Tag Archives: free legal resources

Advanced Legal Research Student’s Corner – A Research Guide by Charlotte Law students, for Charlotte Law Students

ALRStudentsCorner

While law school may feel like a solitary journey at times, one of the strongest resources our students have are each other.  From your classmates to your upperclassmen to your alumni, each and every individual here at Charlotte Law has something to share with you.

Librarians here develop Research Guides for our patrons, featuring a range of information tools designed to assist you with your research and study at Charlotte School of Law.  They are a pathway to library resources most relevant to your area of study and contain recommended library resources – books, databases, journals and websites, as well as helpful research tips.

But one guide stands out among these, as it is composed solely of content created by your colleagues: ALR Student’s Corner: Specialized Legal Research Tips.

One of the assignments for Charlotte Law’s Advanced Legal Research course is to create a posting for the Charlotte Law Library blog on various resources for legal research, ranging from semester to semester to cover specialized legal databases, free online resources, print materials, mobile applications and legal blogs.  These postings focus on reviewing the resources from the perspective of a law student or legal professional, detailing strengths and weaknesses and methods of access and often teach the reader how to use these resources both effectively and efficiently.

All of these postings have been combined in to a comprehensive guide, chock full of brilliant content applicable to each and every one of you.  Explore this guide to find our more, learning from our students how to locate and access the resource, context for use of the resource and specific research tips.  You’ll also find examples of these uses as well as see graphics of the resources themselves.

Click here to view all Advanced Legal Research student postings on the Charlotte Law Library blog.

And as always, don’t hesitate to ask your friendly library staff for assistance!

~Ashley Moye~

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JD Supra Legal Edge

JD Supra Legal Edge is a legal app that “connects people through content” and allows lawyers to “market their expertise” through articles they post on the site/app under subject area headings. I wanted to study a copyright case I had researched earlier this summer, based on the Mike Tyson tattoo in the Hangover 2 movie, and began reading about the latest developments in copyright news.

As seen below, the app is divided by subject area:

I clicked on “Intellectual Property” and, after some time waiting for the page to load, the subject area then expanded into further headings, within that area of law, and indicated the article headline and the lawyer or law firm that posted the article. Writing these articles is an effective method for lawyers to bump a search engine query of their name or area of law to the top of a search result, and advertise their services and area of expertise for free.

Unfortunately, once I clicked on a subject area, I was no longer able to filter out the exact subject I was looking for, but could only read what the latest trends in the general field of copyright/IP law were. After selecting a specific article, I was presented with another screen asking how I wished to view the article (PDF or on the Web) and also offering a way to contact the contributor of the article. At this point, I liked the app and what it had to offer but was frustrated that it had taken this many screen-menus to get to the article I wanted to read.

Finally, after several clicks and some loading time, the article appeared on the mobile device.

I would not recommend this app to someone seeking to research a specific topic. However, it is great for reading about emerging issues and may inspire readers to develop these issues or change their research projects. The app provided me with some interesting reading while riding the train last week. Lawyers cannot do in depth legal research on this app, but it can provide them with inspiration for emerging issues in a relevant field. The app is article-based and has no search features other than categorical subjects.

Unlike more popular databases such as LexisNexis or Westlaw, Legal Edge does not provide a database of cases or statutes that lawyers can search and, therefore, it will remain a niche app used to read articles of interest (likely on mobile devices to pass time rather than conduct meaningful research). Depending on the mobile device used, one can download the PDF version of the articles from Legal Edge.

~Tymor Brik, Class of 2013~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Filed under Advanced Legal Research, electronic resources, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Postings

Fastcase for the iPhone

The Fastcase app is the largest free law library on the iPhone.  It uses smart search technology from Fastcase’s fully-featured, Web-based legal research application, which allows you to sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, customize and re-sort search results, and integrate citation analysis tools right into the results list.  “[FastCase] has won the prestigious American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award.”  – Mobile Lawyer, 8/23/2012

There are many features that I like about this free mobile application.  The application is equivalent to carrying with you a small library as it gives you access to State statutes for all 50 States, as well as the United States Code.   Having all 50 States’ statutes is wonderful, but it is only as good as its searching power

application will quickly return the results and sort them by relevancy.  There is also a feature that allows you to check other relevant cases that have cited your particular case.   Once you have found a relevant case(s) or statute(s), you can save them for quick reference in the future.  Imagine you are at a courthouse or away from a computer and need a quick glance at a controlling law – with this application and its ability to save and retrieve, you are only a couple of touches away.

Although there are many great features with the application, there are a few issues that hinder its superiority.   For instance, the application does not remember the user’s username and password.  This can become a nuisance if you use this application frequently.  Another issue with the login process is if you have forgotten your password.  There is no option for you to retrieve or reset your password from the application.   Lastly, this application’s saving/retrieval capability only works on that particular device.  For instance, if you have saved a statute using your iPhone, you cannot retrieve that saved statute from your desktop.

Overall, this app is a must have for law students! It is clear, very user-friendly, and provides excellent results.  Did I also mention that it is FREE?

~ Ketsarinh Rajaphoumy, Class of 2013~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: LLRX

LLRX.com is an online journal that provides legal and other professionals with up-to-date information on research and technology-related issues.  The best part is LLRX is completely free!

LLRX.com provides monthly installments of new guides, articles, and topical resources. The areas in which LLRX covers can be categorized into three broad topics: (1) Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets; (2) Articles; and (3) beSpacific, an awareness monitoring blog on breaking legal, technology, and research related news and primary resources. Sabrina Pacifici, the founder, editor, and publisher of LLRX, has authored the blog since August 2002 winning multiple awards including Best Overall Legal Blog of 2004 and Best Law Librarian Blog of 2005. Now, let’s browse each helpful feature individually.

Accessing LLRX.com

The online journal is available at www.llrx.com. The website is also accessible by clicking the LLRX hyperlink made available on Charlotte Law Library News’ homepage under Legal Research Websites.

Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets

Let’s begin with a simple task: you are a newly sworn-in attorney in the state of Washington and need to access local court forms and rules.

1)      Locate the Court Rules, Forms & Dockets tab at the top of the homepage. Click the tab to access LLRX’s compilation.

2)    Scroll down to find the states listed in alphabetical order. Locate and select Washington.

3)     LLRX sorts rules, forms, and dockets in Washington into multiple helpful categories, such as U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Washington and State Court, with links to official and unofficial websites that contain relevant information. Thus, to access Washington State Court Forms, select the Washington – State Court (Washington) – Court Forms and Instructions as shown below. LLRX will redirect you to http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/.

Articles

This round, you are a family law practitioner searching for articles, news, and blogs on your practice area.

1)      From the LLRX homepage, select Article Archives and Legal Research as a subtopic.

2)    Next, select United States Law from the box labeled Subcategories of Legal Research.

3)     LLRX will then direct you to a box indicating Subcategories of United States Law. Click on Family Law in the right column.

4)    The journal provides three options; however, I chose the most current resource, Criminal Justice Resources: Juvenile Law and Family Court Resources. This source contains an abundance of helpful information for family law practitioners including links to family law related news, journal, and law review articles. Additionally, ABA standards, reports, studies, and secondary sources are provided.

 

beSpacific Blog

Finally, you are a law student interested in staying current on legal issues involving cybercrime.

1)      Utilizing the LLRX.com homepage, locate and select the beSpacific Blog tab. You will be redirected to the homepage of beSpacific.

2)    Locate the topic list to the right of the screen. Find and select Cybercrime from the options.

3)     You have arrived! Here, you will find a variation of articles, blogs, programs, and more relevant to cybercrime. The resource is updated multiple times a month for accuracy.

As you can see, LLRX and beSpacific are excellent resources for practicing attorneys, law students, and law librarians regardless of practice area.

~Brittany Schott, L’12~

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