team
The Law Library Reference Team is available and ready to assist by phone 806-742-7155, via email, walk-ins, or by appointment to answer questions about searching and navigating within the Library’s print and online resources. Reference team members are available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
This is the first post in a four-part series spotlighting the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct.
Bloomberg BNA’s ABA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct is a database that contains news and analysis divided into four main sections: Ethics Rules, Current Reports, the Practice Guides, and Ethics Opinions.
This front page provides quick links to these sections as well as highlights from recent rulings and current events in the field.
The manual provides a number of helpful tools, including a “My Favorite Documents” tool. Available on the toolbar, this feature allows users to quickly access selected documents. Finally, the “Recently Visited Docs” section on the main page allows users to keep track of their research by easily accessing documents that were recently viewed.
Access to the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.
Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week: On the Merits Blog
This the final post in a four part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week.
Bloomberg’s U.S. Law Week: On the Merits Blog focuses on recent Supreme Court decisions, current issues on the docket, and constitutional issues that are in the news. Occasionally, the blog will have posts on the intersection of politics and judicial issues. For example, the blog recently published a post of Vice President Joe Biden’s criticism of Donald Trumps’ treatment of the judiciary. The Blog posts are written by legal scholars and pre-law scholars with political science backgrounds. Clicking on “more” in the box on the main page will open up a separate browser that leads to the blog’s site.
Most of the blog posts contain photographs that describe the issues in the posts. Many of these photographs are of protestors or parties to major Supreme Court cases outside of the Supreme Court.
The blog also contains many helpful features that the reader can use to navigate through the blog’s material.
RSS feed: With this feature, readers can see recently updated content, can sort by date and title, and can also use a search box to look for a specific topic. To use the RSS feed, click the orange button on the top right hand corner that reads RSS.
Timeline: The reader can look at posts as far back as 2013. There seems to be no consistency in updating posts. However, a reader can expect a new post every few days if one is not posted every day.
Layout: The scroll down function allows you to see all the articles on one page. Overall, the site is very easy to use and readers can just click on the blog posts they want.
Beginning researchers often ask, “How do I know when I’m done?”
This is a legitimate question because legal research can send you down many rabbit holes with seemingly endless resources to sort through. The University of San Francisco School of Law put together a wonderful research guide on point.
Here are a few good indicators that you’ve reached the end of your research project:
- You’ve found the answer. Sometimes — this is rare — you will quickly find the authoritative law that applies to your fact pattern. Be sure to Shepardize or KeyCite to check to see if your sources are still good law.
- You keep finding the same primary authority no matter which research method you use or which sources you consult. It’s usually a good idea to double-check your research by checking two or three sources on the same topic to see if they all cite to the same authority. When you’ve done thorough research, and you keep turning up the same citations no matter where or how you look, that’s a sign that you’ve reached the foundational cases on point. Again make sure to Shepardize or Keycite.
- Your project deadline is fast-approaching. Remember that the best research is pointless if you don’t leave enough time to write the paper or to tell the client or assigning attorney what you’ve found.
What if you’re not finding authorities that address your research issue?
If research hasn’t yielded any results after 30-45 minutes, it may be time to reevaluate your research strategy. Think comprehensively and creatively. Research broader rules, analogous facts or doctrines, and⁄or the law of other jurisdictions.
Make sure you are:
- applying a variety of research techniques
- using both primary and secondary sources
- using both print and online sources
- consulting resources from different publishers or vendors (remember that Lexis and Westlaw offer a lot of the same primary sources (cases, statutes, regulations, etc.), but the secondary sources available on each system, like treatises and practice guides, tend to not overlap very much.)
Ultimately, please make sure to consult a librarian if you’re having trouble.
It seems like the world is busier with more and more happening. So how do you keep up with the news during these turbulent times? One of the easiest ways to stay current while on the go is with an app! Here are some of suggestions to help keep you up-to-date with both national and local news.
National news is exploding with armed conflicts, the presidential election, and the wild weather we’ve been experiencing! There are world-wide and national events occurring constantly.
An easy way to keep up with national news is by downloading the AP Mobile app. This app provides news from the Associated Press and is a trusted source of information. The AP Mobile app is available both for Apple products via the iTunes store and through Google Play for Android devices.
One choice for keeping up with local news is the mobile app offered by KCBD News Channel 11. Their app provides weather, news, and sports, plus a wealth of other local information. This app has an interactive radar, alerts you can set so you are notified of any watches and warnings, as well as the ability to contribute your stories, videos, and images. The app is available both in the iTunes store and through Google Play for Android devices.
These are only two choices from a myriad of news and weather apps on the market. Here are a couple of additional apps that may also be good choices.
For more local information, you may want to try EverythingLubbock KLBK KAMC available from either the Google Play Store or from iTunes.
If you’re more interested in an international perspective, try BBC News, which is also available from either the Google Play Store or iTunes.
HeinOnline is a wonderful resource that is available to you through the Law Library’s subscription. Hein has all kinds of documents available including law review articles, historical statutes for all states, and so much more!
Recently added to HeinOnline, are books published by the University of North Carolina Press. Hein has added more than 120 titles from this publisher and they are available at no extra cost! The UNC Press has a national and international reputation for publishing quality books. These books cover a variety of topics and include both current and historical titles. They can be found throughout HeinOnline in their subject-appropriate collections. Some of the popular titles include:
Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (2014) written by Dan Berger
Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe (2010) written by Marc Stein
National Insecurities: Immigrants and U.S. Deportation Policy Since 1882 (2012) written by Deirdre M. Moloney
There are many more titles available to you covering a multitude of subjects! For the full collection from the UNC Press in alphabetical order, please click here.
BNA U.S. Law Week Featured Spotlight: Podcasts
This is the third post in a four part series spotlighting Bloomberg BNA United States Law Week.
Bloomberg BNA U.S. Law Week features podcasts concerning recent Supreme Court happenings. Some examples of titles are: Supremely Funny, Ruckus Over Raisins, and Friends in High Places.
To access the podcast, the reader must click on the highlighted word at the end of the description. Usually the word is “more”, but sometimes the word is “listen”. After clicking the highlighted, linked word, the reader is lead to a page with the title of the podcast and a brief summary of the content. How long the podcast will last is in parenthesis. Readers must click “Listen” to access the podcast. A separate page for the podcast will open up on your computer.
Access to Bloomberg B.N.A. U.S. Law Week database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Database tab.