Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome to the BC Law class of 2019

This is an exciting week for the BC Law Library staff as we meet the members of the entering class!  Our 1L students have been bustling around the campus.  The Law Library and technology orientation takes place today.  We have a full schedule set for them, including a candy reception to cap off their experience.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Miller's Standard Insurance Policies Annotated now available on Westlaw for Law Schools

If you intend to practice law, you will likely have to read and analyze an insurance policy at some point, if not on a regular basis.  This is true regardless of whether you practice civil litigation (liability insurance), real estate (title insurance, fire insurance, property and homeowners insurance), estate planning (life insurance and annuities), business law (property, casualty, fidelity, errors and omissions and liability insurance just for starters)  or even criminal law.  It is not uncommon for a criminal defendant to be an insured party in a civil case arising out of the same facts. 

Miller's Standard Insurance Policies Annotated is one of the essential resources on every insurance lawyer's wish list.  It is an enormous, 13 volume loose-leaf set which includes over 100 standard insurance policies, over 1000 policy endorsements and over 180,000 annotations of cases interpreting the specific provisions of the standard policies.  It is available in print in the Law Library at KF1160. M54 and, just recently became available electronically to law students and law faculty on Westlaw.

To access Miller's, simply login in to Westlaw Next and click on the Miller's link under Tools & Resources within Insurance Secondary Sources.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Harvard Law Professor Makes White House Bid?

Greetings, BC Law Community!  Above the Law, the law blog that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the legal world, recently posted about Harvard Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig's potential  run for presidency.  Lessig's campaign would promote what he has termed the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 and a referendum president.  The Act is based on three core principles: equal freedom to vote, equal representation, and citizen funded elections, as opposed to the corporate involvement allowed under the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission holding.

Some experts postulate that Lessig's agenda as referendum president includes passing the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 and then stepping down from presidency and letting the citizens of America govern themselves.  A feasible future?  What effect would this have on the legal education we offer here at BC and at-large?  And, beyond that, the law in general, the way it is created, maintained, and enforced?  For the full story, check out the post here.

The run is contingent upon donation funding; a goal of $1,000,000 must be raised before Labor Day 2015 (along with a few other, less quantifiable, terms).  To read more about Lessig's ideas, see his website here:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Law360 Provides a Complete Picture of Legal News

Hello BC Law students!  I am pleased to introduce myself as the newest addition to the Education & Reference staff here in the Law Library.  I look forward to working with you at the Reference Desk and/or in Advanced Legal Research! 

We hope that you have made the most of your summer and are gearing up to get back to (or start) classes in the Fall.  To help you stay ahead of the curve, check out Law 360, a great resource for legal news and analysis.  Get caught up in any practice area by reading about the latest developments and notable trends and follow up with expert analysis content.

To access Law 360, you can use your Lexis password and from the main Lexis Advance screen scroll down to the News section.  This has a feed of the most current Law 360 articles.  If you want to access the website, click on the Law360 logo.  Remember that you need to be on the BC network to use Law360.  So, if you are on campus you are good to go, but if you are not, login through the VPN (see instructions here).

Alternatively, access Law360 through the Law Library’s list of Databases linked from our homepage.  Keep in mind that the same access rules apply from above.

Happy reading!

Official Versions of Advance Sheets for Massachusetts Court Reports are now electronic only

Massachusetts no longer publishes official versions of its Advance Sheets in hard copy.  Beginning this month the advance sheets representing the official versions of the Massachusetts Reports and the Appeals Court Reports prior to their publication in final hardbound volumes are processed exclusively in eBook format.   Users who need pinpoint citations to the official versions of cases from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court shortly after initial publication can use the star pagination available on and Lexis Advance.  Additionally libraries can subscribe to an e-book format of the Advance Sheets through Overdrive. 

New Published Opinions from the Massachusetts Court System are still available for free in an unofficial version at

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.