Category Archives: Law Students

Racial Justice Resources – New Research Guide

Racial Justice Resources is a guide to resources provided by the Ross-Blakley Law Library and to external resources to support our community in considering racial justice and reconciliation. The guide’s focus is on resources concerning racial justice in the United States including information about:

National Social Justice Organizations
Local Social Justice Organizations and Government Entities
Resources for Protesters
Research Resources including Databases, Books, Law Reviews and Journals
U.S. Federal Government Hearings and Reports

We are always here to help you. If you have questions about accessing resources or want to discuss these subjects in more depth, feel free to Ask a Librarian or make an appointment to meet via Zoom.

Practical Research Skills Workshop Series: Get the Edge on How to Exceed Your Employers’ and Professors’ Expectations

The librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library have prepared a video series for you. Our Practical Research Skills Workshop Series will help you get the edge on how to exceed your employers’ and professors’ expectations. We share our expertise on legal research, in a friendly, fast-paced format that you can watch at your own pace. We help you navigate primary law including statutes and regulations as well as help you build your practical skills by sharing our insights on topics like litigation tools and legal search algorithms.

Practical Research Skills Workshop Series

What the series covers:

Federal Statutes & State Statutes

Learn how to find and navigate statutes in research databases and on government websites. We highlight case law that courts rely on to resolve disputes concerning statutory interpretation to help you perform professional statutory research for your employer.

Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register, Arizona Regulations 
Master how to navigate and use the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, and Arizona’s regulatory frameworks so that you can master interpreting and applying regulatory rules on the job.

Search Algorithms, Data Analytics, Ravel & Advanced Searching
Not all databases are transparent about how they return results based on your search terms but understanding how the search tools operate can help you research more effectively and efficiently.

Practice Tools: Settlements Data & Litigation Analytics, Litigation Tools, Standard Documents & Transactions, Practice Notes & Checklists
Practical tools can help you impress your assigning attorney. These include resources to learn the law, to manage a legal project, to efficiently draft legal documents, and to compare the client’s situation to past deals and cases.

We are always here to help you whether you are a current student or a graduate. If you have questions or want to discuss these subjects in more depth, feel free to Ask a Librarian or make an appointment to meet via Zoom.

Hit an Internship Gap? Try Taking This Bridge to Practice

Summer is a golden opportunity to fortify the legal skills that will make employers notice you. But 2020 is different, and some opportunities to practice law have drifted away because of lifesaving social distancing to limit the spread of covid-19. But the outbreak doesn’t need to put learning on hold.

West Academic can help keep your head in the game even if you are staying home during the pandemic. One series is specially geared toward building practical legal skills by simulating legal assignments. The Bridge to Practice series includes twelve volumes, covering broad doctrinal areas of law such as property or specific practice areas such as immigration law.

The introduction to each of the twelve volumes explains the series’ premise: Simulating the progression of cases and clients’ needs from start to finish. The chapters provide students with learning objectives and introduce the legal doctrines governing the clients’ legal issues. Narratives introduce the client or issue, and many of the simulations also display the documents that lawyers will commonly encounter. Dialog reveals how lawyers tailor their language to respond to requests from clients and to make demands from others on behalf of clients. Appendices in each volume gather documents related to particular clients and other key players.

Cases progress throughout the books. For example, in the immigration book, client Susan Vasquez’s legal concerns arise in Phoenix, where she is arrested on theft and immigration-related charges after visiting a hospital. Chapter 2 includes a client interview with Vasquez that raises new legal questions. In Chapter 3, Vasquez faces an emergency as she reports being transported for deportation, which raises ethical concerns and highlights the need for lawyers to be able to rapidly digest problems and find solutions. Remaining chapters involve legal proceedings and distill the experience of advocating for Vasquez in front of a judge and how attorneys collaborate and share their expertise on particular legal issues.

Throughout many of the volumes, questions and research prompts challenge students to engage directly the key primary and secondary authority in the practice area. Further, the cases emphasize the nuances of particular legal tasks and impart lessons on the variety of skills that students should develop to achieve success as attorneys. They also provide excellent reviews of common legal doctrines, such as offer, acceptance, consideration, and defenses in contract law. Criminal Law Simulations: Bridge to Practicefeatures lessons such as the principles of punishment, the elements of crimes in general, particular crimes, and special issues such as accomplice liability.

The Bridge to Practice series includes the following subjects:

To access the Bridge to Practice series and other study resources, go to West Academic’s webpage. You must use your ASU email address to create an account. West Academic will recognize you as a member of the ASU community and allow you to create an account when you use your email address as your username. Once you create an account, your West Academic login will ensure off-campus access to the study aids and will also enable you to print, download, highlight, and take notes. You can download the West Academic Library Mobile App and study anywhere. West Academic distributes additional resources on developing professional skills. If you have questions about accessing study resources, finding materials to help with legal tasks, or researching legal issues in general, feel free to make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian via Zoom or email.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Brent Bihr, 2L & Olivia Stitz, 2L Honored for Exemplary Student Research

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.

Brent Bihr is the first-place award recipient for his paper: Dark Patterns, Warcraft, and Cybersex: The Addictive Face of Predatory Online Platforms and Pioneering Policies to Protect Consumers.  Bihr is a second year student. Olivia Stitz is our second-place winner for her paper: Comity, Tipping Points, and Commercial Significance: What to expect of the Hague Judgments Convention.  Stitz is also second year student.

Their papers demonstrate sophistication and originality in the use of research materials, exceptional innovation in research strategy, and skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis.  A review panel comprised of librarians Beth DiFelice and Tara Mospan and Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from a number of very competitive entries. We received more submissions this year than in any other year.

To read more about the winning papers, please follow this link: The 2020 Recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

Congratulations to our 2020 Winners!

You can view all past award winners here: Ross-Blakley Award for Exemplary Student Research Winners

Summer 2020 & Post-Graduation Use of LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law & More

My Post (18)The Law Library provides you with unlimited access to a number of premium resources while you are in school but it’s important for you to know the dates that you will lose access (if you graduate) and the limitations that you have while using these platforms outside of school work.  In addition, we have received temporary eBook access to some textbooks from publishers and you should be aware of the tentative dates they will stop providing access. Publishers may choose to continue this access, but we have provided the dates below we have been given at the time of this post.

Free eBook Access for COVID-19 Closures

Publisher End Date
Wolters Kluwer (including Aspen & Carolina) May 25, 2020
Follett (Redshelf) May 25, 2020
West Academic (including Foundation) June 1, 2020

Information on accessing these items can be found in our Remote Access to Law Library Resources: COVID-19 Response LibGuide.

Summary of Legal Research Platform Access

Service Summer Access Post-Graduation Access Important Notes
Bloomberg Law Unrestricted access (academic or commercial use) June 1, 2021 Extended by courtesy of Bloomberg for the COVID-19 closures.
Lexis Advance Unrestricted access (academic or commercial use) 6 months after graduation Can apply for 12 months  of access if working at a non-profit 503(c)(3)
Westlaw EDGE Full access for select academic use 6 months after graduation (60 hours per month) Must register for summer and post-graduation access on site (see full info below)
Casetext Unrestricted access No post-graduation access

More Detail on Legal Research Platforms

Lexis Advance

Limitations on Access
Lexis Advance’s Terms & Conditions allows you to use the platform during the summer months and after graduation:

Lexis Summer

After Graduation
Once you graduate, you’ll automatically receive access for 6 months through the graduate access program.  If you’re working in the non-profit sector (at a 501(c)(3) corporation), you can apply for 12 months of access through their ASPIRE Program.  More information is available here:

Please contact our LexisNexis account executive, Alan J. Mamood, with questions.

Westlaw EDGE

Limitations on Access
Westlaw also allows students to use the platform during the summer and after graduation but they contain a specific limitation on usage:

Westlaw edge

Note: Private internships, unconnected from school credit, are ineligible and you may not bill private clients for this access or research.

After Graduation
The Ross-Blakley Law Library provides access to Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law graduates to enroll in Westlaw’s Grad Elite Program, which gives students access to Westlaw for 6 months for up to 60 hours each month.  Unlike Lexis, you must enroll in this program to maintain your access (for the 60 hours/mo.).  You will maintain access to your TWEN account for 18 months.  More information about this program can be found here:

Please contact our Thomson Reuters Academic Account Manager, Jeff Brandimarte, with questions.

Bloomberg Law

Limitations on Access
Bloomberg Law provides unrestricted summer access to all law students for any research purpose, whether academic or commercial.  You do not need to take any additional steps to secure summer access to your registered Bloomberg Law account.

After Graduation
Bloomberg Law automatically extends your account for 6 months after you graduate and you still have access to their online training materials and practice resources.  However, due to the COVID-19 closures, they have extended their offer to June 1, 2021 for 2020 graduates.  More information can be found here:


Casetext also provides students with free access during law school.  After graduation it is $65 per month to maintain unlimited access (included CARA AI).  If you plan to work outside of Arizona state, check with your local bar to see if Casetext access is included (or discounted) with your membership.

If you have any questions about access or would like training on any of these resources, don’t hesitate to make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian (including via Zoom) or Email a Librarian.

Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research: March 30th Deadline Approaching

Paper ContestDo you want to win $500?  Do you want something special to add to your resume? How about all the pats on the back you will get from family and friends if you win this prestigious award?  You better get to work!

The deadline to enter the annual Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research is March 30th at 9:00am.

The purpose of the award is to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research abilities beyond ordinary proficiency to achieve their personal best. We are most interested in your research process. Submissions may be, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or as a journal note.

Two award recipients will be selected.  The first place winner will receive $500.00 and a Certificate of Recognition.  The second place winner will receive $250.00 and a Certificate of Recognition.

A panel composed of two Law Librarians and one Legal Writing Instructor will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, online and print resources, search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis

To learn more about the award including eligibility, acceptable papers, selection criteria and application procedures, please visit: Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

You can read about past winners here: Ross-Blakley Award for Exemplary Student Research Winners

And remember, if you need help with your research, don’t forget to Meet with a Librarian.

Good Luck!

New Law Library Guide Helps Job-Seeking Law Students Do Homework on Employers

Job GuideNo matter how glorious your resume and transcript or how many glowing recommendations you collect, you have to know a lot about a job opportunity to let your employers know that you want it and are right for the position. Success in the legal job market, as in law school, takes a lot of homework.

And we at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are here to help! Our new Law Employment Research Guide job seeking law students and graduates, Employment Research, compiles resources to help get tabs on law firms, to land a clerkship with a judge, or just to build essential lawyering skills such as networking and compiling contracts.

The Researching Law Firms tab gathers resources to help you get a feel for how your potential employer operates, and how you can set yourself up to be its most appealing interviewee. Litigation analytics tools give you insight into practice areas, specialties, biographical details about attorneys. Legal news resources can help you brush up to keep the conversation flowing. Books give you background information on legal employment opportunities, and advice on your application materials and interviewing strategies. Online resources provide general career tips, and other online tools help you get a more complete picture of the life and culture of a law firm before you try to dive in.

The Clerkship Interviews tab features litigation analytics on judges, their histories of motions, and the practice areas in which they tend to work. Books and legal news will help you connect with your judge on a human and intellectual level, and advice on finding your judge’s opinions will help you get more personal. Online resources help you find openings and land your clerkship.

Finally, the Professional Development tab includes resources to help you build the skills to be a more effective attorney, and to be a better-known job candidate. Networking opportunities resources will help you connect with different facets of the legal community to build a higher profile that can translate into job opportunities. Books will help with the transition from law school to legal practice, keeping yourself happy and balanced as you meet the challenges of life as an attorney. Finally, practical job preparedness and practice tools can give you a leg up on the job, gathering resources that can help you operate effectively and efficiently.

If you make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian, we can give you some pointers on research tools to uncover the information you will need to wow your future employers in cover letters and interviews. And make an appointment with Career Services for more detailed assistance on landing a job and developing professionally. Good luck on all your interviews to come!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian