CALI Lessons

During the course of the semester, you may want to take advantage of CALI lessons to help you prepare for exams. CALI (Computer Assisted Legal Instruction)tnt_legalpapers_6_logo includes tutorials that are created by law school faculty for students. There are over 50 web-based lessons covering more than 35 law school subjects. Texas Tech University School of Law is a member of CALI, so the lessons are available to you.

If you haven’t already done so, here’s how you can set up a CALI account:

1. Get the authorization code for Tech Law.

  • You can do this by stopping by the Law Library’s reference & information desk and asking for a CALI card.
  • Or, you can also retrieve it online via the Law Library’s Electronic Resources page, alphabetically listed under CALI.

2. Once you have the code, go to http://www.cali.org and, on the right side of the screen, click the link for “Register.”

3. Complete the registration process, which will require you to create your own username and password, in addition to entering your CALI authorization code.

Once you have registered with CALI, you will have full access to all of their resources. You can search for lessons in a variety of ways, including by topic and by casebook.

Laptops in the Classroom

The most recent in a string of articles discussing the effects of laptops in the classroom was recently published in the Winter 2016 volume of The National Jurist. The study referenced in the article, entitled “The Pen is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of coffee-apple-iphone-laptopLonghand Over Laptop Note Taking,” compared performance between students taking their notes by hand versus those who typed their notes. The study concluded that, while the efficiency of typing appeals to many students, computers are a detriment to student absorption of information.

According to another study by the University of Louisville Law Review, nearly 90 percent of students using laptops during a class are engaging in online activities unrelated to the class at some point during class—whether it be email, instant messaging, shopping, or checking out their fantasy football league standings. But, even when internet is not an option and they are just using their laptops for note taking purposes, their learning may still be impaired because they are not processing the information. By taking handwritten notes, students are forced to listen carefully and analyze what the most important pieces of information are. This process is called “encoding” and is the key to cementing learning—and it doesn’t happen when students are just transcribing what the professor says.

So should we ban all laptops? Not necessarily. Some classes make use of technology during class and many students get nervous trying to take notes without their computers. However, it might be worth informing students that they may be doing a disservice to themselves by choosing to use their computers in the classroom.

Scholarly Writing Series Instructions

If your professor requires the Scholarly Writing Series as part of your course, please use the following instructions to successfully complete the series.

1. Login to WestlawNext and click on the link to TWEN:

TWEN

2. Once in TWEN, click Add Course:

Add Course

3. Add Texas Tech University School of Law’s Scholarly Writing Series:

Add SW

4. Once added, go to the course and read the Instructions for Students:

Instructions SW

5. Complete the lectures and quizzes and turn in the information to your professor!

*note if you do not print quiz results and turn them into your professor, your professor will not know that you completed the series.

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.