Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Excellent Resource for Researching Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationship around the Globe

If you are interested in the legal issues surrounding same-sex relationship and marriage around the globe, the librarians at Jones Day have compiled an excellent resource for you to start the research. The Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationship database surveyed the relevant laws in each of the U.N. recognized countries and provided country-specific guide explaining whether same-sex couples are granted any form of legal recognition in the specific jurisdiction and answering other related questions.

The database is freely available to the public. You may explore it either by region or by country names, arranged in alphabetical order from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The database is frequently updated. However, since the laws related to the legal recognition of same-sex relationship are complex and quickly evolving, it is always wise to check the date of last update at the lower left corner of each country-specific guide.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bloomberg Law Debuts New Tax Research Platform

Bloomberg Law: Tax is a brand-new, stand-alone, comprehensive tax research platform designed by tax practitioners for practitioners.  It is remarkably easy to navigate and search.  A quick glance at the home page demonstrates how easy it is to browse for normally hard-to-find federal tax materials like revenue rulings, private letter rulings, notices and technical advice memoranda, U.S. Tax Court cases, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims cases.  In addition to primary sources, the platform features Fast Answers, the BNA Tax Management Portfolios, tax forms, sample transactional documents and many tax practice aids, tax treatises and tax journals.  The platform has tabs to switch from federal materials to state materials to international materials.

To access the new Bloomberg Law: Tax platform, go to and log in with your regular Bloomberg Law username and password.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

West Academic Study Aids: New Online Access for the Law School!

Hello students!  As summer is wrapping up, we in the library excitedly anticipate seeing campus buzzing again.  To help you get back in the swing of things, consider checking out the new access to West Academic Study Aids.  They are featured on the Law Library's List of Databases.

Whether you are a 1L, 2L, or 3L, you'll likely find some helpful resources for your classes--especially during the exam prep crunch.  Peruse through the list of study aids and you will find unlimited access to more than 400 titles, including the popular Acing series, Concise Hornbooks, Nutshells, Sum  & Substance, and many others.

Students will need to use BC Proxy access to get into the database.  So, if you are off campus, make sure to go through the library website and login with your BC credentials.  Get going today so you'll be ahead of the curve at the end of the semester.

See you all on campus soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Scopus: a new tool for "Law +" multidisciplinary research

Here at the BC Law Library this summer, the reference librarians have been working with many law faculty research assistants. These law students have been charged with researching multidisciplinary topics or as we call them,"Law +" topics, such as "law + economics" or "law + medicine." The new Scopus database, currently on trial for BC Libraries, has been very helpful in these research projects.  Access Scopus here; the trial extends to December 31, 2016.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Legal Research Tops Skills Needed by Newly-Minted Lawyers

The verdict is in: legal research is among the top skills needed by lawyers just beginning to practice, according to a report released earlier this month, “Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient.” The report is authored by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS).

The study is based on the survey responses of almost 25,000 lawyers across the country. The skill categories featured in the report include “Involvement and Community Service,” “Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence,” and “Communications,” along with many others. Respondents were asked to describe the skills in terms ranging from the most urgent “necessary in the short term” to “not relevant.”

Under the heading “Legal Thinking and Application,” “effectively research[ing] the law,” is far and away the skill most often rated “necessary in the short term,” with 83.7% of respondents choosing this answer.  In the same category, the distant second, with 71%, is “identify[ing] relevant facts, legal issues, and informational gaps or discrepancies.” Less than 1% of respondents described legal research as irrelevant.

Boston College Law Library’s Reference Librarians can help you hone this critical skill. Check the “Advanced Legal Research” and topic-specific class listings in Agora today, or stop by the library Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM this summer for help with a research question.

This post was written by BC Law Library intern, Allison Shely, Boston College Class of 2017.

Friday, July 22, 2016

United Nations Treaty Collection Has a Fresh New Look!

United Nations Treaty Collection,, an important stop for public and private international law researchers from around the world has just had a fresh makeover! The updates greatly improved the layout, menu options, navigation and research flows of the website.

Two oft-confused databases, Status of Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (also known as the “Status of Treaties” or the “MTDSG” database) and United Nations Treaty Series (the “UNTS”), are now located under different tabs. Search functions for each database have also been streamlined, clarified and enhanced.

The link to the Status of Treaties database can be located on the left hand side of the homepage, or by clicking the “Depositary” tab on the top menu bar. The Status of Treaties database provides the most up-to-date information of over 560 multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The database is updated multiple times a day. It is the best place for you to find information with regard to the multilateral treaty’s entry-into-force date, the latest status of Member States, and the declarations, reservations or objections made by any of the Member States. Since almost all of those treaties are published in the United Nations Treaty Series, a link to the specific volume is also provided.

The Status of Treaties database is organized by chapters, with each chapter covering a specific topic, for example, human rights, refugees, health, status of women, etc. However, if you are not sure which chapter your treaty falls into, you may search it by title, by key word in full text, or by participant.

The link to the UNTS database is featured on the right hand side of the homepage. You may also get there by clicking the “Registration & Publication” tab on the top menu bar. According to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, every treaty or international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations must be registered with the Secretariat and published by it. The UNTS database is the digitization of the United Nations Treaty Series, a publication produced by the Secretariat that contains over 2000 volumes and tens of thousands of individual treaties or agreements. One caveat is that although UNTS may be a good place for you to locate the full text of the treaty, the information there related to the status of the treaty may not be entirely up-to-date.

To search in the UNTS database, you may rely on the “Advanced Search” functions, or just as what you do in the Status of Treaties database, search by title, by key word in full text, or by participant.

The United Nations has also compiled a detailed User Guide to help you research and navigate the Treaty Collections website,

If you still have questions, please feel free to come talk to me or any of the librarians at the Reference Desk.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Adventurous Lawyers and the Law of Adventuring

Today's blog post is devoted to outdoor adventures, law and lawyers. 

Boston College Law Library recently acquired a book on the legal aspects of extreme sports, Adventure and the Law, by Cecil C. Kuhne, III. Law library student research assistant Allison Shely wrote the following review of the book (thanks, Allison!):  This slim volume entertains with the seemingly unlikeliest of topics: torts.  Kuhne, who worked as a whitewater rafting guide as an undergraduate, has a winning combination in his choice of extreme sports and lawsuits.

Dividing the book into three sections—“Land,” “Sea,” and “Air”—Kuhne examines sixteen cases of personal injury and wrongful death in the course of thrill-seeking. Four appendices include expanded discussions of additional cases. Does a scuba-related death fall under admiralty law?  What is the share of liability between the National Forest Service and drunken snowmobilers in a wrongful death case?  What is the monetary equivalent of the loss of a child in a bungee-jump accident caused by the owner-operator's gross negligence?  Come and find out in Adventure and the Law.

Wear your helmet; keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times; and remember the motto Kuhne adopted while working the rapids:  "If you're not scared, you're not having fun."

 The ABA Journal  is currently compiling a photo-essay gallery, Adventurous Attorneys, profiling lawyers who love the great outdoors.  If you'd like to share your own adventure story and photo for inclusion in the gallery, send them to or share them on social media with the hashtag #ABAJournalOutdoors.