BOOKS BEHIND/THROUGH BARS WILL BE MEETING AT FREEBIRD’S IN COBBLE HILL, ON COLUMBIA BETWEEN DEGRAW AND KANE, WHILE ABC NO RIO RECONFIGURES ITS MANHATTAN SPACE. CLICK THE PHOTO FOR A LINK TO MORE INFO.
The Global Legal Information Network, efficiently named, can be accessed through the website of the law library of the Library of Congress.
At this point, everybody should be familiar with searching using terms and connectors. The chart above can be used as a reference guide until constructing a search becomes a second language. There is one tip for today, and that is provided by the Westlaw webinar team. Their advice for a situation when an initial search returns less than optimal results is to change the connectors, not the terms. It is likely that the chosen terms have been considered in relation to the present issue, and that issue hasn’t changed. By changing the connectors upon analysis of the results, a researcher can ‘dig around a bit’ and hopefully find more pertinent results. I haven’t mentioned that this is quick and easy, but I will, in a future post.
Of course, it always helps to have good light!
For an excellent history of the people who ensured that the library of the New York Law Institute would house a magnificent collection, as well as a fascinating look at the diversity of law publications which formed the basis of their early holdings, The New York Law Institute: History of the Library, by Wm. H. Winters, is a brief but elucidating.
The Law Library Association of Greater New York's “Bridge the Gap Legal Research Program” held Friday April 8 at the Tribeca campus of New York Law School provided an excellent introduction to the research process. Rather than an overview, a report on all of the exciting materials provided to the participants is in order (set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. sometime next April for the entire experience).
I arrived at the beautiful lobby of 185 W. Broadway a few minutes after 8:30, saw a table with the LLAGNY logo and walked up to register. With my nametag I also received a red carry bag with a VeloBound program/schedule, a small pamphlet and a large, heavy text. The maroon, hardbound volume is a treatise: New York Practice, by David Siegel, which outlines the rules of civil procedure of New York State. The pamphlet is the pocket part update to the main volume. LLAGNY ensured that all attendees had a ‘must read,’ while also enabling practical experience in cross-referencing coordinate texts.
The day inside matched the refreshing Spring day outside—the schedule offered sufficient break time to relax between sessions, and there were snacks, coffee and tea throughout the day, including a nice lunch buffet. The instructors were outgoing, friendly and supportive—I met a number of truly talented, inspiring men and women. I thank LLAGNY, and suggest a visit to their website for news on the upcoming student breakfast.
Google Scholar is an excellent resource which ‘provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature . . . across many disciplines and sources.’ Among these disciplines is law, and Scholar enables keyword searching in the text of legal opinions and journals. Searches return full text of cases, as well as citation history for quick linking to related cases. Advanced searches are possible using numerous filtering functions, such as the template checkbox page which lists all Federal and State courts (this page can be printed as a ready reference guide!).
The West eLearning Center website is a valuable learning tool, offering professionally directed legal research seminars online, enabling an easy and efficient introduction to the vast searching capabilities of Westlaw and WestlawNext. Each webinar focuses on a different area of research, i.e. ‘It’s the Law: Finding Statutes and Regulations on Westlaw’ and ‘Basic WestlawNext Skills - Finding the Information You Need Quickly.’ You don’t need a Westlaw subscription, just register at the West eLearning Center, open the calendar of webinars and register for as many as you’d like. Email alerts remind you of your appointment, and once you ‘click to attend’ you are called directly to listen to the instructor (or use computer headset). Then, the instructor takes over your screen, and the lesson has begun. You may also get a ten dollar e-gift for Starbucks - I did!
St. John’s University is the home of The Rittenberg Law Library. The library’s website is easily navigated, with guides for using both the physical and virtual facilities. Note that this is an official depository library for the United States, New York State and the United Nations, accessible to the public. I recently discovered an apparently recent appearance of law reviews, journals, and more, in the dollar racks wrapping the Strand at Broadway and 12th. These materials are valuable in seeing the state of law, both specific and general, at a certain point in time.