Hang In There–Fall Training Schedules Are Here!

Need a little extra help? Fall Training Schedules from Academic Success, Lexis & Westlaw are here. Sign up for a workshop (or go to all 22!)

Academic Success Workshops–Fall 2012

Each Workshop is given twice a week!

WEEK ONE – How to Succeed in Law School – Room 236

Tuesday, August 28 or Thursday, August 30 – 12:40-1:40

Photo courtesy http://meanderingmatriarch.com/2010/12/22/fun-facts-and-fotos-for-frog-fanciers/

An overview of the skills and habits you need to do your best in law school, including tips on time management, class participation, and planning for exams.  Pizza will be served!

WEEK TWO – Exam-Focused Reading, Notes, and Participation – Room 236

Tuesday, September 4 or Thursday, September 6 – 12:40-1:40

In college, reading, note-taking, and class attendance is usually passive – students read the textbook, go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, and then regurgitate the information for the exam (and whoever remembers the most stuff gets the “A”).  Since law school exams reward legal analysis, not rote memorization, you need to learn how to read “like a lawyer” and “activate” your notes for your exams.

WEEK THREE – Outlines: Succeeding on Exams – Room 236

Tuesday, September 11 or Thursday, September 13 – 12:40-1:40

You’ll hear a lot about class outlines, and every year students say that they wished they had started them earlier.  This Workshop will teach you how to make an effective one.

LATER IN THE SEMESTER:

How to Write an Exam I (Basics), How to Write an Exam II (Walkthrough), and Simulated Exams – Work on law school questions under Simulated Exam conditions.

Tuesdays with Lexis

Sept. 4th “Lexpo” — Quick expo style intro to a variety of Lexis features demoed by fellow students

Sept. 11th  There’s An App For That: Researching Lexis on Mobile Apps

Sept. 18th State Statutes: TOC Search, Annotations, Shepards

Sept. 25th Legal Research Certification: Getting docs, running searches, secondary sources, cases, statutes, Shepards (all on Lexis Advance)

Oct. 2nd “Sheptober”: All about Shepards

Oct. 9th State Case Law: T&C search, Filters, Legal Issues Trail, Shepards

Oct. 16th Memo-Aid: Secondary sources, Topic Summaries, search strategies, filters, expanding research

Oct. 23rd Bar App Help: Lexis public records search

Oct. 30th Staying Organized: Folders, TOA, LMO, BriefCheck

Nov. 6th Exam Prep:  Case Summaries, Treatises, Outlines

Our Lexis rep, Carmela Orsini, is also available on Mondays for individual appointments, Lexis table days, and make-up sessions.

Westlaw

Tuesday, September 4th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Tools that help 1Ls Succeed in Law School

Tuesday, September 18th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Statutes on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 2nd ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Researching Cases on Westlaw

Tuesday, October 9th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Updating Cases with Westlaw’s KeyCite

Tuesday, October 16th ; 12:40pm – 1:40pm:  Using Secondary Sources on Westlaw

Register for the sessions at:  http://lawschool.westlaw.com/calendar/trainingcalendar.aspx?view=list

As always, come visit us at the reference desk if you’ve got questions or need help with other library resources!

What’s the nearest coffee shop to the law library?

Thanks for using covered beverage containers in the library

…and other important questions, like how to print to network printers or register your Westlaw and Lexis passwords, now answered in our latest LibGuide, Cocky’s Guide to the Law Library. Check it out and get answers to your questions on library resources and getting up and running at the law school at guides.law.sc.edu/lawlibraryorientation. Or stop by the reference desk between 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Welcome back!

Bluebook Now Available as an App

We all love and hate our Bluebook. Now, the Bluebook is following the electronic herd and making the rules available as an app for all Apple IOS devices. On August 10th, 2012, the Bluebook editors announced that the rulebook app published by Ready Reference Apps would be the official and excusive app for Bluebook. The mobile version of the Bluebook is now available for sale at the App store for all Apple IOS devices for $40.00 from the App Store via the rulebook app. You have to download and install the free rulebook app and then select, download, and install The Bluebook

BUT Wait… the good news is that the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence rules may be downloaded at no charge onto the rulebook app on August 22, 2012.  The free 2012 versions of the federal laws “will be kept current through the end of the year,” states Gregory Hoole, president of Ready Reference Apps. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plan for an android version of the app. Too bad all of you android users.  However, for the apple user law students this app is something to look into when making your book purchases. [David]

Looking for a Good IP Blawg?

I am particularly interested in Intellectual Property topics and IPWatchdog [http://ipwatchdog com/] is a great blog for those who share a similar interest.  This blog contains articles and blog posts on the entire range of IP issues. It has been selected as one of the ABA’s top 100 blogs. If this is your area of interest this blog is for you. [DEL]

Free Online Photo and Music Editing Website and App

I try to highlight technology apps and websites that are free and useful.  Aviary, http://aviary.com/, is a website and downloadable app for free online software that does  many of operations that  Photoshop or IllustratorAll make available for a price. Aviary offers all of the basic photo-editing tools that you need and more.  It’s free and easy to use from any web browser, and if you want to learn more advanced techniques their tutorials are waiting to help. There is also a cell phone version for use on your android or other cell phones. It also offers music editing of your recordings. This is a great website and app for you and it is all free. [DEL]

The SNAP (research) Challenge

This week, 16 law students and their friends are living on $4 a day, the budget of a food stamp recipient. Their goal is to raise awareness and better understand the challenges faced by people who depend on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help meet their basic needs. You can read more about the challenge and their experiences here and here.

This brings up a great research question–how might you go about researching a government program you’ve heard about in the news? What if you’d like more information on who is eligible for SNAP, what SNAP covers (or doesn’t cover), or statistics on the program?

One good place to start is with a secondary source. AmJur, CJS, & Federal Procedure, Lawyer’s Edition all have entries on various government programs. Here, try 79 Am. Jur. 2d Welfare § 27, 3 C.J.S. Agriculture § 36, and 17 Fed. Proc., L. Ed. § 42:812 for some background information on SNAP. Remember to keep your list of search terms broad–a keyword search for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” on Westlaw or Lexis will bring back relevant results, but it’s not necessarily a term you’ll find if you’re looking in the index. You may need to think more broadly and look for terms like food stamps, welfare, or public welfare to find relevant entries. And don’t forget to check ResultsPlus on Westlaw or More Like This on Lexis to find additional relevant sources that might not have been retrieved through your keyword search.

Secondary sources are a great place to start because they give you cross references to other relevant information,  such as topics and key numbers for the West digests and cites to ALR entries, relevant cases, and statutory and administrative authority. Use these to expand your search into a state, federal, or regional West digest, or look up the cited statute or regulation. An annotated US Code, such as West’s U.S.C.A. or Lexis’s U.S.C.S. will give you additional research references, as well as decisions interpreting aspects of the statute. You can also run a KeyCite or Shepard’s report to find more analysis, including journals and law review articles. Here, look up 7 U.S.C.A. § 2011 or 7 C.F.R. § 271 to read more on SNAP and its administration.

Agency websites are also a great source of information. Having read a secondary source for some background, you likely know what administrative agency is administering the program you’re interested in, but if not, a quick Google search on the name of the program will usually bring back the agency’s website. Here, we’d go to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/.

Finally, don’t forget to check the library catalog. Try a keyword search on your topic to see what we have available. We’ve got lots of great books and links to electronic documents and government reports. Try this one from the Council of State Governments on issues and trends relating to SNAP, with a table comparing SNAP data by state.

These are just a few resources and suggestions to get you started– feel free to list your favorite resources in the comments.

LibGuides for Every Subject

There are so many law librarians out there making legal LibGuides on various areas of legal scholarship and research that I thought I should highlight several in blawg posts to show what is currently available.  Let’s start with legal writing and research. Drake University Law Library has a great one on legal writing that is for law students and practitioners, http://libguides.law.drake.edu/LegalWriting. Karen Wallace has accumulated a lot of information on legal writing materials with links to Westlaw databases and practitioner form sources. The book links are to Drake University Law Library but the materials are standard and the Library of Congress numbers will give you the area to look in your library if they do not have the resource cited. She also has several other guides to legal research books and methods.  

UCLA has a very good LibGuide, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/researchandwritingguide, on legal research and writing. They also have one on writing a research paper that is very good, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/researchpaper.   UCLA has also covered online legal research, http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/onlinelegalresearch.  Our own Terrye Conroy has one on free online legal resources,  http://guides.law.sc.edu/internetlegalresources. These are just examples. Go to Libguides http://libguides.com/community.php?m=i&ref=libguides.com and looking you area of interest or just Google your subject with LibGuides in the search. You will be amazed at what is available to save you a lot of time and work. [DEL]

poster board3

The Future is Access to Legal Information

Circuit Riders Terrye Conroy and David Lehmann partnered with Access to Justice’s Robin Wheeler to put on a Poster session themed, “The Future is Access to Legal Information.” The session was held at the South Carolina Library Association Annual Conference in Charleston, SC on October 21, 2011. It featured information regarding the Circuit Riders Program, the Access to Justice’s program and materials, and Coleman Karesh Law Library’s resources on legal information available to the public on the internet.  The session showcased the availability of free legal information, both on the internet and in the surrounding area, such as the Newberry Self-Help Center. For more information on any of these resources go to the Self-Help Center website, www.judicial.state.sc.us/selfHelp/index.cfm, Circuit Riders website, http://www.law.sc.edu/library/circuit_riders/, or the USC Law Library research guide page for legal information, http://law.sc.edu/library/research_aids.

Online Highlighting and Management Tool

Here is a new technology tool for you, Diigo (www.diigo.com/).  This online application requires that you join the site but there are no other fees to use it.  It operates simply, as you find something of interest on the web, instead of bookmarking, you can highlight portions of web pages that are of particular interest to you. You can also attach sticky notes to specific parts of web pages. Diigo highlights and sticky notes are saved. Whenever you return to the original web page, you will see your highlights and sticky notes superimposed on the original page.  All of the information including the highlighted paragraphs, sticky notes, and the original URL are saved on Diigo servers. You have the ability to search, access, sort, and share your notations from any PC or Smart Phone. There are of course a basic and professional version with more features and functions,  but with  additional costs. The free version allows unlimited bookmarks, 1000 highlights per year, and a 30 pages cache. There  is a special package for educators. Another online tool for you to keep track of ideas that you want to look at later. [DEL]