Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Back! Changes at the Moritz Law Library

The Moritz Law Library welcomes new and returning students for the fall semester. You may notice a few changes in the library such as:
  • New chairs for the carrels on the third floor, matching the more modern chairs on the main level and mezzanine
  • Re-painted and soon-to-be re-decorated study rooms on the third floor
  • A new book and document scanner on the main level providing more convenient scanning to email or flash drive Color and double-sided options for printing in the computer lab
Contact library staff if you encounter any problems using equipment, resources, or study space. Also, note the suggestion box at the circulation desk near the library entrance. Have a great semester!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Bloomberg, Lexis, and Westlaw

Over the summer months, students at the Moritz College of Law can continue to access their student accounts with the three major legal research platforms (Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw). For graduating students, access will be extended for a limited period after graduation. However, students should be aware that each platform sets different restrictions on summer and post-graduation use.

Bloomberg does not have any restrictions on summer use and will continue to be available to graduating students for six months after graduation. Lexis also does not have an “academic use only” policy and will continue to be available to graduates until the end of the year. Westlaw permits limited use for education-related or non-commercial purposes. Graduates can continue to access Westlaw for 18 months after graduation, but must first register with Westlaw's Grad Elite Program. 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.

UPDATE (4/17): Westlaw's prohibition against using your student account for commercial purposes during the summer applies only to current students, not to recent Moritz grads. The Grad Elite Program allows Moritz graduates to use Westlaw for 18 months after graduation for any purpose, commercial or otherwise.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Advanced Legal Research Course Offerings for Next Year

As you are selecting your courses for the 2017-18 academic year, consider registering for a one-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 Matt Cooper) provides an introduction to business and tax related materials as well as advanced training on 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.
  • Advanced Legal Research: Litigation and ADR (taught by Paul Gatz) 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.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Resources on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination to the Supreme Court

The Republican leadership in the United States Senate hopes to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court before the Senate’s April recess. Before that happens, you can take advantage of numerous resources available online to learn more about Judge Gorsuch and the Supreme Court nomination process. The Law Library of Congress, the Georgetown Law Library, and a collaborative project among law librarians have each curated collections of Judge Gorsuch’s 10th Circuit decisions, his scholarly writings, and other materials by or about him. The website of the Senate Judiciary Committee provides access to Judge Gorsuch’s responses to the Committee Questionnaire and related documents. The Moritz Law Library’s research guide on Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Supreme Court Nominations provides links to all these resources and more, including a number of Congressional Research Service Reports on Judge Gorsuch and video of his confirmation hearings on C-SPAN.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Survey on Moritz Law Library and Information Technology Still Open

Thanks to the approximately 150 Moritz students so far who have completed the Moritz Law Library and Information Technology survey. The survey will remain open for one more week, closing at the end of the day on Monday, March 27th. Please complete the anonymous survey and separately enter your email address for a chance to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. Gathering input through this survey is very important to Library and IT planning, helping to identify the current needs and concerns of Moritz law students. If you are a returning student who completed the survey two years ago, some of the questions have changed so please submit new responses for another chance to win the gift card.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Take a Break with Legal Fiction

As Spring Break approaches, you might like to take a break from reading cases to…read stories about cases! The Moritz Law Library has a collection of legal fiction to help you take a mental break. The newest books are in the Reserve Room, older books are in the upper floor stacks.
As well, Reference Librarian Paul Gatz recommends A Confederacy of Dunces and Wolf Hall (recently made into a TV miniseries), and Reference Librarian Stephanie Ziegler is a fan of Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & Associates series, which includes Mistaken Identity and Accused.

Monday, February 27, 2017

New Legislation Display Outside the Law Library

As you swipe your BuckID to enter the law library, look to your left at the legislation display we’ve created. The law librarians have highlighted three legislation-related matters that affect your professional life.

The first set of panels provides a visual representation of the legislative process and some online sources you can consult for research. When a professor or supervising attorney or judge asks you to provide “the legislative history” for the Affordable Care Act, consider this display a starting point for your research. If you need a bit more help, stop by the reference desk (or call, email, or chat) for some quick tips to get your research moving in the right direction and completed accurately and efficiently.

Second, our law school community is comprised of professors who have testified before the U.S. and Ohio Congresses. Not only are they exceptional teachers and scholars, they are often on the front lines of legislative decision-making. Professors Dakota Rudesill, Stephanie Hoffer, Margot Kaminski, and Marc Spindelman are just a sampling of the faculty who have travelled to the State House or D.C. to speak in favor of or against legislation. For your own firsthand experience with the legislative process, register for the Legislation Clinic.

Finally, it should come as no surprise that Moritz College of Law alumni are remarkable leaders in all that they do, but Moritz is particularly fortunate to have a number of alumni who have gone on to serve as legislators in Ohio or to represent Ohio in Washington D.C. The display includes notables like John Bricker and William Saxbe and some less familiar names like Jolynn Boster and Mary Jo Kilroy. On your way into or out of the library, stop to read some about the ways Moritz alum have represented the people of the state of Ohio.

Monday, February 20, 2017

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.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Research Tip: What is “Permanent” Online?

Websites “disappear” for any number of reasons. Presidential transitions, general link rot, or site design errors can all contribute to Internet content vanishing. What’s a researcher to do? Consider whether you can find a permanent url (also referred to as a “purl”) for the website; adding them to citations is becoming an increasingly common practice for authors who cite online content. In fact, the Moritz Law Library provides access to perma.cc, a tool for creating an archived document with a permanent url. If you are reading a law review article, for example, and it links to content that seems to no longer exist, consider searching Lexis Advance, Westlaw, or HeinOnline for the source/URL to see whether another scholar used perma.cc to preserve the web page’s content. If you are curious about using perma.cc for your own scholarship, please speak with one of the law librarians.

Here is an example of the use of perma.cc (a “purl”) in a law review citation:
  • See Kathleen Short, U.S. Census Bureau, The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2010, at 12 tbl.5 (2011), available at http:// www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-241.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/DU4W-8R7H (finding the supplemental poverty measures for Latinos at 28.2%, blacks at 25.4%, and whites at 14.3%).
Second, you can also use the Internet Archive to find content that is no longer available. For example, here is a document that formerly appeared on whitehouse.gov: “A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change.” Though now gone, the document was archived a number of times, including on January 20, 2017. Copy and paste the url in question into the search bar to see available archive dates. If you’d like to explore archived government websites, see the End of Term Web Archive.

Finally, if you’ve had your fill of the Internet’s ephemerality altogether and just want good old fashioned news (but still can’t quite take subscribing to a print newspaper), consider consulting Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a digital archive of U.S. newspapers from 1789-1924, and the product of a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Of particular local interest, you can consult a variety of old Ohio newspapers including The Organ of the Temperance Reform, The Toiler, or Spirit of the Times.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Research International Arbitration or Intellectual Property Using New Law Library Databases

As we begin a new semester, you might be interested in checking out two of the Moritz Law Library’s newer databases: Kluwer Arbitration and Kluwer IP Law. Kluwer Arbitration has resources on international arbitration, offering both primary sources and commentary by experts. These include full-text books and journals, as well as practice tools that can narrow research based on jurisdiction and topic. Full-text books and journals can also be found on Kluwer IP Law, along with selected U.S. trade secret cases and “smart charts” to compare specific aspects of IP law across jurisdictions. The two databases have near-identical interfaces. You can find access (including off-campus access) to both of them at the A-Z list of databases at the Law Library website.

Monday, January 30, 2017

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 cali.org 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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

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 at any stage, from topic selection to developing background research.
     
  • Explore the world beyond Google. The Moritz Law Library and the OSU Libraries offer a wide range of databases, books, and journals.
     
  • 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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, just a five-minute walk from the law school, is currently exhibiting over 70 works of art by famous American political cartoonists and death row inmates. Political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and journalist Anne-Frederique Widmann curated the exhibit, Windows on Death Row: Art from Inside and Outside the Prison Walls, which they intend to stimulate conversations around “politics, race, morality, and the question of equality under the law.”

What can you expect to see at the exhibit? According to The Political Cartoon, political (also known as editorial) cartoons should demonstrate artistic quality; genuine sentiment; fresh, uncomplicated imagery; and lasting importance. In other words, don’t expect to laugh, but do expect some dry, complex wit and exceptional artistic talent. The inmates’ works are more diverse in form and medium, yet each convey something about daily prison life, the criminal justice system, or the experience of lifelong incarceration with death as the most likely outcome (whether through execution or otherwise while in prison).

Many of the works can be viewed online if you are unable to make it to the Cartoon Library to see the images in person.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Foreign and Comparative Law Resources at the Moritz Law Library

Do you need to research how U.S. law compares to the law of a foreign jurisdiction? Check out the Moritz Law Library’s foreign law databases, listed alongside the international law databases on the Legal Research Databases page. Two noteworthy offerings in this group are the International Encyclopaedia of Laws and vLex Global. The International Encyclopaedia of Laws offers English explanations of foreign law on various topics including constitutional law, contracts, corporations, criminal law, cyber law, energy law, environmental law and more. This resource can be a good starting point for locating relevant primary law in a foreign jurisdiction. vLex Global offers a variety of both primary and secondary sources in foreign jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on Spanish language materials. Contact a Moritz reference librarian for any assistance using these resources or for more general assistance researching non-U.S. law.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

“What Is a Looseleaf and How Can It Possibly Help Me De-Stress During Finals?”

The answer can be found in the Study Break area in the Moritz Law Library, located between the reference desk and the public access computers on the 2nd floor.
Turn off your brain for a while.

In this area you’ll find materials for a number of activities to help you take a short break from the stress of studying for finals. Activities materials include colored pencils and pages from the coloring book, What Color is Your C.F.R.?, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, and old looseleaf pages to cut into snowflakes like this:
These can get pretty elaborate.
A looseleaf service is so called because it is made up of pages or pamphlets filed in looseleaf binders. This format allows current information to be easily added to the existing materials, removing out-of-date pages and replacing them with up-to-date information. The ease of updating the binders allows supplementation to be added frequently, even weekly in some cases. Most looseleafs are now available online. Only out-of date looseleaf pages and duplicate issues of law journals are being used to make snowflakes.

In addition to de-stressing activities, feel free to take packets of tea and hot chocolate and check out some of the books recommended by the librarians and staff of the Moritz Law Library for your post-finals leisure reading or holiday gift-giving needs.

So have some fun, let your mind refresh itself, and be ready to return to your outlines. Good luck on your exams!