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


Law Library Online Legal Research Seminars

Students, do you have a bit of time before or during the upcoming Thanksgiving break?  Why not refresh your research skills and take a few Law Library Legal Research Seminars?!  The Seminars are conveniently available online, via the Westlaw TWEN platform.  You earn points for completing a 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 descriptions of seven of our 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]
  • 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 – Break through the mysteries of agency rulemaking and case adjudication. Learn the key resources for finding federal and Ohio agency regulations and decisions. [29:59 mins; 25 points]
  • Cost Effective Federal Legislative History: Congress.gov & GPO.gov – Understand the importance of, and materials generated in, the federal legislative process.  See how to find key materials in the freely-available Congress.gov and GPO.gov. [17:33 mins; 12.5 points]
  • HeinOnline – Review the wide array of content (eg, law journals, session laws, foreign law), date coverage, and unique features of this full-text “database of databases.” [16:49 mins.; 12.5 points]
  • Practical Law by Westlaw Review the specialized practice areas, resources and features of this unique Westlaw product. [13:44 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bioethics Resources & Scholarly Writing – Examine a wide array of bioethics resources, as well as learn how these resources can be used to select a paper topic and conduct effective research on that topic. [28:33 mins; 25 points]

We also have six Law Library Legal Research Seminars on the major legal research platforms.  In these Seminars, you will learn big box & pre-filtered searching, how to print/download/email search results, how to use citator services to update and expand your research, and the basics of combining terms & phrases in effective search statements:

  • Westlaw Overview [20:03 mins; 12.5 points]
  • KeyCite [10:16 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Lexis Advance Overview [21:11 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Shepard’s [11;54 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Bloomberg Law Overview Also reviews content not available on Lexis Advance & Westlaw. [25:39 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Terms & Connectors Searching [10:48 mins; 12.5 points]

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

Use Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions to Find Information Before Proposed Rulemaking

Learn the status of proposed rules and administrative agency areas of activity that have not yet reached the proposed rulemaking point through the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions from the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This is a great place to find summaries of regulatory actions under development along with information on the projected completion date. The Unified Agenda webpage provides more detailed info, while an abridged version on rulemaking actions is published in the Federal Register twice a year.

For more research help with Administrative materials, please visit our Administrative Law research guide.

Different Results from Different Databases

The statement ‘different search engines and databases produce different results’ may elicit various responses from people. Some may think that the statement is obviously true, some may believe search engines are all basically the same, and some may believe that you get what you pay for.

For law students who have routinely relied on Google searching, this article may be especially important. Habits learned in undergraduate coursework may not translate well to law school research. Google and the big-box searches on Westlaw and Lexis are run by algorithms, not by the user. While the algorithms use what the researcher inputs, how they come up with the results is not necessarily clear. Furthermore, the algorithms being proprietary to each database will be different depending on which database the researcher is using.

A recent ABA Journal article titled Results May Vary in Legal Research Databases investigates different databases and crunches some numbers regarding relevant results. The article looks at Westlaw, Lexis, Ravel, Google Scholar, Casetext, and Fastcase and compares relevant and unique cases. An important point for the researcher or student to internalize is that not every case was appearing in each database. While the reader should review the article for the particulars, researchers should take away a few key points from the study:

  • Every algorithm is different.
  • Every database has a point of view.
  • The variability in search results requires researchers to go beyond keyword searching.
  • Keyword searching is just one way to enter a research universe.
  • Redundancy in searching is still of paramount importance.
  • Term and connector searching is still a necessary research skill.

Law Library Legal Research Seminars – New Seminars Just Added

The Law Library has added four new Seminars to its Legal Research Seminars, available on the Westlaw TWEN platform:

  • Cost Effective Federal Legislative History: Congress.gov & GPO.gov – Understand the importance of, and materials generated in, the federal legislative process. See how to find key materials in the freely-available Congress.gov and GPO.gov. [17:33 mins; 12.5 points]
  • HeinOnline – Review the wide array of content (eg, law journals, session laws, foreign law), date coverage, and unique features of this full-text “database of databases.” [16:49 mins.; 12.5 points]
  • Bloomberg Law Overview – Learn basic search features, and review content not available on Lexis Advance & Westlaw. [ 25:39 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Practical Law by Westlaw Review the specialized practice areas, resources and features of this unique Westlaw product. [13:44 mins; 12.5 points]

Law Library Legal Research Seminars are for C|M|LAW students, including our MLS and LLM students.  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.  Other Seminars, already available on the Westlaw TWEN platform, are:

  • 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]
  • 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 – Break through the mysteries of agency rulemaking and case adjudication. Learn the key resources for finding federal and Ohio agency regulations and decisions. [29:59 mins; 25 points]
  • Bioethics Resources & Scholarly Writing – Examine a wide array of bioethics resources, as well as learn how these resources can be used to select a paper topic and conduct effective research on that topic. [28:33 mins; 25 points]

In these Law Library Legal Research Seminars, already available on the Westlaw TWEN platform, you will learn big box & pre-filtered searching, how to print/download/email search results, how to use citator services to update and expand your research, and the basics of combining terms & phrases in effective search statements:

  • Westlaw Overview [20:03 mins; 12.5 points]
  • KeyCite [10:16 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Lexis Advance Overview [21:11 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Shepard’s [11;54 mins; 12.5 points]
  • Terms & Connectors Searching [10:48 mins; 12.5 points]

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

 

Divorce, Family Law, and Many Other Self-Help Titles Available

Did you know that we have a selection of ‘law for laypeople’ books? Searching NOLO law for all as a series in our catalog will provide a list of all the titles we currently have. The books are located in the reference section.

Family law and divorce are some of the most requested research areas for self-represented litigants. NOLO titles of note include Represent Yourself in Court, along with five titles related to divorce and family law: NOLO’s Essential Guide to Divorce, Divorce Without Court, Divorce After 50, Building a Parenting Agreement that Works, NOLO’s Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support.

Although these books are designed for non-lawyers, law students and practitioners will find that they are packed with useful information, especially when new to a particular area of law.