2L %3L Law Library Newsletter - Fall 2012


Inside this issue:

  • Get to Know Nick Szydlowski

  • Holmes – The New Library Catalog

  • Rare Book Room Event for Students

  • Interview with Laura Murray-Tjan

  • Lexis Advance Improvements

  • Bloomberg Law…Better With BNA

  • Listening to Your Casebooks?

  • Lex Machina, IP Litigation Data Powerhouse

Dear 2L and 3L classes,

Welcome back to the excitement and activity of the fall semester.  We want to share with you the exciting news of the university’s new cloud-based discovery tool known as Holmes.  Holmes replaced the previous electronic catalog system known as Quest.  Change is all around us, including in the LexisNexis research platform with the LexisAdvance product.  Take a moment to review these tips for using LexisAdvance. 

Don’t forget the helpful CALI exercises in building your grasp of your course material, too.  These topics and more are covered here in the fall edition of the Law Library newsletter.

Remember that we always welcome your suggestions and comments.



Filippa Marullo Anzalone
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Library & Technology Services


Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Information and Technology Services,
Law School

Get to Know Nick Szydlowski

Nick SzydlowskiNick Szydlowski joined the law library this summer as the new Digital Services & Institutional Repository Librarian.  Nick received his Masters of Library Science from Simmons College in 2011, with a concentration in Preservation. From 2006 to 2011, he worked as a preservation assistant in the department of Curation and Preservation Services in the MIT Libraries. More recently Nick completed a nine-month IMLS Preservation Administration Fellowship at the New York Public Library.  One of the law librarians recently interviewed Nick about his career in library preservation and the projects he is working on here at Boston College.

What type of work did you do at the MIT Libraries?
Nick: When I started working at MIT in 2006, we were very focused on preserving the print collections, and I spent a lot of time repairing books, preparing books and journals for binding, and processing new books.  By the time I left in 2011, our department was responsible for projects that involved preserving both print and digital collections.  One of the last projects I worked on at MIT was a survey of the preservation status of MIT’s e-journal holdings – figuring out which of the thousands of e-journals we subscribed to was included in a trusted repository.

Can you tell us a little bit about your fellowship at the New York Public Library?
Nick: IMLS funded eight fellowships over three years for preservation administrators – librarians and archivists who focus on preserving artifacts and information for the long-term.  Each of us performed rotations through the different parts of a large preservation program, so at NYPL we got a chance to learn from conservators who treat rare materials, audio and video engineers who digitize unique recordings, and registrars who coordinate exhibitions and collections movement, as well as from the administrators who manage all of that.

We also had individual projects, and mine was to create a new statistics program for the preservation division, which included making a database where staff could track their time usage.  Statistics may not sound exciting, but they can be very important in advocating for the resources needed to preserve collections.

What Boston College Law Library projects are you most excited about?
Nick: My role at the law library centers on our institutional repository, Digital Commons @ BC Law School, and I am really excited to be working on such a great collection.  There were more than 650,000 papers downloaded from the repository in the past year, and since the majority of our traffic comes from Google, I think we are getting BC scholarship in the hands of people who might not find it otherwise.  I’m going to be looking at the way we work with the content in the repository to make sure we are following best practices in order to ensure both preservation and access, and to help us get new faculty work into the repository quickly and efficiently.

I have also really enjoyed working with the law reviews on a variety of projects, including their new website.  The idea of academic departments and libraries acting as publishers is sort of a hot topic right now in some circles, but law schools have been publishing their own journals for decades.  It’s been interesting for me to learn about the world of legal scholarly publishing, after working with primarily science and engineering materials at MIT.  It is a little bit like stepping into an alternate universe – there are a lot of similar issues, but many of the details are quite different.

If I were a student where would I be likely to see you?
Nick: Well, if you were on one of the law reviews and you were working on e-publishing or the website, or anything like that, you might run into me that way.  But more likely, you’ll see me at the Information Desk at the library.  I’m there a couple of hours most days, so if you’re stopping by to pick up a book off of course reserves, feel free to say “Hi” and introduce yourself!

Holmes – Meet the New Library Catalog

Use the BC Libraries’ improved discovery tool, Holmes to search for books, articles, course reserves and other materials in the BC collection and beyond. When you are on the law library homepage, you will see the search bar featured prominently near the top of the screen or you can go directly to the main Holmes search page to run a more advanced search. When you run a search in Holmes you will see three tabs above the search box, BC Collections, Articles, and Course Reserves.  Use the BC Collections tab to find material physically located in one of the BC libraries and some electronic material.  Articles include journal articles from a variety of sources although it does not include everything in the BC libraries’ databases.  To find course reserves, sign in on the top right of the main Holmes search page and use the link for My Course Reserves. Also, sign into your Holmes account to request books from other BC libraries.  Please link to Holmes Help for more information.

Rare Book Room Event for Students

Rare BookResponding to numerous student requests for programming in the Rare Book Room, the Curator of Rare Books, Laurel Davis, will be giving a tour of the current exhibit, “The Law Among Nations,” to interested law students.  If there’s interest, she will also pull out some “treasures” from the Rare Book Room stacks for students to peruse and enjoy.  The event will be on Tuesday, October 23rd from 12:30-1:30pm.  We will meet in the Law Library Conference Room 279 initially to enjoy cookies and lemonade and to drop off backpacks and bags.  Then, on to the Rare Book Room!  In the meantime, remember that the Rare Book Room is open from 9-5 and is a great place to study in peace. 

Spotlight on Faculty Use of Library Resources:  Laura Murray-Tjan and Immigration Current Awareness

Laura Murray-TjanThis is the second in a series of articles focusing on a faculty member’s creative and expert use of research resources.  Clinical Professor Laura Murray-Tjan teaches the Immigration Practicum Seminar, the Advanced Immigration Law Seminar, and the Immigration and Asylum Clinic.  She has extensive experience representing immigration detainees and refugees and is an expert in researching emerging issues in the ever-changing landscape of immigration law.  One of the librarians recently sat down with Professor Murray-Tjan and discussed her favorite immigration research resources. 

What is your favorite immigration research resource?
Murray-Tjan:   At this point in my career, my research tends to be focused.  More and more, I find myself looking for the source documents underlying the breaking news of immigration law, such as new policy memoranda, new regulations and recent immigration cases, both published and unpublished.   My favorite immigration research resource where I can find all of the above is Interpreter Releases.  It is a weekly newsletter which publishes legislative, judicial and administrative developments in immigration law, including government agency materials and immigration judge decisions which aren’t published anywhere else.

Do you use Interpreter Releases in print or electronically on Westlaw?
I’ve used both the print and electronic versions.  In print format, the source materials are published in an appendix; whereas the electronic version of the newsletter links directly to the source materials.  On Westlaw, I can browse the most recent issues or can search the archived issues.

What other immigration law resources do you use?
I use the National Immigration Project’s practice advisories, publications and resources.  All of the publications of the National Immigration Project are vetted, so the information is consistently accurate, reliable and up-to-date.  Its publications are generally of a higher caliber than many practitioner-oriented resources.  For example, it publishes Immigration Law and Crimes which is one of the books that I recommend to my students as an essential immigration law resource.  I also network through the National Immigration Project.  If I have a hearing in a location where I’ve never practiced, I’ll call a member of the National Immigration Project who regularly practices in that area to discuss the things I need to know before I appear.   Also, the National Immigration Project has great student membership rates and a student mentoring program. 

Do you use the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and its research database, AILALink?
Yes.  I use both AILA’s web resources and the AILALink research database to find policy memoranda and other administrative agency materials.  I used AILA fairly recently to find the policy changes on substance abuse as a bar to establishing good moral character required for naturalization.

I’d like to add that the listservs and email alerts for all of the resources we’ve talked about today are useful in keeping abreast of the changes in immigration law.  I receive email alerts for Interpreter Releases and am on the listservs for both the National Immigration Project and AILA.

To learn more about the Law Library’ s immigration resources, including Interpreter Releases and AILALink, contact Karen Breda, bredaka@bc.edu, 617-552-4407.

Lexis Advance Improvements

Lexis Nexis AdvancedOver the summer, Lexis added new features and content to the Lexis Advance research platform and updated the Lexis Advance Mobile App.  New Lexis Advance features include the ability to browse by topic, browse or search for a particular source, and browse or search tables of contents.  Other key enhancements include a snapshot view of your search result and integration of the Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, which searches jury verdict and settlement content.  For more on information on these new features or content that was added, see this Lexis Advance handout [PDF].  Lexis also updated the Lexis Advance Mobile App this summer adding more functionality including, ability to view annotations, search across multiple content types, select from Recent & Favorite filters, and create & synch new work folders.  To try Lexis Advance App, download it free in iTunes or form the LexisNexis Mobile Solutions page (Current Lexis Advance ID required). 

Bloomberg Law…Better With BNA

It’s been almost a year since Bloomberg purchased BNA, the publisher of U.S. Law Week and other leading legal newsletters and topical research services.  BNA content is now available through Bloomberg’s BLAW as well as through the Bloomberg BNA platform.  There have been some recent changes to the BNA platform, including the increased ability to customization your research experience – this is also the reason you are sometimes asked to sign in when you link to a BNA product.  Feel free to skip the sign in step and go directly to content.   The BNA acquisition is a major step in BLAW’s plan to be more competitive with Lexis and Westlaw.  The BNA content and BLAW’s superior access to docket and pleadings from federal and state courts make BLAW a serious player in the legal research market.

Listening to Your Casebooks?

BC Law students have access to Courtroom View Network, a database containing mp3 files for cases in popular law school casebooks.  To use Courtroom View Network, point your browser to the Law Library’s database list and select Courtroom View.  You’ll need to register with your BC e-mail address to use this site; just click the “Sign up” button right on Courtroom View’s homepage.


Lex Machina, IP Litigation Data Powerhouse

Lex Machina is an IP litigation data and analytics database. Every day, Lex Machina’s crawler extracts data and documents from PACER, U.S. District Court sites, ITC’s EDIS site and the PTO site.  The searchable cases, dockets and documents related to copyright, trademark, patent, and antitrust cases are used to compile data on patents, patent owners, attorneys, law firms, courts, and judges.  Analytics include [settlement] and case outcomes by court or judge, patent litigation by PTO classification, and median time to trial by judge.   The Lex Machina database grew out of Stanford’s Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse and provides free access to academics in hopes of bringing openness and transparency to IP law. Faculty interested in getting access to this data for themselves of their research assistants should contact Legal Information Librarian Joan Shear.