Friday, July 17, 2015

Using Legal Citation Tools and More

Boston College Law students and faculty have access to a number of citation formatting tools.  These tools can help you to format a single citation on demand or assist you in checking all legal citations in an entire document.  Confused about all your options and how to identify the best tool for citation formatting and checking?  The BC Law Library's guide, Using Legal Citation Checking and Citation Management Software, will help you through this process.

Once citations are formatted and published, researchers face another challenge: the issue of "link rot" in cites to web-based resources. Link rot refers to links that lead readers to dead-ends due to a changed URL or a defunct website.  While researchers carefully construct their citations to web-based resources, these sources lack the permanence of print sources. Perma is a solution to this problem.  For more information, check the BC Law Library's guide, Perma and Other Permanent URLs for Law Review Citations.  Nick Szydlowski, BC Law Library's Digital Services and Institutional Repository Librarian, explains more about Perma in his article here

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Google custom search engine for open access law journals

Annette Demers, the Associate Dean of Law Library and Legal Research Services at the University of Windsor in Canada has created a new Google Custom Search of open access law journals in the U.S., Canada and Europe.  This new meta search engine will be a boon to legal scholars.  The following websites are included in the search:

BePress Law Commons Network
BePress Law School Institutional Repositories
Centre d’accès a l’information juridique (CAIJ)
Cornell Law School Working Papers Series
Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies
Directory of Open Access Journals - Law
Duke Law Scholarship Repository
European Integration Online Papers
European Journal of International Law
European Research Papers Archive
International Review of the Red Cross
Law Review Commons
Manitoba Law Journal
McGill Law Journal/Revue de droit de McGill
New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) Legal  Scholarship Repository, including Harvard (DASH), Columbia (Academic Commons) and New York University (Faculty Digital Archive
Osgoode Digital Commons
Ottawa Law Review/Revue de droit d’Ottawa
Queen’s Law Journal (current issue embargoed)
Revue du Barreau
Revue de droit de l’UniversitĂ© de Sherbrooke (RDUS)
University of Alberta’s Constitutional Forum and Review of Constitutional Studies
Western University’s Journal of Legal Studies
Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
WorldLII - International Legal Scholarship Library

My thanks to Professor Demers for creating this useful meta search engine and to Professor Patricia McCoy for pointing it out to me.

Statescape -- free portal for tracking legislation and regulations in the 50 states

Statescape is a subscription legislative and regulatory tracking service, monitoring all 50 states and many U.S. territories and municipalities.  However, it maintains a wonderful and very extensive portal to state legislative and regulatory tracking which is free to all.  This tracking portal is available at the Statescape website under the "resources" tab.  It includes tables with links to all state legislature websites, links to all state registers, and links to descriptions of the legislative and regulatory processes for each state.  It also includes a chart telling how to determine the effective date of new legislation in each of the states.  It is a great starting point when compiling a 50-state statutory or regulatory survey!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Enhanced Tool from LexisNexis to Hone Your Citation Skills

LexisNexis has just enhanced features for its Interactive Citation Workstation (ICW)----an online tool that helps students build legal citation skills through interactive exercises. The tool offers citation exercises for all four formats: Bluebook, ALWD, Bluebook State and ALWD State. It also provides clear explanations of each citation rule, lists step-by-step examples and gives immediate feedback to students' answers.

Students may access ICW from the Lexis Advance Research tab and work on the exercises at their own pace. It is a good supplement to the first year legal writing and research class.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pending Federal Rules Changes

The Supreme Court has transmitted to Congress the latest proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. One change will abrogate Rule 84 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure  and the Appendix of Forms.  In its transmittal letter detailing the background of these proposed changes, the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference noted that due to the many alternative sources of forms, including the Administrative Office of the Courts website, the district courts' websites  and "local law libraries that contain many commercially published forms, Rule 84 and the Appendix of Forms are no longer necessary and have been abrogated."

Unless there are amendments from Congress, these rule changes will be effective December 1, 2015. The full text of the rules and the Judicial Conference documents can be found on the U.S. Courts website. Will law libraries field more requests for forms sources?  We'll find out.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The 20th Edition of the Bluebook is here!

Updates are being made in the world of legal citation.  The publishers of The Bluebook have released the 20th edition.  As you prepare for the new academic year, keep in mind that the 20th edition will now be the resource to use when writing law review articles and the like.  If you have online access through, you will be able to access the 20th edition by selecting it from the Version drop down menu located under the sign in area without any additional fees.  If you prefer print access – the BC Bookstore will be stocking the 20th edition as the new academic year gets closer.

As with every update of The Bluebook, there have been some changes made to various rules.  One exciting change is the inclusion Rule 18.2.1(d).  This rule references the archiving of internet sources, with citation examples using Perma (  This should be very helpful to those of you working on law reviews and journals!

If you have citation questions, or library needs during the summer, know we are still here to help.  You can even still check out materials from our Popular Reading or DVD Collections!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

New transactional tools on BloombergLaw

Boston College Law School students and faculty now have access to a new tool for transactional practice. Bloomberg Law launched its BloombergLaw: Corporate Transactions tool in late May 2015.  It is a web-based drafting tool that pulls language from over one million documents in public filings with the SEC to create a draft agreement based on market standard language. In addition, researchers can use the Corporate Transactions tool to compare a draft agreement with language appearing in public filings. The tool offers a draft analyzer, deal analytics, and practical guidance. Seconary sources, such as checklists, sample clauses, and timelines, are part of the product. This product is similar to Lexis Practice Advisor Tool and Thomson Reuter's Drafting Assistant.

Check the Law Library's research guide to transactional tools for more resources.

Screenshot of Bloomberg Law's Corporate Transactions button