Bar Exam-Relevant Electronic Databases: What are they?

This is the first post in a four-part series spotlighting bar exam-relevant databases. Each database will be explored in detail.

For recent law school graduates looking to keep abreast of bar exam-relevant material in a palatable format outside bar prep study hours, the following electronic resources may offer reprieve. Each of these databases cover a subject often tested on the Texas Bar Examination.

E&E Publishing (Oil and Gas Law)

E&E Front Page

Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E) is the leading source for comprehensive, daily coverage of environmental and energy policy.

Bloomberg BNA Family Law Reporter (Family Law)

FLR

Published weekly, Bloomberg BNA Family Law Reporter covers important new federal and state family law cases, legislation, and issues.

Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law Resource Center (Business Association & Uniform Commercial Code)

Corp Law

Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law Resource Center covers the broad spectrum of business law and features concise coverage of areas of critical interest to corporate practitioners.

Access to all the databases referenced in this post is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website, under the Electronic Resources tab.

 

 

Legislative Insight Featured Spotlight: Legislative Process

This is the second post in a three-part series spotlighting Legislative Insight database features. For this post, we’re looking at the “Legislative Process” tab, available off the menu bar (shown below).

Leg Proc 3.1The legislative process is broken down into seven steps:

  1. A bill is drafted and introduced (either through the House or Senate)
  2. A bill is referred to a committee and subject to hearings and markup
  3. A committee votes to report a bill
  4. A bill goes to the floor
  5. The bill goes to conference
  6. The bill goes to the president to sign or veto
  7. The enacted law is printed and codified

Each step is explained in detail by clicking the orange information tab (shown below). In the example below, the Legislative Process page breaks down the intricacies of when a bill is referred to a committee.

Leg Proc 3.3 The Legislative Process page on Legislative Insight demystifies the law making process by providing a step-by-step guide in simplified language.

Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Legislative Insight Featured Spotlight: Quick Search & Search by Number

This is the final post in a three-part series spotlighting Legislative Insight database features.

Aside from the basic search bar available on the home page and the Guided Search tab (which is an extension of the basic search bar), there are two other ways to conduct a search: (1) Quick Search and (2) Search by Number.

Quick Search

Leg Insight 4.1Quick Search is fairly intuitive. You can either type in what law you’re searching, or utilize the “Popular Names of Laws List,” located directly under the search bar (shown above). In the example below, we selected the “Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987” and narrowed our search to only Hearings, under Publication Types.

Leg Insight 4.2After results populate, the left menu bar prompts the user to narrow the results even more–by subject term, start and end date, and source.

Search By Number

The Search by Number form is the quickest way to search for legislative information when you already have the–as the name implies–numbers associated with the piece of legislation. Users can search by bill number, public law number, public resolution number, statutes at large, publication number, bibliographic number, and serial set volume number (shown below).

Leg Insight 4.3

 

Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

Legislative Insight: What is it?

ProQuest’s Legislative Insight (see below) is a Federal legislative history database, containing full text publications created in the process of enacting U.S. laws.

Leg Insight 1

The value of legislative history research is simple: attorneys and courts often utilize findings from the legislative history of a law to support arguments about the actual meaning of the law.

Within Legislative Insight, users can search:

  • Bills
  • Congressional Records
  • CRS Reports and Miscellaneous Congressional Publications
  • House and Senate documents
  • Published and Unpublished Hearings (from 1983 forward)
  • Presidential Signing Statements
  • Public Laws

Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Legislative Insight Featured Spotlight: Timeline Browse

This is the first post in a three-part series spotlighting Legislative Insight database features.

The Legislative Insight database enable users to trace the development of a public law from its early consideration to its enactment. Through this database, you can search bills, the congressional record, CRS reports, public hearings, and more.

An under-utilized searching tool within the database is the Timeline Browse. The Timeline Browse link is located on the Legislative Insight homepage top menu bar (shown below).

Leg Insight 1The Timeline Browse allows for searches based on broad subject matters–including Education, Immigration, and Water–listing out important acts and related documents in each subject.

Leg Insight 2For example, the Immigration subject timeline spans between 1882, with the Chinese Exclusion Act, and 2006, with the Secure the Fence Act. By selecting “retrieve documents,” you will be re-directed to a pre-filled “Quick Search” form (shown below).

Leg Insight 3A user can then narrow the search results by publication type, date, subject term, or source.


Access to ProQuest’s Legislative Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Regulatory Insight Featured Spotlight: Advanced Search & Search by Number

This is the final post in a three-part series spotlighting Regulatory Insight database features.

Aside from the basic search bar available on the home page, there are two other ways to conduct a search: (1) Advanced Search form and (2) Search by Number form.

Reg 3Advanced Search

The Advanced Search form is particularly helpful when you know your research constraints beforehand. For example, if you know the content will be found within the Federal Register or you’re able to limit results with a date range. The Advanced Search form also permits searching within specific fields (shown below). Fields include:

  • Full Text
  • Agency
  • Popular Law Name, and
  • Subject.

Reg 3.1When using the Agency or Popular Law Name fields, the Find Terms link to the right of the search box contains helpful categories for each field (shown below).

Reg 3.2Search by Number

When there is a known citation for a Federal Register document, a Regulation, a Public Law, a Statute at Large citation, a federal statute or U.S. Code citation, an Agency Docket Number or a Regulatory Information Number, you use the Search by Number form.

For this demonstration, we’re searching the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which has a public law number of P.L. 112-95.

Reg 3.3

The search result (shown below) yields of a compilation of Federal Register articles associated with the public law number.

Reg 3.4Access to ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Regulatory Insight Featured Spotlight: Filter Box

This is the second post in a three-part series spotlighting Regulatory Insight database features.

For this demonstration, we’re searching “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.” After entering the search term, Regulatory Insight returns a list of matching results, with the most relevant documents located at the top of the list.

Results can be sorted by relevance (default), publication date, or recency. Additionally, the “Filter by” box, located in the left-hand column (shown below), can also be used to tailor the results.

Reg Insight2

Filtering by date will narrow the existing search results within the designated date range. Meanwhile, filtering is also available by document type or subject. Selecting “More options…” on either filter option results in a pop-up window (shown below).

Reg Insight3

There, the user can sort alphabetically or by result count each document type before selecting the document type to include or exclude in a filtered search. Clicking “Apply” will automatically generate a new search based on the filter selections (see below). To undo a filter, select the blue “X” icon located in the filter box.

Reg Insight4

Access to ProQuest’s Regulatory Insight database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.