Thursday, August 30, 2012

PLC: Easy as 1-2-3

Duke Law students, faculty and staff have access to Practical Law Company (PLC), a transactional law resource which is used in practice by many firms. Register for an account with PLC for Law Schools by clicking the button labeled "FREE PLC Access."

The website is organized into three sections, all of which include model documents with drafting tips, "Practice Notes," and step-by-step checklists in such areas as bankruptcy, securities, corporate finance, international arbitration, and intellectual property. Each section is organized slightly differently, and offers additional unique features. The Law School section provides Summer Associate Survival Guides and Interview Survival Guides designed to demystify corporate and securities law basics. The Law Firm section includes a glossary of law and business terminology, current news and analysis of the latest corporate deals, and guides to international business. The Law Department section is intended for use by in-house counsel, and provides toolkits on topics like corporate compliance, as well as a "Global Law Department" with country-specific resources.

The site offers email alerts and RSS feeds on various topics, as well as the full text of the bimonthly journal Practical Law. Help is available via video tutorials, and the contents of the entire site may also be searched.

Practical Law Company can be accessed via the Goodson Law Library's Legal Databases & Links page, under "General Law Databases." For help using this or other legal research resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Welcome (or welcome back) to the Fall 2012 semester! Effective at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, full evening and weekend library services have resumed. See our updated building access hours, and remember that you'll still need a current DukeCard to enter the Law School building after 5:00 p.m. and any time on weekends.

Those just returning to Duke from a summer away will notice a few changes to the Goodson Law Library. In May, work began on a renovation project designed to create new spaces for eight of Duke Law's student-edited journals on Level 1 of the library. As part of this project, other study spaces throughout the library were also improved. While some work will continue into the fall semester (check the Renovation Updates page for details), here is your floor-by-floor guide to the changes so far.


The most dramatic transformation can be seen at the back of Level 1, where the bank of study carrels was removed in July. (Don't worry - the carrels have been relocated to Level 4.) This area will be the future home of 8 Duke Law School journals (all except DLJ), and remains a construction zone until the new space is finished. Continued work may be noisy and disruptive at times, so level 2 and the back of level 4 are our recommended quiet study spaces for the fall semester.


The study carrel computers at the back of Level 2 have been upgraded to new iMacs, which can run in either Windows or Mac operating systems. A current NetID and password is required in order to log in to these workstations.

The subject alcoves on this floor (Gann Tax Alcove and Walker North Carolina Alcove) have been rearranged in order to accommodate larger groups of users.


Like the subject alcoves on Level 2, the Stevens Federal Alcove on this floor was reconfigured to make room at its table for larger groups of people.

In the Document Production Room, you’ll be happy to note the addition of a second flatbed scanner, which has been installed due to popular demand for the library’s BookScanStation. It is currently set up for scanning to USB drive only, but options to scan to email and the printing system will be added soon.

The Digital Initiatives Lab was also recently upgraded to make one of its two display screens compatible with Apple TV.


Study space at the back of this floor has been expanded, with the study carrels from Level 1 re-installed next to Level 4's existing carrel space.

To make room for the additional study carrels, some materials in the Periodicals collection are in the process of being sent to off-site storage. For assistance with locating these titles (all of which can also be found in full text electronic format), please Ask a Librarian.


The Renovation Updates page will keep the Duke Law community informed of construction work as it is scheduled. Questions about the renovation project can be directed to Assistant Dean for Library Services Melanie Dunshee.

We hope that your summer vacation was as busy and productive as ours! Best wishes to all of our new and returning students for a great semester.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Foreign, Comparative & International Law Database

The Goodson Law Library recently subscribed to The Making of Modern Law: Foreign, Comparative & International Law, 1600-1926. This new resource offers the full text of nearly 3,500 historic treatises on foreign, comparative and international law topics, from the 17th century to the early 20th.

The collection offers a fascinating perspective on legal history, with titles like 1911's Patent and Trade Mark Laws of the World, which gives a country-by-country summary of then-current intellectual property requirements (ever wondered what a patent application cost in Uruguay at the turn of the 20th century? It's in there), or its earliest title, 1602's tongue-twisting The Pandectes of the Law of Nations: Contayning Seuerall Discourses of the Questions, Points, and Matters of Law, Wherein the Nations of the World doe Consent and Accord: Giuing Great Light to the Vnderstanding and Opening of the Principall Obiects, Questions, Rules, and Cases of the Ciuill Law and Common Law This Realme of England. In keeping with the database's global perspective, about 50% of the collection is in a language other than English (particularly French, Latin, German, and Spanish). The collection can be searched by a variety of options, or browsed by title or author.

The Goodson Law Library subscribes to several other Making of Modern Law (MoML) collections, including Legal Treatises 1800-1926 (American and British legal treatises from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), U.S. Supreme Court Records & Briefs, 1832-1978 (records and briefs from approximately 150,000 historical U.S. Supreme Court cases), Primary Sources I & II (early state codes, state constitutional conventions, city charters, law dictionaries, case digests, records of the American colonies), and Trials 1600-1926 (transcripts, popular printed accounts, briefs, and arguments for Anglo-American trials).

Like these other MoML modules, the new FCIL collection can be accessed via our Legal Databases and Links page, although it's located under the "Foreign & International Law Resources" column. It will also be added to the library's research guides on Foreign & Comparative Law and International Law. For questions about using the database or researching FCIL materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bluebook: There's an App for That

Did you ever wish that The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation would go back to its 28-page roots? While the ever-expanding citation manual (now up to a hefty 511 pages in its current 19th edition) probably will never shrink back down to its original size, you can still carry it in the palm of your hand. The Bluebook editors (a joint effort of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal) have granted exclusive rights to a mobile version within the recently-launched rulebook™ mobile app from Ready Reference Apps.

This mobile version of The Bluebook is now available for sale (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) in the iTunes App Store. The Bluebook library is available for $39.99 within the larger rulebook™ app, which also includes libraries of federal rules and selected state court rules. If the app isn't compatible with your own mobile device, never fear – the Bluebook editors also offer a web-based subscription (starting at $32 per year) at Various subscription packages include e-only access, or combinations of the print book and electronic subscription.

But how would you discover this and other legal research apps without the Goodson Blogson's expert help? First, there's Mobile Apps for Law, a searchable online directory of free and fee-based downloadable apps for mobile devices. The site features nearly 900 law-related apps, which are searchable by keyword and browseable by date, subject area, and/or device type. Entries for each app provide a brief description, price information, and links to more detailed reviews from such sites as iPhone JD and Law on my Phone, and quick access to download. Featured apps include access to primary sources of law from federal and state governments, scaled-down mobile versions of LexisNexis and Westlaw, law dictionaries, attorney and court directories, and more than 40 bar exam prep apps. Mobile Apps for Law also offers a free RSS feed for the latest updates, although a subscription is needed to access the full text beyond the RSS summary. For assistance with accessing the full site, please contact the Reference Desk.

On the hunt for even more apps, whether they're law-related or not? Apple's massive iTunes App Store contains thousands of apps but can be overwhelming to navigate. In March 2012, PC Magazine curated a list of the 100 best apps in iTunes. The blog Lifehacker also maintains an App Directory, going beyond Apple gadgets with a section for Android phones as well. Throughout the school year, watch the Duke Law Daily for announcements of "App Chats" with Digital Initiatives Librarian Hollie White in the library’s Digital Initiatives Lab.

Have a favorite law-related or productivity app you're eager to share? Feel free to sound off in the comments.