As you may know, computer software and hardware vendors offer discounts on some of their products for currently registered students and faculty of academic institutions.
Current Rutgers Law students and faculty have access to discounted products from Apple, Dell, and HP! To take advantage of this perk, go to http://findtech.rutgers.edu. Ignore the menu on the right and click on the graphic that says Technology and for Personal Purchases. The clickable graphic now should display Apple Store, Dell Store, and MRA International Store (with the HP logo). Choose the online store that you wish to visit. You will be prompted to sign in (use your RU NetID and password), and then you will be taken to the online store that you selected. You will be able to view their products at the discounted rate.
You can get these same discounts even when you start out at the Apple Store homepage. On the Apple Store homepage, scroll all the way to the bottom, where you will see more “store” options: Under More Stores, select Education. The next page will prompt you to input your school. Whether you use “Rutgers Camden” or “08102,” you will get 3 options for this campus. Unless you are enrolled in (or working at) the School of Fine Arts, any one of the remaining two options should work for viewing and purchasing at the discounted prices.
If you prefer a Dell product, you can also start out at the Shop Dell homepage. In the menu across the top, select Student & Member Purchase. Dell calls this site “Dell University.” From here, the products that you look at will display the student-discounted price. When you are ready to check out, the Shipping Information fields will prompt you, not only for the name of your institution, but for your student or staff ID number, as well.
However, if you prefer a HP product, the easiest way would be to go through the FindTech site mentioned above. Unfortunately, you will only be able to view the discounted products after registering and signing in. If you are registering for the first time and you went through the FindTech website, the account information (Rutgers – Personal) is already filled in within the relevant field.
How do you know what you’re saving on these products? The Vendors’ education stores do not provide comparisons between their regularly-offered prices and the educational-discount prices. If you’re curious about how much you are saving, then you can do a real-time comparison using different browser windows.
Written by CDS.
Whether you’re looking to improve your performance for your next trial advocacy try-out or competition, or you’re preparing for a career in litigation, a little extra practice and preparation can go a long way. After all, practice makes perfect!
The law library has DVDs on Reserve to assist students in preparation for trial success. These instructional videos provide insight, advice, and in some cases, sample forms on a separate disk or within the accompanying workbook. These videos offer examples for and instruction on important aspects of litigation, from preparing a lay witness for a deposition to closing statements.
Some of these titles include:
- Litigation essentials: opening statements
- Strategic witness preparation: proven strategies and techniques
- Mastering the art of cross-examination
- Litigation essentials: closing arguments
- Selecting and preparing the expert witness
Written by CDS.
Most of us use Google or some other search engine nearly every day to look up anything and everything for our personal and professional needs and curiosities. With all that use, it’s easy to think of yourself as an expert, even if there is even more to learn!
To help you become an even better online legal researcher, the law library has put Google for Lawyers: Essential Search Tips and Productivity Tools on reserve! Google for Lawyers is published by the ABA and covers both novice and advanced search and management tips and strategies that can enhance your research and productivity. Even better, you can learn about some of the services offered by Google that can help you manage your work and your practice, like Google’s free office applications, tools and databases.
Trial preparation is so much more than finding relevant case law and statutes; it is about finding out facts about the case, the parties, and the witnesses. This book can enlighten you about how to do this kind of fact investigation more effectively and efficiently. Google for Lawyers also includes stories from lawyers illustrating how they have used these tips and strategies in their practice.
Some similar titles in our collection include:
- Find Info Like a Pro
- The Lawyer’s Guide to Fact Finding on the Internet
- They Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet
If you have any questions about these titles, or about search tips and strategies in general, please stop by the Reference desk and a librarian will be happy to assist you. To check the status of this title, click here. Just a note: the law library has recently acquired the
updated, 2012 edition of this title 2013 edition of Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers, another ABA publication that includes commentary from attorneys, which will also be put on reserve.
One more thing to note: Google, itself, has responded to this demand for better research skills by offering their own courses. Power Searching With Google has been popular for allowing participants to hone their research skills at their own pace. These search tricks and tips are just that; should you decide to start a Power Searching with Google course, make sure to keep in mind how the tools and processes that you’re learning can be applicable when conducting your legal research, as well.
Written by CDS
Rutgers-Camden faculty and students now have unlimited access to Bloomberg Law! Like Westlaw and LexisNexis, Bloomberg Law is an easy-to-search source for case law and other primary legal sources. Bloomberg Law also provides excellent coverage of court dockets (including comprehensive access to federal dockets and underlying court papers found on PACER), EDGAR filings and other SEC materials, hundreds of news feeds, and useful business information. A link to Bloomberg Law is now available via the Law Library’s Research Databases page.
Getting started is simple. Visit www.bloomberglaw.com and click the yellow “Request a Law School Account” button on the right-hand side. Click “Get Started Now” to fill out your registration information; be sure to use your Rutgers email address! Once you’ve submitted your information, you’ll receive an email with your system-generated login credentials.
Once you have logged on, you will have unlimited access to all Bloomberg Law content. First year law students will receive orientation to the service in your LAWR classes, but any and all students (and faculty!) are encouraged to stop by the Reference Desk with any questions about navigating the website or finding specific information. We are here to help you get the most out of Bloomberg Law and all our research tools.
Written by Genevieve Tung.
As a new librarian, I am still settling into my role as the go-to person for answering all kinds of legal research questions from all kinds of patrons, from students and faculty to the general public. One research question that rates high on my list of “Dreadful Inquiries” is the ever-popular legislative history research question. So, with a conscious effort to ease that anxiety, I decided to sit in on an Advanced Legal Research class offered by my colleague, Professor A. Hayes Butler. This class was the inspiration for my last post on Administrative Law Research.
Why would you need a legislative history? Legislative histories help “provide context for vague or ambiguous statutes.” (That’s a direct quote from Professor Butler, ladies and gents!). There are different schools of thought surrounding the relevancy and legitimacy of legislative histories, from Justice Scalia’s flat-out rejection of legislative history as an interpretive method to Justice Breyer’s willingness to incorporate the law-making process into interpreting the final text of the statute.*
So what exactly are you looking for when looking for a legislative history? There are several documents involved in a legislative history (cue School House Rock music), and they are: bills -> hearings -> reports -> debates -> public laws -> statutes.
For some statutes, compiled legislative histories already exist. This means someone may have already found all of those relevant documents and organized them for you. Sources of compiled federal legislative histories can be found online. Should you not have access to the subscription services, like Westlaw and HeinOnline, that offer compiled legislative histories, you might try the legislative histories offered by the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C.
If you have to put together your own legislative history, it helps to know the year of the statute, so that you know where to look:
- 1817-1980: US Congressional Serial Set
- 1970-present: Congressional Information Service (CIS)
- 1995-present: THOMAS
I can probably fill a whole new blog post with information that I can give you about these sources, but I have no intention of doing that, at least not anytime in the near present (sorry if I got your hopes up). If you need help finding or using any one of these sources, please do not hesitate to see a reference librarian.
You might be able to find legislative history information from two more additional sources:
- U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News (USCCAN), which is keyed to the United States Code Annotated and and offers a “quick and dirty” legislative history for many statutes, or
- Congressional Quarterly, which publishes articles on congressional actions.
I strongly encourage all students to take this class with Professor Butler. This class is an excellent fit for students interested in many areas of practice, both litigation and transactional. I guarantee that, even if you already know a little something about legislative and administrative research, you will still benefit from learning more, especially when you need to research for your other classes and work on real-world projects after you graduate.
Shameless endorsement: Professor Butler is not just a wonderful professor, but he is an educator sincerely interested in sharing valuable information with budding legal minds. If you have the means and opportunity to take any advanced legal research class with him, you will come out of it as a much stronger researcher.
Federal Legislative History Research, Timeline. Available from the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas School of Law. Available at http://tarltonguides.law.utexas.edu/content.php?pid=104708&sid=2797763.
Written by CDS.
It is no surprise that many second- and third- (and sometimes even fourth- and fifth-) year law students cannot explain the difference between a regulation and a statute; it’s not exactly a hot-topic in the first-year curriculum. This gap in knowledge leads to a lot of uncertainty in the area of administrative law research.
So, what is administrative law, exactly? Simply:
- Legislation. A statute (passed by the legislative branch) creates an administrative agency; this statute should also state the purpose, mission, and jurisdiction of this agency.
- Regulations. Agencies act on behalf of some public interest or need, and may issue both regulations and decisions, offering further guidance in that area of law where a regulation remains open to interpretation or has been violated by some action, respectively.
- Administrative Law. Much like statutes produced through legislative activities, these regulations define, prohibit, or require specified activities. These regulations tend to be very detailed in order to “fill in gaps” left open by broad legal framework of the authorizing statute.
Okay, so then what? Here are some key sources to know for administrative law:
- Federal Register. This is a daily publication of proposed rules, final rules, and public notices from federal agencies, published in chronological order. The final rule sets the effective date of that regulation.
- The table of contents of each publication offers a list of agencies that have new rules (regulations).
- Each rule and notice is accompanied by contact information for an expert on that regulation within the promulgating agency.
- The body of the Order is the legislative history.
- A citation to the Code of Federal Regulations is given at the end of the Order (where applicable)
- Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This is an annual publication of all Federal regulations, arranged by subject! There are currently 50 titles of the CFR, each representing a broad topical area for regulation, arranged by agency!
- Annual new volumes of the CFR only contain regulations that were in effect on its publication date.
- The Government Printing Office (GPO) updates a specific range of CFR titles each quarter, as opposed to updating all 50 titles all at once. The updating schedule can be found from GPO website.
What about agency decisions? In addition to regulation-making authority, some agencies have the authority to interpret their regulations by issuing opinions (judgments) arising from alleged violations of the regulations. These opinions may be found in agency-published reporters, subject-specific loose-leaf or online services, like BNA, or in subscription databases, like Westlaw and Lexis.
One last bit of useful information: If you’re not sure what federal agency is responsible for a given industry or area of law, check out the U.S. Government Manual (a print copy is available at the reference desk). This publication contains a listing of every federal agency, including its functions and its mission. Another useful source is USA.gov or the agency website, itself! Our law library has a list of some select agencies with links directly to their homepages.
One of my colleagues here at the law library, Prof. A. Hays Butler , teaches an advanced legal research course on administrative law and legislative history; I had the great privilege of being able to sit in on this class earlier this semester. I’d love to tell you more about this class, so stay tuned for the legislative history blog post!
Georgetown Law Library, Administrative Law Research Tutorial, part 2.
Georgia State University College of Law Library. Introduction to Legal Research Guide. Available from http://libguides.law.gsu.edu/content.php?pid=154797.
Written by CDS.
Most law students are familiar with using Westlaw and LexisNexis for legal research projects. Both of these competitors offer enormous amounts of legal information, are developing ever-more user-friendly search formats, help you confirm that your citations are good law, and contain a wealth of secondary sources.
As great as these products are, they are not the only game in town. The Law Library offers members of the Law School community subscription access to a number of other online legal research resources. These specialized databases can help you get a new perspective on an area of law, find primary authorities, and keep current on legal news.
Our collection includes access to legal research tools from Bloomberg BNA (formerly the Bureau of National Affairs). Bloomberg BNA offers online databases and publications tailored to serve the interests of lawyers and researchers working in dozens of areas of law, including labor and employment, corporate practice, health care, criminal law, tax, banking, and intellectual property. In addition to reporting developments in legislation, regulation, and case law, Bloomberg BNA’s specialized collections also offer searchable full text of many cases, statutes, and regulations, practice guides, electronic treatises, and legal news and analysis from notable practitioners and other experts. These tools are an excellent way to learn about different areas of the law, develop topics for research papers and note-writing, and keep current in your practice.
We encourage you to take a look through our Bloomberg BNA collection. As always, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian if you’d like more information.
Written by Genevieve Tung.
The library now has a Suggestion Box!
We want to hear from you! How are we doing: services, collection, space, etc.?
The box is located on the wall to the right of the LCD screen between the circulation and reference desks. Pre-formatted cards are provided. Should you want to remain anonymous, feel free to leave your name off the card.
Students and faculty can also leave comments via the law library homepage. Click the link for Suggestions and Complaints. Since you will be asked to log in to the intranet, these suggestions and comments are not anonymous.
Written by CDS
Professor Butler, a reference librarian on the law school library staff, will offer a new one credit course in international law research in the spring term. This course is specifically designed for students taking courses in international and foreign and comparative law at the school, participating in the Jessup International Moot Court and International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competitions, as well students writing articles on international law topics for the law school’s law journals. The course would also be of interest to any students interested in international law practice.
The class will introduce students to concepts and skills used in international and foreign legal research. Students will learn basic concepts of legal research, research strategies, evaluation of materials in various formats, and search techniques for effective use of electronic sources. Both primary and secondary materials will be considered in various formats. Topics include public international law, foreign and comparative law, private international law, the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations. In addition, the course will explore resources and research strategies for international human rights, international environmental law, international trade and arbitration, and family law as an international topic.
Techniques for locating bilateral and multilateral treaties and customary international law will be explored in detail. The documentation of international organizations, chiefly the United Nations and European Union, and research strategies for locating such documents, will be considered.
Each class will include exercises that will allow the students to use and evaluate the various sources being considered in the class. Grading will be bases on a final research guide on an international law topic or an international organization.
Written by A. Hays Butler.
Researching international law, including the treaties between nations, can be intimidating. Treaty research requires you to use specialized terminology and parse through layers of drafting, approval, ratification, and other legal concepts that don’t translate directly from research within a single jurisdiction.
Fortunately, there are some excellent tools to help you access primary treaty sources. One of these, the United Nations Treaty Collection, is a free and open-access source of treaty information. Article 102 of the United Nations Charter requires that the Secretariat register and publish all treaties and agreements entered into by member states. The United Nations Treaty Collection offers downloadable versions of all agreements and ratification status, organized to help you make sense of different areas of international law.
Within the United Nations Treaty Collection, there are two treaty databases. The MTDSG database contains all multilateral treaties deposited with the UN Secretary General (plus all of those treaties previously deposited with the League of Nations); the UNTS database contains bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with and published by the UN Secretariat. You can search or browse the collections to find agreements by topic, participating nations, date of entry, and other criteria. The database contains key dates and member-state ratification information, as well as full-text copies of each treaty. There is also a Cumulative Index, which allows researchers to search treatise chronologically or by subject matter. It also includes helpful definitions of treaty terminology and a glossary of treaty actions.
You can find a link to the United Nations Treaty Collection on our Research Resources page.
Written by Genevieve Tung.