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.

Confer With Librarians For Optimal Student Success

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae blog offered advice to faculty about who they should talk to on campus for optimal student success.

The author notes how graduate students are expected to jump into the classroom autonomously once they are hired as faculty. But this autonomy does not mean that faculty should not confer with other professionals on campus to provide a comprehensive educational experience.

The first set of professional listed are the librarians:

If you haven’t spent a good few hours going over your syllabi with a librarian trained in your subject area, you’re shortchanging your course and your students (and yourself). Librarians keep up with the technology in your field. They know the campus holdings and can order better texts for you if they know what you’re teaching.

Librarians can offer even more help if you give them a heads-up about what your assignments are going to be. They can pull relevant texts from the stacks and hold them on reserve for your course. They can come to your classroom and talk about which sources are available and how to judge their quality. They can suggest assignments and let you know about resources you may not have seen yet. And they can be a great help if you have to miss a class–they can work with your students in the library that day or in your classroom to keep them on track with whatever assignment you’ve given while you’re away at that conference.

Librarians live to help. And they’ll be able to help your class do much better work if you’ve taken the time to share your syllabus, your assignments, and your ideas with them.

The author goes on to list academic advisors, student affairs staff, registrar, financial aid, and veterans’ affairs professionals as others for faculty to confer with. As noted, “get out there and talk to people across your campus, in all kinds of jobs. Who knows? You might make a friend. And you’ll definitely make yourself a more effective faculty member.”

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Stress Busting During Finals

pbandj finals sign

Finals is a very stressful time during the semester. There is a lot of pressure on students to do well during finals, however, if you stress too much it can be counterproductive. What can a student do to keep on the edge without going over!

The Texas Tech Law School and Law Library are working to provide some relief from stress during finals.

The Texas Tech Law Library will be hosting a Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar on December 2 in the 1st Floor Collaboration area. Students can come and make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from 11a.m. – 1p.m. There will also be some stress busting activities that students can enjoy and take with them!

The Texas Tech Law School is hosting a Finals Coffee Bar, November 30 – December 10. Every day at 3pm students can go to the forum for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy a study break!

Also, don’t forget that the Texas Tech Law Library also has study rooms that can be reserved for group study as well as all kinds of study aids. There was an earlier blog post by Sue Kelleher that explained the different types of study aids and where you can find them!

Good luck to all the students who are studying for finals!

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.

Throwback Thursday

law library oldThe Law Library has been an integral part of the Law School since 1967.  This particular picture from before the Law Library is opened, is of law librarian U.V. Jones showing Dean Richard B. Amandes some of the new books that are going to be added to the collection.

Even today, the Law Library continues to be a valuable resource helping our faculty, students,  practitioners and public patrons with the help of our vast collection of legal resources and of course, our librarians!

(original post from Texas Tech tumblr page http://longlivethematadors.tumblr.com/post/131950176873/new-law-library)

Collaborative Commons

Over the summer, the library was very busy shifting our collection on the first floor to other parts of the library.  This change was made because we recognized a need for more group study space.  Since this is the only non-quiet area of the library, students often come here to work on homework and study together.  With the absence of books and bookshelves, we were able to put in more tables and seating for a better group work experience.  collaborative commons, students