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

Archive for September, 2010

Law Student’s Guide to Legal Research on the Web

The Law Student’s Guide to Legal Research on the Web not only links to major free legal resources on the Internet, but it also explains what the resources are, suggests the best source for a particular item (for example, the U.S. Code) and gives tips on how to update your research on the web.  There is a handy Research Primer, which outlines the 10 steps in the legal research process and provides a cool flowchart of the process.  The Primer is helpful for legal research in general, not just web research.   The Law Student’s Guide is brought to you by LII and CALI and Justia.  (LII and Justia are two great places for free legal research on the web.)

You may also want to take a look at our library’s collection of links, Legal Research on the Web.

Advice from the Real World

The Three Geeks and a Law Blog’s latest ” Elephant Post: What Would You Tell a Law Student Before They Enter the ‘Real World’? “ summarizes responses to that question from practitioners, law firm managers and support staff.  Among the key points:

  • Take a clinic
  • Develop contacts and relationships now: your fellow law students will be your colleagues in the practice world
  • Take the initiative to ask for feedback
  • You are marketing yourself now: Rethink your Facebook photos and posts, get onto Linkedin
  • Lexis and Westlaw are NOT FREE (where have you heard that before?) – learn to search efficiently

The Law Library is happy to help you with that last point:  See our Cost Effective Legal Research Guide, sign up for a Research Certificate Seminar, or set up an appointment for a research consultation.

H20 – An Electronic Casebook Creation Tool

Harvard Law School created a suite of tools for professor – student collaboration called  H2O.   It has  four components:

  • Playlist  – A syllabus with links to books and articles.
  • Question Tool – For use during lectures.  Class participants can ask questions, answer questions  and vote on which questions they want the professor to answer.
  • Collage – casebook creation tool.  Allows for tagging text, annotating it, and hiding portions of text without changing the original document.
  • Rotisserie – a discussion tool.  “Users respond to a question, then are assigned discussion partners, who critique their responses.”   Hacking the Casebook.   Also see Ethan Zuckerman’s blog, Best Practices in Legal Education

Students can outline and mark up cases they’re assigned to study and share them with a study group.  Professors can use the system to share syllabi and edited cases.  Check out this   sample playlist (click Playlist and scroll to Chapter 2: Battery) to see what the system looks like.

H20 is still in its alpha testing stage.

Student Loan Relief for Public Defenders and Prosecutors

Funds promised to public defenders and prosecutors are finally being released.  Two years ago, almost 10 million dollars in grants were earmarked to assist in student loan forgiveness for those in federal, state and local Public Defender and Prosecutor offices across the nation, including DC.  The John R. Justice grant program is part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.  The program was created to encourage recent law school graduates into lower paying criminal justice positions instead of private sector, higher paying jobs.  Governors in each state have assigned a department to handle applications and disbursement.  The Ohio Board of Regents  has been charged with the duty in Ohio.  As of July 2010, Ohio’s application for the funding has not been approved.  However, if you are interested in being kept current with what is going on with the program, you may email the constituent liaison at the following email address,, to be added to a listserv.  The federal guidelines to the program are available, including each state’s requirements to receive funding and potential eligibility requirements for individuals.

Supreme Court to Release Audio of All Oral Arguments at End of Each Week

From our friends at C-SPAN:

The Supreme Court has announced that beginning with its new term, which begins next week, it will release each Friday all the oral arguments from that week on the Supreme Court website. The Court also announced that it will no longer release an oral argument the same day it is heard. Several media organizations, including C‑SPAN have requested same day audio release of high profile cases which the court hears.