Category Archives: LexisNexis

Speedy and Thorough: Research Tips for Time-Squeezed 1Ls

The best legal research is that which you can do fast and do well (the first time!). Like you, our JD reference librarians first sharpened their legal research skills in their 1L legal research and writing class, and have learned a lot since then through years of practical research on the job. Here are their top tips for conducting efficient and comprehensive legal research:

Seek secondary sources: Secondary sources on your legal issue can quickly set you on the right path for your research. Not only can they provide a quick explanation of the law and an overview of the factors courts consider in deciding on those legal issues, but they list primary law that you will want to analyze. It’s tempting to want to “save time” by diving into the statutes and case law directly, but a little advance reading can make research a lot faster, easier, and more complete.

For statutes, start by looking at the statute, and find Notes of Decisions as well as secondary sources from there: Underneath the statutory text, Lexis will break apart the statute into the key legal issues it addresses. If you find one of the issues that your memo is intended to address, you get a quick, one-line summary of a judicial interpretation of the statute, along with a link to a case that could be super-relevant. In Westlaw, you can find similar information in the Notes of Decisions tab at the top of the page. The Notes of Decisions are summaries of important cases that discuss the statute or regulation in question and are organized by topic. You can also navigate in Westlaw to helpful secondary sources that will collect relevant case law, such as the ALR Library, underneath the Context & Analysis tab.

For relevant case law, use headnotes and KeyCite rather than trying to “Google” everything: Attorney editors at Lexis and Westlaw have analyzed cases and the legal issues they contain and have grouped together related authority to help legal researchers perform faster, more thorough research than keyword searching alone. In Westlaw, KeyCites will arrange the legal areas and issues that a headnote addresses, from general to specific. Click on the KeyCite codes for more relevant authority. In Lexis, when you find your legal issue, you can click “Shepardize – Narrow by this Headnote” to find more relevant authority.

Look for ambiguities: A lot of the most interesting discussions in law come in the gray areas—where the law and the facts are not entirely settled or clear. This “it depends” territory can create interesting analytical puzzles for you to solve in your memo: you will want to show that you can see both sides to an argument, and you will want to demonstrate the critical reasoning skills to form a solid conclusion.

CREAC tips: When you’re explaining a precedent case, it may not be enough to list the facts the court considered and tell the reader how the court ruled. You want to analyze why the court ruled the way it did on a variety of factors. Contrasting and comparing the facts in your writing prompt will then much more clearly indicate to the reader whether or not a particular ruling will further the legal principle at issue.

We are here to help. Meet with a Librarian today!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

Summer 2021 & Post-Graduation Use of LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law & More

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 for non-academic work.

Summary of Legal Research Platform Access

ServiceSummer AccessPost-Graduation AccessImportant Notes
Bloomberg LawUnrestricted access (academic or commercial use).6 months after graduation.
Lexis AdvanceUnrestricted access (academic or commercial use).Until December 31, 2021 for Spring graduates.Can apply for 12 months of access if working at a non-profit 503(c)(3).
Westlaw EDGEAccess for select academic use (see full info below).6 months after graduation (60 hours per month).

Must register for summer and post-graduation access on site (see full info below). Your lawschool.westlaw.com (TWEN) account will remain open for 1 year if you would like to earn certifications.

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:

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: https://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access/

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:

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 12 months, where you can continue to earn certifications.  In order you to gain access to Grad Elite, you will receive a pop-up when you log into Westlaw after graduation or you can manually go to this website and select “agree”:
https://lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite

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.  More information can be found here:
https://help.bloomberglaw.com/docs/blh-110-law-school.html

Please contact our Bloomberg Law Client Service Partner, Julianne Bisceglia, with questions.

Sean Harrington, Reference Services Librarian

Summer 2019 and Post-Graduation Use of Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw

Wondering which research tools you can use this summer?  We have outlined summer 2019 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, Heidi Stryker, with questions.

LexisNexis
LexisNexis provides unrestricted summer 2019 (May-August) 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 December 31, 2019.  You do not need to take any additional steps to secure this post-graduation access – the transition from a regular law school ID to a graduate ID will occur on July 5, 2019. Students engaged in verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work after graduation are also eligible for a 12-month password extension through the Lexis ASPIRE program.

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.

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.

Summer Use of Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law

Westlaw
Your Westlaw password will remain active over the summer for a limited number of research hours.  Westlaw does allow full summer access for the following permissible uses:

  • Law school class
  • Law Review or Journal work
  • Moot Court work
  • Project for a Professor
  • Unpaid, nonprofit public-interest internship/externship pro bono work required for graduation

To extend your Westlaw access
Eligible students will need to register for a password extension and must agree to only use their password for permissible purposes.  To register for a password Summer Extension visit    http://lawschool.westlaw.com/registration/summerextension.asp.

Access to Westlaw for graduates
Graduating students can register for the Westlaw Grad Elite Extension Program that will extend their access to WestlawNext and Westlaw Classic through November 2014 to prepare for the bar exam.  To register for the Grad Elite Extension visit http://lawschool.westlaw.com/registration/gradelite.aspx.

If you have any questions please contact our Westlaw Academic Account Manager, Kristen Knepper, at kristen.knepper@thomsonreuters.com.

LexisNexis
You will have unlimited access to your Lexis Advance account over the summer for any use, including paid positions.

Access to Lexis Advance for graduates
Graduating students can register for a Lexis Graduate Program ID that will extend their access through December 2014 to prepare for the bar exam. To register, visit www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access.

If you have any questions please contact our Account Executive, Dana Shimo, at  dana.shimo@lexisnexis.com.

Bloomberg Law
You will have unlimited access to your Bloomberg Law account during the summer for any use, including paid positions.

Access to Bloomberg Law for Graduates
Graduating students will have unlimited access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.

If you have any questions, please contact our Bloomberg Law representative, Will Thompson, at wthompson@bna.com.

Copyright Lawsuit Against Westlaw and LexisNexis

Westlaw and LexisNexis have been publishing publicly filed legal briefs and motions, and charging their subscription users to access them online, for years.  Two attorneys, Oklahoma lawyer Edward White and New York city lawyer Kenneth Elan, plan to put a stop to it.   White and Elan recently filed a class action lawsuit against Westlaw and LexisNexis, claiming copyright infringement of the aforementioned legal documents.   They seek to represent both lawyers who have copyrighted their work and those who have not, and claim that the two publishing companies have engaged in “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and law firms who authored them.”

Read the full complaint here.

What do you think of this lawsuit?  Does it have a solid legal footing?  Or, as some have stated, do you think that the strength of the copyright claim is undermined by the fact that many legal opinions are based on other people’s arguments and analysis?

Legislative History Research Resources

Legislative history research got you down? Here are some great resources to help you navigate the waters.

Research Guides:

 

CALI lessons:

 

Tutorials:

 
 
Webinars:
 
ProQuest has several upcoming webinars for thier Congressional Digital Suite and Legislative Insight (webinars are free, but you must register):

These webinars aim to help you:

1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both:

a. Procedurally – How did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended;
b. As an adversarial process – who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal;2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue;3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.