Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lexis/Westlaw Summer Access

Lexis and Westlaw passwords are provided to Duke Law students for educational use only. For this reason, Lexis and Westlaw restrict students' access to these passwords over the summer break, beginning at the end of May. (You will still be able to log in for administrative functions, but access to most basic databases within the services will be cut off on these passwords. Your summer employer will issue you a separate ID and password on the employer's account; under no circumstances should an educational password be used at a for-profit employer.)

Fortunately, exceptions exist for those students who will pursue certain educational and non-profit ventures in the summer:
  • Summer school
  • School-related research assignment
  • Moot court research
  • Law review or journal research
  • Research for a professor
  • Work for pro bono/non-profit organization
To extend your password, follow these instructions:

LEXIS: Register for a summer extension via the link on the Law School home page. You must certify your legitimate educational use over the summer. If you do not register, your Law School issued password will be restricted to career materials on June 1.

WESTLAW: Register for extension from the home page link "Does your summer forecast call for Westlaw?"

Monday, April 28, 2008

How Would You Improve the Bluebook?

Love it or hate it, the Bluebook is the preferred system of legal citation both at Duke Law and in most jurisdictions. Before the editors of the Bluebook prepare the 19th edition (due summer 2010) for publication, though, they're seeking input from users. Sound off on improvement ideas in their survey: Surveys must be received by June 30, 2008. 10 survey responses will be selected at random to receive a free copy of the Nineteenth Edition as well as a one-year subscription to The Bluebook Online (!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Research Refresher Slides Now Available

If you missed any of the seven "Research Refresher" classes which the Law Library offered earlier this month, you can still get up to speed on legal research topics before your summer job begins. The presentation slides from each refresher have been posted to .

The classes included a review of print and electronic research strategies for the following topics:
  • Cases & court documents
  • Regulations & administrative law materials
  • Statutes & legislative history
  • Getting background and keeping current
  • Free & low-cost legal research
  • Putting it all together (taking an assignment from start to finish)
  • Business law boot camp
Presentations are available in PPT and PDF formats.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Library Hours & Services during Reading/Exams

The end of classes on Wednesday, April 16 brings some changes to Library hours and services.

The Reference Desk will operate under summer hours effective Thursday, April 17. Until the beginning of the Fall semester, reference services will be available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Library building access hours and Circulation Desk hours will remain unchanged during the reading and examination period. The Circulation Desk and building access hours will begin to operate under summer hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) effective 5:00 p.m. on the last day of examinations, Friday, May 2.

As always, members of the Duke Law community retain 24-hour building access with a current DukeCard.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Last-Minute Tax Resources

Reminder: the deadline for filing your federal income tax return is Tuesday, April 15.

Need more time to file? Consult the Internal Revenue Service page for Extension of Time to File for more information about obtaining an automatic extension with Form 4868. Remember that, in the words of the IRS, "an extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay"! You'll need to estimate your tax liability and send payment with the extension application in order to avoid paying interest and penalties later.

Already filed, and desperately wanting that refund? Check the status of your refund payment at the IRS web site. You'll need to enter your Social Security Number, filing status, and the exact amount from your return, so have those records handy.

Wondering if you'll get that other rebate from the news? The President's special "Economic Stimulus Package" may net taxpayers up to an additional $600 rebate this year; payments will begin to be distributed on May 2. To find out if you are eligible, visit the IRS Information Center, where you can calculate the amount of your rebate and view the distribution schedule.

Hoping that this post would be about study aids for your Fed Tax final, instead? Check out the Library's research guide for Federal Tax, especially the "Basic Sources" section, to locate titles like Understanding Federal Income Taxation and The Law of Federal Income Taxation hornbook.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Carrel Use During Reading/Exam Periods

As the examination period approaches, use of the Law Library Annex for intensive study will increase. During this very stressful time of the school year, please be considerate of your Law School colleagues by making study carrels available when you are not actively using them.

The Law Library Annex has limited space, particularly when it comes to study carrels. Carrels have always been available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, it is not uncommon to see personal effects (computers, coats, books, etc.) stored at an empty carrel for hours at a time. In addition to the previously reported dangers of leaving your personal items unattended in the library, this practice is frustrating to classmates who would like to use the study carrels.

We appreciate your cooperation in sharing the Annex space with each other. As always, please talk with a library staff member with any questions or concerns about Law Library policies.

(Thanks to the anonymous commenter in the Library Suggestion Box for bringing this issue to our attention. Have a suggestion for improving the Law Library? Fill out the online form, or leave a note in the box in the Law Library Annex.)