Regulatory Insight Featured Spotlight: LibGuide

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

Regulatory Insight provides a user-friendly LibGuide as a valuable starting place for first-time researchers. The LibGuide is accessible off the home page by clicking the question mark icon and selecting LibGuide off the drop down menu located in the top, right-hand corner.

Regulatory Insight (3)

The LibGuide (pictured below) neatly outlines the purpose of the database, what the regulatory process consists of, how to search for content, and what to expect the documents provided to look like.

Regulatory Insight (2)

For example, under the “Searching Regulatory Insight” tab, the LibGuide explains the three ways to search for documents in Regulatory Insight: (1) the Basic Search form on the front page, (2) the Advanced Search form, and (3) the Search by Number form. Meanwhile, the “Content Types” tab provides detailed descriptions for the content types listed on the Advanced Search page of Regulatory Insight.

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

Regulatory Insight: What is it?

Regulatory Insight is a companion database to Legislative Insight, providing researchers with a platform to facilitate research into U.S. federal administrative law histories from 1936-2015.

Regulatory Insight

Features include:

  • Access to all notices, proposed rules, and final rules;
  • Results that include all regulatory histories associated with a specific C.F.R. portion or U.S. Code citation; and
  • A compilation of Federal Register “articles” with a direct legal basis in that Public Law.

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

The Law Library Adds Two New Electronic Databases

The Law Library maintains a number of subscriptions to legal and non-legal electronic databases. Last week, the Law Library added two new databases: Fulltext Sources Online and Mobile Apps for Law.

Fulltext Sources OnlineFTO_Reporter 

Fulltext Sources Online (FSO) is a directory of aggregated publications that are accessible online in full text. FSO is updated weekly and includes over 56,000 periodicals, newspapers, newsletters, newswires, and TV or radio transcripts. FSO contains topics ranging from science to finance.

As the name entails, along with the providing the full text of sources, FSO also lists the URLs of publications with Internet archives, noting whether access to them is free or not.

Mobile Apps for Law

Media Apps_ReporterThe Mobile Apps for Law database contains a comprehensive directory of mobile applications for law students and lawyers alike, including both legal research and utility apps for all mobile devices. Apps are searchable by area of law/subject, state, or operating platform. Although iPhone and iPad apps have a more predominant presence on Mobile Apps for Law, the database contains a substantial number of recommended apps for Android users.

To find these electronic databases, visit the Law Library website. On the front page, under Research and Reference, click on “Electronic Databases.” Sort the listings alphabetically to find FSO or Mobile Apps for Law. Listings can also be searched by subject area or provider.

Three (Free) Apps for Every Law Student or Practicing Attorney

There are over 2 million apps available for download from the iTunes store and Google Play combined. It is unsurprising that some lawyers are utilizing available legal-specific apps on their mobile devices and tablets, creating portable law libraries. Although the majority of lawyers still have yet to download a legal app, a little less than half have—according to the American Bar Association (ABA) 2015 TechReport. After downloading and experimenting with over a dozen free legal apps, the following three are worth the time-investment.

FastcaseExtensive Legal Research: Fastcase.

Fastcase is the most popular app for legal research, ranking higher than WestlawNext and LexisAdvance, according to the ABA 2015 TechReport. Although it requires a subscription, Fastcase is free to download and use. The app itself is largely intuitive; searches on Fastcase can be performed using citations, phrases, or keywords—including Boolean operators. Users can also browse statute collections by individually pulling up the state and selecting the desired code. Fastcase contains one of the largest selection of free Texas Codes.

The app may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices and from Google Play for Droid devices.

General Reference: PushLegal’s Statutes and Case Law Library.

Created by a Houston, Texas trial attorney, PushLegal is free to use for anyone signing up with a school-issued email address. The app contains quick access to the Federal Bankruptcy Code, Rules of Civil Evidence, Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Evidence, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Sentencing Guidelines, and several other federal titles. PushLegal also contains Texas, New York, Florida, and California state codes, including the Family, Penal, Probate, Business Organizations, and Property Code.

Searching is user-friendly on PushLegal. A search bar is located at the top of every screen, and various code sections also include a “Legal Cases” tab, listing cases that have recently referenced the particular statute.

However, accessibility is PushLegal’s best feature. Although an internet connection is required to download or “subscribe” to each book, after it is downloaded, the codes can be accessed without an internet connection

The app may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices and from Google Play for Droid devices.

Legal News: ISCOTUSnow.

Provided by the Oyez Project, this mobile app contains the latest information on cases currently pending and recently decided in the Supreme Court of the United States. Minutes following the release of a SCOTUS opinion, it is reviewable on the app. Oral arguments and transcripts, along with decision summaries, are also accessible. Additional features, like polls, allow users to share their reactions to SCOTUS news.

The app may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices and from Google Play for Droid devices.

New Book – Lawyer, Activist, Judge: Fighting for Civil and Voting Rights in Mississippi and Illinois

lawyer activist judge Lawyer, Activist, Judge: Fighting for Civil and Voting Rights in Mississippi and Illinois by The Hon. Martha A. Mills (Ret.) is the autobiography of Martha Mills, an attorney in the turbulent 1960’s era who spent time working to further justice in Mississippi and Illinois for those that were not treated equally under the law.

In the forward to this new book, Justice Michael B. Hyman notes, “In 1967, Martha Mills left the sedate offices of a Wall Street law firm, where she made history as its first woman attorney, and joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  She was sent to Mississippi and made history again by confronting the injustices of racism in hundreds of cases involving civil and voting rights, social and economic rights, and constitutional rights.  In these pages, she shares her compelling and fascinating story of those years and the years that followed in Cairo, Illinois.”

Check this new book out at the Texas Tech Law Library’s Collaborative Commons’ “New Book Display” (KF373 .M5318 A3 2015)

Study Guides Available in Print and Online

Circ study guidesTexas Tech Law Library has study guides and treatises for all 1L and upper level law courses available in print and online.  Study aids come in many different varieties and many upper level law courses available in print and online. Study aids come in many different varieties and are used for various purposes. Hornbooks are student versions of longer legal treatises and can be invaluable for a close examination of a point of law. Nutshells are a concise paperback series of books that give an excellent overview of the law in a particular subject.

Other study aids, such as Lexis’ “Understanding” series or the “Examples and Explanations” series, fall somewhere in between the scholarly Hornbooks and the plain language of a Nutshell. Other study aids have additional features, such as Gilbert Law Summaries, which have detailed charts and boxes containing exam tips. The “Mastering” series features review checkpoints” at the end of each chapter and a master checklist of key points to know to assure the reader that they have studied and noted all the major topics in that area of law.

The “Inside” series has many FAQ sections with short questions and answers after a chapter or two of content and a highlighted “sidebar” inset that gives interesting background and explanation of the chapter text. Finally, the “Q & A” series and the “Kaplan PMBR” series of study aids both have extensive multiple choice questions and detailed explanations of both the right and wrong answers. The Kaplan PMBR series also includes substantive course outlines and flowcharts, especially helpful for visual learners.

While many study aids are only available in print at the reference desk, the Law Library has subscribed to the West Academic Study Aids online collection, which can be accessed by using your Westlaw OnePass login and creating a West Study Aids account at https://subscription.westacademic.com. Also available are the popular Texas guides, O’Connors, available in print and online at http://www.oconnors.com.  For more information about access, please see a librarian.

For those times when you want to put the traditional study aids away, the Law Library also has Texas Law and Law in a Flash flash-cards and Gilberts and Sum+Substance audio CDs available to check out at the Library’s Circulation Desk.  Get out and study today!