Legal Research & Research Skills •

New Guide to Free Legal Research Resources

Free! by klabusta

Creative Commons Photo by klabusta

While many legal researchers spend much of their time using expensive subscription databases, an ever increasing amount of legal research information is freely available online. This is particularly true for government documents as many governments around the world, including the U.S. government begin to place a higher priority on making legislative documents freely available to citizens. But, it is also true of secondary sources, local government documents, international law materials and data sets.

The Library has prepared a new research guide that highlights some of the best and most useful freely available resources in each of these areas. Whether you are a graduating student who is looking for free resources to continue your research at your new job or are just looking for government information from any source, this guide will show you where to find information without using an expensive database. Check back frequently, because we will add more resources on an ongoing basis to keep the guide up-to-date on the best free legal resources on the internet.

Interested in getting published?

Thinking about trying to publish in a law journal? Many law students have done it! Join the library in exploring the tools you can use to make the process of submitting an article for publication easier, including:

•how to identify potential journals and measure their impact/quality
•how to use ExpressO and other means to submit your manuscript
•how to assess publication agreements and your rights as an author

Sessions are available:
April 12th, noon-1:00pm
April 12th, 5:00-6:00pm

Register here.

Register for Summer Success!

Our annual Summer Success program will be in Wasserstein Hall from 3pm to 5pm on Thursday, April 19th.

Find out how to hit the ground running as you begin your summer or permanent job. Whether you are entering the public or private sector, employers are operating with fewer resources than ever with a constant eye on results. This program will help you prepare for the types of assignments you will receive as you begin to apply what you have learned in law school to your new job.

Select up to two sessions offering practical tips on efficient legal research strategies in a variety of areas as well as concrete strategies for success on the job, including how to tackle a new assignment, interact with supervisors, obtain constructive feedback, and gain the most from your job opportunity.

For registration and other information, visit: http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/students/summer-success.html

Cosponsored by the HLS Library and the Program on the Legal Profession. Kindle door prizes provided by Westlaw and Bloomberg Law; Camelbak door prizes provided by LexisNexis. Please contact George Taoultsides, gtaoultsides@law.harvard.edu, with questions.

Introducing Two New E-Resources – Bangladesh & Ghana

The Law Library has purchased access to two new e-resources: Chancery Law Chronicles, which provides access to Bangladesh’s case law and Lexis Nexis South Africa, which provides access to legal materials from Ghana. Chancery Law Chronicles is the first online database to provide access to Bangladeshi case law. It currently offers access to Appellate and High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh since 1972. In addition to case law, it also includes several dictionaries related to legal practice and some statutes, though statutes are not yet searchable. The database remains under development with plans to offer access to additional legal documents in the future. Our other new e-resource, Lexis Nexis South Africa, is a valuable resource for students interested in researching the Ghana legal system. It provides access to law reports from Ghana as well as the constitution and laws of the country. To access either of these databases, ask a librarian at the reference desk for assistance during normal reference hours.

Access HeinOnline from your iPhone or iPad

For those who like to do legal research on the go, there is now another option. HeinOnline has released a new app for iPhones and iPads that gives users access to all the HeinOnline resources you have access to on your computer in a mobile-friendly format. Using the app, you can search by citation or through any of Hein’s advanced search options. Or you can browse through the table of contents to find what you need. And, as is expected from HeinOnline, PDFs of the documents are provided.

You can find this new app in the iTunes store under HeinOnline 2011. Once you have downloaded it, you will need to access it for the first time on campus to IP authenticate via Harvard’s subscription. Successful IP authentication will give you access for 30 days, at which point you will need to access the app on campus again to re-authenticate.

Legal Research Week: September 23 – September 29

Get your legal research on.  Always wanted to know how to find administrative or legislative documents?  Have you ever been stumped when looking for SEC filings or international and comparative materials?  Are you writing a paper and you need to organize your citations?  Or are you completely disorganized and need to learn software to help organize your life?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above then why not take a peek below at one of the eight classes taught during Legal Research Week: Friday September 23 – Thursday September 29.

Sign up here: http://supersaas.com/schedule/HLSL/Legal_Research_Training

————————————————

Refworks Training and Intro to Endnote

Writing a paper? Then why not make your life a little easier by signing up for a Refworks workshop. In this workshop, a librarian will help you set up a Refworks account, show you how to import references,as well as give you a brief overview of Endnote.

Location: Computer Lab

Friday 9/23, 12:00 – 12:30

Contact: George Taoultsides, gtaoultsides@law.harvard.edu

———————————————————–

Finding and Mining SEC Filings

Friday 9/23, 3:00 to 3:30 pm

Location: A524 (Library 5th Floor)

Come learn how to find and mine SEC filings to commit acts of good and evil, whether it’s helping take a companypublic (S-1) or co-opting M&A agreements.

Contact: Lisa Junghahn, ljunghahn@law.harvard.edu

—————————————————

Refworks Training and Intro to Endnote

Writing a paper? Then why not make your life a little easier by signing up for a Refworks workshop. In this workshop, a librarian will help you set up a Refworks account, show you how to import references, as well as give you a brief overview of Endnote.

Location: Computer Lab

Saturday 9/24, 11:00 – 11:30

Contact: George Taoultsides, gtaoultsides@law.harvard.edu

————————————————-

Federal Legislative History Research

Learn about the best online and print resources that will help you find federal legislative documents and help you compile federal legislative histories. Contact: George Taoultsides, gtaoultsides@law.harvard.edu

Location: Computer Lab

Saturday 9/24, 10:00-10:30

Contact: George Taoultsides, gtaoultsides@law.harvard.edu

————————————————

Administrative Law Research

Monday 9/26, 12:30 to 1:00 pm

Location: L403 (Library 4th Floor – Reference Desk)

Follow the agency rule promulgation process; find and update regulations; find administrative decisions; and navigate agency websites for links to the Code of Federal Regulation and Federal Register.

Contact: Lisa Junghahn, ljunghahn@law.harvard.edu

—————————————————-

International & Comparative Quickie Research

Description: Interested in International & Comparative Law? Attend a quickie training designed to help you find relevant books, articles, and other materials.

Tuesday 9/27, 12:15-12:45pm

Location: L403 – next to the reference desk

Contact: Carli Spina, cspina@law.harvard.edu

—————————————————

HBS Style Company & Industry Research

Wednesday 9/28 12:30 to 1:00 pm

Location: A524 (Library 5th Floor)

Come learn how to find information on public companies and their industries.

Contact: Lisa Junghahn, ljunghahn@law.harvard.edu

—————————————————

Evernote for Law Students

Evernote is an online tool that can be used to take and share notes, make your photos fully text-searchable and save websites and other documents.  This class will focus on how law students can make use of Evernote and its related applications for coursework, networking and collaboration.

Wednesday 9/28, 2-3pm

Location: Areeda 524 – 5th floor of the library

Contact: Carli Spina, cspina@law.harvard.edu

 

State Legislative Research: 50 States in 50 Weeks

Kate Follen

Our friend Kate Follen, law librarian gone info pro, has undertaken a blogging challenge for which law librarians across the country will be grateful.

Week by week, she posts links to sources of state legislative information on Monroe Infoblog. No surprise, she is tackling the states in alphabetical order. Last week was Week 4: Arkansas.

Each post also includes Fast Facts about the state’s legislative process and links to regulatory information and to the web sites of state newspapers. You can receive updates on her progress by following her on Twitter @katefollen or by subscribing to a feed from her blog.

Thanks, Kate!

Now at Harvard: Borrow Direct

Borrow DirectLooking for a book not available at Harvard? Harvard’s exciting new Borrow Direct program enables current faculty, staff, and students to borrow materials directly from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale.  Borrow Direct is just one of the Harvard Library’s Get It suite of services, providing Harvard researchers with a full range of options for locating and requesting materials.  Please contact the Reference Desk for assistance.

New Source for Free Access to UK Case Law

Judgmental is a new website that aims to make UK case law more accessible by offering it free online and in a format that can be indexed by search engines, including Google.  Currently, the website includes cases from a number of UK courts and from two European courts, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Communities, and coverage varies depending on the court.  But, the number of cases available and the periods of coverage will likely increase in the future.  For more information, you can also follow the creators on Twitter: @Judgmentals.

Summer Lexis & Westlaw Access

flip flops by f_shields

Flip Flops by @f_shields

Got questions about using your Lexis and/or Westlaw accounts over the summer? Here are some answers from our reps.

Lexis-Nexis

Guidelines for Requesting Summer Access:

You may request access to lexis.com using your existing Law School Student ID from June 1 to August 1, 2011 for academic purposes. Academic purposes include, but are not limited to:

  • Summer course preparation and assignments.
  • Research associated with Moot Court, Law Review, or Law Journal
  • Research associated with pursuing a grant or scholarship
  • Service as a paid or unpaid research assistant to a professor
  • An internship, externship or clinic position for school credit or graduation requirement
  • Study for the bar exam
  • Research skill improvement for educational purposes

If the guidelines above apply to your research needs during the summer, we invite you to register For Summer Access to lexis.com and, new this year, daily research points.

“Academic purposes” do not include research conducted for a law firm, corporation, or other entity (other than a professor or law school) that is paying the student to conduct research, or that is passing along the cost of research to a third party. These are deemed “commercial purposes.”

For this reason, students will be restricted to a limited menu of employment sources during the period beginning June 1 and ending August 1, 2011.

If you plan to do public service work during the summer, please review and sign up for Lexis’s ASPIRE program.

Westlaw

Students need to sign on to Westlaw and click on the link in the big announcement at the top about needing Westlaw access for the summer.

Students may extend their access for the summer if they are working on a law review or journal, working for a professor, on a moot court project, in a summer law school class, or in a non-profit where neither the student nor the employer is getting paid for the student’s work. (Note that non-profit does not include a government office)

After May, access goes down to 10 hours in June and 10 hours in July, unless you have registered for summer access.