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

Archive for the ‘Lexis and Westlaw’

DACA Information from Lexis with Points Contest

Jennifer Durkin, our Lexis representative just sent us great information on a current event topic in the law: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  This is a great way to learn more about this issue, get to know Lexis and get a chance to win some points from Lexis.

Fifteen states have filed suit against President Trump and his administration for the decision to end the DACA program.  This decision has sparked a major legal debate.  Learn more about DACA and the lawsuit so you can be informed and win Lexis points (see below).

Log onto Lexis before clicking on the Lexis links.

What is DACA?
DACA (from Wikipedia) is an immigration policy that allows certain illegal immigrants (often referred to as “dreamers” under the DREAM Act) who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

Learn more about the lawsuit
View the docket: New York v. Trump 1:17-cv-5228
View the latest legal news on the lawsuit and set up an alert to stay informed.  (Click the bell icon at the top of the page.)
The case has been assigned to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.  View the judge’s legal analytics on Lex Machina(right frame) and Litigation Profile Suite .

CONTEST: To earn 50 points and a chance at 500, simply print out any of the Lexis links above and give it to one of your Lexis Associates or email it to our Lexis rep Jen Durkin at

Fall 2017 Law Library “Legal Research Seminars”

image of superhero womanThis Fall 2017 semester, the C|M|LAW Library is conducting seven live Legal Research Seminars.  We will also offer each of these live Seminars in an online format approximately two weeks after the Seminar‘s live date.  Special prize for live Seminar attendees – we will have a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card at the end of each live Seminar.

Key points about Fall 2017 Law Library Legal Research Seminars:

  • Law Library Legal Research Seminars are for C|M|LAW students, including LLM/MLS students.
  • You do not need to register to take a live Seminar – simply come to the Seminar(s) you want to attend.  We take attendance at each live Seminar, to be sure you are credited points as you earn them.
  • All of the live Seminars will take place on Thursdays, in Law Library Room A059.  All but one of the live Seminars will be 30-minutes; one will be 60-minutes.
  • Each of the live Seminars will be available online, via Westlaw’s TWEN platform, approximately two weeks after the Seminar‘s live date.  Toward the end of September, 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 12.5 points for attending a 30-minute live Seminar, and 25 points for attending a 60-minute live Seminar.  You earn points for “attending” 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.  [You cannot earn points for attending the same Seminar twice.]
  • 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.

Complete list of Fall 2017 Law Library Legal Research Seminar topics, dates & times:

  • Starting Research with Secondary Sources – September 7, 4:30pm-5pm – Why recreate the wheel? Secondary sources can help you get a leg up on your legal research. You’ll examine key secondary sources, and explore best practices for their use.
  • Bluebooking – September 21, 4:50pm-5:50pm – You and The Bluebook can be friends. Learn to effectively use it for faster legal drafting. As you practice writing citations, you’ll discover how to apply citation & style rules, and abbreviation & jurisdiction tables.
  • Terms & Connectors Searching – September 28, 4:30pm-5pm – Learn powerful key search techniques beyond natural language searching. As you practice constructing searches using connectors in Lexis Advance & Westlaw, you’ll see amazing results.
  • Westlaw Overview – October 12, 4:30pm-5pm [1L geared; see description immediately below.]
  • Lexis Advance Overview – October 26, 4:30pm-5pm – Leap beyond Google and harness the power of these two legal research giants. You’ll practice big box & pre-filtered searching, and see how to print/download/email search results.
  • Shepard’s – November 2, 4:30pm-5pm [See description immediately below.]
  • 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 Shepard’s (on Nov 2) and KeyCite (on Nov 9), and discover the power of these legal citator services.
  • Zotero – bonus online Seminar – available in late September – Do you have a big research project? Get organized with reference management software. You’ll practice how to save database records & web pages, and create & export records, in the freely-available Zotero.

Again, special prize for live Seminar attendees – we will have a drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card at the end of each live Seminar.

Questions?  Contact Laura Ray, Outreach & Instructional Services Librarian, 216-687-6880,

Ebytes Fall 2017– Wednesdays 12-2pm in Learning Commons

Ebytes are back this fall!  If you are not familiar with ebytes, they are short demos on products or services that you have access to via the law library.  Every Wednesday from 12 pm-2pm (see schedule below), you can drop in at any point during that time for a short demo.  Each week you stop by you are entered into a contest for a $25 gift card.  We are giving away 3 gift cards this semester (at the end of September, October, and November.)

If you have any questions, contact Student Services Librarian Brian Cassidy at or 216-523-7364.


  • August 23th – The Catalog: Finding and Requesting Materials
  • August 30th – Social Media at the Law Library
  • September 6th – How Research Guides Can Help You Research Better
  • September 13th – Using History and Folders on Lexis and Westlaw
  • September 20th – Using Alerts on Westlaw and Lexis
  • September 27th – No Question Too Big or Small-Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Help
  • October 4th – Current Awareness Research With the Health Affairs Database
  • October 11th – Finding Law Review Articles
  • October 18th – Practical Law from Westlaw-Get Yourself Practice Ready
  • October 25th – Gale U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs
  • November 1st – Bluebooking Q&A
  • November 8th – ProQuest Congressional-For all your Legislative History Needs
  • November 15th – IT Questions and Answers

What is Positive Law and Why Should You Care?

Black’s Law Dictionary defines positive law as “a system of law promulgated and implemented within a particular political community by political superiors, as distinct from moral law or law existing in an ideal community or in some nonpolitical community.”

The term positive law in general parlance connotes statutes, i.e., law that has been enacted by a legislature.  The term “natural law” is distinguished from positive law in that it refers to a set of universal principles and rules that properly govern moral human conduct.

Within the context of the US Code, positive law is used in a more limited way. According to the Office of Law Revision Counsel (US House of Representatives), a positive law title of the US Code is a title that has been enacted as a statute. To enact the title, a positive law codification bill is introduced in Congress. The bill repeals existing laws on a certain subject and restates those laws in a new form–a positive law title of the US Code. The titles of the US Code that have not been enacted through this process are called non-positive law titles. The Office of the Law Revision Counsel is charged with making editorial decisions regarding the selection and arrangement of provisions from statutes into the non-positive law titles of the US Code. Non-positive law titles, as a whole, have not been enacted by Congress, but the laws assembled in the non-positive law titles have been enacted by Congress.  Thus, in both positive law titles and non-positive law titles of the US Code, all of the law set forth is positive law (in the general sense of the term) because the entire US Code is a codification of statutes enacted by Congress, and not of natural law principles.

However, when using the US Code, it is important to understand if the title as a whole has been enacted as positive law.  According to 1 U.S.C. § 204(a), the titles not enacted as positive law as a whole are prima facie evidence of the law.  If there is any conflict with the wording in the US Code and the Statutes at Large, the Statutes at Large govern.

Lexis Advance has the United States Code Service (USCS). Westlaw has the United States Code Annotated (USCA).  While both offer the researcher important information, including notes of decisions, it is important to note the difference vis-à-vis positive law.  USCS unlike USCA follows the text of the public laws as they appear in the Statutes at Large.  Thus, if a title as a whole has not been enacted into positive law, the USCS has the authoritative language.  The editors of the USCS use explanatory notes if they feel there is clarification needed in the language of the public laws.

When does this come into play when doing legal research? Only when there is a discrepancy between the language of the statute as printed in a code and the language of the statute as it appears in Statutes at Large.

Westlaw Graduates and Summer Access Update


You have access to Westlaw for six-months after graduation. Your “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage on Westlaw per-month to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills. While you cannot use it in situations where you are billing a client, Westlaw encourages you to use these tools to build your knowledge of the law and prepare for your bar exam.

In addition, you get access to job searching databases on Westlaw and TWEN for 18-months after graduation for 1-hour a month. Extend access by logging into



You can use Westlaw over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to Westlaw’s resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school.

You do not have to do anything to gain access to these tools over the summer. If you have any questions, please contact our Westlaw representative, Sam Berbano at