Thursday, April 19, 2018

CBA Summer Associate Legal Research Seminar on June 1

If you are a law student working in Columbus this summer, be sure to ask your employer about attending the Summer Associate Legal Research Seminar, presented by the Legal Research and Information Resources Committee of the Columbus Bar Association. Topics covered will include Ohio legislative history, Ohio citation and court rules, and use of secondary sources. The seminar also includes a legal writing refresher as well as panels of attorneys offering advice on how to get the most out of your summer experience. The seminar will be on Friday June 1, from 8:30am to 2:30pm, at the Columbus Bar Association.

Presenters will include the Moritz Law Library’s Assistant Dean Sara Sampson and Assistant Director for Public Services Matt Cooper.

Although there is no cost for the seminar, registration is required by May 24. Invitations will go out to firms and government entities within the next few weeks, but feel free to encourage your employers to contact Paul Gatz at (614) 292-8685 or for registration information.

Updated 5/3/18: Registration materials and seminar schedule can be found at:

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Decompress on Campus

It’s glaringly obvious that exams are around the corner. You likely know about the law library tools to help you succeed, like study aids (online and in print) and an exam archive. In addition to these classic resources, here are some other tools for tackling exams. If you need a place to unwind to escape all the exam chatter, the Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room is open across the street at the Ohio Union. A brief walk can also help you clear your head, and now you have a destination: the brand new 18th Avenue Library Wellness Room. (But wait! Isn’t that all the way across campus? No. It’s an 8–10-minute walk of about half a mile.)

Take a minute to look at the Mindful Law Student blog or grab Mindfulness and Professional Responsibility or Mindfulness for Law Students from the library. We have a number of other books on law student wellness you might consider.

Finally, if your feelings seem beyond the ordinary stresses of law school, here is a list of people and places to consider contacting.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Legal Research Databases

Do your summer or post-graduation plans include legal research? Whether you are on a journal, taking summer classes, or working at a law firm, you can continue to take advantage of the major legal research platforms. Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw all permit summer and post-graduation use, at least for certain purposes. Bloomberg does not have an “academic use only” policy and encourages use for any summer or graduate research. Lexis also does not have an “academic use only” policy and will continue to provide free printing. Westlaw permits limited use for education-related or non-commercial purposes. For more details, see the Moritz Law Library’s Research Assistant Resources Guide or ask a reference librarian.

Fastcase is another legal research option for summer or post-graduation use. Fastcase provides a quick and easy way to search federal and state cases and statutes, state constitutions, administrative opinions, regulations, law reviews, and legal forms. The Columbus Bar Association offers members free access to Fastcase, and a number of firms and solo practitioners in town use it. Moritz has an institutional account, which you can access here.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Advanced Legal Research Course Offerings

As you are selecting your courses for the 2018-19 academic year, consider registering for a 1-credit Advanced Legal Research course taught by one of the Moritz College of Law’s reference librarians. Each ALR course is focused on a specialized practice area or jurisdiction, but all will help you to further develop the legal research skills you were introduced to in your LAWI & II courses. The following courses will be taught in next year’s spring semester:
  • Business and Tax Legal Research (taught by Ingrid Mattson) provides an introduction to business and tax related materials as well as training and advanced research strategies for finding and effectively using these materials for legal research. Topics covered include business forms, company filings and SEC research, and foreign and international business research. In-class work will include working through research problems to resolve legal question.
  • Advanced Legal Research: Litigation and ADR (taught by Stephanie Ziegler) focuses on finding and using materials related to litigation or ADR practice, covering formbooks, court rules, trial technique, arbitration rules and decisions, as well as research strategies and resource evaluation.
Finally, for those of you staying in Columbus over the summer, consider taking Advanced Legal Research: Ohio (taught by Stephanie Ziegler), which covers a wide variety of Ohio-specific legal resources.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Online and Print Study Aids at the Moritz Law Library

As we enter the final weeks of the semester, don’t forget that the Moritz Law Library provides access to supplements and study aids in print and online. Print study aids can be found in the Reserve Room on the second floor. Study aids published by West Academic or Wolters Kluwer are also available in ebook format.
Please check in with the law library circulation or reference desks if you have any difficulties accessing either of these online resources.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Landmark Supreme Court Cases in the Law Library

Check out the Moritz Law Library’s new display of landmark Supreme Court cases, located next to the reference desk on the 2nd floor. The featured cases all have an anniversary in 2018. The display includes quotes and articles from Moritz professors, books you can check out, and other information on these important cases:
  • Marbury v. Madison: judicial review (215th anniversary) 
  • Shelley v. Kraemer: racially restrictive covenants (70th anniversary)
  • Gideon v. Wainwright: right to an attorney (55th anniversary)
  • Terry v. Ohio: search and seizure (50th anniversary)
  • Roe v. Wade: abortion (45th anniversary)
  • Lawrence v. Texas: sodomy (15th anniversary)
For an interesting resource containing briefs and arguments from these and other significant SCOTUS cases, check out Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States, located in the Law Library’s Reference Stacks. A list of helpful databases for researching the Supreme Court can be found on the Law Library’s Legal Research Databases guide.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Law Library Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

Whether you are writing a brief or a seminar paper, take care to avoid plagiarism. Your legal readers, from judges to fellow scholars, expect to be able to identify which words and ideas are yours and which come from others, in part to evaluate the evidence underlying your arguments.

The Moritz Law Library offers resources on identifying and avoiding plagiarism in the guide to Legal Writing and Research Success. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep track of your research. Use a research log to note useful resources, identify proper citations for each source, and trace your process. 
  • Put quotation marks around quoted language as you work. It is too easy to copy and paste and forget to cite later. 
  • Do not worry about overciting. In both practical and academic legal writing, because all nonoriginal content must be credited, you will see more citation than often appears in the work of other disciplines.
  • If you need to review Bluebook basics, take a look at Peter W. Martin’s free ebook, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation. 
Originally posted on this blog February 20, 2017. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Law Library Tips for People-Finding

Want to search for Moritz alums who practice in Cleveland? Local lawyers who specialize in health law? Prepare for networking and interviews, informational and otherwise, by brushing up on your people searching skills. The library’s Career Resources guide includes some resources and strategy for finding out about people. Since many of our students practice in Ohio, we’d like to highlight a few local bar associations with online directories: the Columbus Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association, and the Toledo Bar Association. These freely available tools offer limited search options, so for a more nuanced search, you’ll need to use other tools.

For example, this link illustrates a search for Moritz or "Ohio State" J.D. alums who practice health law in Cleveland, as listed by Westlaw's Profiler. Why did our search terms include Moritz and "Ohio State"? The law school adopted the name Moritz after a 2001 donation, so some alums may not use this name. The result list provides brief bios as well as links to the litigation history for each attorney. Note that in Lexis’ Litigation Profile Suite, you can search for attorneys by name or by location, but not by keyword or area of law. While Westlaw presents litigation history in a table, Lexis presents a number of charts, as in this example of Chelsey Vascura, a recently appointed federal judge.

Keep in mind that often the best way to learn about people is through talking to them. Find out about networking opportunities by joining a bar association, many of which offer student memberships. The Columbus Bar Association, for example, offers membership for free to law students. If you are planning to practice in another city, many metropolitan bar associations offer special memberships for young lawyers and law students, including Chicago and New York. And be sure to visit the Moritz Career Services office for networking tips!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Job Opening at the Moritz Law Library: Reference Librarian

The Moritz Law Library seeks qualified candidates for a Reference Librarian position. This position will support the work of the Moritz College of Law's new Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DPEC). Other duties include providing sophisticated research and reference assistance to faculty, students, and other users of the Moritz Law Library and teaching the required first-year Legal Analysis and Writing I (LAW I) course or an advanced legal research course.

The successful candidate will possess a Master of Library Science from an ALA accredited (or foreign equivalent) school and a JD from an ABA accredited (or foreign equivalent) institution; in-depth knowledge of legal sources and legal research; strong service orientation; excellent oral and written communications skills; and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

The Moritz College of Law is an integral part of one of the world’s great educational institutions. Founded in 1891 and consistently the top-ranked law school in Ohio, the Moritz College of Law has grown into one of the nation’s preeminent public law schools and one of the most respected law schools in the world. The Moritz Law Library’s 700,000 volume equivalents comprise the most extensive law library collection in Ohio.

The full posting is available here.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Free Federal Government Information and Documents Online: govinfo

The Internet has a wealth of free online information, but it isn’t always easy to tell what’s authentic. When supporting assertions based on federal law, data, reports, and other materials, it’s imperative that you know you are citing information that has not been altered. Happily, the Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) latest website,, designed to house all known federal government information that originated in print or was born digital, is now live and no longer in beta form. The site will continue to provide authenticated and certified PDF documents, so researchers can trust that the documents have not been altered since they were disseminated by the GPO.

You may be wondering, “But what about FDSys?” FDSys still exists for now (it’s scheduled to be retired at the end of 2018), but the replacement website,, is designed to be more up-to-date and user friendly, operating in the way most online researchers today expect sophisticated databases to operate. For example, is optimized so that it can be viewed on any device without limitations. The site also links you to related content and gives you two new ways to browse content. If you’d like to learn more about using, check out the free webinar offered by the Federal Depository Library Program February 13, 2018.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

New Moritz Law Library Database on the U.S. Supreme Court

Doing in-depth research on a U.S. Supreme Court case decided in the last 30-40 years? Try using the ProQuest Supreme Court Insight database now subscribed to by the Moritz Law Library. Beyond the opinion and oral argument transcript, the database includes party and amicus briefs filed at both the petition and merit stages. Also included are joint appendices, which consist of important items from the lower court record such as trial court filings, transcripts of witness testimony, key exhibits, and lower court rulings. Researchers can search for documents by keyword, authoring Justice, brief author, subject, popular law name, date, or a combination of these. The database also integrates well with related resources like the Legislative Insight database, where researchers can browse or search all the legislative history documents associated with a particular federal legislative Act. Like nearly all Moritz Law Library databases, Supreme Court Insight can be accessed on-campus or off-campus.

Looking for briefs and other documents from Supreme Court cases decided in 1978 or earlier? Try another database: The Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Try Interactive CALI Lessons for Studying and Class Prep

The Moritz Law Library offers students access to web-based legal tutorials and other resources through the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), a non-profit consortium. CALI provides law students at member schools access to nearly 1000 interactive, web-based “lessons” in many subject areas including first-year topics like torts, criminal law, and contracts. These lessons, created by law professors and librarians at U.S. law schools, are useful as a supplemental learning tool. CALI also features a growing ebook collection, which now includes casebooks, rules of procedure and evidence, and law-related coloring books.

To access CALI lessons, new Moritz users must first click the “Register” link in the upper right corner of the site and enter the Moritz student code. Use your OSU email address when registering. Please contact a Moritz reference librarian if you need assistance, or if you have questions about additional study aids in print or online.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Law Library Tips for Seminar Paper Research

Do you need a jump start on your seminar paper this semester? The Moritz Law Library has created a list of resources relevant to this process, including books on academic legal writing, scholarly research tools, and more.

Here are a few research tips for academic legal writing:
  • Sign up for a research consultation with a reference librarian to find out about specialized sources, helpful databases, and research strategies, all specific to your topic.
  • Explore the wide range of databases available through the OSU Libraries, and use the catalog to expand your research beyond online-only materials.
  • Check out the Law Library’s specialized research guides on topics such as Election Law and Foreign and International Legal Research. Law libraries across the country produce research guides on almost any legal topic. Most can be found with a quick Google search.
  • Keep track of your research process so that you don’t repeat steps and so that you can cite sources properly.
  • Synthesize sources. Academic legal writing draws on many supporting sources rather than only a few.
  • As you read law review articles, take note of the range and frequency of citations as a model for your own work.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Study Carrels Still Available to Reserve for the Spring Semester

Looking for a cozy, out-of-the-way study space that’s all your own? The Moritz Law Library has 52 study carrels on the library’s lower level that are still available to reserve for the spring semester. All law students can reserve a study carrel in groups of two. Forms are available at the library’s Circulation Desk. If you’re hesitant to commit to one carrel for the whole semester, keep in mind that the study carrels on the second floor and those in the third floor’s reading room remain open for use without a reservation. In addition, nine private study rooms are available for individual or small group study, all with erasable white boards. For more details or to retrieve a study room key, stop by the library Circulation Desk.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Learn How Students Have Used Moritz Law Library Resources

Did you know that the Moritz Law Library offers many, many databases beyond Lexis and Westlaw? An ever-growing collection of ebooks? Many resources in print that aren’t available online? A legal fiction and popular DVD collection? Reference librarians available by live chat and in the summer for research guidance on your challenging work assignments? On Thursday, November 9th at 12:10 in the Moritz Law Library Reserve Room, Moritz students will share how library resources and reference librarians have been helpful when doing research for course assignments, extracurricular activities, job interviews, and more. Moritz librarians will be there to offer additional information about useful resources with which students may not be familiar. The Pro Bono Research Group and the Moritz Law Library are co-sponsoring this event. Food will be provided.