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.

May Loislaw Rest in Peace

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Fastcase has acquired Loislaw from Wolters Kluwer (think Aspen Publishers), effective November 30, 2015 when Loislaw permanently shuts down. One of Loislaw’s key features has been access to Wolters Kluwer’s library of some 125 treatises in areas of law such as bankruptcy, business, employment, insurance, intellectual property, real estate and others. It appears that Fastcase subscribers will now gain access to the treatise collection. According to Fastcase, existing Loislaw subscribers will be grand-parented at current or better prices.

Study Aids in the Law Library

There are many choices when it comes to picking out the right study aid.  They come in different formats and cover materials in different ways.  If you need a general overview of a topic that explains the law, you might use the Nutshell Series or the Concise Hornbooks.  Other series will provide practice questions, such as the Exam Pro Series or Friedman’s Practice Series.  There are even a couple that provide both an overview and practice questions, like Glannon Guides and Examples and Explanations.

Dr. Jarmon, from the Office of Academic Success, has created a handy guide to the various study Aid series that discusses different types of study aids.  This guide is available in the tutor office, located behind the Research and Information desk in the Law Library.  The different series are also available in various formats.

Check out what the Law Library has available!

Online:

West Academic Study Aid collection (includes study aids from West Academic Publishing, Foundation Press, and Gilberts), there is even the Gilbert’s Law Dictionary to help out with any legal terminology.

  • Acing Series
  • Black Letter Outlines
  • Career Guides
  • Concise Hornbooks
  • Exam Pro
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Law Stories
  • Nutshells
  • Quick Review
  • Short and Happy

West Study Aids

Print (on Reserve):

  • Acing Series
  • Black Letter Outlines
  • Concepts and Insights
  • Crunch Time
  • Emanuel’s Law Outlines
  • Examples and Explanations
  • Gilbert Law Summaries
  • Hornbooks
  • Law Stories
  • Nutshells
  • Understanding Law

study aids 1

Audio CDs (On Reserve):

CDs

  • Law School Legends
  • Sum and Substance

Flashcards (On Reserve):

  • Law in a Flash
  • Texas Law Cards

flashcards

Other Resources:

Don’t forget to take advantage of other resources that are available to you, right here in the Law School.  The Office of Academic Success, run by Dr. Amy Jarmon, has many resources available to assist you.

“Free the Law”: Harvard Law & Ravel’s Free Case Law Project

Last Thursday, Harvard Law Library and Ravel Law announced a partnership they call “Free the Law.” In short, Harvard is digitizing their entire library of U.S. Case Law, which includes materials going back to pre-revolutionary days, and putting them into Ravel’s system, to be available free of charge.

The project is ambitious, and won’t be done overnight — even scanning half a million pages a week, they’re not expecting to have it fully developed for 2 years. However, it also provides a great opportunity for researchers everywhere to have access to case law. They’ve also agreed to release the full database for bulk use (that is, data mining and so on) within 8 years.

Is this a game-changer? Yes, and no. Google Scholar already has a free database of modern case law (since 1960 for most courts, and going back as far as 1791 for some) that anyone with an internet connection can search as easily as using Google, so from that respect, this really only fills the historical gap. Moreover, those older cases, especially those prior to the Great Depression, are more useful to academics than to practitioners or citizens in general, as they become attenuated from the modern day.

However, the fact that Harvard is partnering with Ravel makes this more interesting to me. Ravel is a relatively new platform that is focused on performing analytics on cases, which they use to connect cases together and highlighting the significant passages of cases. The data from this pool of case law will greatly improve the effectiveness and value of what Ravel provides, and in turn, will add value to the case law in the system. The open availability of the database also means that intrepid data hounds will be able to conduct extensive analysis of U.S. case law that was hampered by the difficulty of finding it all in a single place.

The other caveat I’ll toss out is that the project is only for case law. Most new law in the US is either statutes or administrative regulations, and those appear to be absent from this project (at least, for now). However, I’m still excited to get access to the treasure trove of case law data and to see what the data team at Ravel is able to do with it.

New Database: Tax Notes!!

tax notes

Tax Notes is the Law Library’s newest database.  It is a current awareness and tax research database.  This product will help you stay on top of current tax news.  It is easy and quick to sign-up.  Here are the instructions*:

Please go to http://www.taxnotes.com to sign on to the new site.  For the initial sign-in, you need to be within your company’s/university’s IP range.

Please follow these steps:

  • Please go to http://www.taxnotes.com, and click SIGN IN at the top right.
  • In the username field, please enter your Texas Tech University e-mail address.  Click Next.
  • On the next screen, please click on the blue “Register Here” link.
  • You’ll be taken to a Profile page.  Enter your name and Texas Tech University e-mail address.
  • Choose a password and enter it.
  • When you’ve finished the Profile, click SAVE CHANGES.
  • You’ll go to the Tax Notes webpage, where you can sign in with your username Texas Tech University  and the password you chose.

If you have any problems signing up or setting preferences, please contact Marin Dell (marin.dell@ttu.edu) for assistance.

*[NOTE: The user must be a Texas Tech University faculty, student or staff to access.]

BNA Premier

This electronic collection provides access to many different legal topics/fields, from the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct to the WTO Reporter.  You can use the tools provided to keep current on topics in the news, locate primary materials, as well as follow relevant case law.  Visit https://www.bna.com/Account/Subscriptions for more information and to explore other legal topics you might be interested in.

The following is just an example of what you can do using the Tax and Accounting Center on BNA.

Sub-Topics BNA 2 BNA 3 BNA 4 BNA 5