Thursday, September 29, 2016

Moritz Law Library Offers Research Consultations for Students

If you are writing a research paper for a seminar or a note for a law review or journal this semester, now might be a good time to schedule an in-office research consultation with a Moritz Law Library reference librarian. Research consultations are especially helpful when you're beginning a project, as your consulting librarian will work with you to devise a research strategies and identify key databases and tools.

To request a research consultation, go to http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/lib/research/request-a-research-consultation/ and fill out the online form with a description of your research project and the times you are available to meet. Reference librarians are available to meet from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Consultations are typically scheduled within 2-3 business days after your request is submitted in order to give the consulting librarian time to prepare. If you need research assistance sooner, please stop by the Reference Desk. Reference Desk hours and contact info can be found on the Ask a Librarian page.

Generally, research consultations are only available for Moritz students.Other OSU students and members of the public are encouraged to contact the Reference Desk with their research needs. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Moritz Law Library Research Guide on College History and Digital Archives

Interested in researching the early history of the Moritz College of Law or locating information about former students, alumni, faculty and staff who contributed to the success of the College over the years? You may have already browsed the College’s website featuring a wealth of historical information celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the College’s founding, with law classes held for the first time on October 1, 1891.

A new research guide on College History: Digital Collections & Archives also features library resources and digital archives of interest to Moritz researchers. The guide provides selected highlights of College history and directs users to further information on digital collections, print archives and pictorial resources. Digital collections include the College of Law Class Composites (1902-1996), alumni and student publications such as All Rise, Buckeye Barrister and the Law Record, as well as all five law journals, beginning with the Ohio State Law Journal, first published in 1935.

For questions about researching College history, related publications and archives, please visit the library’s Reference Desk or email lawlibref@osu.edu.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Get Answers Quickly by Chatting With a Moritz Reference Librarian

Where can I find state legislative history documents? How do I cite to an administrative decision? Get answers to these sorts of questions quickly and easily by chatting with a Moritz reference librarian. Just pull open your web browser and go to http://moritzlaw.osu.libguides.com/AskALibrarian to use the Moritz Law Library’s chat reference service.

Online chat services are available during normal reference desk hours, Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, 1pm-5pm. Chat reference generally works best with relatively straightforward questions. For more complicated or in-depth research questions, it is still best to visit the reference desk or request a research consultation.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Get Ready for Practice with Discover Plus

Would you like to see a simple checklist of jury objections or examples of specific contract clauses? The Moritz Law Library provides students and faculty access to the Practicing Law Institute’s Discover Plus database, which offers forms, treatises, and continuing legal education materials on a wide range of topics, from employee benefits to family law to intellectual property. PLI is a nonprofit continuing legal education and professional business training organization. Because the materials are written by and for practitioners, Discover Plus is a great place to look for very specific guidance on managing deals, handling litigation, and deciphering rapidly developing areas of law.

Here are some examples of books available on Discover Plus:
  • Working With Contracts: What Law School Doesn’t Teach You 
  • How to Handle an Appeal 
  • Secured Transactions 2016: What Lawyers Need To Know About UCC Article 9 
  • Ohio New Lawyers Training
You can search by title or area of law, but also by author or law firm. If you are interviewing with a larger law firm, it is worth checking to see whether Discover Plus includes anything written by your interviewer.

Please contact a reference librarian if you have questions about this database, including the iPad and iPhone friendly app.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

BuckeyeBox and Microsoft Office: Free Software and Storage Solutions for OSU Students

Working on a group project for class? Sharing documents or images with others? All OSU students, faculty, and staff have access to BuckeyeBox, a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows users to conveniently store and share digital files. To set up a BuckeyeBox account, go to https://box.osu.edu and click on the red “Sign Up” box in the upper-right corner. Setting up the account is easy -- just enter your OSU username.# and password, which you’ll also use to log in. Files stored on your computer can be dragged and dropped into your BuckeyeBox account. Box apps are available for access from mobile devices. BuckeyeBox is designed as an easy way to share files and folders, but should not be used for restricted data. Storage space on BuckeyeBox is unlimited.

Also, as an Ohio State University student, you can install Microsoft Office 365 on your personal Mac or PC for no charge. Details are available at https://osuitsm.service-now.com/selfservice/kb_view.do?sysparm_article=kb04725.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Law Library Adds New Online Research Guides

The Moritz Law Library’s reference librarians and circulation staff are sadly not always available to answer questions about research or library services. Fortunately, you can always find helpful information and guidance on our many research guides available online at http://moritzlaw.osu.libguides.com/. The Moritz librarians have created these guides to bring together resources, materials, and databases relevant to particular areas of law or groups of library users. Over the summer, we added a number of new research guides, including the following:
The Moritz librarians will continue to add new guides over the course of the academic year. Keep an eye out for guides on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Ohio Legal Research.

Monday, August 22, 2016

What’s New in the Moritz Law Library?

The law library made a number of improvements over the summer to enhance the study environment and services to law students, including:
  • New chairs for the third floor study tables
  • New energy-efficient lighting for all study carrels
  • Erasable whiteboards now in all study rooms
  • The reduction of printing costs to $.04/page
  • A new arrangement in the library’s reserve room: Study aids and career-related books are now on the right when you enter, while treatises and Ohio material are now more spread out on the left.
Regarding the study carrel lights, please remember to turn them off once you’ve finished studying. See the comment box at the front of the library if you have any suggestions related to the library facility or services. In the spring semester, the library plans to send out an online survey through which students can provide additional feedback. One more thing: you’ll see that the library’s research guides have a new look. More on these in an upcoming blog post.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

(Re)learning Legal Citation


There are many systems of legal citation, beyond The Bluebook and ALWD.  While the systems are fairly similar, transitioning from one to  another may be challenging.  Maybe you learned how to cite with ALWD during your 1L year and then became a research assistant for a professor who needs citations conforming to The Bluebook.  Maybe you learned how to use The Bluebook, but at your summer firm, you need to use Ohio’s citation method, as described in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Writing Manual:  a Guide to Citations, Style, and Judicial Opinion Writing.
 
Here are a few tools to help you navigate this transition:

  • Peter W. Martin, Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (online ed. 2015).  This ebook includes examples from ALWD, The Bluebook, and some state court citation styles.  It concludes with cross reference tables addressing ALWD and The Bluebook as well as a state citation chart. 
  • The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) offers correlation tables, one from The Bluebook to ALWD and the other from ALWD to The Bluebook.  If you know the relevant rule in one system for pinpoint pages, you can use these tables to locate the relevant rule in the other system.
  • If you are just getting to know The Bluebook, take a look at Linda J. Barris’s Understanding and mastering the Bluebook: a guide for students and practitioners.  The Moritz Law Library has several copies of this book, which describes itself as a “survival manual.”  It includes lots of tips, examples, and tables.
  • Practice citation with online lessons.  LexisNexis offers the Interactive Citation Workstation, with exercises for both ALWD and The Bluebook.  CALI offers lessons on Ohio Citation (as well as for several other states).
While Judge Richard A. Posner declares The Bluebook560 pages of rubbish,” adhering to your citation style, whether The Bluebook or not, is a vital part of legal writing. Use these resources to make sure your writing doesn’t end up in the wastebasket!
 

    Monday, May 09, 2016

    CBA Summer Associate Legal Research Seminar on June 3

    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. The seminar will be on Friday June 3, from 8:30am to 2:30pm at the Columbus Bar Association.

    Presenters will include Moritz law librarians Paul Gatz and Ingrid Mattson and Assistant Dean Sara Sampson.

    The seminar is free, but you must register by May 26.

    Thursday, May 05, 2016

    Moritz Librarians Win National Award for Paper

    Two of Moritz Law Library's reference librarians, Susan Azyndar and Ingrid Mattson, won an American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)/LexisNexis Call for Papers award for their short paper, Show and Tell in the Legal Research Classroom: Screencasting as an Effective Presentation Format. In their paper, they discuss the use of the screencasting software, Jing, as a way to assess student learning in two advanced legal research courses. Azyndar and Mattson recently shared their work at a Moritz Teaching Innovation Group brown bag, and will present their paper at the July AALL annual meeting in Chicago.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Need Summer Access to Legal Research Databases?

    Do your summer plans include legal research? Whether you are on a journal, taking summer classes, or working at a law firm, you must follow certain steps to ensure access to the materials you need. Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw all permit summer use, at least for certain purposes. Bloomberg does not have an “academic use only” policy and encourages use for any summer 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 purposes, and also requires registration for either summer access. 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 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. Moritz has an institutional account, which you can access here.

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    Law Library and IT Benefits for Graduating Law Students

    As a reminder for those of you who will soon be graduating from the Moritz College of Law: many Law Library and IT resources and services that you currently use as students will still be available to you as alumni. Your access to the secure OSU wireless network will extend to two years after graduation. You will continue to have 24-hour access to Drinko Hall and the Law Library through July, 2016. Even after the bar exam, you will, of course, always be welcome to visit the Law Library, and you will always be able to check out books from our collection. And whether you are in Columbus or not, you can always rely on legal research assistance from our reference librarians (whether by phone, e-mail, chat, or in-person).

    Your access to major legal databases will extend beyond graduation as well, although not indefinitely. Generally, your access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Thomson Reuters Westlaw will continue for six months after graduation, although extension procedures and restrictions differ across the three databases. For more information, check out the Moritz Law Library’s Research Assistant Resources Guide or ask a reference librarian.

    Thursday, April 07, 2016

    Congressional Resources in the Moritz Law Library

    Are you eager to find more information about the legislative process and the inside workings of Congress after attending this month’s Congressional Conversations with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)? Or maybe your current research involves legislative history or bill tracking? If so, you may find it helpful to check out some of the Congressional Resources available through the Moritz Law Library.

    ProQuest Congressional is the go-to source for federal legislative history research, including in its databases the full text of bills and laws going back to 1789, hearings, debates, reports, and compiled legislative histories. The CQ Electronic Library brings together a number of different resources on Congress and American government, covering everything from current bill statuses and roll-call votes to historical election and voting data.

    Congressional information can also be found on federal government websites, although these sites are generally limited to legislative information from the past 20 years. The official source for federal legislative information is Congress.gov, which includes bills, legislative history, committee information, and member profiles. The U.S. Government Publishing Office provides access to authenticated government documents from all three branches through its FDSys site as well as its new beta site, govinfo.

    Finally, GovTrack.us, an open government project, is a helpful online tool for tracking bills and other legislative activity and has made its database of legislative information available as a bulk download or through an API.

    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Prepare for Exams with Study Aids and Interactive Lessons at the Moritz Law Library

    With finals just around the corner, don’t forget that the Moritz Law Library subscribes to West Academic's online Study Aids collection, which includes over 470 titles on subjects ranging from criminal law to trusts and estates. The collection is accessible from the Westlaw law school main page by clicking the “Study Aids Subscription” banner.

    Another helpful exam prep tool is the set of online tutorials on the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) site. 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.

    The Moritz Law Library also maintains a large collection of print study aids in the Reserve Room on the main level. For a full description of the library’s study aids collection and other academic success materials, see the library’s research guide on this topic.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Remembering and Researching Justice Scalia: New Law Library Research Guide

    In recognition of Justice Antonin Scalia’s distinguished and influential career on the United States Supreme Court, the Moritz Law Library has created a new Research Guide to assist students, faculty, and others in researching the life and work of Justice Scalia, the operations of the Supreme Court, and the history and process of Supreme Court nominations. The Guide is available at http://moritzlaw.osu.libguides.com/scotus, and contains links and references to selected books, journal articles, databases, and resources on Scalia and the Supreme Court.

    The Guide collects in one place a selection of books and articles by and about Justice Scalia, as well as links to hearings and other documents related to the nomination of Justice Scalia and other members of the Court. The Law Library intends to continue to update the Guide as the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland proceeds.