News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for the ‘Legal Writing and Citation’


More Tools to Improve Your Writing

Did you miss last week’s post about Grammarly? Here are two more editing tools that can improve your writing. Lawyers are often known for their verbose writing. That’s not necessarily a good thing. WordRake is a software add-on for Microsoft Word and Outlook that edits your documents for clarity. As the name implies, the program rakes through your document, eliminating unnecessary words and suggesting tighter, more cogent language. This program is subscription-based, but a free trial is available. You may also check out the WordRake blog and free writing tips.

Another option is PerfectIt by Intelligent Editing, a proofreading tool that checks your documents for abbreviations, style consistency, spelling, typos, lists, and tables. Specifically for legal writing, PerfectIt checks Bluebook citations, legal-specific typos, and terms of art. PerfectIt is also subscription-based and offers a free trial. You may find some helpful tips in the Legal Editing section of the Intelligent Editing blog.

Law Library Legal Research Seminars – Always Available for You!

Law Library Legal Research Seminars are for C|M|LAW students, including our MLS and LLM students.  The Seminars are continuously available online via the Westlaw TWEN platform.  You earn points for completing an online Seminar by correctly answering 3/4 of the questions on that Seminar’s quiz.  Your Seminar points are good for the entire time you are here at C|M|LAW.  When you earn 100 points, you are awarded a Law Library Legal Research Letter of Recognition and a Digital Badge, which you can post to your LinkedIn page.  You can earn multiple Letters and Digital Badges.  Here are the currently available online Law Library Legal Research Seminars:

  • Starting Research with Secondary Sources – Why recreate the wheel? Examine how secondary sources explain and analyze “the law” for you, as well as cite primary authority. [17:02 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Westlaw Overview – [10:48 mins; 12.5 points] – Leap beyond Google and start to harness this legal research gtiant. Understand big box and pre-filtered searching, as well as how to print/download/email search results.
  • KeyCite – [10:16 mins; 12.5 points] – Why is a red flag different from a yellow flag, and what should you do when you see either one? Learn how to use the Westlaw citator service to update and expand your research.
  • Lexis Advance Overview – [21:11 mins; 12.5 points] – One more time, leap beyond Google and start to harness this legal research gtiant. Understand big box and pre-filtered searching, as well as how to print/download/email search results.
  • Shepard’s – [11:54 mins; 12.5 points] – Why is a red stop sign different from a yellow triangle, and what should you do when you see either one? Learn how to use the Lexis Advance citator service to update and expand your research.
  • Terms & Connectors Searching – Explore the power of search techniques beyond natural language searching. Learn the basics of combining terms & phrases in effective search statements. [10:48 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bluebooking – For faster legal drafting, review how to effectively apply citation and style rules, as well as abbreviation and jurisdiction tables. [38:47 mins; 25 points]
  • Administrative Law – [29:59 mins; 25 points] Break through the mysteries of agency rulemaking and case adjudication. Learn the key resources for finding federal and Ohio agency regulations and decisions.
  • Bioethics Resources & Scholarly Writing – Examine a wide array of bioethics resources, and learn how these resources can be used to select a paper topic and conduct effective research on that topic. [28:33 mins; 25 points]

For more information on the Law Library Legal Research Seminars, contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian.

Improve Your Writing Skills with Free Online Tool

grammarly logoIf your summer internship has highlighted the need to improve, or at least be more mindful of, your professional writing and communication skills, check out Grammarly. Powered by AI, Grammarly checks your writing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice and style mistakes. Featuring a free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari, Grammarly will correct your writing in an email, social media posts, and other web content. You can also copy and paste text into Grammarly’s online grammar checker, or you may download Grammarly for Microsoft Office. In addition to correcting your mistakes, Grammarly explains the reasoning behind each correction, helping you learn and improve. These tools are all free to use.  The Grammarly Handbook is also available for free and provides guidance on grammar and style. A Premium version is available, offering extra tools and features.

For other resources on writing, check out our two guides: Scholarly Writing Resource Guide and Scholarship Technology.

Research Skills for Work & Class – Law Library Seminars on TWEN

photo of person wearing scream mask at a computer

 

Are you working this semester break or Spring semester?

Do you want to get a leg up on upcoming classes?

 

Enhance your research skills with Law Library Legal Research Seminars on the TWEN platform!

 

Available Law Library Legal Research Seminars on TWEN:

  • Starting Research with Secondary Sources (12.5 points)
  • Bluebooking (25 points)
  • Terms & Connectors Searching (12.5 points)
  • Westlaw Overview & KeyCite (12.5 points @)
  • Lexis Advance Overview & Shepard’s (12.5 points @)

Connect to TWEN, then click the “Add Course” button, then add the C|M|Law Library Legal Research Seminars course to your “My Courses” list.  You earn points for a TWEN Seminar by correctly answering 3/4 of the questions on that Seminar‘s quiz.  [You cannot earn points for attending – live or TWEN – the same Seminar twice.]

Remember, your Seminar points are good for the entire time you are here at C|M|LAW.  When you earn 100 points, you will be awarded a Law Library Legal Research Letter of Recognition, and you can earn multiple Letters of Recognition.

Questions?  Contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian, 216-687-6880, l.ray@csuohio.edu.

4 Legal Research Seminars on TWEN

image of superhero womanFour of the Law Library Legal Research Seminars are now available on the Westlaw TWEN platform:

* Starting Research with Secondary Sources (12.5 points) –  Why recreate the wheel?  Secondary sources can help you get a leg up on your legal research.  This Seminar examines key secondary sources, and explores best practices for their use.

* Bluebooking (25 points) –  You and The Bluebook can be friends.  Learn to effectively use it for faster legal drafting.  This Seminar explains how to apply citation & style rules, and abbreviation & jurisdiction tables.

* Terms & Connectors Searching (12.5 points) –  Learn powerful key search techniques beyond natural language searching.  This Seminar demonstrates how to construct searches using connectors in Lexis Advance & Westlaw, and you’ll see amazing results.

* Westlaw Overview (12.5 points) – Leap beyond Google and harness the power of this legal research giant.  This Seminar highlights big box & pre-filtered searching, and shows how to print/download/email search results.

To “attend” an online Seminar, simply connect to TWEN and add the “C|M|Law Library Legal Research Seminars Course” to your TWEN Course list.  Then connect to the C|M|Law Library Legal Research Seminars Course, and view a Seminar.  To earn Seminar points, you need to correctly answer 3/4 of the questions on that Seminar‘s quiz, and you can take the quiz multiple times.  Additional Seminars will be added to the TWEN C|M|Law Library Legal Research Seminars Course throughout this Fall 2017 semester.

Of course, you can always ask us questions after doing an online Seminar, but obviously, live Seminars have the advantage of you being able to ask questions in real time.  Also, no Quizzes at live Seminars, and we have a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card after each live Seminar!  We have one remaining live Law Library Legal Research Seminar this Fall 2017 semester:

  • KeyCite – November 9, 4:30pm-5pm – Why is a red stop sign different from a yellow flag, and what should you do when you see either one?  You’ll examine components of reports in KeyCite, and discover the power of this Westlaw legal citator service.

Remember, when you earn 100 points – from online and/or live Law Library Legal Research Seminars – you will be awarded a Law Library Legal Research Letter of Recognition, and you can earn multiple Letters of Recognition.

Questions?  Contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian, 216-687-6880, l.ray@csuohio.edu.