Checkpoint by RIA: What is it?

This is the first post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Thomson Reuter’s Checkpoint by RIA is a tax research system. It includes primary sources such as the Internal Revenue Code, federal tax cases, and Internal Revenue Code rulings and releases.

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Checkpoint also provides editorial materials from RIA, including a variety of helpful resources such as form/line finder, a federal tax handbook, and annotations and explanations for the United States Tax reporter.

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Checkpoint offers current awareness materials such as WG&L Journals and the Federal Taxes Weekly Alert Newsletter.

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Finally, Checkpoint gives the user the ability to make notes, save folders, and flag pages using the icons at the top of the screen.

Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.

 

 

Research Guides from the TTU Law Library

Do you ever find yourself looking for help getting started in legal research? Do you find yourself wanting to know the basics of a common resource? Do you wonder what resources the Law Library has available to you? If you ever finding yourself answering “Yes” to one of these questions, then you may want to consider checking out the Texas Tech Law Library’s Research Guide Series (also called “LibGuides”).

The Law Library’s LibGuides are 60+ Research Guides (and growing!) on a variety of topics. Four guides are “Library Services”, with guides marketed to different patron groups, such as Faculty, Students, Members of the Bar, and Members of the Public. These guides help different patrons find the services available to them.

small_logoThe next group of guides are our Course & Subject guides, under the collective brand “What2Use”. These guides are resources in particular subjects, tied to particular College of Law courses. Each guide is divided into parts containing primary law sources, study materials for students, and materials for practitioners and advanced researchers. Guides are available for all required doctrinal courses, all bar exam electives, and a number of other popular electives. We are expanding this list, as well as continually reviewing and updating the existing guides.

The other major category of the Law Library’s LibGuides is the “How2Use” guide series. The How2Use guides focus on specific resources, such as Dorsaneo’s Texas Litigation Guide, or general guides on using resources, such as our guides on Legal Apps or Terms and Connectors searching. We are also continually expanding this list, as well as updating existing guides: Watch for guides on legal citation and O’Connor’s Online in the coming weeks.

The last few guides don’t fit into particular categories, but include such topics as bar prep materials, online people & property searches, and a guide for Spanish-speaking patrons to help find Spanish-language resources.

So, check out the Law Library’s LibGuides when you need a place to get started. You’re sure to find something helpful.

Have a suggestion for a Law Library Research Guide topic, or a resource to be added to one of our existing LibGuides? Send your suggestions to Joshua Pluta at joshua.pluta@ttu.edu.

Keep Yourself Up-to-date with RSS Feeds

Do you find yourself struggling with keeping up-to-date on the latest news in your areas of interest? Do you want a more convenient way to get your daily updates than going to a dozen bookmarked sites? RSS Feeds may be the solution. Almost all websites with continually updated content (such as this blog, for example) use RSS (short for Rich Site Summary, but often also called “Really Simple Syndication”) to push content in a format-neutral form (so that future site redesigns automatically update old content). The plus side is that these RSS feeds can be read by other programs that aggregate them into one place.

Aggregating feeds is done with an RSS reader program. There are a number of them out there, but I recommend Feedly, which is 1) free; 2) available on the web or as an app for iOS and Android; and 3) really clean and user-friendly. You can add feeds by just searching the name of the website or entering the page URL. There are even alternative apps that connect to your Feedly subscriptions if you don’t like Feedly’s interface.

Once you’ve found the Reader you like, you just need to add feeds. Depending on the site and your reader, you can generally just either search for the site or the URL, but you can also look for the RSS feed icon, which looks something like this:

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Clicking on the RSS icon will take you to a URL that is just the feed you can add to your reader. Once you’ve added sites, you can then go to your reader and start reading. It’s also easy to add or remove a site at a later time, so you don’t have to worry about getting it right the first time.

To help you get started, here’s a few sites I subscribe to with my RSS reader (with feed URLs):

I hope this helps you find ways to keep up-to-date on your latest news.

Expand your horizons with educational YouTube channels

Happy Thanksgiving!

For most of my life, educational programming on TV was limited to a few well-tested formats: Documentaries based on a particular format of photos or video with a narrator and talking heads, or children’s programming. Because of the cost of operating a station, educational programming was limited to public broadcasting or the depths of extended cable. Today, once edutainment-driven channels like TLC and the History Channel now feature shows about child beauty pageants, giant families, pawn shops, and fishermen. It’s fortunate, then, that YouTube has risen to more than cover our needs.

Continue reading “Expand your horizons with educational YouTube channels”

Law Librarians’ Society’s Legislative Source Book

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The Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C. is an association established for educational, informational and scientific purposes with a geographical focus on the Washington, D.C. region.  Luckily for us, they have compiled a great online Federal legal source book!

The Legislative Source Book contains many pdfs with information on how to research various types of Federal information.  There are documents explaining how to located current legislative and regulatory activity, how to locate United States Statutes and Code, as well as an overview of the Congressional Record and Congressional Serial Set.  If you want to learn how Federal Laws are drafted they explain it!  Most information is for Federal information but there is some information on State Legislatures, laws and regulations as well.

Overall, this is a very comprehensive source on how to find current and historical Federal Legislative information.

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!