As summer jobs and internships start, one of the questions we get at the Library is “how do I start my research?” The good news is, there are lots of resources on how to do that!
Some of the best resources are Libguides on legal research. Libguides are created by librarians, and there are lots of law librarians helping you out! Florida Coastal has a great one for low cost legal research.
If you want more, run a search in Google for libguide starting legal research: .edu (that : .edu restricts the search to only school websites). Or change up the language and run starting legal research libguide: .edu (it will give you slightly different results). Switch up the words for more results libguide beginning legal research: .edu for example.
Or, call a Librarian! We are here all summer for you, whether it is for class, an externship or work! You can call and leave a message, we will call you back – (904) 680-7612. Or you can email us your question firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Ask A Librarian page.
Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Ask.com, and other sources will give you common wisdom and anecdotes about various techniques that have worked for other test takers. These may work for you.
But what if you want some no-nonsense, scientifically reliable, double-blind-tested techniques? If so, the best way to find them is to start by carefully selecting a source that contains that kind of material. You may have to try several sources until you find a good one.
I knew I wanted to find an article that contained carefully researched methods of dealing with test-day jitters. I was not interested in studies that simply measured anxiety levels. I wanted articles that would give me reliable advice. I settled on ProQuest eLibrary. I knew this source contained a range of newspapers and magazines that could have articles describing how to deal with exam jitters that would be properly sourced. I found the following tips from Sue Shellenbarger, Toughest Exam Question: What is the Best Way to Study?, WALL ST. J. ONLINE, Oct. 26, 2011.
If you are taking the exam in an unfamiliar place, visit the room in advance.
Set aside 10 minutes beforehand to write down your worries. Expressing yourself in writing will unburden you.
Envision yourself in a situation you find challenging and invigorating. Then switch your mental image to the testing room and imagine yourself feeling the same way. With practice, you’ll be able to summon up more confidence on test day.
No matter where you fall on the hot-button topic of climate change there is no denying it’s an important issue. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a summary of its most recent set of findings and figures in March. The WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories (as of January 1, 2013). It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951 for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
As weather, climate and the water cycles know no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.
This summary and website can lead you to a ton of other international sources on climate and environmental law. Use the list of topics at the top of WMO’s home page or the facets on the left to find relevant information that may be more difficult to get to simply by using the web site search box. Evaluating and making use of all access points (also known as finding aids) are important research processes.
It is that time of year again; when a law students’ thoughts turn to finals and papers. Are you one of the many students who are putting the finishes touches on a paper and need some Florida statistics? Take a look at this website that gives stats on all sorts of Florida goodness!
(No, I am not talking about Google Image Search, although I like that feature. Google Image Search will respond to your Google search with images from the web. I used it to find this great blog that compiles cartoons about libraries and librarians: http://librarycartoons.wordpress.com/.)
Google Search by Image is a new feature that allows you to use an image as your search. You can drag and drop your image if it is online, or type in its URL. If the image is not online, you will need to save the image to your hard drive, and then upload it. Firefox and Chrome add-ons are available to make the process easier. They have a video on how it works here: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/features/images/searchbyimage.html.
Do you have a picture of a building, and need to know what it is? Have a picture of a vehicle, and need its make and model? Give Google search by image a try.
The tragic suicide of Aron Swartz has put the Open Access movement in the spotlight. Open Access is the practice of providing free, unrestricted access to scholarly work through the internet. Proponents of open access to scholarly journals argue that since taxpayers fund almost all research, they should not have to purchase the results of that research from a private publisher. Journal subscription costs are born by libraries, who are increasingly saying “No,” to expensive journals. For more discussion of open access, see this web page by Peter Suber, Director of Harvard’s Open Access Project: http://bit.ly/oa-overview
As a Librarian, I try to keep up with new research tools. It has been hard before to see how cases are treated across jurisdictions, which can often be very helpful if arguing for a change in law. But not anymore! Lexis Advance has a great feature that lets you see how cases have been treated by other courts across jurisdictions and across years. Once you log into Lexis Advance (if you are having trouble with that, please contact any of the Librarians) just Shepardize a case. Go to Citing Decisions and choose Grid. Especially if you like to visualize what has happened to a case, this is a perfect resource.
Lexis has a great explanation of this feature, and other features of their Shepard’s service, in their information.
If your response is, “What is sunshine week?” you are probably not alone. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know. This is an important topic because access to the law is really important to lawyers, law students, and law librarians. Check out all the great FREE legal information available on FDSys. The Library of Congress makes finding legislative and congressional information a breeze with Thomas. Here is an example of how an open government can force a public figure to answer for their use of public funds. The list of reasons supporting open government and freedom of information is huge. What reasons can you think of?
The Jenkins Law Library located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is over 200 years old, but don’t let its age cause you to think that it is just a relic of the past. The Jenkins Law Library is still going strong and makes available a wealth of legal research tools and resources. Students, solo-practitioners, and law firms can become members of the law library and take advantage of the many databases and resources available. Even if you are not a member of the Jenkins Law Library, the law library offers services that may be useful to attorneys, such as legal research, copying, Shepardizing or Keyciting cases, and document delivery. The Jenkins Law Library is a great low cost alternative to other well-known legal information providers.