Category Archives: Law Students

Five Reasons You Should Make CALI Your Study Partner

CALI Lessons are online interactive tutorials that cover narrow topics of law. CALI publishes over 1,000 lessons covering 40 different legal subject areas. These lessons have been used over 10 million times by law students over the years. To access CALI, click here: Using CALI

#1- CALI Lessons are another way to learn the law.
CALI Lessons are another way to learn the law. They are interactive web-based tutorials that both teach and apply your understanding of what you just read. You learn the law from casebook readings, faculty instruction, and from supplements. Many commercial supplements are not written by law faculty and are simplified and watered down versions of the law. CALI Lessons are not. CALI Lessons present hypothetical situations and then quiz you on your understanding using follow-up questions and branching to make sure you got the right answer for the right reasons.

#2- CALI Lessons are a formative assessment for you.
Do you want to make sure you are understanding what you study? The only way to be sure is to assess and CALI lessons provide a form of self-assessment. You get feedback on every question – whether you get it right or wrong – and you get a final score that tells you how you are doing on a specific legal topic.

#3- CALI Lessons are interactive and engaging.
CALI Lessons are not videos that you passively watch. The material is modeled on Socratic Dialogue where a question is asked, you answer the question, and then various aspects of the topic are explored. CALI Lessons are written by tenured law faculty with many years of teaching experience (law librarians author the legal research lessons). The lessons purposefully steer you into thinking about the topic in a nuanced way.

#4- CALI Lessons are rigorous.
It is difficult to get a perfect score on most CALI Lessons the first time through. Law is complex and CALI lessons dive into that complexity. Each lesson covers a specific topic without getting too broad in scope. The questions are tough and require serious thought from the student. A typical lesson takes 20 to 40 minutes for a student to complete. You can take lessons multiple times to improve your understanding.

#5- CALI Lessons are a good learning appetizer or an excellent learning dessert.
CALI Lessons are an excellent learning experience as a first bite at the material. They prepare you for class or subsequent readings. The material is brief and rigorous exposing you to the concepts and nomenclature of a topic without being drilled and practiced to death. In addition, CALI Lessons are excellent for study after class (alone or in a study group), after the casebook readings, or for studying for the final exam. They provide immediate and substantive feedback that can direct you to the places where further study is required.

To access CALI, click here: Using CALI

The Socratic Method and You

“I cannot teach anybody anything.  I can only make them think.”
– Socrates

As a law student you have no doubt experienced the Socratic Method instructional model, which is based on the asking and answering of questions in class with the goal of stimulating critical thinking.  You can thank Christopher Columbus Landell for that, who as the Dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895 introduced this method to legal education.  Before Landell, legal instruction was based on the lecture model, in which students memorized material from an instructional textbook and were lectured on that material in class.

Many law professors now combine the Socratic Method with the Case Method, in which they question students about appellate-level court cases to help them explore the rules that can be derived from those cases.  While this instructional model has a fair number of critics, it is something that you will need to become comfortable with in law school.  Below are a few ideas from the Law School Academic Support Blog on turning the Socratic Method into a more positive experience:

1) Recognize what questions the professor almost always asks about each case during class.  Think about the answers to those standard questions during your class preparation.

2) Before class, consider the case from 360 degrees.  In addition to understanding the case deeply (its separate case brief parts and details), consider the case more broadly (how does it fit with the other cases read for that day and into the larger topic).

3) When called on, think about the question asked and take a deep breath before answering.  Many mistakes are made because students blurt out something they immediately realize is wrong or answer a different question than actually asked.

4) Remember that most people in class are not judging you when you are the student called on for Socratic Method.  About a third are relieved it was not them.  About a third are looking ahead frantically because they realize their turns are coming up.  About a third are busy taking notes and looking for the answers.

Be sure to also check out Cracking the Case Method: Legal Analysis for Law School Success or 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School , both are available in the Study Skills Collection of the Law Library, for more ideas on how to master the Socratic Method.

Summer 2018 and Post-Graduation Use of Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw

Wondering which research tools you can use this summer?  We have outlined both summer 2018 access and post-graduation use policies for Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw below.

Remember that you also have unlimited access to many other legal databases in addition to hundreds of interdisciplinary databases through the ASU Library this summer! The library staff is also here all summer long to help you with research. Call, e-mail, or stop by for assistance during reference hours.

Bloomberg Law
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.

Graduating students: Graduating students will automatically have full access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation. You do not need to take any additional steps to secure this post-graduation access.

Please contact our Bloomberg Law representative, Tania Wilson, with questions.

LexisNexis
LexisNexis 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 Lexis Advance account.

Graduating students: Graduating students will automatically have full access to Lexis through the end of December 2018.  You do not need to take any additional steps to secure this post-graduation access.

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

Westlaw
Westlaw offers full access to Westlaw, Practical Law, Drafting Assistant, and Doc & Form Builder to current ASU law students who are participating in select academic pursuits over the summer. Permissible uses include the following:

  • Summer classes and study abroad programs
  • Law review or journal research
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Moot court research
  • Externship sponsored by the school

You do not need to do anything to gain summer access to these tools. Students with any other type of summer employment must use their employer-provided password for Westlaw access.

Graduating students:  Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law graduates now have 60 hours a month of Westlaw access for 18 months after graduation; this access can be used for either commercial (paid) or educational purposes. Graduating students will need to activate their 18 month password extension within their Westlaw account for this extended access.

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

Offline Reading – A New Feature of the West Academic Study Aids Subscription

Two exciting features have been added to the West Academic Study Aids platform:

  • Offline reading via the free West Academic Library Mobile App: this is a free app that is compatible with Apple and Android devices.  You can now read, highlight, and take notes while offline. The ability to download audio lectures will be added in early March.
    YOU CAN NOW STUDY ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
  • Updated e-Reader: the e-reader has been revamped to make it easier for you to read, take notes, and highlight content.  It’s also compatible with the new mobile app, so annotations automatically sink between platforms.

More information on these new features is available here: SAS Mobile App.

Free West Academic Study Aids Subscription

The Law Library provides ASU Law students with free access to over 500 study aids/course supplements through the West Academic Study Aids Subscription.

  • 24/7 access – you can access the study aids anytime online
  • Full-content searching – a single search generates results from every relevant title
  • Highlight and take notes – you can highlight text and take notes just like in a book
  • Popular titles – Gilbert Law Summaries, Nutshell Series, High Court Case Summaries, Flash Cards, Exam Pro Series, Acing Series, Legalines, and more!

*To create your account:

  • Go to the West Academic Study Aids website
  • Click the “Create an Account” icon in the upper right corner of the page
  • Choose “I am a Student”
  • Complete the form and click “Create Account”

* When you create your account, please do so while you are on the ASU network. Once your account has been established, you will be able to access West Academic from anywhere.

Library Summer Research Workshop Series

The Ross-Blakley Law Library is pleased to announce the 2017 Summer Research Workshop Series. Five different workshop topics are being offered; each topic is intended to help Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law students participating in summer associate or externship opportunities improve their real-world legal research skills.

Each workshop will be offered at three different times to accommodate varying work schedules – please feel free to come to any session of any workshop. We look forward to seeing you this summer! Please contact Tara Mospan with any questions at tara.mospan@asu.edu.

Workshop #1 – Best practices for starting a research project
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
– 7:30-8:30am – BCLS 352

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
– 12:00-1:00pm – BCLS 450
– 6:00-7:00pm – BCLS 352

Workshop #2 – Researching state and federal statutes
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
– 7:30-8:30am – BCLS 352

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
– 12:00-1:00pm – BCLS 450
– 6:00-7:00pm – BCLS 352

Workshop #3 – Researching state and federal regulations
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
– 7:30-8:30am – BCLS 352
– 12:00-1:00pm – BCLS 250
– 6:00-7:00pm – BCLS 352

Workshop #4 – Terms & connectors/advanced search techniques
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
– 7:30-8:30am – BCLS 352

Wednesday, June 07, 2017
– 12:00-1:00pm – BCLS 650
– 6:00-7:00pm – BCLS 352

Workshop #5 – Free (and reliable!) research resources
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
– 7:30-8:30am – BCLS 352

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
– 12:00-1:00pm – BCLS 250
– 6:00-7:00pm – BCLS 352

Summer and Post-Graduation Use of Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw

Wondering which research tools you can use this summer?  We have outlined both summer access and post-graduation use policies for Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw below.

Remember that you also have unlimited access to many other legal databases in addition to hundreds of interdisciplinary databases through the ASU Library this summer! The library staff is also here all summer long to help you with research. Call, e-mail, or stop by for assistance during reference hours.

Bloomberg Law
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.

Graduating students: Graduating students will automatically have full access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation, ending November 30, 2017. You do not need to take any additional steps to secure this post-graduation access.

Please contact our Bloomberg Law representative, Shaina Zamaitis, with questions.

LexisNexis
LexisNexis 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 Lexis Advance account.

Graduating students: Graduating students will automatically have full access to Lexis through the end of November.  You do not need to take any additional steps to secure this post-graduation access.

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

Westlaw
Westlaw offers full access to Westlaw, Practical Law, Drafting Assistant, and Doc & Form Builder to current ASU law students who are participating in select academic pursuits over the summer. Permissible uses include the following:

  • Summer classes and study abroad programs
  • Law review or journal research
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Moot court research
  • Externship sponsored by the school

You do not need to do anything to gain summer access to these tools. Students with any other type of summer employment must use their employer-provided password for Westlaw access.

Graduating students:  Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law graduates now have 60 hours a month of Westlaw access for 18 months after graduation; this access can be used for either commercial (paid) or educational purposes. Graduating students will need to activate their 18 month password extension within their Westlaw account for this extended access.

Please contact our Thomson Reuters Academic Account Manager, Melissa Hagar, with questions.

Chelsea Gulinson ’18 & Jameson Rammell ’18 Honored for Exemplary Student Research

The Ross-Blakley Law Library at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of The Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research.

Chelsea Gulinson is the first place award recipient for her paper Embryonic Stem Cell Tourism. Jameson Rammell takes second-place honors for his paper Polarizing Procedures: Transsexual Inmates, Sex Reassignment Surgery, and the Eighth Amendment. 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 Victoria Trotta and Beth DiFelice and Clinical Professor Kimberly Holst selected the winners from a number of very competitive entries.

To read more about Chelsea and Jameson’s papers, please follow this link: Announcing the 2017 Recipients of the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

Congratulations to our 2017 Winners!

Last Call for Library Student Research Award Submissions

There is one week left to submit your paper for the Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research – the deadline to enter is Monday, April 3rd at 9am.

The award offers a $500 first place prize and $250 second place prize for a piece of scholarly writing that exhibits exceptional research.

To learn more about the award, including eligibility and application procedures, visit: https://law.asu.edu/LibraryResearchAward