Newsletter Spring/Summer 2008

Inside this Issue

 •Attention All Legal Writers!
 •Summer Access to LexisNexis and Westlaw
 •Low-cost Alternatives to LexisNexis and Westlaw!
 •Social Networking for Law Students and Lawyers!
 •Check it out! OUT-LAW.COM
 •Help for your Computer
 •Time for a break?
 •More about your Law Library

Dear Students,

The academic year is over and you’ll soon be off to jobs as summer associates, research assistants, interns, or just earning some $$$. Please try to fit some well-deserved R&R into the mix. If you’re planning a day at the beach or just a quiet morning under a tree, you might want to take along a fun book from the Library’s leisure reading collection.

This issue of our Newsletter has information that we hope will interest you and that you will find useful, such as summer access to LEXIS and WESTLAW and how to access several low-cost alternatives to these resources. Those of you on FaceBook might find the introduction to social networking for lawyers intriguing.

Please remember, the Law Library is open during the summer months and we welcome your research questions! Oh yes, one more thing, remember to wear sunscreen.

Peace, Filippa

Filippa Marullo Anzalone

Professor and Associate Dean for Library and Computing Services, Law School

Attention All Legal Writers – This Means YOU! To top

Editors of the Bluebook would like to hear from you! The Nineteenth Edition of the BlueBook is scheduled for release in the summer of 2010; editors are now soliciting input from users about the present edition. Complete the online survey and let them know what you think - what's right, what's wrong and what could be improved. Ten responses received by June 30, 2008 will be selected at random to receive a free copy of the Nineteenth Edition and a one-year subscription to The Bluebook Online (

Summer Access to LexisNexis and Westlaw To top

Click here for information about summer access.

Low-cost alternatives to Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis To top

Over the past several years a number of small Lexis/Westlaw competitors have emerged. Some of these alternatives offer free access to law students, although the access may be limited to selected resources within the service, such as case law only. The sources vary in their contents; costs and commands are similar on these services, but not quite the same - check before you search!

LexisOne is designed for solo and small practice attorneys and includes selected free access to case law and forms. has no restrictions or blackout periods; users receive six months free access after graduation. Coverage includes federal and state court reports, codes and regulations, and you can search across jurisdictions. Secondary law includes full-text subject treatises and CLE publications from selected states (including MA). GlobalCite works like Shepard's and KeyCite, retrieving cases and secondary sources which cite the document in question. Ask at the Law Library's Information Desk for the access code, and register for a free student account.

In VersusLaw, law students can register for trial access to the case law databases; trial accounts must be reactivated each year. The database includes a variety of court decisions including selected Native American tribal courts and selected decisions from the federal Court and High Court of Australia.

fastcase allows 24 hour trial access and includes cases from federal district and U.S. Bankruptcy courts, and state appellate and supreme courts; it also provides links to non-case law resources on public web sites like government sites and Other features include natural language searching and Authority Check, which searches for cases that cite to your case (but is NOT a full replacement for Shepard's/KeyCite).

JD Supra offers free access to a growing number of documents including filings, decisions, forms and articles. Documents are posted by attorneys. Among the top 10 listed contributors are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Morrison & Foerster LLP, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and selected practice sections of Mintz, Levin. See this recent New York Times article for more about JD Supra.

Thomas Smith, a law professor at the University of San Diego is the co-creator of PreCYdent, a search engine in beta test mode that uses legal citations to find related information. Watch their video on youtube to learn more.

The Public Library of Law (PLoL) provides free online access to primary sources of U.S. case and statutory law. The database includes all U.S. Supreme Court opinions, federal circuit court opinions from 1950 on, and state supreme and appellate court cases from 1997 on. State and federal statutes, constitutions and court rules, federal regulations and selected state regulations are available.

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), hosted by the Law Library of Congress, is a public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other free legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations.

Social Networking Sites for Lawyers and Aspiring Lawyers To top

"Relationships Matter" is the tag line on the LinkedIn site. The practice of law remains a relationship-driven business, and this site is designed to help lawyers and other professionals connect in their working worlds. For more about how one lawyer is using LinkedIn, check out this short article by Renée Barrett: "Placing Bets on Online Social Networking: A Story of Social Capital Invested Wisely in LinkedIn."

LawLink bills itself as "The First Online Network Exclusively For Attorneys." LawLink, which is free, has over 1500 members. Members can post announcements, personals, job openings, and brochures.

LegalOnRamp is a networking site designed to help private practice and in-house users connect. Since its launch in June 2007, more than 175 firms and 150 companies have signed up. The site provides in-house counsel with free access to major law firms' legal advice, as well as networking facilities such as wikis and online chatrooms. Only lawyers can access Legal OnRamp and membership is currently by invitation only, a response to the privacy concerns of users.

Check it out! OUT-LAW.COM To top

OUT-LAW.COM has won the Internet's most prestigious award, a Webby, an award the New York Times calls "the Oscars of the Internet." The site is the first law firm website that has won a Webby in the awards' 12 year history. OUT-LAW.COM is part of Pinsent Masons, an international law firm with an interest in IT and e-commerce.

Help for your Computer To top

Law School Computer Help Center Summer Hours: "On-Call Service" will be available during the hours listed below. For service, please ask the staff member at the Information Desk to call the ATR Department. BC Law students with serious computer problems (potential loss of data) may contact ATR anytime during library business hours to set up an appointment, by calling 617-552-2604 or emailing ATR at

Monday - Thursday

10:00 am - noon
10:00 am - noon

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC) is located in the O'Neill Library building on the Chestnut Hill campus. Click here or call 617-552-HELP for information about hardware repair.

Time for a break? To top

Check out our Feature Films Collection!

...and our new Popular Reading Collection!

More about your Law Library... To top

Summer Hours start May 27, 2008

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Weekends: CLOSED

Exceptions to regular hours:

Hours are extended during reading and exam periods. Consult a detailed listing of hours, including summer and holiday hours.

Telephone Numbers, etc.

Library Hours: 617-552-4405
Information Desk: 617-552-4434
Reference help email: