Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report: What is it?

This is the first in a four part series blog post spotlighting Bloomberg BNA’s Energy and Climate Report.

The Energy and Climate Report is dedicated to providing real-time coverage of climate change and emissions trading developments, in-depth analysis, interviews with policy makers, background reports, and legislation, litigation coverage and court opinions, and videos.

The Energy and Climate Report home page provides a comprehensive update beginning with the latest news.

Below is a view of the home page.

Bloomberg Environment and Energy1

 

To stay updated on a specific topic of interest, check out the news on the homepage that can be filtered by topic.

Below is the view of topics that you can filter the most recent news through.

Bloomberg Environment and Energy2

For quick searches of the entire database, locate the search icon at the top right corner of the page. For advanced searches, select the search icon and then select “advanced search” to the right of the search box. The advanced search tool allows you to search by term, topic, tribunal and date.

Bloomberg Environment and Energy3

Bloomberg Environment and Energy4

Bloomberg Environment and Energy5

Access to the Energy and Climate Report’s database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

Science, Technology, and the Law

NCSTL 1

The NCSTL.org project is a program of the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. United States Department of Justice located at Stetson University College of Law.  It provides a single access point for information about science, technology, and legal topics. The information has been compiled by professionals in order to provide comprehensive data on a broad range of topics.  The clearinghouse provides access to books, journals, cases, dissertations, and websites, as well as various other materials that cover topics from Accident Investigation to Voice Analysis.

NCSTL 1_2

Other resources that NCSTL provides include Special Collections for specific user groups, as well as Education and Training resources.

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For more information, visit the web site or contact NCSTL.org directly at:

NCSTL 5

More information can also be located at:

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For assistance with this or any other topic, please contact the Texas Tech Law Library at (806) 742-7155 or reference.law@ttu.edu.

Casemaker and Fastcase: Texas Tech Law Students Have Immediate Access

After you pass the Texas bar, you will no longer have access to any of the major online legal research services (Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law) through your law school account. However, as Texas attorneys, the State Bar of Texas provides access to two online legal research systems that you may not yet be aware of—Casemaker and Fastcase.

Typically, most state bar associations provide access to one of the two systems. Members of the Texas bar can either system. Granted, neither of the two systems may have all of the bells and whistles of the three major services. Nevertheless, Casemaker and Fastcase can meet most attorneys’ research needs. Both provide access to primary law (e.g., statutes, administrative rules and regulations, and case law) and limited secondary sources.

You do not need to wait for your bar license to use Casemaker or Fastcase, as law students you can create an account with the Texas Bar CLE and obtain immediate access. We encourage you to use them so that you become proficient with the systems upon graduation. To register and obtain acccess, follow the steps below.

1. Go to the State Bar CLE home page.
2. Type in some research terms on the “Free Legal Research” column to the right of the home page and click on search (see below). The follow the registration steps noted below.

CM-FC Steps 1-2

 

3. Chances are you have not registered. To do so, click on the “click here” link as noted below.

CM-FC Step 3

 

4. Since you do not yet have a bar number, click the “click here” link as noted below.

CM-FC Step 4

 

5. Fill out the registration form, titled “My CLE Profile,” using your TTU email address, selecting “law student” as your occupation, and clicking the “save” button at the bottom of the page.

CM-FC Step 5-7

The Importance of Legal Research Skills for Practice

Nearly all law schools are focusing on preparing “practice-ready” graduates. This approach to legal education was advanced in the 1990’s with the McCrate Report, and it has really taken hold within the last few years. A major part of preparing practice-ready grads is teaching effective, efficient legal research skills. For the past couple of years, survey after survey has shown the continued importance of legal research skills for practice.

In 2013, Steve Lastres, Director of Library & Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, analyzed the results of a recent survey conducted by The Research Intelligence Group called the “New Attorney Research Methods Survey.” Survey respondents “included 190 young attorneys equally represented by large and small law firms across a variety of practice areas. Nearly forty percent of the respondents were 28 or younger, in practice for five or less years, and a quarter of the respondents were recent law school graduates from the class of 2011 or 2012.”

Key findings from the survey included the following:

  • Newer attorneys spend more than 30% of their time doing legal research
  • Approximately 50% of associates think legal research should be a larger part of the law school curriculum
  • Over 80% of associates use an extensive range of content from traditional primary law and secondary materials to News, Court Transcripts, Verdicts, Dockets, Public Records and more.
  • Legal Classification systems are rarely used (only 12% begin with a legal classification system)
  • Attorneys use free online research resources but spend most of their time, over 8 hours per week, using paid-for online research services.

Additionally in 2013, the Wall Street Journal blog posted the results of a focus-group study with legal employers where the results showed that employers are looking for expert researchers with people skills. According to this study, “[t]he focus-group participants said ideal job applicants have a strong work ethic, can work independently without excessive ‘hand holding,’ and would bring a positive attitude to the workplace.” The other important skill was the ability to research. 

“Employers, particularly those with more years in practice, rely on new attorneys to be research experts. The employers in [the] focus groups have high expectations when it comes to new hires’ research skills, i.e., ‘[t]hey should be able to adequately and effectively find everything that’s up to the minute.’” Susan Wawrose, What Do Legal Employers Want to See in New Graduates?: Using Focus Groups to Find Out, 39 Ohio N. U. L. Rev. 505 (2013).

The legal employers noted that “[b]eing a research expert also means knowing how to scour books, not just websites. ‘Statutes, treatises and encyclopedias, and desk books are the sources employers still use in paper form. For this reason, new attorneys may want to be familiar with these paper sources.’” Id.

Last but not least, BAR/BRI recently released the first of what it intends to be an annual survey on the “State of the Legal Field.” The objective is to “evaluate industry perceptions about the state of the legal field” and establish benchmarks related to student practice readiness, employment expectations, employment trends, and law degree return on investment. Faculty, law students, and practitioners were surveyed.

Key finding number 2 from the BAR/BRI report stated that “[f]aculty placed very little importance on research, with just 4 percent citing it as the most important skill for recent law school graduates. In contrast, 18 percent of attorneys named research the most important skill a new lawyer should possess.”

These surveys offer proof from practitioners that legal research is a necessary skill for practice.

*This post was originally published on the RIPS Law Librarian Blog.

Arthur Miller Articulates the Importance of Legal Research

Arthur R. Miller CBE is this nation’s leading scholar in the field of civil procedure and is co-author with the late Charles Wright of Federal Practice and Procedure, the legendary treatise in the field. Professors Miller and Wright are among the most-often cited and well-regarded law treatise writers today. Their multi-volume series is an essential reference for judges and lawyers.

Below, Arthur Miller articulates the importance of legal research for practice:

And here:

As you consider the importance of legal research, don’t forget the 4-step legal research strategy for effective and efficient results.

Open Source Access to Scholarly Research

Legal Publishers and others are making it tough for law libraries to maintain many of their collections. For example, Since 1996 Thomson Reuters (West) has dramatically raised the prices of its print titles, both for new sets and, more significantly, for upkeep. Svengalis in his 2016 Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual, tracks 24 popular Thomson Reuter titles and provides a supplementation upkeep cost over a 21 year period, 1995-2015. The average price increase over the 21-year period was 779%. Svengalis also track 20 selective Lexis titles, which increased 299% over the same period. By comparison, the consumer price index rose only 58% during the same time.

With such dramatic increases by commercial publishers, open-source advocates are finding ways to combat the high cost of publications. Wikipedia defines open source access as “. . . online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access . . . and free of many restrictions on use . . .” Two such entities include the Open Access Button and Unpaywall.

open access buttonBoth are open-source, nonprofit, and dedicated to improving free access to scholarly research. Both scour thousands of institutional repositories (like our ScHOLAR), preprint servers (i.e., SSRN), and other websites to see if an open-access copy of the article is available.

The Open Access Button (OAB) is a browser bookmarklet that is invoked when users hit articles behind a subscription-based site. The OAB will search open access sites for the piece. Both OAB and Unpaywall work similarly.

unpaywallHowever, unlike OAB, Unpaywall uses extensions, which are currently available for Chrome and Firefox. When an Unpaywall user lands on the preview page of a research article and will see either a green unlocked tab or a grey locked tab.  If the tab is green, he or she can click on that tab to view the PDF. See graphic below.

unpaywall in article

Research Guide Series

With the Spring 2017 semester starting back up, it’s important to keep in mind all of the resources that the library has to offer! One of these resources are the Research Guide Series, also known as Libguides. The link to the Libguides can be found on the law library website under Research and Reference, titled “Research Guide Series” or by clicking on the link here.

libguide-blog

The Libguides offer all sorts of instructional materials as well as helpful links and other resources that may help you throughout law school! There is a Student Services Libguide as well as a Faculty Services Libguide that outline our services to both groups and provides a ton of helpful information!

I would suggest that everyone go and take a look at our Libguides to see if there are any resources listed that can be helpful to you!

If you have any questions, please contact a Law Librarian for more information!